It is with great respect and awe that we attempt to write concerning the Trinity and the Godhead. It is difficult for finite minds to comprehend infinite truths. Our human language hardly has words or definitions to explain or illustrate the Divine Person of God. We have only human language to use, the only tool at our command. With human terms and words then, we seek to set forth the greatness of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, the Lord being our Helper.
The Church of the forth Century taught the following: We worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in unity, neither confounding the persons nor separating the substance. For the person of the Father is one, of the Son another, and of the Holy Ghost another. But of the father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost there is one divinity, equal glory, and co-eternal majesty. What the Father is, the same is the Son and the Holy Ghost
The FATHER is uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Ghost uncreated, the Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, the Holy Ghost is eternal. And yet there are not three eternals, but one eternal. So there are not three beings uncreated, but one uncreated.
In like manner the Father is omnipotent, the Son is omnipotent, the Holy Ghost is omnipotent. And yet there are not three omnipotents but one omnipotent. Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet there are not three Gods, but one God. Thus the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Ghost is Lord. And yet there are not three Lords, but one Lord.
Because we are thus compelled to confess each person to be severally both God and Lord, so are we prohibited from saying that there are three Gods or Lords. The Father is made from none, nor created, nor begotten. The Son is from the Father alone, neither made nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is from the Father and Son, neither made, nor begotten, nor created, but proceeding. Therefore there is one Father, not three fathers, one Son, not three sons, one Holy Ghost, not three holy ghosts. And in this trinity, there is nothing first or last, nothing greater or less. But all the three co-eternal person are co-equal among themselves, so that through all, as is above said, both unity in trinity, and trinity in unity is to be worshiped.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is both God and man. He is God, generated from eternity from the substance of the Father; man born in time from the substance of his mother. Perfect God and perfect man, subsisting of a rational soul and human flesh. Equal to the Father in respect to his divinity, less than the Father, in respect to his humanity. Who although he is God and man, is not two, but one Christ.
But one, not from the conversion of his divinity into flesh, but from the assumption of his humanity into God. One not at all from confusion of substance, but from unity of person. For as a rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ.
In thinking of God, who is spirit, and Eternal, we must divest ourselves of all thoughts of human analogies concerning conception, birth and time, in the begetting of the son of God. The Father in begetting the Son did not exist before, because then the Son would not be eternal. The Father and the Son coexisted eternally.
Quenstadt says therefore, that “the Father from eternity begat and always begets, and never will cease to beget His Son.” There is an eternal communication of the one and same essence. The Father, who has life in himself is first named, then the Son whom the Father begets from eternity is named as second in the Godhead, and the Holy Spirit, who is sent forth both by the Father and the Son, is named as the third person in the trinity. There is no priority which would imply the existence of one person before the other, in this divine simultaneous existence of the Trinity.
God is love. It is his nature to love. Love implies self impartation between person. The person of the Trinity love one another. The Father said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” From Eternity, there has been a reciprocal activity of divine love between the Father and the Son. If Father and Son were only manifestations of the same person, then God could only love himself alone, for love demands an object to love.
The Bible clearly teaches a difference between God who is atoned, and God who makes atonement, and God through whom atonement is applied. How clearly the New Testament sets forth the work of God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost in the atonement and redemption of man.
The three persons of the Godhead share the divine essence indivisibly so that each one possesses the divine essence without division or multiplication. It is plain that the Bible teaches the unity of the essence of God, and yet speaks of three distinctions. In the Godhead, there are not three separate persons such as three human persons would be separate. the three persons possess simultaneously the whole divine essence. This divine essence subsists eternally and permanently in three modes, but not successively as the Sabellians taught, and as the Jesus Only people now teach. (That God has manifested himself first as Father, then as son, and following that, as the Holy Ghost.) There is no analogy adequate to make the Trinity concrete to our vision. This might come fairly close to it – If three persons could be conceived of as having the same undivided soul, it would give us an idea of the Trinity.
We believe that the Trinitarian viewpoint is clearly upheld in the baptismal formula given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter twenty-eight. In fact, throughout the New Testament there are repeated assertions of the truth of the Trinity, and to assert any other doctrinal point of view simply creates confusion.
Since baptism in Jesus’ name only is founded upon supposition and error, rather than the Bible it has led to other heresies and errors.
1. The denial of the Trinity of Persons in God.
2. Regenerative Baptism.
3. Teaching those not baptized in the Spirit are not saved. These errors are founded upon a false interpretation of John 3:5.
4. A smaller portion have gone farther in error, denying the Coming of the Lord personally, and teaching that the coming of the Lord is only a spiritual movement.
THE NAME OF JESUS
It will perhaps surprise many to know that the name of Jesus was a common name when Mary brought forth her son in the manger; perhaps as common as Harry or James is today. Josephus mentions no less than 13 in his history of the Jews, some of whom were disreputable characters. Jesus is still a common name in such Latin countries as Spain, Italy, Mexico. Now don’t you think it is rank blasphemy for any one to have this name given to men, which the Jesus only folks insist is. “The name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost?”
Let us tell you what the Name of Jesus really is. The full name of the Son of God is “Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Lord” is the name of His divinity, “CHRIST” is the name of His office as Messiah, and Jesus is the name of His humanity.
See what Jesus only does. It forces into the background the DEITY AND LORDSHIP of the Son, also His Messianic office and simply exalts what they term “an office.”
There is not a scripture to prove that Jesus is the name of the Father or the Holy Ghost but of the humanity of the Son of God only. We do not deny the divinity of the Son of God. He is “My Lord and my God,” as Thomas acknowledged in John 20; He is Jehovah, the Great, “I Am” of the Old Testament. He is Creator of heaven and earth, as brought forth in Colossians. He is the Lord that shall reign until He hath put down all rule and all authority and power. “And when all things are subdued into Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him (the Father), who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all” (I Cor.15:28).
