Oneness vs Unitarian Debate, Response to Unitarian Tom Raddatz Part 4


Oneness vs Unitarian Debate, Response to Unitarian Tom Raddatz Part 4

MR RADDATZ WROTE: Part Four of Treatise to Mark August and Steven Ritchie. Now, not only do Onenessians not believe Jesus’ words in explanation of himself, but they also don’t believe God’s testimony of His own son! Now, why would God lie?

God said, audibly, on two occasions: “This is my beloved son...whom...”

This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16–17; also found in Mark 1:11 and Luke 3:22).

And again, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him(Matthew 17:5; also Mark 9:7 and Luke 9:35).

This is out of the mouth of God at two different events as testified by three different writers each time.

God who cannot lie (i.e., Titus 1:2 and Hebrews 6:18) speaking audibly from heaven, on these two separate occasions, called Jesus someone third person to Himself. He said this by referring to His son with the personal pronoun “him,” [Gr. autoú] in contradistinction to Himself as “I.”

ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Since Oneness theology affirms the ontological distinctions between our omnipresent Heavenly Father’s Divine “Life in Himself” who also granted a distinct human “life in himself” (John 5:26), these passages are not problematic for Oneness Apostolic believers. In fact, this is precisely what Oneness believers would expect if we are to believe that our One God who is our Heavenly Father also became one man via virgin conception and birth. Thus Mr Raddatz entire argument falls by the wayside.

MR RATTATZ WROTE: “As you sent me into the world, even so I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:18)

In the same exact way that God sent Jesus, so Jesus sends us. Pretty simple to understand if you hear him and if believe him. Big troublesome ifs for modalists though. I guess they would rather swallow camels and strain at gnats.

ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: I make the same argument in my debates against Trinitarian apologists. The Son of God was not sent from heaven to earth as a living God the Son. The Son of God is the man who was virgin conceived and born so that the Son of God could be sent into the world just as the disciples were. Mr Raddatz keeps pretending like we are saying that the Christ child was not born and given as the Lamb of God (a true human being - Isaiah 9:6) in order to save God’s people from their sins. If there had been no true virgin conception of the Christ child, then God would have merely stepped into human flesh with no true human nature. If that were the case, then I would say that Mr Raddatz’ arguments would hold some weight. However, since Oneness theology affirms that God also became a distinct human being with a distinct human “life in himself (John 5:26),” God’s new human manifestation of His existence in an authentic human life proves that the One God also became one true man. Therefore, the new human life of the man Christ Jesus could do nothing of himself as he had to be dependent upon God his Father to be sent with power into the world just like his disciples were without contradicting or undermining Oneness theology in any way.

Oneness Theologian Dr David Bernard wrote in his article entitled, “The Mediator Between God and Men,” “God Himself came into this world AS A HUMAN BEING.” Dr Bernard did not say that “God the Father came into this world as God the Father. David Bernard clearly said that God the Father came into this world AS A HUMAN BEING.” For One God Person (the Father) also came into this world as a human person (the Son).

At approximately twenty three minutes and forty five seconds into David Bernard’s Debate with Robert Morey, brother Bernard stated, “When we speak of Jesus conversing with the Father, it is understandable that Jesus was speaking as AN AUTHENTIC HUMAN BEING.” And at twenty three minutes and thirteen seconds into the same debate, Dr. Bernard said that the prayers of Jesus were “always in the context of A REAL HUMAN LIFE.” Then at approximately twenty four minutes and thirty seconds, David Bernard said, “You must understand that it was as A REAL HUMAN BEING that he submitted his will to God.(From David K. Bernard’s Debate with Robert Morey, YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/MiWZKjbeMMc)

The following excerpts are from J. L. Hall’s article in the Pentecostal Herald (a UPCI Publication):

“Did Jesus pray to Himself? No, not when we understand that Jesus was both God and man. In His deity Jesus did not pray, for God does not need to pray to anyone. As a man, Jesus prayed to God, not to his humanity. He did not pray to Himself as humanity, but to the one true God, to the same God who dwelled in His humanity and who also inhabits the universe.”

Brother Hall went onto write in the same publication, “Biblical facts reveal that Jesus lived as an authentic human being, that He did not merely assume the appearance of flesh (1). Therefore we should not be surprised that He prayed to God, seeking strength, guidance, and assurance. Moreover, we should not be surprised that Jesus had a will distinct from God (2), that He was truly human in spirit and soul, that He possessed a self-awareness of His humanity. Jesus' prayers to God the Father came from His human life, from the Incarnation. His prayers were not those of one divine person to another divine person of God, but those of an authentic human praying to the one true God. Prayer is based on an inferior being in supplication before a superior being. If the one praying is equal in power and authority to the one to whom he is praying, there is no genuine prayer.” (Did Jesus Pray to Himself? Article from the July Pentecostal Herald, UPCI Publication, by J. L. Hall)

Oneness theology clearly teaches that God became “a genuine human being” in the incarnation through the virgin who lived as “an authentic human being”. This explains the prayers and temptations of Jesus Christ as a true man living among men. Therefore, Oneness theologians acknowledge that Jesus Christ is both “God Almighty” as to his true divine identity and “fully man” as to his true human identity because God Himself became a man within the Hebrew virgin.

