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 taken out of context and misused by Trinitarians in their denial to be baptized “into the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” Similarly, there is one, sole verse of scripture, that Onenessians use, likewise taken out of context, and jumped to conclusions over, that they contend supports their idea that Jesus rose himself from the dead and therefore was God incarnate. That “proof-text” verse is this:
18“The Jews therefore answered him, ‘What sign do you show us, seeing that you do these things?’ 19Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up’.” (John 2:18–21)
The problem with the Onenessian jumped-to conclusion is that Jesus clearly explained himself in other passages in a manner that clearly refutes the Onenessian jumped-to conclusion:
19“Jesus therefore answered them, “Most assuredly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise. 20For the Father has affection for the Son, and shows him all things that he himself does. He will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom he desires. 22For the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgment to the Son… 26For as the Father has life in himself, even so he gave to the Son also to have life in himself. 27He also gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man…30I can of myself do nothing.” (John 5:19–30)
17“Therefore the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. 18No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down by myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. I received this commandment from my Father.” (John 10:17–18)
In what way did Jesus explain himself to be the very person of God incarnate who was operating through his own impersonal human nature and that is what he meant by saying he would raise the temple of his body? In no way! Rather, he clearly explained the exact opposite:
* The son can do nothing of himself * The Father gave to his son authority and to have life in himself (therefore, the Father’s life is inherent, but the son’s life was not inherent—it was given to him) * Jesus received the power to take up his life again by commandment from the Father
Does God need a commandment from God to do anything? The idea is absurd, and that is the absurdity of modalism.
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Jesus as a true human being could do nothing of himself. This is precisely what we would expect if we are to believe that God had become a true human being. If Jesus as a human being could do everything in omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence, then Jesus would not be a true man at all. In fact, the only way that Jesus could pray and be tempted was as a true human being.
While Oneness believers often cite John 2:19-21 in which Jesus said, “destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up… but he spoke of the temple of his body”, knowledgeable Oneness believers affirm that God had raised up Jesus from the dead because Jesus is that God who came to save us in genuine and full human existence. Therefore, only Jesus could claim to raise his own body from the dead because he is that God who was “manifested in the flesh” and “justified in the Spirit” of God Himself who came down from heaven (John 6:38).
Since God had said, “I am God and there is none else. I am God and THERE IS NONE LIKE ME”, Jesus could raise his own body from death because he is like God Himself. How exactly can a dead man raise his own body from death if he is not “God with us” as a true human being (a human son)?
Wherefore, Mr Raddatz cannot affirm that Jesus is only a special man when the inspired text proves that Jesus raised his own body from the dead. Since many other scriptures say that God raised Jesus from the dead, there is no way to avoid the scriptural fact that Jesus was able to raise his own dead body as the true divine identity of God Himself in a new human mode/manifestation of his existence. Jesus was given this authority by commandment because his true identity is “God with us” in true human existence.
RADDATZ WROTE: In one, sole passage Jesus claimed that he would raise his body up, by which Onenessians conclude he could only mean he was God incarnate; but in many subsequent explanations he clarified, explicitly contrary to the Oneness false doctrine, that he could actually do nothing of himself and that the Father gave him the authority by commandment to rise from the dead. Think of the times Jesus commanded Tabitha to “arise”, did Tabitha rise herself from the dead? No. The same with Lazarus, Jesus commanded him to “come forth”. Did Lazarus then rise himself from the dead? No, he was given power to in the same way Jesus said he was given power: by commandment. So we even have examples of what Jesus explained that also applied to himself.
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Of course, like all men, the man Christ Jesus had to be given authority to speak the words of God and to perform miracles. It is ridiculous to even bring up the idea that Lazarus could raise himself from the dead. Mr Raddatz obviously erred when he said that Jesus commanded “Tabitha” to “arise” because most studious Christians know that it was the apostle Peter who commanded Tabitha to arise from death in Acts 9:40. I do not see any argument against Oneness theology here because Oneness theology affirms that Jesus is 100% man rather than only half a man or only half a human nature.
MR RADDATZ WROTE: As for the bulk of the Scriptures on the subject, the rest all teach that God, who raised Jesus from the dead and was personally distinct from the one whom God raised from the dead. Here are some of those passages:
14“But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, to which we are witnesses.” (Acts 3:14–15)
10“Be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus the Anointed One of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, in him does this man stand here before you whole. 11He is ‘the stone which was regarded as worthless by you, the builders, which has become the head of the corner.’ 12There is salvation in none other, for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, by which we must be saved!” (Acts 4:10–12)
32“We bring you good news of the promise made to the fathers, 33that God has fulfilled the same to us, their children, in that he raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son. Today I have become your father.’ 34Concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he has spoken thus: ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’” (Acts 13:32–34)
In all the occurrences of the apostles “preaching” Christ in the book of Acts, not once did they ever preach that Jesus was God himself who rose himself from the dead and the body that was raised was just God’s human nature. Nor did any of the epistles ever teach, or explain in detail, that Christ rose himself from the dead as pertaining to his human nature. Rather, they taught, that is, explained in detail, something else:
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: While the apostles often preached Jesus as God (Acts 20:28 “The Church of God which he has purchased with his own blood”), they did not elaborate on Jesus raising his own body from death as recorded in John 2:19-21. The fact that Jesus himself stated that he would raise his own body from the dead while many other scriptures state that God raised Jesus from the dead is proof that Jesus has to be the divine identity. For if two individuals (God and Christ) raised Jesus from the dead, then why do all of the scriptures say that only one person raised Jesus from the dead? If it was God as God the Father and Jesus Christ who both raised Jesus from the dead, then why does not a single verse of scripture say so? If Mr Raddatz’ idea of God and Christ raising Jesus from the dead were true (Mr Raddatz previously wrote: “Jesus received the power to take up his life again by commandment from the Father”) One would expect to find verses which would read, “God and Christ raised up the body of Jesus from the dead” and so forth. If Mr Raddatz want to claim that God used the man Christ Jesus to raise up his own body as the Father’s agent, then why are there so many scriptures which state that God raised up Jesus from the dead rather than Jesus Christ? Thus, Mr Raddatz has entangled himself in his own web by refuting his own theology while giving credence to Oneness Theology.
