Jesus Christ declared, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (Jhn 17:3). Only those with the true view of God and His Son Jesus Christ have hope of eternal life, while all with false views don’t. John said, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” (2Jo 1:9). We must submit to what Christ taught about God and abide in it, or we don’t have God.
I was a Trinitarian for almost 30 years until finally coming to the knowledge and confession of the truth about God taught by His Son Jesus Christ. And I pondered many times whether or not I truly belonged to Him all those years I confessed the false view of Trinitarianism. But based on what His Son taught, I finally had to conclude that I didn’t have the hope of eternal life at that time. If I had died a Trinitarian, I would have perished.
The true view of God and His Son Jesus Christ is what the Son Himself taught and what His apostles taught. The Son was sent by the Father from heaven with His words, and the apostles were sent by the Son with His words. What the Son taught is the truth, and anyone teaching something different is wrong. He knows God because He is His Son and was with Him, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” (Jhn 1:1-2).
There’s a tremendous amount of deception and confusion in the world about God and His Son. This is mainly because of false teaching and ignorance of what Jesus Christ truly taught. And the very words of Christ Himself are used by ministers to teach something different than what He taught. This is accomplished through many tactics but the primary one is by taking certain statements figuratively that were meant to be taken literally, or taking literally what was meant to be taken figuratively.
God authored the Scriptures in such a way that harmony permeating throughout only comes when correctly understanding the message He intended to convey. Most of the time He communicated using literal speech but sometimes with figurative. The key to correct understanding is taking His words the way He meant for them to be taken. Once we’re understanding His message correctly, we’ll have consistency across all of Scripture and logical soundness. If things defy sound logic and simply don’t make good sense, there’s a problem.
When it comes to theology—the subject of God Himself—the biggest culprit in arriving at false views of Him is a false definition and understanding of the Greek word theos for “god.” If we’re not even beginning with the correct understanding of the word for God, we’re highly unlikely to get it right in our understanding of God Himself. The acronym GIGO in computer lingo stands for “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” And that principle is basic in universal logic—if we’re starting with garbage, we’ll end up with more garbage.
The false Trinitarian view of God is imposed and perpetuated in part by a wrong understanding of theos. And most all non-Trinitarians, unfortunately, don’t fare much better. Although correctly affirming Trinitarianism as false, most non-Trinitarian groups have a false view of God as well. And Trinitarians love to capitalize on this by claiming that Trinitarianism must be right because of all the other bizarre views of God out there. After all, if you reject Trinitarianism, where will you go?
Many organized religious groups that identify as “Christian” have bizarre beliefs about God—beliefs that clash with what the Son of God taught about His Father God and Himself. The largest groups are Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, Oneness, Trinitarian, and Unitarian. Jehovah’s Witness: there is one God; Jesus Christ was created as the archangel Michael; Christ’s resurrection was spiritual and not physical; the Holy Spirit is an active force. Mormon: God is a Godhead of three beings; God is a perfected man; there are many gods; humans can become like God. Oneness: God is one Person and assumes three different modes or titles of the Father in heaven, the Son on earth, and the Holy Spirit in the church. Trinitarian: there is one God in the three persons of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; the Son of God has always existed and was covered with flesh in His incarnation. Unitarian (a wide range of beliefs): God is a person; God is not a person but a force; God is either Father or Mother; there isn’t a God; God is whatever you want to believe; the Son of God didn’t pre-exist His humanity.
However, God sent His Son into this world so that we would know Him in truth: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (Jhn 1:18); “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him” (Jhn 4:23); “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (Jhn 17:3). The only way to know God in truth is to know Him by the truth His Son taught, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jhn 14:6). He is the only way to God, the only truth, and the only hope of eternal life.
God revealed Himself to His people
God began revealing Himself through Moses and consummated that knowledge fully through His only begotten Son sent from Him. The correct view of God, therefore, is the view His Son taught. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (Jhn 1:18). No man but the Son of God has seen God because He was with God, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” (Jhn 1:1-2). Since no man but the Son of God has been with God and seen God, then no man but the Son of God knows what they’re talking about when it comes to God. The Son of God is right and anyone teaching something different is wrong. Anyone transgressing what Christ taught, doesn’t have God, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2Jo 1:9).
Speaking to a Samaritan woman, Jesus informed her “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews” (Jhn 4:22). The Samaritan people were the closest of any to the Jewish people both in ancestry and geographic settlement yet still had a wrong view of God, “Ye worship ye know not what.” If those having more advantage of knowing God than any other people but still didn’t, then nobody else knows God either. Only the Jewish people worshipped the true God, “we know what we worship.” Therefore, only they had the hope of salvation, “for salvation is of the Jews.”
We’re deceived if we count Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Oneness, Trinitarians, and Unitarians, with their aberrant views of God, as knowing God. If according to the Son of God Himself, even the Samaritans didn’t know God and therefore didn’t have any hope of salvation, then none of these modern religious groups of people do either. We can only know God through the truth His Son taught. Jesus affirmed the God of Israel revealed through Moses, “Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (Mar 12:29-30).
There is no salvation apart from being joined to the God of the Jewish people through His Son Jesus Christ. Paul taught the Gentiles at Ephesus: “That we [Jews] should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye [Gentiles] also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed [trusted]” (Eph 1:12-13); “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph 2:11-12).
The saving gospel message that Jesus Christ Himself preached went to the Jews first, then Gentiles were allowed to partake with them: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth [trusts]; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom 1:16); “And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou [Gentiles], being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them [Jews]” (Rom 11:17); “Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people” (Rom 15:10); “For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things” (Rom 15:27). All people, whether Jewish or non-Jewish, can only know God by agreeing with and submitting to the truth His Son Jesus Christ taught about Him.
