Jesus said in John 6:38, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
The God who became a man came down from heaven. After coming down from heaven, he became a fully complete human son with a fully complete human nature and will. Therefore, Jesus could say that he came not to do his own will (his human will), but the Father’s (the Divine will).
Trinitarian apologist Luis Reyes sent me several emails (dated Sept. 2016) in which he carefully outlined three clauses out of John 6:38 which he thought proved two divine God Persons of a Trinity. Yet the passage not only does not support the common Trinitarian view, it actually contradicts it. Here are my condensed responses I sent to Mr. Reyes via email.
You wrote, “This is the text of John 6:38 again:”
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
I responded, “You outlined three clauses within John 6:38 when you wrote,” “First, I note that there is an independent clause (A), and that there are two other clauses (B) and (C) that are dependent on this independent clause (A).”
(A) “For I have come down from heaven”
(B) “not to do my own will”
(C) “but the will of Him who sent Me”
Then you asked these three questions:
(1) Who is the “I” that is speaking in (A)? Is it the Father (divine nature) or is it the Son (the human nature)?
(2) Who is the speaker in (B)? Is it the Father (divine nature) or is it the Son (the human nature)?
(3) Who is the speaker in (C)? Is it the Father (divine nature) or is it the Son (the human nature)?
CONDENSED RESPONSES TO MR. REYES’ COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS OUT OF JOHN 6:38
The only distinctions of wills, minds, and centers of personal self-consciousness began after God the Father's Holy Spirit descended upon the virgin to become a true man with a true human will. For God as God cannot have three God wills that could potentially disagree with each other without being a Tri-theistic God. That is why Oneness Theology is the only theological view that upholds the true deity of Christ while bringing harmony to all of the scriptures.
I see John 6:38 as being problematic for Trinitarians as there are no scriptures to justify God as God ever having more than one divine will throughout the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. For if an alleged coequal God the Son could have a divine will which could potentially disagree with the Father’s, then God could not be called “One God” while possessing three God Minds and three God wills. Therefore, Trinitarians cannot uphold true Monotheism while believing that God has three Personal Centers of Self Consciousness, with each Divine God Person having his own distinct Mind and Will.
Moreover, it is ridiculous to think of the man Christ Jesus as having more than one consciousness. For if Christ Jesus had a distinct divine consciousness and a distinct human consciousness within himself then we would have a schizophrenic Nestorian Christ who would be two persons rather than one person. 1 Corinthians 11:3 clearly states that “God is the head of Christ.” Hence, God as God cannot have a head over Him, but “God with us” as a true man could have a head over him. So if Christ Jesus has a coequally distinct God Mind and God will, how then could he have a head?
Jesus as a true human being could only speak out of his human consciousness when he said, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me” in John 6:38. For when Jesus said, “I have come down (past tense),” it means that he already came down and was speaking as a true human being on earth when he spoke these words.
The Trinitarian alternative explanation is that an alleged Second God Person number two came down from heaven, not to do His own Divine will, but the Divine will of God Person number one. Yet how could two so called divine God wills each of the capacity to conflict with each other while remaining One God? If the Trinitarian explanation was true, then more than one Divine will would mean that there is a capacity within God to shift into conflicting wills from each one of the alleged Divine Persons within Himself. Such a view contradicts the words of inspired scripture and is completely untenable.
While it is true that divine identity of He who came down from heaven is the Holy Spirit of God the Father (Luke 1:35), the one who was speaking on earth as a man could only speak through his human consciousness because God had already became a man when Jesus spoke these words. For Jesus as a human child born and son given had by divine revelation received divine awareness of his existence as God before also becoming a man when he said, “Before Abraham was, I AM” in John 8:58 and “even the Son of Man who is in heaven” in John 3:13. Therefore, Jesus had to have known His Divine Identity because the Father revealed this to him as a true man.