RADDATZ WROTE: 6“But the righteousness which is of faith... 8...that is, the word of faith, which we preach: 9that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:6–9)
Saving faith here, according to Paul’s explicit teaching, means to believe that “God raised him” indicating in the clearest terms they were two distinct personal entities, not mere natures of one entity. Since modalists don’t believe Paul, their very faith in the true resurrection of Christ is shown to be in error. They can’t even bring themselves to confess in the saving faith that Paul described right here without the intervention of their lying so-called scholars to say, “what he really means isn’t what he actually said.” What a fatal error Onenessians have done in putting their scholars above the word of God!
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Again, since God raised Jesus from the dead, how is it that both Christ and God raised the body of Jesus? Mr Raddatz clearly admitted that the scriptural fact that “Jesus received the power to take up his life again by commandment from the Father.” If God merely used a man called Christ to “take up his life again” and that “life” is not God the Father’s new human life, how then could Christ have raised up his own body as God’s agent while so many scriptures say that it was God alone who raised Jesus from the dead? If Jesus is also God’s new human mode of existence as a man, then there cannot be a contradiction in scripture, but according to Mr Raddatz’ interpretation, there is a clear contradiction of the words of inspired scripture. Hence, Mr Raddatz has entrapped himself in his own inescapable web that he cannot get out of without denying the clear meaning of many texts of inspired scripture.
Much like Dr James White often says that most Trinitarians do not know how to properly defend the alleged Trinity; it is also true that many Oneness believers lack knowledge to properly defend the Oneness of God. The so called arguments that Mr Raddatz has presented here only shows that he has received most of his arguments from unknowledgeable Oneness believers who have not been properly trained in Oneness Modalistic Theology.
I challenge Mr Raddatz to cite the so called Oneness scholar who allegedly said, “what he really means isn’t what he actually said.” Is Mr Raddatz making up his own quote from a Oneness scholar or did a Oneness scholar actually say these words? I seriously doubt that any knowledgeable Oneness teacher would say, “what he really means isn’t what he actually said.”
Knowledgeable Oneness believers affirm that the Christ child is Emmanuel God with us in genuine and full human existence according to Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:35; 1 Timothy 2:5 and Hebrews 2:17.
MR RADDATZ WROTE: 12“Now if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised. 14If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith also is in vain. 15Yes, we are found false witnesses of God, because we testified about God that he raised up Christ, whom he didn’t raise up, if it is so that the dead are not raised. (1 Corinthians 15:12–15)
The context for 1 Corinthians 15:12–15 is the apostle’s certainty of the resurrection of Jesus the Anointed One. And part of that established truth is the element about God: “that He raised up the Anointed One.” These very terms indicate in the strongest manner that, in raising Christ, God did not raise Himself up from the dead, nor did Christ raise himself from the dead.
Those who claim to the contrary, saying that God raised Himself from the dead, either don’t believe that Jesus himself was truly dead, or they must redefine death. For the Scripture says, “there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Again, Oneness theology affirms the scriptural teaching that “God Himself came into our world AS A HUMAN BEING (D.K. Bernard).” Mr Raddatz is assuming that true Oneness theology does not acknowledge the ontological distinctions between God as God (the Father) and Emmanuel God with us as the Son (a true human being). Hence, Oneness theology acknowledges that the new human life of the son which was granted in time (John 5:26) had to have a God to whom he prayed, and a God who would raise him and glorify him (John 17:1-5).
While many Oneness believers have erroneously taught that the Son of God is God with us as God the Father in a mere external shell of flesh, the scriptures teach that God was not only manifested in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16), but also “shared in our humanity” to be “made like unto his (human) brethren” (Heb. 2:17 KJV). The NIV accurately conveys the Greek meaning of “made like” by translating the text as “made like them, fully human in every way (Heb. 2:17 NIV).”Hence, when Jesus said, “I came down from heaven” in John 6:38, he was acknowledging that he had come down from heaven to be “made like them (humans), fully human in every way.” Therefore, all of the scriptures that Mr Raddatz cites only prove that Jesus is a fully complete human being who had to have a God to pray too and exalt him.
Since knowledgeable Oneness believers affirm the true and full humanity of Jesus Christ, Mr Raddatz has written nothing to refute Oneness Theology. Mr Raddatz has merely cited scriptures that we believe in while assuming a false straw man construct of his own in order to try to refute Oneness theology. Unfortunately, Mr Raddatz has been attacking his own false straw man constructs about Oneness Theology which is not the true theology held by the majority of knowledgeable Oneness Pentecostals.
MR RADDATZ CONCUDES: Thus the Oneness faith is a dead faith according to Paul’s explicit wording. Onenessians must modify, that is, pervert, Paul’s words in order to make their position sound feasible. Many other verses could be added to the list of the scriptures that teach that God didn’t raise himself up, nor did Christ raise himself, rather, God rose up a different personality, a different who from Himself, which is Jesus the Anointed One....
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: How can the Oneness faith be a dead faith when knowledgeable Oneness believers affirm all of what Paul has written? I challenge Mr Raddatz to find quotes from me to support his idea that Oneness theologians are perverting the words of Paul or any other apostle or prophet. I also challenge Mr Raddatz to cite David Bernard, Daniel Segraves, and Jason Dulle to back up his false premise that Oneness theologians “modify” and “pervert Paul’s words.”
It is easy to attack another position with assumptions about what Oneness theologians teach, but it is not so easy to find quotes from knowledgeable Oneness theologians to back up one’s assumptions. Mr Raddatz, go and do your homework by reading more books and articles written by knowledgeable Oneness Theologians. Brother Jason Dulle and I have an enormous amount of free articles written about Oneness Theology. I challenge you to find quotes from Brother Dulle and I to back up what you have said here!
RADDATZ WROTE: Onenessians also don’t believe Acts 2:34-35 “34For David didn't ascend into the heavens, but he says himself, ‘The Lord (YHVH) said to my lord (adoni- human ruler), ‘Sit by my right hand, 35until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’”
It is nothing but a lie for David Bernard (as quoted earlier) or any other so-called Oneness “scholar” to claim that Psalm 110:1 is referring to God’s deific nature in contrast to his human nature. That is, modalists blatantly lie and commit a sin against the commandment to teach no other doctrine, which they unabashedly do. This passage in the Hebrew is very, very clear that two individual personalities are being spoken of, not two natures of one personality. The Oneness construction is no more or less man-made than the Trinitarian construct is, and it is no less militant against the clear words of Scripture than the Trinity is either.