BAPTISM IN JESUS’ NAME
Ten days before the day of Pentecost, Jesus stood on the Mount of Olives and gave us the Divine commission, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them, into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt.28:19). Some will deny that the word “Father” is a name, claiming this is just an office, but surely the “Holy Ghost” is the name of the Spirit of God.
It is claimed that Peter, on the day of Pentecost, only ten days after Jesus had given the above commission, received a revelation that the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is “Jesus.” If any one can give us the chapter and verse for this we will believe it. It is argued that if Father, Son and Holy Ghost were not the same person, then Jesus would have said “baptizing them in the ‘names’,” rather than “name” (singular).
Let us take an illustration. Our country is composed of 48 states, each with its own government, each with different names, and all together make the “United Sates of America.” When we send an ambassador abroad, he does the business in the “Name” of the United States, and not in the “Names” of the United States, and this does not prove there is only one state, but many states united to one country. So the Bible teaches that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are different persons in one God.
When Acts 2:38, Acts 8:16, Acts 10:48, and 19:5, tells us they were baptized in the name of “Jesus Christ,” in the Name of the “Lord Jesus,” and “in the Name of the Lord,” and “in the Name of the Lord Jesus,” there is no question but what Peter and Paul were giving the authority for baptism and not the formula. We certainly should baptize in the name of Jesus, but it is going too far to state Baptism shall be in the name of Jesus only.
The book of Acts does not teach “Jesus only.” It mentions Baptism in the Name of “Jesus Christ,” in the name of the “Lord Jesus,” and in the name of the “Lord.”
Colossians tells us, “AND WHATSOEVER YE DO IN THE WORD OR DEED, DO ALL IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS, GIVING THANKS TO GOD AND THE FATHER BY HIM” (Col.3:17). Not only are we to baptize in Jesus’ name as to authority, but, WHATSOEVER YE DO IN WORD OR DEED,” which includes Mark 16-17, “In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues, they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them, they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
We are to do all this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, because when we tackle devils, serpents, poison and sickness, we need the authority of that Name.
Even the seven sons of Sceva (Acts 19:13) felt the need of this name for authority in exorcizing a demon possessed man (but with sad results), but the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified (Acts 19:17).
TESTIMONY OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES
We now want to show you that the statement, “All Apostles baptized believers in THE NAME OF JESUS ONLY,” is false and unsupported by the book of Acts, the earliest Christian writings, or the Testimony of the Church Fathers.
I want to quote from the “Teaching of the Twelve Apostles” or Didache (Teaching) which is commonly acknowledged to be the oldest church Manual in existence.
This book was discovered in 1873 in the library of the Jerusalem Monastery, in Constantinople. It is a collection of manuscripts bound in one volume covered with black leather, carefully written on well preserved parchment and numbers in all 120 leaves or 240 pages. This handwritten copy is signed thus, “Finished in the month of June, 11th day in the year 6564 (equivalent to A.D. 1056), by the hand of Leon, Notary and sinner.” Its discovery created a sensation in Theological world. It was sort of a “Missing Link” to shed light upon a period of time (from A.D. 70 to A.D. 150) of the apostolic church, of which we are more or less ignorant.
The Didache claims no apostolic authority; it simply is the summary of what the unknown author learned either from personal instruction or oral tradition, to be the teaching of the apostles, and what he honestly believed himself. It takes its place among the genuine documents of the apostolic fathers, Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Ignatius, Barnabas, and Hermas. These writings fill the gap between the apostles and the church fathers, from the close of the first, to the middle of the second century, just as the Apocrypha of the Old Testament fill the gap between Malachi and John the Baptist.
The time of composition is probably between A.D. 70 and 100. No mention is made of a New Testament Canon or any book except “The Gospel.” The Didache presents Christian teaching and Christian institutions in primitive, childlike simplicity.
The views of scholars still vary considerably, but seem to incline with increasing unanimity to a very early date, from A.D. 70 to 150.
On the subject of baptism we will quote the seventh chapter to prove that apostolic practice was not to baptize in JESUS’ NAME ONLY.
1. “Now concerning baptism, baptize thus: Having first taught all these things baptize ye into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, in living or running water.”
2. “And if thou hast not living water, baptize into other water, and if thou canst not in cold, then in warm water.”
3. “But if thou hast neither, pour water thrice upon the head into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”
4. “But before baptism, let the baptizer and the baptized fast, and others who can; but thou shalt command the baptized to fast one or two days before.”
This same volume contains another book called “The Seventh Book of the Apostolic Constitutions,” dating from the first half of the fourth century. Here are some quotations from Chapter 22, “Now, concerning the baptism, a bishop or Presbyter, we have already given directions, and we now say, that thou shalt so baptize, as the Lord commanded us, saying, ‘Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.'”
“But thou shalt before hand, anoint the person with holy oil, and afterwards baptize him with water, and in the conclusion shalt thou seal him with ointment.”
Nothing is mentioned of infant baptism, or the shorter term, “in the name of Jesus” in any part of this book. We are not contending for the mode of baptism here, but quote this to show the formula.
The next oldest description of baptism is by Justin Martyr, converted at the age of 30 and put to death 165 A.D.
“As many as are persuaded and believe that the things spoken and taught by us are true, and promise to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and intreat God, with fasting for the remission of their sins, while we at the same time pray and fast with them.”
“Then they are brought by us to a place where there is water – for in the name of the Father, and Lord of the whole universe, and of our Savour Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water.”
IGNATIUS WHO LIVED LATTER PART OF FIRST CENTURY, WRITES
“There are not three fathers, nor three sons, nor three paracletes, therefore the Lord sending the apostles to disciple all nations, commanded them to baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, not three names, nor into the three incarnations but into the three of equal honor.”
TERTULLIAN LIVED BETWEEN 160-240 A.D.
“Commanding that they should baptize into the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, not into one. For we are not baptized once but thrice, at each name, into each person.”
CLEMENT, OF ALEXANDRIA, LIVED BETWEEN 150-220 A.D.
“The man baptized into God, has entered into God, and has received power over scorpions, and to tread upon serpents – the powers of evil. And to the Apostles he commanded, ‘Go preach, and them that believe, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,’ into whom we are born again, having been made superior to all powers.”
