The Father That Gave His Son
4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
There is no doctrine more contrary to the Bible than the “Jesus Only Doctrine.” I have never met a “Jesus Only” disciple who had an “anointed spirit” in their spiritual life. The Holy Ghost cannot anoint someone who denies the Father or Jesus Christ. This idea has different implications for different teachers but the idea cannot fail to confuse their Biblical understanding. The whole is set on its head when you confuse the Godhead. The Father gave His Son as the ultimate sacrifice. The unity of the Godhead is so evident that it floods the total Revelation of Scripture.
The Father spoke from Heaven as the Son was baptized by John “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17) Again God spoke out of His celestial paradise when His Son was transfigured before three disciples on a mountain. “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Matthew 17: 5) How can anyone deny such a clear revelation of truth? Like all false doctrines, they make no common sense.
The golden text of Holy Scripture is found in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The “Jesus Only” or “oneness” doctrine is a direct confrontation against the very heart and soul of this golden text and the heartthrob of the Gospel. When a missionary by the Holy Spirit stands before a heathen community and can show them a God so compassionate that He would give His only Son, such love becomes the key to great revival. Satan hates the message of the Son of God. The main effort of all false religions is to deny the Sonship of Jesus Christ The Moslem prayer tower is used six times each day to herald their contradictory message, “God has no son, God has no son.” New Age religions are delighted to talk about god, but not the true God who gave His divine Son. Jesus to them is just another ascended Master. All across America, prayer is offered in government centers, legislative buildings and many official places, but the general opinion is that the name of Jesus should not be used.
Satan’s chief effort in religious circles is to eliminate or weaken the presence or power of Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. “Jesus Christ is the only person who has ever beaten the devil.” To pray without understanding the power of Jesus’ name and the fact that God the Father has ordained that His Son’s name be the name of authority is to misunderstand Holy Truth. God the Father gave this prophecy about Jesus to Isaiah the prophet and then Matthew repeated it to show that Jesus was the fulfillment. “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.” (Matthew 12:17-21) God the Father chose to exalt the Son. Now you understand why His name is so hated and why the entire Son/Father relationship is under attack.
The relationship of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost is a mystery in Holy Scripture. It is clearly taught that God has revealed Himself in three persons but the full explanation is above our human minds to completely understand. But remember if we could understand God that would make us equal with Him. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
Holy Scripture is filled with the facts of our God acting in these three expressions of His person. Never in any case is there confusion about these three individuals and the distinct differences in their expressions. Some actions of God are joint acts of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Other actions are distinctly attributed to one person only. There is a great list of redemptive actions that are clearly the mandate of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is even clear that God the Father issues these mandates especially assigning them to His dearly beloved and only begotten Son.
14 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.
Let’s look at the clear expression of Apostle Paul concerning the Father’s appointment of Jesus’ name and authority. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)
This is one of the grandest statements in the Pauline Epistles. Jesus was eternally with the Father but is here shown to have consciously chosen to temporarily lay aside that divine position at the Father’s intimate side and to become a servant in the presence of men. God the Father could not in the form of the Divine walk into the presence of fallen, sinful flesh. But the Son of God, maintaining His eternal divinity, could lay the form of that divinity aside and robe himself with flesh and make His visit into the world of flesh.
How did the Son of God perform such an incredible task? He did it by assuming a position of mankind totally without reputation. In other words God the Son was conceived in the womb of Mary by the Holy Ghost as a helpless, weak, embryonic baby and was born after nine natural months of development, frail and totally dependent on Mary and Joseph his stepfather. This infant son was “God Emmanuel, God with us, and God in the flesh,” but because He assumed no position of holiness or reputation He could live among the sinful until He proved His own holiness by His own personal surrender and action. Then when that holiness was proved by His actions, He would die to redeem the very flesh He had visited.
Paul the apostle said it clearly, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8) He was totally without sin in conception or in life. Being conceived by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, He was not a partaker of human depravity. There was no sin nature but yet as Adam was tempted even before he became the carrier of an evil nature, so Jesus was tempted. The Bible says that His temptation “was in all points like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) But contrary to the first Adam, “Jesus did not sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22)
Death was not a natural possibility for Jesus Christ. A thousand crosses could not have killed Him. Ten legions of Roman soldiers could have used their spears to stab Him but still He would not have died. He was without sin and death is only possible where there is sin. His death on the cross was not the result of Jewish rejection or Roman authority but His own choice.
6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Jesus said it plainly. “Therefore doth my Father love me, because 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. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10:17-18)
Jesus died for our sin because He made the conscious choice to die. Even the Father gave this commandment. The power to lay down His life was His to perform. The power to resurrect on the third day was His to express. It was all the clear choice of God the Son who laid aside the form of His eternal divinity to become an expression of the human and in that God/man person to die for the redemption of all mankind.
