1 Timothy 2:5, “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, THE MAN CHRIST JESUS.”
I have noticed that many Oneness and Trinitarian believers generally tend to focus so much on the divinity of Jesus that many tend to neglect his true humanity, while others outright deny his humanity altogether.
A Trinitarian recently wrote to me saying,
“…we all know Jesus is God, NOT HUMAN, He is one with the Father & Holy Ghost.......JOHN 10:30:> I & the Father ARE one......Flesh IS NOT ONE WITH GOD, Galatians 5:17.”
Here we find a Trinitarian alleging that Jesus is “not human” and that it is just Christ’s flesh who is not God. Hence, the professing Trinitarian has denied the true humanity of Christ by confessing that Christ’s humanity does not consist of a true human nature. According to this Trinitarian, Christ’s humanity is relegated to his external flesh which is “not one with God.”
The Trinitarian went on to write, “You have the moronic belief that Jesus is a human spirit, just like the Mormons and Jehovas witnesses. Real noble, honest and hearted persons like Ravi Zachariah, John McArthur, Charles Stanley & many others have declared that your oneness doctrine is a demonic doctrine, They are real pastors not charlatans like David K. Bernard.”
I responded to this Trinitarian by writing,
“Your so called real good Bible teachers may be highly esteemed among the majority of professing Christians but Jesus said, ‘... that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.’ Did not the Pharisees call the early Christians heretics and cultists? Show me a Trinitarian theologian who believes that Jesus DID NOT HAVE a human spirit. You are speaking nonsense!”
Here we see a tendency among lay Trinitarians to deny the true humanity of Jesus. Unfortunately, many Oneness believers also hold onto a non-scriptural view that Jesus did not have a human spirit.
I have noticed that most Trinitarian and Oneness believers tend to focus so much on upholding Christ’s divinity that we have not properly understood what the scriptures say about his true humanity.
Both Trinitarian and Oneness Theologies confess that “God Himself came into this world AS A HUMAN BIENG (D.K. Bernard, The Mediator Between God and Men).” Oneness theology affirms that our Heavenly Father came into this world as a human being while Trinitarian theology affirms that an alleged timeless God the Son came into this world as a human being.
Dr. James White Said, in ‘The Great Trinity Debate’ in London, 2010, from 59:47 to 1:00:07,
“Why could not the one who made man enter into that HUMAN EXISTENCE? He does not cease to be eternal; he does not cease to be infinite. His human nature is a true human nature so that’s not infinite, that’s not eternal. THAT PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL (in his human existence) HAD NOT EXISTED FOR ETERNITY PAST.” (The Great Trinity Debate, London 2010, Link: https://youtu.be/RJ6EVzLSVZo)
Dr. White clearly said that the Son of God as a “particular individual had not existed for eternity past” referencing “the man Christ Jesus” in his “human existence” which is precisely what Oneness believers are saying. Hence, just as Oneness believers affirm that the Son is the man who did “not exist for eternity past” as a particular human individual (while not ceasing to exist as God in heaven), so Trinitarian apologist James White says that the Son of God as a “particular individual had not existed for eternity past (while not ceasing to exist as God in heaven).” Herein we find the evidence to show that both Oneness and Trinitarian theologies acknowledge that the man Christ Jesus as a human Son of God was a created human being in a true “human existence” while simultaneously existing as the omnipresent God in the heavens.
A Oneness believer wrote to me complaining that I am “overemphasizing” Christ’s “human consciousness” in my videos and that Christ was not tempted “from within.”
“No, Jesus was fully man (human) AND fully God, both simultaneously. Luke 8:40 says that when a woman touched his robe, he felt power leaving his body and turned around to see who had touched him. Humans can't do that. It was a godly attribute. He was tempted from without by Satan, but, not from within - because Jesus created that clown, and the Devil couldn't offer Jesus anything that he didn't already possess, once he returned to Heaven. I am oneness, but there is an over emphasis on his human consciousness that I have to reject as he was as much God as he was man according to the scriptures.”
I responded to our Oneness sister by writing,
“I also believe that Jesus is fully man and fully God simultaneously. It appears that you erroneously think that I was somehow denying the divinity of Jesus when I explained that all of the passages that Steve Anderson cited are scriptures in which Oneness theology shows the ontological distinctions between the Father (God as God) and the Son (God with us as man).”