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: I have written an article on Psalm 110:1 in which I affirm that God prophetically said to his fully human son, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet.” I wrote nothing of an alleged “deific nature in contrast to his human nature.” Yes, two distinct lives are spoken of in Palm 110:1 and John 5:26: God as God who has a Divine “Life in Himself” and Emmanuel God with us as a man who was “granted” a distinct human “life in himself” (John 5:26). For our only true God’s Divine Life” also granted a distinct human “life in himself” (John 5:26).
FROM MY ARTICLE ON PSALM 110:1
Psalm 110:1, “YAHWEH (the Divine Name appears) said to my Lord (adon means a human lord), sit at my right hand until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet.”
The text does not say, “Yahweh said to my Yahweh,” nor “Yahweh said to my Adonai” which would mean Yahweh God spoke to another person called Yahweh God. The text states that only One Yahweh God Person spoke to only one “adon” person as a human Lord. Hence, One Yahweh Person spoke to one human son person rather than One Yahweh Person speaking to another alleged Yahweh Person.
If Jesus had eternally existed as an alleged God the Son beside the Father throughout eternity past, then why did the Father say to the son, “sit at my right hand” if he was already at the Father's right hand to begin with? Trinitarian apologists often cite John 17:5 to allege that a God the Son shared divine glory at his Father’s side as a coequally distinct Yahweh God Person before his virgin conception and birth. Yet if the Son literally shared glory at his Father’s side before the foundation of the world, then the Father would not have prophetically spoken to His Son saying, “Sit at my right hand” during the Old Testament time period if he was already at his Father’s right hand to begin with.
Peter cited Psalm 110:1 in Acts 2:34-36 to show that a post incarnational Jesus would ascend into heaven as a human son to fulfil this prophecy. “For it was not David who ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN, but he himself says: “THE LORD (YHWH) SAID TO MY Lord (Adon), sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet. Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has MADE him [Greek verb poieó (poy-eh'-o) “Make, Manufacture, Construct, or Cause”] both Lord and Christ-- this Jesus whom you crucified”. Notice that God made Jesus “both Lord [kurios (koo'-ree-os) “Lord, master”] and Christ”. Thus, Acts 2:34-36 proves that Jesus was not always “both Lord and Christ” before God “made him both Lord and Christ”. Wherefore, just as 1 Tim. 2:5 says that there is only “One God (the Father) and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” so Psalm 110:1 says that there is only One Yahweh (the Father) and one human Lord (the son) who was “made both Lord and Christ” by the Father.
Acknowledging the true humanity of our Lord Jesus supports Oneness theology rather than refuting it. Yet I do acknowledge that many old-time former Trinitarians which were converted to Oneness in the early twentieth century unwittingly took on some of their Trinitarian ideas and infused them into Oneness theology. These Trinitarian ideas were infused into many Bible Colleges, textbooks, and among many Bishops and Pastors who passed on these Trinitarian ideas to their followers. The few Trinitarian ideas which we have unintentionally brought into Oneness have done much to hurt our theological position and caused many to depart from Oneness. Some examples are the Divine and Human Side idea in which Christ would have been only 50% God and 50% Man rather than the 100% God who became a 100% man / Alleged Christophanies in which a living pre-incarnate Christ appeared through angels / Angelic Theophanies in which angels are thought to be God Himself / and the Roman Catholic Chalcedonian Christology of the hypostatic union theory in which two natures in Christ coalesced into one human person.
Some prominent Oneness theologians have used the Chalcedonian Chrstology to falsely allege that the two natures in Christ demonstrated a divine side and a human side in Christ in so much as Oneness teachers were saying that Jesus sometimes spoke as God (from his divine side/nature) while at other times he spoke as a man (from his human side/nature). Yet the scriptural data proves that “Everything that Jesus did and said, he did and said as who he was; God manifest in genuine and full human existence” (Oneness author Dr Daniel Segraves). Hence, whenever Jesus claimed his divine identity, he always did so as a “genuine and full human” being.
While I do not say that I am 100% sure that the alleged hypostatic union theory of two natures in Christ is erroneous, I am sure that we should stick with the scriptures to present our theology rather than the theories which were developed by the Trinitarian Roman Catholic Church.
RADDATZ WROTE: So, on the Day of Pentecost, Peter was not openly proclaiming a view of God coming to earth in the form of a pagan, mythological “God-man.” Rather, Peter proclaimed the good news of a man who was foreordained by God, was made lord (king) and Christ (anointed one) (therefore was not personally inherently either) and this man, approved by God, was taken up to God and has been personally exalted by God!
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Since Mr Raddatz continues to cite verses which show the ontological distinctions between the Father and the Son, I do not want to bore our audience in repeating myself again and again. Therefore, from now on, I will not be responding to all of the repetitive comments made by Mr Raddatz.
Knowledgeable Oneness believers affirm that God anointed the man Christ Jesus because the man is the son and the son if the man. Trinitarians falsely allege that there is a timeless God the son while Oneness believers affirm that the son is God’s new manifestation of Himself in true human existence in order to save His people from their sins. Wherefore, statements made by Mr Raddatz which point to the “genuine and full human existence” (Oneness author Dr Daniel Segraves) of the son of God do nothing to disprove the Oneness Apostolic Theology of the apostles and prophets.
Here are some examples to show that Mr Raddatz has gone off the deep end in his false assertions about Oneness Theology.
MR RADDATZ WROTE: Therefore, Onenessians also must reject Acts 2:36: “‘Let all the house of Israel therefore know certainly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.’ God made –the one that died– both Lord and Christ.” If “lord” is a reference to God’s “human nature,” as Onenessians claim, then God made his human nature both Lord and Christ.
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Again, Mr Raddatz is saying that Oneness believers are rejecting our own doctrine in which we affirm that God came into this world as a human being (not just as a human nature but as a human being/person). God clearly made the man Christ Jesus as a true human person who was made both Lord and Christ. Yet Mr Raddatz keeps alleging that Oneness scholars believe that Jesus was not really a true man, but only half a man by alleging that he is only a “human nature.” Since human natures cannot pray and die for our sins, we know that Jesus was made exactly like his human brethren just as the last Adam was made (1 Cor. 15:45).