The title, “Son of Man” literally means a son of mankind through the humanity of Mary. Thus, Jesus as a true human being knew that he not only existed on the earth as a man, but also in heaven as God (Note: Jesus often used his incarnational titles to hide his true identity as God - Isaiah 45:14-15; John 16:25). Therefore, the person called Jesus Christ of Nazareth is 100% man, but his true identity is also 100% God with us as a true man among men who also exists as the “mighty God” and “everlasting Father” outside of his new existence as a true man via incarnation through the virgin.
Wherefore, the Father's own Holy Spirit came down from heaven to become a true man among men not to do his newly assumed human will (inside the incarnation), but the will of the only true God the Father (outside the incarnation). As I previously indicated, scripture proves that the Son was sent “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Rom. 8:2) only after he was “born of a woman” (Gal. 4:4). Hence, just as Jesus sent the disciples, “into the world” after they were born of women, so the Father sent the Son “into the world” after he was “born of a woman” (John 17:18; Gal. 4:4).
Hebrews 1:3 informs us that Jesus as a human child born and son given is “the brightness (“apaugasma” means “reflected brightness” - Thayer) of His glory (the context indicates the Father's glory) and the express image (“Charakter” means “reproduction, imprinted copy”) of His Person (The Father's Person – ‘Hypostasis’= Substance of Being/Person”).” Jesus as a Son could not be the reflected brightness of the Father’s glory and the reproduced copied image of the Father’s Divine Person while remaining timeless and coequal. Hence, Trinitarian theology cannot get around the fact that the divinity of the Son of God is the reproduced image (copy) of the Father's Person as a fully complete human person.
While Arians (like Jehovah’s Witnesses) believe that the Son was reproduced as the image of the Father's Person before the incarnation without scriptural justification, Trinitarians have no sensible way to explain how an alleged timeless Son could have been “reproduced” as the "imprinted copy" of the Father's Person while remaining timeless. Psalm 2:7 and Hebrews 1:5 specifically point out the Son's beginning by his virgin begetting.
“You are My son, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN YOU.” Psalm 2:7
“I WILL BE to him a Father, and he WILL BE TO ME A SON.” Heb. 1:5/2 Sam. 7:14
Notice the words “day,” “begotten,” and “will be” referencing the Son as a man with a beginning in time. God as God cannot be begotten (begotten means “born”) on a specific day because God as God cannot be born, nor can God as God have a beginning in time. That is why God as God said, “I WILL BE” a Father to the Son and the Son “WILL BE” a Son to his Father in the prophetic future.
Hebrews 2:17 indicates that the God who partook of flesh and blood was “made fully human in every way” (Heb. 2:17 – NIV) just like all human brethren are “made.” Hence, “God was manifested in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16) to partake of flesh and blood by being “made fully human.” Since no human being can be “fully human” without having a human spirit and a human nature, we know that the God who manifested Himself to us as Jesus Christ had to have become a true man via his virgin conception and birth. Therefore the Son of God has to have a fully complete human spirit, a fully complete human mind, nature, and will or he would not have been a true son as a true man at all.
In John 6:38 CLAUSE A, Luis Reyes asked, “Who is the ‘I’ that is speaking in (A)? Is it the Father (divine nature) or is it the Son (the human nature)?”
John 6:38a – “For I HAVE come down from heaven…”
First of all, Jesus as a true Son could not have been split into two persons because natures do not speak, people speak. Although Jesus possessed the divine nature as “God with us” incarnate as a true man, he certainly did not speak as two persons with two wills. For the scriptures affirm that “the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5) was the human consciousness who said, “I have (past tense) come down from heaven” (past tense proves that the man Christ Jesus was speaking) because his human consciousness on earth also possessed a divine awareness (through revelation) of his true identity as the “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6) before also becoming a true son who was “born” and “given” through the virgin.
