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Why God Is One

The oneness of God forms the cornerstone of Biblical theology. A simple study of the number one provides intriguing insight into the oneness view. It is right to examine this since God Himself puts such emphasis on being "one Lord." Look at the following ten characteristics of the number one.

Indivisibility . God is One. The number one is a whole number. If it is divided by any number other than one, the quotient either results in a fraction or a number greater than one. In a triune Godhead, each person must either be one-third of God or the Godhead must be more than one. God is not just one in unity or agreement, but one in number. (Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:32)

Essentiality . God exists as One. The whole number one has integrity and uniformity throughout. It is not a composite of several elements. Neither does God possess an essential threeness. Man may admire the beauty and symmetry of the triangle and try to ascribe its form to God, but the essence of God is one, not three. At Bethlehem , God manifested himself in flesh to save man, but the deity in Jesus Christ was essentially Jehovah God. (I Tim. 2:5)

Cardinality . God is the Primary One. One is the primary number. It represents the cardinal status of the subject. As Creator, Sustainer and Life-Giver, God occupies the place of foremost importance in the material or abstract universe. He possesses a sovereign, monarchial status because he is the cardinal one. (Isa. 37:16)

Ordinality . God is the First One. The number one always comes first because it is the beginning of ordinal numbers. God is not progressively, partially or interchangeably ordinal. He is first, now and always. God is first of all so-called deities, and because he fulfills every conceivable definition of God, he leaves nothing so that another deity could exist anyway. (Isa 41:4; Rev. 1:11)

Specificity . God is The One. The number one focuses on a single subject. It imposes limits of definition to remove all rivalry, duplicity or ambiguity. God is the specific focus of all glory, honor, power, worship, praise and adoration. All power emerges from him and all glory converges upon him. Any view of the Godhead that confuses or lacks specificity violates the character of the number one. (Isa. 42.8)

Exclusivity . God is the Only One. By definition, the number one disallows all pretenders or competitors. God divides absolutely nothing of His Godhead with another. While He is not isolated or lonely, God does exist in solitude and aloneness. He shares no set nor subset of divinity with angel, man, beast or contrived deity. (Col. 1:9-10; I Tim. 6:15)

Supremacy . God is the Highest One. The number one represents the best, finest and highest in the realm of possibilities. Those who compete in any given field want to be called number one because it makes them the best in the world. Every attribute, taken to its superlative state, characterizes God. He exemplifies every virtue, wears every honor, boasts every feat and deserves every expression of worship. (Psa. 145:3)

Identicalness . God is the Unequalled One. The number one is equal only to itself. Any other number that corresponds to all its attributes cannot actually be another, but the same number! Therefore, no other so-called god, nor other supposed person of God need exist because it would only be a redundancy of God himself. (Isa. 40:25; 46:5)

Originality . God is the One Source. In its purest sense, one may be considered self-initiating and self-perpetuating, having no precedent. Without a creator, God exists unbirthed and uncaused. God, as the One God, originates everything else. He is the source of all that exists, the fountainhead of all knowledge and the First Cause of all effects. He owes no fealty, serves no obeisance, borrows from no other power, nor acts in behalf of another. (Gen. 1:1; Col. 1:16-17)

Eternality . God is always One. In the abstract, the number one always exists as one, impervious to time or subject. God exists as One, transcendent over time and oblivious to circumstance. There has never been a time when God needed to be more than one. (I Tim 6:16; Rev. 1:17)

Any theology of threeness assumes the inadequacy of one. It denies a measure of deity to one or two supposed persons of the Godhead in order to necessitate the existence of three. But a triumvirate of inadequate persons represents a flawed Godhead. God is indivisibly, essentially, cardinally, ordinally, specifically, exclusively, supremely, identically, originally and eternally One! It is this truth that makes the oneness view of God of primary importance.

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Reader Comments (4)

If God is one then who was Jesus praying to in the garden? Just a question do you have an answer and another ? Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit who comes from the Father are you saying that Jesus and Holy Spirit are not God and one more? in the beginning God said let US make man in Our image? Who do you say He was speaking to? We are one identy with a Spirit Soul and a Body God is ONE however He is a triune God : God the Father God the Son and God the Holy in the world can any one deny this truth? Hello?

