Matthew 28:18 – Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.”
Matthew 28:18 is often quoted as proof of both the trinity and oneness doctrines. Some translations read “all power” instead of “all authority”; the Greek word, however, refers to “all authority”. It is from the standpoint, however, of those who cite this scripture in an effort to be that Jesus is the Almighty that we in this study examining what this would mean.
One of the “oneness” believers states concerning this that if Jesus has “all power” then nobody else can have any. This, of course, is absurd. Taken as the thought is given, it would deny that anyone else can have any power at all! Therefore, according to this statement, Satan no longer has any power! The angels no longer have any power! The demons no longer have any power! The God and Father of Jesus no longer has any power! Human rulers no longer have any power to rule! If taken to the extreme, it would mean that no living thing has any power to walk, to eat, to work, to think, breath, etc. We highly doubt, however, that this is what the writer had in mind in stating that “all power” given to Jesus means that no one else had any, but we are just giving the logical conclusions that can be drawn from such a statement. The oneness writer stated this, we are sure, in an effort to support the claim that in some vague way Jesus became the Father (the only true God — John 17:1,3), an idea that we do not find anywhere in the entire Bible.
The idea that Jesus was claiming no one else has any power at all has to be assumed and added to what Jesus said. Paul does not so assume, for he says that it is “evident” that the One who subjected all things to Jesus is excepted from the “all” that has been subjected to Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:27) Thus the God and Father of Jesus did not, has not, nor will he ever, give to Jesus the power and the glory that only belongs to the God and Father of Jesus, the being of the only Most High God Almighty. (Genesis 14:22; 17:1; Exodus 6:3; Isaiah 42:8) When Jesus stated, however, that all power has been given to him, he is not saying that no one else has any power, but that the power that has been given to him, as the one sitting next to the Most High, exceeds the power that has been given by the Yahweh (whom Jesus sits at the right hand of — Psalm 110:1) to anyone else, so that all things are made subject to him. In this relationship, it is evident that all the power given to Jesus by Yahweh does not include the being of Yahweh, on whose right hand Jesus has been made to sit. — Ephesians 2:20-22.
Often trinitarians as well as oneness believers will present a long list of scriptures which they claim supports or proves the trinity or oneness doctrines, and they will include Matthew 28:18 in that list. Usually no real explanantion is made of the scriptures, but rather the trinity doctrine or the oneness doctrine is presumed upon the scriptures.
Many seem to be absorbed with the expression “all power” in Matthew 28:18, and thus apper to overlook the word “given”; some trinitarians try to explain that the power given here is not the eternal power of the (alleged) second person of the (alleged) trinity, but a special power given from the (alleged) first person of the (alleged) trinity to the (alleged) second person of the (alleged) trinity. If this is so, then there is nothing in this verse that offers any proof of the trinity. Actually, there is nothing in the scriptures at all about a triune God, nor that Jesus is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or that Jesus is a person, mode, etc., of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is always presented as being one person, and is never presented as being more than one person.
We also need to examine the word that is render “all” regarding “all” power that is given to Jesus, which is transliterated as “pasa”. It is a form of the Greek “Pas” (meaning: all, every, whole, etc.), and all forms of this word look to context as well common evidence for what is included or excluded. As shown above is evidently that the God and Father of Jesus is excluded, as Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:27. A Biblical study of this word all through the New Testament shows that, even when our translators add the word “things” to it, it rarely refers to absolutely “all” things in the whole universe, which would include the Most High Himself. It is always qualified by the context and common evidence. Although regarding Matthew 28:18, we can see from other scriptures that the “all power” that has been given to Jesus does include the subjection of all power in the whole created universe, but it does not include the Supreme Power of the Creator Himself.
Trinitarians, likewise, like to refer to Matthew 28:18 as proof that Jesus is God, but, as yet, we have seen any explanation as to how this is claimed to support their position. Much that we have stated above also applies to the trinitarian arguments that this scripture offers proof of their trinitarian dogma.
It is often listed as proof that Jesus is alleged to be “omnipotent“. They seem to want Jesus to say: “I have all power in heaven and earth”, while ignoring that this power is given to Jesus. Some claim that the power is given from the Father to the Son, but, if this power is meant to prove that Jesus is God, or omnipotent, then the scripture would mean that before being given all this power, the Son was not God, and was not omnipotent (as many alleged Jesus to be), until this power was given to him. If they say that this power was given to Jesus as a man, and yet still use this scripture as proof that Jesus is God, then, in effect, they would be saying the human being Jesus became the God being. It would declare the flesh of Jesus as being the alleged “God nature” that they claim Jesus has.
In actuality, Jesus, in saying his words in Matthew 28:18, offers proof that Jesus is not his God, never has been his God, and never will be his God. Jesus is, and always will be, the Son of the Most High. He will never be the Most High of whom he is the son. — Genesis 14:22; Psalm 7:17; 83:18; 92:1; Luke 1:32; John 13:16.
While both trinitarian and “oneness” believers continue to present long lists of scriptures alleged to prove that Jesus is Yahweh, yet in reality, one has to assume, add to, and read that thought into all of the scriptures presented.
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