Matthew 1:20 clearly indicates that the “substance of Being (Heb. 1:3)” of the Messiah's Deity was (“EK”) “OUT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.” The text does not say “OUT OF God the Son,” but “OUT OF the Holy Spirit” of the Father Himself (compare Matthew 1:20 with Heb. 1:3). If Trinitarians could point to a scripture to show that the Son descended upon the Hebrew virgin rather than the Holy Spirit, I would agree that the title Son proves that there had to have been a living Son prior to the incarnation. However, Luke 1:35 informs us that the Son was called “the Son of God” because of his virgin conception. For the angel answered the virgin, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. FOR THIS REASON the holy child which shall be born of you SHALL BE CALLED THE SON OF GOD (Luke 1:35).”
I have had several debates with Trinitarian apologists and none of them could ever cite a scripture giving us any other scriptural reason why the Son is called the Son other than his virgin conception and birth. Therefore the Son is the man and the man is the Son who was begotten (born) of the Father on a specific day (see Psalm 2:7; Heb. 1:5; 2 Samuel 7:14).
In CLAUSE B. Mr. Reyes asked, “Who is the speaker in (B)? Is it the Father (divine nature) or is it the Son (the human nature)?” John 6:38b – “... not to do MY OWN WILL.”
Again, it is clear that the man Christ Jesus was speaking about not doing his own human will (after the incarnation had already occurred), but only the Fathers' will because God as God has only one divine will and Immanuel, “God with us” as a true man, also has a distinct human will after the incarnation actually took place. Hence, there is an ontological distinction of wills between the Father and the Son, which only occurred at the Son’s beginning by his virgin begetting (Psalm 2:7; Col. 1:15; Rev. 3:14). For John 5:26 clearly states that the Father “... has granted the Son to have life in himself” as a distinct human life rather than a distinct divine life. Therefore, the Son's life was “granted” inside the incarnation while the Father's life outside of the incarnation could never have been granted.
The typical Trinitarian eisegesis of John 6:38 affirms that a coequal God the Son has a different God will distinct from God the Father. Yet not a single scripture ever says that God has two and three God wills, two or three God minds, or more than one Divine consciousness. If God had more than one divine will, then there could not be true Monotheism. Wherefore, Trinitarians cannot explain how One God can have more than one Divine Mind, more than one Divine Consciousness, and more than one Divine Will while being only One true God. John 17:3, Malachi 2:10, Isaiah 64:8 and Psalm 8:6 prove that the Father is the only true God who created all things by His own hands rather than by another God Person.
In CLAUSE C. Mr. Reyes asked, "Who is the speaker in (C)? Is it the Father (divine nature) or is it the Son (the human nature)?" - "but the will of Him who sent me.”
Again, the speaker is the Son of God who spoke out of his human consciousness after he was already in the world. Romans 8:2 clearly states that the Son of God was sent “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” Galatians 4:4 states that the Son of God was sent after he was “born of a woman.” And Jesus clearly explained that just as he was “sent into the world,” so the disciples were “sent into the world (John 17:18).”
Jesus prayed, “AS YOU SENT ME INTO THE WORLD, I also have SENT THEM INTO THE WORLD (John 17:18).”
It is hard to imagine how an alleged coequally distinct Yahweh God Person could be sent from heaven by his Father while being truly coequal and coeternal! For the one who sends is greater than the one being sent and the one who anoints is greater than the one being anointed (Heb. 1:8-9). Since the title “Christ” means the “anointed one,” it is hard to imagine how Jesus Christ could have been timelessly and coequally anointed by his Father without a specific time in which he was anointed. Hence, the words of inspired scripture point to the Son having a “beginning” (John 1:1; Rev. 3:14; Heb. 1:5) in time and a subordinate position to the Father (1 Cor. 11:3, “the head of Christ is God”) rather than being timeless and coequal.