November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda

To Brenda: Your inclusion of the word "hello" is an expression of disrespect. It says, "You're a little dense,aren't you?" Well, I might be, but I hope not. I will answer your questions with a couple of excerpts from Dr. David Bernard's book on "The Oneness of God"

The Prayers of Christ

Do the prayers of Christ a distinction of
persons between Jesus and the Father? No. On the
contrary, His praying indicates a distinction between
the Son of God and God. Jesus prayed in His humanity,
not in His deity. If the prayers of Jesus demonstrate
that the divine nature of Jesus is different than
the Father, then Jesus is inferior to the Father in deity.
In other words, if Jesus prayed as God then His position
in the Godhead would be somehow inferior to
the other “persons.” This one example effectively destroys
the concept of a trinity of co-equal persons.
How can God pray and still be God? By definition,
God in His omnipotence has no need to pray,
and in His oneness has no other to whom He can
pray. If the prayers of Jesus prove there are two persons
in the Godhead, then one of those persons is
subordinate to the other and therefore not fully or
truly God.
What, then, is the explanation of the prayers of
Christ? It can only be that the human nature of Jesus
prayed to the eternal Spirit of God. The divine nature
did not need help; only the human nature did. As
Jesus said at the Garden of Gethsemane, “The spirit
indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew
26:41). Hebrews 5:7 makes it clear that Jesus needed
to pray only during “the days of his flesh.” During
the prayer at Gethsemane, the human will submitted
itself to the divine will. Through prayer His human
nature learned to submit and be obedient to the Spirit
of God (Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 5:7-8). This was not
a struggle between two divine wills, but a struggle
between the human and divine wills in Jesus. As a
man Jesus submitted Himself to and received strength
from the Spirit of God.
Some may object to this explanation, contending
that it means Jesus prayed to Himself. However, we
must realize that, unlike any other human being, Jesus
had two perfect and complete natures—humanity and
divinity. What would be absurd or impossible for an
ordinary man is not so strange with Jesus. We do not
say Jesus prayed to Himself, for that incorrectly implies
Jesus had only one nature like ordinary men. Rather,
we say the human nature of Jesus prayed to the divine
Spirit of Jesus that dwelt in the man.
The choice is simple. Either Jesus as God prayed
to the Father or Jesus as man prayed to the Father.
If the former were true, then we have a form of subordinationism
or Arianism in which one person in the
Godhead is inferior to, not co-equal with, another person
in the Godhead. This contradicts the biblical concept
of one God, the full deity of Jesus, and the
omnipotence of God. If the second alternative is correct,
and we believe that it is, then no distinction of
persons in the Godhead exists. The only distinction is
between humanity and divinity, not between God and God.

