The following articles are based on the biblical text as it reads in the vast majority of translations of every language, including the Greek and Hebrew versions. These Greek and Hebrew translations are also accepted by the vast majority of Christian denominations. There are Jewish, Secular and Christian historians who agree that the early Christians believed in one God and that Jesus was their God come in the flesh.
1. Is Jesus just some human tissue that housed the God of the universe?
This is what Pro-abortionists say about a fetus. It is just tissue.
2. Can we say that Jesus was simply a tabernacle, a veil of flesh, and not an individual with a mind of His own?
3. Is God all powerful and yet unable to delegate His authority?
4. Is God referred to as being Christ's Father?
5. Was Christ given a Name that is above all names?
6. What all was Christ given by His Father? (Underline the word "given.)
There are strong implications in these questions, and Muslims and Jews know this.
Christianity is under attack, first by our own ignorance, and secondly by those who take note of the confusion that abounds in our Godhead doctrines and in our approach to our God. W. V. M.
UNITY OF GOD
By Charles Finney Lecture 16
First. What is intended by the term unity, as applied to God.
Second. Some remarks in respect to the manner in which this subject has been treated in different ages and nations.
Third. Prove the Unity of God.
First What is intended by the Unity of God.
1. It is not intended that he is one in the sense of Unitarians, who deny the proper divinity of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
2. Nor that he is one in the sense of the Swed- enboergens, who hold the Son to be only the human nature of the Father, and the Holy Spirit to be only the divine power, influence, or operation; but,
3. By the unity of God is intended that he is one in opposition to Polytheism, or the doctrine of the existence of many gods.
4. That he is one in opposition to the doctrine of Dualism, or the sentiment that there is two gods, the one the good, the other evil.
5. That he is one in opposition to Tritheism, or the doctrine that there are three distinct, separate and independent beings in the God-head, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and that their unity is only a moral one.
6. By the unity of God it is intended that God is one in essence or substance, one substratum of being, yet subsisting in three persons.
Second. Some remarks upon the manner in
which this subject has been treated.
1. It has been supposed by many that the doctrine of the divine unity is exceedingly plain and manifest, and among the most easily discerned truths of natural religion. To this it may and should be answered: -
(1.) That if this were true, the fact cannot be accounted for that the most enlightened nations, that have not enjoyed the light of revelation, have believed in the existence of many gods.
They have felt the force of the evidence every where abounding in favor of the existence of a God or Gods, but have, almost without exception, settled down to this conclusion, either of Dualism or Polythiesm.
(2.) The wisest philosophers of the most enlightened nations have not, except in a very few instances, arrived even at the conception of the idea of the unity of God, and have felt such great difficulties in the way of demonstrating it, without the aid of revelation, as to leave them, after all, in much doubt.
(3.) The mass of the Jews themselves, previous to the Babylonish captivity, believed in the existence of many gods, and only supposed Jehovah, or their God, to be superior to all other gods. They only claimed the supremacy of their God, at the same time admitting the real existence, and agency, and providence of the gods of other nations. This accounts for their repeated relapses into Poltheism.
Their inspired men held more worthy notions in respect to the unity of God But the great mass of the nation appear to have been in great ignorance upon this subject until after the Babylonish captivity. Jacob in his early life appears to have admitted the existence of more gods than one, and suffered the existence of idolatry in his family, as appears from the fact that Rachel, his favorite wife, stole her father's gods. Solomon either admitted the existence of more gods than one, or was guilty of the most criminal neglect in suffering his wives to practice idolatry even in the holy land.
2. Since revelation has poured its clear light upon the subject of the unity of God, it is easy for us to see the consistency of this truth with natural reason. But it is a remarkable fact that no nation that has once lost the true idea of the unity of God, has ever again arrived at the truth upon this subject without divine revelation.
It is often easy when a truth has been suggested, to demonstrate it by the light of nature, but it is a very different thing, as all experience shows, to discover truth before it has been suggested by revelation.
Third. Prove the unity of God.
1. There is positive proof of the existence of a first cause at the head of a series of events.
(as a row of dominos is toppled by some force triggering the event, so we know there is always a cause to an effect, a beginning.)
2. It is impossible that there should be more than one first cause of the same series.
3. There is no necessity of supposing the exist- ence of more than one first cause of all events.
4. The supposition of more than one is un- philosophical.
5. The human mind evidently feels a difficulty in admitting the existence of more than one infinite being. All Polytheistical nations have conceived of their gods being finite, not infinite.
And whenever the idea of the existence of one infinite God has been entertained, he has been regarded as the supreme God, and no nation has admitted the idea of more than one infinite God.
6. There is not a particle of proof that more than one infinite God exists.
One of the principal reasons for supposing the existence of many gods, by the heathen nations, was the fact that the creation of the universe was regarded as too great a work to have been performed by one being. This conclusion was just in them, as they regarded their gods as finite, and not infinite. But when the infinity of God is understood, there is no longer any reason for supposing the existence of more gods than one.
The doctrine of Dualism, or that two Gods exist, one the author of good, the other the author of evil, was founded in the fact of the existence of both good and evil in the universe. That a good God could not be the author of evil, they justly inferred. And taking it for granted that evil must have some other author than its perpetrator, they ascribed it to the existence and agency of a wicked god. But the existence of good and evil affords no evidence, when rightly understood, of the existence of more than one God.
