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
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
- (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
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
"me", who was already in the beginning with the Lord, and whom the
3. The Spirit, who was also
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.
things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that
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
- (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
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
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
- (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
- (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.
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
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
- (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.