Oneness vs Unitarianism, Oneness Response to Tom Raddatz Part 2, ‘The Preached Gospel of Jesus the A
The Apostolic Gospel of Jesus
TOM RADDATZ WROTE: The Preached Gospel of Jesus the Anointed One (Christ) Part Two of Treatise to Mark August and Steven Ritchie. Here is what the apostles preached (openly proclaimed) about Christ in a nutshell: 22“Men of Israel, hear these words! Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved by God to you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him… 36… God has *made him* both Lord [King] and Christ [the Anointed One], this Jesus whom you crucified.” (Acts 2:22–23, 36; see also Acts 3:13–26, 5:29–32, 7:37, 7:54–56, 13:16–41, etc.)
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM STEVE RITCHIE: Oneness theology affirms that God also became a true human being via virgin conception and birth. Thus there is nothing that Mr Raddatz cited which refutes Oneness Modalistic Monarchian theology. The problem with Mr Raddatz Unitarian theology is that he ignores or explains away many scriptures which emphatically prove Christ’s true pre-existence as God (John 6:38; John 3:13, 31; John 8:58; Luke 1:35; 1 Tim. 3:16; Hebrews 2:14) before he also became a man along with the numerous scriptures which affirm Christ’s full divinity (Col. 2:9; John 8:24, 27, 58; John 14:9; 1 John 5:20; Hebrews 1:3, 8-12; Hebrews 3:3-4).
RADDATZ WROTE: Again, what does the Bible say about preaching a different gospel?
6“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another good news: 7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the good news of Christ. 8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other good news unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6–9, KJV)
So then, what this tells us: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other good news unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” …
…is that this: “Men of Israel, hear these words! Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved by God to you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him…” …trumps every jumped to conclusion that anyone can come up with. Why? Because, in the preaching, the openly declaring, of who Jesus is, the apostles were very, very consistent, and not once, did they ever openly declare that “Jesus was God come to earth in the form of a man.” In fact, they were utterly appalled by the pagan idea of gods coming to earth in the form of men:
8“At Lystra a certain man sat, impotent in his feet, a cripple... 9He was listening to Paul speaking, who... 10said with a loud voice, ‘Stand upright on your feet!’ He leaped up and walked. 11When the multitude saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voice, saying in the language of Lycaonia, ‘The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!’ 12They called Barnabas ‘Jupiter,’ and Paul ‘Mercury,’... 14But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they tore their clothes, and sprang into the multitude, crying out, 15‘Men, why are you doing these things?’” (Acts 14:8–15)
What we do see here though, from this passage, is that the writers of the Bible knew how to form a sentence that reads, “the gods have come down to us in the likeness of men.” But nowhere in the whole Bible will you read such a clearly stated sentence explaining the biblical God YHWH “coming to us in the likeness of men.” Looking for such a phrase or clear doctrinal statement in the Scripture is just as fruitless as looking for the word “Trinity” or a definition of the Trinity in the Bible.
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Notice that it was the pagan inhabitants of Lystra who said, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men” rather than any of the apostles. While we do not have word for word verbatim statements in inspired scripture that God came down in the likeness of a man, we do have inspired words which unequivocally prove that the man Christ Jesus pre-existed and still existed as God while he was also on the earth as a man.
John 8:24 (ISV) “That is why I told you that you will die in your sins, for unless you believe that I AM, you'll die in your sins.”
John 8:27 (ISV) They didn't realize that he was talking to them about the Father.
John 8:56-59 (ISV), 56Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day, and he saw it and was glad.”
57Then the Jewish leaders asked him, “You are not even 50 years old, yet you have seen Abraham?”
58Jesus told them, “Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, before there was an Abraham, I AM!”
59At this, they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the Temple.
The context of John chapter eight clearly proves that Jesus is the great “I AM” of Exodus 3:14 who was the great “I AM” before the time of Abraham. Jesus also said that if we do not believe that he is the great “I AM” (John 8:24) when “he was talking to them about the Father (John 8:27)” that we will “die in our sins.” Since the Jews who heard Jesus knew exactly what he was talking about, they picked up stones to stone him to death. Why would the Jews pick up stones to stone Jesus if they did not understand that Jesus was claiming to be the great “I AM” of Exodus 3:14 who pre-existed Abraham? I find it amazing that the Jews knew what Jesus was talking about but our Unitarian friends have to dismiss what Jesus said by saying that he was only speaking in allegories.
Jesus said in John 6:38 “I came down from heaven” which is in perfect harmony with 1 Timothy 3:16. “He (God) was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit…”
Matthew 1:23 specifically states that the Messiah “shall be called Emmanuel” which being interpreted means “God with us.” There is a big difference between God being with us to help us and actually calling the Messiah Emmanuel as “God with us.” We ask our Unitarian friends how a mortal man can be called by Bible believing Christians, “God with us” if he is not “God manifested in the flesh” who was “made fully human in every way” (Heb. 2:17)?
RADDATZ WROTE: So what it comes down to is a matter of believing on, and obedience to, the gospel of Jesus that the apostles preached, as opposed to a rejection of that same gospel (which is what Onenessians do). Not once did the apostles ever *preach* (that is, to openly declare) Christ to be anything other than, “a man approved by God to you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him…”
When we look at all the places where the apostles preached him, which we aren’t supposed to pervert or change without being accursed, we find a very consistent message that does not include the idea of an incarnation whatsoever, rather something else.
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Mr Raddatz said, “NOT ONCE did the apostles ever preach (that is, to openly declare) Christ to be anything other than, ‘a man approved by God…”
Apparently, Mr Raddatz lacks knowledge of the whole Bible.