Many passages that Trinitarians cite for an alleged pre-incarnate Son only proves that the Son was already “anointed” (1 Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:5) in God's expressed thought (Logos - John 1:1; Rom. 4:17) just as he was already “born” (Psalm 2:7; Prov. 8::22-26; Col. 1:15) and slain (Rev. 13:8) in God's foreordained plan (1 Peter 1:20; Isaiah 43:10-11; Ephes. 1:4, 11). Since God “calls the things which be not as though they were” (Rom. 4:17), it is easy to see how God spoke of Christ already being “born,” “anointed,” and “slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8)” before Christ was actually “born,” “anointed,” and “slain” on earth. Wherefore, the only viable exegesis of John 6:38 which brings harmony to all of the scriptural data, while upholding the true deity of Jesus Christ, is Oneness Theology.
Please answer this QUESTION: Do you believe that a coequally divine God will (a will is the same thing as a consciousness) could pray and be tempted as divine will number two? Or does it not make more scriptural sense to believe that the human will (the human consciousness) of Christ was the one who could pray and be tempted (Luis Reyes completely avoided this question)?
No matter how we try to explain it, the incarnation necessitates a divine will of the God Person (our positions says the Father) who remained unchangeable in the heavens with all of His divine attributes intact (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8), while a portion of His own “substance of Being” assumed a new human will (Heb. 1:3) when he became “fully human in every way” (Heb. 2:17 NIV) within the virgin.
You have ignored the scriptural fact that God “partook of flesh and blood” to become “fully human in every way” (1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 2:14-17). God as God cannot have a human will (Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man”), so after the incarnation we find a divine will (the Father's) and a distinct human will (the Son's). For when a portion of God's substance of Being was “reproduced” in the virgin as “the express image of His Person” (the context proves the Father's Person - in Heb. 1:3), the Christ child was “made fully human in every way (Heb. 2:17 NIV).” Thus, Heb. 1:3 proves the Trinitarian, Arian, and Socinian positions to be in error because the Father's Divine Person is clearly the Father’s “substance of being” (Hebrews 1:3 – “hypostasis”) “reproduced” as an “imprinted copy” of the Father’s Divine Person as a fully complete human person within the virgin.
In contradistinction, your position alleges that a God the Son descended from heaven, not to do his own divine will, but the divine will of another God Person. Question: How could One God will possibly be different from another God will while not having TWO GOD'S (Luis Reyes ignored this question just as he ignored most of my questions)? The Son's will is a fully complete human will and the Father's will is the fully complete divine will. That is two wills because the Father's Divine Person (who has one divine will) also became a fully complete human person as “the express image of His Person (the Father’s Person – Heb. 1:3)” via incarnation through the virgin (with a distinct human will - Heb. 2:17). With men and angels this is impossible, as only the omnipresent God can become a true man as His own arm revealed (Isaiah 53:1) while remaining unchangeable in the heavens (Jer. 23:24; Mal. 3:6).
We do not believe that the man Christ Jesus is another distinct entity from the Father (Arianism/Socinianism) because we believe that the Father entered into a new existence when He also became a fully complete man. Hence, our position is compatible with ancient Modalistic Monarchianism which was once the predominant view within the first three centuries of the Christian era (see Tertullian in Against Praxeus 3 and Origen's Commentary of the Gospel of John, book 1, chapter 23 / also see my booklets and videos on the Theology of Clement of Rome, Hermas of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, and Aristides of Athens at ApostolicChristianFaith.com).
I am not avoiding any truth in the context of John 6:38. Proper exegesis of any text must first begin with the text itself; then we need to compare other texts to ensure that our interpretation of that text brings harmony to all of the scriptural data. Private interpretations are always exposed when the private interpretations fails to be in harmony with “every word of God (Matthew 4:4).”
Mr. Reyes wrote, “So it is not that both wills were contradictory as you incorrectly infer, but rather it is that the Son voluntarily, and ‘wilfully’ did not aspire to do his own will in a selfish way, without first considering the will of the Father.”
