What Do We Really Believe?

(1Timothy 3:16)

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

The Misconception

Where most trinitarians go wrong is in the accusation they bring against their oneness counterparts. They have labeled us things like “Jesus-only” and “deniers of the Father.” Some have said we do not believe in the work of the Father in the life of Jesus. They are very quick to point out that “we want everyone to go to hell who isn’t baptized like us”, when we ourselves have no such desire. In fact, our earnestness in sharing our message is proof that the opposite is in fact true.

The fact is that most people now-a-days have not looked into these topics for themselves, rather they have simply taken what they have heard from people and church tradition and trustingly believed it. Combine this with the accusations brought against oneness believers of denying the work of the Father, and our supposed insularity and you will soon realize why some have become such adamant enemies of the Apostolic Pentecostal church without ever having learned our true beliefs.

Reconciling For Truth’s Sake

The first step in reconciling the issues between oneness and trinitarian people is to understand the real differences in doctrine, as opposed to ones that have falsely been thrown around. We have to allow the bible to speak for itself without using vernacular that is not native to its pages. We must agree to see the truth for what it is; truth, without letting the personal opinions of our families, churches and ancestors to be stumbling blocks to our understanding of God.

We must commit to accepting truth whether it is what we previously believed or not. Let God be true and every man a liar (Rm. 3:4).

False Accusations

Oneness people have been falsely labeled as “Jesus-only”. It has been said that we do not believe in the Father. We have been called a cult for denying the traditional stance that there are three persons in the Godhead. We have said in return that we are not “Jesus-only”, we are “Jesus-everything”.

The Importance of Biblical Terminology

Many times, it has been said that oneness and trinitarian people are saying the same thing in different ways. Some have said that even if we use different words, the meaning is still the same. Truth is, these two doctrines are as far apart as the beliefs of Creation and evolution. To say three persons is simply not the same thing as saying three manifestations. It is actually quite the opposite.

The trinitarians are content to use non-biblical terminology such as the word trinity itself. They use oil in terms like: God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, triune, persons, three persons, eternal generation, etc…, also. Why are they so enthralled by a doctrine that they have to move away from the bible to prove?

The oneness movement uses such language as; one God, manifest in the flesh, Son of God, image of God, etc… (Mai. 2:10; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 Jn. 4:15; Col. 1:15). These are terms that are used in the bible. They were used by the apostles themselves. The first mark of the right doctrine is always the one that stays within the parameters of the inspired word of God.

 Lifetime Warranty

As Christians, one of our core doctrines is the fact that the bible, in and of itself, is complete and void of nothing (2 Tim. 3:16). Everything that we need to know concerning this doctrine is found in the pages of the bible.

When someone buys a vehicle from the dealership they will receive paperwork that informs them that their vehicle is covered under a warranty. This warranty will cover certain parts and services that are needed in case of the automobile malfunctioning in some way. If the car breaks down, the warranty will usually cover the problem and thedealer will take care of it, because of the agreement made in the warranty’s contract.

If you read the fine print you will see where the warranty becomes null and void if you do not adhere to certain restrictions and policy. Once you have an aftermarket paint job done to the vehicle, the paint is no longer eovered under the original warranty. If you change the size tires you use, it will void certain parts of the warranty that tires pertain to. This is because there is a clause in the contract that states that the warranty will be void if you “change the original design of the vehicle”. Once the automobile is no longer the same way it was when the manufacturer made it, the warranty issues are no longer their responsibility. This is because the problems usually come from attaching aftermarket parts, which did not come from the manufacturer, to the car.

This is much the same guarantee that the bible comes with. We are under a guarantee from God that His words are true. The problem does not appear until we start adding aftermarket parts to the vehicle, which in this case is the doctrine of the Godhead. As the church, we are guaranteed to be under a blood covering warranty. The stipulation is that we do not change the original design of the vehicle. It is imperative that we stay within the bounds of the warranty if we are sure to be covered.

This is why it is so important to stick to using biblical vernacular when describing the doctrines of God throughout the bible. No good can come of Christians straying outside of the Master’s gate to find new vocabulary to bring inside of the discussion of biblical doctrines.

The Father

To say that the oneness doctrine denies the Father is an ignorant statement. The whole basis of the oneness message is the Father’s existence. If God is not in Christ then our message fails miserably. It is the existence of the Father that makes the message so harmonious with scripture.

We believe wholeheartedly in the Father’s existence. We believe that God is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24) and that Spirit exists in all of eternity. That Spirit is the Father (He. 12:9). The Father created all that is created (Ge. 1:1) and gave life to humanity by breathing His breath into man’s nostrils (Ge. 2:7). Everything that we see is here by the Father’s decree.

The Son

Understanding who the Son of God is equally as vital as the knowledge of the Father. It is this manifestation of God that gives the opportunity of salvation to fallen mankind.

The Son of God was a completely sinless human (2 Cor. 5:21). Though He was God manifest in the flesh, the flesh was very real. He was completely human while being completely God (Ph. 2:6-8). The Son of God was the most perfect and absolute manifestation of the Father that the world had ever seen (Jn. 10:30).