MR RADDATZ KEEPS GOING ON AND ON WITH THE SAME BOGUS ARGUMENTS, HE CLAIMS THAT ONENESS THEOLOGY DENIES THE TRUE HUMANITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mr Raddatz may have been taught or dealt with Oneness teachers who were not knowledgeable about Oneness theology which may have led him to promulgate false views about Oneness Theology. If so, I prayerfully ask Mr Raddatz to search the totality of the scriptural data which proves his Unitarian position to be false. Perhaps he will humble himself and return to the faith which was once delivered to the saints.
MR RADDATZ WROTE: Therefore, Onenessians don’t even believe in the truth that is stated in one of their own favourite verses: Acts 2:38: “Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus the Anointed for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Why is this verse lost to Onenessians, even though it is by far one of their favourite verses? Because to divorce this verse from the context of what Peter preached and declared in the preceding 15 verses is to disconnect it from the clearly stated, absolutely concrete, immutable concepts of salvation that Peter was actually establishing (which equate to be the keys of the kingdom that were given to Peter!). How shall we obey from the heart words we don’t really understand? And do we really believe and obey if we must first redefine and re-explain and embellish on Peter’s words to mean something he never actually said? This is how non-Pentecostals treat Acts 2:1-4 and 2:38. It is also how modalists treat Peter’s actual words throughout Acts 2 and in particular verses 2:22-36, and even including Acts 2:38:
First, repent: change your mind. He is telling people to change their mind, *in particular*, regarding Jesus of Nazareth! So Peter had just clearly explained to them who Jesus truly is, and, that they needed to repent, turn around, from what they had previously thought and believe regarding him, instead, as: a man approved of God and set at God’s right hand, and that God has made him lord, and that God has made him Messiah! ... But Onenessians do not believe or preach what Peter preached on as the repentance of the gospel!
Secondly, it is into the name of this man that we are to be baptized into. Peter directs us to be immersed into the very one the Jews rejected…even as Onenessians reject him today: a man approved of God whom God made lord and Christ and raised from the dead!
Thirdly, it is into the title of the man; and that title is where all the explanation of who we are talking about comes from…”
ONENESS RESPONES FROM RITCHIE: Jesus is not just a title of a man because Jesus is the name of God the Father Himself. Mr Raddatz ignores the fact that Jesus had commanded his disciples to be baptized “in the name (anoma in Greek means a single name) of the Father and of the Son” (Matthew 28:19). Since inspired scripture repeatedly states that Jesus has been given the Father’s Name, Jesus has the divine name of God the Father Himself in which we are commanded to be baptized into.
“I have come in my Father’s Name…” John 5:43
“Holy Father, keep them in your Name, the Name which you have given me.” John 17:11 NASB
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.” Phil. 2:9
“Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” Hebrews 1:4
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD (Yahweh) OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Jeremiah 23:5-6
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Since the Name of Jesus literally means ‘Yahweh Saves,’ or ‘Yahweh is salvation,’ (Original Hebrew is Yahweh Hashua which is contracted as Yahshua which literally mans “The Self Existent One Saves”) the man Christ Jesus has been given the Name of God the Father as his own name. Hence, when the apostle Peter commanded baptism into the name of Jesus (in Acts 2:38), he had commanded them to be baptized in the Name of God the Father Himself. Thus Christ’s true followers will call Jesus’ Name the Name of “The Mighty God” and the name of “The Everlasting Father.” For the prophet Jeremiah said, “And this is his name whereby he shall be called, YAHWEH our Righteousness.”
Wherefore, Mr Raddatz entire argument against Oneness Theology turns on himself. For all true repentant believers must be baptized into the Name of Jesus which is the name of God the Father Himself. Using Mr Raddatz’ own argument, Oneness believers can claim that since Acts 2:38 commands all true believers to repent and be baptized into the name of Yahweh (Jesus in Hebrew means Yahweh Saves), all true Christians will know Christ’s true divine identity by knowing His Name. “Therefore my people shall know my name (Isaiah 52:6),” “they shall know that my name is Yahweh (Jeremiah 16:21).”
Moreover, New Testament Scripture calls the church “the bride of Christ” which is “the Lamb’s wife” while Old Testament Scripture calls Yahweh God our spiritual Husband.
Jesus is clearly identified as “the Lamb of God” who is the only husband of the Church.
Revelation 21:9 – “And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife.”
God's true Church is clearly called “the Lamb’s wife” which identifies the church as the bride of Christ and Jesus as the husband of that bride; yet the Old Testament proves that God the Father is the spiritual husband of God’s people.
“For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD (YHWH) of hosts (Isaiah 54:5)”.
In like manner the New Testament proves that Jesus is our only spiritual husband in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “I betrothed you to ONE HUSBAND, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ (2 Cor. 11:2)”. If Jesus is not God the Father who became a distinct human son then we would have two husbands even though 2 Corinthians 11:2 clearly identifies Christ Jesus as our “one husband”.
If Christ is not the only true “God manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit” (1 Tim. 3:16) then we have two Spirit Husbands. Yet Paul wrote that we have “ONE HUSBAND” as we will be presented “as a pure virgin to Christ”. Therefore, Jesus Christ must be Yahweh God who came to save us as a man through the Hebrew virgin.
“For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD (YHWH) of hosts (Isaiah 54:5)”.
Hosea 2:19 and Jer. 31:32 also state that the only true God is our spiritual Husband while New Testament Scripture proves that Jesus is that only true spiritual husband. Arians such as Jehovah’s Witnesses affirm that Jesus is an angel; Socinian Unitarians affirm that Jesus is just a man; and Trinitarians affirm that Jesus is one of 3 coequally distinct Divine Persons. Thus, every major Christian group (other than Oneness Apostolic Pentecostals) cannot truly affirm that they believe in “ONE HUSBAND” as the true bride of Jesus Christ. For only Oneness Apostolic believers can adequately explain how the church is presented to “ONE HUSBAND” who is Jesus Christ.
