THE DEITY OF GOD is the basic truth of His revelation.
permanent apostasy consists in the fact that mankind, knowing God
in nature, does not glorify and thank Him as God. Sad to say,
many of us who have tasted of His grace and know Him by
revelation, do not glorify Him as God, but have become vain in
our reasonings, and our hearts are darkened, not because we turn
to images and idols like the world, but we put ourselves in His
place, and usurp the glory that is His alone. His deity is denied,
either in the past, the present, or the future, by the great
majority of His own elect. They claim some of His attributes for
themselves, and lower Him to the level of a mortal man in other
respects, because they follow their fallacious reason instead of
His flawless revelation.
The flesh of mankind is infirm, unable to carry on the
service of God, unless reinforced by a special portion of His
spirit. Only so can they serve acceptably in His work, and please
Him in carrying out His will. If men were perfect and all-powerful
as the Deity, there would be no need of anointing anyone. It is
because of their weakness and lack of ability to do as He desires
that He imparts to His representatives the necessary power and
authority which anointing brings, to enable them to perform their
functions as mediators between Him and the balance of His
creatures. The mere fact of being anointed shows that the one so
honored is intrinsically lacking in the power to fulfill his
office. His ability is not his own. It is derived from God,
through His spirit.
Anointing is always connected with service. The
God makes its home in us for fellowship with Him, but, if we wish to
serve men or God, we should be anointed. It
is the vital badge of office under God. This is clearly exhibited
in the three official classes who were anointed in Israel, the
prophets, priests and kings. Although God is spirit, and
imparts His spirit to these, His officials, He Himself never
takes this subordinate place. He is not the spokesman for Himself.
He need not act as a priest to Himself. He does not delegate rule
to Himself. The power for all these originates in Him, but it is
only as a portion is imparted to those who mediate between Him and
mankind, that anointing is necessary. He is the great and only
Anointer, Who never needs to be anointed. In Him the spirit is
immanent, not imparted. Who can present Him with spirit? He is
There is no reason to believe that Aaron was more holy
himself than others, so that he and his sons should be chosen to
be priests in Israel. In fact, when Moses was in the mount with
God, Aaron was persuaded by the people to make the golden calf and
lead them in its worship (Ex.32). Yet, once they were anointed
(Ex.28:41), Aaron and his sons occupied a very special place in
Israel. Korah, Dathan and Abiram claimed that all the
congregation were holy, that Aaron had no right to lift himself
above them. Yet these rebels were swallowed up by the earth for
their sin (Num.16). And so throughout the history of Israel. The
Aaronic line alone could officiate as priests. Even Uzziah, the
king, who was anointed for his royal office, and did what was
right in the sight of Jehovah, trespassed grievously when he
sought to offer incense on the golden altar. He was stricken with
leprosy (2 Chron.26). Aaron's anointing was only typical. The
reality is found alone in Christ Jesus.
Saul certainly was not such a one as God would choose
king over Israel. He was the peoples' choice. Nevertheless God had
him anointed, in order to show that the flesh, even with the
outward symbol of the spirit's power, cannot please Him (1
Sam.9:16). David, God's choice, recognized this official position and
stretch forth his hand against Saul, because he was Jehovah's
anointed (1 Sam.26:9). In the Septuagint, the Greek version of
the Hebrew, David calls Saul the christ christoo of Jehovah.
It was with David that Jehovah made a covenant that he
his house, or dynasty, were to have the office of king in Israel,
so long as the kingdom was to last. Even Messiah Himself was to
come from the line of David, just as the priesthood remained in
the house of Aaron until the Anointed Himself had come. This is a
key to Israel's kingdom history. Loyalty to the house of David
meant faithfulness to Jehovah, for this dynasty was of divine
appointment, and had the symbol of God's spirit in its anointing.
The fact is that no one in Israel, after the flesh, was equipped
to reign over the chosen people. Only in the power of Jehovah's
spirit could anyone rule them for Him.
David, however, foreshadowed the coming Messiah.
prophet, anointed him even while Saul was still reigning. Then we
are told the notable fact that the spirit of Jehovah prospered
David from that day and onward, while it withdrew from Saul, and
an evil spirit from Jehovah frightened him (1 Sam.16:13,14). This
is the key to David's remarkable career. Without the power of
Jehovah's spirit David would not have been the David we know. It
was God's spirit, as signified by his anointing, which made him
the ideal king and the type of Him Who was to come.
There could be no prophet apart from God's anointing by
spirit. Elijah anointed Elisha to be prophet in his stead. Elisha
asked for a mouth of two of him, in spirit (2 Kings 2:9), and
received it, for he did twice as much as his master in the long
period of his prophetic activity in Israel. This should show
conclusively that it is the anointing, the imparted spirit, not
the man, which actually accomplishes the deeds.
THE ANOINTED, OR MESSIAH, OR CHRIST
But we must by no means reason from these shadows that
Reality had all their disabilities, or needed the anointing as
they did. Christ was anointed by God, with the oil of exultation
beyond His partners (Heb.1:9). He had no human father. Even
before His anointing He was generated by the holy spirit of God,
the power of the Most High. Therefore He was called the Son of God
(Luke 1:35). I would be inclined to reason from this that He
needed no anointing, for His very conception was due to God's
spirit. Moreover, as He grew up, He was staunch in spirit, and
filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on Him (Luke 2:40).
