THE SON BEING SENT
doing anothers will
The concept of pre-existence is axiomatic to understanding the relationship of The Father and the Son and is most apparent in the sending to earth. John 1:18 states, " No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared Him. ." John wrote this numerous years after Jesus ascended and he says Jesus is STILL the "Only begotten Son", "who is in the bosom of the Father". Jesus is seated at the right hand of God, is still "the only begotten Son" in a unique way no one else is a begotten child of God. It describes a continual relationship with no change.
Oneness states, "The Son was sent as a man, not as God; God sent forth his Son made of a woman"(Gal.4:4) the word sent does not imply pre-existence of the son or pre-existence of the man. Jn.1:6 states that John the Baptist was a man sent from God, and we know he did not pre-exist his conception." (Oneness of god p.184)
Bernard is correct in that the word sent" does not mean pre-existence; however, it is where he was sent from that matters and clears up the confusion. Focusing on single words is a straw man tactic that is not justified, if the Scripture is read in context. What of the angels that are sent, are they not sent from heaven? According to Bernards interpretation they too would have to come from the earth as John the Baptizer did. (And Jesus)
Gal.4:4 "But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son. "Paul refers to an event that took place at a certain point in time. The words sent forth imply that the Son already existed in heaven before he was sent (J.B.Lightfoot , the Epistle St. Paul to the Galatians p.168) Which means he preexisted. This means he came from God, not Mary as his source of being. His humanness came from Mary in time.
Heb.10:5 " Sacrifice and offering you did not desire but a body you prepared for me. Then he said Lo, I come to do thy will O God." Who is the me? It is another person previously existing. It was God who came in human flesh. We see this is another person speaking to the Father who we know as the Son. This obviously is not Jesus speaking to himself to prepare a body for himself so that he will do his own will.
Jn.3:16,17 "God gave his only begotten Son ; he sent his Son into the world," meaning he came from outside the world, his place of origin, heaven. John 6:38 Jesus states, "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of HIM WHO SENT ME." As the Son, He came from heaven existing as the second person in the Godhead, the Son, and not the Father. 39: And this is the Father's will which hath sent me., that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life."
Here is a clear indication of the Son's origin coming from God. His humanness did not come down from heaven. He was sent as God, clothing himself in humanity. There are clearly two individual persons involved, the one sent and the one sending. He also makes the distinction of doing the will of another other than himself, who is in heaven. This is impossible if Jesus and the Father are the same person. He would then be doing his own will, since he is that one person. Again the Bible proves the Oneness view is false.
1 Cor.15:47 "the first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second man is the Lord from heaven. here again is showing the origin of the Son coming from above.
Jn.3:31 "He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all."51"I am the living bread which came down from heaven.
Jn.6:33 "For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." Jn.7:29 " I am from him and he has sent me." At a certain point in time Christ left his habitation with the Father in heaven and became flesh on earth still enjoying that relationship. Jn.8:42 "I proceeded forth and came from God, nor have I come of myself but he sent me. Who came from heaven ? Deity not man. Obviously another person other than the Father. According to the Oneness it was his humanness at their best guess, and a plan or thought at their worst guess !
Jn.3:13 "And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." Jesus is pointing out that the one which they are seeing came from above, not from below.
John 6:62 "What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before"? Jn.8:23 "You are from beneath, I am from above, you are of this world ,I am not of this world."Jn3:31 "He who comes from above is above all."..vs.34 "For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God..."Jesus has already established he is from heaven and came to earth, now he says God has sent him. According to the Oneness view, since the Son has no pre-existence God is now non existent, because it is God who came and it is the Son who was sent.
Jn.8:42 "I proceeded forth and came from God, nor have I come of myself, but he sent me." Who came from heaven? Deity. Obviously another person other than the Father, since the "he" Jesus refers to is the sender, who is the Father. Of myself (ap emautou). His coming was not self-initiated nor independent of the Father. "But he (ekeinos, emphatic demonstrative pronoun) sent me" and here I am.
While there were many prophets sent such as John the Baptizer his origin was not from heaven.