Since our heavenly Father is identified our husband and Jesus Christ is identified as that Lord who is our husband, Jesus Christ must be our Heavenly Father who became a true man to save us as our “one husband”. If not, then we have two husbands (the Father and the Son), which is scripturally untenable in light of 2 Corinthians 11:2, “I betrothed you to ONE HUSBAND, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ (2 Cor. 11:2)”. Hence, Arianism, Socinianism, and Trinitarianism, have God the Father as our husband while calling Jesus another distinct husband. Can the bride of Christ be the bride of two or three husbands without violating inspired scripture? Can two or three divine persons be “one husband”? “I betrothed you to ONE HUSBAND, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ (2 Cor. 11:2)”.
When Trinitarians claim the Holy Spirit as a third God Person, they actually have three husbands. Since inspired scripture calls our only true God the Father our husband (“the LORD YHWH” is “your husband” -Isaiah 54:5), the divinity of our only true God the Father could not be divided up into two or three distinct divine God Persons. For One divine Person as One Divine Person cannot be two and three husbands while remaining only one divine Person.
Trinitarians, Arians, and Socinians cannot explain how Jesus Christ can be our “ONE HUSBAND” while our Heavenly Father expressly said that He is our husband? For One Husband cannot be Two Husbands. Since the bride of Christ has only One Husband (Jesus), Jesus must be “the arm of Yahweh” God the Father Himself revealed as a true man who came to save us from our sins.
RADDATZ WROTE: Heb. 5:1For every high priest, being taken from among men, is appointed for men in things pertaining to God... 4 Nobody takes this honor on himself, but he is called by God, just like Aaron was. 5 So also Christ didn't glorify himself to be made a high priest, but it was he who said to him, "You are my Son. Today I have become your father." For emphasis: 4 Nobody takes this honor on himself, but he is called by God, just like Aaron was. 5 So also Christ didn't glorify himself
Christ didn’t glorify himself. This clearly refutes the Oneness claim that he did glorify himself, which in their perverted gospel means his deific nature anointed his human nature, both natures being of the same individual person. In this way, Onenessians are shown to be against, that is, anti, the Anointed one. They are against Jesus being the anointed man he was preached to be, and who did NOT take this honor upon himself, which is what we are to believe for salvation.
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Where is the documentation from reputed Oneness authors and theologians to back up Mr Raddatz’ false assertions? I have never heard any Oneness teacher ever say that Christ glorified Himself. In John 17, the man Christ Jesus clearly prayed for his Father to glorify him. Again, I challenge Mr Raddatz to cite reputable Oneness authors and theologians who would say that they are “against Jesus being the anointed man.” Christ as a true human son did not take this honour upon himself because Jesus is not God the Father with us as God the Father, Jesus is God the Father who entered into our world “AS A HUMAN BEING” (D.K. Bernard). Therefore, true Oneness theology affirms the ontological distinctions between God as God (the Father) with a Divine “life in himself” and Emmanuel God with us as a true man (the son) with a true human “life in himself” (John 5:26).
MR RADDATZ WROTE: Onenessians don’t believe what Peter preached Peter clearly openly proclaimed to be baptized into Jesus “the anointed one” not Jesus “God incarnated.” Onenessians don’t believe in what the Bible defines as being Christ and this is how they deny what their favorite passage of all says! Right here is the Oneness antichrist statement:
“It is necessary to distinguish clearly between the deity and the humanity of Christ…Jesus was both God and man at the same time...Jesus was fully God, not merely an anointed man …” (David Bernard, Symposium on Oneness Pentecostalism 1986, (Saint Louis: Word Aflame Press, 1986), 126.)
If this isn’t saying that Onenessians believe that Jesus did in fact anoint himself (being as he was God and man at the same time), then words mean absolutely nothing. And that is what the Oneness gospel is: absolutely nothing but empty word games.
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: David Bernard was saying that Jesus is both fully God as to his true divine identity and fully man in his newly assumed human identity. When Dr Bernard said that Jesus was “not merely an anointed man,” he was saying that Jesus was not just a mere man while dwelling on the earth, as he was acknowledging that Jesus is Emmanuel God with us as a true anointed man. Unfortunately, Mr Raddatz twists the words of David Bernard to try to get his audience to believe that Dr Bernard is denying Christ’s true human existence as the anointed Messiah. All Knowledgeable Oneness believers acknowledge that Jesus is both God manifested in the flesh as a true human being and that human being had to have a God to whom he prayed and from whom he received anointing. After all, the word “Messiah” means “the anointed one.” Thus it is preposterous to attack David Bernard by falsely alleging that he denies that Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed one.
While the true divine identity of Jesus is God, he is not God with as God, but God with us “in genuine and full human existence (Segraves).” Therefore, it is impossible for Jesus as a true human being to anoint himself. Thus it is Mr Raddatz who is playing word games here and not us Oneness Pentecostals.
MR RADDATZ WROTE: This is David Bernard’s confession that he is of an antichrist spirit. This typical Oneness confession of belief, as stated above, is expressly against the idea of Jesus being “merely an anointed man” who, as such, was given all authority by God. This is how people unwittingly confess to being antichristian: simply by adding that Jesus was also the very God who anointed him. People who are ignorant of Christian history don’t realize that this is precisely what the antichristian Gnostics were saying: that Christ wasn’t only a man, but that his true personality was deific.
…foreseeing these blasphemous systems` which divide the Lord, as far as lies in their power, saying that he was formed of two different substances. For this reason also he has thus testified to us in his Epistle: ‘Little children, it is the last time; and as ye have heard that Antichrist doth come, now have many antichrists appeared…’” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 3, Chapter 16, par. 5)
In Irenaeus’ time it was “blasphemous systems…” that “divide[d] the Lord…saying that he was formed of two different substances.” Just like it is with the Trinity, talk of two natures or two substances is not found anywhere in Scripture. The first ones to talk like this were the Gnostics, the ANTIChristians. And with that thought, keep in mind that this disciple of John’s disciple Polycarp testifies to us that it was “for this reason,” that of the blasphemous dual nature doctrine itself, that John wrote against the antichristian Gnostics! But Onenessians lap up this dual nature doctrine as if it were manna from heaven, when in fact the Bible reveals it as the very doctrine of devils of antichristian spirits!