Even then He was among the things of His Father (Luke 2:49).
Nevertheless, He did not enter upon His public ministry until
after His baptism by John, when the holy spirit descended upon Him
as if a dove, and God acknowledged Him as His Beloved Son (Luke
At His first public utterance, in the synagogue at
He declared that the spirit of the Lord was on Him, on account of
which He was anointed to bring the evangel (Luke 4:18). From this
it is evident that His generation by God's spirit made Him God's
Son, but it did not fully prepare and equip Him for His
office. For that He waited until He was about thirty years of
age, and until the spirit which had generated Him came upon Him
and thus anointed Him for His marvelous ministry. He did not
assume the office of Messiah, in this case of Prophet, during
the years before He was anointed. The same thought is clearly
stated by Peter to Cornelius, when he said, After the baptism
which John heralded came Jesus from Nazareth, and God anointed Him
with holy spirit and power (Acts 10:37,38). As His was the real,
the genuine anointing, no literal oil was used. It was replaced by
the empowering spirit. His Christhood was not due to His divine
conception but to His spiritual anointing. Does God need to be
When we come to consider our Lord, the great Antitype
all other anointed men pointed, we are apt to overlook this truth,
and ascribe His mighty miracles and marvelous deeds to His own
innate power, due to His generation by God's holy spirit, rather
than to His anointing. Personally, I would not accept any
testimony to the contrary, except it come from His own lips. But
I cannot make Him a liar. He insisted that both His words and His
works were not His, but His Father's. He Himself said, "...the
word which you are hearing is not Mine, but the Father's, Who
sends Me" (John 14:24). Again, "...The declarations which I am
speaking to you I am not speaking from Myself. Now the Father
remaining in Me, He is doing His works" (John 14:10). There is
much more evidence to this effect, for He did not come to reveal
Himself, but the Father Who had sent Him.
As John's account of our Lord's life is usually
set Him forth as God's Son, and to contain the most convincing
proof of His absolute deity, let us run through it briefly and see
what He Himself has to say there as to His relationship to His God
and Father. When the Jews sought to kill Him because He said that
His own Father is God and they reasoned that by this He made
Himself equal to God, He said, among other things: "...the Son
cannot be doing anything of Himself" (5:19). "I cannot do anything
of Myself" (5:30). "No one can come to Me if ever the Father Who
sends Me should not be drawing Him" (6:44). "...no one can be
coming to Me if it should not be given Him of the Father" (6:65).
"My teaching is not Mine, but His Who sends Me" (7:16). "I have
not come from Myself, but He Who sends Me" (7:28). "...from Myself
I am doing nothing, but, according as My Father teaches Me, these
things I am speaking" (8:28). "I came out and am arriving out of
God. For neither have I come of Myself, but He commissions Me"
(8:42). "If I should ever be glorifying Myself, My glory is nothing"
Father Who sends Me, He has given Me the precept, what I may be
saying and what I should be speaking" (12:49).
The greatest glory of Christ lies in His utter
subordination to His Father, not in establishing Himself as a
rival deity. His life is the ideal for man, not God. If we
follow His lead we will submerge our wills and our ways in that of
the Deity. Even after all the wonderful works and powerful deeds
of His career, He does not claim a place beside the Deity, but
places Himself beneath Him. His conquest, over all the powers of
evil should, according to the human standpoint, entitle Him to
eternal supremacy in the realm of priesthood and kingship.
Instead, He is so successful that no priest is present in the new
creation and no ruler is needed at the consummation. Therefore He
turns all these glories back to God, His Father, He finishes the
work which He undertakes, so that God becomes all in everyone of
Although God's deity is rejected by orthodox
seeks to inject the "deity of Christ" into the Bible, though the
phrase is nowhere to be found and is a contradiction in terms.
"Christ" means Anointed. God cannot be anointed by another. He
anoints others. The place and power and prestige which anointing
gives are His intrinsically. Christ receives these from His God
and Father. It is imparted to kings and priests in order to
prepare them to fulfill the functions of their off ice. God needs
no preparation or empowering, for He is the single source of
everything. Who is able to anoint Him? Christ would need no
anointing if He were the Supreme.
His anointing (literally, His christing), which makes
the Christ or the Messiah, equips Him to be a priest, a
mediator between Man and God. He offered Himself to God. God
did not offer Himself to Himself. The Offering was for us, to
bring us to God. He did not offer Himself to bring us to
Himself. We cannot approach God apart from Him and His sacrifice. Shall
we reduce this
to vain words and say that we cannot approach God except through a
different God? When He suffered for us He was forsaken by God. Did
one of the Gods forsake another God?