BASIL M. III LIVED BETWEEN 362-380 A.D.
“He who is baptized, is baptized into the Trinity, into the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, not into principalities, nor into power, nor into any such thing among creatures.”
“Let no one be deceived by the fact that the Apostles’ frequently omitting in mentioning baptism, the name of the Father, and of the Holy Ghost, nor imagine on this account, that the invocation of these names are unimportant.”
CYPRIAN LIVED BETWEEN 200-258 A.D.
“The condition of the Jews and of the Gentiles are different. The Jews because they had already received the most ancient baptism of the law and of Moses, were baptized also in the name of Jesus Christ, as Peter says (Acts 2:38), ‘Repent and be ye baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins.’ Peter makes mention of Jesus Christ, not as if the Father should be omitted, but that the Son should be conjoined with the Father.
Finally, when after the resurrection, the Apostles are sent by the Lord, to the nations, they are commanded to baptize the Gentiles into the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”
DIDYMUS, OF ALEXANDRIA, LIVED IN 4TH CENTURY
Commenting on Acts 2:38, he says,”The Saviour having commended the perfected to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, some unwisely interpreting the scriptures, having heard Peter exhorting everyone to be baptized in the name of Christ, imagined the one equal to the three names.”
“But the Church believing the Trinity, indivisible and inseparable, declares the Father to be of the Son, and the Son of the Father, and the Holy Ghost to be of the Father and the Son.”
ORIGEN LIVED BETWEEN 185-254 A.D.
“Perhaps, also, you may ask this: Since the Lord Himself said to His disciples that they should baptize all nations into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, why does the Apostle here use the name of Christ, only, in baptizing, saying, ‘Whosoever of us have been baptized into Christ,’ since it is not regarded as legitimate baptism unless under the name of the Trinity?”
But see the discretion of Paul, since in the present passage, he did not desire so much to discuss the subject of baptism, as that of the death of Christ, through the likeness of which he would, also, persuade us that we ought to die to sin, and be buried together with Christ. Nor was it proper to say, “Whosoever of us have been baptized “into the name of the Father, or of the Son, or of the Holy Ghost, have been baptized unto his death.” Comment on Rom.6:3.
THE TRIUNITY OR PLURALITY OF PERSONS IN THE GODHEAD
From the church Fathers and authorities already quoted, we see that the Trinity, or plurality of persons in the Godhead was an Apostolic doctrine and now we shall proceed to prove it in the Old and New Testament.
In Genesis 1:1, the name of God or Elohim is a uniplural noun formed from “El-Strength or Strong One,” and “Aloh,” to swear to bind himself by an oath. We see the compound unity of this name in Gen.1:26. “Let us make Man in OUR Image.”
Genesis 3:22. “Man is become as one of US.”Genesis 11:7. “Go, let US go down.” Isa.6:3-8. “Who will go for US?”
There are those who acknowledge a plurality of offices, termed, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but deny a plurality of persons in the Godhead.
Let me ask a question. Would God speak of Himself as “US” and “OUR” simply because of a plurality of attributes or office? Suppose I should do the same. Because I hold two offices, could I speak of myself as “US” and “OUR?” Of course not. No more does God use poor grammar when speaking of Himself.
THE GREAT COMMANDMENT “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut.6:4; Mark 12:29). This literally reads, Jehovah Our Elohim (plural) is One Jehovah.”
Here in the Old Testament we find the one Jehovah is a plurality, and the plurality (Elohim) is a unity (One Jehovah).
Let us look for a moment at this word “One” as found in the Old and New Testament.
In the Old Testament the Hebrew word translated “One” denotes a compound Unity – not a simple Unity.
These passages illustrate the meaning of this word “One” as used in Deut.6:4.
Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.” Husband and wife are two person, and yet they are one, – A compound unity.
Genesis 11:16. “And the Lord said, ‘Behold the people are one and they have all one language’.” The people is not one person, but many person making one people – another compound unity.
In the New Testament, it is the same in Greek.
I Cor.3:6-8. “I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are “One,” and every man shall receive his own reward according to his labour.”
I Cor.12:13. “For by One Spirit are we all baptized into the One body – And have been made to drink in to One Spirit.
Compare John 17:22,23, “And the Glory which thou gavest me, I have given them, that they may be one – (a compound), even as WE are ONE (compound unity).
Gal.3:28 – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all One in Christ Jesus.”
This use of the word One plainly shows us that the One God of the Bible is a Plurality of persons.
Let us turn to Daniel 7:13,14. “I saw in the night vision, and behold, one like the Son of Man, come with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days and they brought Him near before Him. Let me ask you, my friend, “Who is the ‘Son of Man’ and who is the ‘Ancient of Days?” None other than God, the Son, and God, the Father. The Ancient of Days is described in the 9th verse, “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool. His throne like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire.” This is not the description of angels or cherubim, but of the Father Himself.
Over 600 years later than Daniel’s vision, we find the Apostle John having a similar vision on the Isle of Patmos about A.D. 96.
Rev.4:2. “Immediately I was in the Spirit, and behold a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.”
Rev.4:2 “And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.”
Rev.5:1. “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.”
Rev.5:6. “And behold, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.”
Rev.5:7. “And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat on the throne.”
Now we see in Rev.4:10, that He who sat on the throne is worshiped by the elders, also the Lamb is worshiped.— Rev.5:8-10. Then hear the chorus of undivided worship to God, the Father, and God the Son. Rev.5:13.
“Blessing and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne (God the Father), and unto the Lamb (God the Son), forever and ever.” This song to the Trinity is also found in Rev.7:9-10.
We see by these visions how God uses human phraseology to explain Divine, spiritual facts.
Our attempts at a philosophical explanation of the Trinity of God, is an attempt to put the facts of infinite-spirit being into the forms of finite thought, and can at best be only partially successful.
