Controversial Godhead Passages Examined
This study on the Deity would not be complete without a harmonizing of seemingly contradictory Scriptures. When a Bible doctrine is Scripturally established, then we must learn how to harmonize those Scriptures which seem to contradict the general Bible teaching on that subject. We will now look at some of the Scriptures that our oneness and trinity brethren use to support their concept of the Deity.
ISAIAH 9:6-7 . . . “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforeth even forever. The zeal of Yahuwah of hosts will perform this.”
In my study of Daniel 9:24-27, we can see how there was another plan for the salvation of humanity than the one that came about. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city,  to finish the transgression, and  to make an end of sins, and  to make reconciliation for iniquity, and  to bring in everlasting righteousness, and  to seal up the vision and prophecy, and  to anoint the most Holy” (Dan. 9:24). It was not the original intent of Elohim to set aside the nation of Israel. When Daniel received this vision, it was still the intent of Yahuwah to use the nation of Israel to “bring in everlasting righteousness” and to evangelize the world with Jerusalem remaining forever. “As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of Yahuwah of hosts, in the city of our Elohim: Elohim will establish it forever. Selah” (Ps. 48:8). “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforeth even forever.” If Israel had met the conditions set forth in Daniel 9:24, there would have been a very different scenario over the past two thousand years! When a king was set over Israel he was “anointed.” “Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be you valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them” (2 Sam. 2:7). Yahushua would have been anointed as the King of Israel if Israel had complied with conditions Yahuwah had given them.
MICAH 5:2 . . . “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting.”
This Scripture tells us Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, but it also tells us of His pre-incarnate existence. Some have used this Scripture to prove Yahushua is an eternal being, but actually, it says just the opposite. The word translated as “goings forth” in the King James Bible actually means “origin” in the original Hebrew. Several new translations use the word “origin” instead of “goings forth." The Revised Standard Bible says: “Whose origin is of old, from ancient days." The New World Bible says: “Whose origin is from early times, from the days of time indefinite." The New International Bible reads: “Whose origins are from old, from ancient times." It also has a marginal note which reads “from the days of eternity."
Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, but His real origin was back in eternity before time began. Time did not begin until the heavens were created, which are timepieces to keep track of time, as mentioned in Genesis 1:14. Thus, this Scripture states Messiah had a beginning or starting point in terms of His existence. He was the first and only begotten of Elohim (Col. 1:15; Rev. 3:14) brought into existence before the foundation of the world or “ever the earth was” (Prov. 8:23). Yahushua is not co-eternal with the Father, but His pre-incarnate existence beginning or origin dates back into the days of eternity prior to the beginning of time (“from the days of time indefinite”). Again, in this verse, we see that if Israel had met the conditions given to them in Daniel 9:24, Yahushua would have been “anointed” as the “ruler in Israel.”
MATTHEW 1:23 . . . “Behold a virgin shall be with child. And shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, Elohim with us.” This is quoted from Isaiah 7:14.
Emmanuel is another title given to our Master Yahushua Messiah. It means “Elohim with us.” Yahushua was Yahuwah’s official representative. Elohim was with us in the person of His Son in a representative way . . . not personally. Yahushua was not Yahuwah robed in the flesh as our oneness brethren believe and teach . . . but, He was Elohim’s official ambassador or representative to this world just as we are to be His ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20).
JOHN 8:58 . . . “Verily, verily, I say unto, Before Abraham was, I am.”
Yahushua was not claiming to be the “I AM” of Exodus 3:13-14. The “I AM” in Exodus chapter three is descriptive of Yahuwah . . . it means The Eternal, Self-existent One. The Angel of Yahuwah speaking out of the bush to Moses was Yahushua, but He was speaking as Yahuwah’s official representative and was explaining the meaning of Yahuwah’s name to Moses. Here in John 8:58, Yahushua was merely asserting His pre-existence before Abraham. It could be translated . . . Before Abraham existed, I already existed. Moffat’s Translation says, “Truly, truly, I tell you, said Yahushua, “I have existed before Abraham was born." Thus the real thought behind Yahushua's statement here is that He, as Elohim’s “Firstborn” Son, had existed long before Abraham was born. See Colossians 1:15; Revelation 3:14. Yahushua is simply asserting His pre-existence . . . not claiming to be Yahuwah (The eternal, self-existent One). Yahushua was begotten. He had a beginning, and He exists by the power of His Father, as do we.
JOHN 10:30 . . . “I and My Father are one.”
