David Lamb Ministries

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Introduction (Teaching Series)

The Oneness system of Theology is the result of finite man trying to explain an infinite God! This is more outrageous than an earthworm trying to explain every minute detail of the anatomical structure of a human being! Three times the Bible tells us that “the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain” God, so why do they suppose their mortal minds can? It smacks of arrogance.

Of all the false doctrines in the church world, I believe the Oneness system of Theology presents the greatest danger to our Pentecostal movement. When you see a Oneness Pentecostal, they often look like true blue Christians. They believe in holiness standards, the baptism in the Holy Ghost, and talk much of the same Christian jargon as we do. In many ways their church services, singing, and music are the same as ours. And because they look and act so much like true Christians, innocent bystanders never think to question the heretical doctrines they propagate!

I have had Oneness people tell me they don’t have to believe in the Trinity because they have “Jesus” in their lives. They believe that means they have the Father irregardless of their views on the Godhead. They use verses like 1 John 2:23 to support this idea.

1Jo 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

As you can see, it is true, if you have the Son, you have the Father also, but what if you have the wrong son? What if you are serving the wrong Jesus? Let us consider 2 Corinthians 11:4, where Paul tells us there would be those that would come preaching “another” Jesus. He would be called “Jesus”, but he would not resemble the Jesus of the Bible. They would describe him, but he would look different than the Christ of Holy Scripture. Think about it this way: Let’s say you asked me if I knew a certain person and I said, “Yes”. But when I described that person to you, I was wrong on nearly every detail. I described the wrong color of hair, the wrong color of eyes, the wrong height, the wrong weight, and the wrong age. Would you still think I knew who you were talking about? Of course not!

With a heavy heart, I must warn you that Oneness Theology promotes “another Jesus”. When they describe him, he is not the same Jesus spoken of by the Apostles. Their Jesus is not part of a holy Trinity. Their Jesus is not pre-existent. He is not eternal. As the Son of God, their Jesus is not divine. Their Jesus claims to be BOTH God the Father and God the Holy Ghost. Their Jesus talks and prays to Himself. Their Jesus stands and sits on, at, and by his own right hand! Their Jesus is different than the Trinitarian’s Jesus in many ways!

Though I have come in contact with several ex-Oneness adherents that have converted to Trinitarianism, they are few and far between. The Catholic Church says, “Give us your child until it is seven and it will never stray from Catholicism”; the Oneness people are very much the same, they indoctrinate their people well!

On the flip side of that, most Trinitarians don’t trouble themselves with indoctrinating their congregations and children. Though I have heard many preachers mention the Trinity in passing, I have personally heard only three sermons dedicated exclusively to the subject (and that’s over a space of fifteen years)! Think about it! When was the last time you heard a sermon preached, or a lesson taught, exclusively on the triune nature of God? Brothers and Sisters, because of this lack of teaching, many Trinitarians are being swept into the horrid abyss of the Jesus Only movement. Preachers, you must tell your people Who God is! And you must tell them now!

There are four areas of doctrine that Oneness Pentecostals are especially vulnerable: (1) their denial of the pre-existence of Christ; (2) their belief that Jesus was Himself the Father; (3) their belief that baptism in “Jesus’ name only” is necessary for salvation; and (4) their belief that tongues is the necessary sign of salvation. In the following lessons, I will attempt to deal a death blow to these four areas of Oneness Theology.

Copyright 2009 by David Lamb

Lesson 1 - A Brief History of the Oneness Pentecostal Movement


It has been my experience that many Jesus Only adherents are disingenuous when it comes to church history. They have no problem quoting an early Church Father when they think it favors their position, yet they claim they need only the Bible when the Fathers do not favor their position. They will use church history to support their doctrines of Baptismal Regeneration, and baptism in the name of Jesus only, but when a Trinitarian uses Church history to support baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, they quickly resort to ad hominem attacks with the intent of discrediting the historian or Church Father’s testimony. They take quote after quote out of context, half quoting some, misquoting others, and giving erroneous definitions for words until they sound as if they actually know what they are talking about. They especially do this with the Bible. They take so many verses out of context it is unbelievable, but this is a necessity for them. Isolating verses and taking them out of context is the only way they can maintain many of their doctrines.

A good example of this would be Oneness author and apologist David Bernard’s horrid attempt at teaching that Jesus was the Father incarnate (Oneness of God, pg. 66-70). He laid John 8:25 and John 8:27 side by side to “prove” that Jesus was calling Himself the Father. Let’s read these two verses.

Joh 8:25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.

Joh 8:27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.

Please pay attention to the fact that he completely omitted verse 26, but who can blame him, considering it destroys his entire proposition? Here is what verse 26 says:

Joh 8:26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but HE THAT SENT ME is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of HIM. (emphasis added)

If these three verses are read in their natural order, it becomes clear that verse 27is referring back to the Father Who sent and spoke to Jesus in verse 26! These verses plainly teach a personal distinction between the Father and Jesus, not that Jesus is the Father incarnate! The really sad thing is, the Oneness believers that are reading this propaganda never question Bernard’s underhanded tactics. They swallow everything he says hook, line, and sinker! My prayer is that God would open their eyes that they might see the truth of God’s Word!

With sneaky tactics like these, a Christian who does not know the Scriptures and church history well enough, can be stumped and found struggling to answer the Jesus Only adherent’s arguments sufficiently. Please, do not fall for these underhanded tactics. Do not be intimidated by their much speaking! Most Oneness adherents are doing nothing more than repeating their denomination’s literature or what their preachers told them to say. If the truth be known, many of them are actually struggling to believe the very doctrines they are advocating. It’s just that they are so fearful of tri-theism they won’t move an inch toward true Trinitarianism!

In this lesson I would like to expose the true origin of the Oneness Pentecostal movement, and give you the resources necessary to soundly refute their erroneous historical claims.

A Brief History of the Oneness Pentecostal Movement

Many Oneness believers assert that the doctrine of the Trinity was invented in 325 A.D. at the Council of Nicaea, but this is simply not true. The Council of Nicaea was an assembly in which the early Church Fathers sat down and defined what they already believed. From the Apostles up until the late 2nd century, the triune nature of God was universally assumed by nearly all Christendom. There was no one refuting the belief that God was a Trinity, so they had no reason to systematically define the doctrine. Then certain heretics sprang up, like Arius, Noetus, Praxeas, and Sabellius, teaching doctrines contrary to those of Christ and the Apostles. The Fathers, out of necessity, had to define what the Church believed. They did not invent anything!

I do not deny that the creeds, terminologies, and Theological semantics that we use today have evolved over the years, but that is a far cry from inventing the concept of God consisting of a trinity of self-conscious persons. It would be absurd for me to say my wife is not the same woman today as she was when I first married her, simply because I now know more about her. Likewise, we may have a greater understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity than those that preceded us, but it is foolish to say the Trinity does not exist on that basis. This, as you will see, is just one of many places the Oneness adherents display gross hypocrisy. I doubt that there is a single point of Oneness Theology that has not evolved down through the years, but they conveniently forget things like that when dealing with us.

We may or may not agree with every single point of the Nicene Creed, but that is not really the issue here. The issue is, the Fathers believed in a plurality of persons in the Godhead before the council at Nicaea ever convened. Now don’t get me wrong, that alone does not make the doctrine of the Trinity true, only Scripture can determine what is true and what is not. But the Nicene Council is important because it tells us what was being taught only two hundred and fifty years after the Apostles and their writings.

The Church Fathers wrote many articles and letters to each other. They debated heretical teachings and were very open about their beliefs. Because of that, we have much evidence of their Theological position on the Godhead. Remember, Oneness believers will tell you that the concept of the Trinity was invented in 325 A.D., that the Church held to the Oneness doctrine up until that time. The problem with this assertion is that historical documentation proves otherwise.
During the first nineteen years of the church, with the exception of a short space of time between 180 and 300 A.D., the Oneness movement is basically invisible. On the other hand, the overwhelming majority of Church Fathers clearly taught a plurality in the Godhead, if not outright Trinitarianism. Here are a few examples:

70 A.D. – A book called “The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles”, or “The Didache” (di-dah-kay), gives solid evidence of the early church’s belief in the triune God. This is remarkable considering Paul wrote several of his epistles between 60 and 64 A.D., which means only six to ten years had expired between the two. It is cited by Eusebius who lived from (260-341 A.D) and Athanasius (293-373 A.D.). Historically, they were Trinitarians in 70 A.D.

The following is a list of church fathers who taught there was a plurality of persons in the Godhead, as well as the resources I found this information in:

110 A.D. – Ignatius of Antioch (Epistle to the Ephesians, 0:0).
151 A.D. – Justin Martyr (First Apology 13:5–6).
181 A.D. – Theophilus of Antioch (A letter to Autolycus 2:15).
189 A.D. – Irenaeus (Against Heresies 1:10:1).
216 A.D. – Tertullian (Against Praxeas 2).
225 A.D. – Origen (The Fundamental Doctrines 4:4:1).
228 A.D. – Hippolytus (Refutation of All Heresies 10:29).
235 A.D. – Novatian (Treatise on the Trinity 11).
262 A.D. – Dionysius (Letter to Dionysius of Alexandria 1).
265 A.D. – Gregory the Wonderworker (Declaration of Faith).
325 A.D. – The Trinitarian view was affirmed as an article of faith by the Nicene.
381 A.D. – The Trinitarian view was again affirmed as an article of faith in Constantinople.

My only purpose for listing these Church Fathers and their writings is to support my proposition that the early church’s belief in the Trinity existed long before 325 A.D.

I would like to ask the Jesus Only adherents a few questions. If the Oneness doctrine was the principle doctrine of the early Church as you propose, why do the Father’s speak in a manner that indicates a general and common knowledge of the Trinity? Why was there no uproar when all these Trinitarians came on the scene teaching this “new” heresy, trying to destroy the church? How could the Trinitarian “heresy” take over so quickly, thoroughly, and quietly? How did these Trinitarian “heretics” completely hijack the entire church, its history, and doctrines without a peep from anyone? And why is it that when the Oneness heresy appeared in the late second and early third centuries there WAS a massive uproar? The answer is simple. The Jesus Only doctrine did not exist in Christendom up until then!

One may ask: “If the majority of our Church Fathers were Trinitarian, then where did the Oneness doctrine originate?” Well, that’s a good question!

Monarchianism (190 A.D.)

