Oneness vs Unitarianism Debate, Response to Tom Raddatz Part 3 ‘I speak not from myself’ ‘I can do n
TOM RADDATZ WROTE: This is Part 3 of my Treatise to Mark August and Steven Ritchie. There isn’t any way to sugar coat this: Onenessian scholars are dishonest scholars. They make up lies about what the Bible says and what Jesus meant. For example, here’s another lie that Bernard wrote:
“Once, when Jesus was talking about the Father, the Pharisees asked, ‘Where is thy Father?’ Jesus answered, ‘Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also’ (John 8:19)…In other words, Jesus tried to tell them that He was the Father and the I AM, and that if they did not accept Him as God they would die in their sins…” (David K. Bernard, The Oneness of God (Word Aflame Press: Hazelwood, MO, 1983), 67.)
Was Jesus “trying to tell them” he was the Father, as Bernard claims? Did Jesus actually say what Bernard claims, or does it require or need someone like Bernard to explain it that way to make it appear that’s what Jesus said? The answer is that Jesus certainly did not say “I am YHWH-God incarnate in the flesh,” or Bernard wouldn’t have had to say, “he tried to tell them that…”
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Jesus said in John 8:19, “if you had known me, you should have known my Father also.”
Then in John 8:24 Jesus said, “If you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.”
Then in John 8:27 the inspired text says, “They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father.”
Jesus declared that he had been speaking in “figurative language” about the Father in John 16:25 but that he would one day speak plainly about the Father. Figurative language is a roundabout way of speaking about the Father.
"These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father.” John 16:25
“They will plead with you, saying: ‘Surely God is in you, and there is no other, no god besides him.’ Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.” Isaiah 45:14-15 (ESV)
Jesus often spoke in parables and in figurative speech in order to hide his true divine identity as the Father. The context of Isaiah 45 is clearly speaking about the Messiah. During the Millennial reign of Christ, all men will address the Messiah by saying, “Truly you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.” Jesus rarely spoke of Himself as being the same divine identity as the Father because his mission was to seek and save that which was lost by suffering and dying for our sins.
Philippians chapter two states that although Jesus was “in the form of God, he did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.”
Equality has been translated from the Greek word “isos” which is often translated as “the same” as something else. Therefore, the man Christ Jesus did not regard being “the same as God” something to be grasped.
Acts 11:17 demonstrates that isos means “the same” as something else.
New International Version “So if God gave them the same (translated from isos) gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God's way?”
New Living Translation
And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God's way?"
English Standard Version “If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”
Berean Study Bible “So if God gave them the same gift as He gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to hinder the work of God?” Berean Literal Bible “If then God has given to them the same gift as also to us having believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, how was I able to forbid God?”
New American Standard Bible “Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?”
King James Bible
Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
Christian Standard Bible “If, then, God gave them the same gift that he also gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, how could I possibly hinder God?” Contemporary English Version
God gave those Gentiles the same gift that he gave us when we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. So how could I have gone against God?
International Standard Version “Now if God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, who was I to try to stop God?” NET Bible “Therefore if God gave them the same gift as he also gave us after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to hinder God?” New Heart English Bible “If then God gave to them the same gift as us, when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I, that I could withstand God?”
Everyone knows that the Gentiles had received the “the same (isos) gift” of the Holy Spirit that the Jews had received on the Day of Pentecost. Since isos is translated as “the same” gift of the Holy Spirit in Acts 11:17, isos can be translated as “the same as” in Philippians 2:6.
Philippians 2:6 (BLB) says, “Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider to be equal with God something to be grasped…”
Since isos can be translated as “the same” as, scholars could have just as easily translated Phil. 2:6 by saying “the same as God.”
“Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider to be the same as God something to be grasped.”
How could the man Christ Jesus be the same as God if his identity was not the true God Himself who came down from heaven in an authentic human life? Just as the gift of the Holy Spirit received by the Gentiles was the same gift of the Holy Spirit received by the Jews, so the man Christ Jesus is the same God who came down from heaven in full human existence.