The Greek theos isn’t a type of being
The Greek theos for “god” is simply a sovereign or ultimate and highest authority. It’s a role, position, or title of a person in authority, not a kind or type of being. The Father is God, not because of what He is as a being, but because of His status as the highest authority over all, including over His Son Jesus Christ. That theos is a role or position of authority is evident by the Son of God Himself using this word for men and also for His Father within the same statement.
Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods [theos 2316]? If he called them gods [theos 2316], unto whom the word of God [theos 2316] came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God [theos 2316]? (John 10:34-36)
God, Himself had called these men “gods,” “Ye are gods” (Psa 82:6). Since theos is a role, position, title, or status, then these men were simply human beings standing in a position of authority in which they could be called “gods” within a limited context of rule and authority. In fact, after declaring “Ye are gods” (Psa 82:6), God then affirmed their humanity, “But ye shall die like men” (Psa 82:7). They were not some kind of divine beings, but merely human beings that would die just like all humans.
Paul also used theos for angels and for men in the same statement with God Himself, “For though there be that are called gods [theos 2316], whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods [theos 2316] many, and lords [kyrios 2962] many,) But to us there is but one God [theos 2316], the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord [kyrios 2962] Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1Co 8:5-6). The word theos isn’t the person himself, whether God, angels, or men, but the position of the person. Furthermore, that theos is simply a position of authority is also evident by Paul using it in this statement alongside the Greek kyrios for “lord” or “ruler” which most definitely is a position of authority, “there be gods [theos 2316] many, and lords [kyrios 2962] many.” And Jesus quoted from Moses using both kyrios and theos, “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord [kyrios 2962] our God [theos 2316] is one Lord [kyrios 2962]” (Mar 12:29). Since both “god” and “lord” are positions of authority, then the Father is God and His Son is Lord, “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”
Finally, theos can’t be a type of being because then the statement “I am the God [theos 2316] of Abraham, and the God [theos 2316] of Isaac, and the God [theos 2316] of Jacob” (Mat 22:32) is nonsense. It would mean that God Himself belongs to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as their possession! But since it’s saying that He is Abraham’s God, and Isaac’s God, and Jacob’s God, then it’s simply that He is their Ruler. The God of Abraham is the Ruler of Abraham.
It’s because kyrios and theos are simply positions of authority that Thomas could correctly call the Son of God “My Lord [kyrios 2962] and my God [theos 2316]” (Jhn 20:28), while the Son of God calls His Father the same, “I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God [theos 2316], and your God [theos 2316]” (Jhn 20:17). It’s within this hierarchy of authority that the Father is the Son’s God and our God, while the Son is our Lord and our God. The very first of the Ten Commandments was to have no other gods before God Himself, “I am the LORD [yehova 3068] thy God [elohim 430], which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods [elohim 430] before me” (Exo 20:2-3). Yet shortly after, God told His people “Thou shalt not revile the gods [elohim 430], nor curse the ruler of thy people” (Exo 22:28). Men that ruled over His people in positions of authority, even God calls “gods” just so long as they’re in submission to His authority. Having gods under God isn’t violating the commandment of having gods before God. We can call the Lord Jesus Christ “my God” because He is ruling over God’s people under the one true God.
Misunderstanding theos as a kind or type of being is the underlying flaw contributing to many of the false views of God and His Son Jesus Christ. In Trinitarianism, since the Son of God is God Himself, and God is understood as a type of being, then logically there had to be a hypostatic union of the God-type of being and the human-type of being in the incarnation. The Son had to continue existing as the God-type of being when becoming the human-type of being or else He would have ceased to be God!
Furthermore, this flawed concept of theos is the main factor for non-Trinitarians rejecting the pre-existence of the Son of God. Because non-Trinitarians correctly believe that the Son of God is not God, they wrongly deduct that He was simply a mere human being like the rest of us. Because if theos is the God-type of being as they assume, and the Son of God is not God, then the Son of God was never the God-type of being and therefore has only ever been the human-type of being. But their reasoning is wrong because their understanding of theos is wrong. It’s just GIGO.
God is a divine type of being
Jesus Christ’s statement “God is a Spirit” (Jhn 4:24) is used to teach that God is a spirit-type of being. But “God is a Spirit [breath]” (Jhn 4:24), or “God is spirit [breath]” (NET, NIV), isn’t literal but figurative. Jesus was simply using a figure of speech called a metaphor in which a term is applied to suggest a correspondence. An example is “God is love” (1Jo 4:8,16). Of course, God isn’t literally love, but because He completely embodies everything about love, John equated Him metaphorically with it. That “God is spirit [breath]” is that since God is entirely and exclusively the source of our breath and our life, His Son could say that He is breath. The breath of eternal life from God comes through knowing and worshipping Him as the true God, “God is a Spirit [breath]: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit [breath] and in truth” (Jhn 4:24), “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (Jhn 17:3).
The faulty assumption that God is a spirit-type of being leads to wrong conclusions and false doctrines. Trinitarians use this assumption to bolster their false view of the Holy Spirit as a person. They argue that since God is a spirit and He is a person, and the Holy Spirit is a spirit, then the Holy Spirit must also be a person. And they further apply this same flawed conclusion to human beings as well. Since God is a spirit being, and humans were made after the image of God, then humans must also be spirit beings. Therefore, when humans die, the true spirit being inside the body continues living either in heaven or in hell. This, of course, has great implications for the incarnation of the Son of God Himself. If the Son is a spirit being and humans are spirit beings covered with flesh, then the Son simply covered Himself with flesh when becoming a human being. It’s the result of taking Christ’s statement “God is a Spirit [breath]” (Jhn 4:24) literally instead of figuratively as intended.
The fact is, we’re not told what kind or type of being God is. The best we can do is call Him a divine being. What we know for certain about God is what His Son told us about Him. We’re wise to not speculate and teach beyond what His Son taught and revealed to us.
