Pastor Steve Anderson distorts Oneness theology by pretending that we believe that there is no ontological distinction between the Father and the Son.
In my Part 1 Response to Pastor Anderson’s Video, Oneness Pentecostalism Debunked, I cited the words of prominent Oneness theologians like Dr David Bernard and Dr Daniel Segraves who clearly affirm that the Son of God is God with us in “genuine and full human existence.”
Jesus said in John 5:30, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”
Dr David Bernard has said that “God Himself came into this world AS A HUMAN BEING.” Dr Bernard did not say that God Himself came into this world as God the Father. He said that God the Father Himself came into this world as a human being (See my online article and youtube video entitled, “Oneness Pentecostal Theology, God Became One Man”). This explains the ontological distinction between the Father’s Divine will and the human will of God with us as a human Son. Hence, John 5:30 only supports Oneness theology because God also now modally exists as a true human being with a distinct human “life in himself” (John 5:26) with a newly assumed human will within His incarnation through the virgin.
The human son of God could “do nothing” of his “own self” because he could only think and speak out of his human consciousness rather than out of an alleged divine consciousness of an alleged coequal God the Son Person. Herein we find the scriptural evidence to prove that there is only One Divine Life of God the Father and only one human life which was granted via the Father’s incarnation through the virgin.
Jesus said to them, “I came forth from God and am here; for not even have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. (John 8:42 - BLB).”
After citing John 8:42 to show distinctions between God as God (the Father) and “God with us” as a man (a human son), Pastor Anderson says that Oneness theology is “crazy” because he erroneously assumes that Oneness theology denies any ontological distinction between the Father and Son. Yet it is the Trinitarian view which appears crazy to us Oneness Pentecostals. For it is hard to imagine how a Trinitarian God the Son could not have come of Himself if the scripture is referring to a God the Son coming down from heaven to become incarnate. Jesus clearly said, “… not even have I come of Myself, but He sent me.” How could a God the Son have had no decision in becoming incarnate if He pre-existed as a living Son? For an alleged God the Son could not have “emptied Himself” to become a man in Philippians 2:6 if the Son did “not even” “come of” Himself. Hence, the only reasonable understanding of John 8:42 which fits all of the scriptural data (including Philippians 2:6) is that the living Son is the new human life which was “granted” a “life in himself” (John 5:26) via virgin conception when God also became incarnate as a true human being (a human son). Wherefore, the very scriptures that Pastor Anderson uses in his attempt to repudiate Oneness theology only refutes his own Trinitarian theology!
Interestingly, I cite the same verses of scripture such as John 12:49 to prove that Jesus as a true human son could not even speak from himself as a distinct God the Son as he could only speak the words which he heard from God the Father. How could an alleged Trinitarian God the Word not even be able to speak His own Words as a God the Word Person? Herein we have the evidence to prove that the Son of God is the man who spoke from a true human consciousness. This is precisely what we would expect if we are to believe that God also became a true man in the incarnation through the virgin.
Just as prominent Trinitarian apologist Dr James White admits that most Trinitarians are not properly taught Trinitarian theology, I also admit that most Oneness believers are not properly taught Oneness theology. Knowledgeable Oneness believers affirm that Jesus prayed as a true human being just as he was tempted as a true human being.
Dr David Bernard teaches that Jesus did not pray to himself. In Dr Bernard’s debate with Trinitarian apologist Dr Morey, Dr Bernard said that Jesus prayed in the context of “an authentic human life.”
At about 16:20 Pastor Anderson said that Jesus was talking to the Father in prayer. Yet Jesus could not have been praying to God the Father in prayer as an alleged God the Son because God as God does not pray just as God as God cannot be tempted of evil. Thus, the only rational explanation which brings harmony to all of the scriptural data is that God Himself came into this world as an authentic human being (a Son) who had the ability to pray and to be led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted (See my video entitled, “Oneness Pentecostal Theology, God Became A Man”).
Again, Pastor Anderson continues to misunderstand Oneness theology by erroneously assuming that we deny the ontological distinctions between the Father and the Son. Jesus never claimed to be God the Father with us as God the Father because God Himself became a true human being within the virgin.
