Oneness Pentecostals – Jesus Only
*Understanding Oneness Pentecostalism*
Oneness Pentecostals reject the trinity.
The trinity is a Christian doctrine of the union of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit in a single Godhead.
In this first section, I want to present there doctrine to you without criticism so you can feel the full weight of there argument and how easy it is to confuse and therefore enlist other Christians.
*The Basics of There argument for the Oneness View*
The oneness doctrine is based on a particular understanding of two scriptural truths.
These Bible based beliefs serve as the Foundation for the Oneness view of God and of Jesus Christ.
The first truth is that there is only one God, and the second in that Jesus Christ is God.
From these two truths they deduce that Jesus Christ is God in his totality, and therefore Jesus must himself be the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
*Premise One – There is only One God*
Duet 6:4 correctly emphasizes that there is only one God.
“Hear Oh Israel, The Lord our God, The Lord is one.”
This is the cornerstone for everything that is distinctive about God’s people.
No biblical author would have ever entertained the notion that there could be more then one Supreme Being.
It is the foundation of both ancient Judaism and the first foundational stone to Oneness theology.
*Premise two – Jesus is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit*
The Second foundational premise of Oneness theology, the deity of Christ, is also certainly Biblical.
In this point we happily agree with the Oneness Pentecostal Group.
In short Jesus Christ is God; He is the incarnation of the one and only true God./ /(/Jesus as God/ John 1:1; 20:28).
*Conclusion – Jesus is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit*
It must therefore be taken as absolute scriptural truth that there is only one God, and Jesus Christ is, in every sense of the term, himself this God.
It is precisely this agreement that exist between Trinitarians and Oneness believers that gives Oneness arguments against the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity much of their persuasive power.
Oneness Pentecostals believe there position is the only real position is consistent with these two foundational truths.
In other words only if Jesus is himself Father, Son, and Holy Spirit can the unity of God and the full deity of Christ be acknowledged with consistency.
\\ *Arguing that Jesus is the Father and the Holy Spirit*
*Jesus is the Father*
There are two basic strategies that Oneness Pentecostals use for arguing for the conclusion that Jesus is God and Father.
First they argue that certain prooftexts directly identify Jesus as the Father.
Second, they argue that what is said about God the Father is also said of Jesus Christ.
Some scriptures they use are Isaiah 9:6 (Jesus is called “Mighty God, Everlasting Father”) Since there is only one God Jesus must be God the Father.
Other scriptures John 10:30 “I and the father are one.”
The second strategy used by oneness Pentecostals is to cross reference passages in which both Jesus and God perform divine functions.
For example, the Bible says that both the Father raised Jesus from the dead (Gal 1:1) and that Jesus raise himself from the dead (John 2:19-22).
The father answers Prayer (John 15:16) so does Jesus (John 14:14).
The Father gives the Holy Spirit (John 14:16) so does Jesus (John 15:26).
By /piecing/ together texts such as these, Oneness exponents conclude that Jesus is himself the Father as well as the Son.
*Jesus the Holy Spirit*
Oneness Pentecostals believe that Jesus is explicitly called “the Spirit” in 2 Corinthians 3:17.
Jesus it is argued is Lord in this verse and explicitly identified as the Spirit who opens the heart of believers.
Also cited regularly is Romans 8:9-11 where it states “the Spirit of God”, “The Spirit of Christ”, “Christ”, and “the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus” appear to be interchangeable.
They also believe both are portrayed as intercessors (Rom 8:26; Heb 7:25) Both Sanctify the church (Eph 5:26; 1 Peter 1:2) and that Both provide words to the disciples in times of persecution (Mark 13:11; Luke 21:15).
From piecing together texts as these Oneness exponents conclude that “Jesus is the Holy Spirit”.
*Conclusion: Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit*
It is a given that Jesus is the Son.
But if the Oneness interpretation of biblical passages discussed above is correct, Jesus is also the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Oneness Pentecostals find this teaching brought together in one place in Matthew 28:19.
Jesus tells his disciples to baptize “all nations “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”.
Yet in Acts, we find that the apostles consistently baptize into the “name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 2:38).
This it is said is to imply that “Jesus” is the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
To reinforce the point they say that Matthew 28:19, baptism is said to be performed in the “name” of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
From the singular “name” they deduce that the father, Son, and Holy Spirit must be one Person and that person is Jesus.
The implications of this are that Trinitarian baptism is unbiblical and invalid.
In fact, it implies that all non-Oneness believers, including Trinitarian Christians are unsaved.