Not only was He dying to redeem the souls of men, He was dying to redeem the fallen universe and to judge the evil person that created the crisis of sin.
The Holy Scripture declares that God the Father, upon viewing the entire sacrifice and results of His only Begotten Son’s accomplishment, makes a clear decision. Paul says, “Wherefore (or because of) God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name…” (Philippians 2:9) Here is a picture of God the Father acting and making a choice regarding His Son. It is impossible to intelligently confuse this action. The Father is so delighted with the accomplishments of His Son that He elevates His name to be greater than any other name. To try to obscure the distinction between the Father and His Son would reduce our God to the level of confusion reserved for the false gods.
Redemption is never credited to the work of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the right arm of God the Father and God the Son. He certainly anointed Jesus with the Holy Ghost and gave Him power to perform the incredible miracles of His ministry. He also strengthened Him for His redemptive action but always as a helper and not as the same person. The Holy Ghost is the Restrainer, Teacher and Inspiration of the Kingdom of God. He is dwelling in the church, walking up and down in our midst, affecting all redemption powers, while Jesus is seated at the Father’s right hand. The Holy Spirit is omnipresent, so is the Father and the Son because the Spirit of God is also the Spirit of the Father and of the Son. Every action of the Holy Spirit represents the action of the Father and the Son.
The Perfect Unity of God
No person of the Godhead ever acts independently. When Jesus was baptized of John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove while God the Father spoke out of the Heavens. “Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22b) It’s impossible to confuse the action of each person on this memorial occasion. God is not a ventriloquist bouncing His voice off the clouds. He was either on His throne in the Heavens speaking to the crowd and John the Baptist or it was all a magical hoax. The individual action of the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus Christ clearly expresses His own personality. The Holy Spirit has verbally inspired all Scripture to be received as the infallible word and to be interpreted word for word. Nothing is more dangerous than to spiritualize the Holy Word.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
The Crucifixion, God and His Son
Calvary is a breathtaking picture of our God and His Son. Isaiah prophesied that it was the Father Himself who would drive the nails into the hand of the Savior. “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” (Isaiah 53:10)
Jesus laid His life down but the Father ordered the stripes, the cross and all the shame. That’s what John was saying when he echoes, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”
Jesus made seven statements while He was being crucified. Three of those great cries that came from the wounded Son of God were directed to the Father. First, according to the Gospel of Luke, “Then said Jesus, Father forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34a) Then as the darkness enveloped Him, as the pains of His substitutional sacrifice for our sin overshadowed His very person, He cried, “My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?” The last of the seven He said was, “Father into thy hand I commend My Spirit.”
Would anyone dare suggest that this great fellowship of Father and Son was some kind of perceived illusion while they were really the same person? It cannot be less than heresy to deny the Fatherhood of God or the Sonship of Jesus Christ. Even more powerful than the fellowship they expressed in this hour was the cry of sorrow from the Son of God when He knew the Father had turned His back. If the Father is the Son or the Son is the Father, what kind of delusion would cause Him to cry out, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Also, how would He explain the Father turning His back while the Son is dying as a substitute for sin?
The great holiness of God the Father caused Him to temporarily turn His back while His only begotten Son was smitten with the sin of mankind. “Our God is of holier eye than to look on sin” and His “Son was made sin for us who knew no sin.” The Biblical facts of Calvary and the sacrifice of the Son of God is the greatest story ever penned by human hands. To reduce this great picture of redemption to the confusion of this distinct personhood of both the Father and the Son is diabolical. Only Satan could dream up such confusion.
Our world is dying to hear the true story of redemption. From Genesis to Malachi the coming Messiah stretched like a scarlet cord of divine love. The Heavenly Father had preordained the death of His Son from the foundation of the world.
The Throne Without God
Even more incredible than the confusion of Divine revelation which the “Jesus Only” (oneness, apostolic) doctrines create is the possibility of the empty throne. If Jesus Christ is the Father and the Holy Spirit without distinction of personality, then the throne of God was empty for thirty-three years and nine months. When the Son of God “made Himself of no reputation,” temporarily stripped Himself of the right to act Divine and became a servant in the form of man, the universe would have been without a sustainer or a sovereign. The created world would have descended into chaos. Satan would have acted immediately to take control.
I know that the above possibility does not exist but it shows the sheer folly of this false doctrine. The entire revelation of God, the Holy Bible, is an infallible book. The Heavenly Father sent His prophetic revelations, prepared a chosen family, and literally flooded the entire Old Testament with preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ. The Scripture then states, “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” (Galatians 4:4) That’s an incredible statement. “God sent forth His Son.” No, my friends, the throne of God was never empty!
There are many great Scriptures and truths to forever settle the question of the Trinity of God. God is One and has revealed Himself in three persons. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.