When studying the Oneness doctrine and its origin, I have noticed certain words and terminologies repeatedly coming up. Words like Monarchianism, Sabellianism, Modalism, and Patripassionism. Although these words are technically different, they ultimately describe the same thing.

Previously, I told you that the reason the council at Nicaea convened and placed their beliefs on the Godhead into articles of faith, was that heretics began to spring up teaching doctrines contrary to the Apostles’ teachings. One of those false teachers was Theodotus of Byzantine. In 190 A.D. he began teaching what would be labeled by Tertullian as Monarchianism. The word Monarchianism is derived from a Greek word that means “the rule of one man”. Monarchianism is basically the belief that God the Father is the only person in the Godhead. Theodotus (also known as Artemon), claimed this was the true apostolic teaching, but Hippolytus challenged that claim. Later, Paul of Samosata became the chief promoter of it, creating a more advanced system.

Around the same time (ca. 190 A.D.), a Monarchian by the name of Noetus rose up. In a council at Smyrna he lied about his belief in Monarchianism, asserting he was an orthodox Trinitarian. Later, in another council meeting, after winning a few converts, he confessed his Monarchian dogma and was ultimately condemned and excommunicated as a heretic. It is said he believed he was Moses and his brother was Aaron (Morey, Robert, The Trinity: Evidence and Issues, pg. 510). Monarchianism was eventually condemned by the Synod (an assembly of clergy) of Antioch in 268 A.D.

Adoptive Monarchianism

There were a few different forms of Monarchianism, they had some similarities, but were distinct enough to be opposed to each other. First, there was Adoptive Monarchianism. This is the belief that Christ was merely a man until His baptism, when the Holy Ghost MADE Him the Son of God by adoption. In John 1:1 the Bible says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” We know that the Word (or Logos) is Christ Jesus, but Theodotus believed the Word was the wisdom of God indwelling the human Jesus. He also promoted the teaching that the Holy Ghost was not a person, but simply a manifestation of the grace of the Father.

Modalistic Monarchianism

The second form of Monarchianism I want to mention was possibly started by Simon Magus, a magician in Samaria who professed conversion in Acts 8:9; you may know him better as Simon the Sorcerer. He was denounced by Peter for trying to buy the gifts of the Spirit, which is now called the Sin of Simony. He stated that God was one person acting out three different roles in the same drama. He taught that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost were masks that God hid behind. It was the idea that God appeared not in three different persons, but in three different modes, hence, we have the word modalism. Modalism is based on the Platonic doctrine that God was an indivisible monad and could not be divided into three distinct persons.

Not only did Simon Magus teach that there was only one person in the Godhead, he was so wicked that he claimed he was that person! He claimed to be the Father in Samaria, the Son in Judea, and the Holy Ghost to the rest of the nations (Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 1 pgs. 347-348).

Although many dangers are prevalent in this modalistic concept of God, I consider one of them to be the most dangerous. If the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost were merely three roles or masks, we would never really know who God is. Although we would know something about His “parts” or “roles”, we would never know the God behind the masks, which falls just short of agnosticism!

Sabellianism (200-400 A.D.)

Between 200 A.D. and 400 A.D. another form of Modalistic Monarchianism sprang up: Sabellianism. Sabellianism was a Christian heresy named after Sabellius, a priest excommunicated by Pope Callistus I in 220 A.D. He vehemently denied the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Sabellius contended that God was three only in relation to the world. He, too, said God manifested Himself in different "modes." Where Adoptive Monarchianism taught that Christ was born merely a human and then made the Son of God, Sabellius taught that Christ was actually the Father indwelling a physical body. So Jesus was not the second person of the Godhead, He was God the Father in the mode of the Son! Although it is hard to believe, they taught that God became His own Son! Sabellianism ultimately evolved into what the Apostolics and UPC adherents believe today.

Praxeas and Patripassionism (190-262 A.D.)

Sabellius, like his counterparts, taught that Jesus did not exist before the incarnation and, because the Father and Jesus are the same person, it was actually the Father that suffered on the cross of Calvary. This view is called “Patripassionism” from the words patri, which means “father”, and passion, which means “to suffer”. It was first taught by a man named Praxeas (in Rome) in approximately 190 A.D., and then condemned by a synod of Rome in 262 A.D.

In Carthage, Tertullian was able to convince Praxeas of the errors of his Oneness doctrine, which resulted in Praxeas making a public recantation (Morey, Robert, The Trinity: Evidence and Issues, pg. 509). Unfortunately, Praxeas was once again overcome by this heresy and became a Oneness champion. Some historians believe Praxeas and Sabellius were one and the same person (Letham, Robert, The Holy Trinity, pg. 108).

So, to simplify this as much as possible, these heretics taught that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost were merely three titles, actions, or modes of the same person. They taught that He was one person who appeared in the Old Testament as Father, in the Gospels as Son, and to the Church as Holy Ghost. They taught that God revealed Himself as Father in creation, Son in redemption, and Holy Ghost in regeneration. This is, more or less, the same position that today’s Oneness adherents hold to. To the Oneness adherent, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is what God does. To the Trinitarian the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are who God is.

Middle Ages (ca. 400 A.D. to 1500 A.D.)

As far as the Middle Ages go, Oneness believers are even harder to find than they were in the first three centuries. The Oneness doctrine basically lay silent for over twelve hundred years. David Bernard said there were many people living in the Middle Ages that opposed Trinitarianism, but could only list three: (1) Abelard (1079-1142 A.D.); (2) Michael Servetus (1511-1553 A.D.); and (3) Emanuel Swedenborg (1668-1772 A.D.). He said John Clowes (1828 A.D.) was “possibly” a Modalist. He then listed three more men that some Oneness writers “think” could have been Modalists (but even Bernard would not put his signature on those three)! In fact, Bernard could only list about a dozen “so-called” Oneness adherents from the days of the Apostles to the early 1900's, and the vast majority of them had question marks over their heads (Oneness of God, pgs. 241-242)!

I was amazed that Bernard even listed Emanuel Swedenborg as a Oneness advocate! That only showed me how desperate he was to find some “proof” of their existence before the 1900's. Swedenborg is said to have been an occultic medium whose teachings were adopted by the Free Masons. He taught that adultery with concubines and mistresses was okay in certain circumstances. He is attributed with reviving the ancient heresy of the Son being the human nature of Jesus, and the Father being the divine nature of Jesus (Morey, Robert, The Trinity: Evidence and Issues, pg. 513). I’d like to ask all of you Oneness/Jesus Only adherents how it feels to know your doctrine on the hypostatic union was revived by a warlock?

As far as historical information dealing with the Oneness movement up until the 1900's is concerned, this is the best I can do. Even David Bernard confessed, “It appears that most Oneness believers did not leave a written record” (Oneness of God, pg. 241). I had to laugh when I read that. Not only was it convenient, it was very true! Oneness believers would have had to actually exist in order for them to have written something!

Modern Day Oneness Pentecostalism (Apostolic, UPC, Jesus Name Churches, etc.)

It is well documented that the modern day Oneness Pentecostal movement (Apostolic, UPC Churches) is merely a split off of the Assemblies of God. It all started in 1913at the World-Wide Apostolic Camp Meeting held in Arroyo Seco, California, funded by a man named R. J. Scott (Liardon, Roberts, God’s Generals, pg. 65-66). He was excited about the things he had heard about a woman preacher named Maria Woodworth-Etter. He thought she could rekindle the fires of Azusa Street and bring a unified supernatural work back to the Los Angeles area. Many of its attendees referred to it as a continuation and reviving of the original Azusa Street meeting.

A Canadian named R.E. McAlister, an Assemblies of God minister, preached a message on water baptism in Jesus’ Name. John G. Schaepe was so stirred by the sermon, he claimed to have prayed and read the Bible all night. In the morning he ran through the camp shouting that he had received a revelation on the power of Jesus’ name. A great division came about, and from there several of them began baptizing in Jesus’ name only. Ultimately, from this 1913 fiasco, the Oneness Pentecostal movement was spawned!

According to E. Calvin Beisner, R.E. McAlister was not the only Assemblies of God preacher gone astray. He was accompanied by the likes of Frank J. Ewart, Glenn A. Cook, and Garfield T. Haywood (“Jesus Only” Churches, pg. 7). Beisner states that in 1915 the Assemblies of God, after being prompted by J. Roswell Flower’s opposition to Oneness Theology, held a general council and opposed the Oneness teaching. In 1916 they held a fourth general council at which they adopted a “Statement of Fundamental Truths” that emphatically held to the doctrine of the Trinity. This resulted in the banning of 156 of the Assembly of God’s 585 ministers.

On January 3, 1916, several of the Oneness ministers that had been disbarred by the Assembly of God’s “Statement of Fundamental Truths” (including Howard A. Goss, H.G. Rodgers, and D.C.O Opperman) formed the General Assembly of Apostolic Assemblies. From that organization, the Apostolic and UPC movement evolved and grew into what it is today. So, as you can plainly see, today’s Oneness Pentecostal movement is nothing more than chaff sifted off of Trinitarian wheat.

Just for the record, in 1919 they suffered the embarrassment of having R.E. McAlister renounce what he had previously taught concerning the Oneness doctrine and baptism in Jesus’ Name. He became one of Canada’s great orthodox Trinitarian champions (Fudge, Thomas, Christianity Without the Cross: A History of Salvation in Oneness, pg. 61).

In summary, the Apostolic and United Pentecostal Churches proudly reject the doctrine of the Trinity. They, like Sabellius, do not believe the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three distinct persons. They believe they are merely three manifestations of the one uni-personal God.
Today’s Oneness doctrine originated with men that departed from the faith, men that gave heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. It is nothing more than a revival of Sabellianism.

The Oneness doctrine has always been considered heresy, and will always be heresy. Not because the council at Nicaea said so, but because the Bible plainly teaches that God is a Trinity of persons, not parts, modes, or manifestations!

Copyright 2009 by David Lamb

Lesson 2 - The Doctrine of the Trinity Defined


It is my opinion that out of all the great doctrinal themes of the Bible, the subject of Theology Proper (the doctrine of the Godhead), is the most important. To be grossly mistaken in this area is fatal, rendering the soul lost and destined for hell. Therefore, we must be cautious and on guard at all times!

Experience has taught me that for everything true, there is a counterfeit. It reminds me of the Scotland Yard detective that was world renown for his ability to recognize counterfeit money. They asked him if he spent a lot of time studying counterfeits, to which he replied: “No, I hardly ever study counterfeit money. I spend so much time studying legitimate currency that I can immediately detect an imitation.” Refuting false doctrine has to be approached the same way. We should know the truth so well that when we are faced with a counterfeit, we immediately know it!