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: I challenge Mr Raddatz to cite a single Oneness theologian who would say that Jesus was formed by two different substances. We know that the flesh of Jesus was likely formed through Mary with the added male chromosomes supplied by the Holy Spirit to make the Christ child a male. All of the early evidence I have read proves that the earliest Oneness Modalistic believers taught that Jesus is the same substance as the Father rather than “two different substances.” Thus it is absurd to allege that Oneness theology came from the Gnosticism that Irenaeus was writing against and it is utterly offensive to lambast Brother Bernard with having an antichrist spirit. It seems that Mr Raddatz is angry and bitter in his persecution of brethren who hold to the faith which was once delivered to the saints.
MR RADDATZ WROTE: Any honest Onenessian would have to admit that it is impossible to be a true modalist (Onenessian) without believing in the dual nature doctrine in some fashion, and without being a full blown Gnostic and completely denying that Jesus came in the flesh. It is in this way that Irenaeus, contrary to Ritchie’s claims, certainly did speak out against traditional modalistic monarchianism by condemning the dual nature doctrine in NO uncertain terms. Ritchie, in another video, calls early (non-coeternalist/non-coequalist) Trinitarians “semi-Arians” claiming they had not developed that doctrine to the extent Arius had. That is accurate, but the same can be said to be true, then, about what Ritchie tries to claim as full-blown modalistic monarchianism in early Christianity. If they did not have a developed doctrine of dual natures but considered the dual nature doctrine “blasphemous” as Irenaeus noted (and we know that Irenaeus was considered orthodox at the time), then Ritchie is just as much in error, and being just as deceptive as Trinitarians, who claim early Christians to be fully in their camp, when that doctrine hadn’t been fully developed either. In other words, Mr Ritchie is a hypocrite and condemns himself in his own statements against Trinitarians:
“Therefore you are without excuse, O man, whoever you are who judge. For in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself. For you who judge practice the same things.” (Romans 2:1)
The Bible says that your duplicity condemns you and is inexcusable. The question then is, will you repent and make it right, or will you seek to justify this sin?
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Since the Modalistic Monarchian Christian majority which lived during the same time that Irenaeus ministered (AD 178 – AD 202) never taught dual natures in Christ, Mr Raddatz has no documented evidence to prove that it is necessary for Oneness believers to affirm dual natures in the man Christ Jesus. As previously stated, I do not subscribe to the dual nature doctrine as it was articulated in the fifth century Roman Catholic Council of Chalcedon. Even Dr Bernard had said that the doctrine of the dual natures in Christ via hypostatic union is not spelled out in the Bible and that “perhaps there is room for divergent views, since the Bible does not treat it directly.” Since the Bible itself informs me that Jesus is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express copied image of the Father’s Divine Person as a true human person (Heb. 1:3), I do not need to go to the Roman Catholic Councils to define the ineffable nature of God.
Jesus is clearly the Father’s Divine Person copied as a true human person (Heb. 1:3). Since the Bible does not give us the detailed mechanics in which God was manifested in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16) to be made like unto his human brethren (Heb. 2:17), I have complete faith in the words of inspired scripture without having to know all of the details about how God became one of us via virgin conception.
I have clearly documented the historical fact that the vast majority of the earliest Christians were Oneness within the first three hundred years of Christian history without any of them having to describe Jesus as a dual natured human being. Scripture alone is sufficient to prove that Jesus is the Father’s new human mode or manifestation of His existence in an authentic human life without having to go to any of the latter Roman Catholic Creeds or Councils.
MR RADDATZ WROTE: Onenessian belief in Jesus’ humanity is lip service
Now, let’s read what Irenaeus wrote against the Gnostic idea that Christ was made of a different humanity than the rest of us:
“Those, therefore, who allege that he took nothing from the virgin do greatly err… For if He did not receive the substance of flesh from a human being, He neither was made man nor the Son of man; and if He was not made what we were, He did no great thing in what He suffered and endured … The Apostle Paul, moreover, in the Epistle to the Galatians, declares plainly, “God sent His Son, made of a woman.”(Gal. iv. 4) And again, in that to the Romans, he says, “Concerning His Son, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh…Jesus the Anointed One our Lord.”[Rom i. 3, 4]… Superfluous, too, in that case [of the Gnostic invention] is His descent into Mary; for why did He come down into her if He were to take nothing of her?...” -Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 3, Chapter 22, par. 1–3, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1 (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885), 454–455.
According to Irenaeus, the early Christians understood that Christ was made human because he got the substance of his humanity from a human being. That means that the true, early, apostolic Christians did not believe that the son got his humanity recreated from God, which is also what the antichristians had been saying. The early Christians did not believe that Christ was made of any kind of deific flesh or deific seed; rather, he was made from a woman, just as the Bible clearly and emphatically states.
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Again, Oneness theology does not belief in a “deific flesh” [divine flesh] doctrine. I don’t know where Mr Raddatz is getting his information from. His ignorance about these matters only proves that he is not knowledgeable in the Oneness Apostolic Faith. Has Mr Raddatz ever attended a Oneness Bible College? How many Oneness books written by Oneness theologians has Mr Raddatz read? It makes me wonder!
Does Mr Raddatz even know what the early Gnostics taught? I think not! Many of the early Gnostics were teaching that Jesus was not made out of the woman (Mary) so that Jesus only appeared to suffer in the flesh. In other words, many of the Gnostics had taught that Jesus was only an apparition. It is in this context that Irenaeus was speaking against the Gnostics who were teaching that Jesus was not made out of the flesh of the virgin Mary. It is also in this context that the apostle John wrote that those who do not believe that Jesus Christ had come in the flesh had an anti-Christ spirit. To apply the words of Irenaeus and the words of the apostle John against the honourable David Bernard, only proves Mr Raddatz’ gross incompetence in the knowledge of both scripture and early Christian history.
MR RADDATZ CONTINUES TO EMBARRASS HIMSELF BY WRITING: And most importantly, the early Christians understood that if Jesus was not just as completely human as we are, “then he did no great thing” in what he did. This is what Onenessians must denigrate about Jesus the anointed. Doing what he did as a man makes him even greater than him having done what he did as God incarnate. This is lost on Modalistic Monarchians and other incarnationists.
The Scriptures teach very clearly that Jesus was made of the seed (in Greek, the sperma), or offspring, of Eve, Abraham, and David! That explicitly means he wasn’t recreated humanity, rather, he was genetically descended from a lineage of human beings. In the early years of Christianity, only the antichristians believed that Jesus received deific seed as part of his human makeup.
