There are certain denominations which actually teach that Jesus is God the Father, and that there is no real difference between the two. I believe many call this “oneness,” which rejects the Godhead, replacing it with the idea that there are not three, or two… but simply one.
This too is dangerous. If Jesus is God the Father, and not separate (God the Son), then his argument in the following verse is voided out:
(16) And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
His argument is that he is not alone. But the “oneness” doctrine teaches that he is. Therefore Jesus does not have a case.
Notice the next two verses:
(17) It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.
(18) I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.
If Jesus is God the Father, then his defense is quickly dismissed, for in the law a case must be established “out of the mouth of two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15). For Jesus to have a case… to even make sense, they must be two separate entities. The confusion with our opponents lies in the next verse:
(19) Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.
They say with this that, since if they had known him they would have also known the Father, that Jesus is the same as the Father. But does this rule out the logic Jesus himself used in the previous texts? Absolutely not! If the reader would have kept reading John gospel, they would have read:
(30) I and my Father are one.
They are one, not because they are not separate individuals, but because they are one in agreement, purpose and love, as shown in the previous sections of this study. They are “united.” That is why, when you know Jesus, you know the Father, because Jesus represents the father:
(43) I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
There is One God, united as three co-eternal persons, each representing each other, agreeing with each other, et cetera.
The individuality of the Father and the Son is brought forth ever so clear in the following verses, spoken by Jesus Christ himself:
(20) Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
(21) That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Ellen White explained this in no better terms:
“The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. They are one in purpose, in mind, in character, but not in person. It is thus that God and Christ are one.” –The Ministry of Healing, page 422.
Furthermore, Jesus, we know, became a man “like unto his brethren” (Hebrews 2:17). Yet the Father is Spirit (John 4:22). No man has ever seen God at any time (1 John 4:12), yet Jesus, was seen (Acts 1:3).
No friends, Jesus was not praying to himself in John 17. He’s not crazy. He was praying to another person in the Godhead; to the Father. To claim otherwise would mean to go against the clear testimony of scripture, and cause Jesus to be both illogical and insane.
For our Adventist brethren… Ellen White is in agreement:
“The Scriptures clearly indicate the relation between God and Christ, and they bring to view as clearly the personality and individuality of each.” –The Ministry of Healing, page 421.