- Religion and Philosophy
Jesus Is Father God
Why Do Christians Worship Jesus as God?
The proposition of the Oneness (also called Modalism) faith is “Be it resolved that the Scriptures teach Jesus to be Father God.”
At the very outset the reader must be aware that when the Modalist (I will use this term instead of Oneness) declares that Jesus is the Father it is not intended to imply that the Son of God is the Father. In Modalist theology Jesus is much more than the Son of God, though He is that. This has always been a point of misunderstanding between the Modalist and the pluralist. The mystery of the Dual Nature of Jesus must be left to another time since our intention here is to show, biblically, how Jesus is the Father.
Permit me to open this discourse with a definition of the proposition:
“Be it resolved that the Scriptures....” By Scriptures I mean, the entire Bible, consisting of both Old and New Testaments – all 66 books.
“Teach...” By “teach” I mean, to instruct by precept, example, or inference.
“Jesus.” By “Jesus” I mean, Jesus of Nazareth, Mary’s baby; who was born in Bethlehem, crucified by Pontus Pilate at the behest of the Jews, arose from the dead and ascended into Heaven and is coming again to judge the quick and the dead.
“To be...” By “to be” I mean, has real existence.
“Father God.” By “Father God” I mean, the Creator of the universal, the Giver and sustainer of all life; the source, the uncaused first cause of all things visible and invisible.
Having defined my proposition I will proceed to declare my intentions. My intention is to show Jesus to be God the Father by four infallible proofs:
- That God is but one being;
- That only the Father is God;
- That Jesus is God; thereby, showing Jesus to be the Father;
- That this is accomplished in Jesus’ Dual Nature.
Intention #1. God is but one being
I might offer here three passages that I will call: God in the First Person, God in the Second Person, and God in the Third Person.
God in the First Person: God is speaking in the first person singular and says of Himself that He is but one person. Deuteronomy 32:39, “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no God with me, I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.”
Here the spokesman is Yahweh, Who alone is the Most High (Ps 83:18). Who speaks of Himself as a single Being.
- “I” (Hebrew: aniy) first person singular personal pronoun.
- “He” (Hebrew: huw) third person masculine singular personal pronoun.
- “With me” (Hebrew immade) it is the preposition ‘immad’ suffixed with the first person singular personal pronoun. The personal pronouns in an abbreviated form are affixed to nouns, prepositions, etc, to express the genitive and objective cases. THEREFORE, THE OBJECT OF THE PREPOSITION IS A SINGLE PERSON.
- “My hand” (Hebrew: meyade) it is the noun “yad” suffixed with the first person singular possessive pronoun. THE HAND WAS THE POSSESSION OF ONE PERSON.
- All the verbs of this verse are the first person singular form. In Hebrew the verb must agree with its subject in number and gender.
Thus, the Divine person, in this verse, spoke of Himself as a single person and stated that no other person of deity existed.
God in the Second Person: In Isaiah 37:16, “O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth.” ～ Here, the speaker is Hezekiah (Isa 37:15). Yahweh is being addressed as though He is one person, and the prophet speaks of Yahweh’s singleness.
- “Dwellest.” (Hebrew: yashad) masculine singular active participle “The dwelling one;” ONE PERSON IS IN VIEW.
- “Thou art the God.” (Hebrew: attah huw ha-elohim) attah: second person masculine singular personal pronoun; huw: third person masculine singular pronoun (himself). “YOU ARE GOD HIMSELF” ONE PERSON.
- “Thou alone.” (Hebrew: labadaha) from the root “bab” which means: separately, alone, solitary. Hezekiah was speaking to one person and said that one person was the solitary God separate from all others.
- “Thou hast made.” (Hebrew: attah awseta) attah: second person masculine singular personal pronoun; awseta: perfect second person masculine singular form of “asah.” The Hebrew actually reads: “You (second person masculine singular) have made.” ONE PERSON DID THE MAKING.
Hezekiah extols God as one person Who is God without anyone else sharing in the deity.
God in the Third Person: 1 Timothy 1:17, “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, ...” ～ In this text God is spoken about to others. The speaker is the Apostle Paul, who speaks of God in terms of strict singleness.
- “God” (Greek: theo). Dative masculine singular form of the noun meaning a deity. The singular noun indicates ONE PERSON.
- “Immortal.” (Greek: apharto). Dative masculine singular form of the adjective “aphthartos;” which means “incorruptible.” “immortal,” “undying,” etc....
- “Invisible.” (greek: aorato). Dative masculine singular form of the adjective “aoratos” which means: “literally unseen.