With that in mind, I think it is only suiting to follow lesson one with a brief discussion on what the doctrine of the Trinity is. Although I will, in later lessons, expose and refute the vast majority of the Oneness believer’s most obvious heresies, I truly believe the greatest safeguard against false doctrine is knowing the truth!

The Trinity Defined

Jesus Only adherents are taught from their youth that Trinitarians believe in three gods, but this is not true! Statements like these demonstrate at least two things: (1) Trinitarians have done a poor job defending their faith; and (2) the deceitfulness of the Oneness preachers’ hearts and their willingness to say anything necessary to proselytize those they are talking to!

The Bible teaches that God is a Trinity, meaning, there is one God eternally existing in three distinct persons; namely, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Though each person of the Godhead is distinct, they are indivisible in essence, substance, unity, purpose, kingdom, and will. The Bible emphatically states that there is but one God; and the doctrine of the Trinity in no wise deviates from that monotheism.

The Trinity is to never be viewed as three separate gods, which doctrine is called tri-theism. Tri-theism is simply another form of polytheism, the belief in or worship of more than one god! To believe that there are three gods in the Godhead that are unified in will and purpose only, is to stray far from traditional Christianity--it is to misunderstand the triune nature of God.

Tri-theists envision God as three separate kings, ruling and reigning independently, but in perfect agreement with one another. They use the common analogy of three humans sharing a common humanity. This is false because, first, humanity is not restricted to three men. It is possible to envision one man or a hundred-million men. The Trinity consists of three–no more and no less! Secondly, three men are separate, divided, and independent, whereas the Trinity share the identical divine substance, indwell one another, and occupy the same divine space at the same exact time. I repeat: The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost share the identical divine substance, indwell one another, and occupy the same divine space at the same exact time. Three humans can never achieve this type of oneness because they cannot indwell one another, nor are they homoousion (of the same identical substance)!

Dear listeners, you must remember that God is triune (three and one simultaneously) and, consequently, maintain the proper balance. If you only focus on God’s three-ness, you will inevitably lean toward tri-theism. If you only focus on God’s oneness, you will inevitably lean toward Modalism.

Now, I am very much aware that I just lost some of you professing Trinitarians. In fact, I know there will be some that are audacious enough to accuse me of being Oneness myself. But here is the thing, I am not doing these lessons because I want to become your favorite preacher. I am writing this book because many of our precious people are guilty of gross ignorance and need to be taught the truth of God’s Word! I cannot sit by and allow our honest hearted saints to continue on in false doctrine. Nor can I, with a clear conscience, allow anyone to call themselves “Trinitarian”, when in fact, they are Tri-theists.

Some of you may decide to continue viewing God as three separate, divided, independent men- that is your prerogative. But I want you to know, if you so choose that, you are unquestionably a tri-theist labeling yourself a Trinitarian. You also need to know that these tri-theistic leanings are the predominant reason most orthodox Jews, and wavering Oneness believers, will never abandon their two-thirds atheistic concept of God.

Not only is tri-theism erroneous, the Trinity is in no wise to be considered one Almighty God who created Jesus, making Him a lesser god and secondary to the Father. This is an impossibility anyway, considering the Bible states: “ALL THINGS were created by” Jesus, “and without Him was not anything made that was made” (Joh 1:3)! “All things” would certainly include Himself, and it is a ridiculous idea to assert He created Himself! This polytheistic false doctrine is called “Arianism”.

Finally, God is not a uni-personal monad that reveals Himself in three different modes or manifestations as the Jesus Only adherents suggest. God is a Trinity of distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The personal distinction between the three is as real as the personal distinction between Christ and His disciples (however different it may be)!

The Trinitarian view of God is the only view that is accurate, everything else is heresy!

Terminology Describing the Trinity

Theologically, the Trinity is referred to in many different ways. Let us look at a few of them.

Ontological Trinity - The word ontological refers to the God substance, or what makes God what He is. Therefore, the ontological Trinity, also known as the essential or immanent Trinity, speaks of the Trinity in terms of their essential being or essence. It refers to the inner relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost that is unaffected by the world and by humankind coming into existence. It speaks of the Trinity in terms of their co-equality and co-eternalness in power and glory.

In regards to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the Bible says “these three ARE one” (1Jo 5:7); not “these three are AS one”. As I have already stated, this oneness is more than a unity of will, it is also referring to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost’s essential being. It is important for you to know that they do not exist as similar, yet different substances. The Son, being a distinct person, is SOMEONE other than the Father and Holy Ghost, but He is not SOMETHING other than the Father and Holy Ghost. The three Persons of the Trinity are of the identical substance, they are consubstantial. This means, ontologically, the Trinity is indivisibly and inseparably one, and in that sense, whenever the Son is mentioned, the Father is also present. By the same token, where the Son is, the Spirit is in Him. That is why we claim to have all three persons of the Godhead abiding within our hearts at the moment we are born again, and it is also the reason our prayers are always received by all three persons, regardless of Whom we direct them to. Ontologically, the three persons of the Trinity are inseparable; God cannot be divided into parts.

In light of our discussions on the Trinity’s ontological oneness, it is imperative that you remember, although they are of the identical divine substance, their distinctions, or differences, are in no way erased, obliterated, or eroded by that oneness! God is an eternal communion of three distinct persons in undivided union! God is three distinct, self-aware “I’s” that talk to each other, love each other, and communicate with one another. God is a trinity of self-conscious persons!

Economical Trinity - The economical Trinity speaks of the external manifestation of the Trinity in the world through creation, redemption, and sanctification. This is sometimes called the "Trinity of manifestation”. In regards to the work of redemption, the economical Trinity may be referred to as the redemptional, or soteriological Trinity. Soteriology is the doctrine of salvation, therefore the soteriological Trinity is the application of the economical Trinity to salvation. It speaks of the manner in which the three Persons work together to bring about the salvation of mankind. In John 3:12-16 you can find a beautiful breakdown of the soteriological Trinity. John 3:12 shows that the Spirit regenerates; verses 13-15 show how the Son redeems; and verse 16 shows how the Father reveals. You can also go to the book of Ephesians and find similar patterns. For instance, Ephesians 1:3-6 shows the Father’s work of love; verses 7-12 show the Son’s work of grace; and verses 13-14 show the Spirit’s work of testimony. These are just a couple of the many instances the Trinity is shown in their respective positions as it concerns the salvation of man.

It is in this economical respect that we find the subjection of one person to another come into view. You must be careful not to fall into the snare of subordinationism. Difference in function does not indicate inferiority of nature. Subjection does not mean subordination! The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are co-equal!

The Oneness people are continually getting the ontological Trinity and economical Trinity confused, which is why they think a three in one concept is contradictory. A paradox, yes! A contradiction, never! A statement is only contradictory if it asserts two contradictory things about the same subject at the same time, and in the same respect. I may tell you my house is red and then tell someone else my house is black. This is only contradictory if I mean my house is red and black at the same time, and in the same way, and in the same respect. My house could be red with black trim, therefore red and black. My house could have been red last week, but after having freshly painted it, be black this week. Therefore telling one person my house is red and another my house is black would only be contradictory if I meant it was red and black at the same time and in the same respect.

This same principle applies to the Godhead! God is not three in the same manner as He is one. Trinitarians have never said that God is three persons and one person simultaneously. Nor have we said the Trinity is three gods and one god simultaneously. We have unequivocally stated that God is one in substance, yet three distinct “persons”! There is one “what” of the Trinity, but three “Who’s”, or “I’s” in the Trinity (Mt 11:27, Ro 8:27)! When you look at the Godhead in that respect, you see there is no contradiction at all.

In summary, the ontological Trinity is what the Trinity is, the economical Trinity is what they do. Immanently, the Father begets the Son, and the Spirit proceeds from both the Father and Son. Economically, the Father sends the Son, and the Father and Son send the Spirit. “These three are one”! And it’s that simple!

The Trinity As “Persons”

Unfortunately, the use of the word persons to describe the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is responsible for many of the misconceptions people have in regards to the unity of the Trinity. In fact, it has been a major dividing factor throughout Church history. Trinitarians freely admit it has its limitations, but no other word has been successfully agreed upon, which has led to the traditional word being retained. Such terminology is often unavoidable, even for those that are of the Oneness faith. The truth is, when finite humanity speaks of a Being who is infinite, and outside of time, space, and matter, limitations in terminology are inevitable.

Tertullian was the first person to use the word persona to describe the persons of the Godhead. Oneness adherents will tell you that he used the word to mean “a mask”, but that’s simply not true. To him, it only meant “a concrete, or real individual” (Letham, Robert, The Holy Trinity, pg. 99).

It is very important that we understand what we are saying when we use the word persons to describe the Persons of the Godhead. Today’s understanding of the word person implies a human being who is completely independent of others even to the point of being at variance with them. Webster’s Dictionary defines person as “a human being”. By no means does this definition accurately describe God! As I have already stated, we can never equate the members of the Godhead to finite humanity and our innumerable weaknesses and limitations. God is immeasurably different and greater than us. We are finite--He is infinite! We are human--He is divine! Although the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are distinct, self-conscious persons, they are not HUMAN beings!

We come into a similar dilemma when we refer to God as a “man”. Let me show you what I am talking about:

Nu 23:19a GOD IS NOT A MAN, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent.... (emphasis added)

1Sa 15:29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for HE IS NOT A MAN, that he should repent. (emphasis added)

These two passages tell us that God is not a man, yet in Exodus 15:3 He is referred to as a “man of war”. How do we justify this seeming contradiction? If we will look at this from the right perspective, we will see that there isn’t a contradiction at all. The issue at hand is more or less a matter of semantics. The word man means “an adult human male” which does not accurately describe God. But God is spoken of in masculine terms and we equate masculinity with man, therefore, in that sense, it is proper to call Him a man.

It is of the utmost importance that when we think of either the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost as being persons, or men, it is not with the same frame of mind that we think of each other. God can be called a man, but He is not a HOMO SAPIEN (a human)! The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost can be referred to as persons (2Co 2:10, Heb 1:3, Job 13:7-8), but not in the identical manner that you and I are!