THE NAME JEHOVAH
From studying God’s word, we see that Jehovah is the name of the Trinity. This name was revealed for the first time to Moses in Ex.33:13-16 and is the Redemption name of God.
Jesus claimed to be Jehovah as read in John 8:58. “Before Abraham was, I AM.” In Zech. 2:10,11, we read, “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of thee,” said the Lord. “And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts sent ME unto thee.”
Here the LORD (Jehovah) speaks of Himself as sent by the LORD (Jehovah) of hosts.
In Isa.49:1 we read, “The LORD hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.” (Jesus) Matt.1:21
Here we have the LORD (the Father) speaking of His Son, and hath made mention of His name from the womb.
By comparing Ex.16:7 with Heb.3:7-9, we see that the Holy Ghost is called Jehovah or LORD.
THE REVELATION OF THE TRINITY
The baptismal scene in Matt.3:16-17 reveals the Trinity of persons (not office). God, the Son is baptized. God, the Father speaks from Heaven (not from the body of Jesus). God, the Holy Ghost assumes a material form like a dove which is visible, like the body of Jesus is visible.
To state that the Holy Ghost does not possess personality here, because of the form of the dove, is to argue that the Spirit of God can still be the Holy Ghost and not possess personality. Such argument is foolish and unscriptural. The Holy Ghost has personality, also Jesus.
Surely Jesus did not trick the people by becoming a ventriloquist and only made it appear that the Father’s voice was coming from Heaven.
STEPHEN’S VISION, WHILE DYING When a man is dying he is usually serious and speaks the truth. In Acts 7:55 we read, “But he (Stephen) being full of the Holy Ghost (first person), looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus (with His resurrection body of flesh and bone) standing on the right hand of God.” (The third person.)
Here we have the dying statement of Stephen. The Trinity of persons in the Godhead is here revealed. While the Holy Ghost is doing His office work here on earth, Jesus, our High Priest, is our advocate, and intercessor in heaven, with God the Father.
SIN AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST
The Bible is very plain in its teaching that the Son of man is not the Holy Ghost, when Jesus was on earth, or at the present time. Let us look at Matt.12:31-32.
“All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto man: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall never be forgiven unto men.” “And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall not be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, neither in the age to come.” The Pharisees had ascribed the work of the Spirit to the power of the Devil. Jesus tells them that they were sinning against the Holy Ghost. He also makes it plain that it was possible to sin against the Son of man (at the time they were speaking) and yet be forgiven. Certainly this shows us that the Son of man does not claim to be the Holy Ghost at that time, nor at the present time. For if Jesus is now the Holy Ghost, then it would be impossible to sin against the Son of man, but only to sin against the Holy
HAS JESUS ALREADY COME?
It is certainly very difficult to explain how there is another coming of Jesus, when the claim is made that Jesus is the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is here, so if Jesus and the Holy Ghost are the same person, then we must come to the conclusion that Jesus has already come.
Some who have embraced this error are teaching that there is no literal coming of Jesus, but they explain the coming of Jesus is simply a spiritual movement, or Christ’s coming is a spiritual sense in us.
Jesus plainly states that the Holy Ghost is ANOTHER COMFORTER. He is here on earth. Jesus Christ is in heaven as our High Priest, interceding for us, and will come soon, from heaven for His Bride, and she shall meet Him in the air.
FALSE INTERPRETATION OF JOHN 3:5
It is certainly surprising for us to hear that they who claim to have a “Revelation,” and be led by the Spirit, should fall for such an error as regenerative baptism.
Jesus said, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:5.
Shall we believe that Jesus here was speaking of water baptism and the Spirit baptism? No, certainly not. Such is nothing more or less than Roman Catholic dogma, and it is doubtful if the devil has had a better means for sending people to hell than just such teaching as regenerative
What does the term “Born of Water” mean? We will let the Bible interpret itself. “Water” in the Bible is a type of the spirit and also of the Word of God. This type is plainly shown in the words of Eph.5:25-26. “Christ also love the Church, and gave himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water (notice the words of explanation) by the word.”
Peter makes it very plain that water coming through the pipes from the city water works, or flowing on a stream, or in a lake, does not effect the New Birth, but it is the Word of God.
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible BY THE WORD OF GOD, which liveth and abideth forever.” I Peter 1:23.
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63.
“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.” James 1:18.
We see from the above, that the water spoken of, in John 3:5 is merely a type of the Word. The Word of God, and the Spirit of God working together, effect the New Birth. Never has any one been born again of the Spirit alone, but a revelation of God’s word is necessary, nor has any one been born again of the Word alone, but only as the Spirit applies the Word to our hearts.
“Being born of the Spirit” does not mean to be baptized in the Holy Ghost. The baptism in the Holy Ghost is dispensational, and if a person does not live in this dispensation, when God is pouring out of His Spirit on all flesh, he cannot be blamed for not having the baptism of the
Every child of God has the Holy Spirit in a measure. First, we have the Holy Spirit following and convicting us before we are saved. Second, we have the witness of the Spirit “that we are the children of God.” Rom.8:16. “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.” I John 5:10.
Third, it is possible for every child of God now to have the Spirit in His fullness, or the baptism, according to Acts 2:4.
Fourth, we have the guidance of the Spirit through life.
DID JESUS CLAIM TO BE THE FATHER?
We will let the Bible answer this question. “I and my Father are One.” John 10:30. A casual reading of this scripture and others (such as John 14:9, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father”) may give us the idea that Jesus claims to be the Father. Yet Jesus declared “No man hath seen the Father'” (John 6:46) in His divine essence.
When Jesus claims He and the Father are “One,” we must not believe that He wishes us to believe that He is the Father, but that He is one in the same sense as a husband and wife are ONE. The same Greek word is used in both places. Matt.19:5. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be ONE flesh.” A compound unity.
Jesus prayed for this unity of the believer, in the same way as He and the Father are a unity. “That they all may be ONE, as Thou Father, art in me, and in Thee, that they also may be ONE in US—.” John 17:21.