The Word was God
The opening statement of John’s Gospel “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” (Jhn 1:1-2), is the main proof-text used by Trinitarians to claim that Jesus Himself is God. But twice John said He was “with God.” How can He be with Him and also be Him? Since John later wrote, “the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father” (1Jo 1:1-2), then “with God” corresponds to “with the Father.” Thus, the Father is God and the Word was with Him.
The context of “the Word was God” includes several figures of speech or metaphors. The Son of God isn’t literally “the Word” (v. 1) or “the Light” (v. 7). These are figures of speech. John employed similar metaphors even for God Himself, “God is light” (1Jo 1:5), “God is love” (1Jo 4:8, 16). Of course God isn’t literally light or love but because God shows the characteristics of light and love to such a degree that metaphorical equality with them is warranted. And just as “the light was the life” (v. 4) is a metaphor, so is “the Word was God.” The Word Himself later attested “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (14:9). He represented God to such perfection that John could say He “was God” in metaphorical equivalence. We’re told in other places: “Christ, who is the image of God” (2Co 4:4); “Who is the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15); “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person” (Heb 1:3). When people saw the Son of God, they were seeing God the Father figuratively. Therefore, “the Word was God.”
Furthermore, in Greek, a definite article is used in both statements “the Word was with [the] God … The same was in the beginning with [the] God,” but not in the statement “the Word was God.” More specifically, John didn’t say “the Word was [the] God.” Although virtually all English Bible versions omit the definite articles, the Jubilee Bible 2000 includes them, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with the God.” (JUB). John’s use of the definite article twice for God Himself but not with “the Word was God,” reinforces the correct understanding that “the Word was God” isn’t literal but figurative.
Is it literal or figurative?
Assumptions are concepts, ideas, or notions we take for granted or count as being true even though they haven’t been proven, therefore might not be true. But assumptions are necessary because sometimes the only way we can come to the truth is to start with an underlying assumption as a theory, then build upon it more assumptions taken to their logical conclusions. If the conclusions reached are illogical or nonsensical, then it’s likely that the underlying assumptions aren’t true. However, when assumptions are taken to their logical conclusion are logical, reasonable, and harmonious, it’s a good indicator of the truth.
Truth is always logical and reasonable. And since the doctrine of the Trinity is illogical, it’s not true. Just a few of its illogical claims: the one God consists of three persons; Jesus is both “God the Son” and the Son of God; Jesus is both a 100% divine being and a 100% human being at the same time; Jesus was eternally begotten; although God can’t be tempted, Jesus is God and was tempted in all points; although God can’t die, Jesus is God and did die.
So long as our assumptions simply remain theories that we employ to help guide us away from error and into truth, they’re very helpful and necessary. However, when we become more loyal to our underlying assumptions than to the Lord Himself, we’ll begin forcing Scripture to agree with our assumptions. If we’re disagreeing with the plain teaching of the Son of God Himself, we’re in serious danger.
The problem with false underlying assumptions is that loyalty to them forces us to take literally things that were meant to be taken figuratively and to take figuratively things that were meant to be taken literally. But how can we know for certain when something should be taken literally or figuratively? The immediate context usually indicates it but ultimately the overall context of Scripture as a whole is the guiding beacon. God authored the Scriptures in such a way that sound reasoning and logic harmonized across all of Scripture indicates we’ve arrived at the truth.
Because Trinitarianism begins with the false underlying assumption that the one God exists in three co-equal persons, it eagerly takes the figurative statement “the Word was God” (Jhn 1:1) literally, but must also take its surrounding statements “the Word was with [the] God … The same was in the beginning with [the] God” (Jhn 1:2), figuratively. He couldn’t literally be with the God when He Himself is the God!
Non-Trinitarians, on the other hand, are certainly noble in rejecting the Trinitarian view of God as false. However, most all of them fall into the ditch on the other side by adopting another view of God and His Son that’s just as false. This is evident by them also forcing Scripture to comply with their false assumptions—taking literal what’s figurative and figurative what’s literal.
Since non-Trinitarians reject the view that the Son is God Himself, and since they wrongly understand theos as a type of being, many of them wrongly deny the pre-existence of the Son. If He is not God, then they conclude He must be a mere man only. And to stay loyal to that false assumption, they’re forced to take figuratively a plethora of literal statements, particularly the Son being with the Father in the beginning and coming down from heaven: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God” (Jhn 1:1); “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven” (Jhn 3:13); “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world” (Jhn 3:17); “He that cometh from above is above all” (Jhn 3:31); “my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven,” “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven,” “For I came down from heaven,” “I am the living bread which came down from heaven” (Jhn 6:32,33,38,51); “I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me” (Jhn 8:42); “he was come from God, and went to God” (Jhn 13:3); “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world” (Jhn 16:28); “I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me” (Jhn 17:8); “the second man is the Lord from heaven” (1Co 15:47); “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1Ti 1:15); “God sent his only begotten Son into the world” (1Jo 4:9).
Equal or co-equal?
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form [morphe 3444] of God [theos 2316], thought it not robbery to be equal [isos 2470] with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form [morphe 3444] of a servant [doulos 1401], and was made in the likeness [homoioma 3667] of men” (Phl 2:5-7). In this passage, Paul was teaching the Philippians to have the same mindset that Christ had. Now, he certainly wasn’t speaking literally that they were to be incarnated from divine beings to human beings! The Greek theos isn’t a type of being and neither is doulos. That the Son of God was in “the form [morphe 3444] of God [theos 2316]” but took upon Himself “the form [morphe 3444] of a servant [doulos 1401]” is that He “morphed” from His position of Ruler to the position of Servant. It’s similar to what he taught the Corinthians, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2Co 8:9). He emptied Himself of everything He had with God—position, ability, and wealth—to become a human being for our salvation.