This is one of the favorite Scriptures used by those of the oneness view to prove Yahushua and the Father are the same person. Yahushua did not mean that He and the Father were one in person . . . but ONE IN UNITY. There is perfect harmony and unity between the Father and His Son. Yahushua and the Father are one, just like Christians are to be one. Yahushua in John chapter seventeen, prayed for His disciples “that they may be one, EVEN AS WE ARE ONE” (John 17:20-22). We cannot all become one person . . . but we can become one in unity . . . striving together in one mind and one accord for the faith of the Gospel. See Acts 2:1; Philippians 1:27; Romans 15:6. In 1 Corinthians 3:6-8, it states: “Now he [Paul] that plants and he [Apollos] that waters are one." Paul and Apollos were two individuals, but they were one in purpose, motives, goals, spirit, etc. So likewise, Yahushua and the Father are TWO Entities, but They are one in purpose, motive, and actions . . . ONE IN UNITY.
JOHN 14:9 . . . “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.”
Again, this is another favorite oneness Scripture. They use this verse to prove Yahushua was the Father Himself. This is not what Yahushua was implying when He made this statement. He was simply saying He perfectly represented the nature and character of Elohim. Yahushua was “the express image of His [Yahuwah’s] person” (Heb. 1:3). Yahushua so perfectly represented His Father that the disciples were seeing the mind, will, attitudes, and feelings of Elohim perfectly duplicated in His life. To look upon Yahushua was to see the Father . . . in a representative way.
JOHN 20:28 . . . “And Thomas answered and said unto Him, my Lord and my God.”
When Thomas saw the nail prints in Yahushua's hands, he exclaimed, “my Lord and my God." Thomas was not proclaiming Yahushua to be Yahuwah or the Almighty Elohim. He was acknowledging Yahushua as a mighty one . . . a divine being . . . but not Yahuwah Himself. Yahushua truly is a God or mighty one because of His exalted position as the Son of Elohim (John 1:1-3). Remember Yahushua has a God over Him He acknowledged as His Elohim (God) and His Father (John 20:17). He is greater than Yahushua, and Yahushua had to ascend back to heaven to be with His Elohim and Father. This shows TWO separate Entities, both called God in the KJV . . . but one is greater than the other.
Thomas was not wrong in calling Yahushua a God, for even the Heavenly Father acknowledges His Son to be a God (Heb. 1:8-9) BECAUSE OF THE POWER AND AUTHORITY GIVEN TO HIM. But Yahushua being called God does not mean He is the Supreme Being (Elohim) or in any way equal to Him. Always remember there are many gods (mighty ones) both in heaven and earth, but there is only ONE Almighty Elohim which is the Father (1 Cor. 8:5-6).
2 CORINTHIANS 5:19 . . . “To wit, that Elohim was in Messiah, reconciling the world unto Himself.”
Elohim was in Messiah by His Spirit, Which dwelt in Him enabling Him to perform the mighty miracles which He did during His earthly ministry. Yahushua said: “The Father that dwells in Me, He does the works [or miracles]” (John 14:10). Yahushua was a man (Son of man) filled, anointed, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. (Acts 10:38) He performed miracles as no one had ever seen because He had access to the Spirit without measure. “For Elohim gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him” (John 3:34).
It was the Spirit that also enabled Him to live without sinning and finally offer Himself to Elohim as the spotless Lamb (Heb. 9:14). Everything Yahushua did and accomplished was done by the power of the Spirit of Elohim that dwelt within Him. The question begs to be asked. Cannot we live without sinning if the Spirit of Elohim dwells in us? See 1 John 3:6, 9; Jude 24.
Elohim was in Messiah by the presence and power of His Holy Spirit (Isa. 63:10, 11, and 14), but that did not make Yahushua Elohim. Messiah and His Father dwell in us by the power of Elohim's Spirit (Col. 1:27), but that does not make us Yahushua or Elohim. These are things that should be seriously considered when we use Scriptures like 2 Corinthians 5:19 to try to prove Messiah was Elohim simply because the Bible says Elohim dwelt in Him.
PHILIPPIANS 2:6 . . . “Who, being in the form of Elohim, thought it not robbery to be equal with Elohim.”
Our Trinitarian brethren often use this verse to prove Yahushua is co-equal with the Father. The apostle Paul is here teaching a lesson on humility and uses Messiah as the supreme example of humility. Though Messiah in His pre-human condition was a divine Being and shared the glory of His Father, He never sought to be equal with Elohim. The word “robbery” used here in the King James Version is a very poor translation of the Greek word Paul used here. It was probably used here because of the Trinitarian bias of the translators. We must remember translators, as well as those who write Hebrew and Greek lexicons, all have their religious biases.
The Greek word “harpagmos” used here means “to grasp after or snatch or seize something you look upon as a highly prized possession."
