Oneness of God and Christianity
By: Muhammad Qasem
One of the main doctrines in Christianity is the trinity. This idea comes from I John 5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." This verse indicates that God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are one. These words are John’s words and not Jesus’ words nor God’s, but according to the Christians John was inspired by God, and that is the reason for taking his words as the truth. Let us investigate the Bible to see if God is One and only One, or that He is, or they are three in one.
Are Jesus and God the same?
I have already talked about this topic in the second chapter, and showed the difference between God and Jesus. If you have not read that yet please do so.
Let us see what Jesus himself says
One of the scribes asked Jesus, Mark 12:28 "…Which is the first commandment of all?" Clearly from the question the man wanted to know the first of all commandments, and the most important one. Jesus replied to him in the following verse: Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Jesus was not talking to this man only, but he made sure to call the attention of all Israel "Hear, O Israel." This indicates the importance of this message.
Jesus says, "the Lord our God." This clearly indicates that God is not only the God of the people Jesus is talking to, but He is also Jesus’ God ("our").
Jesus continues to say, "is one Lord." This clearly indicates the Oneness of God.
Finally, in Mark 12:30 Jesus reiterates that this is the first commandment "this is the first commandment ." A commandment before all others.
Jesus in these verses showed how important this message was by calling the attention of the Israelites, and when he talked about the Oneness of God he excluded himself from that "Oneness" when he said, "our God." He stated that this One God is his God as well as every one else’s. Had he been one of the three mentioned in John (according to John) then he would not have said "the Lord our God," but he would have said "the Lord your God."
Then it continues in Mark after Jesus told the second commandment: Mark 12:32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: Mark 12:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
Mark 12:34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.
When the scribe reiterated the message Jesus delivered, and said, "there is none other but he" (Mark 12:32), Jesus told him that he was not far from the kingdom of God. Certainly the scribe understood that there is only one God, and had his understanding been wrong, Jesus would have told him, or Jesus would have clarified to all who were listening that it is really three in one. This was supposed to be an important commandment. It was the commandment that came before all others.
According to my understanding the verse in I John 5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one," is the only record of the idea that God is three in one rather than One and only One. The rest of the Bible is filled with verses indicating the absolute Oneness of God, and they carry no record of the idea of John in such way.
The Absolute Oneness of God from the rest of the Bible
In many instances in the Bible, God and His prophets mention that God is only One, and not three in one. The following are some of the many verses from the Bible: Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD." God is one and not three in one.
Isaiah 43:10-11 "Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour." God wants us to "know," "believe," and "understand" that He is the LORD, and "beside" Him there is no other. Had there been any other "beside" Him then He would have said it.
Ephesians 4:6 "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
I Timothy 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 also believe, and tremble." What makes the devil tremble is the belief that God is one, and not three.
Deuteronomy 4:35 "Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him."
I Samuel 2:2 "There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God."
Isaiah 44:6 "Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God."
Isaiah 44:8 "Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any."
Isaiah 45:5 "I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me."
Isaiah 45:6 "That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else."
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 saviour beside me."
Some of these verses testify that God is "one," others attest that there is nothing "beside" Him, one of them declares that nothing is "like" Him, and so on. None of the above verses include anything that describes that God is three in one. Jesus did not say that he was one of three, nor did God in His own words.
I am told that although God and Jesus never mentioned the idea of the trinity, yet John who was inspired by God clarified this idea for all of us, the idea that God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are one.
My argument is: God never said that He is three in one, never were any prophets of God ever instructed to say that God is three in one, not even Jesus was instructed to say that, yet John who was not a prophet of God (he was an apostle of Jesus, or a disciple) said that God is really three in one, and the whole world of Christians believe him! I am wondering, who has more authority? What is more powerful? That which was quoted from Jesus’ mouth and God’s words, or the interpretation of John?
Before I end this section, "The Absolute Oneness of God from the rest of the Bible," I would like to raise some points about the idea of inspiration: If the idea that the Bible is the book of God because it was inspired is to be believed, then we should disregard the book of Luke if we are willing to take Luke for his own words, when we read Luke 1:1-3 "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus." Luke tells us that he saw it good to write his book. It was his own choice, and not an inspiration.
If we should believe that the Bible is the book of God because it was inspired, then we should also believe in the book "The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ." The Author of this book, Joseph Smith, claims he too was inspired by God. Why should we stop at the Bible alone?
There are hundreds of different denominations in Christianity, and many in almost all denominations claim to be inspired by God, yet they are all different in their beliefs and convictions. Who are we to believe? Who is right and who is wrong? Especially when some of these denominations differ with others on the most crucial points in Christianity. Also, why does God deliver different message to each denomination, is God the author of confusion? I Corinthians 14:33 "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints."
What about worshipping God through Jesus?
The worship of God should be aimed directly to God. God does not need a medium for prayers to come to Him. This is clear from the Bible. When God says in such a bold manner: Exodus 20:1-5: "And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me."
We should not make any images or likeness of any thing that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth as something to worship. God is the only One that we should bow down to. God, the God of everything, is a Jealous God, and he does not like us to worship anything but Him, not even Jesus. God shows how jealous He is when people worship images in Exodus 34:14 "For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God."
Romans 1:21-32: "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."