It is true that the evil cannot be attributed to a good God as its author; but it is also true that a good God might create moral agents, and place them under moral government, and for wise reasons decline absolutely preventing there falling into sin.
(God, has, for good reason, allowed free moral agents to have the means to do wrong. They can create sin, by choice. If he did not allow them this freedom they would, in essence, be robots, or slaves to his laws. Their being slaves or forced to do his bidding would be less praise worthy. Free moral agents give God more glory when they choose to love and serve him, than can be produced by their slavery. Temptation and hardship can also be used to build character. .
Charles Finney did his part to awaken this country to the evils of slavery. He was a converted lawyer and his revivals seem legendary. These lectures are classics in Christian history and are thorough and still pertinent for us today. They can despel much superstition and error if we will let them. Charles Finney did his part to awaken this country to the evils of slavery. He was a converted lawyer and his revivals seem legendary. These lectures are classics in Christian history and are thorough and still pertinent for us today. They can despel much superstition and error if we will let them. V. M.)
This suggestion sufficiently accounts for the existence of sin in the universe, which leaves Polytheism and Dualism destitute of a vestige of proof. Therefore: -
7. The belief in more than one God is utterly unreasonable, as it is the belief of that of which there is no evidence.
8. If there is more, it is of the highest importance that we should be acquainted with the fact, and be able to pay that homage to each which we must owe to God.
9. If there is more then one God, the total absence of all evidence of this truth seems incredible.
10. The universe as a whole is a unit.
(1.) This is indicated by its name.
(2.) One set of natural laws everywhere prevail.
(3.) This is also evident from the mutual dependence of all its parts.
11. There is a manifest unity of design running through all the universe, which affords the strongest presumptive proof of the unity of God.
12. In view of all these considerations, if the doctrine of more than one God is asserted, the onus probandi (the proof of it), lies on him who asserts it.
13. Tritheists do not pretend to find in the light of nature the proof of the existence of three distinct and infinite beings, united in the office, and called by the official name of God. But base their theory upon the scripture testimony, affirming that the Bible teaches that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are distinct, separate and infinite beings; and that the unity of God, so largely insisted on in the Bible is only a moral unity.
14. If the Bible does not teach the absolute unity of existence or being in the God-head, it seems impossible that any language should teach this doctrine.
(1.) It is affirmed that God is one.
Deut. 6:4. "Hear O Israel The Lord our God is one God."
First Cor. 8:4,6: "There is none other God but one." "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.
Mark 12:29: "The first of all the commandments is, Hear O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord."
Gal. 3:20 " Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, But God is one." Eph. 4:6: "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and in you all."
Matt. 23:9: "Call no man your father upon earth: for one is your father, which is in heaven."
John 8:41: "We have one Father, even God."
First Tim. 2:5: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
James 2:19:"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils believe and tremble."
(2.) He is God alone.
Second Kings 19:15: "And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubim, thou are the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth."
Ps. 86:10: "For thou art great and doest wounderous things, thou art God alone.
Isa. 27:16,20: "O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubim, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth." "Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord, even thou only."
Neh. 9:6: "Thou, even thou art Lord alone."
(3.) There is none else.
Deut. 4:39: "Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else."
Isa. 44:8: "Is there a God beside me? yea, There is no God; I know not any."
Deut. 4:35: The Lord he is God, there is none else besides
Isa. 45:5,6,14,22: "I am the Lord, and there is none else." "That they may know from the rising of the son, and from the west, that there is none beside me: I am the Lord and there is none else." "Surely God is in thee, and there is none else; there is no God," "I am the Lord, and there is none else." "Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else."
Isa. 46:9: "Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none else."'
(4.) There is none beside Him.
Second Sam.7:22: "Wherefore thou art great O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God besides thee."
Second Sam. 22:32: "For who is God save the Lord? and who is a rock, save our God?
Second Kings 5:15: "Behold now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel."
Hosea 13:4: "Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no God but me: for there is no savior besides me."
(5.) None with Him.
(6.) None before Him.
(7.) None like him.
30. These things cannot possibly be true if there is more than one separate, independent existence, possessing the attribute of God.
31. Natural and revealed theology agree in revealing but one God.
32. They agree in rejecting the idea of more than one.
33. Natural religion reveals this with the highest evidence that the nature of the case admits.
34. The Bible reveals it in the most full and unqualified manner conceivable.
(Notes - Charles G. Finney, by using history, the Bible, nature and logic as a basis, has effectively argued the case for there being only one singular God. He said there can only be one separate, independent existence, possessing the attribute of God. Finney, in another lecture, also faced the logic and history of the Trinity head on. He believed that the plurality of God was in no way a contradiction of His one-ness or unity.
We would do well to study what he has said on this subject. (You may soon want to throw this article down in disgust. It was hard for me to handle.
I had to repent of my ignorance. But, before you do throw it down, consider the following. You would have to do a lot of searching to find a more complete study on these subjects. So, if you do set about to just study so as to reason against these lectures you will still come away far better prepared to defend your position. V. M.)
Some of the additional notes and editing are by Vern Manson. 3-8-90 ? / 5-8-94 / 6-9-01