If one sends himself, he does not say I send someone, but says I will come. While the Bible states God will come, it differentiates between two persons, the one coming and the one sending. To come to any other conclusion is to violate the original language and the English language. This should be clear enough that he was the son previously before being made flesh. It does not say he became the Son by becoming flesh. This is tantamount to saying that the Son of God assumed another nature , human.
Jn.20:21-22 "As the Father sent me, I also send you. just as Jesus sends out the disciples who are different than himself so the Father sent him as a different person than himself. One has to violate the rules of language to come to any other conclusions.
Andrew Fullers comments on the sending, "God is frequently said to have sent his son into the world; but this implies that he was the son antecedently to his being sent. To suppose otherwise is no less absurd than supposing that when Christ sent forth the twelve disciples they were not disciples, but that they became such in consequence of his sending them or of some preparation pertaining to their mission."
John 6:46 states, "Not that anyone has seen the Father except HE who is from God". . He is another saying hes seen the Father. Jesus says he has seen the Father who is invisible, who is spirit. If he is the Father this makes no sense.
No man has seen the Father, men saw Jesus therefore Jesus is not the Father but the Son.
John 16:16,17,:28 states, "I came forth from the Father and have come into the world, again I leave the world and go to the Father. " If Jesus is the Father then he certainly better figure out who he is going to, because the location is in heaven! The Father's location, His habitat, is in heaven. It isthe Son who is sent according to scripture by the Father to the Earth, And He is going back to the Father to the same place he first came from.
1 Jn.1:2: "For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us." Once again Bernard denies eternality of the Son as do all Onness. "We should also note that 1 Jn.1:2 does not indicate that the Son was with God in eternity. Rather it states that the eternal life was with the Father"..."However, this does not mean that eternal life existed as a separate person from the Father. It simply means the Father possessed eternal life in himself- it was with him -from the beginning."( Oneness of God p.189)
What about afterwards John writes "and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ." Do we now fellowship with a human?
The question is, did this life already exist in the Son as it did in the Father or was it deposited in the Son as something he did not possess previously? 1 Tim 3:16 says it was God in the flesh a person, not just eternal life. Once again I ask where does it say the Father was manifested in the flesh? 1 John 3:8 should settle the issue, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested." He was made known, and revealed to mankind this is the eternal life of Jn.1:2 that was with the Father. And if we go back to verse 5 "And you know that HE was manifested to take away our sins", here he is identifying the person of deity that was made known. God manifested in the flesh, Son of God manifested.This is consitent with Jesus' statements of being the Son and also being Deity.
Jn.1:2 "He was in the beginning with God all things were made through him... In him was life... From this we see this life is in a he, which is a person. This he was with another and this other made everything through him. Again in vs.10 "He was in the world, and the world was made through him. This is the same he and him that is previously established to be with God, the same he in vs.1 who was with the Father.
1 Jn.5:20 "And we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ this is the true God and eternal life." If the Son is the true God then doesnt that make him eternal, possessing eternal life as his personal nature. 1 Jn.5:10: He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.11: And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.12: He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
John 1:18 states, " No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared Him." When was the Son with the Father in this manner ? Before he was incarnated. As a thought ! a plan as Bernard states ! If we change the Son to be future tense why not the Father too. The Bible is clear they both literally and personally exist simultaneously.
Bernard goes further in his denial by saying Jn.17:24 the Father loved the Son before the foundation of the world, This does not mean two persons, "what these verses express is the relationship between the two natures of Christ. The Spirit of Jesus loved the humanity and vice versa."(p.186) This still does not explain this occurring before the world was created which means he had a prehuman existence. This is not prophecy because there is a relationship, an exchange of feelings for love to exist. Besides the problem of there being a need for individual persons to have a valid exchange to love. While God may know all things and individuals he will create, he does not have a exchange with them before they are brought into existence ! He does the same chicanery for Jn.17:5 "O Father glorify me together with yourself, with the glory which I had with you before the world was." "Jesus was talking about the glory the Son had in the plan of God from the beginning." (p.184) According to Oneness he's in the bosom of his mind.
With all this reality shifting, one can only wonder why God actually made everything, since it was doing so well as a plan in his own mind!
These are excerpts from the book Who is Jesus ? Answering Oneness Pentecostals attacks on the Trinity. spiral book by Mike Oppenheimer of Let Us Reason ministries Wahiawa HI 96786