Titus 2:13 while we wait for the blessed hope-the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
Isaiah 43:10-11 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.
Isaiah 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me:
Since we know that the man Christ Jesus ascended into heaven to sit beside his Father (Psalm 110:1; Acts 2:34-35) and God the Father had said that there is no god or saviour beside him (Isaiah 45:5; Isaiah 43:11), Jesus has to be that God who came to save us or Isaiah 43:11 and Isaiah 45:5 would be a lie.
Both Paul and Peter wrote that Jesus Christ is our “God and Savior.” While I can obviously cite many more scriptures from the apostles to prove that Jesus Christ is God with us in order to save us in genuine and full human existence, for now, I will leave these two passages along with God explicitly stating that there is no god or saviour beside Him.
RADDATZ WROTE: Peter on the Day of Pentecost – the preached Christ that Onenessian reject
Here is what Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost:
22“Men of Israel, hear these words! Jesus of Nazareth,a man approved by God to you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as you yourselves know, 23him, being delivered up by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by the hand of lawless men, crucified and killed; 24whom God raised up, having freed him from the agony of death, because it was not possible that he should be held by it. 25For David… 30…being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body*, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to *sit on his throne*, 31he foreseeing this spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was *his soul* left in Hades, *nor did his flesh* see decay. 32 This Jesus God raised up, to which we all are witnesses. 33Being therefore *exalted* by the right hand of God, and *having received from* the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured out this, which you now see and hear. 34For David didn’t ascend into the heavens, but he says himself, ‘The Lord [YHWH = God] said to my Lord [adoni = sovereign, most frequent usage is of a human lord], ‘Sit by my right hand, 35Until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’’ 36Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has MADE him both Lord [sovereign] and Anointed One,this Jesus whom you crucified.” (Acts 2:22–36)
This preaching, this open proclamation of who Jesus was and what was to be believed on for salvation, which is the very foundational message of Christianity, is totally lost on Onenessian Modalistic Monarchians. They do not believe a bit of it unless and until they can reinterpret it through their man-made interpretations and conclusions.
MR RADDATZ CONTINUED:
Onenessians certainly don’t believe verse 2:22: “Men of Israel, *hear these words*! Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved by God to you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as you yourselves know”
According to Onenessians, Jesus wasn’t a man “approved” by God, rather, he was God himself incarnate as a man. These are two totally incompatible and contradictory concepts. Only the dishonest would claim otherwise. But most importantly, an incarnation of God is not what Peter preached about Christ, at all.
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: I am Oneness and I teach and preach that Jesus the Christ child is a man approved by God. For this is precisely what we would expect for the apostles to say if they believed that God has become a true human being. While knowledgeable Oneness believers affirm all of the scriptures that Mr Raddatz cites, Mr Raddatz has conveniently left out the many other passages of scripture in which the apostles had said that the man Christ Jesus “came down from heaven” (John 6:38 “I came down from heaven”) to “manifest” himself “in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16) by being “made like unto his (human) brethren” (Hebrews 2:17).
RADDATZ WROTE: Peter said, Hear: “a man approved of God” which is both accurate and proficient. If Peter was Oneness, why didn’t he declare Jesus was God like Onenessians do? It’s because Onenessians preach a different Jesus than Peter preached on that monumental occasion!
Onenessians don’t believe, let alone preach, 2:23 either: “him, being delivered up by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by the hand of lawless men, crucified and killed”
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Knowledgeable Oneness theologians and believers affirm what the scriptures teach: “God Himself came into our world AS A HUMAN BEING” (D.K. Bernard’s Article, The Mediator Between God and Men). Thus it is no surprise that the apostles repeatedly affirmed the Messiah as a true human being who had to have a God who foreknew him, approved of him, gave him authority, and exalted him as a true man living among men, or he would not have been a true man at all.
RADDATZ WROTE: This doesn’t say “his human nature” was delivered up and killed. It says he was. It is talking about the person of Jesus the Anointed One: “him”. Onenessians don’t believe it the way it was preached so they change it to fit their preconceived bias: which means they pervert it to mean something different than Peter openly proclaimed it to be. Only then, after perverting it, will they profess to believe it. But their false interpretation isn’t what it says. It was this man, “him,” not “his human nature,” who was approved of God that was put to death and whom we are to believe on for salvation!
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Again, David Bernard wrote, “God Himself came into our world AS A HUMAN BEING.” Dr Bernard did not say that God Himself came into our world AS GOD. In like manner, Oneness theologian and author Dr Daniel Segraves wrote, “Everything that Jesus did and said, he did and said as who he was, God manifest in genuine and full human existence.” Mr Raddatz may deceive unknowledgeable Oneness believers, but those who are learned in Oneness theology will know that Jesus is more than a human nature; he is “God Himself” who “came into our world AS A HUMAN BEING” (a true human person).
RADDATZ WROTE: Onenessians certainly don’t believe what Peter preached in verse 2:24: “whom God raised up, having freed him from the agony of death, because it was not possible that he should be held by it.” This does not say, “Jesus raised himself” as in Onenessianism, not at all!
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Knowledgeable Oneness believers do believe what Peter preached in Acts 2:24. I challenge Mr Raddatz to cite a knowledgeable Oneness theologian who would say that God did not raise the man Christ Jesus from the dead. Oneness theology affirms that the Divine Life of God the Father was also manifested in the flesh as a distinct human “life in himself” (John 5:26) so that God could raise the newly formed man Christ Jesus from the dead.
RADDATZ WROTE: Let me raise an example here, to demonstrate the duplicity of the modalists. Onenessians are well aware of the fact that there is one, sole verse in the Bible that seems to imply that water baptism should be administered “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). We, and Onenessians correctly point out that this verse is t