The True Oneness of God

"And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one , even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one;" (Jn. 17:22,23).

The understanding of the mystery of how Jesus and His Father are one is probably the greatest and most important revelation in the entire Bible, and this tract is intended to show why this is the case. Indeed if God's people are to go forth in this end time and truly do the works of Christ, it will only do so in unity; that being the afore mentioned unity or oneness that Jesus so earnestly prayed for that we might have. The thing that we want to understand is by what means it is that they are one. Because by whatever means the Father and the Son are one, it is by these same means that the body of Christ also is supposed to be one, according to the mouth of Jesus as quoted in our text.

The key to unlocking this mystery of divine oneness is in first realizing that the holy Ghost is the key to this oneness. And in order for us to see this we must look closely at how the scriptures define the Spirit of God, and what the Spirit really is. I would also like to say at this point that I am aware of the passages of scripture where the holy Ghost is referred to as "He," in the third person pronoun, and I will come back to this point and deal with it before the writing is concluded.

Eternal (or Divine) Life

In Romans 8:2,10 we see the Spirit of God referred to as "the Spirit of life." Now we know that there is only one Spirit which is of God (Eph. 4:4) , so it is evident that the holy Ghost is in fact the LIFE of God. We could let this point rest here, but seeing that itís really the key to understanding this glorious mystery, letís look at further confirmation of the Scriptures. In Acts 2:38,39 the Apostle Peter refers to Godís Spirit as both "the gift" and "the promise." In Gal. 3:14 we see that the promise is the Spirit of God, or the holy Ghost if you like. And again in I Jn. 2:25 the promise is said by John to be eternal life. Finally we are told by the Apostle Paul in Rom. 6:23 that "the gift of God is eternal life." So then it is irrefutably and consistently set forth by the Scriptures that the holy Ghost is truly THE LIFE OF GOD, the very eternal substance that is the essence of His being. And we should note at this point the following words of Jesus: "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;" (Jn. 5:26).

Now in seeing these things it becomes evident that Godís Spirit is what makes Him Who and what He is. The holy Ghost is in fact the very divine nature of God. That is why the Bible refers to the Spirit of God as the "the Spirit of truth" (Jn. 14:17), "the Spirit of grace" (Heb.10: 29), " the Spirit of holiness" (Rom. 1:4) etc. ; because these are the kind of things that the nature of God consists of. Truth, grace and holiness; as well as wisdom, love, power, and all of the other divine attributes of God are the things by which He is known, and His Spirit encompasses all of His attributes; indeed the Spirit IS all of these things.

The Divine Persons

Now having covered the holy Ghost letís move on to the Father and the Son. We know that Jesus is a divine Person. We know that He has a body, and having been seen by the beloved Apostle John on the isle of Patmos, we are given an explicit description of His physical appearance in Rev. chapter 1. And according to Jesus, the Father has His own body also (Jn. 5:37). God Himself also informed Moses that He has a body, as well as a face, at which time He allowed Moses to actually see His back parts (Exd. 33:19-24). So we see by the scriptures that the Father is also a divine Person, having a separate body from the Son.

There are many who deny that the Father has His own body, using Jn. 4:24 as confirmation, where Jesus said that "God is a Spirit." But the scriptures also state that angels are spirits (Heb. 1:7), and we know that they have bodies. "God is a Spirit" means that God is a spiritual being even as angels are spiritual beings; and it is certain that both God and the angels have spiritual bodies, even as Jesus is a spiritual being having a spiritual body. While it is true that no man has ever seen God (Jn. 1:18; I Jn.4:12), and that He is invisible to men , Jesus informed us that both He and the angels HAVE seen Him, and that He is indeed visible to them (Jn. 6:46; Mat. 18:10).

To be certain that the Father and the Son are indeed two separate Persons, we need look no further than the words of Jesus, Who told us that His Father is greater than Him (Jn. 14:28), and that His Father knows more than He does (Mk. 13:32). And in addition to this the Apostle Paul tells us that the Fatherís authority is above Jesus (I Cor. 15:24-28). Let that suffice us for the point, though the scriptures are replete with further evidences of the same.