Dr David Bernard affirms that “God Himself (the Father) came into this world AS A HUMAN BEING.” Since God also became a true human being within the virgin, it is sensible to believe that the man Christ Jesus would be indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God the Father just like all human prophets were indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God (2 Peter 1:21). Hence, Jesus was in union with the Spirit of God the Father just as all true NT believers are to be in union with the Holy Spirit of God the Father. Wherefore, all the passages that Steven Anderson cites do not prove two alleged coequal God Persons of a Trinity, they only prove that God Himself was manifested in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16) to become “fully human in every way” (Heb. 2:17 NIV).
Pastor Anderson cited John 14:16-18 which plainly teaches that Christ is the Spirit of truth who would later indwell true New Testament believers.
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you do know Him, for He abides with you and He will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you… (John 14:16-18 BSB).”
Pastor Anderson cited John 20:22 in which the resurrected Jesus later breathed on his disciples and said “receive the Holy Spirit.” As God the Father incarnate as a true human son, Jesus had the authority to do the works of God the Father because his divine identity is God the Father with us as a human being. John 10:37-38 informs us that Jesus could do the works of God the Father by raising his own body from death (John 2:19) and baptizing New Testament believers with the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28; Luke 24:47-48; Matthew 3:11).
2 Corinthians 3:17 clearly affirms that “the Lord (Jesus) is the Spirit” because after the incarnation, the Holy Spirit of God the Father now exists in two distinct modes of existence, God as God the Father and God the Father’s new human mode of existence as the Son (1 John 1:3; John 14:23).
The angel spoke to Joseph in Matthew 1:20, “Joseph son of David, fear not to take Mary as your wife. For the child who has been conceived in her is of (ek – “out of”) the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus said in John 16:27-28, “I came out from (the NASB Concordance says, that the Greek verb is “from ek” “to come out of”) God. I came forth from the Father...”
Jesus prayed to his Father in John 17:8, saying, “I came out from (the NASB Concordance says, that the Greek verb is “from ek” “to come out of”) you, and they have believed that you did send me.”
Since Matthew 1:20 states that Jesus as a son was conceived “out of the Holy Spirit” and since John 16:27 and John 17:8 inform us that Jesus as a son “came out from” the Father, we know that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God the Father who came down from heaven to become incarnate as the Christ child.
Hebrews 1:3 confirms the scriptural fact that the Son of God is “the brightness of his glory (the Father’s) and the express image (charakter = a copied image) of his Person (the Father’s Person).” Hence, Jesus as the child born and son given is the “copied image” of the Father’s Person who “came out from” the Father’s Person (hypostasis = “Substance of Being”) via the Father’s own Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:35) to become the Christ child. No Trinitarian has ever been able to explain how the Son of God was “copied” or “reproduced” (charakter) out of the Substance of Being (hypostasis) of God the Father while remaining coequal and timeless!
STOP IN THE AUTHORITY OF
At about 26 minutes into his lecture, Pastor Anderson used the argument that “in the name of” in baptism means “in the authority of” rather than in the literal name of Jesus.
Many Trinitarians use the stop in the name of the law argument in arguing against the plain scriptural evidence. The Name of the Law argument is untenable because there is no person named "law". But we do know a person named Jesus who has a real name that was given by the angel to Joseph the husband of Mary.
Matthew 1:21 states that an angel appeared to Joseph saying "…you shall CALL HIS NAME JESUS for he shall save his people from their sins."
Was the angel affirming that we are not to invoke the name of Jesus or call upon his name because we are only to invoke or call upon the authority of Jesus? To call upon or invoke the name of Jesus is what brings his authority and power. If we are not to invoke the name of Jesus Christ in baptism, then neither are we to invoke the name of Jesus Christ when praying for the sick, casting out demons, or in any of our prayers.
In Acts 16:18 the text states that Paul actually said, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her” when he cast out the spirit of divination from the slave girl in the city of Thyatira. To deny that Acts 16:18 is addressing the actual words of Paul is to deny the inspiration of the text of sacred scripture. Yet this is precisely what Trinitarian apologist Tim Martin does by citing Acts 16:18 and then stating that Paul only meant the authority of Jesus rather than invoking the name of Jesus for exorcism.