The main reason we speak of the three eternal and divine persons of the Godhead as persons is to distinguish the relationships that exist between them. These relationships are clearly seen interwoven throughout the New Testament. For example, the Father sends the Son into the world, and both the Father and the Son send the Holy Ghost. Also, the Father speaks to, and of the Son, as another beside Himself; as does the Son to the Father; and the Son likewise addresses the Holy Ghost as another beside Himself, who glorifies the Son, as the Son glorifies the Father.

To be able to do these things clearly indicates that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are more than a uni-personal being who is operating in different modes or aspects. Each is referred to by the personal pronouns “He”, “His”, and “Him”, as opposed to “it” or “thing”.

In summary, never hesitate to call the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost persons, but make sure you do so with understanding, reverence, and respect. Furthermore, I think it is important that we DO call them persons because if we do not, some will arrive at the erroneous conclusion that a member of the Godhead is an impersonal force, or an “it”.

The Word Trinity

Jesus Only believers love to bring out the fact that the word Trinity is not in the Bible. For some reason they think that proves the doctrine of the Trinity is not in the Bible either! This argument presents us all with a small problem, we can no longer preach using the English language! The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. Every English word we use is foreign to the original autographs! Preachers, we had better get to the seminary quick!
The facts of it are, many words we use are not found in the Bible (which, by the way, is another “non-Biblical” word)! Should we strip God of His attributes of omniscience and omnipresence simply because these two words are not found in the Scriptures? Are we to suppose the doctrine of the incarnation does not exist simply because the word incarnation is not found in the Bible? If the Oneness people applied this argument to their own system of Theology, it would completely disappear because the words oneness, apostolic, modalism, mode, and role are not found in the Bible! Brothers and Sisters, the word Trinity may not be in the Bible, but the doctrine of the Trinity certainly is! I think it is only fair that if we can’t preach the doctrine of the Trinity because the word Trinity is not in the Bible, they should stop preaching their Oneness doctrine due to the above listed “non-Biblical” words they use when preaching and teaching.

The word Trinity was first used by Tertullian in reference to the Godhead in about 200 A.D. It seems to me that this would be enough to shut down the deceitful argument that the Trinity was invented in 325 A.D., but, unfortunately, it is not! It comes from Trinitas, a Latin noun that means three-ness, the property of occurring three at once, or three are one.

Here is a tidbit of trivia for our Oneness listeners. The name Jehovah was not used until the Middle Ages in Europe. Jehovah is simply a translation of the Tetragrammaton, YHWH. Most scholars today translate it “Yahweh”! Does this mean Jehovah God was invented in the Middle Ages? If we were to follow the Oneness people’s system of logic, we would have to cease using the names Jehovah and Yahweh altogether!

In closing out this lesson, I would like to admonish you to not allow anyone to deceive you. The fact that you cannot adequately explain every minute detail about the Trinity does not diminish the reality of the Trinity. We need to learn all we possibly can about God, but when we have finished, we will not have reached even one side, top, or bottom of His majesty! Here is what the Bible says about our attempts at understanding all there is to know about God:

Ps 139:6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

Ro 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

Job 11:7 Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
8 It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?

I agree with what J. Oswald Smith said, “To try and explain the Trinity is to lose your mind, but to explain Him away is to lose your soul!” God is indescribable, unexplainable, and unfathomable. He is unique, there is nothing to compare Him to! There is no means to measure Him. No analogy can demonstrate Him. His ways are past finding out! And although there may be certain dynamics of the Trinity that are hard to comprehend, this does not cause my faith to waver. In fact, it strengthens it! These incomprehensible elements only draw me closer to heaven. They drive me to my knees in humble adoration of the mighty God I serve! It gives me a higher and loftier view of Him. If I could explain my God, He would not be much of a God! Furthermore, I would much rather try my hand at explaining the mysterious dynamics that surround the Trinity than explaining the many anomalies that exist in the Oneness system of Theology. The Oneness doctrine is extremely complicated and impossible to understand. A great number of Oneness people admit that a person can’t understand it without an extra, super-duper spiritual revelation from God! I think I will stick to the faith that was once delivered unto the saints! Blessed be the holy Trinity!

Copyright 2009 by David Lamb

Lesson 3 - The Composite Unity of the Trinity


It is my opinion that the subject of the unity of the Godhead is the area where most men fade into false doctrine, as was the case with the Jesus Only movement. They plainly saw three persons in the Godhead, but desperately wanted to hold to the Judaic concept of there being only one person (hypostasis). Instead of interpreting the Old Testament by the greater light of the New Testament, as it is meant to be, they invented a new doctrine to support their two-thirds atheistic ideology. It is a foolish thing to interpret the Bible through the lens of any particular system of Theology. Our system of Theology should be viewed through the lens of the Bible. If the Word of God contradicts your beliefs, you need to change what you believe! We must rightly divide the Word of Truth even when it stings our selfish pride.

In general, most attempts at explaining the unity of the Trinity fall into two categories. First of all, there are those that emphasize the oneness of God and try to explain the three-ness of God in light of that oneness. Secondly, there are those that emphasize the three-ness of God and try to explain the oneness of God in relation to that. The first group lean toward Modalism; the second group lean toward Tri-theism. I have noticed that many unknowingly alternate between these two groups (which may be unavoidable at times considering the nature of the subject at hand). We must be very careful though, as there is danger in leaning too far either way!

The unity of the Trinity is a subject we desperately need to study. But I want to warn you: an UNHEALTHY preoccupation with the “hows” and “whys” of the Trinity (how and why those three Persons are one God) can cause you a lot of trouble. Any five year old can comprehend the “what” of the Trinity (that there are three distinct Persons in the Godhead); but the “hows” and “whys” of the Trinity have a tendency of throwing people for a loop.

When it works in their favor, the Oneness people actually use this as an argument against us Trinitarians! They say the fact that we cannot adequately explain everything about the unity of the Trinity disproves the Trinity. This demonstrates a total breakdown in logic. Dear listeners, there are a host of things much less complicated than God’s nature that man cannot comprehend!

Let us consider the mysterious paradox of the wave-particle duality of light. Scientists have learned through experimentation that light behaves like a particle at times and like a wave at other times–this is supposed to be impossible. They jokingly say light should be treated as wave on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but particle on every other day of the week. Are we to pretend that light does not exist simply because we cannot explain everything about it?

If the Oneness people want to appeal to logic, let us apply the same principle to everything else in this world. Do insects not exist simply because a flower does not understand their composition? Do birds not exist simply because an insect cannot explain their composition? Do mammals not exist simply because a bird cannot explain their composition? Do humans not exists because a dog cannot explain our anatomical composition?

Let us consider the Word of God: who knows everything there is to know about the incarnation? Who can explain every detail concerning the new birth? Who has all the answers to every eschatological (end-time) question that arises? Well ... I don’t! And I don’t know anyone that does! Should we discard these precious truths simply because we don’t understand everything there is to know about them? Of course not!

When a Oneness adherent says their doctrine is easy to understand they are merely exposing it as a false doctrine. The Word of God not only offers us many mysterious and unanswerable elements, it demands a certain amount of them (1Ti 3:16). A Theology that is void of any mysterious element is sub- or anti-biblical. The bottom line is the “average Joe” can’t explain his wife, much more the God of heaven! I think it would do the world a great service if men would quit trying to explain the unexplainable. We can only know what can be known, so let us strive to know what we can and not allow that which we cannot destroy us!

The Composite Unity of the Economical Trinity

In lesson two we discussed the inseparable ontological oneness of the three persons of the Trinity. In this lesson, I want to discuss the composite unity that exists between them as distinct persons. Although they are ontologically inseparable, in respect to their personage, their unity is a composite unity of will, purpose, and kingdom.

Deuteronomy 6:4 (The Shema) and Echad

Let us now look at Deuteronomy 6:4, a favorite of the Oneness people:

De 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

The Jews would pray this prayer (the Shema) twice a day. They would say, “The Lord our God is one, one, one, one, one...”, sometimes repeating the word one up to two minutes straight. Here, the word for one is the Hebrew word echad (ekh-awd') which means “united; a compound unity of two or more”. It is found 739 times in the Bible. A few examples of its use are Genesis 1:5 where morning and night are said to be one (echad); Genesis 2:24 where two people are said to be one (echad) flesh; Ezra 6:4 where an assembly of 42,360 people are said to be one (echad); and Ezekiel 37:1 where two sticks are said to be one (echad) stick. Likewise, Moses, in Deuteronomy 6:4 is saying God is united, not one solitary person! So the Jews were literally praying, “The Lord our God is united, united, united, united, united . . . .”

The Hebrew word used for the number one is yachid (yaw-kheed). Yachid is used differently in the Scriptures than echad (Ge 22:2, 22:12, Jg 11:34). It is only used twelve times in the entire Old Testament and never denotes the unity of God! If Deuteronomy 6:4 were teaching that God was one in number, Moses would have used the word yachid, but he didn’t. The word echad is always used in reference to God because God is not one solitary person, He is one in essence (homoousion), but three distinct persons or hypostasis!

I also find it interesting that the name of the Lord is used three times in this one verse. I believe it offers us a shadow of the Trinity in the Old Testament. Granted, this does not prove God is a Trinity, nor did the Jewish Rabbis fully understand these Trinitarian shadows, but the Old Testament was written for our sakes (1Co 9:10, 10:11, 2Ti 3:15-16), so we cannot ignore them.

The Zohar is one of the most sacred books in Jewish literature. It was written by Rabbi Simon ben Jochai and his son Rabbi Eliezer in the years following the Roman army’s destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in A. D. 70. Concerning Deuteronomy 6:4 they ask: “Why is there need of mentioning the name of God three times in this verse?” The answer is as follows: “The first Jehovah is the Father above. The second is the stem of Jesse, the messiah who is to come from the family of Jesse through David. And the third is the way which is below (meaning the Holy Spirit who is to show us the way), and these three are one.” (Cohn, Leopald, The Trinity In the Old Testament, pg 3-4).

One of the most beautiful examples of the three fold repetition of the name of the Lord is found in Numbers 6:24-26 which states the following:

Nu 6:24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

On a similar note, in Matthew 27:46, Jesus, in His limited and restricted state, prayed to both the Father and Holy Spirit saying, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” What other reason could there be for Him having cried, “My God” twice except it was once for both the Father and Holy Spirit? Perhaps that sheds a little light on why the angels cry, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY” day and night--God is a trinity of distinct persons!

Brothers and Sisters, as you can plainly see, even the Oneness people’s “champion” verses, ultimately, support a plurality in the Godhead! What irony!