Jesus was sent of the Father, and was His representative on earth, therefore Jesus could say, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” John 14:9. When we send an ambassador to Great Britain, he goes in the name of this country, and can do business in the name of this country. He can literally say, “He that sees me, see the United States.”
The 6th verse of Isaiah 9 need not confuse us. “For unto us a child is born (the humanity of Jesus) unto us a Son is given (the Son of God is not born, but is eternal) — his name shall be called —the everlasting Father,” or literally “Father of eternity.” His “goings forth have been from old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2). The Son is eternal, so He may well be called the everlasting Father or Father of Eternity. Jesus never did claim to be the Father (in person) but tells us plainly “My Father is greater than I.” John 14:28.
THE SUBORDINATION OF THE SON TO THE FATHER (As to Order or Dignity)
“My father is greater than I” (John 14:28). “For unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee, and again, I will be to him a Father and he shall be to Me a Son?”(Hebrews 1:5).
From these scriptures we see that God the Father is greater than Jesus Christ the Son, and God the Father begat Jesus Christ the Son.
“As the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so he that eateth Me, he shall live because of Me” (John 6:57).
“No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” Jesus Christ His authority.
“The Lord God, and His Spirit hath sent me.” (The Son.) Isa.48:16.
“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him, whom He hath sent” (John 6:29).
“And he that sent me is with me; the Father hath not left me alone” (John 8:29).
“Neither came I of myself, but He sent me” (John 8:42).
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for whatsoever things he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:9).
Here we see that Jesus Christ was sent of the Father, and can do nothing independent of the Father.
“I appoint unto you a Kingdom as my Father hath appointed unto me” (Luke 2:29).
“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father.” “For he putteth all things in subjection under his feet. But when he saith, All things are put in subjection, it is evident that he is excepted who did subject all things unto him. And when all things have been subjected to him, then shall the Son also himself be subjected to him, that did subject all things unto him, that God may be ALL in ALL” (I Cor.15:24-28) R.V.
From these scriptures we see that Jesus Christ’s kingdom was appointed him by the Father, and Jesus Christ shall ultimately deliver up the kingdom to the Father, and shall be subjected to the Father, that God may be ALL in ALL.
“The head of Christ is God” (I Cor.11:13).
God, the Father is the head of Christ, as Christ is the head of every man.
Wherefore also he is able to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
Men draw near unto God through Christ. God, not Christ is the ultimate goal. He is the way unto the Father. “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6.
“Therefore God, even thy God hath anointed thee—“
“Jesus saith unto her, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God” (John 20:17).
From this scripture we see God, the Father, is Jesus Christ’s Father and God. Jesus Christ is, and eternally shall be, subordinate to God, the Father.
JESUS CHRIST STILL HAS A HUMAN BODY IN GLORY
“I see heaven open and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56).
“One mediator between men and God, the MAN Christ Jesus” (I Tim.2:5).
“Who shall change our body of humiliation that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Phil.3:21).
“When he shall appear, we shall be like him” (I John 3:2).
“A spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39).
If the only person of the Godhead is in the earth today in the office of the Holy Ghost, then the glorified human body of Jesus must not at the present time be indwelt by all the fullness of the Godhead, and instead of a High Priest who ever liveth to intercede for us, we have only the body of Jesus in heaven. But thank God, the Scriptures teach that at the present time the Holy Ghost possesses personality, and our High Priest in heaven also possesses personality, and hears us.
BAPTISM WITHOUT THE NAME OF THE TRINITY
Triple baptism was of ancient usage, and was emphasized to counteract the heresy of those who did not believe in the Trinity of the early church.
Eumonious, an Arian bishop of Cyzicum, A.D. 360, was one of the first to practice baptism without mentioning the name of the Trinity. Theodoret, bishop of Cyrus, A.D. 420, writes thus of him, “He subverted the law of holy baptism, which had been handed down from the beginning from the Lord and the Apostles, and made a contrary law, that it was not necessary to immerse the candidate for baptism thrice, nor to mention the names of the trinity.”
(PHILIP SCHAFF’S HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH)
During the first three centuries of the Christian era, what was subsequently called the Doctrine of the Trinity had become the subject of controversy, chiefly in one direction: it had been decided against Sabellius that there are in the Godhead three distinct persons, whereas Sabellius had in effect reduced the three to one. In the year 317, Bishop of Alexandria, having publicly expressed his opinion that the Son of God is only of the same dignity as the Father, but of the dame essence (in Greek, ousia), Arius, one of the Presbyters, considered this view as leaning too much to Sabellianism, and, rushing to the other extreme, he declared that the Son of God was only the first and noblest of created beings, and though the universe had been brought into existence through his instrumentality by the Eternal Father, yet to that Eternal Father He was inferior, not merely in dignity, but in essence. The views of Arius commended themselves to multitudes, while they were abhorrent to still more; fierce controversy respecting them broke out, and the whole Christian world was soon compelled to take sides in the Struggle. Constantine, the first Christian Emperor, was then the reigning sovereign, and after he had failed by private means to restore peace and unity, he summoned a council to meet at Nice, in Bithynia, which it did in A.D. 325. It was the first general Council and the most celebrated of all. It declared Christ to be homoousios, (that is, of the same essence of the Father), whereas Arius regarded him as only homoioussios, (of similar essence). The erring Presbyter was deposed and exiled, but his numerous followers maintained his doctrine, and were at times so successful that each party had in turn the power, of which it had no scruple to avail itself, of using carnal as well as spiritual weapons against its adversaries; indeed, it is believed that Arius himself died by poison. It would occupy too much space to detail the vicissitudes of a highly checkered struggle; suffice it to say that the Arians greatly weakened themselves by splitting into sects, and the doctrines regarding the relations of the three divine Personages authoritatively proclaimed at Nice were at last all but universally adopted. They may be found detailed in what are popularly termed the Nicene and the Athanasian Creeds. They were held almost without a dissentient voice through the middle ages, and were cordially accepted by the leading reformers. The churches of Rome, England, and Scotland are all at one with regard to the doctrine of the Trinity, as are also the most powerful bodies of English Non-Conformists. Arianism, has from time to time appeared in the churches, but as a rule its adherents have sooner or later gone back to orthodoxy or to Unitarianism, (of different forms).