Oneness author Talmadge French affirmed that God became a man in the incarnation through the virgin. At 9:40 into Dr Talmadge French’s lecture on “Oneness Pentecostalism in Global Perspective,” Dr Talmadge French said, “How did God become a man and yet remain God? How is God the Father, Son, and Spirit and yet One God? It is an awesome revelation.” (Dr. Talmadge French’s lecture, Oneness Pentecostalism in Global Perspective / YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/Ag4taz7GRS8).

William Chalfant is a respected Oneness author who wrote the following in A Critique of “Bible Writers” Theology: “If Jesus Christ is not God Almighty (God the Father) then He is not able to save us (but He is). On the other hand, if Jesus of Nazareth is not the true Son of Mary, and a genuine human being, descended from David and Abraham, then He cannot be our Redeemer and our sacrifice for sins. To deny His wonderful divinity (as God the Father) is to rob Him of His rightful glory. On the other hand, to deny His genuine humanity is to rob us of our blood sacrifice, who hung in our place on the old rugged cross. If He is not one of us, then we do not have a true Mediator. 1 Timothy 2.5 states, ‘For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man (anthropos) Christ Jesus’. If He was not true anthropos and true God, then our faith is in vain. But it is not in vain, because He stood in my place.”

Oneness theologian Jason Dulle wrote that “… the duality of wills are not internal to Christ between His two natures, but external to Christ between God's two modes of existence: as God (Father), as man (Son, Jesus). There is only one divine person, but that one divine person is willing in both a divine manner (as Father) and in a human manner (as Son). In God's divine manner of existence as the Father God wills exclusively in a divine manner, while in God's human manner of existence as the Son God wills exclusively in a human manner. Christ is God's human manner of existence, and in that mode of existence God wills exclusively according to what He is; i.e. man.” (Jason Dulle’s Article, ‘How Many Wills Does Jesus Have’ -http://onenesspentecostal.com/willofchrist2.htm)

Oneness author Dr. Daniel Segraves wrote that Jesus is God manifest in genuine and FULL HUMAN EXISTENCE: “Everything that Jesus did and said He did and said as who He was, God manifest in genuine and full human existence.” (Dr. Daniel Segraves Article, Thoughts on John 17:5, 3/23/2010 http://evidentialfaith.blogspot.com/2010/03/thoughts-on-john-175-by-dr-daniel-l.html)

Oneness theology clearly teaches that God became “a genuine human being” in the incarnation through the virgin who lived as “an authentic human being.” This explains the prayers and temptations of Jesus Christ as a true man living among men. Therefore, Oneness theologians acknowledge that Jesus Christ is both “God Almighty” as to his true divine identity and “fully man” as to his true human identity because God Himself became a man within the Hebrew virgin.

The Oneness theological position does not teach that Jesus ever prayed to the Father as the Father, as our position affirms that Jesus prayed and submitted his human will to the Father as “a real human being.” Hence, God the Father was able to operate as the unchangeable God outside of the incarnation with only one Divine will, while the child born and son given is God the Father with us as “an authentic HUMAN BEING” who prayed “in the context of A REAL HUMAN LIFE” with a real human will. Thus, we have One Divine God Person as the Father and one mediator between that God Person and all humanity, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5). For “the only true God” (John 17:3) also became “an authentic human being” as a human person because one person as one person cannot mediate or interact with himself.

Oneness theology affirms that the One God who is our Heavenly Father also became a distinct human being through His incarnation in the virgin. For when God the Father’s ‘substance of Being’ (Hypostasis in Heb. 1:3) became a man as a fully complete human being (Heb. 2:17), the new human existence of the Son was “given life in himself” (John 5:26) within the incarnation while the divine life of the Father retained His immutable “life in himself” (John 5:26) outside of the incarnation. Hence, Jesus is not God the Father with us as God the Father; He is God the Father’s new human mode existence living with us as “a genuine human being.” Trinitarians, Arians, and Unitarians usually laugh and ridicule our position before taking the time to honestly examine what our position really is.

MR RADDATZ WROTE: God told David that David’s son would be God’s son:

12“When your days are fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who shall proceed out of your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son ...(2 Samuel 7:12–14).

God even swore an oath to this effect:

“Yahweh has sworn to David in truth. He will not turn from it: “I will set the fruit of your body on your throne.” (Psalms 132:11)

But Onenessians don’t believe God said what He meant and meant what He said.

ONENESS RESPONSE FROM RITCHIE: Again, Mr Raddatz continues to pretend like we deny that Jesus Christ is a true human being even though our knowledgeable Oneness Theologians repeatedly say so. God has sworn that through the seed of Abraham and David that he would raise up the Messiah to sit upon the throne of David. I do not know of a single knowledgeable Oneness theologian who would reject these facts of scripture. Yet these plain facts of scripture do not oppose the scriptures proving that God Himself became our salvation through Jesus Christ as the Father’s own anthropomorphic arm revealed.