The True Oneness

Now letís take a closer look at our text scripture: "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, EVEN AS WE ARE ONE: I in them , thou in me , that they may be made perfect in one..." ; (Jn. 17:22,23). The glory that Jesus speaks of here is actually the Spirit of God. To confirm this truth we can look at Rom. 6:4 where we are told that "Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, ...;"  and to I Pet. 3:18 which states that Jesus was "put to death in the flesh, but quickened (made alive) by the Spirit." Thus we can see that it is the holy Ghost that Jesus referred to as "the glory," and that it is also the holy Ghost that He was going to give to His followers so that they (and we) could be one, even as He and the Father are one.

And to quote again a very integral scripture, Jesus said, "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; ..."(Jn. 5:26). This statement, along with the truths that we have already established from the scriptures, shows us clearly that the Father and the Son are not only two separate Persons, but also that the holy Ghost is not a third Person; but rather it is the divine life and nature which indwells both the Father and the Son. And we are certainly familiar with these words: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (Jn. 10:10). Jesus was speaking of that divine, eternal life substance which is shared by He and the Father; saying that His purpose for coming was to make a way for mankind to have this life also.

We should note that in Jn. 17:22 where Jesus requested of the Father that He would make believers one in the same way that He and the Father are one, He made no mention of the holy Ghost. He also addressed the same issue in Jn. 10:30, saying that "I and my Father are one," again making no mention of the Spirit. But in both cases He went on to say that the Father is in Him, and that He is in the Father. It is clear that the Father and the Son are in one another BY MEANS OF them sharing the same life and nature. When the Father gave the Son life (as we have seen previously stated by Jesus) He gave Him HIS (the Fatherís) life, thereby also giving Him HIS nature. This means that they think alike, they feel the same way about things, they are of one purpose and intent, etc. Their minds and hearts are not divided about anything. There is no controversy between them at all. This, dear friend IS the oneness of God! Praise God!!

What This Truth Means To The Body of Christ

Oh blessed be the name of Jesus! I hope you realize what we have seen established to us by the Scriptures here my friend. The relationship enjoyed by the Father and the Son is exactly what we as believers have been ordained and commanded by God to have, both with He and the Son; as well as with one another. That oneness is for us to be of one mind, one heart, and one soul, through the holy Ghost; with the Father, the Son and each other. Amen and amen! This is the only way that you and I could ever be one with one another in the same way that the Father and the Son are one with one another, as Jesus so earnestly prayed that we would be. This also is the only way that any of us could be in the Father and the Son, and the Father and the Son in us. This is what Jesus was praying for when He desired the Father the following: "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me" (Jn. 17:21).

By this understanding we can see how Jesus could say to His followers, "he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; ... "(Jn. 14:9). He also at which time went on to explain that He was in the Father and that the Father was in Him (Jn. 14:11). Jesus was and is everything that the Father is, in regard to nature, understanding, purpose and intent, etc.; because it is the Fatherís life and nature which is in Him. This is also the same understanding prompting the words of Heb. 1:3 where it says that Jesus is "the express image of his (the Fatherís) person, ...;" as well as Rev. 3:14, where Jesus stated, "These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God."

The Apostle Paul, in I Cor. 1:10 instructed believers in Christ to "speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment (understanding)." This obviously is the oneness that Jesus prayed that the Father would impart unto us by means of us being in Him and Him being in us, as He stated in Jn. 17:22,23. So the evident all important question now is how do we get into Christ? According to Rom. 6:3, Gal. 3:27, and I Cor. 12:13, it is baptism, and baptism alone that puts anyone into Christ. And I Cor. 12:13 specifies which baptism it is that puts us into Christ, saying "BY ONE SPIRIT ARE WE ALL BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY..."(the body of Christ, which is to say into Christ). This of course is referring to the baptism of the holy Ghost, as it states, which was first received by approximately one hundred and twenty followers of Jesus on the day of Pentecost. This is the same Spirit baptism which was and is accompanied by the inseparable sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance (Acts 2:4; Acts 10:46; Acts 19:6; Isa. 28:11,12; Mat. 11:28; Acts 3:19).

