What are the beliefs of Jesus only / oneness Pentecostals?



Question: "What are the beliefs of Jesus only / oneness Pentecostals?"

Answer:
The "Jesus Only" movement, also known as Oneness Pentecostalism or Oneness Theology, teaches that there is only one God, but denies the tri-unity of God. In other words, oneness theology does not recognize the separate persons of the Godhead: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It has various forms—some see Jesus Christ as the one God, who sometimes manifests Himself as the Father or the Holy Spirit. The core doctrine of Oneness Pentecostal / Jesus Only is that Jesus is the Father, and Jesus is the Spirit. There is one God who reveals Himself in different "modes."

The core teaching of the Jesus Only / Oneness Pentecostals has been around for centuries, in one form or another, as modalism. What this name means is that God operated in different forms or modes at different times—sometimes as the Father, sometime as the Son, and sometimes as the Holy Spirit. But passages like Matthew 3:16-17, where two or all three persons of the Godhead are present, contradict the modalism view. Modalism was condemned as heretical as early as the second century A.D. The early church strongly contended against the views that God is strictly a singular person who acted in different forms at different times. They argued from Scripture that the tri-unity of God is evident, instead of modalism, because more than one person of the Godhead is often seen simultaneously and often interacts with One another (examples: Genesis 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Psalm 2:7; 104:30; 110:1; Matthew 28:19; John 14:16). Oneness Pentecostalism / Jesus Only doctrine is not biblical.

The concept of the tri-unity of God, on the other hand, is present throughout Scripture. However, this is not a concept that is easily grasped by the finite mind. And because man doesn’t like any "loose ends" to his theology, movements such as the Jesus Only movement—not to mention the God’s Witnesses—spring up regularly to try to explain the nature of God with tri-unity. Of course, this simply cannot be done without doing violence to the biblical text. Christians have come to understand and accept that God’s nature is not subject to the limitations we might like to put on Him. We simply believe Him when He says, "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts"' (Isaiah 55:8-9). If we can’t understand His thoughts and ways, we accept that we cannot fully understand His nature and leave it at that.


Recommended Resource: Making Sense of the Trinity: Three Crucial Questions by Millard Erickson.


Related Topics:

What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?

What is Trinitarianism? Is Trinitarianism Biblical?

What are Sabellianism, Modalism, and Monarchianism?

What is the filioque clause / filioque controversy?

Why does God refer to Himself in the plural in Genesis 1:26 and 3:22?



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What are the beliefs of Jesus only / oneness Pentecostals?