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Where on earth is Mr Raddatz receiving his knowledge about Oneness theology from? We believe that Jesus was made of the seed of David and is the offspring of Eve, Abraham, and David. I have never heard of an American Oneness teacher ever saying that Jesus was “recreated humanity” or a “deific seed” within his flesh. I have heard about some foreign ministers in Africa teaching a “divine flesh” of Jesus, but this doctrine has been soundly rejected among Apostolics in the United States.
Oneness theologians reject the idea that Christ’s flesh was “deific” or divine. In fact, Oneness theologian William Chalfant wrote a lengthy article against Christ having “divine flesh” rather than true human flesh (See my article and YouTube Video: One God Became One Man in which I cited Brother Chalfant). Knowledgeable Oneness theologians affirm that Jesus received his fleshly substance “ek” – out of Mary (Matthew 1:20) but he received his Spirit Subtance “ek” out of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20).
MR RADDITZ WROTE: Let’s see which side Bernard has taken on this additional issue of whether Jesus inherited his humanity from and through Mary as the Bible teaches or was created of a different humanity than the rest of us, as Irenaeus spoke against the antichristians.
“God started the human race all over again with Christ, so He might yet have the perfect humanity He originally intended when He created Adam...To fulfill this role, Christ came with an innocent, perfect humanity like Adam had in the beginning.” -David Bernard, Symposium on Oneness Pentecostalism, 125.
There you have it: Bernard’s doctrine is against the Scriptures and in support of antichristian concepts. According to the Bible, Christ was the offspring of Eve, Abraham, and David. Yet according to Bernard and the Onenessians who agree with him, Christ did not receive his humanity from David through Mary, but rather was made of recreated humanity resembling Adam before the fall. Where is the Scripture for that? There aren’t any.
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: David Bernard never said that Christ did not receive his human flesh from the seed of the woman (Mary). He simply stated that the Christ child was supernaturally created via virgin conception in innocence (without sin) just like the first Adam. Mr Raddatz clearly distorts what Dr Bernard wrote here without any justification.
MR RADDATZ WROTE: “…Many deceivers…don’t confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the Antichrist.” (2 John 7)
“…Every spirit who doesn’t confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God, and this is the spirit of the antichrist…” (1 John 4:2–3)
John obviously agreed with Paul that there is only one type of human flesh:
“All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, another flesh of animals...” (1 Corinthians 15:39)
There simply are not two or more types of human flesh. What does this mean? It just means that if Jesus came in a different flesh, or different type of humanity than that of the rest of us, then he was a different kind of creature than us. And if he was a different creature than us, then he is not eligible to be the high priest for us, according to Hebrews 2:17. And if anyone says that he is of a different humanity than us, John calls this the spirit of antichrist.
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: I challenge Mr Raddatz to cite David Bernard or any other Oneness author who would allege that Christ was made out “of a different humanity than us.” Again, the apostle John was addressing the early Gnostics who were denying that Jesus ministered and died in real human flesh. The Gnostics were saying that Jesus was just an apparition who did not have flesh and blood. This is not what any early Oneness Christians taught, and this is certainly not what modern day Oneness believers are affirming today.
Does Mr Raddatz even know what the early Gnostics taught? It appears that he does not know much about early Christian history which appears to be the reason why he confuses the teaching of Oneness theology with early Gnosticism.
MR RADDATZ WROTE: What these passages together clearly proclaim about Christ, is the doctrine of Christ acting in “agency” of God, not the doctrine of “identity” or “incarnation.” This is one of the major doctrines that Onenessians have totally missed in their zeal to incorporate the pagan, Gnostic doctrine of incarnation into their belief system.
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: I challenge Mr Raddatz to cite a single historical source to back up his idea that the Gnostics taught a “doctrine of incarnation in their belief system.” Since the early Gnostics denied that Jesus came in the flesh, there was not true incarnation in a human body!
I copied and pasted the following info about what the early Gnostics taught from this reputable website: https://classroom.synonym.com/gnosticism-beliefs-about-incarnation-12085709.html
“For Gnostics, flesh itself is evil and prevents the spirit from connecting with God entirely. The Christian doctrine of the incarnation says that God became flesh, which is an obvious problem for Gnosticism. Different Gnostic groups tried to solve this problem in different ways, primarily by altering their view of Christ's nature.”
“If God must by nature be purely spiritual, there can be no incarnation. That leaves Gnostics with the problem of Jesus. Instead of believing Jesus was God in the flesh as taught by the church, different Gnostic groups offered different solutions. One group, for example, suggested that Christ's suffering and death only appeared to be happening, and didn't actually happen to Christ's spiritual reality. Another Gnostic option is found in the Gospel of Thomas, which describes Jesus simply as a teacher of wisdom rather than God in the flesh. Yet another strain found in the Gospel of Truth looks at symbolic themes from the life of Christ, rather than attempting a narrative … At the core of the Gnostic problem was the incarnation.”
Mr Raddatz has clearly embarrassed himself by using the argument that Oneness believers received the doctrine of the incarnation from Gnosticism even though the historical evidence proves that “the core of the Gnostic problem WAS THE INCARNATION.” Since the Gnostics did not believe in an incarnation, Mr Raddatz has made a fool of himself by inaccurately attacking Oneness theology by misapplying the beliefs of the early Gnostics in his bogus attack on Oneness believing Christians. Thus it is utterly despicable that someone who claims to be so knowledgeable would inaccurately attack his opponents with false historical ideas that emanate from his head rather than from true historical sources. Mr Raddatz, go and do your homework in church history before you misapply church history in slanderously attacking us.
MR RADDATZ CITED THE FOLOWING SCRIPTURES WHICH I CITED IN MY RECENT DEBATE WITH TRINITARIAN APOLOGIST DR EDDIE DALCOUR:
“For I spoke not from myself, but the Father…he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak… The things therefore which I speak, even as the Father has said to me, so I speak.” (John 12:49-50)
“The words… I speak *not from myself*; but the Father who lives in me.” (John 14:10)
“The word which you hear isn’t mine, but the Father’s who sent me.” (John 14:24) “Now…the words which you have given me I have given to them, and they received them...” (John 17:7-8)
“For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God…” (John 3:34-35)
Jesus consistently described his relation to God in terms of agency, not incarnation. Agency (Hebrew shaliah) is a biblical concept that I never heard of in all my years as a Oneness Pentecostal. It is shameful that it isn’t taught in Incarnationist camps, because it clears up so much confusion about what Jesus explained! It is amazing how clear Jesus’ words become in the light of the OT teaching of agency!