A better translation of Philippians 2:6 might be . . . ”Who, although He existed in the form of Elohim, did not regard equality with Elohim a thing to be grasped” (Amplified Version) The Emphatic Diaglott renders it: “Who, though being in Elohim’s form, yet did not meditate a usurpation to be like Elohim." The New World Translation says: “Who, although He was existing in Elohim’s form gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that He should be equal to Elohim." Although Yahushua existed as a mighty Being in the heavenly world, He never sought to seize or grasp equality with Elohim as did Lucifer. See Isaiah 14:12-14; 1 Timothy 3:6. Yahushua never sought to usurp the place of Elohim. The thought never entered into His mind from what we understand from the Bible. He always recognized and honored Yahuwah as His Superior, His Father. See John 14:28.
Instead of grasping for equality with Elohim, Yahushua made Himself of “no reputation [Greek-emptied Himself], 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” (Phil. 2:7-8). What an example of humility we have in our Master Yahushua Messiah! This is the lesson the apostle Paul is trying to get across in this passage.
The Trinitarian biased interpretation of Philippians 2:6 says Yahushua did not consider it robbery to claim equality with Elohim because He was equal with Elohim. This is the interpretation set forth in the King James Version, but it is a false interpretation set forth in the King James Version. It will not stand up under a careful examination of the meaning of the original Greek word “harpagmos” as well as the Biblical context in which the word is used.
COLOSSIANS 2:9 . . . “For in Him [Yahushua] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily."
This verse is sometimes used to prove that Yahushua, while He walked on the earth, was the Almighty Elohim robed in the flesh . . . all of Elohim dwelt in Him. Actually, the context of this passage is talking about Yahushua IN HIS RESURRECTION GLORY . . . not during His earthly sojourn. In Colossians 1:18, Paul speaks of Messiah as “the firstborn from the dead," and goes on to say, “it pleased the Father that in Him [the resurrected Messiah] should all fullness [of the Deity] dwell” (Col. 1:19). Messiah did not possess the fullness or completeness of Deity until He was resurrected from the dead. It was then the Father bestowed immortality upon Him . . . and He is now a deathless, immortal Being just like the Father. “For as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself” (John 5:26). This occurred at His resurrection. “Knowing that Messiah being raised from the dead dies no more; death hath no more dominion over Him” (Rom. 6:9). “I am He that lives and was dead [not immortal]; and behold I am alive for evermore [now immortal], Amen; and have the keys of hell [the grave] and of death” (Rev. 1:18). This was when all the fullness of the Deity was bestowed upon Yahushua. Goodspeed’s Translation says: “It is in Him, that all the fullness of Elohim’s nature lives embodied."
In Colossians 2:10, we are told Messiah has been made “head of all principality and power." This occurred after He was resurrected and seated at Elohim’s right hand. See Ephesians 1:20-21; 1 Peter 3:22. So again, we see Colossians 2:9, according to its context, describing Messiah in His resurrection glory.
When Yahushua was originally “begotten” as the pre-incarnate Son of Elohim, He had a nature above the angels, yet He was beneath Yahuwah in that He did not possess immortality. It was not until He had fully carried out the Father’s great redemptive plan that He was resurrected and given immortality. If Yahushua had possessed immortality before His death, burial, and resurrection, He could not have “poured out His soul unto death” (Isa. 53:12). Yahushua, in the book of Revelation, told John, “I am He that lives, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore” (Rev. 1:18). He now has immortality and is a deathless or immortal Being. Yahushua, since His resurrection, possesses the fullness of Deity or immortality! This is what Paul was stating in Colossians 2:9.
The term “Godhead” used here in Colossians 2:9 would be better translated by the word “Deity” or “divinity." When we use the term “Godhead” today, we are referring to how many divine Beings there are. But in the New Testament Scriptures, the word was not used in this way . . . it simply meant “Deity” or “divinity” and usually referred to the Deity of the eternal Elohim Himself. The word “Godhead” is only used three times in the Greek Scriptures. The word “Godhead” in Acts 17:29 and Romans 1:20 refers to the Deity of Yahuwah Himself . . . the one eternal, self-existent Elohim. Here in Colossians 2:9, it refers to the GLORY OF THE RESURRECTED MESSIAH Who now possesses immortality . . . the fullness of Deity.
1 TIMOTHY 3:16 . . . ”And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: Elohim was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
Yahushua was Elohim’s manifestation in the flesh . . . just like my son is my manifestation in the flesh . . . yet we are TWO separate Entities. The character of Elohim was fully revealed in Yahushua. See John 14:9. But this does not mean Yahushua was the incarnation of Yahuwah.
1 JOHN 5:7 and MATTHEW 28:19 . . . "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost [Spirit]: and these three are one." “Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost [Spirit].”