THE FIRST RECORDED USES OF SPRINKLING
Cornelius, Bishop of Rome, A.D. 250, writes: “Novatian fell into a grievous distemper, and being about to die, he received baptism, being sprinkled on his body, if that can be termed baptism.”
Here we see that sprinkling is mentioned, and doubt expressed that this can be called baptism.
THE VERSE OF I JOHN 5
Sometimes the seventh verse of I John 5, is quoted, to prove that there is only one person in the Godhead. “For there are three that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one.” “One” here is a compound unity.
IS JESUS ONLY A NEW REVELATION?
It is claimed by adherents of the “Jesus Only” theory, that this revelation from God, in these last days, and it is commonly called new light. I deny this, and will quote from Schaff’s History of the Christian Church,pages 287-294, of volume 1, to prove that instead of this theory being a revelation, it is simply a rehash of error that has appeared in the church from time to time.
“These anti-trinitarians are commonly called Monarchians or Unitarians on account of the stress laid upon the unity of God.” In the fourth class of these anti-trinitarians we have the followers of Praxeas, of Asia Minor. He came to Rome under Marcus Aurelius, with the renown of a confessor; procured there the condemnation of Montanism; and propounded his views to which he gained even the Bishop Victor. But Tertullian met him in vindication at once of Montanism and of hypostasianism with crushing logic, and charged him with having driven away the Holy Ghost, and having crucified the Father. According to Tertullian, Praxeas, constantly appealing to Isa.45:5, John 10:30 (“I and the Father are one”) and 14:9, (“He that hath seen me hath seen the Father”), as if the whole Bible consisted of these three passages; taught that the Father himself became man, hungered, thirsted, suffered, and died in Christ. True, he would not be understood as speaking directly of a suffering of the Father, but only of a sympathy of the Father with the Son: but in any case he lost the independent personality of the Son. He conceived the relation of the Father to the Son as like the spirit to the flesh. The same subject as spirit is the Father; as flesh, the Son. He taught the Catholic doctrine tritheistic.”
“Noetus, of Smyrna, published the same view about A.D. 200, appealing also to Rom.9:5, where Christ is called the one God over all. When censured by a council, he argued in vindication of himself, that this doctrine enhanced the glory of Christ.”
“Callistus (Pope Calixtus 1) adopted and advocated the doctrine of Noetus, which Epigonus and Cleomenes, disciples of Noetus, propagated in Rome under favor of Pope Zephyrenus. He declared the Son merely the manifestation of the Father in human form; the Father animating the Son, and the Spirit animates the body, and suffering with Him on the cross. “The Father,” says he “who was in the Son, took flesh and made it God, uniting it with himself and made it one. Father and Son were therefore the name of the one God, and this person cannot be two; thus the Father suffered with the Son.” He considered his opponents “ditheists,” and they in turn called his followers “Callistians.” After the death of Callistus, who occupied the papal chair between 218 and 223 or 224, this doctrine (patripassianism) disappeared from the Roman church.”
From the above, we see that “there is nothing new under the sun” and what was supposed to be a new revelation, is nothing but an old heresy, that has taken root in the hearts of leaders where the soil of spiritual pride exists, who wrest the scriptures to accord with their manmade theories, who ignore the warnings of history, and care not how much division they create, to the hurt of the cause of God.
THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY GHOST
It may be surprising to know that some who pose as leaders do not believe or know that the Holy Spirit is a person. They think that because the Spirit does not manifest himself in human flesh, we cannot speak of Him as a person. This is simply a confusion of corporeity for personality.
GOD THE FATHER IS A PERSON.
GOD THE SON IS A PERSON, AND WAS A PERSON BEFORE THE INCARNATION.
GOD THE HOLY GHOST IS A PERSON.
What is a person? Any being that can think, feel, will, and act is a person. The Angels are persons, the Devil is a person, human beings are persons, and it matters not whether a being possesses a body of flesh. A body of flesh is not necessary to think, feel, will, or act. The rich man in hell could do all this while his body was in the grave waiting the resurrection.
THE SPIRIT POSSESSES KNOWLEDGE
I Cor.2:10-11, “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”
THE SPIRIT POSSESSES A WILL
“But all these things worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to very man severally as He will” I Cor.12:11.
We see from the above verse that the Holy Spirit is not some power like electricity, gravity, etc., that we get a hold of, and use as we will; but He is a person, who gets hold of us and uses us as He wills.
THE HOLY SPIRIT POSSESSES A MIND
“And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the MIND OF THE SPIRIT, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Rom.8:27. The Greek word for mind here is a word that includes the ideas of thought, purpose and feeling.
THE HOLY SPIRIT POSSESSES FEELING
“And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Eph.4:30. Surely it must grieve the Holy Ghost, to have such error preached, that denies the personality of the Spirit, as if He were a blind force, such as gravity.
THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN ACT
The Spirit searcheth. I Cor.2:10;
The Spirit speaks. Acts 2:4, Rev.2.7.
The Spirit witnesses. Gal.4:6.
The Spirit intercedes. Rom.8:26.
The Spirit testifies. John 15:26.
The Spirit teaches. John 14:26; 6:12-14.
The Spirit guides. Rom.8:14.
The Spirit commands. Acts 16:6-7; Acts 13:2.
The Spirit appoints. Acts 20:28.
The Spirit reveals. II Peter 1:21.
BE CAREFUL HOW YOU TREAT THE SPIRIT
It is possible to —
Grieve the Spirit. Eph.4:30; Isaiah 63:10.
Rebel against the Spirit. Isa.63:10.
Do despite unto the Spirit. Heb.10:29.
Lie to the Spirit. Acts 5:3.
Blaspheme the Spirit. Matt.12:31-32.
Resist the Spirit’s striving. Gen.6:3.