The baptism of the Spirit of God is the only way for anyone to become one with the Father and the Son, and with believers, because it is the experience that we must have in order for the divine life of both the Father and the Son to dwell in us. This is how we are in the Father and in the Son, and how the Father and the Son are in us. II Cor. 3:17 states that "the Lord is that Spirit," and so when the Spirit comes into us we are joined to both the Father and the Son because they also are in one another by this means (having the same Spirit). If after being baptized by the Spirit, we continue to be led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14), and taught by the Spirit (Jn. 14:26), we will develop the mind of the Spirit (Rom. 8:27), or the mind of Christ (I Cor. 2:16). Thus we will be "joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment," as the apostle instructed; because we will be thinking like God thinks, feeling how God feels, speaking what God is speaking, etc. And as I stated previously, there are no divisions, controversies, contentions, etc., between the Father and the Son; and neither should there be any between us, or at least none that we cannot or will not resolve through the truth, if we possess the mind of Christ as required by God. And again the scriptures say the same: "That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 15:6). This oneness is what the early believers had, as the scriptures also bear witness to: "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul." (Acts 4:32).

To nail this down tight concerning the Spirit baptism being our access into the oneness of God, letís take a closer look at Gal. 3:27,28: "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, ... for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." So in other words if we are truly in Christ it is because we have received that life substance which is in Him and of Him. And by receiving His divine life and nature we literally put on Christ. And as many as follow after that life and nature will be in one mind with the Father and the Son, and as a result, with one another. And Iím certain that by this time, all who are of an honest heart and seeking the truth will acknowledge that this can happen only as a result of the Spiritual baptism, and not by water baptism; or for that matter, any other means.

"Trinity" And "Jesus Only" Both In Error

Jesus said that when the holy Ghost would be sent back to His followers it would be sent in His name (Jn. 14:26), meaning that the Spirit would come in the stead of Jesus; even as He said that He Himself had come in His Fatherís name (Jn. 5:43), meaning in His Fatherís stead. So even though the Spirit is not a Person on itís own, it certainly can be and has been (by Jesus and others) referred to as "He," because the holy Ghost represents the Person of Jesus in this world, as well as the Person of the Father for that matter. To confirm this let us hear again the wordís of Jesus: "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. ... At that day you will know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you" (Jn. 14:18,20). He was speaking here about sending His followers the holy Ghost after He went away, as is affirmed in the two scriptures preceding these (Jn. 14:16,17). And also in the same chapter Jesus said "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love Him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (Jn. 14:23). In actuality neither the Father or the Son would be coming in Person at the time referred to here by Jesus, but rather the Spirit; because in all of these things He was referring to the holy Ghost coming to His followers on the day of Pentecost and afterward. And the holy Ghost being the representation of either or both Persons, could be referred to as Jesus or as both He and the Father, as was the case in these words of Jesus. In the same sermon He referred to the Spirit as "He," and then "I," and finally as "We." So it is clear that the holy Ghost is not a third person, but rather the life substance of both divine Persons.

So then, what we have seen concluded to us by the Scriptures is that there are two Persons - the Father and the Son, both having their own separate bodies; and that the holy Ghost is the divine nature and life which indwells these two divine Persons, which also joins them together in one mind and one accord. There are not three Persons, neither is there only one Person manifested three different ways. Both of these erroneous schools of thought serve only to confuse God's people, and deprive the body of Christ of precious understanding which is able to go a long way toward bringing us together in God's love and peace.

I hope that this glorious truth finds its way to the bottom of your heart and turns out to be as much of a blessing to you as it has been to those who have already embraced it. If you would like to read more about the powerful reality of the relationship between the Father and the Son, and what it means to us as believers in Christ; see our companion tract to this one, called "In The Beginning." We hope to hear from you, and establish true fellowship with you in the Lord. Feel free to send any important prayer requests that you may have, and we will honor them with prayer and faith toward God. May the true and living God always be a blessing to you and yours. Amen.

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, ..."
(I Cor.12:13)

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