MR RADDATZ WROTE: 7“‘If you had known me, you would have known my Father *also*…9He who has seen me has seen the Father. How do you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ 10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I tell you, *I SPEAK *NOT* FROM MYSELF*; but the Father who lives in me does His works.’” (John 14:7–10)
Why do Onenessians insist on ignoring Jesus’ words right there, where he explicitly and clearly stated:
“The words that I tell you, I SPEAK NOT FROM MYSELF ”
…and then, by ignoring these words, claim Jesus is *trying to say* he is the self of the Father??? Don’t Onenessian scholars even understand the simple word “not”? How about the word “myself”, is that basic word so unfathomable to them that they have to “explain” it away as if it is not there? If he meant what Bernard claims, why didn’t he just say so? Was he that inept, or are your scholars just that linguistically superior to Jesus? Or, perhaps Jesus was just telling the plain truth and Onenessians just don’t believe him because his words here don’t fit their preconceived paradigm?
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: While Jesus is the same God as the Father in genuine and full human existence, he is not God the Father with us as God the Father. Thus when Jesus said to Philip, “Have I been so long a time with you and have you not known me Philip, He that has seen me has seen the Father,” Jesus was speaking to them as a true human being with the divine awareness and utterance of God the Father working through him as a true human being. Therefore Jesus was not speaking by himself as a true human being, he was speaking by the divine utterances he received from his Father in “genuine and full human existence” (Segraves).
Oneness 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.” (http://evidentialfaith.blogspot.com/p/oneness-theology.html)
Notice that Dr Segraves said that “everything” that “Jesus did and said, he did and said” as “God manifest in genuine and full human existence.” Therefore, Jesus could not speak from himself as God, but only from God the Father who dwelt in him because he is God’s new human mode of His existence as a true human being.
The idea that Jesus is God with us as God the Father is an inaccurate and unscriptural assumption. For if Jesus Christ was God with us as God the Father then he would not have been able to be tempted by the devil and he would not have been able to pray and be led by the Spirit of his God.
MR RADDATZ WROTE: “Jesus said to her, ‘Don't hold me, for I haven't yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers, and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’’” (John 20:17)
Why would you not want to hear what Jesus actually says about himself?
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Of course, if we are to believe that God became a true man in genuine and full human existence, then he would have to have a God to whom he prayed or he would not have been a true man at all. For if Jesus was merely God indwelling an external shell of flesh then he could not have had a true human nature to be tempted by the devil. Therefore, Mr Raddatz has constructed his own straw man view about Oneness theology and then easily attacks his own theological construct rather than attacking what knowledgeable Oneness believers actually affirm. I challenge Mr Raddatz to read my articles and books on Oneness theology and then dialogue or debate with me based upon my own written statements.
RADDATZ WROTE: “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 the Baptist; John 3:34-35) But you don’t believe him.
Jesus clearly denied that he and the Father were personally the same “who”: “…I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent me” (John 8:16). “It’s also written in your law that the testimony of two people is valid. I am one who testifies about myself, and the Father who sent me testifies about me.” (John 8:17–18) “He who sent me is true; and the things which I heard from him, these I say...” John 8:26 “The Father hasn’t left me alone.” (John 8:29) “I haven’t come of myself, but [the Father] sent me” (John 8:42) “I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (John 16:32) But you don’t believe him.
In the passages, where Jesus said he was not alone (John 8:16, John 8:29 & 16:32), he used the Greek word “monos”. Jesus was almost literally saying, “I am not Oneness.” But you don’t believe him.
These important verses speak clearly against the Onenessian view. How so? For one, Onenessians argue against Trinitarians for ignoring the OT Scriptures that say God is alone , yet they are somehow unable to accept that Jesus clearly, consistently and often reiterates that he is “not alone” in the NT! This means that the Oneness argument against the Trinity from Isaiah and others in the OT is one of the biggest arguments against the Oneness view out of the mouth of Jesus himself in the NT! Quite simply, in the OT, God was alone; in the NT, Jesus is not alone. Onenessians don’t believe Jesus in the NT over the same word they accuse Trinitarians of not believing God in the OT. Onenessians are hypocrites!
ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Oneness theology affirms that “God Himself came into this world AS A HUMAN BEING (Bernard).” For when God also became a true human being, that human being was granted a distinct human “life in himself” which was distinct from the Father’s Divine “Life in Himself” (John 5:26). This explains how Jesus as a true human being could say that he was “not alone” in that God the Father was in him and with him. And this explains how Jesus was so fully human in his mental cognition that he could say, “I have not come of myself, but he (the Father) sent me (John 8:42).” I used John 8:42 in my recent debate with Dr Dalcour to show that the man Christ Jesus as a true human son did not even choose to come of himself because he was sent by God the Father just as all human beings are sent after he was born of a woman. For “As you sent me into the world, even so have I sent them into the world (John 17:18).” Therefore, Jesus was so fully human that he was not sent from heaven to earth as a Divine Son, he was sent into the world just as his disciples were.