Quench the Spirit. I Thess.5:19.
THE HUMANITY OF JESUS
The “Jesus Only” folks claim to honor the Lord Jesus Christ as no other Christians do. Now we want to prove that their teaching does just the opposite to what they claim. Their teaching exalts the name of his humanity, (Jesus) but they rob Him of His human nature, and according to their teaching, Jesus is not the true “Son of Man” as He is called 77 times in the Scriptures.
1. According to their teaching, Father, Son and Holy Ghost are mere offices, so as to be logical, we had no Son until the incarnation and yet we know the Bible teaches us that the Son is eternal. They have robbed Jesus, the Son of God, of His eternal existence. Let us read what the Bible states concerning the person of the Son, (not the office). “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.”
“When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.”
“Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, was I brought forth: “While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.”
“When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass on the face of the depth—” “When was I led by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.” Prov.8:22-30.
2. Their teaching robs Christ of His true HUMANITY. The logical conclusion of their teaching is that God simply clothed himself with human flesh, in the same relationship as the human spirit to the human body. Thus, if God withdrew from the human flesh in which He had clothed Himself, the body of Jesus would be a mere corpse, as the human body, when the human spirit and soul leave the body.
(a) Our Lord Jesus, the Son of man had a true human body.
Heb.2:14, “For as much then, as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same”; John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”
(b) Also after the resurrection.
Luke 24:39, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself:
handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”
(c) Also now in glory.
Acts 7:55-56, “But he…saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.”
I Tim.2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the MAN Christ Jesus.”
3. Their teaching robs Jesus Christ of His human soul and human spirit. Jesus Christ not only possessed a human body, but had a human soul and human spirit.
John 12:27, “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say —“
Isaiah 53:11, “He shall see the travail of his soul.”
Isaiah 53:12, “Because he hath poured out his soul unto death.”
Acts 2:31, “His soul was not left in hell.”
John 11:33, “When Jesus saw her weeping —he groaned in the spirit.”
John 13:21, “When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit.”
Luke 24:46, “He said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit, and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”
From the Scriptures we have examined, we may therefore conclude that the Lord Jesus Christ was the true Son of man, as well as the only begotten Son of God. As the Son of man, he had a true human body, human soul, and human spirit. For otherwise he would be no more an incarnation than the theophanies of the Old Testament, such as appeared to Abraham, (Gen.18:1-33) when the Lord appeared to Abraham, ate and drank, and heard the intercession of Abraham for Sodom and Gomorrah.
THE SOLEMN WARNING OF JOHN
“He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.” I John 2:22-23.
When we have such a solemn warning in God’s word, do you not think important that we believe not every spirit, (I John 4:1), but try the spirits if they be of God or not, prove all things, and hold fast to that which is good?
The apostle John tells us it is the spirit of antichrist that denies the personality of the Father and Son, and teaches that the Father and Son are only offices of God.
However, the “Jesus Only” people disregard this warning, and preach as we here quote one of their officials, “We believe in one God only; but that He operates in three distinct offices:
“First, the office of the Father; second, the office of the Son, and third, the office of the Holy Spirit.
“The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are positively one in person.” John says, “He is antichrist that denies the Father and the Son.” They deny that there is a Father and a Son, and tell us these names only designate offices. Such teaching is plainly from the pit. Only a little time need elapse until we shall see the fruits of such doctrine.
The result of such teaching is this:
God, or Elohim, (plural noun) is one person.
We have no Father, this is only an office, not a person.
We have no Son, this is only an office, not a person.
We have no Holy Spirit, this is only an office, not a person.
Jesus Christ is robbed of his true humanity, and is not true Son of man.
Jesus Christ had no true human soul.
Jesus Christ had no true human spirit.
The incarnation was only a theophany like in the Old Testament.
Being born of water means water baptism.
Being born of Spirit means Spirit baptism.
Let us look for a moment at the second epistle of John, the third verse, “Grace, be with you, mercy and peace, from God, the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.”
Here we see that John distinguishes between “God the Father” and the “Lord Jesus Christ.” Furthermore, we see John says that the “Lord Jesus Christ” is the “Son of the Father.” Since “Father” is only an “office” of God, we must reason that the Lord Jesus Christ is the “son of an office.” If they would admit that Father is a name, and Father is a person, they might escape such foolishness, but evidently they have not been very clear in their thinking. This is childish reasoning parading itself as a “Revelation” and “New Light.”
The “Jesus Only” teaching may be summed up as follows: There is one God and only one person in the Godhead. This one God has had three “manifestation.” First as the Father, second as the Son, and third as the Holy Ghost. Because of these three manifestations, we Trinitarians have “foolishly concluded that there are three persons in the Godhead,” and so we teach.
Yes, there have been three manifestations of God, but if the Father manifested himself, or the Son manifested himself alone, or without any similar manifestation at the same time, we might accept such a simple explanation of trinitarian error.
But when we have the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost all manifested at once, we have some difficulty accepting the manifestation theory. Matthew 3:16 “And Jesus, when he was baptized….the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God, descending like a dove, lighting upon him, and lo a voice from heaven saying, ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.'”
The “Jesus Only” teaching that confuses body and personality needs examination. What is a person? We may answer, any being who can think, express will and desire, and self determination, is a person regardless of possessing a body or no body. When a man dies, we no longer say “he” is buried, but we say “it”, (referring to the body) is buried. In death Paul says the believer is absent from the body and is present with Christ, II Cor.5:8. The personality is not the body, but the personality lives in the body till death takes place.
Jesus in his story of the Rich man in hell, (Luke 16:23), the rich an without any body, but just soul and spirit, has all the faculties of speech, feeling, thinking, remembering, that he had in the body, but the body was buried.
“Jesus Only” teaching ascribes a body to Jesus, but no human soul or human spirit. To be fully human, so as to be the Son of Man, Jesus must have had a human body, a human soul and a human spirit. Here are the scriptures to prove it.