- “Only.” (Greek: mono). Dative masculine singular form of “monos;” which means: without accompaniment, alone, single existent, sole, only, lone, solitary. This adjective is singular because it modifies ONE PERSON. The adjective agrees with the noun it modifies in gender, number, and case. THE SINGULAR NUMBER OF THE ADJECTIVE AND OF THE NOUN IT MODIFIES EMPHASIZES THAT THIS GOD IS ONE PERSON.
- “King.” (Greek: Basilei). Dative masculine singular form of the noun “basileus;” singular number indicates ONE PERSON.
Paul speaks of God as though He was one person and the ONLY PERSON OF DEITY.
Intentinon #2. That only the Father is God.
Paul taught that New Testament Christianity rests on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone (Eph 2:20). With that in view we will look to accomplish my second intention with the testimony of the prophets, apostles, and Jesus Himself.
The witness of the Prophet:
Isaiah 63:16 “Thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer;”
Malachi 2:10 “Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us?”
According to the prophets, Yahweh alone is our Father. And He alone is the One God.
The witness of the apostles:
1 Corinthians 8:6 “But unto us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him:”
Ephesians 4:6 “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
The witness of Jesus Himself:
John 17:1, 3 “These words spake Jesus, and lift up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father ... this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God,...”
We consider it clear enough, from the prophets and apostles, with Jesus Christ, that the Father is the only true God; said another way: there is no God but the Father. So, God, then, is One Being (Intention #1); that One Being is the Father (Intention #2).
God Manifested In Flesh
Intention #3. That Jesus is God; thereby, showing Jesus to be the Father.
Here, we move to the crux of the debate; namely, showing Jesus to be God. In my first two “Intentions” it has been established by Holy Scripture that God is one being, Who is the Father. Now, if it is established by the same Holy Scripture that Jesus is God, it must follow that He is the Father. So, the question is asked: Does the Bible teach that Jesus of Nazareth is God? I submit to you that the answer is in the affirmative; and, what follows will be the proof. Again, a biblical way to proceed is to establish our teaching on the sure foundation of the prophets, apostles, and Jesus Christ the chief cornerstone.
The witness of the prophets:
Isaiah 9:6 “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.”
The One who would come as the Messiah (the Christ) would be “the mighty God” and “The everlasting Father.”
Now, we know that there is but one God who is the Father (Intentions #’s 1 and 2); the Prophet Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would be Him.
Micah 5:2 “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
According to the prophet Micah, the Messiah (Who would be born in Bethlehem) would be God. For Who else would have existence from eternity past? There can be but one Eternal!
The witness of the apostles:
Paul writes: Romans 9:5 “Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.” (NIV).
Paul writes: Titus 2:13 “while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,” (NIV)
John writes: 1 John 5:20 “We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” (NIV)
Jude writes: Jude 25 “To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.”
Thomas declares: John 20:28 “...My Lord and my God.”
The prophets prophesied that the Messiah would be the One Father God of Israel, come as a baby, born in Bethlehem. The apostles of our Lord Jesus gave witness that they agreed: Jesus is, indeed, “God over all,” “our great God,” “the true God,” “the only wise God;” and Thomas could cry to Him and say, “My Lord and my God!”
The witness of Jesus, the Chief Cornerstone: Here we see what Jesus said about Himself.
Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."
John 14:9 “Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long a time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father?
John 10:30 “I and the Father are one."
Now, here, we read the testimony of Jesus concerning Himself. For the sake of space we will only list these three passages. But consider this: Jesus said that He was the Alpha and the Omega; meaning, He is all. Nothing before or after. If that was not enough He goes on to declare Himself the “Almighty.” The Greek word John uses for Jesus’ verbiage is “pantokrator”(St’s #G3841), the all-ruling, as absolute universal sovereign, Almighty, Omnipotent. The word is superlative – there can be only One. I have the English dictionary open before me as I write; beside the word Almighty is only one definition and that definition has but one word: “God.” (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1973.)
When Philip wanted to see the Father, Jesus lightly rebuked Philip for not knowing that He was the Father. Then Jesus announces to the Jews that He and the Father were one. They did not misunderstand Him, even if most do today. They, the Jews, took up stones to stone Jesus because He made Himself God. They got it!
The evidence is overwhelming: Jesus was self-conscious of being Father God.
The New Testament opens and closed with a declaration of the deity of Jesus:
From Matthew 1:23 He is called Emmanuel, “God with us.”
From Revelation 22:6, 16, 20 Jesus is declared to be the “Lord God Almighty of the holy prophets.”
We have learned from this (my Intention #3) that Jesus is God. We learned from my Intentions #1 and #2 that the Father is the only God. Therefore, since Jesus is God, He must be the Father.