Anointing, or "christing" is also needed to make Him
Only a Christ, or Messiah, can be King in Israel. Yet God had
already filled this office. Before Saul, He had ruled the nation
through His anointed prophets, yet they rejected Him. But God
had never been anointed! It is preposterous to demand that the
Deity be anointed in order to reign. All political power is His
inherently, and any impartation of spirit or authority by
anointing would be absurd. The kingdom of Christ is a temporary
delegation of political power by God to His Anointed, Jesus, and
is limited to the eonian times. When Christ has subjected all to
God, then the Son Himself also shall be subject to Him Who has
subjected all to Him, that God may be All in all (1 Cor.15:28).
Then he gives up the kingdom to God, even the Father, Who will
need no anointing to prepare Him for His inherent honor. Christ
will not be All. He will be subject.
It is a fatal fault in our language that we use "christ"
the noun of the verb anoint. He is not the only one who is
anointed, or christed. Besides prophets and priests and kings in
Israel, all who receive the spirit of God (not the "third Person"
of the "Trinity," a heathen invention) - all who have
God's spirit are christs. Paul told the Corinthians, "He
Who...anoints us is God" (2 Cor.1:21). They were christed, as
well as those to whom John wrote when he said, "you have an
anointing" (or christing, not "unction" AV, 1 John 2:20). The
possession of the anointing by no means involves Deity, but rather
the opposite. No one who had any intelligent idea of the
scriptural function of anointing would ever accept the absurd
thought that it was compatible with Deity. A christ, or anointed one,
be God, although, as God's Image, the term may be figuratively
applied to His Son.
The phrase "the deity of Christ" is a clumsy
to ignorance of God's Word, and profane arrogance that does not
hesitate to add to God's revelation a phrase of man's invention,
and palms it off as if it were inspired, in order to uphold a
heresy, which is often denounced in the pages of Holy Writ. Israel
had only one God, Jehovah. The nations had many gods, and
Christendom still has three or four, among whom they dissipate the
deity of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. First, there
is the "devil," who seems to have the most power, since he seems
to win the great majority. Then there is God's spirit, the "third
Person" (God never said that!) of the Trinity. To these they add
Christ, the Son, as we have already shown. Four gods, unequal in
power and glory, they palm off for the only wise God, to Whom be
glory for the eons and beyond!
We have been repeatedly assured that Christianity does
worship three gods, but three "Persons" in one "Godhead." But if
we isolate this from the hocus-pocus of theological legerdemain
and apply it elsewhere, who would believe it for a moment? Three
persons with one head! What a monstrosity! We could easily make an
idol of this shape, but what shall we use to make the true God?
He has revealed Himself without using either of these terms. Man
has concealed Him by insisting on words and thoughts entirely
foreign to His vocabulary. And, like the idol-worshipers,
orthodoxy demands that we bow down to this unnatural monster or
pay the penalty of ostracism and dire defamation. Christ has
glories far greater and grander than orthodoxy ever dreamed, yet
they are due to His subjection to the will of His God and
Father, not to competition with the Deity for the place supreme.
Having been an honest and conscientious, but
defender of the "fundamental" doctrine of the deity of Christ for
many years myself, I can understand and sympathize with those who
think it is taught in the Scriptures, and is absolutely essential
to salvation. We imagined that the only alternative was to
degrade Christ to a mere man, like ourselves. We reasoned that
He must be Deity, or He could not do all that He did and will do.
Therefore He must be equal to His Father . That our reasoning was
illogical did not disturb us. But we did not believe His own
words concerning Himself! We were so determined to honor Him that
we denied the Scriptures which define His place as God's
Anointed, the Mediator between God and man.
Had we been as logical as a child, we would never have
for more than one God, or sought to coerce our minds by blurring
the distinct idea of the Deity into a "Godhead with three
Persons," a specious form of sophistry which is utterly
unscriptural. God's spirit and His Anointed are closely associated
with Him, and their relationship to each other is simple and clear
in His revelation. The change to "Godhead" is not of faith. It
is a philosophical absurdity, and the injection of "Persons" is an
impudent and ignorant mystification, designed to bludgeon the
credulous saint to forsake faith in God's Word for the false
philosophies of human religion. It is a pious fraud masquerading
as the highest form of truth.
All of this evidence and reasoning should be
since the apostle Paul has clearly and conclusively defined the
relation between God and Christ. We need never descend to such
futilities, for we believe that "there is one God, the Father,
out of Whom all is,...and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom all
is" (1 Cor.8:6). Corresponding to this we believe "there is one
God, and one Mediator of God and mankind, a Man, Christ Jesus"
(1 Tim.2:5). Paul emphasizes this, by adding, "(I am telling the truth,
I am not lying), a teacher
of the nations in knowledge and truth." But Christendom, in
effect, gives him the lie. Who is worthy of our trust? The
inspired apostle Paul, or the popes of the protestant apostasy?
Honest men and honorable are mesmerized at the mention
these human incantations. They fear to deny "the deity of Christ,"
but brazenly reject God's Word to the contrary. They tremble at
the "Trinity" and the "Persons of the Godhead," but have no
compunction about openly flouting the plain scriptures on the
subject, or distorting them to conform to human speculations. They
gladly burn those who believe God at the stake of popular opinion,
convinced that they are doing God a good service. May God be
gracious to those of His saints who persecute and revile the few
who seek to call them back to His Word and His ways and His