When Jesus gave up the Ghost and died on the cross, (Matt.27:50, Luke 23:46) it was his human spirit that he referred to, and not any other spirit. Jesus refers to his human soul in Matt.26:38, when he says, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” “Jesus Only” preachers never try to explain this, for they do not understand the Christology of our Lord. Yes, all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in Jesus, but also the full humanity of body, soul and spirit that makes a human being. Why rob the Lord of his humanity? In doing this, we make the incarnation to be nothing more than one of the Old Testament theophanies, in which God appeared in a temporary human form. This makes the incarnation to be a masquerade of God the Father in a human body.
The “Jesus Only” teaching denies that Father, Son and Holy Ghost are names. “It is merely the name of an office or a term of office, or title,” they say. Let us examine this assertion. Confusion will come in our thinking when we forget that Father and Son are terms of relationship and not of manifestations. The human relationship between a human father and his human son is the idea or thought that is conveyed to us by the use of the words Father and Son. Thus God the Father has a divine Son. This Son is just as eternal as the Father, and was with the Father before the world was made. See John 17:5 “Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” We see by this, that the Eternal Son was with the Eternal Father before the world was made. Jesus’ humanity had its beginning at Bethlehem, but His divinity is from everlasting. See Micah 5:2. All the language of the Bible teaches us that Father and Son are terms of relationship, rather than terms of
different manifestations of God.
When the resurrected Jesus said to Mary, John 20:19, “I ascent to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God,” he used the terms of relationship again, which applied equally to Mary as it did to Him. Jesus implied that he had to ascend to heaven to come into the Father’s presence, but “Jesus Only” preachers would have told Jesus, “You are mistaken, Jesus, for the Father is in You now, and is clothed with Your human body. In fact, Jesus, You are the Father, and merely now representing Yourself as the Son.”
How much easier it is to believe that Jesus here was the Son, and was not the Father, but according to his words, Jesus must ascend to heaven to come unto the Father.
The apostle John has something interesting to say on this subject. I quote now from a tract by E.N. Bell, “The Truth About the Godhead,” printed by the Gospel Publishing House, in Springfield, Mo., (page 13). “The most vital doctrine of the “Jesus Only” preachers is that the Lord Jesus Christ is the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. If this falls, the whole false system built on it must go with it. Hear again from II John, verse 3. “Grace be with you, mercy and peace from God the Father, in truth and Love.” ….But who is the Lord Jesus Christ? Is he the Father? Never, for John answers, “The Son of the Father.”
Peter says just about the same thing when we turn to I Peter 1:3 and we read, “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Instead of saying the Lord Jesus Christ is the Father, he says God is “the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The Apostle Paul says about the same thing in Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We might go on quoting New Testament scripture, but this ought to be enough to convince anyone, that Father and Son are terms of relationship, not of manifestations.
When “Jesus Only” preachers refer to Jesus’ body as the Son of God, and that this body or son is indwelt by the Father, and that it is the Father who animates this body, or son, it brings thinking people to certain conclusions concerning these misguided people. One of these is that the “Jesus only” people believe that the Son or body has no will of its own, for it is only a corpse indwelt by one personality, the Father.
In answer to this we cannot properly speak of a body as a son. A body has no personality, no responsibility, cannot be good or bad, cannot obey or disobey. It must be the spirit or animating life within the body that does all this.
When Paul says of the believer in II Cor.5:8 “absent from the body and present with Christ”, Paul is making a distinction between the body and that which lives in the body. When the personality leaves the body, we refer to the body as “IT”. We no longer say he or she, for the personality
When God the Father made Adam, he first made a body, but it had no personality until God did something more. First God formed man out of the dust of the earth, but this was a lifeless body. Next then, God breathed into man the breath of life, and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7. Since his creation then, and until now, every man is a trinity, for he is body, soul and spirit. Paul taught this in I Thess.5:23.
We would not believe any person we met who claimed to be a father, if he id not admit that the son, of whom he is the father, has his own soul, his own spirit, his own body. In other words, the son was a personality distinct and apart from his Father.
Such scripture as Philippians 2:5-11 become meaningless. Let me quote the Weymouth translation on this, “From the beginning He had the nature of God. Yet He did not regard equality with God as something at which He should grasp. Nay, he stripped Himself of His glory, and took on Him the nature of a bond-servant by becoming a man like other men. And being recognized as truly human, He humbled Himself, and even stooped to die; and that to a death on the cross. It is because of this also that God hath so highly exalted Him, and has conferred on Him the Name which is supreme above every other name in order that at the name of Jesus ever knee should bow, of beings in the highest heavens, of those on the earth, and of those in the under-world, and that every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”
The simple explanation of this is as follows: The Son of God from the beginning always had the divine nature of His Father God. This was before the incarnation or birth in Bethlehem. This equality with God, had to be relinquished in order that the incarnation could take place. So the Divine Son stripped Himself of His glory, be veiling it in human flesh. He took upon Himself a human body and human nature in the incarnation and birth at Bethlehem. So He became a man like other men, (without losing any degree of His divinity) with a human body, a human soul and a human spirit. Otherwise, He would not be truly human. (For a human body alone cannot humble itself, cannot obey or disobey, cannot hate or love, cannot exercise any will, cannot have merit or demerit. It is the personality within that body that does all such things. If it was God the Father, in this body, who did all that Paul wrote in the above quoted verses, then God the Father exalted Himself, and not His Son. Then God the Father has no obedient Son who dies, but only a corpse or body called Christ Jesus. What a mess!)
Continuing our explanation of Phil.2:5-11, we see that God the Father has highly exalted His divine Son, whose name is Jesus, so that when this supreme name is mentioned, in heaven, earth or hell every knee will bow to this divine Son (who is not just a body) but who is the resurrected,
ascended God-Man, Christ Jesus our Lord.
© Northern Gospel Publishing House, Minneapolis Minnesota
Revised Fourth Edition 1961
All who have read and benefitted by this study owe to Mrs. Lindquis a special word of appreciation for giving permission to Bill Burkett to reprint the original booklet by her husband Frank J. Lindqis.