That He was “equal with God” isn’t the same as co-equal taught in Trinitarianism. The Son has an equivalence or correspondence with the Father in certain regards. But co-equal, on the other hand, is a joint ranking and absolute equality in every regard. This idea of co-equality has been so thoroughly drilled into the minds of Trinitarians that it’s difficult for them to read certain statements in Scripture any other way. But it’s simply an equivalence, correspondence, or likeness with God. We can be certain of this because of the parallel statement in this same passage “in the likeness of men.” This certainly can’t mean that He became co-equal with men so that all were one Man but in multitudes of persons! His correspondence with God and then with men are simply corollaries that when taken to extremes result in nonsense.
The Son of God was on an equivalent plane or “footing” with God but abased Himself to that of humans—even the lowest of humans to die in public shame as a convicted criminal, “even the death of the cross” (Phl 2:8). And this is the mindset we’re to have. We’re to become servants, losing everything and abasing ourselves even to shame and humiliation for the name of our Lord and the sake of others coming to know Him.
That “equal [isos 2470] with God” isn’t co-equal in Trinitarianism is also shown by how the Jews understood what Jesus claimed of Himself, “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal [isos 2470] with God” (Jhn 5:18). That “God was his Father” put Him in an entirely different category than all other men—having equivalence with God as His Son. That He wasn’t claiming to be God Himself is evident by His next statement, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (Jhn 5:19). His dependence upon His Father is certainly not co-equality. Trinitarians love quoting “making himself equal with God” but almost never follow it with “The Son can do nothing of himself.”
The statement “thought it not robbery to be equal with God” (Phl 2:6), is a mistranslation in the King James Version. It’s more accurately “something to be grasped” (NET) or “something to cling to” (NLT). In other words, He didn’t put up any resistance to His Father’s plan of salvation by clinging to His place with Him. In fact, His submission to His Father sending Him is just another reason why “equal with God” isn’t co-equal. Besides, if there truly are three co-equal persons, where is the Holy Spirit in all of this? Why is there nothing about the Spirit sending the Son, or the Son always doing the will of the Spirit?
Furthermore, that isos isn’t co-equal is also shown by what Christ Himself said about humans after resurrection in comparison with angels, “Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels [isangelos 2465]; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection” (Luk 20:36), The Greek isangelos consists of isos “equal” and angelos “messenger.” Of course we’re not going to actually become angelic beings in the resurrection, or have co-equality with them. It’s simply that we’ll be like the angels in certain regards—we won’t die anymore and we won’t marry, “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven” (Mat 22:30).
Trinitarians coined the term “God the Son” which is found nowhere in Scripture. Jesus always called Himself the Son: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (Jhn 3:16); “The Son can do nothing of himself” (Jhn 5:19); “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” (Jhn 9:35); “I said, I am the Son of God?” (Jhn 10:36); “that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” (Jhn 11:4); “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee” (Jhn 17:1). It’s dangerous to disagree with what the Son said about Himself. We can be deceived and ignorant about the truth, and God will forgive us when we come to the correct knowledge and repent. But to know the truth and fight against it is very serious.
The Son of God before His incarnation
Several times Jesus was either called or called Himself, “the only begotten [monogenes 3439] of the Father” (Jhn 1:14), “the only begotten [monogenes 3439] Son” (1:18), “his only begotten [monogenes 3439] Son” (3:16), “the only begotten [monogenes 3439] Son of God” (3:18), “his only begotten [monogenes 3439] Son” (1Jo 4:19). This begetting is His beginning as a living, conscious person. But since Jesus is God in Trinitarianism and God has no beginning, monogenes poses a major problem in that view. It was dealt with in two main ways: (1) denying His literal begetting for the nonsensical concept that He is somehow eternally begotten; (2) removing the concept of begetting altogether by rendering monogenes in many modern Bible versions as “one and only Son,” “only, special son,” or “uniquely existing Son.”
The Greek monogenes means “only begotten” or “only born” as it is used in three other places for a literal begetting of a son or a daughter: “Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only [monogenes 3439] son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her” (Luk 7:12); “For he had one only [monogenes 3439] daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him” (Luk 8:42); “And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child [monogenes 3439]” (Luk 9:38).
And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. (Genesis 15:2-4)
God promised Abraham that his heir would be a son that would “come forth out of thine own bowels.” And the fulfillment of that promise wasn’t him begetting Ishmael of Hagar but Isaac of Sarah as God later promised, “Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed” (17:19), “Sarah thy wife shall have a son” (18:10), “Sarah shall have a son” (18:14). Isaac was Abraham’s only begotten son of Sarah. He was the fulfillment of “he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels” of whom the writer of Hebrews used monogenes, “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten [monogenes 3439] son” (Heb 11:17). Isaac was both figurative of Christ in his begetting and his sacrifice, “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen 22:8).
Furthermore, Jesus claimed of Himself, “I proceeded forth and came from God” (Jhn 8:42), “I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world” (Jhn 16:27-28). That He “proceeded forth” and “came out from God” are His own words of His begetting and His beginning. And He was begotten of the same kind or type of divine being as God—exactly like God in every regard.
Since the Son of God was begotten of God as the same kind of divine being, He was equal with God in power to create the entire universe out of nothing, ex nihilo: “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (Jhn 1:3); “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ” (Eph 3:9); “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Col 1:16); “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Heb 1:2); “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev 4:11).
Although the Son of God was begotten of God as the same kind or type of divine being as His Father, He has never been co-equal with God in authority. The Trinitarian view of God conflates “equal” and “co-equal,” that the Son not only is equal with God in kind or type of divine being, but also is co-equal with God in authority, position, rank, and title. However, in father and son relationships among human beings, a son is like his father in kind but not equal in authority. Thus, it was ordained after the image of the Father and the Son, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen 1:26). As a human son is in every way equal with his father in humanity, the Son of God was in every way equal with His Father in divinity. The creation itself teaches us about God and His only begotten Son by all life producing “after his kind.”
