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Oneness to One - Page 6


Lost Verse No. 1: Acts 2:22 - "You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know."

This verse brings us two amazing statements neither of which was congruent with my Oneness teachings. 1st - Jesus is announced to be "a man." This is hardly the declaration that I as a Oneness person would have anticipated Peter would make to those Jews gathered together from "every nation under heaven." It seems inescapable to me that if Peter was Oneness, the proclamation would needed to have been: "Listen O' house of Israel, Jesus was your God - come down to you in human flesh!" Or, at the very least: "he was the God-man." Peter's announcement - "Jesus, a man attested by God" was both accurate and sufficient. Those words launched the apostle's exposition on that day.

The second incongruence was - "by miracles and wonders and signs which God did by him." My Oneness faith directed me to believe that Jesus had to be God because of the extra-ordinary miracles that he did. Again, if Peter was Oneness, wouldn't I expect him to declare: by "miracles, wonders and signs that he did - thus proving himself to be your God"?

Lost Verse No. 2: Acts 2:23 - "This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross."

Again, it is Jesus of Nazareth - a "man" handed over to them. It is a man that they had put to death. There was no message that day about them putting their "God" to death. There was no message that day about having crucified the "man part" of Jesus. It was a "man" from Nazareth that they killed. That is what the crowd heard. It is exactly what Peter meant for them to hear.

Lost Verse No. 3: Acts 2:24 - "But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power."

This verse was particularly difficult for my Oneness mind-set. As a Oneness person I was straightly to believe that Jesus raised himself from the dead. And why not? Any of the "super-being" theologies would logically draw us to that conclusion. However, if he raised himself would not the most powerful statement Peter could make be that Jesus raised himself from the dead - thus proving that he was God. But, twice12 in this chapter alone, Peter affirms that God raised "Jesus" - the man from Nazareth - from the dead.13

Lost Verses 4 and 5: Acts 2:34,35 - "For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, 'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.' ”

To my Oneness faith when one spoke the word Lord it was in itself a reference to "deity" or "God". Here then was an insurmountable difficulty: the LORD (God) is speaking to another who is "lord". And, by the context of Peter's proclamation, this second "lord" is the man Jesus. Clearly Peter's words separate Jesus and God.14

 

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12 Acts 2:24, 32

13 In John 2:19, 20 Jesus says: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." However, in this context, clearly it is the "man" (son) who will raise it up. The one saying he will raise it up in verse 19 is the same one speaking about "his Father" in verse 16. This "man" would raise up his body in the same sense that others raise themselves up when resurrected. Note for example the case of Tabitha in Acts 9:40, 41 - "Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, "Tabitha, get up." Then "she" opened her eyes, and "seeing" Peter, "she" sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her up." Just as Tabitha, the "man" Jesus would raise his body up. Yet, he would do that not by any power of his own, but by the power of God. John 10:18 also makes it clear that it the "man" (son) that would both "lay down" his life and "take it up again." Jesus says there, "This command I have received from my Father." All of this then agrees with the great number of Scriptures that give critical significance to faith that "God" raised "Jesus" from the dead (e.g. Romans 10:9).

14 As a Oneness person, I had misunderstood by thinking that to reference Jesus as “Lord” was to call him God. It was quite illuminating to me when I realized the same separation between Jesus and his Father which is found in Ps. 110:1 and Acts 2:34, 35 is also found in Ephesians 4:5, 6. In verse 5 there is “one Lord” as referencing Jesus. However, Paul's sentence does not end in verse 5. It continues into verse 6 where he adds the crowning recognition of his discourse with: “One God and Father of all…” Again, the matter is made completely clear when we see that it is God who made Jesus "lord” (Acts 2:36).

 

 

 

 





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