We are looking at these two verses together for a reason. These two verses would seemingly support the Trinitarian doctrine of the three distinct individuals in the Deity. On 1 John 5:7, The Scofield Reference Bible says: “It is generally agreed that this verse has no manuscript authority and has been inserted." It was not a genuine part of the original inspired Scriptures. It was not in the original manuscripts written by the inspired apostles of the early church.
When Erasmus published his version of the Greek New Testament, he left out the additions to 1 John 5:7 from his first two editions (1516, 1519), arguing he could not find those words in any Greek manuscript. Pressured by some (Catholics) to include this addition to the Greek text, Erasmus proposed that if they could show him a single Greek manuscript in which the addition was found, he would include it in his next edition. Sure enough, they came up with a Greek manuscript in which the addition was found. A manuscript scholars believe was dated from the sixteenth century AD, translated from Latin to Greek, and added to the Greek text. Erasmus subsequently included it in his 1522 edition of the Greek New Testament.
Out of one hundred and thirteen manuscripts, the text is wanting in one hundred and twelve. Almost all modern versions and translations correctly omit the words of this verse or put them in italics indicating they are not in the oldest, most reliable manuscripts.
As far as Matthew 28:19, we have the ones who tampered with this verse on record. Eusebius cites Matthew 28:19 eighteen times in his work, always in the same form "Go you and make disciples of all nations in My Name [Yahushua], teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I commanded you." Article in Beauties of the Truth, January 1991 edition.
"The baptismal formula (in Matt. 28:19) was changed from the name of Jesus Christ to the words Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by the Catholic Church in the second century." The Catholic Encyclopedia, II, page 263.
Catholic Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger made this confession about the origin of the chief Trinity text of Matthew 28:19. "The basic form of our [Matt. 28:19] Trinitarian profession of faith took shape during the course of the second and third centuries in connection with the ceremony of baptism. So far as its place of origin is concerned, the text (Matt. 28:19) came from the city of Rome." Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is the pope who died recently.
From Acts 2:38, we see the early Church was baptizing people in just the name of Yahushua Messiah. “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahushua Messiah for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost [Spirit].” "When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Master Yahushua" (Acts 19:5). It appears the early apostles were following the words Eusebius quotes above as being in the original context. In Acts 8:16, we read, “(For as yet He [the Spirit of Elohim] was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Master Yahushua [Lord Jesus].).” In Acts 10:48, we read, “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord [Yahushua]. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.”
"For as many of you as have been baptized into Messiah have put on Messiah" (Gal. 3:27). “Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Yahushua Messiah were baptized into His death?” (Rom. 6:3).
No one to my knowledge has ever been given the right to change or add or delete one word of Scripture except they do so under the most solemn warning found in Revelation 22:18-19. “For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, Elohim shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, Elohim shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
REVELATION 1:8 . . .”I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith Yahuwah, which is and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
This verse does NOT apply to Yahushua. There is only ONE Almighty Elohim . . . and is, as we have seen, to be Yahuwah. The terms Alpha and Omega (first and last letters in the Greek alphabet) are applied to both Yahuwah and Yahushua . . . but in a different way and with a different meaning. See Isaiah 44:6 (Yahuwah); Revelation 22:12-13 (Yahushua). They are both UNIQUE BEINGS . . . in a class all by themselves . . . ONE OF A KIND. Yahuwah is the uncreated Being. Yahushua is the only Being begotten by Yahuwah Himself. So Revelation 1:8 (as well as verse four) describes the Father . . . the eternal, self-existent Elohim (The Supreme Being) who is the “I AM” of Exodus 3:14. Notice the threefold description of Yahuwah. “Which was” means He has existed throughout all past ages. “Which is” means He exists at the present. “Which is to come” means He will exist throughout all the eternal ages to come . . . the Eternal, Self-Existent One. Revelation 1:4 clearly is talking about Yahuwah Elohim using the same language as found in Revelation 4:8. "And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Yahuwah Elohim Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” See also Revelation 16:5. “And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Yahuwah, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.”
It is Yahuwah in Revelation 1:7 Who speaks and says: “Even so, Amen” to the promise of Messiah's glorious return mentioned there. Yahuwah puts His personal amen to this promise. That is, Yahuwah is guaranteeing the fulfillment of the promise of Messiah’s return. Then as the overall teaching of the Scriptures, Revelation 1:8 refers to Yahuwah, our Heavenly Father . . . not the Master Yahushua Messiah. In Revelation 1:8, we have a description of Yahuwah, the Almighty Elohim, the One Who spoke in verse seven and said “Amen." In reading the two verses of Revelation 1:4, 5, we find out that it is talking about Yahuwah and not Yahushua in verse four. "John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come (Yahuwah); and from the seven Spirits which are before His throne; AND from Yahushua Messiah, Who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." Verse four is talking about Yahuwah, and verse five is talking about Yahushua Messiah.