I will be taking up the pen again (or keyboard) and start discussing articles on Oneness again in the Oneness in … series. Today’s book of the bible is Malachi.
Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?MAL 2:10
God had emphatically warned Israel against mixed marriages with pagans (Exo. 34:16; Deut. 7:3; and Josh. 22:12,13). Through intermarriages with the heathen they profaned that covenant. Ezra had done his best to eradicate the evil (Ezra 9:10); and, “Nehemiah, too, contended against those who had contracted such marriages,” having found many such violations of God’s law upon his return to Jerusalem (Nehemiah 13:23-28). The important consideration in this desire on God’s part that Israel should not marry foreign wives was that doing so injected an element of paganism into Israel, an injection which had actually been the source of the total apostasy of both the secular kingdoms of Israel before the exile.
The simple, indeed, (I will not call them unwise and unlearned,) who always constitute the majority of believers, are startled at the dispensation (of the Three in One), on the ground that their very rule of faith withdraws them from the world’s plurality of gods to the one only true God; not understanding that, although He is the one only God, He must yet be believed in with His own οἰκονομία . The numerical order and distribution of the Trinity they assume to be a division of the Unity; whereas the Unity which derives the Trinity out of its own self is so far from being destroyed, that it is actually supported by it. They are constantly throwing out against us that we are preachers of two gods and three gods, while they take to themselves pre-eminently the credit of being worshippers of the One God; just as if the Unity itself with irrational deductions did not produce heresy, and theTrinity rationally considered constitute the truth.
Tertullian himself admits that the majority of believers in his day were believers in a Unity or oneness view of God as opposed to Tertullian’s view of the trinity. He even goes so far as to say that the majority of believers threw accusations against him of being a preacher of two or three gods by preaching his doctrine of trinity.
Malachi as well throws accusations against the unrepentant Israel by stating a fact of God’s inherent quality of being one, not divided into a multiplicity of gods or persons.