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind … And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind … the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind (Gen 1:11-12,21,24-25)
This is what Paul meant in Romans, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Rom 1:19-20). No man has seen God because He is invisible, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten [monogenes 3439] Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (Jhn 1:18). God sent His only begotten Son into this world to teach us about Him. And because the Son “is in the bosom of the Father,” embraced by God the Father and seated at His right hand, then everything He taught about God and Himself is true. Otherwise, if anything He had taught wasn’t true, God wouldn’t have raised Him and seated Him on His throne.
Paul began Romans, “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom 1:3-4). Christ’s resurrection from the dead was God’s declaration to the world that He indeed is His only begotten Son, “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee” (Psa 2:7), “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead” (Act 13:33-34). Because Christ taught that He is the only begotten Son of God, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten [monogenes 3439] Son … he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten [monogenes 3439] Son of God” (Jhn 3:16,18), His resurrection was God’s affirmation of what He declared.
The Son of God’s resurrection from the dead was a “birth” figuratively, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn [prototokos 4416] of every creature [ktisis 2937] … the firstborn [prototokos 4416] from the dead” (Col 1:15,18), “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten [prototokos 4416] of the dead” (Rev 1:5). Although Jewish Himself, His resurrection is the prototype of every creature everywhere. He is “the firstborn [prototokos 4416] of every creature [ktisis 2937]” is every ethnic people group, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature [ktisis 2937]” (Mar 16:15), “the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature [ktisis 2937] which is under heaven” (Col 1:23). The gospel was to the Jew first and then to all the earth, “among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luk 24:47), “in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Act 1:8).
When we start with the correct underlying assumption that theos is a position of authority, then the Son truly was begotten of God as the same type of being yet never has been in the highest position of God. As the same type of being, the Son possessed all the power of God to create the entire universe ex nihilo. But after becoming a human being, He possesses no more power than any other human being unless God gives it to Him.
The Son of God’s incarnation
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (Jhn 1:14). Trinitarians claim that “the Word was made flesh” means that He “took on” flesh, assumed flesh, or added flesh to what He already was. It was as if clothing Himself with flesh like a suit. Some even phrase it as “the flesh covered Word,” that He was only cloaked with flesh.
The Trinitarian view, however, must make that claim to maintain consistency. Because if the Son is co-equal with God, that He is God in every way—has always existed, never changes, cannot die—then His incarnation presents a devastating problem. How can the God-type of being become a human-type of being, yet still be God? He can’t. Therefore, the completely illogical doctrine of the hypostatic union of dual natures had to be concocted. Although He became a 100% human being, He remained the 100% God being. Thus, He is two mutually exclusive beings yet still one person! This preposterous entity was “sold” to the world by calling it two natures instead. What exactly is a nature? It’s nothing but a nebulous concept that makes this bitter pill easier to swallow.
But “made flesh” is literally what it says. Christ became a flesh and blood human being. He transitioned or metamorphosed to a different kind or type of being than He was before. He went from a 100% divine being to a 100% human being. Saying that He only “took on” flesh is essentially denying that He truly was “made flesh” because He wouldn’t have been “made” anything but simply added to what He already was and continued to be.
In Roman Catholicism, transubstantiation is the bread and wine literally changing into the flesh and blood of Christ. Catholicism denies that the Son Himself transubstantiated to flesh and blood, yet claims the elements representing His flesh and blood do! It’s a completely different incarnation than taught in Scripture. And Protestant Trinitarianism isn’t much better. The Reformation about 500 years ago took the same false view of God and the Son of God, then contrived a whole new “gospel” message. The entire battle between Catholicism and Protestantism is simply a ruse by our enemy to keep us from the true view of God and the Son of God. It’s the same result but by two different means.
Non-Trinitarian churches, groups, and organizations that identify as “Christian,” correctly reject Trinitarianism and many times have excellent arguments against it. But unfortunately, virtually all of them also get it wrong in their view of God and the Son of God as well. In regards to the Son’s incarnation, these groups typically reject His pre-existence and teach that He was begotten of God at His virgin conception. Some even deny His virgin conception altogether which is essentially putting Him in the category of a created being just like us. And Trinitarians are all too eager to decry non-Trinitarians for these follies.
That “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (Jhn 1:14), is that the Son of God was begotten of His Father as the same kind of divine being, then transitioned to a different kind of being—a flesh and blood human being exactly like us in every regard. And because He was conceived of a virgin mother, He had no biological human father but God is His Father through His breath coming upon Mary, “for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost [breath]” (Mat 1:20), “The Holy Ghost [breath] shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luk 1:35). God is His Father in His divinity, and God is His Father in His humanity.
But what about Paul’s statement, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God [theos 2316] was manifest [phanaroo 5319] in the flesh, justified in the Spirit [breath], seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed [trusted] on in the world, received up into glory” (1Ti 3:16)? Of course, Trinitarians love to use it as a proof-text that Jesus is God Himself in the flesh. But there are two big errors in this reasoning: (1) that theos is God as a type of being; (2) that phanaroo is depicting the incarnation itself. The Greek verb phanaroo means “to make visible or known what was unknown.” But the Son of God’s incarnation was a literal transition of one type of being to another type of being. Therefore, phanaroo here isn’t speaking of the actual incarnation but the purpose for the incarnation. God the Father made Himself known by sending His Son into this world through the incarnation into flesh.
John used phanaroo twice when communicating the same message, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested [phanaroo 5319], and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested [phanaroo 5319] unto us;)” (1Jo 1:1-2). The Son of God is “the Word” figuratively because everything He said is what His Father sent Him to say: “I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him” (Jhn 8:26); “the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself” (Jhn 14:10); “all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” (Jhn 15:15); “For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me” (Jhn 17:8). Therefore, that “God was manifest in the flesh,” is that God’s Son becoming a human being made God the Father known to us: “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (Jhn 14:9); “Christ, who is the image of God” (2Co 4:4); “Who is the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15); “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person” (Heb 1:3).
