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THE THEORY OF ONENESS EXPLAINED
The doctrine of Oneness, has its roots in Modalism. Modalism was first seen in the 3rd century. It was also known in the Western Christian World as Sabellianism, named after a Roman priest and theologian named Sabellius. Modern Modalism, called Oneness, was introduced in 1913 by R.E. McAlister. By 1916, 160 Oneness ministers were expelled from the “Assemblies of God,” which taught the Trinity Doctrine.
Today, the largest Oneness denomination is the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW), which has about a million members. The PAW church began in 1906 as a Trinity Doctrine church and converted to Oneness in about 1916. During this same period of time, baptism in just the name of Jesus was initiated by a Los Angeles minister. By 2019, the church was incorporated in the state of Indiana, after moving its headquarters from Portland Oregon.
As of this date, 2-24-23, the PAW belief statement on their website makes no details of Oneness belief other than standard statements accepted all Christians. For example, it states their aim is to “glorify Jesus Christ as Savior.” I also found this secrecy of the Oneness doctrine on other Oneness church websites. Oneness churches are evidently too embarrassed to mention it’s belief that Jesus is God, or that Jehovah was 3 modes.
Some other Oneness churches are:
Pentecostal Church of Apostolic Faith (PCAF)
United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI)
Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ World Wide, Inc. (Bible Way)
Assemblies of the Lord Jesus, Inc. (ALJI)
Church of Our Lord Jesus of the Apostolic Faith (COLJF)
Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church of God (AOHCG)
Oneness theory explained:
Jesus is said to have two natures: Human and Divine. These two natures are separate, but do not exist simultaneously. Oneness primarily teaches that God is one being with three different modes or manifestations. It is believed Jehovah revealed himself as “the Father (Creator), as the Son (Savior) when God became man, and as the Holy Ghost (indwelling Spirit) Deuteronomy 6:4.” (quote from Oneness Pentecostal Tabernacle). Another description given by other Oneness believers is, God was manifested as the Father in creation, the Son in redemption, and the Holy Ghost in emanation.
My take on Oneness:
Since many Oneness denominations are vague about their beliefs on their websites, it was hard for me to get full explanations direct from the horse’s mouth. YouTube videos and other sources add to the confusion. Although I disagree with the Trinity doctrine, I can at least see how they misinterpret things. With Modalism or Oneness, I have a hard time understanding how such a bizarre theory can even be believed. There are too many scriptures that indicate Jesus preexisted his physical birth, and too many scriptures where more than one manifestation of God is present at the same time. Finally, there are so many scriptures where Jesus himself clearly stated he is both separate from the Father and subservient to the Father.
I look at Oneness as a half-baked theology. I call it “Trinity Doctrine lite.” At least Oneness teaches God is one person, not 3 persons in one. However, Oneness professes God is 3 modes in one. Unlike the Catholic Trinity Doctrine, Oneness is correct in stating God is one person. On the other hand, Jesus is not a mode, or manifestation of God. Instead, Jesus was the Son at creation, the Son on earth, and will be the Son in the end-times; sitting at the right hand of God. Jesus NEVER claimed to be God, and never stated God had different modes. Jehovah never became Jesus, and Jesus never returned to heaven to be Jehovah.
Unfortunately, both the Trinitarians and Oneness believers require long dissertations explaining what Jesus never explained about himself. They both spend hours debating what Christ never debated. They want us to believe what the disciples never believed. They both say their belief is revealed (to them) throughout the Bible. They both must say, “throughout” the Bible because their theories can only be created by stringing together numerous misinterpreted scriptures. They explain these scriptures in such a way, that neither Jesus nor the apostles ever mentioned. As the Bible states, Satan is the master of confusion and is against what Jesus stated.
The theories of both Oneness and the Trinity Doctrine fail to deal with the two scripture that should end all the foolishness. First of all, Jesus denied ever claimed to be God in John 10:30-36.
Joh 10:30-36 KJV....... I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, THOU BLASPHEMEST BECAUSE I SAID, I AM THE SON OF GOD?
Then, in Revelation 3;12, a heavenly Jesus states 4 times, the Father (Jehovah) is his God.
Rev 3:12 KJV...... Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of MY GOD, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of MY GOD, and the name of the city of MY GOD, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from MY GOD: and I will write upon him my new name.
Believing what Jesus said is true biblical theology. Biblical theology is not concocted by creating a theory Jesus never mentioned or reading what later church leaders debated. Jesus could have simply either said, I am one God made up of 3 persons, or, I am one God made up of 3 modes. That would clarify everything, but Jesus didn’t say that because it is not the truth. Moreover, Jesus told us the whole truth; we don’t have to rely on our own understanding or add new concepts or new words to scripture. As scripture states:
Pro 3:5 KJV...... Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Rev 22:18 KJV...... For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
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