I want to show you something very interesting that will confirm the meaning of the word echad in Deuteronomy 6:4.

Ge 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Here, the word God is translated from the Hebrew name Elohim. When “m” or “im” is attached to the end of a word in the Hebrew language it is plural like an “s” in the English language (Wyatt, W. H., Jaw Breakers for Jesus Onlys, pgs. 1-2). Therefore, Elohim means “gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the PLURAL) of the supreme God”. Moses did not call God “El”, which is God in the singular; He did not call Him “Eloah”, which is God is the dual form; He called Him “Elohim”, God of three or more! Genesis 1:1 can be literally translated, “In the beginning God, of three or more, created the heaven and the earth.” This definition is indisputable!

Since the Bible tells us plainly in Deuteronomy 6:4 that there is but one God, and we know from verses like 1 John 5:7 that there are three persons in that one God, “Elohim” can mean nothing other than one God existing in three persons--a holy Trinity!

A Plurality of Majesty

Oneness adherents will try and twist what the plurality of Elohim represents. They say this speaks of a plurality of majesty. There are several reasons why this is not the case, but three in particular. First, a plurality of majesty would be found in the noun itself, not in the pronouns (us, our, we). Secondly, God was speaking in the first person. Instead of being a majestic BEING, He would be reduced to nothing more than an attribute.

Lastly, they use as an example, the Anglo-Saxon kings of the 13th century. When they stood to make a declaration they would say, “We say thus and thus”. Oneness people say that is all God is doing here. The problems with this idea are manifold. First, there is no record of anyone speaking in that manner until the 13th century. As a matter of fact, it is said that the Anglo-Saxon kings spoke in that manner because they were reigning over Christianized provinces and the kings were actually imitating God in Genesis 1:26. Considering Moses wrote the book of Genesis some 2,600 years before the Anglo-Saxon kings were around, it would make sense that they would emulate God and not the other way around.

Rabbi Tzvi Nassi, a lecturer in Hebrew at Oxford University, said a plurality of majesty was unknown to Moses and the prophets (Nassi, Tzvi, The Great Mystery, pg. 6). Evidently, the principle of a plurality of majesty was a great hoax invented by a famous Jewish scholar named Gesenius. It appears he simply used it as a ruse against Christianity (Morey, Robert, The Trinity: Evidence and Issues, pg. 95).

Now, before you jump into the ring with a Oneness adherent on this subject, you need to know that they won’t go down without a fight. They will try every trick in the book to get you to think a plurality of majesty was used in the Bible. They will try everything from King Artaxerxes (Ezra 4:11-18) to the Apostle Paul (2Co 10:8). They even have the gumption to imply Christ was using a plurality of majesty in verses like:

Joh 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

Jesus is not speaking in a plurality of majesty here. He was referring to Himself and the twelve preachers that traveled with Him everywhere He went. He was referring to the preaching Nicodemus had previously heard; the preaching that pricked his heart and motivated him to request an audience with Christ. This is nothing more than a feeble attempt to explain away an obvious contradiction in their Theology.

Trinitarians know exactly what “Elohim” means, and why it is used over 2,500 times in the Old Testament (31 times in the first chapter of Genesis alone). We also know why it is used about ten to one over the name “El” (the singular name for God)–there is a plurality of persons in the Godhead. God is not a single uni-personal being; He is a trinity of eternal, divine persons!

I cannot, for the life of me, understand why the Jesus Only adherents will accept a compound unity in every other area of life, but so adamantly refuse to accept a composite unity when it comes to the Godhead! Every time they pick their Bible up they acknowledge a compound unity. The Bible is comprised of sixty-six books, 1,189 chapters, 31,102 verses, and 788,258 words, yet if you ask a Jesus Only adherent how many Bibles they have in their hand they will say one. I would also be surprised if they denied the fact that the Bible’s sixty-six distinct books comprise only one book! Every time a Jesus Only adherent picks up a newspaper they acknowledge a composite unity because the paper is comprised of several different sections. Every time they put a shirt on, they acknowledge composite unity. Although the shirt has thousands of threads and several buttons they will readily admit that it is one shirt, not shirts. Although the car they drive is made up of thousands of different parts they will readily admit that it is only one car, not cars. Composite unity is found everywhere! Man is a tripartite being; he is comprised of spirit, soul, and body (He 4:12, 1Th 5:23). The mind is comprised of intellect, memory, and will. The universe is comprised of time, space, and matter. Time manifests itself in the past, present, and future. Space consists of length, breadth, and height. Matter consists of energy, motion, and phenomenon. The sun subsists as light, heat, and energy. Water consists of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. And these are just a few of the multiplied thousands of places that show a composite unity. In fact, when you think of it, there are very few tangible things in this world that do not have some type of composite unity in their construction. Why is it so hard for these people to accept the fact that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost also share a compound unity?

Biblical Examples of Composite Unity

I want to show you several places in the Bible that teach the principle of composite unity; passages that reveal two or more persons, or things, being referred to as one. I am in no wise implying that you can perfectly understand every dynamic of the unity of the three Persons of God by looking at the following analogies. I merely want to show you that composite unity is not a foreign concept to the Bible.

In Genesis 11:6, many people are referred to as one people. When Genesis 41:1, 41:5, and 41:25 are cross-referenced, you will find that two dreams are called one dream. In 1 Kings 22:13, the mouths of many prophets are called one mouth. In 2 Chronicles 30:12, many people are said to have been given one heart. When Luke 15:3, 15:4, 15:8, and 15:11 are cross-referenced you will find that three parables are called one parable. In Acts 4:32, many people are said to have one heart and one soul. In Acts 17:26, all nations are said to be of one blood. In 1 Corinthians 3:8, two men are called one. In Ephesians 2:14, Jews and Gentiles are said to be one. In 1 Corinthians 6:17, they that are joined unto the Lord are said to be one spirit. In 1 John 5:7, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost are called one!

The story is told, in Mark 5:1-9, of how Jesus came to the shores of Gadara. When He got off the ship a crazy demoniac came out of the tombs, ran down to him, and fell at His feet worshiping Him. At that point, Jesus asked him what his name was. The demoniac replied, “My name is Legion: for we are many” (Mr 5:9).

The first thing that I want to mention is, the demoniac said there were “many” demons within him. The Bible does not say exactly how many, but his name indicates there could have been up to six-thousand. A legion was a division of Roman soldiers numbering anywhere from three-thousand to six-thousand men. From verse 13 we can deduce that there were at least two-thousand because when Jesus cast the devils out of him, they were able to occupy approximately two-thousand swine! That means this man was harboring anywhere between two-thousand to six-thousand demons within his person!

The next thing I want you to notice is that they said, “My name (in the singular) is Legion.” Now, I don’t claim to be a scholar in the field of demonology, but I have studied it enough to know that the vast majority, if not all, of those devils had individual names. That means there could have been as many as six-thousand individually named devils in that one man, yet when unified within one body, they went by only ONE name! Remarkable, isn’t it?

When we consider the fact that two-thousand wicked, disloyal, murderous, lying, snaggled-toothed devils were unified enough to address themselves by the same name, it shouldn’t be a far stretch to believe that three divine persons can share an even greater unity, as well as share the very same name–JEHOVAH! This really threw a stick in the spokes of a Pakistani Oneness pastor that wrote me saying two or more persons could not share the same name! I’m still waiting on his response!

As revealing as this analogy is, I, knowing how the enemy and his cohorts operate, hesitated to use it. So, just for the record, I want you to know that I am by no means comparing the holy Trinity to a legion of devils. Nor am I saying that the unity of the Legion is exactly the same as the unity of the Trinity because it is not! My only purpose for using this, and all of these other analogies is to demonstrate the overwhelming evidence of composite unity that is found throughout the world and the Word of God.

The Marriage Union

In Ephesians 5:31-33 Paul tells us that when a man and woman get married, although they are not the same person, they become one flesh. If you think that is hard to understand, you are not alone. In verse 32 Paul tells us that this is a mystery. In verse 33 he tells us that even though it is a mystery, husbands should love their wives and their wives should reverence them! The mystery of a husband and wife’s oneness does not lessen the reality of it anymore than the mystery of the Trinity lessens the unity of the Godhead!

Paul was only teaching the principle that God laid down in the book of Genesis. Eph 5:31 is nearly an exact quote of:

Ge 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

The word one in this verse is also the Hebrew word echad (united)!

I am by no means saying this is a perfect analogy of the unity of the three persons of the Godhead because it is not. But the obvious implication is, it is not un-Biblical, nor far fetched, to say two or more persons can be called one.

The Unity of the Father, Son, and the Church

I think the most profound explanation of compound unity comes from Christ Himself. Let us read a passage of Scripture in the Gospel of John:

Joh 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

Here, Christ is praying to the Father, and reveals His desire for the church. He prays that the church would be one as He and His Father are one. If Jesus Only Theology is correct, that is an impossible feat! They teach that the Father and Jesus are the very same person! How then, can you and I become the very same person seeing we are obviously many persons? Let us read a few more verses concerning this subject:

Joh 17:21 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.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Though these three verses are packed with truth, I want to especially focus on verse 22:

Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, EVEN AS WE ARE ONE: (emphasis added)

This is a remarkable passage of Scripture. Jesus said that there is a sense in which you and I can be one even as He and the Father are one! Obviously, He was not referring to their ontological make-up, so He must have been referring to their perfect composite unity. In light of John 17:22, I believe it is safe to assume that if we get a better understanding of the church’s unity we will have a better understanding of the Trinity’s composite unity!

Let us start with what Paul told the Romans in:

Ro 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Next, Paul told the Ephesians in:

Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

In 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 Paul tells us many profound things concerning the church (the body of Christ), but five very important things. First, there is but one body. Secondly, there are many members in that one body. Thirdly, they are to be unified in will, purpose, and kingdom. Fourthly, each individual has personality and certain personal attributes differing from the other, yet they are still one body functioning for the same express purpose! Finally, different members hold different offices and positions, yet each member is equal and of the very same body.

I want to stress once more that Jesus taught that there was a sense in which the church’s unity is the same as His and His Father’s composite unity. I am not sure, but I do not think any Jesus Only adherent would argue with me if I were to say that every person in the body of Christ is not the very same person. Any logical human being can tell you we are not the same exact member; we are many individual members! So, if there is a sense in which the body of Christ’s unity is the same as Christ and His Father’s unity, the Father and Christ cannot be the very same person.