The Son of God after His incarnation
Because the Son of God transitioned completely to a human type of being, He no longer is the divine type of being He once was. As 100% human, He is now 0% divine. This means He is now powerless in Himself to do anything beyond what is humanly possible. All of the divine power He once possessed that created this entire universe and all life, He forever relinquished and will never regain. He willingly relegated Himself to the weaknesses and limitations of humanity for our salvation.
The Trinitarian view, on the other hand, is that Jesus is God, has always been God, and always will be God. And even when He became human, He still possessed all of His powers as God. Thus, the miracles, signs, and wonders He performed supposedly prove He is God. However, the prophets and apostles also performed miracles, signs, and wonders, and nobody would dare say that they were God. Regarding the prophets Elijah and Elisha specifically, we’re told that that the breath of God was upon them, “And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit [breath] be upon me” (2Ki 2:9). And the same is said of the apostles, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost [breath] is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Act 1:8).
Nothing is recorded in the Gospels of Jesus ever performing a miracle until after God’s breath came upon Him at His baptism. John even stated that His miracle of turning water into wine at a wedding was His first, “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee” (Jhn 2:11). No longer the 100% divine being He once was, but now a 100% human being like us, He performed miraculous works by the breath of God: “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit [breath] of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you” (Mat 12:28); “The Spirit [breath] of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luk 4:18); “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost [breath] and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Act 10:38).
Jesus Himself stated that His works were not His own but His Father’s: “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do” (Jhn 5:19); “I can of mine own self do nothing” (Jhn 5:30); “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not” (Jhn 10:37); “the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (Jhn 14:10). And those who witnessed His miracles testified that it was because God was with Him: “no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him” (Jhn 3:2); “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know” (Act 2:22); “healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Act 10:38).
Jesus Christ was the Prophet that Moses foretold would come, “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren … I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren” (Deu 18:15, 18). He healed an impotent man, “And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked” (Jhn 5:9), then claimed to be the one of whom Moses wrote, “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me” (Jhn 5:46). And the people also acknowledged Him as that Prophet: “This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee” (Mat 21:11); “That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people” (Luk 7:16); “Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world” (Jhn 6:14); “When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done? … Of a truth this is the Prophet” (Jhn 7:31,40).
It’s also taught in Trinitarianism that the times Jesus knew people’s thoughts prove He is God: “Why reason ye these things in your hearts?” (Mar 2:8); “And Jesus knowing their thoughts” (Mar 9:4); “But he knew their thoughts” (Luk 6:8); “And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart” (Luk 9:47); “But he, knowing their thoughts” (Luk 11:17). But knowing some people’s thoughts at certain times doesn’t correlate to Him knowing all people’s thoughts all the time. The Father simply allowed Him to know people’s thoughts at times by His breath in Him.
“And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.” (Luk 8:45-46). If He knew everything all the time, why didn’t He know who touched Him at this time? Was He just pretending to not know? Mark’s account states “And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?” (Mar 5:30). God doesn’t need to turn around and ask for information!
Then of course Trinitarian teachers have no explanation whatsoever for Jesus not even knowing the day of His return, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mar 13:32). If He didn’t know this, then He no longer possessed the divine powers He once had. But if He truly did know this, then He wasn’t speaking truly. That this was known by the Father but not by Him attests that only the Father now possesses divine powers.
Natural versus spiritual
Non-Trinitarians correctly reject the Holy Spirit [breath] as a conscious living person. And some also rightly correlate the Lord Jesus Christ with the Spirit [breath]: “Now if any man have not the Spirit [breath] of Christ, he is none of his” (Rom 8:9); “the Spirit [breath] itself maketh intercession for us … It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom 8:26, 34); “Now the Lord is that Spirit [breath]: and where the Spirit [breath] of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2Co 3:17); “God hath sent forth the Spirit [breath] of his Son into your hearts” (Gal 4:6); “to be strengthened with might by his Spirit [breath] in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” (Eph 3:17).
However, many non-Trinitarians recognizing this parallel between the Son of God and the Spirit [breath] of God, wrongly take this correspondence literally—that Jesus actually is the Holy Spirit [breath]. They fall into a similar error as Trinitarians. Trinitarians take Christ’s teaching in John 14-16 about the Holy Spirit [breath] to be another literal person other than Himself, while non-Trinitarians take it to be literally Christ Himself. But He said of His own words that He was simply speaking figuratively, “Though I have been speaking figuratively” (Jhn 16:25 NIV).
Jesus was speaking of His coming advocacy at the Father’s right hand, “Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more” (Jhn 16:10), but figuratively of Himself as the Holy Spirit [breath]: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate [parakletos] to help you and be with you forever … But the Advocate [parakletos], the Holy Spirit [breath], whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (Jhn 14:16, 26 NIV); “When the Advocate [parakletos] comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit [breath] of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me” (Jhn 15:26 NIV); “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate [parakletos] will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (Jhn 16:7 NIV). That He was speaking of Himself as our Advocate before the Father, Paul and John both would later write, “For through him we both have access by one Spirit [breath] unto the Father” (Eph 2:18), “And if any man sin, we have an advocate [parakletos] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1Jo 2:1).
Because some non-Trinitarians consider Jesus to be the Holy Spirit [breath] literally, they regard His resurrected body to be some type of transformed “spiritual” body that is non-physical or non-material. And their main proof-text is Paul’s statement “There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” (1Co 15:44). But this “natural body” and “spiritual body” contrast isn’t a difference in substance or materiality but generation or origin.
Paul likened the burial of a body and its subsequent resurrection to that of a seed sown in the ground that is generated to new life, “that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die” (v. 36). He then repeatedly applied this analogy to “a natural body” that is “sown” and “a spiritual body” that is “raised,” “It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” (vs. 42-44). None of these contrasts between corruption and incorruption, dishonor and glory, weakness and power, have anything to do with substance or materiality. They’re all abstract concepts. And Paul continued by drawing parallels between Adam and the Lord Jesus Christ:
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. (1Corinthians 15:45-49)
Again, contrasting “a natural body” and “a spiritual body,” he said that Adam was “that which is natural,” and the Lord “that which is spiritual.” And this was regarding their generation or origination, “The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.” Adam’s life began on this earth, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen 2:7). But the Lord was begotten of God and was sent down from heaven by God, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven” (Jhn 3:13), “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (Jhn 3:16).
