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Jesus is the way,
 the truth, and the life

 

 

 

 

THE "JESUS ONLY" DOCTRINE

 

 

 

 

 

Below, we are going to examine the ‘Jesus only’ or the ‘unity’ doctrine which is approximately a hundred-year-old heresy. The supporters of this doctrine believe that there is only one God, but that His divinity cannot be divided so that there are three persons in Him: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Instead, they believe that this indivisible divinity has made Himself known in three ways, taking a different role in different situations; in Heaven He is the Father, on the Earth the Son, and in the believers the Holy Spirit. Thus, the doctrine denies the general understanding that in God’s unity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have their own personalities. The doctrine also says that the Father and the Holy Spirit actually mean the same, and can alternate.

  However, if we look at the Bible, we can find numerous pieces of evidence speaking against this doctrine and verses that support the triune nature of God. According to the Bible, there is only one God (Isa 45:18,21, Isa 46:9), but the Bible also says that the Father is God (Deut 4:35), the Son is God and eternal (1 John 5:20,21, John 1:1-3,14,15, Rom 9:5, Tit 2:13, Matt 1:22,23, John 5:17,18, 8:23, 10:30-33, 17:5, 20:28, 1 Cor 2:7,8, Phil 2:5-8, Col 1:16,17, Hebr 1:7,8, Luke 1:16,17, Isa 9:5, Isa 40:3-5, Jer 23:5,6, Micah 5:1, Zec 11:12,13, Zec 12:1,10), and the Holy Spirit is God and eternal (Acts 5:3,4, Gen 1:2, Hebr 9:14.). The only logical conclusion is that all three must be the same God. This is supported by the next examples and verses:

 

Deut 6:4. The creed of Israel has often been used as an absolute proof against trinity. This has probably been used to answer the claims of the three persons of God more than any other piece of evidence.

  However, it is good to understand that the last word of this creed, "echad", always refers to unity which is composed of various parts. The word "yachid" is not used; it would refer to an absolute oneness, but instead the word "echad" has been chosen: it refers to a plural in which unity or oneness can be composed of several parts.

 Therefore, the creed of Israel is actually one of the clearest references to how one can consist of several parts. The same view also appears in other examples that use the word "echad". For instance, Ezra 2:64 speaks about the unity of the whole congregation, in Eze 37:17 two wooden sticks become one, in Gen 2:24 man and wife become one flesh, and Numbers 13:24 speaks about the cluster of grapes which is also composed of many parts:

 

 - (Ezra 2:64) The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and three score,

 

 - (Eze 37:15-17) The word of the LORD came again to me, saying,

16  Moreover, you son of man, take you one stick, and write on it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write on it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of Israel his companions:

17  And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in your hand.

 

 - (Gen 2:24) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall join to his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

 

- (Num13:24) The place was called the brook Eshcol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from there.

 

The word Elohim. One possible reference to God’s different manifestation forms is the plural word "Elohim" which is used for Him. It appears in many passages of the Scriptures, also in the first chapter of the Bible, where it is used several times – the verbs after it are always singular – to describe how God created everything. The same word Elohim also appears in the First Commandment, in which the word God is plural, even though the verb is singular. This commandment says:

 

 - (Ex 20:2,3) I am (singular) the LORD your (plural) God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3  You shall have no other gods before me.

 

Plural expressions. If we continue to study the tension between the plural and singular, we can also see it in other examples from the Bible; they all use the first person plural for God, even though the verb is singular. It is good to note especially in the first of these examples (Gen 1:26,27) that God could not speak to the angels (as it is commonly believed) but to Himself, because man was created as God’s image, not as the image of the angels, as verse 27 clearly indicates:

 

- (Gen 1:26,27) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 

 - (Gen 3:22) And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

 

 - (Gen 11:6,7) And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

7  Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

 

 - (Isa 6:8) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

 

- (John 14:23) Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our stay with him.

 

- (John 17:22,23) And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

23  I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me.

 

Isa 48:12,13,16. One of the clearest references to the three persons of God appears in Isaiah 48. In this chapter, God first tells in first person singular form about how He laid the foundations of the Earth and the Heavens, but then there appears the first person singular in verse 16, who was already in the beginning, and who was sent. It also speaks about the spirit of God, who was sent on Earth:

 

- (Isa 48:12,13,16) Listen to me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

13  My hand also has laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand has spanned the heavens: when I call to them, they stand up together.

16  Come you near to me, hear you this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, has sent me.

 

The verses above, from the Book of Isaiah, thus clearly reveal the three persons of God in the same passage. On grounds of the text they are:

 

1.”The Lord" – the sender.

 

 2.”I" and "me", who was already in the beginning with the Lord, and whom the Lord sent.

 

3. The Spirit, who was also sent.

 

The sender and the one who leaves. The verses of Isaiah above said that “the Sovereign LORD has sent me, with his Spirit”. This appears more often in the New Testament. It is important to note that Jesus says that He was sent by his Father, meaning that there must be a sender and one who leaves, two different persons. Other verses also prove the eternal existence of Jesus with his Father and how He then at a certain point in time came to the world:

 

- (John 1:1-3,14,15,30) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2  The same was in the beginning with God.

3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

15  John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

30  This is he of whom I said, After me comes a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

 

- (John 3:13,16,17,31,34) And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

31  He that comes from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth: he that comes from heaven is above all.

34  For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God: for God gives not the Spirit by measure to him.

 

- (John 8:23,38) And he said to them, You are from beneath; I am from above: you are of this world; I am not of this world.

38  I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do that which you have seen with your father.

 

- (John 13:3) Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

 

- (John 16:5, 27-30) But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asks me, Where go you?