You repeatedly alleged that I said that the Son’s will was “contradictory” to the Father’s. I never inferred that the Son’s human will was ever “contradictory” or in disagreement with the Father’s. All I pointed out was that the Son’s will “did not aspire to do his own will” which shows that the Son’s will had the potential to be in disagreement with the Father’s. This is problematic for Trinitarians because they believe that God has two and three God wills which could potentially disagree with each other. For John 6:38 implies that the Son of God’s will had the capacity to be in conflict with the Father’s. Now if the Son’s will is a Divine will of an alleged Heavenly God the Son in John 6:38, then God as God could potentially disagree with Himself which would bring confusion to the whole creation. Therefore, passages like John 6:38 only affirm that the human will of the Son of God could potentially conflict with only One Divine Will (the Father’s).
You wrote, “If my father’s will for me is to wash his car, and if I did not aspire to do my own will (it’s not about me, as they say, but it’s about my father, I do not seek the spotlight, so to speak) but if then I actually and intentionally ‘willed’ to do my father’s ‘will’ instead of my own selfish will, then simple logic will tell you that ultimately both our wills are in perfect unity, because I will to do my Father’s will, and if my will is my father’s will we therefore have a perfect agreement of wills, no contradiction whatsoever.”
It is utterly ridiculous to think of a true God Person who is supposed to be coequal with the other alleged true God Persons, to “not aspire” to do his own divine will, but instead of doing his own coequally divine “selfish will,” he succumbed to the alleged coequal will of his Father (God will number one). Do you really believe that a divine will of a true God Person would have the capacity to reject His own “selfish will” in order to do the will of another coequally distinct God will? How could a true God Person surrender His alleged distinct Divine Will in order to submit it to the will of another coequal God Person while remaining a coequally distinct true God Person (Luis Reyes completed ignored the question)?
The only scriptural understanding is that the will of the man Christ Jesus submitted to the will of his Father as his head. For 1 Corinthians 11:3 states that “God is the head of Christ.” It is in this light that the human will of the Son was submitted to the will of his Father.
If your theory was correct, then we should find some examples of a pre-incarnate God the Son having a distinct will in heaven before the incarnation occurred. The same should also be true of your alleged third God the Holy Spirit Person. Therefore, I challenge you to submit a single example to show that the Son and the Spirit have two distinct divine wills apart from the Father before the Son of God was formed in the virgin (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:35 – Mr. Reyes never responded). The very fact that Trinitarians can find no such examples, proves that the Son’s will was the distinct human will of the man Christ Jesus who was made “fully human in every way” (Heb. 2:17 – NIV) within the Hebrew virgin.
Wherefore, there can be no alleged “shift” or change in wills in John 6:38 as the Son is the will of the distinct human person who was “sent into the world” (John 17:18) just as the disciples were "sent into the world" after they were born of women (Gal. 4:4). Trinitarians love to isolate single texts to distort their original meaning without comparing them to other related passages to ensure that their interpretations are in harmony with the whole counsel of God.
The Scriptures are replete with examples to show us that God has one “Mind,” one “Heart,” and one “Soul” just like a man has one mind, one heart, and one soul. In fact, the same Hebrew and Greek words are used in the Bible for the Mind, Heart, and Soul of God as the mind, heart, and soul, of a man.
God said in Jer. 32:35, “… nor had it entered MY MIND that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”
Genesis 8:21, “JEHOVAH said IN HIS HEART (LEB “labe”), “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of MAN’S HEART (LEB “labe”) is evil from his youth.”
God said in Leviticus 26:30, “And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcasses upon the carcasses of your idols, and MY SOUL shall abhor you.”
Just as God has one “Mind,” one “Heart,” and one “Soul” in scripture, so individual human beings have one “mind,” one “heart, and one “soul” in scripture. But if the Trinitarian doctrine was true, then God should have three Minds, three Hearts, and three Souls: one for each divine person. Since the Hebrew and Greek words for Soul have the same meaning as our English word “Person,” God has to be One Person as a single Soul Person. Trinitarians cannot present a single scripture to show that God has ever had more than One Mind Consciousness, more than One Heart Consciousness, or more than One Soul Consciousness. Therefore God must be a single monad with One Mind, One Heart, One Soul, and only one Divine Will rather than Three God Persons with three Minds, three Hearts, and three Souls.