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Series in Pentecostal Theology by David K. Bernard and Loretta A. Bernard


THE ONENESS OF GOD

By David K. Bernard, J.D.

Series in Pentecostal Theology, Volume 1


Copyright © 1983 by David K. Bernard

Printing history: 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993

Cover Design by Tim Agnew

All Scripture quotations in this book are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise indicated.

All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, stored in an electronic system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of Word Aflame Press. Brief quotations may be used in literary reviews.

[Although this copy is available on the Internet, this does not affect or reduce the copyright protection of this work. Any errors in this scanned version of this book are not the responsibility of David K. Bernard. This electronic book was enhanced to support hyperlinks for footnotes, references and more. Send comments on this online version via email to "pentecostal@compuserve.com". This book and others can be accessed through the Pentecostal Home Page at "http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/pentecostal". - Internet Editor]

Printed in the United States of America

Printed by WAP

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Bernard, David K., 1956-

The oneness of God.

(Series in Pentecostal theology v.1)

Bibliography: p.

1. God. 2. Trinity - Controversial literature 3. God - Simplicity. 4. Oneness doctrine (Pentecostalism)

I. Title. II. Series: Bernard, David K., 1956-

Series in Pentecostal theology v.1.

BT102.B39 1986 231'.044 86-19051

ISBN 0-912315-12-1


To Connie


Foreword

Understanding is aimed for in these pages. Jesus knew the common Aramaic language. Sometimes He spoke Hebrew, a language only the scholars used at that time. Jesus could converse in Greek, the tongue of the educated man. To whomever Jesus spoke, His aim was to be understood. The greatest teacher of all ages spoke in terms all could understand.

Profundity and simplicity at the same time. What a paradox! The author of this book has accomplished the seemingly impossible. He has transmitted intellectual depth while preserving simplicity. It is a theological miracle. Often the really profound is the most simple, and the simple the most truly profound. The treatment of the oneness of God in this book is designed to be simple; but the truths are profound, scholarly, priceless, and essential to the people of God and a lost world.

A book must meet at least two main criteria to be a best seller. It must be written interestingly and must fill a need. The author accomplishes both.

To know the author and his burden is to understand more of the book. I hope you can meet him and know him as I do. David Bernard is a human example of Christian principles. May these pages become a classic among us and a guide to the searching world as they discover the one, true, and living God. I now commend the author and book to you and all posterity.

T. L. Craft

Jackson, Mississippi


Table of Contents

Tables

Author's Preface

Chapter 1 - CHRISTIAN MONOTHEISM

Monotheism Defined; The Old Testament Teaches That There Is But One God; The New Testament Teaches There Is But One God; Conclusion

Chapter 2 - THE NATURE OF GOD

God Is a Spirit; God Is Invisible; God Is Omnipresent (Everywhere Present); Does God Have a Body?; God is Omniscient (All Knowing); God is Omnipotent (All Powerful); God is Eternal; God is Immutable (Unchanging); God Has Individuality, Personality, and Rationality; God's Moral Attributes; Theophanies; The Angel of the LORD; Melchizedek; The Fourth Man in the Fire; Are There New Testament Theophanies?; Conclusion

Chapter 3 - THE NAMES AND TITLES OF GOD

The Significance of a Name; Names or Titles of God In the Old Testament; Compound Names of Jehovah; The Progressive Revelation Of the Name; The Name Jesus

Chapter 4 - JESUS IS GOD

The Old Testament Testifies That Jesus Is God; The New Testament Proclaims That Jesus is God; God Was Manifest in the Flesh as Jesus; The Word; Jesus Was God From the Beginning Of His Human Life; The Mystery of Godliness; Jesus is the Father; Jesus is Jehovah; The Jews Understood That Jesus Claimed to be God; Jesus is the One on the Throne; The Revelation of Jesus Christ; Jesus Has All the Attributes and Prerogatives of God; Conclusion

Chapter 5 - THE SON OF GOD

The Meaning of Jesus and Christ; The Dual Nature of Christ; Historical Doctrines of Christ; Jesus Had a Complete, But Sinless, Human Nature; Could Jesus Sin?; The Son in Biblical Terminology; Son Of God; Son of Man; The Word; Begotten Son Or Eternal Son?; The Beginning Of The Son; The Ending Of The Sonship; The Purposes For The Son; The Son and Creation; The Firstbegotten; Hebrews 1:8-9; Conclusion

Chapter 6 - FATHER, SON, AND HOLY GHOST

The Father; The Son; The Holy Ghost; The Father is the Holy Ghost; The Deity of Jesus Christ is the Father; The Deity of Jesus Christ is the Holy Ghost; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; Matthew 28:19; I John 5:7; Is God Limited To Three Manifestations?; Conclusion

Chapter 7 - OLD TESTAMENT EXPLANATIONS

Elohim; Genesis 1:26; Other Plural Pronouns; The Meaning of One (Hebrew, Echad); Theophanies; Appearance to Abraham; The Angel of the LORD; The Son and Other References To the Messiah; The Word of God; The Wisdom of God; Holy, Holy, Holy; Repititions of God or Lord; The Spirit of the LORD; The LORD God and His Spirit; The Ancient of Days And the Son of Man; Fellow of Jehovah; Conclusion

Chapter 8 - NEW TESTAMENT EXPLANATIONS: THE GOSPEL

Four Important Aids To Understanding; The Baptism Of Christ; The Voice From Heaven; The Prayers Of Christ; "My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?"; Communication Of Knowledge Between Persons In The Godhead?; Matthew 28:19; The Pre-existence Of Jesus; The Son Sent From The Father; Love Between Persons In The Godhead?; Other Distinctions Between Father And Son; The With Passages; Two Witnesses; Plural Usage; Conversations Between Persons In The Godhead?; Another Comforter; Are Jesus And The Father One In Purpose Only?; Conclusion