To “prove” that the Father and Son are the very same person, Oneness people love to twist John 10:30, which states:

Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.

I want you to notice that Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” not, “I and my Father are the SAME one.”

In summary, when we compare the unity of the church to the Godhead, even as Jesus said we should, we discover: (1) God is one God even as the body of Christ is one body; (2) There are three persons in that one God even as there are many members in the one body of Christ; (3) The three members of the Trinity are perfectly unified in will, purpose, and kingdom even as the body of Christ is perfectly unified in will, purpose, and kingdom; (4) Each individual member of the Trinity has a mental faculty differing from the other, yet they are still one God, eternally co-existing in perfect concordant harmony. Likewise, each individual member of the church has a mental faculty differing from the other, yet they too are to be one body, co-existing in perfect concordant harmony; and (5) The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost hold different offices and positions in the Godhead, yet each member is equal. Likewise, the members of the body of Christ hold different offices and positions in the church, yet each member is equal.

As you can see, there are many places in the Bible that we are taught the principle of composite unity! Why do the Oneness people have such a difficult time accepting this when it comes to God? The pride of their hearts will not allow them to admit they are wrong.

Copyright 2009 by David Lamb

Lesson 4 - The Son In Oneness Theology

In this lesson, I would like to deal with what I consider the Oneness people’s weakest and most absurd doctrinal point: their doctrine on the sonship of Jesus Christ. I want to give you an overview of what they believe and why it is fallacious. If you are interested in a more exhaustive study, you can purchase my book which contains at least 50-60% more material than what you’re hearing in these audio lessons.

I. The Hypostatic Union In Oneness Theology.

I don’t want to bog you down with theological semantics, but the term “hypostatic union” is very important. I think everyone should know what it means. The hypostatic union is the union of Jesus Christ’s divine nature and human nature. Jesus is unique in that He was/is both God and man. The following are a couple verses that adequately prove that Jesus is God.

Mt 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, GOD with us.

Heb 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

So, as you can see, the Bible calls Jesus “God” in no uncertain terms. It also tells us that He was/is a real and proper man just like each of us.

1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

So, Jesus is both God and man: He is the God-man.

The Oneness adherents will tell you that they, too, believe Jesus was both God and man, but what they mean by that and what the Trinitarian means by that are very different.

Trinitarians believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God; that He has always been the Son of God; that there has never been a time that He was not the Son of God, but the Oneness people do not believe this. They believe He did not exist until He was born in Bethlehem in approximately 4 B.C. They believe that before His birth, there had never been a Son of God; that there was only the Father whose name was Jesus. They believe any Biblical reference that seems to suggest that the Son pre-existed His birth in Bethlehem is simply a reference to the idea of His birth that existed in the mind of the Father; that the Son existed in the mind of God as a mere concept and nothing more than a concept.

Trinitarians believe that Jesus, the Son of God, left His position in heaven where He had been for all of eternity past, came to earth via the womb of the virgin Mary, became a real and proper man, and joined His divine nature to a human nature, thus existing with a dual nature. The Oneness people do not believe this. They believe Jesus, as the Son of God, was nothing more than a man–a perfect and immaculately conceived man, but a man just like you and me nonetheless.

Trinitarians believe the Son is God, the second person of the godhead, thus being co-equal with the Father and Holy Ghost. The Jesus Only believers fervently deny the divinity of the Son saying that He is not and never has been and never will be God. I repeat: they believe He was simply the human body the Father came down and dwelt inside of.

Let me put this another way. Trinitarians believe that where you and I exist with a single human nature and are consequently only one person or being; Jesus exists with two natures (divine and human), yet is still only one person or being. We believe that Jesus was Jesus and only Jesus and He alone was master of both of His natures. The Jesus Only adherents on the other hand believe that the Son was the human nature of Jesus, but GOD THE FATHER was the divine nature of Jesus. So, the Jesus Only adherents believe it was God the Father that was incarnate in the Son; the Trinitarian believes it was God the Son who was made flesh and dwelt among us!

To further substantiate that this is the Oneness position, I’d like to look at the writings of a couple of well-known Oneness writers.

David Bernard said: “We do not believe that the Father is the Son, [but] we do believe that the Father is in the Son (John 14:10). Since Jesus is the name of the Son of God, both as to His deity as Father and as to His humanity as Son, it is the name of both the Father and the Son.” (A Review of E. Calvin Beisner’s “Jesus Only Churches”). Ken Raggio said, “Jesus Christ is not the second member of the Godhead. He is the man in whom the Father dwelt. This is what the Oneness of God refers to. The Spirit (Father) in the Body (Christ).”

So, as crazy as it sounds, the Oneness people teach that Jesus was the Father who became His own Son! That Jesus was SIMULTANEOUSLY the Father who sent the Son and the Son who was sent by the Father. That Jesus was SIMULTANEOUSLY the Son who prayed to and heard the Father and the Father who heard and answered the Son.

I know that this is hard to believe, but in the Oneness doctrine on the Son-ship of Christ there be a sense in which Jesus is not Jesus. Think about it! If they believe that Jesus the Father is not the same person or being as Jesus the Son, this can mean nothing else than the Jesus of Oneness theology is actually two persons rolled up into one (Father and Son). Their Jesus has a split personality. Their Jesus is a true blue bonafide schizophrenic. This is one of the main reasons I have said that the Jesus of Oneness theology is, as Paul put it, “another” Jesus. Their Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible. It’s no wonder they say we have to have a special “revelation” to understand their doctrine!

I know that this can be somewhat confusing. The reason is the Jesus Only people try very hard to sound orthodox. They use the same theological terms and semantics as we do. The problem is they make up their own definitions to these words and phrases in order to get them to fit their heretical positions. Brothers and sisters, you can’t go by what they “say” they believe; you have to pull the cover back to find out what they “really” believe. They hate it when you do that, but don’t allow them to intimidate you. Call their hand every time you hear them propagate a heresy. Call their hand every time you hear them contradict themselves.

This is what I mean: the Oneness people continually say they are Oneness, but they aren’t really Oneness at all, they are Arian, simply the opposite side of it. In both the Arian and Oneness belief systems, the Father and Son are separate entities. The only real differences are that the Father indwells the Son in Oneness theology, but does not in Arian theology. Another difference being that the Arian Son is more highly exalted than the Oneness Son because the Arians believe the Son is God. Another major difference is the Arians have settled the Son on the right hand side of the Father throughout the future ages, whereas the Oneness people don’t know what to do with Him. They don’t know if He’s walking around in heaven like everyone else, or whether He’s disappeared into the Father, or become one with the Father.

II. Biblical Evidence Refuting the Oneness Position On the Son.

At this time, I want to take the Word of God and show you how easily the Oneness view of the Son can be refuted.

Question number one:

A. Did the Son Exist Before His Birth In Bethlehem?

The Oneness view states that the Son did not pre-exist His natural birth in Bethlehem. The Trinitarian believes He has always existed, even as the Father and Holy Ghost. What does the Bible say about it?

1. The Old Testament.

If the Son is God, and has always been God, I think it is reasonable to expect the Old Testament to contain some references to Him. Let us look and see if the Son is mentioned in the Old Testament:

Mic 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, FROM EVERLASTING. (emphasis added)

This is a Messianic prophecy that demonstrates that the Son is eternal! It says He is from of old, from everlasting!

Here is another wonderful passage of Scripture:

Pr 30:4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and WHAT IS HIS SON'S NAME, if thou canst tell? (emphasis added)

This is very clear! God is not only described as being the Sovereign of the universe, but, as we expected, He is also said to have a Son!

Here is another verse:

Ps 2:12 KISS THE SON, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (emphasis added)

Perhaps you’re thinking, “This could be referring to any son! What son are we supposed to kiss?” If you read the entire second chapter of the book of Psalms, you will discover it is a Messianic prophecy dealing specifically with Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 13:33)! And just one glance at verse 7 in particular should eliminate any doubt whatsoever.

Ps 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, THOU ART MY SON; this day have I begotten thee. (emphasis added)

Who is God’s only begotten Son?

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus, the Son of God, is the Son we are to kiss!

2. The New Testament.

Hebrews 1:8 is my favorite verse to demonstrate the divinity of the Son of God. It is a fascinating interpretation of Psalms 45:6.

Heb 1:8 But UNTO THE SON he saith, Thy throne, O GOD, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. (emphasis added)

The writer of Hebrews, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, understood Psalms 45:6 to be an address from God to another whom He called His Son! Not only did the Bible call Him “the Son”, I want to draw your attention to the fact the Father called the Son “God” and, considering the Father knows a “little” more about the Son than you and I, we should have no problem calling the Son “God”, too! I can assure you that the Father wouldn’t have ascribed divinity to the Son if the Son wasn’t divine! Is it possible that the Jesus Only adherents have been given a revelation that the Father Himself has not been given? I think we all know the answer to that!

Another thing I want you to notice about Hebrews 1:8 is the Son’s throne is said to be eternal! And this is not the only place the Son is said to be eternal, for example:

Joh 8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

Dear listeners, the Son is eternal, and only God is eternal!

There are a host of other verses demonstrating the Son’s pre-existence. For example:

Joh 6:38 For I CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. (emphasis added)

Joh 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where HE WAS BEFORE? (emphasis added)

Ro 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Please notice that God is said to have sent His Son, not become the Son. In order for God to have sent the Son, the Son must have pre-existed! The phrase “in the likeness of sinful flesh” indicates He previously existed in a form that was not fleshly. You can also examine St. John 13:3 and 17:5.

Here is another beautiful verse:

1Jo 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

If the Son is merely the human nature of Jesus, why did John say (in the present tense) that he was abiding in God’s “Son, Jesus Christ ... the true God”? Why are the Father and Son recognized as two distinct persons, even after Christ’s resurrection and ascension? I find it strange, considering the book of 1 John was written no earlier than 68 A.D. (over thirty years after the resurrection), that John (a supposed Modalist) would continue calling Jesus “the Son”! And this wasn’t an isolated event, John was continuously calling the resurrected Jesus “the Son”. For instance:

1Jo 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

2Jo 1:3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

These are very strange verses if Jesus is indeed the Father Himself.

Let’s look at another question.

B. Is the Son Divine or a Mere Human the Father Dwelt In?

The Oneness position states that the Son is not God; that He is merely the human man the Father dwelt in. The Trinitarians teach that the Son is God and has always been God. What does the Bible say?