27  For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

28  I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

29  His disciples said to him, See, now speak you plainly, and speak no proverb.

30  Now are we sure that you know all things, and need not that any man should ask you: by this we believe that you came forth from God.

 

- (John 17:5,8) And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.

8  For I have given to them the words which you gave me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from you, and they have believed that you did send me.

 

- (1 John 1:1,2) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked on, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

2  (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show to you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us;)

 

Sending the Holy Spirit. The supporters of the doctrine teach that the Holy Spirit is the same as the Father. But why would the Father and Jesus send another Comforter: the Holy Spirit? Based on these verses it is clear that the Father is different from the Holy Spirit and that there are even two senders and one who leaves. It is also important to note that Jesus spoke about the Holy Spirit as another Comforter and in the third person singular, in other words meaning someone else than Himself:

 

- (John 14:16,17,26) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.

26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.

 

- (John 15:26) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me

 

- (John 16:7,8) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you.

8  And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment

 

Matt 3:16,17. For example, Matt 3:16,17 and some other verses indicate how all the persons of the Trinity appear at the same time. It is important to note in these verses by Matthew that they mention the Father who is in Heaven, Jesus who is on the Earth and the Spirit of God who came upon Him. It is thus about all the persons of the divinity:

 

- (Matt 3:16,17) And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, see, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting on him:

17  And see a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

 

- (Luke 3:22 ) And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove on him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, You are my beloved Son; in you I am well pleased.

 

- (John 12:28) Father, glorify your name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

 

- (2 Peter 1:17) For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

 

Jesus sat on the right hand of God. One of the clearest references to the different persons of the divinity are those verses in which it is told how Jesus went to sit at the right hand of God. Nobody can go and sit at the right hand of himself, but there must be two persons – otherwise these verses would make no sense:

 

- (Mark 12:35-37) And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the son of David?

36  For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.

37  David therefore himself calls him Lord; and from where is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.

 

- (Mark 16:19) So then after the Lord had spoken to them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

 

- (Rom 8:34) Who is he that comdemns? It is Christ that died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

 

- (Eph 1:20) Which he worked in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places

 

- (Hebr 1:3) Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high

 

- (Hebr 8:1) Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens

 

Jesus prays to and thanks the Father. Some clear references to the separate persons of divinity are those verses in which Jesus praises, prays, honours, and loves His Father in Heaven. This indicates that there must be two persons. If He meant only Himself, He certainly would not have spoken in the following way:

 

- (Matt 11:25) At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them to babes.

 

- (Matt 26:39) And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will.

 

- (John 11:41,42) Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank you that you have heard me.

42  And I knew that you hear me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that you have sent me.

 

- (John 14:31) But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

 

The Father loves the Son. The verses above indicated how Jesus loves and honours His Father. We can also find verses talking about how the Father loves the Son. Again, this tells us that even though the Father and the Son and also the Holy Spirit are one (John 10:30) and the same divine being, they are separate in a way, because these verses have been written. We cannot really completely understand God’s being, but these and other examples explain something about Him:

 

- (John 3:35) The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand.

 

- (John 5:20) For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that himself does: and he will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel.

 

- (John 10:15,17,18) As the Father knows me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

17  Therefore does my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

18  No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

 

- (John 15:9) As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love.

 

The Father is greater than Jesus. Good indications of the relationship between the Father and the Son are those verses which tell how the Father is the head of His Son (as the man is the head of the woman) and greater than He. By no means do these verses reduce the divinity of Jesus; they only indicate the heavenly order. On the other hand, other verses speak about how the Holy Spirit will bring glory to Jesus and testify about Him. We can see the heavenly order also in this, and see that it means the different persons of divinity. The next verses certainly would not have been written if the previous doctrine was true.

 

- (John 3:35) The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand.

 

- (John 5:22,23) For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son:

23  That all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.  He that honors not the Son honors not the Father which has sent him.

 

- (John 10:29,30) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

30  I and my Father are one.

 

- (John 13:3) Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

 

- (Joh 14:28) You have heard how I said to you, I go away, and come again to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, I go to the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

 

- (1 Cor 11:3) But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

 

- (John 15:26) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me

 

- (John 16:14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it to you.

 

Jesus – the way to the Father. When Jesus spoke that He is the way to the Father, He spoke about His heavenly Father and not about Himself. There must be two different persons. On the other hand, if He had meant Himself, He certainly would have spoken differently:

 

- (John 14:6) Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.

 

- (Eph 2:18) For through him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

 

- (Eph 3:12) In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

 

Jesus did His Father’s will. One indication of God’s character are verses where Jesus speaks about how He has come on the Earth to do His Father’s will and not His own. He certainly would not have spoken in that way if He had meant only Himself:

 

- (Matt 26:39) And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will.

 

- (John 4:34) Jesus said to them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

 

- (John 6:38) For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.

 

- (John 12:49,50) For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

50  And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatever I speak therefore, even as the Father said to me, so I speak.

 

- (John 17:4,5)  I have glorified you on the earth: I have finished the work which you gave me to do.

5  And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.

 

The Holy Spirit and the Father. When the supporters of the previous doctrine teach that the Holy Spirit is the same as the Father, it would mean that the next verses mention the Father two times. It is certainly not the original meaning of the words:

 

- (Matt 28:19) Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

 

- (Luke 3:22) And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove on him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, You are my beloved Son; in you I am well pleased.

 

- (John 14:26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.

 

- (John 15:26) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me:

 

- (Acts 2:33) Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he has shed forth this, which you now see and hear.

 

- (2 Cor 13:14)  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

 

- (1 Peter 1:2) Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, to obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, be multiplied.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jari Iivanainen




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