Paul had already drawn a parallel between the two earlier, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (v. 22). We all die because of Adam’s sin, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom 5:12). But Christ died because He laid down His life for us, “I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” (Jhn 10:17-18). Since Christ alone has been raised to eternal life, only those “in Christ shall all be made alive.”
That “The first man is of the earth,” Paul abbreviated simply as the word “earthy.” And that “the second man is the Lord from heaven,” he abbreviated as “heavenly.” He then proceeded to teach, “As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” The point is that natural versus spiritual, and earthy versus heavenly, aren’t about materiality versus immateriality, but about the origin and generation of Adam versus the Son of God.
Some of the non-Trinitarians believing that Jesus now has some kind of “spiritual” body claim that His body is no longer “flesh and blood” but now “flesh and bone,” “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luk 24:39). But “flesh and bone” doesn’t imply His body no longer has any blood! Jesus was simply emphasizing the indisputable physicality of Himself. By allowing His disciples to handle His hands and arms, they could feel His skin and the hardness of the bones beneath His skin. And John later wrote, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life” (1Jo 1:1). Sure, they probably could have taken His pulse and other vital signs to be sure He had blood flowing, but His circulatory system wasn’t in question—His physicality was.
Furthermore, if it’s somehow possible to live and function without blood, then there would be no need to breathe, eat, or drink yet Jesus still did: “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost [breath]” (Jhn 20:22); “And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.” (Luk 24:42-43); “Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead” (Act 10:41).
Another argument for a “spiritual” body is that Jesus could walk through walls: “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst” (Jhn 20:19); “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst” (Jhn 20:26). Although “the doors were shut” and He “stood in the midst” doesn’t necessarily correspond with Him walking through the walls to get in. Most likely He simply opened the door and walked in because it doesn’t even say the doors were locked. But even if they were, it would be no problem for God to instantly unlock any doors for His Son to enter. Even an angel easily loosed Peter from his chains, “Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.” (Act 12:6-7). Furthermore, God could have miraculously transported Jesus into that room similarly as He did once with Philip, “And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit [breath] of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more” (Act 8:39). The point is that this event has nothing to do with the materiality or physicality of Jesus’ resurrected body being any different than it was before.
A verse sometimes used as a proof-text that Jesus no longer has a material body is “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more” (2Co 5:16). But this has nothing to do with His physicality. It’s about once knowing Him as a circumcised Jewish man sent only to Israel: “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mat 10:5-6); “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mat 15:24); “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (Jhn 1:11); “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy” (Rom 15:8-9). We don’t know Him that way anymore but now know Him as the Lord of all people: “The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)” (Act 10:36); “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him” (Rom 10:12); “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28); “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all” (Col 3:11).
The holy breath of God
The first mention of the Hebrew ruwach in Scripture, “And the Spirit [ruwach 7307] of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen 1:2), it’s “of God” as His possession. It wasn’t another person that was flying over the water like superman! It was the breath of God as He was blowing from His mouth across the surface of the waters. The second occurrence of ruwach, “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool [ruwach 7307] of the day” (Gen 3:8), it’s the wind blowing. Other Bible versions render it, “When the cool evening breezes were blowing” (NLT), “at the time of the evening breeze” (CSB), “at the breezy time of the day” (NET), “at the breeze of the day” (YLT). It’s simply air, breath, or wind depending on the context. And its third appearance, “And the LORD said, My spirit [ruwach 7307] shall not always strive with man” (Gen 6:3). The first time it was “the Breath of God” and now it’s “My Breath.” It’s not a person at all—it’s God’s breath.
The Greek equivalent of ruwach is pneuma. It’s where our English “pneumonia,” “pneumology,” and “pneumatics” are derived—all involving air or breath. Also, its verb form pneo means “to blow” as Jesus Himself used it, “The wind [pneuma 4151] bloweth [pneo 4154]” (Jhn 3:8). Finally, Jesus even illustrated that it is breath by literally breathing on His disciples, “he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost [pneuma 4151]” (Jhn 20:22).
On the Day of Pentecost, Peter quoted from Joel concerning the event that was being witnessed, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out [ekcheo 1632] of my Spirit [breath] upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out [ekcheo 1632] in those days of my Spirit [breath]; and they shall prophesy” (Act 2:17-18). He concluded, “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth [ekcheo 1632] this, which ye now see and hear” (Act 2:33). The Greek ekcheo means “to pour out” or “shed forth.” Other versions have it more correctly here as “poured out” (DBY, NET, NIV, NKJV). Joel’s prophecy wasn’t that God would “pour out” His breath but “pour out of” His breath. God was calling His Son seated at His right hand, “My breath.” To “pour out of my breath” is to “pour out of” His Son. His Son as “My breath,” of course, is only figurative.
Paul also wrote that it was God that did the pouring out through Jesus Christ, “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost [breath]; Which he shed [ekcheo 1632] on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour” (Tit 3:4-6), “he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior” (NIV). That God “poured out … through Jesus Christ” indicates that Jesus Christ is the breath figuratively.
After having been seated at the Father’s right hand, the Son called Himself “the Breath” seven times, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit [breath] saith unto the churches” (Rev 2:7,11,17,29, 3:6,13,22). He spoke this concluding statement for each message to the seven churches from His position of power at God’s right hand. What “the breath saith” is what the Son of God saith, “These things saith the Son of God” (Rev 2:18). It’s because the Father gave His Son the seat of highest authority over all creation that what the Son of God says is what God Himself says. God accepts whatever His Son decides about every created being.