1. The Father Called the Son “God”.

Heb 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

This passage is crystal clear. The Father called the Son “God” and refers to Him as being eternal. If the Father calls the Son “God”, the Son is God.

2. The Son is the “Mighty God”.

The next verse I want to share with you is atomic in its doctrinal influence.

Isa 9:6 For unto us a CHILD is born, unto us a SON is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty GOD, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (emphasis added)

Please take note that Isaiah said the Messiah would be child, son, and God simultaneously!

I also think the order in which the words child and son were written is very significant. As a child He was born, but as the eternal Son He was given (Joh 3:16)! If the words child and son had of been reversed, the Oneness view on the Son would have a little more credence, but it just so happens that God is a Trinitarian, and, therefore, dictated Isaiah 9:6 perfectly! Thus showing that the eternal Son of God is The everlasting Father and The mighty God!

3. The Son Forgave Sins.

Lu 5:20 And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.
21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? WHO CAN FORGIVE SINS, BUT GOD ALONE?
22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?
23 Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?
24 But that ye may know that the SON OF MAN HATH POWER UPON EARTH TO FORGIVE SINS, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
25 And immediately he rose up... (emphasis added)

I don’t know if a clearer passage demonstrating the divinity of the Son exists! The question was, “Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” The answer? No one! Therefore the Son of Man is more than a human nature, He is very God of very God seeing that He has the power to forgive sins!

4. The Son of Man Is God In the Book of Revelation.

Please, read Revelation 1:13-19 and Revelation 14:14. These verses are describing Jesus Christ in His post-ascension state, yet He is called “the Son of God” (Re 2:18). What makes this passage so troublesome for the Oneness people is the Son is obviously divine! Revelation 1:17 establishes this by saying the Son of man is the “first and last”! In fact, the first three chapters of Revelation is nothing more than the Son of God in His glorified state, walking amongst, and ministering to, the seven churches in Asia. I would like to remind you again that David Bernard said: “The Father is not the Son.” So, by their own admission, the first three chapters of Revelation are not describing God the Father! This passage clearly shows the Son being is a distinct, self-aware person, possessing ego, intellect, and personality, and most importantly divinity! Seeing the Son of Man walking amongst the seven churches of Asia should make it obvious that the Son of God is more than the human nature of Jesus Christ!

5. The Son is Equal to the Father.

Let us use one of the Oneness people’s favorite verses against them. Let’s read:

Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?
33 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.

The Oneness people use verse 30 to “prove” that Jesus is the Father, but unknowingly contradict themselves by doing so.

The statement, “I and my Father” is a relational term. Jesus is obviously speaking as the Son, and as the Son, says He is equal with the Father. If the Son is nothing more than the humanity of Jesus, this passage would be implying that humanity could possibly share equality with divinity which is impossible. The Son is equal to the Father because Jesus’ designation as “the Son” refers to the totality of His person, not just His humanity.

6. The Son of Man Is Omnipresent.

Joh 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the SON OF MAN which is in heaven. (emphasis added)

The Oneness people say the Son, the human nature of Jesus, was not divine, yet in this passage we discover that the Son of man is omnipresent. This could not be possible except the Son is God! This is very important because it shows the title or name “Son of man” is not restricted to His humanity! It shows us that “Son” is another term used for the very same Christ we know to be the second person of the Godhead.

7. God the Son.

The question is often asked, “If Jesus is God, why didn’t the Bible call Him God the Son, rather than the Son of God?” That’s a good question and I think it would be good for us to answer it. According to W. H. Wyatt in his booklet Jawbreakers For Jesus Onlys, the Bible does call Jesus “God the Son”. Here is a quote from that book:

“In John 3:17 the Bible says: ‘For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.’ Let us look at the original words in the Greek, ‘For sent Theos (God) ton (the) uion (Son) of Him into the world.’

So here we have it that God the Son was sent into the world. The translators of the King James changed this to please their idea of English grammar. Well here in John 3:17 ‘Theos ton uion’ is clearly GOD THE SON, let us accept that He has been identified as God in His own right.”

Even if Wyatt’s translation were to be inaccurate, it is still hypocritical for a Oneness adherent to say “God the Son” is un-Biblical. They call the Father “God the Father” even though He is supposed to be nothing more than a manifestation; why are we forbidden to call the “manifestation” of the Son “God the Son”? What’s good for the goose, should be good for the gander!

8. The Son as Creator.

Please, read Colossians 1:13-17. This passage tells us so much about the Son I don’t know where to start! First of all, the Son has a kingdom. Secondly, we obtain redemption through His blood. Thirdly, He is creator of all things. Fourthly, He pre-existed the incarnation. And lastly, the Son is still maintaining all things! How could the Son be creator of all things if He were only an idea before the incarnation? Do I need to remind you of St. John 1:1-3?

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the WORD WAS GOD.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were MADE BY HIM; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (emphasis added)

Paul said the Son is creator and John said the creator is God. We must, therefore, conclude the Son is God!

9. Jesus Is Called “Kurios” (Jehovah).

The name “Jehovah” was the unutterable name of God among the Hebrews. The Jews never pronounced it, they esteemed it to be too holy to speak. When reading, they used the words Adonai, Lord, Elohim, or simply God for a substitution!

In the New Testament Jesus is called “Lord” many times. Here is an example:

Joh 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

In this verse, the word Lord is translated from the Greek word kurios which means “supreme master”, or “supreme in authority”. Kurios is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament name “Jehovah” or “LORD”. The importance of this is the disciples and early Church knew kurios was the name of God and did not hesitate to declare Jesus, as the Son, to be kurios (Jehovah or Lord). And it speaks volumes to illustrate the fact that Jesus accepted this confession of faith offered by Thomas. If Jesus were anyone other than Jehovah this would have been wickedly blasphemous!

I think Revelation 1:8, which is a description of the Son, pretty much settles the matter for us:

Re 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, THE ALMIGHTY. (emphasis added)

Here, the word Almighty means “the all-ruling; God (as absolute and universal sovereign): Omnipotent”. The Holy Ghost, through the Apostle John, tells us that Jesus is the “Almighty”- He is very God of very God! And just a quick glance at Revelation 2:18 shows that it is the Son of God who is the Almighty!

My next question is:

C. Are Jesus and the Son the Same In Every Way?

The Oneness people don’t believe so. They believe Jesus is both the Father and Son simultaneously. But I declare:

1. Jesus and the Son are the Same in Every Way.

The Oneness people love to juggle the words person and nature up when dealing with Jesus (the Father) and the Jesus (the Son). What point of heresy they are trying to prove will determine which word they use. And what I mean by that is if they are on the defensive for being called “Jesus Only” they’ll say the Father and Son are not the same person. If they are trying to keep from sounding Arian, they’ll say the Father and Son are not two persons, rather the two natures of Jesus. The Trinitarian keeps it simple. They emphatically state that the Father and Son are two distinct persons; that there is no sense in which Jesus and the Father are the same person; and that Jesus and the Son are the same in every respect; that there is no sense in which Jesus and the Son are not the same person. We believe there is no such thing as Jesus THE FATHER; Jesus is Jesus the Son in every respect. But what does the Bible say?

Consider this: the Bible speaks of Jesus being on the right hand of the Father several times. By cross-referencing some of these instances, we will find a profound truth emerge! Acts 7:56 and Mark 14:61-62 say it is the “Son of man” who is on the right hand side of the Father; Mark 16:19 says it is the “LORD”; Hebrews 8:1 says it is our “High Priest”; and Hebrews 12:2 says it is “Jesus” that sits at the right hand of the Father and will one day be seen coming in the clouds of heaven. Clearly, the names “the Son of Man”, “Lord” (which is another name for Jehovah), “Jesus”, and “High Priest” are interchangeable and represent the same person!

Acts 20:28 tells us “God” purchased the church of God with His own blood. Hebrews 10:29 tells us that this blood covenant was given to us by “the Son of God”. 1 John 1:7 tells us that it is the blood of “Jesus Christ” the Son of God that cleanses us from all sin. John 6:53 tells us this same blood belongs to the “Son of man”. Romans 3:24-25 tells us this same blood belongs to “Christ Jesus”. Hebrews 9:14 tells us it is the blood of “Christ” that purges our conscience from dead works. Then in Revelation 5:9 we are told that it is the blood of “the Lamb” that has redeemed us! Clearly, “the Son of God”, “the Son of Man”, “Christ Jesus”, “Christ”, and “the Lamb” are interchangeable, they all represent the very same person: Jesus Christ, who, according to Acts 20:28, is God!

2. The Father Is Not Jesus.

David Bernard was correct when he said the Father is not the Son, but he deviated far from the truth when he said the Father is Jesus. There is not one reference in the New Testament to Jesus being the Father, yet He is called “the Son” over two-hundred times! Furthermore, at least two-hundred times in the New Testament, the Father is referred to as distinct from Jesus. And over fifty times, Jesus and the Father are combined within the very same verse!

Perhaps someone can tell me why it is that when the Father and Jesus are being distinguished, the distinction is always between the Father and the Son, and never between Jesus and the Son? Why doesn’t the Bible have Jesus refer to “my Son” as He does “my Father”? At least 179 times Jesus refers to “the Father”, “my Father”, “your Father”, or “our Father”, but not once did He refer to Himself as “my Son”! He mentions Himself being sent by the Father at least forty times in the Gospel of John alone, but not once does He refer to Himself as the Father Who sent the Son.

I would like to ask our Oneness friends why there is such a staggering amount of evidence showing Jesus to be the Son of God, and being distinct from the Father, if in fact the Bible also wants to teach us that Jesus, in some enigmatic way, is Himself the Father? It seems strange that the Bible would be so clear on the first point and yet so silent on the second! The plain and obvious truth being taught here is Jesus Christ is God the Son, the second member of the holy Trinity; He is not God the Father.

Brothers and Sisters, there is no sense in which the Son of God and Jesus are not the very same person!

The Oneness people don’t have a logical way of explaining this anomaly. I don’t mean they won’t try to answer it; I’m just saying that even after they have repeated their “pre-packaged” responses, they never erase the question marks from the minds of the honest hearted–the anomaly remains.

3. The Father and Son Are Not the Two Natures of Jesus.

I want to further elaborate on the Oneness teaching that the Father and Son are the two natures or persons of Jesus. Does the Bible really teach that the Father is the divinity of Jesus Christ?