\\ Jesus and the Father in Oneness Theology
In order to make sense of this doctrine, that Jesus is both the Father and Son work they must explain two aspects of prominent biblical teaching about Jesus.
First, how the Father and the Son can be distinguished in scripture and yet Jesus is both of them and second why the Bible speaks of Jesus Christ as existing before his birth in Bethlehem.
*The “Oneness Key”*
The distinction between Father and Son is the same distinction as between the humanity of Jesus Christ and the deity of Jesus Christ.
For Oneness Pentecostals, to say that Jesus is both the Father and the Son is to say that he is both God and man.
Trinitarians agree that Jesus was God and man.
Oneness Pentecostals differ in application of the Doctrine of Jesus as God and man to the distinction between the Father and Son.
Trinitarians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, as distinct from the Father, who is fully God and fully man.
Oneness Pentecostals hold that the description of Jesus as being as “fully God and fully Man” refers to Jesus as being both the Father and the Son.
In other words, as fully God, Jesus is Father, and as fully man, Jesus is Son.
Trinitarians believe that Jesus’ Sonship is an aspect of his divinity and Oneness Pentecostals believe his Sonship is only an aspect of his humanity.
Being both the Father and the Son while on earth, Jesus could, according to Oneness theology, alternate, between the two natures.
Oneness authors refer to this “insight” as the “Oneness Key” referring to the way in which to “correctly” interpret the scriptures and who Jesus was.
Thus in the Oneness belief Jesus can be understood to act and speak sometimes as God (Father) while at other times as a human.
They are constantly asking what role Jesus is playing God or man.
Therefore, as paradoxical as it sounds Jesus was and is both the Father who loved and sent his Son, and the Son who loved and obeyed the Father.
He was both the Son who prayed to his Father, and the Father who answered the Son.
He was the man who experienced God forsakenness on the cross, and the God who at least appeared to forsake his Son on the cross.
If Jesus appears as distinct in nature it is always an “illusion” assumed for the sake of revelation.
This duality in the nature of Jesus is “the key” to understanding the relationship between the Father and the Son in scripture.
Unitarianism see Jesus as having two natures, however, Trinitarians see the relationship between the Father and Son is not a relationship between two “natures” (how can two natures relate?); rather it is a relationship between two divine real (not “illusory”) persons.
Moreover, because the Father and Son relationship in the New Testament at least “appears” to be relationship between two distinct “persons” two whos (Each loves, yields, talks, etc., to each other) the Christ of the Oneness Theology comes across as having two distinct personalities within himself, which operate within him at different times and can even talk to each other.
*The Preexistent Christ*
A very important implication of the Oneness equation of “The Son of God” with the humanity of Jesus is that Jesus as the Son of God cannot be eternal.
The distinctness of the Son from the Father is the distinctness of a finite human being from the eternal God.
Hence, Jesus Christ as the Father existed from eternity according to the Oneness theology, Jesus Christ as Son had a definite beginning.
\\ *The Preexistent Father*
Paul and the writer from Hebrews refer to the world being created through Jesus Christ the Son (1 John 1:3; 1 Cor 8:6; Eph.
3:9; Col 1:15-17; Heb 1:2).
So how do they handle these texts?
First wherever they Jesus refers to himself as eternal (John 8:58) the previously mentioned “oneness key concept” of Christ as both the Father is utilized, for this means that Christ is both eternal and temporal.
It is then the voice of the eternal Father in Christ that is for the moment speaking when he refers to himself as existing eternally.
To explain passages as these most Oneness authors refer to the concept of God’s foreknowledge.
This is the second way in which oneness authors get around the actual preexistence of the Son in Scripture.
This would mean that if the Father created the world through Jesus Christ that God created the world “with a view towards” or “for the sake of” Jesus Christ, the future Man (Son) in whom he planned to dwell.
The divine purpose existed from the beginning, not the one in whom it should be /fulfilled.
/In other words, the Son existed in Gods mind only.
This means for Oneness people that God had ideal forevision and not a “substantial entity”.
In John 1:1 “The word”, quit simply was God’s plan and purpose in creation.
*The Commissioned Son*
The explanation they offer for the “sending” passages is that Christ is said to be “sent by God into the World” in the same manner in which ordinary prophets are to be “sent by God”.
In other words the sent one was commissioned by God.
The only difference between sending of the man Jesus and the sending of the disciples is that Jesus received his sending directly from the Father who dwelt within him and was united to him, whereas the disciples’ sending was commissioned by Jesus himself.
It is therefore concluded there is no reason to believe the language of Jesus being “sent by God’ implies and concept of preexistence.
*The Son and the Spirit in Oneness Theology*