Man could not change its status as to its fallen nature and therefore was separated from God. The Father had a plan in place and the plan had a name; Jesus (Jn. 1:1). The Father came into the world in the form of His own Son and gave the life of that Son on the cross for sin and death to be abolished (Ph. 2:6-8). Man could not do the work of atonement for themselves, so God came as the redeemer and did the work on their behalf (Ac. 20:28). He is the judge, the jury and the advocate and He took the case pro bono.

This was not the work a separate and distinct person from the Father; this was the Father Himself who walked the earth in a perfect union of Deity and humanity. He went around healing the sick, doing miracles in the midst of the people showing exactly who He was; God (Jn. 10:33). Jesus stated that it wasn’t Him that did the works, but the Father that dwelt in Him (Jn. 14:10). What He was saying is that in His humanity He did not have the ability to do all the things they had seen Him do, but that in His divine or Spirit nature He could do anything (Jn. 5:19). Jesus, as a human, just did what He saw in the Spirit (Jn. 5:19).

This is all proof that the Father dwelt in Jesus. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the Father. He is the Father robed in Humanity. Not just flesh, but humanity. He possessed the flesh, plus the weaknesses that come with humanity such as hunger, thirst, weariness and emotions. Jesus was the Father as a human being.

The Holy Ghost

To say Holy Ghost is another way of saying Holy Spirit. There is only one Spirit (Ep. 4:4). The Father is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24) and He is Holy (1 Pet. 1:16), therefore, He is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost is not a separate and distinct person from the Father. The Holy Ghost is the Father.

When a person is born again they receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Jn. 3:5). Much like when God came to the world as His son, doing the work of redemption Himself; so also is it with the work of regeneration in the Holy Ghost. When one receives the Holy Ghost they literally receive the Spirit of God; the same Spirit that is the Father. It is literally the Spirit of the Father (Mt. 10:20). It is not a different person, but the same Spirit that created the world now living in the heart of a human being.

This Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit of Christ (Rm. 8:9). This shows us that the same Spirit that was in Christ is in the believer (Ac. 2:17). Again, this is not a separate and distinct person from Christ, but the very Spirit that emanates from Christ. Christ was full of the Spirit limitlessly. He had the fulness of God in Him (Co. 2:9). We do not have the Spirit in us to the same measure; therefore, we cannot call ourselves God. Christ is full of the Spirit of God without measure; He is literally the center of operation for the Father (Co. 2:9-10).

Oneness

In a nutshell, The Father created everything that exists. His will is to save mankind from its fallen state. The bible says that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins (He. 9:22). Since a Spirit does not have blood, God being the only perfect and sinless being, came to earth in the form of His son Jesus Christ (1 Ti. 3:16). He now had a body with blood that He could purchase the redemption of His people with (Ac. 20:28). He died upon the cross for our sins and rose again on the third day (1 Co. 15:1 -4). Jesus ascended to heaven after being seen 40 days alive (Ac. 1:9). Before He left, He told the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father, which is the Holy Ghost (Lk. 24:49).

In the upper room, the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance (Ac. 2:4). This Spirit that filled them was none other than the Father, the same Spirit that was in Christ and the same Spirit that created the world (Jn. 14:26). It is the Spirit of the Father that works in the church today under the title Holy Ghost. This is the oneness of God.

Conclusion

Oneness believers do not deny the existence of the Father; we deny that He is a distinct of the Godhead. We do not deny that there is any distinction between the Father and the Son; we deny that the distinction is that of two separate persons. The distinction is not in two persons, but in two natures. The Father and Son are not first person and second  person, but Spirit nature and human nature. We call the Spirit, Father and we call the humanity, Son. That perfect union grants us access to the Spirit, from which we were separated (1 Ti. 2:5), allowing us to receive the Holy Ghost, which is God in the church.

The Father of the Old Testament (Jehovah) became in the New. Jehovah-Jireh (Provider) became Jehovah-Shua (Savior). A God who we had no access to because of our sin became the mediator (1 Ti. 2:5) by which we would be reconciled to Him (2Co. 5:19). Paul said it best, “And without doubt great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (ITi. 3:16).

Scripture References

Romans 3:4

God forbid: yea, let God lie true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Malachi 2:10

Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

1 Timothy 3:16

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

1 John 4:15

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

Colossians 1:15

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

2 Timothy 3:16

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable l>» doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

John 4:24

 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Hebrews 12:9

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 2:7

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.     

2 Corinthians 5:21

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Philippians 2:6-8

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

John 10:30

I and my Father are one.

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Acts 20:28

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

John 10:33

The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thy self God.

John 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.

John 5:19

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

Ephesians 4:4

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your catting;

1 Peter 1:16

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

John 3:5

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Matthew 10:20

For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

Romans 8:9

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Acts 2:17

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Colossians 2:9-10

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Hebrews 9:22

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to  the scriptures:

Acts 1:9

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

Luke 24:49

And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry i/c in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Acts 2:4

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

John 14:26

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

1 Timothy 2:5

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Published by

Dr. Larry L Yates

Dr. Larry L Yates is a Minister, Author and Bible Teacher with Doctorates in Theology, Religion, and Ministry. He is President of Mineola Bible Institute as well as a member of the Board of the International Apostolic University-London, in the UK. He is the author of numerous books on apostolic theology, prayer, and healing.

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