The answer is simply this: no! There is not one passage of Scripture that even remotely implies that the Father is the divine nature of Jesus. This is nothing more than a doctrine created out of necessity. It was invented somewhere around the year 200 A.D. by that devilish Praxeas who was trying to prop up his many fallacious ideas on the godhead. It is the Oneness people’s way of explaining the obvious plurality of persons in the godhead without incriminating themselves. Don’t forgot that the doctrine was abandoned for nearly fourteen hundred years until it was revived by the warlock Emanuel Swedenborg (1668-1772 A.D.).

Let us look at a very interesting passage of Scripture:

Joh 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.

Believe it or not, they will say this was the two natures of Jesus conversing! Please, look at verse 30 again. If that were merely two natures speaking to each other, Jesus could not have been any more deceptive! He would have been nothing more than a cruel hearted ventriloquist! For Him to have thrown His voice and then act like it came from another source would have been nothing less than an outright lie!

Let me give you another example. When Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Trinitarian believes He was praying to the Father who was in heaven. The Jesus Only people say it was Jesus the Son praying to and struggling with Jesus the Father. You heard right! They basically believe the left side of Jesus was praying to the right side of Jesus! And man, oh man, will they ever get angry if you tell them that, but that is exactly the picture they are painting!

The bottom line is in order for them to hold to the idea that there is only one person in the Godhead, they have to take the first and second persons of the Trinity and make them the two natures of the one Christ. They then have to contradict themselves by giving the two natures personality, mental capacity, and emotion! In the end, when the verdict is read, they truly believe Jesus Christ was two separate beings or persons. So, I repeat, the Oneness people aren’t Oneness at all, they are two-ness! They are Arian! And their Jesus is a split personalitied schizophrenic! And by no means the Jesus of the holy Bible.

4. The Mutual Indwelling of the Father and Son.

Don’t forget that David Bernard said: “We do not believe that the Father is the Son, [but] we do believe that the Father is in the Son (John 14:10). Since Jesus is the name of the Son of God, both as to His deity as Father and as to His humanity as Son, it is the name of both the Father and the Son.” And also that Ken Raggio said, “Jesus Christ is not the second member of the Godhead. He is the man in whom the Father dwelt. This is what the Oneness of God refers to. The Spirit (Father) in the Body (Christ).”

Let’s examine the passage of Scripture David Bernard referred to.

Joh 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

Oneness adherents use the statement, "the Father that dwelleth in me" to teach that God the Father was incarnate in the human body of the Son, thus making Jesus the Father! They conveniently forget to explain the first part of that verse which states, "I am in the Father". If we apply the Oneness people’s method of interpretation to this statement, we have to conclude that the human Son was indwelling the divine spirit Father, making the divine Father mere human, which is the very opposite of what they teach!

Another thing is, how do the Oneness people explain the fact that Jesus uses this same expression to describe His unity with believers? In John 14:20 He said, "In that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in Me, and I in you." If we apply the Oneness people’s method of interpretation to this passage, you and I would be Jesus incarnate!

The bottom-line is this: indwelling does not mean identity! The demoniac “Legion” was indwelt by thousands of demons, but no one supposes that he was literally a demon incarnate (Lu 8:30). Christians are indwelt by the Holy Ghost (1Co 6:19), but no one supposes we are the Holy Ghost incarnate! And the same principle holds true when we are dealing with the mutual indwelling of the Father and Son. The Father indwelling the Son does not make Jesus the Father, nor does the Son indwelling the Father make the Father the Son. The doctrine of the Trinity states that the Father and Son are ontologically one, therefore they do indeed indwell one another, but their distinctions are not erased.

5. There Is Life In the Son.

I had a Oneness preacher try to “enlighten” me on the difference between the Son and Jesus. His argument stemmed from the “supposed” fact that the Son is never said to have given anyone life. He said that only Jesus is said to give the believer life. The following passage silenced him:

1Jo 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

These verses do not portray the Son as a mere human nature. A mere human nature cannot grant eternal life. The Son must be much more than just the human nature of Christ, He is God!

6. Who’s Who?

I would like to know how the Oneness people determine when the Father is speaking and when the Son is speaking? How do they know who’s talking if the Father and Son are alternately taking over the conversation in every other verse? Of course, this is no dilemma for us Trinitarians because we know the Father and Son are two distinct persons, but how does a Oneness adherent determine who’s who when Jesus Christ is speaking? Let me show you what I’m talking about. Tell me, who’s speaking in this next passage?

Joh 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Is this the divinity of Christ (the Father) or the humanity of Christ (the
Son) speaking? Well, how about this next passage of Scripture?

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

Is this the divinity of Christ (the Father) or the humanity of Christ (the Son) speaking? Verse 29 gives us the answer:

Joh 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

The words “My Father” reveal that it is the Son speaking, not the Father! There is no way a Oneness adherent can honestly say they can determine which nature of Christ is speaking in these verses.

Brothers and Sisters! Rest assured, God hasn’t left us with such an impossible assignment! This dilemma that the Oneness people have concocted only exists in their system of theology. You can know of a certainly that every thing that proceeds from the mouth of Jesus is the Son of God speaking! It is never the Father using the body of Jesus as a ventriloquist would use a dummy! The Father is the Father and Jesus is the Son! And the Son is obviously more than the human nature of Jesus! He is God!

7. The Second Person of the Godhead..

Mt 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

If the Son was nothing more than the humanity of Jesus, why is He listed with the Father and Holy Ghost, who are irrefutably divine? Why would we be commanded to be baptized into a mere human nature? And to all of you Oneness people that say Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are merely titles of Jehovah: I didn’t think you believed the Father and Son were the same person? Are you telling me “Son” is a title of Jehovah? That contradicts your little system of theology doesn’t?

8. Who Died On the Cross At Calvary?

In light of Oneness teachings, I want to look at some verses that pertain to the crucifixion of Christ. I believe this subject perfectly demonstrates the foolishness of Oneness theology and contains absolute irrefutable evidence of the divinity of the Son!

From the cross, Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” I would like to ask our Oneness friends: Who is speaking here? Is it Jesus the Son or Jesus the Father? Well, the vast majority of Oneness people I have met believe this is Jesus the Son, praying to Jesus the Father, asking Jesus the Father why He had forsaken Jesus the Son! Some will say the divinity of Jesus (the Father) forsook the humanity of Jesus (the Son) because divinity cannot die.

It is true that divinity cannot die, but having the divinity of Jesus (the Father) take flight, leaving only the humanity of Jesus (the Son) to die, presents the Oneness people with an even greater problem than any we have seen thus far. If the divinity of Jesus (the Father) forsook the humanity of Jesus (the Son) while hanging on the cross, Jesus was no longer the Word made flesh–He was no longer God incarnate. He was nothing more than a mortal man when He died and, therefore, could not and did not save us!

Furthermore, if the Father left the body of the Son, and the Son was still talking to the Father, we have irrefutable evidence of two distinct persons (not natures) represented! This is infinitely worse than anything they accuse us Trinitarians of doing! We believe the Son is divine, they do not! They have a Jesus that is nothing more than a man!

Some Oneness adherents will say the Father only “appeared” to have forsaken the Son. If that is true, the world has never seen a more twisted hoax! And what does that say about the relationship that existed between Jesus’ two natures? How cruel for the divine nature of Jesus (the Father) to pretend to have taken flight while the man Jesus hung on the cross in terrible pain and agony!

Finally, I want to look at a few verses in 1 John that clearly show who died on the cross at Calvary.

1Jo 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son INTO THE WORLD, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1Jo 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

These verses tell us that the Father sent the Son into the world to be the Savior of the world. Please note that He did not create the Son, nor incarnate the Son–He simply sent the Son. For the Son to have been sent into the world denotes pre-existence and clearly demonstrates that it was the Son who died for us–not the Father. This is not that hard to understand! Jesus, God the Son, came to earth and took on a human nature in addition to His divine nature. God the Son was both God and man simultaneously! As God He could not die, but as a man He could and did. There is no reason to try and make the Father the divine nature of Jesus. God the Son was the divine nature of Jesus and God the Son was the human nature of Jesus. The Son’s death was sufficient to save humanity because the Son (the Lord Jesus) is divine!

10. Where Is the Son Now?

If you want to see a Jesus Only adherent squirm, ask them where the Son is today. If they say He is on the throne, ask them if He is still the human nature of Jesus. Ask them if the Father and Son still talk to each other. Ask them if the Father and Son still love each other. Ask them if the Son still prays to the Father. Do they both still have intellect, ego, emotion, will, etcetera, etcetera, or has the Son disappeared into the Father altogether? Because where the Son must recede into something less than God in Arianism; I am afraid He must dissipate, dissolve, or disappear entirely into God as one of His modes or manifestations in Modalism! If they say He disappeared into the Father, ask them why the Son of God is shown to walking amongst the seven churches in Asia in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Ask them why the Bible says He is our high priest and why He is said to be the one that will return for the church riding upon a cloud.

I asked this question to a preacher who has been in the Apostolic church for nearly thirty years. At first he said the Son was in heaven walking around like everyone else. I quickly pointed out the fact that that made the Father and Son two separate beings in heaven which is Arianism. He then said the Son more or less disappeared into the Father. I then asked Him about the many passages of Scripture that show the Son coming in the clouds of glory, or being our high priest, etc. In the end, He had to confess that his doctrine was Arian in nature and by no means Oneness. The facts of it are, Trinitarians are the monotheists, not the Jesus Only adherents.

In summary, the Son of God took on a human NATURE in addition to His divine nature! Jesus was not the FATHER in a human body! The divine nature of Jesus was “Jesus” and the human nature of Jesus was “Jesus”! The humanity of the God-man died as any other man would die, but He was the very same person that came down from heaven! He is the eternal Son of God! Today, He sits at the right hand of God the Father making intercession for the saints!

Contrary to Oneness theology, the Word of God was not written, nor did Jesus come to this earth to reveal that He was the Father! You may ask: Why then, did Jesus come? Why did God give us His precious Word? I’ll let the Word of God answer that question:

Joh 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the SON OF GOD; and that believing ye might have life through his name. (emphasis added)

All things were given to us that we may know that Jesus is the Son ... not the Father!

In closing, I am sorry if it appears I am trying to beat a dead horse here. If it sounds like I am saying the same thing ten different ways, I am! It is my personal opinion that the Oneness concept of Christ’s two natures talking to each other is much more difficult to understand than the doctrine of the Trinity ever was! I just want to make sure that you understand what the Oneness doctrine is actually stating!

Copyright 2009 by David Lamb