JESUS + THE FATHER = ONE GOD?
Someone may yet argue, "But, didn’t Jesus say that He and his Father were one?
Yes, Jesus did say that. But what did He mean by it? Did He mean that 1+1=1? Did He mean "one" in number, or "one" in spirit and purpose? Obviously, He meant that they were united in purpose and spirit. Here, again, our religious brethren must resist the temptation to assign Christ’s statements to some nonsensical body of mystical sayings.
God’s Word directs us to, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith Yahweh…" (Isaiah 1:18). Also, remember Toland’s sage advice: "Reserve judgment on whatever is uncertain and assent only to clear precepts." Mysticism and mystery have no place whatsoever in a person’s belief structure. You cannot honestly build a belief structure on a mystery. An honest man must remain silent concerning a mystery, for the fact that it is a mystery to him proves that he possesses no intelligent data on the subject.
Building on a mystery is like shooting in the dark. Odds are greater than a million to one against you ever hitting the target which you cannot see. Ministers who build on mystery are shooting in the dark, and usually lying.
Jesus claimed that He and his Father were one. To turn this alleged mystery into common sense, we only have to read some related scriptures.
First, let’s examine the passage in question by reading it in context.
John chapter 10:My Father, which gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.
"There!" they say, "See! He and his Father are ONE! Jesus and Yahweh are the same person!" But, is that really what it says? In light of the verse preceding it, would it be consistent?
Verse 29 says that the Father gave disciples to Jesus. Jesus didn’t give them to himself. Remember, give and take requires two parties: the giver, and the taker. Also, Jesus says that Yahweh is GREATER than all.
Reason and common sense must prevail lest we find ourselves lost in mindless, pagan mysticism. In the incapacitated mind of the pagan, two can equal one, and three can equal one. In fact, multiple gods can simultaneously be one god. Two, three, or 10,000 gods can equal ONE god – as in Hinduism. This can happen in their minds because their brains have been shoved into neutral. Their minds no longer seek logical answers.
Christians are supposed to have sound minds. What then? Are we to believe that Jesus was a dual god, like the Roman god Janus? Was He saying that two equals one? No, of course not! He was simply using a common form of expression that makes good sense unless taken out of context. You can find such common expressions throughout the Bible.
For instance, John 17:
11 .…Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we.
21. That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us…
22. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them: that they may be one, even as we are one:
In this case, the pagan might envision Yahweh, Jesus, and the disciples ALL part of one big god.
Matthew 19:…Have you not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain (two) shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh…
One flesh? Literally? Of course not!
Galatians 3:For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male or female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Obviously, being "one" with someone has no bearing on number. Therefore, it signifies something other than quantity. Jesus was not claiming some kind of mystical identification as Yahweh, any more than He was suggesting that all his disciples were only one person. He only meant that they were one in purpose and authority. Don’t let pagan nonsense confuse you.
Continuing in John 10:Then the Judeans took up stones again to stone him (Jesus). Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Judeans answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
Now here we have an interesting statement. The Judeans were accusing Jesus of the same thing the churches today accuse Him of – namely, that He claimed to be God. The difference is that today’s churches like it, and the Judeans hated it.
Remember, Jesus didn’t claim to be Yahweh; He claimed to be "one" with him – an expression meaning to share the same purpose or motivation. He then goes on to address the term "god" itself. Jesus answered them:…Is it not written in your law (in Psalms 82:6), I (Yahweh) said, Ye are gods?
Who "are gods?" Yahweh originally said that to Israelites. Jesus was reminding the Judeans that Yahweh had called their ancestors "gods." How could just mortal men be "gods"?If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; ay ye of him (Jesus), whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
Obviously, the Israelites were not supernatural gods. They were just "elohim" (powerful ones) in their day. Jesus pointed out that if Yahweh had called their ancestors "gods," then it certainly wasn’t blasphemy for Him to claim to be the Son of God.If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him (two persons; the Son was motivated by the Father).
If those Judeans had been listening they would have heard the meaning of "being one" with someone. They would have also learned what the word "god" ("elohim" in Hebrew; "theos" in Greek) really meant. But, the Pharisees weren’t listening, and neither are the churches today.
Besides, in several clear passages, Jesus declares that He and Yahweh, together, equal TWO in number.
15. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.It is also written in your law, that the testimony of TWO men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, AND the Father that sent me beareth witness of me (two witnesses). Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
42. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honoreth me…
Someone may still wonder, "With all these scriptures showing clearly that Jesus and Yahweh are not the same, how is it, then, that the idea came to be so wide-spread? And how is it that so many people think the Bible actually teaches it? Why is it such a popular doctrine if it’s so clearly wrong?"
Well, there are yet several scriptures that we haven’t addressed. Also, our English versions of the Bible have been translated (or rather mis-translated) to make certain scriptures appear to say, at least on the face of them, that Yahweh himself became a flesh-and-blood man. Of course, it is easier to accept them that way if you are already prejudiced. But, at this point we must admit that someone who reads only the English versions of the Bible could feasibly be led into that error unknowingly.