The Jesus Only Persuasion of the Godhead -- Exposed (V)
J. T. Smith
In the last article, you will recall, we showed what Mr. J. T. Payne (a Pentecostal preacher and debater) had to say about the distinction that is made in the Scriptures regarding the three personalities in the Godhead. He said, "God was the Father in Creation -- manifest himself as the Son in redemption -- and as the Holy Spirit in the church today." He cited I John 5:7-8 to prove it.
In this article, we want clearly to show why we do not believe that Mr. Payne or the Oneness people have the truth on this subject. The very passage cited by Mr. Payne DISPROVES his own theory. He has it exactly backwards. As you note the diagram, you will note that Mr. Payne's theory is that they were ONE and became THREE, but this is NOT what the passage says. It says these THREE are ONE. Thus Mr. Payne missed it going and coming.
If this position were not causing people to teach false doctrine, it would really be quite amusing. Actually, it is too silly to be foolish. You would have to doctor it up to make good foolishness out of it, when you read what the Bible says about these three distinct personalities. I want to give you a few examples at this time of what I mean.
God SENT his Son. But before one can be sent, several things must, of necessity be so. (I) there must be a SENDER. (2) There must be one to be SENT. (3) There must be a place FRORI which he is sent. (4) There must be a place to which he IS SENT. But just think about the end results of the Oneness position. God SENT himself in the form of Christ, and RETURNED unto himself, and is now seated on David's throne BESIDE HIMSELF. Now, isnt that rich! That is real smart!
Christ is Intercessor (Rom. 8:34). But, one who is intercessor or intercedes, is one who, "makes petition, pleads with a person either for or against others" (W. E. Vine's Dictionary). Thus Christ pleads with HIMSELF on our behalf, if the oneness position is true.
Perhaps the most telling argument against the oneness position, in my estimation, is what Jesus said in Mark 13:32 about the end of time. According to this passage, Jesus himself said that no man knows when the end of time will be; the angels in heaven don't know, and the SON does not know ONLY THE FATHER. Hence, if they are one and the same PERSON, we have Jesus keeping SECRETS FROM HIMSELF. Now, how about that?
Paul said in 1 Cor. 15:24, that Jesus would deliver the kingdom back to God, even the Father. But in order to be a deliverer, there must be (1) one to do the delivering, (2) one-to receive (3) and something to be delivered. Thus, Christ will deliver the kingdom from himself. Question!! What will happen to the rule, authority, and power if God and Christ are the same person? Christ said it was GIVEN to him after his resurrection (Mt. 28:18). No one will have any rule, authority, or power if Christ is going to put it down -- if he and the Father are ONE PERSON.
We might note just here, that the Jesus Only people think that we make a mistake by baptizing people in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. However this is the very thing that Jesus told those to do who were going to DO the baptizing. Hence, those who were administering or assisting the persons in their baptism were doing it by the authority (for that is what the word "name" here means) of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Those who were to be immersed were to be immersed by the authority of Christ (in the name of Christ). Thus, if we do it by Christ's authority, he authorized it to be done by the authority of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
The next article will deal with what is meant by such passages as 1 John 5:7-8.
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIII: 3, p. 1