Mr Raddatz keeps going on and on about Christ’s “genuine and full human existence” which knowledgeable Oneness believers affirm. Therefore it is pointless to keep responding to the many verses he cites which only supports Oneness theology rather than refuting it.
Here I’m going to challenge Mr Raddatz to respond to the many scriptures which prove that Jesus is the Holy Spirit of God the Father in his new human manifestation of His existence.
2 Cor. 3:17 says, "THE LORD is THE SPIRIT and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty." But just six verses down Paul identifies who the Lord is, "We preach not ourselves BUT CHRIST JESUS THE LORD." Since Christ Jesus is "the Lord", we know that the Lord Jesus is "the Spirit." If Jesus the Christ child is just a man, why did Paul write, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, BUT CHRIST LIVES IN ME (Gal. 2:20)?" How can a mere man live in Paul and the rest of the New Testament believers all at once without also being God Almighty?
John 14:26 says that the Holy Spirit is "the paraclete (advocate / intercessor), but John 14:16-18 identifies Jesus as the paraclete (advocate and intercessor) who is "the Spirit of truth" who was with the disciples but would be in the disciples when he said, "I will not leave you as orphans, I WILL COME TO YOU." How could the Holy Spirit "advocate" and "intercede" for us while most Unitarian Socinians believe that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father? Can the Holy Spirit of the Father as the Father intercede to Himself? The only viable way that the Holy Spirit can be said to intercede to the Father is if the Holy Spirit of the Father was also reproduced as a copy of the Father’s Divine Person who also became a fully complete human person via his virgin conception (Heb. 1:3; Matthew 1:18-23; Heb. 2:14-17).
In like manner, if Jesus is just a mere man, how can Unitarian Socinians explain how "the Holy Spirit" as "the Spirit of Jesus" did not permit Paul and Silas to minister in Asia (modern Turkey) before going into Macedonia? Acts 16:6-7 says, "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." How could “the Spirit of Jesus” be just a special man while being addressed as “the Holy Spirit” who led and guided the apostles on their missionary journeys?
The Holy Spirit is called "the Paracletos" in the singular in John 14:26 (But the Advocate [Paracletos], the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you”- John 14:26 NIV) while Jesus is called the same Paracletos in the singular in 1 John 2:1 (“we have an advocate [Paracletos] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”- 1 John 2:1) and in John 14:16-18 (“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate [Paracletos] to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you do know Him, for He abides with you and He will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you”- John 14:16-18 BSB).
Interestingly, the word “Paracletos” in the singular is always used for Jesus and the Holy Spirit rather than “Paracletoi” which is the plural form of Paracletos. Thus, we know that there can only be One Paracletos who is "the Spirit" who abides in all true Spirit filled Christians as One Singular Individual. "But you are not in the flesh but in THE SPIRIT, if so be that THE SPIRIT OF GOD dwells in you. But if any man have not THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST, he is none of His" (Romans 8:9). Notice that Paul wrote of “THE Spirit of God” interchangeably as “THE Spirit of Christ.”
Do Unitarian Socinian adherents believe that a mere man could be the indwelling Spirit within New Testament believers? What Bible text says that any created being could “fill all things” (Ephesians 4:10- “he … ascended far above all the heavens so that he MIGHT FILL ALL THINGS”) other than God Himself? I ask our Unitarian friends to please explain how the Holy Spirit could only be the Spirit of the Father, while Romans 8:26-27 says that the Holy Spirit "makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God (Rom. 8:26-27)?" How can the Holy Spirit of God make intercession to God if the Holy Spirit is only the Spirit of God the Father? The only scriptural understanding that brings harmony to all of the scriptures is that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father who also became a man in the incarnation as the Spirit of “the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5) who now intercedes for the saints according to the will of God as the indwelling Paracletos (Advocate/Intercessor).
The scriptures prove that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father outside of the incarnation (God as God), while the Holy Spirit is also the same Spirit who became the man Christ Jesus inside the incarnation via the virgin (as God with us as man - Matt. 1:20; Heb. 1:3). Sir Anthony Buzzard and his Socinian Unitarian colleagues actually agree with Oneness Theology in that the indwelling Holy Spirit is the Lord Jesus Christ. Anthony Buzzard wrote, “… the Holy Spirit is not a person, existing independently of God; it is a way of speaking about God’s personally acting in history, or of the risen Christ’s personally acting in the life and witness of the Church” (The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity’s Self Inflicted Wound - Atlanta Bible College and Restoration Fellowship, Morrow GA, 1994, page 102, Dr. Anthony Buzzard).