It is hard to imagine that the apostles did not invoke the name of Jesus when the scriptures give us the actual word for word verbatim accounts of the apostles invoking the name of Jesus Christ for exorcism and miracles. It is hard to imagine that Peter did not also invoke the name of Jesus when he prayed for the lame man, saying, "Silver and gold have I none … in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk (Acts 3:6)!" Acts 3:6 clearly cites the actual words of the apostle Peter when he prayed over the lame man. Since the name of Jesus Christ was invoked by Peter for a miracle, his name is clearly linked with his authority. Hence, we need to invoke his name for his authority. The same is true in water baptism.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: FOR HE SHALL NOT SPEAK OF HIMSELF; BUT WHATSOEVER HE SHALL HEAR, THAT SHALL HE SPEAK: and he will show you things to come. - John 16:13
“I have much to say about you and much to judge. But the One who sent me is truthful, and what I have heard from Him, I tell the world.” John 8:26
Oneness Theologian Robert Sabin wrote in his article, “A Oneness Perspective of John 16:13,”
“By telling the disciples in John 16:13 that the inhabiting Spirit would not "speak of himself, but would speak what he hears," Jesus was telling them that there was unbroken continuity between his bodily presence with them and his spiritual presence in them. The Inhabiting Christ would still be "speaking what he hears." He would be acting in the prophet mode just as he also acted in the human lamb/sacrifice mode or in the mediatorial mode.” (Robert Sabin’s online article at: altupc.com/altupc/articles/rsjn1613.htm)
Robert Sabin further wrote, “Jesus Christ in the heart of believers may still act in human capacity, which he does when he makes intercession for us, when he "speaks what he hears," when he acts as high priest, when he mediates.” (Robert Sabin’s online article at: altupc.com/altupc/articles/rsjn1613.htm)
This explains why Romans 8:26-27 informs us that the indwelling Holy Spirit “intercedes for the saints according to THE WILL OF GOD.” Since God as God is the highest authority, He cannot intercede for anyone without being a lesser god. However, God also became a man in the incarnation through the virgin which explains why the indwelling Spirit of Christ can intercede for the saints according to the will of God.
Jesus clearly identified the Holy Spirit as the paracletos (advocate/intercessor) in John 14:16,
“But when the Advocate (Paracletos = “advocate” – “intercessor”) comes, the Holy Spirit …”
Trinitarians cannot explain how an alleged non-Incarnate God the Holy Spirit Person could “advocate” and “intercede” to God as God. Likewise, it is unscriptural to allege that two coequally distinct divine God Persons can both be called Paraclete’s as two Advocates and Intercessors before God. For how can an Almighty Divine God Person advocate or intercede to the Almighty while being a true Almighty God Person? Such a view clearly violates 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is One God (the Father) and ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, THE MAN CHRIST JESUS.”
Pastor Anderson cited John 20:21 which refutes Trinitarian theology. “As my Father has sent me, even so send I you.” Since the disciples were sent into the world just as God the Father sent Jesus into the world, we know that Jesus was sent into the world as a man on the earth rather than as an alleged heavenly God the Son (See also John 17:18, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world”).
At 42:15 into his lecture, Pastor Anderson cited Revelation 5:6-9, “... in the midst of the throne ... stood a lamb as it had been slain, having SEVEN HORNS and SEVEN EYES ... And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne ... And they sang a new song saying, you are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for you were slain, and HAVE REDEEMED US TO GOD BY YOUR BLOOD ...”
John saw a vision of a lamb with seven horns and seven eyes. The lamb denotes the humanity of Christ as a true man. The seven horns and seven eyes on the lamb’s head denote “the seven spirits of God” (Rev. 5:6) who, under the authority of the lamb, are “sent out into all the earth” (7 archangels – Rev. 1:20; Rev. 5:6). The text states that One God Person sat on a single throne and the Lamb as one man person took the book from the God Person seated on the throne. The text does not say two God Persons. It says, One God Person and one man person just like 1 Timothy 2:5 speaks of One God the Father and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5
The One God Person who is our Heavenly Father also became one man person as the child born and Son given (Heb. 2:14-17; 1 Tim. 3:16). This ONE MAN PERSON has “REDEEMED US” TO ONE “GOD” PERSON. Revelation 5:6-9 does not state that a second divine Person called God redeemed us to another first divine Person called God. Hence, there is clearly a distinction between Christ’s humanity and God’s divinity.