Intention #4. That this is accomplished in Jesus’ Dual Nature. To prove that Jesus is God the Father is to prove only half of the truth. It remains to be shown that Jesus is also Man.
In Matthew 2:13 we are told that Jesus had dependency upon parents. The fact that He had parents is a testimony to His humanity. Matthew records of His childhood: “..., saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, ... for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.”
The CHILD Jesus grew and increased in knowledge according to Luke 2:40, 52, “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.” And also verse 52: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” ～ Surely, it would be redundant to make comment concerning the application of these passages to the humanity of Christ.
The temptation of Jesus is an attestation to His manhood. Matthew 4:1 records vividly the fact of the temptation. The writer of Hebrews, also, is witness to the fact of the Temptation of Christ: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). ～ This seems to be significant to show the sharp distinction between the two natures: how that one nature can be acted upon and react without affecting the other; I say this, because, in the light of the above Scriptures, which make it cloudlessly clear that Jesus was tempted, the Word of God declares that “...God cannot be tempted...” (James 1:13). Therefore, the nature of Jesus which was tempted was the man nature. That the God nature was not in any way acted upon by this temptation is shown from Scripture, i.e. “...God cannot be tempted ...”
Jesus knew the limitations of man. He knew hunger, thirst and weariness. Matthew 4:2 shows that He was tempted to turn stones into bread, because He was hungry. John records Jesus at the well of Jacob: “Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well:..., There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink” (John 4:6-7).
Jesus was a descendant of other men; Romans 1:3 tells us He was of the seed of David.
The humanity of Christ is seen in the certainty of the human soul and spirit which He possessed. The human soul of the Son of God is seen in Acts 2:31, “He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.” The human spirit of Christ is recorded in Luke 23:46, “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit:....”
Jesus had a human will separate and apart from His divine will. In the Garden, on the Mount of Olives, we happen upon a scene where a very human ‘will’ is locked in mortal combat with the divine ‘will’.
Here, the human will of Christ is not at all in unity with the divine will. This we should note: Jesus was God, therefore, He had a divine will; Jesus was Man, therefore, He had a human will. Here, in the Garden, the human will is at odds with the divine will. Two wills are in view here. Jesus said “...not my will, but thine...” Clearly it was the will of the one praying to live and not to die. The only interpretation that will keep the integrity of the Deity of Christ intact is that the will that was praying was that of the MAN Christ Jesus.
The human nature that we have been viewing is none other than the Son of God. Galatians 4:4 informs us that the humanity of Jesus is the Son of God, “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.”
We have seen that the dual nature of Jesus consist of a Divine, and a Human nature; these qualities being separate and distinct one from the other; acting and being acted upon independently one from the other; neither one negating the other. We have seen the divine nature is that of Father God, and the human nature to be that of the Son of God. So, those who refer to Jesus as God (Father) are correct, and, those who refer to Jesus as the Son of God (man) are correct; but, those who say Jesus is God only, or the Son of God only, are in error.
☩ J L Hayes
Defined: Modalism and Trinitarianism
Bishop's Other Teachings on Christology
- How Is God One?
Christians profess monotheism. But is it true. In this article "How Is God One" Bishop Jerry Hayes reviews the meaning of One God by looking at the NT Grk words translated "one."
- Answering Trinitarian Objections II (Philippians 2:6-8)
Those who teach that God is a Trinity offer Philippians 2:6-8 as a proof of their dogma and as a refutation of the teaching of Modalism (Oneness). Here, I, as a Modalist believer, examine this text.
- Answering Trinitarian Objections I
We look at the plural pronouns of Ge 1:26; 11:17 & Is 6:8. Is one person of the Trinity actually speaking to another person/persons of the Trinity? This article gives the Modalist/Oneness answer.
- Melchizedek and Elohim
This article investigates the mystery person of the Bible called Melchizedek. Here we consider the documents of Qumran, that, for the first time, gives extra-biblical information concern him.
This Book is the Classical Debate You Have Been Looking For
The Jesus debate is a formal discussion on the person of Jesus Christ between the Modalist and Unitarian theologies. Modalism holds that God has manifested Himself in the economy of One triune being. The One Being existing in the different modes of Father, Son and Holy Spirit (the Modalist view is represented by Bishop Jerry L Hayes). While the Unitarian view holds that God is but one being Who is limited to the Father; that the Son is separate and distinct Being from the Father Who is not God, but the Son of God. Modalism (called Oneness in the twenty-first century) teaches the full deity of Jesus and His full humanity as well. the Arian view of Unitarianism represented by Willy Olmo in this book affirms the Father to be the only person of God