Then I replied, “The truth is that most Oneness and Trinitarians do not put enough emphasis on Christ's true humanity. We must not forget that God Himself came into our world as an authentic human being with a true human life which was granted in time (See John 5:26; Heb. 1:5).
You opened this thread with the words, ‘Jesus was fully man (human) and fully God.’ I agree! To be fully man (human) means that ‘the man Christ Jesus’ had to have a human spirit, a human will, and a human mind which could function as a true man just like the first Adam had. Hebrews 2:17 informs us that our Heavenly Father also became a man who was ‘made like unto his brethren.’ The Greek word translated as ‘like’ means exactly like all human beings are made.
I never said that the man Christ Jesus was not also fully ‘God with us’ as to his true divine identity because I also believe that God simultaneously became a man while never ceasing to exist as God the Father in his omnipresence in heaven.
You further stated that Jesus ‘was tempted from without by Satan, but not from within.’
If you believe that Jesus is ‘fully God and fully man (human)’ then he had to have been tempted just like all human beings are tempted. Temptations involve being tempted in the mind and heart of a man rather than just the human fleshly body being tempted. Was Christ's human flesh being tempted when Satan offered him all of the kingdoms of this world? That temptation obviously appealed to the human nature of Jesus as a true human son rather than to just his physical body.
Furthermore, how could the son of God have been tempted in all points like us if he did not possess a true and full human nature (Heb. 4:15)? Since the body without the spirit is dead (James 2:26), we know that the human nature of a man involves his inner heart or spirit. When Jesus said, ‘Into thy hands I commend my spirit (Luke 23:46),’ he confessed that he had a human spirit just like the first Adam.
‘For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in ALL POINTS tempted LIKE AS WE ARE, yet without sin.’ Heb. 4:15
‘From out of the heart proceeds evil thoughts (Matthew 15:19)...’
Do evil thoughts enter into human bodies or do evil thoughts enter into human hearts? Jesus clearly resisted temptations in all points like as we are tempted without succumbing to sin in his inner heart/spirit.”
I further responded to our Oneness sister who was denying the full humanity of Christ,
“I suggest you read some good books and articles by Oneness Theologians such as David Bernard, Daniel Segraves, and Jason Dulle. Oneness apologist Roger Perkins and I have corresponded by phone and email and we also agree in our view that Jesus had a true human spirit who was tempted. apostolicacademics.com
I personally knew the late Brother Robert Sabin and he taught me about Christ true humanity in that Jesus as a true human son had a true human spirit just like I'm teaching today. I did not receive such detailed teaching from my two Pastors before I became a Pastor as I had to search the scriptures and knowledgeable Oneness theologians on my own and through some UPCI Bible College courses taught by David Bernard and other College Staff.”
“Keep believing that Jesus is fully God with us as a man who experienced ‘an authentic human life’ (D.K. Bernard) via his virgin conception.”
Our Oneness sister responded,
Global Impact Ministries, I do like some of your work here on YT very much, however, we will have to agree to disagree that Christ was as human as we are. I have to reject that his temptation came from within his own self. Someone can ‘tempt’ me to do something without my feeling a temptation to act on it. Christ created everything. Who can truly tempt him with what he already owns? At the time of his temptation, He had all power and authority over the angels and demons already, but he knew he could not display all of his power and authority and accomplish his mission at the same time. Yet, he was human in that he felt emotions, love, rejection, fear, hunger, thirst, need rest, etc. That's what makes him a God we can relate to, that he felt our pain and rejection. I do love Dr. Bernards work on the oneness doctrine! God Bless your efforts here!”
“Yes, Jesus already had power and authority but Satan was tempting him to grab that power over all the earth before he was appointed to exercise that authority over all nations at his second coming (Daniel 7:14). Again, this had to have been a real temptation for Jesus within his human will which clearly involves a human self-consciousness distinct from God the Father's Divine Consciousness. For why else would Jesus say in John 6:38, ‘I have come down (past tense) from heaven not to do my will, but the will of Him who sent me?’ Jesus knew that he had come down from heaven as the Holy Spirit of God the Father. But after he came down from heaven, he now had a newly assumed human will which was distinct from the divine will (See John 5:26).”
I do not believe that Jesus’ temptations “came from within his own self” because Satan tempted his mind and heart without those temptations coming from within his mind and heart. Obviously, Jesus resisted all temptations so that no temptations actually entered into his heart or spirit man or he would have sinned. Yet to say that Jesus was not tempted through his mind and heart would be an incorrect view of inspired scripture.