Chapter 9 - NEW TESTAMENT EXPLANATIONS: ACTS TO REVELATION

The Right Hand Of God; Greetings In The Epistles; "The Apostolic Benediction"; Other Threefold References In The Epistles And Revelation; The Fulness Of God; Philippians 2:6-8; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1; I John 5:7; Revelation 1:1; The Seven Spirits Of God; The Lamb In Revelation 5; Why Did God Allow "Confusing" Verses of Scripture?; Conclusion

Chapter 10 - ONENESS BELIEVERS IN CHURCH HISTORY

The Post-apostolic Age; Oneness the Dominant Belief In the Second and Third Centuries; Modalistic Monarchianism; Oneness Believers from the Fourth Century to the Present; MODALISTIC MONARCHIANISM: ONENESS IN EARLY CHURCH HISTORY

Chapter 11 - TRINITARIANISM: DEFINITION AND HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT

Definition of the Doctrine of the Trinity; Problems with Tritheism; Problems with Subordinationism; Nonbiblical Terminology; Historical Development of Trinitarianism; Pagan Roots and Parallels; Post-apostolic Developments; Tertullian - the Father Of Christian Trinitarianism; Other Early Trinitarians; The Council of Nicea; After Nicea; The Athanasian Creed; The Apostles' Creed; Conclusion

Chapter 12 - TRINITARIANISM: AN EVALUATION

Nonbiblical Terminology; Person and Persons; Three; Tritheism; Mystery; The Deity of Jesus Christ; Contradictions; Evaluation of Trinitarianism; The Doctrine of the Trinity Contrasted with Oneness; What Does the Average Church Member Believe?; Conclusion

Chapter 13 - CONCLUSION

Bibliography

Subject Index

Glossary

Footnotes


Tables

Table 1: God's Moral Nature

Table 2: Old Testament Names For God

Table 3: Compound Names of Jehovah

Table 4: Jesus is Jehovah (I)

Table 5: Jesus is Jehovah (II)

Table 6: Jesus in the Book of Revelation

Table 7: Jesus Has the Moral Nature of God

Table 8: The Dual Nature of Jesus Christ

Table 9: The Use of Kai

Table 10: The Full Deity Of Jesus As Stated In Colossians

Table 11: Trinitarianism and Oneness Compared

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

This book is Volume One of a series in Pentecostal theology. There is a genuine need for thorough, comprehensive study and explanation of the fundamental Bible truths we hold dear, and this series is designed to help meet that need. The present volume endeavors to bring together in one book a complete discussion of the Godhead. It asserts the oneness of God and the absolute deity of Jesus Christ. As of this writing Volume Two, entitled The New Birth, is still in the planning and research stage. Volume Three is entitled In Search of Holiness. It was written jointly with my mother, Loretta A. Bernard, and was published in 1981.

The goal of this book is not to teach merely the dogma of a denomination, but to teach the Word of God. It is the hope of the author that each person will study the material prayerfully, comparing the views expressed with the Bible. Many scriptural references are given in the book to aid the reader in his search for biblical truth. At the same time, the author recognizes that we must all ask God to anoint our minds and illuminate His Word, if we are to properly understand His revelation to us. The letter alone will kill, but the Spirit gives life (II Corinthians 3:6). The Spirit of God will teach and lead us into all truth (John 14:26; 16:13). Ultimately God must give the revelation of who Jesus Christ really is (Matthew 16:15-17).

The Oneness of God is based on several years of study and research as well as experience in teaching systematic theology and church history at Jackson College of Ministries in Jackson, Mississippi. I am especially grateful to my mother for reading the manuscript and providing numerous suggestions for improvement, many of which were adopted. I am also thankful to my wife, Connie, for providing assistance in typing and to my father, Reverend Elton D. Bernard, for helping to inspire, publish, and promote this series.

Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 present the positive doctrine of Christian monotheism as taught by the Bible, the doctrine commonly known today as Oneness. Chapters 7, 8 and 9 discuss numerous specific verses of Scripture with a view towards answering objections and rebuffing contrary interpretations. Chapter 10 records the result of much research on the history of Oneness from post-apostolic times to the present. Chapters 11 and 12 explain the doctrine of trinitarianism, its historical origin and development, and the ways in which it differs from Oneness belief. Finally, Chapter 13 offers a brief summary and conclusion.

In order to document nonbiblical sources of information and yet preserve readability, footnotes have been placed at the end of each chapter. [In this Internet copy the footnotes were placed in an appendix. - Internet editor] The bibliography lists all sources used as well as a number of other books relating to Oneness. Also, the glossary contains definitions of important theological terms used in the book.

Unless otherwise indicated, definitions of Greek and Hebrew words are from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. The following abbreviations for various translations of the Bible are used throughout the book: KJV for King James Version, RSV for Revised Standard Version, NIV for New International Version, and TAB for The Amplified Bible. All biblical quotations are from the KJV unless otherwise noted.

The purpose of this book is to have some part in establishing the truths of the Word of God in this generation. Its goal is to affirm Christian monotheism - the Bible's teaching of one God. In doing so I intend to magnify Jesus Christ above all. I believe that Jesus is God manifest in flesh, that all the fulness of the Godhead dwells in Him, and that we are complete in Him (Colossians 2:9-10).

David Bernard

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