The Son of God at His Father’s right hand
Many times Jesus called Himself “the son of man [anthropos 444],” (Mat 8:20, 9:6, 11:19, 12:8,32,40, 13:37,41, 16:13, 17:9,12,22, 18:11, 20:18,28, 26:2,24,45; Mar 2:10,28, 8:31,38, 9:12,31, 10:33,45, 14:21,41; Luk 5:24, 6:5,22, 7:34, 9:22,26,44,56,58, 11:30, 12:8,10,40, 18:31, 19:10, 22:22,48, 24:7; Jhn 1:51, 3:14, 5:27, 6:27,53,62, 8:28, 12:23,34, 13:31). The Greek anthropos is “a human being,” either a male or female human depending on its intended usage. That Jesus is “the son of man [anthropos 444],” is that He is the Son of the human being Mary. But not only was Jesus Christ “the son of man” while on earth before His death, but He is still “the son of man” in heaven right now and will return as “the son of man” (Mat 16:27,28, 19:28, 24:27,30,37,39,44,25:13,31,26:64; Mar 8:38,13:26,14:62; Luk 9:26,17:30,18:8,21:27,22:69; Jhn 3:13; Act 7:56; Rev 1:13,14:14).
Trinitarians call Christ the God-Man, but this isn’t what Paul called Him, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man [anthropos 444] Christ Jesus” (1Ti 2:5). There is no God-Man mediating at God’s right hand but a human being, “the man Christ Jesus.” Many years after His resurrection and seating at God’s right hand, John saw the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of man, “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man [anthropos 444], clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle” (Rev 1:13).
The Son of God relinquished His divinity and all power He once had, but the Father gave Him all authority over heaven and earth: “All things are delivered unto me of my Father” (Mat 11:27); “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Mat 28:18); “All things are delivered to me of my Father” (Luk 10:22); “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand” (Jhn 3:35); “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands” (Jhn 13:3); “As thou hast given him power over all flesh” (Jhn 17:2); “For he hath put all things under his feet” (1Co 15:27); “And hath put all things under his feet” (Eph 1:22); “Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet” (Heb 2:8); “angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him” (1Pe 3:22).
Because all things were given to the Son, full agency and proxy over God’s breath was given to Him. Therefore, it’s the Son’s prerogative for God’s breath to dwell in our hearts. This is the reason the presence of God’s breath in our hearts is equated with Jesus Christ Himself: “Now if any man have not the Spirit [breath] of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you” (Rom 8:9-10); “the Spirit [breath] itself maketh intercession for us … It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom 8:26, 34); “Now the Lord is that Spirit [breath]: and where the Spirit [breath] of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2Co 3:17); “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal 2:20); “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit [breath] of his Son into your hearts” (Gal 4:6); “to be strengthened with might by his Spirit [breath] in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith” (Eph 3:17); “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27).
An advocate intercedes and pleads on behalf of another. Jesus Christ is our Advocate, Interceder, or Mediator at the right hand of the Father: “Sit thou at my right hand” (Psa 110:1); “Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God” (Luk 22:69); “being by the right hand of God exalted” (Act 2:33); “the Spirit [breath] itself maketh intercession for us … who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Rom 8:26, 34); “set him at his own right hand” (Eph 1:20); “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1Ti 2:5); “Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Col 3:1); “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3); “he ever liveth to make intercession for them” (Heb 7:25); “who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Heb 8:1); “he is the mediator of a better covenant” (Heb 8:6); “he is the mediator of the new testament” (Heb 9:15); “sat down on the right hand of God” (Heb 10:12); “is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2); “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant” (Heb 12:24); “is on the right hand of God” (1Pe 3:22); “am set down with my Father in his throne” (Rev 3:21); “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev 22:3).
The Son was given full agency and proxy over the breath of the Father so that the Father will breathe life into whoever the Son confesses before Him: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven” (Mat 10:32); “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jhn 14:6); “I will confess his name before my Father” (Rev 3:5). He makes the final judgment about who will be raised to eternal life and who will be condemned. His agency over the Father’s breath is likened to Him having “the keys of hell [the grave] and of death” (Rev 1:18). Therefore, His salutation at the end of the messages to the seven churches, “hear what the Spirit [breath] saith unto the churches,” was as if to say, “Hear what I’m saying because I’m the one that makes the final decision whether or not the Father will raise you to eternal life by His breath!”
We must have the right view of God and the Son of God to have eternal life, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (Jhn 17:3). And these are the words of the Son of God Himself! We can’t worship a false god and still be saved. The apostle John was referring to these very words from Christ, “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” (1Jo 5:20). John was reiterating Christ’s words, that the true God revealed by Him is eternal life.
Trinitarianism denies that the Father is the God of our Lord Jesus Christ because it alleges co-equality. Denying that the Father is the God of the Son, however, is denying the one true God and forfeiting eternal life. But once we’ve come to the true view of God and His Son Jesus Christ, we can’t affirm those with aberrant views of God as saved. To blur the lines of distinction between God’s people and any others is to abdicate ourselves from belonging among God’s people. It’s like someone claiming that Jesus is their Savior while affirming there are other ways to be saved besides Jesus. Affirming others is denying oneself.
Trinitarians have a false view of God and His Son Jesus Christ right along with Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Oneness, and Unitarians. How is Trinitarianism any better than the others? Why would they be saved with false views while the others are not? Would someone claim that Trinitarianism isn’t quite as false as the others?
Jesus said, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (Jhn 4:23-24). The Father seeks those who will worship Him in truth, and sent His Son to teach us the truth about Him. Therefore, if we’re not worshipping Him in truth, either His Son failed or we’ve failed. Do we suppose God will accept what’s close enough as good enough? Why subject His Son to needless suffering anyway? In other words, why send His Son to suffer for the truth He taught only to later accept less than the truth His Son taught? If Trinitarianism saves, then did Jesus even need to declare God to us?