Excerpt from "The Oneness of God" by David K. Bernard

November 24, 2010 | Registered CommenterJ. Mark Jordan

Genesis 1:26
“And God said, Let us make man in
our image.”
Why does this verse use a plural pronoun for
God? Before we answer this, let us note that the Bible
uses singular pronouns to refer to God hundreds of
times. The very next verse uses the singular to show
how God fulfilled verse 26: “So God created man in
his own image” (Genesis 1:27). Genesis 2:7 says, “And
the LORD God formed man.” We must therefore reconcile
the plural in 1:26 with the singular in 1:27 and
2:7. We must also look at God’s image creature, which
is man. Regardless of how we identify the various
components that make up a man, a man definitely has
one personality and will. He is one person in every
way. This indicates that the Creator in whose image
man was made is also one being with one personality
and will.
Any interpretation of Genesis 1:26 that permits
the existence of more than one person of God runs
into severe difficulties. Isaiah 44:24 says the LORD created
the heavens alone and created the earth by Himself.
There was only one Creator according to Malachi 2:10.
Furthermore, if the plural in Genesis 1:26 refers to
the Son of God, how do we reconcile this with the
scriptural record that the Son was not born until at
least four thousand years later in Bethlehem? The Son
was made of a woman (Galatians 4:4); if the Son was
present in the beginning who was His mother? If the
Son be a spirit being, who was His spirit mother?
Since Genesis 1:26 cannot mean two or more persons
in the Godhead, what does it mean? The Jews
have traditionally interpreted it to mean that God talked
to the angels at creation.2 This does not imply that
the angels actually took part in creation but that God
informed them of His plans and solicited their comments
out of courtesy and respect. On at least one
other occasion God talked to the angels and requested
their opinions in formulating His plans (I Kings 22:19-
22). We do know that the angels were present at the
creation (Job 38:4-7).
Other commentators have suggested that Genesis
1:26 simply describes God as He counseled with His
own will. Ephesians 1:11 supports this view, saying
that God works all things “after the counsel of his
own will.” By analogy, this is similar to a man saying
“Let’s see” (let us see) even when he is planning by
Others explain this passage as a majestic or literary
plural. That is, in formal speaking and writing
the speaker or writer often refers to himself in
the plural, especially if the speaker is of royalty.
Biblical examples of the majestic plural can be cited
to illustrate this practice. For example, Daniel told
King Nebuchadnezzar, “We will tell the interpretation
thereof before the king,” even though Daniel
alone proceeded to give the interpretation to the
king (Daniel 2:36). King Artaxerxes alternately referred
to himself in the singular and the plural in his correspondence.
Once, he wrote, “The letter which ye sent
unto us hath been plainly read before me” (Ezra 4:18).
In a letter to Ezra, Artaxerxes called himself “I” in
one place (Ezra 7:13) but “we” in another place (7:24).
The use of the plural in Genesis 1:26 also may
be similar to the plural Elohim in denoting the greatness
and majesty of God or the multiple attributes of
God. In other words, the plural pronoun simply agrees
with and substitutes for the plural noun Elohim.
Still another explanation is that this passage describes
God’s foreknowledge of the future arrival of the Son,
much like prophetic passages in the Psalms. We must
realize that God does not live in time. His plans are
real to Him even though they are in the future as far
as we are concerned. He calls those things that are
not as though they are (Romans 4:17). A day is as a
thousand years to Him and a thousand years is as a
day (II Peter 3:8). His plan—the Word—existed from
the beginning in the mind of God (John 1:1). As far
as God was concerned, the Lamb was slain before the
foundation of the world (I Peter 1:19-20; Revelation
13:8). It is not surprising that God could look down
the corridors of time and address a prophetic utterance
to the Son. Romans 5:14 says that Adam was a
figure of Him who was to come, that is, Jesus Christ.
When God created Adam, He had already thought about
the Incarnation and created Adam with that plan in
Taking this idea a step further, Hebrews 1:1-2
says that God made the worlds by the Son. How
could this be, seeing that the Son did not come
into existence until a point in time much later than
creation? (Hebrews 1:5-6). (See Chapter 5.) To paraphrase
John Miller (quoted in Chapter 5), God used
the Sonship to make the world. That is, He hinged
everything on the future arrival of Christ. Though He
did not pick up the humanity until the fulness of time
was come, it was in His plan from the beginning, and
He used it and acted upon it from the start. He created
man in the image of the future Son of God, and
He created man knowing that although man would sin
the future Sonship would provide a way of salvation.
God created man in the beginning so that man
would love and worship Him (Isaiah 43:7; Revelation
4:11). However, by reason of His foreknowledge God
knew that man would fall into sin. This would defeat
God’s purpose in creating man. If this was all there
was to the future, then God would have never created
man. However, God had in His mind the plan
for the Incarnation and the plan of salvation through
the atoning death of Christ. So, even though God
knew man would sin, He also knew that through the
Son of God man could be restored and could fulfill
God’s original purpose. It is apparent, then, that when
God created man he had the future arrival of the Son
in mind. It is in this sense that God created the
worlds through the Son or by using the Son, for without
the Son, God’s whole purpose in creating man
would have failed.
In summary, Genesis 1:26 cannot mean a plurality
in the Godhead, for that would contradict the rest of
Scripture. We have offered several other harmonizing
explanations. (1) The Jews and many Christians see
this as a reference to the angels. Many other Christians
see it as (2) a description of God counseling with His
own will, (3) a majestic or literary plural, (4) a pronoun
simply agreeing with the noun Elohim, or (5) a
prophetic reference to the future manifestation of the
Son of God.

Excerpt from "The Oneness of God" by David K. Bernard

November 24, 2010 | Registered CommenterJ. Mark Jordan

Greetings Pastor Jordan. I am a one God believer who has come across a few folks I know suggesting that the name of God is Yeshua and not Jesus. My immediate reponse would be I am a Gentile and not a Jew hence I trust in the name of he who became flesh, Jesus!
However, what would be a more covincing reponse.

Your insight would be greatly appreciated

Brother Paul.

August 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpaul

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