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: I do not know from what organization or background Mr Raddatz came from, but I do know that knowledgeable Oneness Pentecostal teachers and preachers do speak about the man Christ Jesus as our mediator/agent (1 Tim. 2:5). In fact, I used some of the same scriptures that Mr Raddatz cited in my recent debate with Trinitarian apologist Dr Eddie Dalcour because I believe that Christ Jesus was so fully human that he could do nothing by himself. Therefore the son of God could not be a coequal God the Son, but rather, a true human son of God via virgin conception and birth. There is nothing about Christ true humanity which disproves Oneness theology because we believe that Jesus is God with us “in genuine and full human existence” (Segraves).
Unfortunately, many Oneness preachers and teachers tend to shy away from Christ’s true humanity in reaction to Trinitarianism, Arianism, and Unitarianism. We like to emphasize Christ’s deity so much that we tend to neglect his true humanity. I have noticed this trend in Oneness Apostolic circles which is why we are unnecessarily losing people that we should not be losing. That is why so many Oneness Theologians such as Daniel Segraves, Jason Dulle, David Bernard, and I are coming out with persuasive books and articles in much more detail explaining the true and full humanity of Christ.
MR RADDATZ WROTE: It is quite apparent that you simply cannot do as I have done, and go through the book of Acts and include every single event where the gospel was preached and show anywhere at all where they used Onenessian language like dual natures, incarnation, Christ is God, etc. let alone spoke the same truth consistently like we can with what we believe.
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: It matters not that most scriptures in the book of Acts show Christ’s true humanity. As long as there are passages in the word of God, including Acts, which show that Jesus is the Divine Holy Spirit of God the Father who became a man, we know that Jesus has to be Emmanuel God with us via virgin conception through the Holy Spirit of God who came down from heaven.
“After the Holy Spirit prevented them from speaking the word in the province of Asia, they traveled through the region of Phrygia and Galatia. And when they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not permit them.” Acts 16:6-7 (BSB)
The KJV does not use the name of Jesus even though the original Greek text says “Iesous” for Jesus in Acts 16:7. Here we find that the indwelling Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus who prevented the Apostles from speaking the word in the province of Asia. Bithynia was still a part of the province of Asia so it was the same indwelling Holy Spirit who is “the Spirit of Jesus” who would not permit the apostles to preach in Asia. We ask Mr Raddatz and our Unitarian friends how the apostles could have had “the Spirit of Jesus” speaking to them as the indwelling Holy Spirit if Jesus is not the Divine Spirit (“the Lord is the Spirit” 2 Cor. 3:17). The KJV does not use the name of Jesus even though the original Greek text says “Iesous” for Jesus in Acts 16:7. Here we find that the indwelling Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus who prevented the Apostles from speaking the word in the province of Asia. Bithynia was still a part of the province of Asia so it was the same indwelling Holy Spirit who is “the Spirit of Jesus” who would not permit the apostles to preach in Asia. We ask Mr Raddatz and our Unitarian friends how the apostles could have had “the Spirit of Jesus” speaking to them as the indwelling Holy Spirit if Jesus is not the Divine Spirit (“the Lord is the Spirit” 2 Cor. 3:17).
Acts 20:28 actually says, “…the church of God which He has purchased with His own blood…”
Although there are some variant readings of Acts 20:28 which say, “the Church of the Lord,” the weight of the evidence points to God’s own blood as the phrase “Church of God” is used throughout the New Testament, but never the “Church of the Lord.”
Ellicott’s Commentary says, “The fact that elsewhere St. Paul invariably speaks of ‘the Church of God’ (e.g., 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:14, et al.), and never ‘the Church of the Lord’” is very convincing evidence to show that the correct reading should be, “The Church of God which He has purchased with His own blood” rather than “The Church of the Lord.”
Since the phrase, “the church of God,” appears ten times in Paul’s writings whereas “the church of the Lord” does not appear anywhere in New Testament Scripture, the internal evidence strongly supports “the church of God” as the correct rendering of Acts 20:28.
Ignatius is the earliest Christian witness who used the phrase “blood of God” in his Epistle to the Ephesians (AD 107) which appears to be derived from Acts 20:28.
“Being the followers of God, and stirring up yourselves by the blood of God, ye have perfectly accomplished the work which was beseeming to you.” (Ignatius to the Ephesians, chapter 2)
Since Ignatius’ Epistle to the Ephesians was written about AD 107, the belief that God has purchased the Church with His own blood had to have been the earlier Christian belief before later manuscripts were interpolated with “the church of the Lord.”
Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian of Carthage provide other early Christian witnesses that the text is about “the blood of God” (late 2nd Century, Quis dives, c.34) rather than the blood of “the Lord (Ellicott’s Commentary, under Acts 20:28).” Tertullian wrote, “We are not our own, but bought with a price. And what kind of price? The blood of God.” (Tertullian, AD 205, Hendrickson’s Ante-Nicene Fathers, To His Wife, Vol. 4, Page 46)
Peter preached in Acts 3:5 that the Jews had killed Jesus who is “the author of life.”
New International Version You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.
New Living Translation You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!
English Standard Version
and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
Berean Study Bible
You killed the Author of life, but God raised Him from the dead, and we are witnesses of the fact.
Berean Literal Bible And you killed the Author of life, whom God has raised up out from the dead, whereof we are witnesses.
The KJV says, “the Prince of life” but the original Greek word is archégos (ar-khay-gos') which means “originator, author, founder” of life. If Jesus was only a man and not God with us as a man, how can Mr Raddatz explain what Peter said about Jesus being “the originator,” the author,” or “the founder” of life? If Jesus only existed as a man on the earth, without pre-existing as God, then how could Jesus have been the “originator,” “author”, or “founder of life”? For how exactly could Jesus have been the originator, author, and founder of life if he did not exist as God who created all things before also becoming a man (Heb. 3:3-4)?
“For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.” Hebrews 3:3-4