How can the only true God say, “I am God and there is none else, I am God and THERE IS NONE LIKE ME” (Isaiah 46:9), while the risen Christ is identified as the same Holy Spirit of God the Father acting and moving in the life and witness of the Church? The Holy Spirit cannot be a title for both “God” and “the risen Christ” because “there is none like” God (Isaiah 46:9). How can the Holy Spirit of God be God and Christ “personally acting in history, or … in the life and witness of the Church” unless “the Spirit of God” is the same “Spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:9 says, “… if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his”)?
It is unscriptural to allege that the Holy Spirit of God is an impersonal active force rather than the living Holy Spirit of our Heavenly Father. For it is impossible for an alleged non-living active force to speak to God’s church: “… the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them’” (Acts 13:2 BSB). The Holy Spirit could not be an impersonal active force of God since the indwelling Holy Spirit actually speaks (“the Holy Spirit said,”- Acts 13:2). 2 Corinthians 3:17 clearly states, “the Lord is the Spirit.” Since Jesus is the Lord, he must be the Spirit who speaks to his church.
The following quote is from Anthony Buzzard’s book entitled, “Jesus Was Not a Trinitarian” (pages 360 – 361). “It is completely misleading to read into the Bible a third Person, the Holy Spirit. The spirit of Elijah (Luke 1:17) is not a different person from Elijah. Nor is the Spirit of God a different person from the Father. The Holy Spirit is the operational presence of God, His mind and character. It is God (and in the New Testament Jesus) impacting the creation with His creative influence.”
Unitarian Socinian apologist, Sir Anthony Buzzard clearly admitted that the Holy Spirit is not “a different person from the Father” as the Spirit of God “is the operational presence of God” being “His mind and character.” Then Sir Anthony admitted that the Holy Spirit “is God” “and in the New Testament” is “Jesus.” These words are in perfect agreement with the theology of Oneness Pentecostals. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God in action who also became Jesus Christ in the New Testament through the Hebrew virgin.
Mr Raddatz, do you also believe that Jesus is the Holy Spirit like Dan Gill and Anthony Buzzard expressed in a YouTube video?
Sir Anthony Buzzard has affirmed in his lectures and writings that John 14:16-18 is Jesus who is the Paracletos as the indwelling Holy Spirit. Therefore, “The Spirit of Jesus is the Holy Spirit” in John 14:26. Socinian Unitarians are so busy trying to disprove the alleged third God the Holy Spirit Person of Trinitarianism that they have refuted their own position by agreeing with Oneness Theology. For if Jesus Christ is the indwelling Holy Spirit then Jesus must be the Holy Spirit of the Father incarnate as a true man.
Sir Anthony Buzzard has clearly admitted that “… the Holy Spirit is not a person, existing independently of God; it is a way of speaking about God’s personally acting in history, or of the risen Christ’s personally acting in the life and witness of the Church” (The Doctrine of the Trinity: Christianity’s Self Inflicted Wound; Atlanta Bible College and Restoration Fellowship, Morrow GA, 1994, page 102). By admitting that the Holy Spirit is God “personally acting” and “of the risen Christ personally acting,” in the New Testament Church, Sir Anthony Buzzard has confessed the scriptural tenets of Oneness Theology. Since no verse in the Bible ever says that a created angel or human person can exist in more than one place at once, Jesus Christ must be “God with us” as a true man who partakes of the attributes of the only true God the Father Himself. Jeremiah 23:24 says that God’s Spirit fills the heavens and the earth. “Do not I fill heaven and earth says the LORD?” Since Jesus also now “fills all things (Ephes. 4:10)”, he must be Immanuel “God with us” as a true man. For Isaiah 46:9 says, “I AM GOD AND THERE IS NONE ELSE, I AM GOD AND THERE IS NONE LIKE ME.”
If Jesus is just a mere mortal man with no existence as God then how can Jesus be omnipresent as the indwelling Holy Spirit who hears and answers our prayers (“if you shall ask anything in my name I will do it” – John 14:14)? For who else but the omnipresent God alone can hear and answer prayers? Isaiah 46:9 says, “I am God and there is none else, I AM GOD AND THERE IS NONE LIKE ME.” How can Jesus be like God as the indwelling Holy Spirit and not be God as a true man?