Even the Old Testament scriptures inform us that Jesus is Yahweh God the Father with us as a true man in the flesh. God the Father is clearly the speaker in Isaiah 43:10-11 in which the Father says, “You are my witnesses, declares Yahweh, and My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and UNDERSTAND THAT I AM HE (John 8:24; 1 John 5:20). Before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I AM Yahweh and BESIDE ME THERE IS NO SAVIOR.”

God the Father clearly said, “and My servant whom I have chosen.” We know that the Father is the speaker in the context of Isaiah 43:10-11 and that the Son is the Father’s chosen servant of whom God the Father was speaking about. The same Father said, “…that you may know and believe Me, and understand THAT I AM HE.” God the Father clearly said, “I AM HE” and “beside Me there is no Savior” in the context of addressing His “chosen servant.” Therefore Jesus our Messiah must be the true identity of God the Father as that great “I AM” and the great “I AM HE” of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Jesus clearly spoke of the Father when he said, “If you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins” in John 8:24 because John 8:27 states that the Pharisees “did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father.” Therefore, we can clearly see that Jesus was speaking to the Jews about the Father when he said, “If you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” Those who disbelieve that Jesus is God the Father who came to save us as a man cannot explain why God the Father said, “beside Me there is no Savior,” in Isaiah 43:11. Since Jesus is clearly “the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14), and since there is no Savior beside God the Father, there can be no doubt that the man Christ Jesus is the same divine identity as the Father Himself revealed (Isaiah 53:1, “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of Yahweh been revealed?”).

Furthermore, according to Psalm 110:1, “Yahweh said to my Lord (adon = a “human lord”), sit at my right hand…” So we know that Jesus our Messiah is the only one spoken of in scripture who has ascended to the anthropomorphic right hand of the invisible Father. Hence, only Jesus Christ can be spoken of as being “beside” Yahweh God the Father Himself. Yet God the Father clearly said, “beside Me there is NO SAVIOR.” And again, God our Father said in Isaiah 45:5, “Besides Me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5-6, “I am the LORD (Yahweh), and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD (Yahweh), and there is no other…”). Therefore, no angelic or human creation can be said to be a universal God or a universal Saviour beside Yahweh God the Father Himself. Thus, identifying our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as the Father Himself who came to save us as a man (Titus 2:13, “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Christ Jesus”; Matthew 1:21, “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins”).

In order to counter the clear evidence that Jesus is the deity of the Father incarnate as man, some Trinitarians have asserted that Isaiah 43:10-11 is addressing “Jacob” or “Israel” as God’s chosen people as God’s witness rather than Jesus the Messiah himself. However, at 22 minutes into a YouTube Video entitled, “The Forgotten Trinity” (https://youtu.be/_ecgkxevoYI), Trinitarian apologist Dr. James White cited Isaiah 43:10-11 to show that Jesus the Messiah is Yahweh. Dr. White even said that the Jehovah’s Witnesses get their name from this passage. In the video, James White said that the Greek text in John 13:19 uses the same Greek words for Jesus saying, “I AM HE” as in the Greek Septuagint in Isaiah 43:10. John 13:19 says, “From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I AM HE.” Jesus also said the same in John 8:24, “If you do not believe that I AM HE, you will die in your sins.”

The Targum was a first century exposition of the Hebrew Scriptures written by Jews. The Targum says that Isaiah 43:10 refers to the Messiah, “the Targum reads, ‘and my servant the Messiah, in whom I am well pleased …’” The PULPIT COMMENTARY confirms that the Messiah is the intended chosen servant in Isaiah 43:10. “The ‘Servant’ intended can only be the one true Servant of Isaiah 42:1-7 (the Messiah), since faithful Israel is already among the witnesses.”

There are many prophesies in the Hebrew Bible where God Himself said that at a future time in human history, He would sit on His throne to dwell among the Israelites to rule and reign on the earth forever. Yet inspired scripture identifies that throne as the throne of David which will be occupied by God tabernacling among men (“the tabernacle of God is among men” Rev. 21:3) as the Lamb of God who is Jesus Christ the Messiah (“the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city and His servants shall serve Him” Rev. 22:3). Yahweh God, clearly said to Ezekiel that He would place the soles of His feet among the Israelites forever on the throne of David which God calls, “My Throne.”

Ezekiel 43:6 (NASB) “Then I heard one speaking to me from the house, while a man was standing beside me. 7He said to me, ‘Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will not again defile My holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their harlotry and by the corpses of their kings when they die, 8by setting their threshold by My threshold and their door post beside My door post, with only the wall between Me and them. And they have defiled My holy name by their abominations which they have committed. So I have them in My anger.…’”

Under Ezekiel chapter 43, Benson’s Commentary correctly explains that Ezekiel 43 will be fulfilled by the Messiah dwelling among God’s people forever. “Where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever — He alludes to the promise formerly made with relation to the tabernacle and temple, (see Psalm 68:16; Psalm 132:14) …and intended to be eminently fulfilled in and by Christ, in whom all the promises of the Old Testament are to have their final accomplishment.”

Revelation 21:2-3 (NASB) says, “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them …”