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Oneness Pentecostals Exposed

Here is a link to an excellent, long series on Oneness Pentecostals by a British brother.  I highly recommend it.  I have listened to them while working and was greatly blessed.  Not only does he quote directly from Oneness Pentecostal theologians but he dives into the Word of God for answers.

You can find these teachings here.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

03/21/2017 at 1:16 PM

A Rant on Seeker Churches

I listen to a few seeker churches on my iPhone while I drive my truck (I drive an eighteen wheeler for a living).  During long hauls I can listen to two or three sermons depending on the drive.  My wife says that I’m mad for listening to the seeker churches because they often make me cranky and I start ranting (as I’m doing here) about them.  My problems with the seeker churches are too many to post here in a blog post.  I could never willingly be a part of a seeker church for many reasons.  Doctrine is the first and foremost.  The utter lack of doctrine in seeker churches is disturbing to say the least.

I have been listening to one of the seeker churches for the entire year.  Each week their sermons come to my iPhone.  You got to love technology!  I had a friend who started attending this church about 6 years ago.  He still goes there.  He once had a fire for the Lord, was a man of prayer and holiness, and loved to share the gospel with the lost.  Those days are gone.  He is a shell of his former self now that he attends this church.  I place the blame at the feet of my friend but also at this church as well.  They have convinced my friend that evangelism is easy as inviting “the unchurched” to his church.  The church does the rest.  The entire “weekend” is designed to attract the “unchurched” and they are specific that they want the “unchurched” to come and not feel like they are at church.  I have often said that seeker churches remind me of cults in that they get you in before springing the trap and letting you know what they are about.  In this case, get the “unchurched” coming to church and then wait for a few weeks before telling them they must “receive Christ into their hearts” if they want to go deeper.  It’s like an Amway seminar.  Only worst.

The rant here today is not about the seeker church I’ve been listening to this year but a new one I picked up just this week.  I use to be friends with a youth pastor (when I was a youth pastor) and he always seemed to lean this seeker way.  I remember once taking to him about how I wanted to build a youth ministry that revolved around prayer and the Word and he laughed and said that I would never have a large ministry if that was my formula.  I followed him via social media after he moved away and watched him head down this seeker trail.  He bought into the seeker pragmatism hook, line, and sinker.  He begin to tweet a lot of seeker posts and I noticed his preaching was more and more becoming like seeker pastors I knew of.  He ultimately started a church in the Charlotte, NC area and followed the likes of seeker gurus Perry Noble and Steven Furtick.  Despite obvious doctrinal disagreements, this seeker pastor ignored that because “they are growing” and that was the bottom line.

He started his church and now he rolls out “series” sermons like Noble and Furtick complete with the works.  The stage is focused on the series.  The series is pushed though social media and social media is used during the talk.  I sent a few of his talks to Fighting For The Faith and hope they will review them.

Here is my rant.  Theology.  The seeker churches ignore theology.  I have listened to all the sermons from the one church this year and a few from this newer podcast and theology is utterly lacking.  The twisting of Scripture is bad.  For example, one of the seeker pastors preached on “Shake It Off” based on the Taylor Swift song (yes you read that right) and preached from Acts 28 where Paul “shook of the snake” and he in turn turned the snake into problems and other things that we just need to shake off.  What a poor use of Scripture!

Numbers is the focus.  That is the bottom line.  I well remember emailing a seeker pastor back in the early 2000’s and he responded back with “I run 700 people on Sunday morning.  How many do you run?  E-mail me back when you get to that number and I might listen.”  I was emailing him over his poor doctrinal preaching.  His response: pragmatism.

I remember another preacher going to hear modalist T.D. Jakes.  When I questioned him about this he responded by saying that Jakes’ church was huge and he could just feel the anointing on Jakes when he preached.  Never mind that Jakes is a modalist (the Trinity doesn’t matter much).  Never mind that Jakes is a false prosperity preacher.  Never mind that doctrine seems to not matter at all to Jakes.  Jakes’ church is big and that is enough.  Pragmatism.

A crowd does not equal the blessing of God.

I pass the Kingdom Hall’s all the time while working and I can tell you that they are packed.  It seems they are growing and I have my suspicions as to why.  The Jehovah’s Witness are no doubt a cult.  They are doctrinally wrong.  Nothing more than modern day Arians.  Yet they are growing because of the seeker churches in my estimation.  Week after week the seeker churches are packed but doctrine is not to be found.  In fact, doctrine is avoided at all costs.  It amazes me that seeker preachers often will have to point out where a book in the Bible is.  For example, when the above seeker pastor preached from Acts 28, he felt he had to point out where Acts is.  Further, his “background” to Paul and Acts 28 was horrible.  He felt he had to use “cool” language and to be funny throughout his talk to get people focused.  But at the end of the day, he taught nothing.  Nothing.  He didn’t teach false doctrines.  He taught nothing.  And this is true of every seeker sermon I have heard.  Let me repeat that:  I have never heard a seeker sermon yet that has taught me anything.  They are masters at saying nothing.

And thus cults grow.  People do want doctrine.  Contrary to what the seeker churches believe.  Doctrine does matter to folks.  In Acts 2:42 the first thing Luke records that the new disciples of Jesus did was to devote themselves to the apostles’ doctrine.  First thing listed was not “worship” or “small groups” but doctrine.  Cults come and fill the void.  The reason seeker people leave to join the Jehovah’s Witnesses or other cults is because doctrine.

After the seeker churches go off, I turn on John MacArthur and a breath of fresh air comes in.  MacArthur is the opposite of these seeker churches.  He preaches doctrine.  He preaches holiness.  He preaches the Bible and seeks to exegete the text faithfully.  Sometimes, for fun, I will listen to a seeker church and then pull up MacArthur preaching from the same text and its night and day difference.

Over the years I have been out witnessing only to run into a group of people from seeker churches.  Sometimes they will ridicule me for preaching on the streets.  Sometimes they talk to me and I try to reason with them about their “conversion” as 100% of them believe that “saying the sinner’s prayer” is how you get saved.  They are often completely ignorant of church history or theology.  They will say “I just love Jesus” but when I try to find out which Jesus they love, they don’t know.  I can often point out that the Jesus they say they love is the Jesus of their own imaginations and not the Bible.  Paul the Apostle warned about this in 2 Corinthians 11:4 and Galatians 1:6-9.

Am I thankful for seeker churches?  No I am not.  I truly believe that persecution is soon coming to the Christians in the United States and this will probably end the seeker church as we know it.  Most of the seeker churches will either close up or they will complete their compromising by abandoning true faith altogether in favor of the praises (and most important, the money) of men.

Sadly, many godly churches I know of feel the need to imitate these seeker churches.  I remember when Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Church led to the demise of denominational named churches.  Now we just have “Calvary Church” or “Christian Life Church” to avoid the obvious doctrinal distinctive that are there.  Now we have the cool fad among seeker churches to get the coolest name you can find for your church.  Either way, doctrine does not matter.  They would say only Jesus matters but they don’t even know if the Jesus they preach is the Jesus of the Bible.

I highly recommend you to read John MacArthur’s book Ashamed of the Gospel for a truly biblical look at the seeker church.  I pray that many saints of God will love the gospel and love the truths of the Bible (Romans 1:16; 1 Timothy 4:16; Titus 2:1).

Must Hear Debate

I highly recommend you listen to Dr. James White debating a Hebrew Israelite.  This is a subject I have never encountered.  I once heard these guys “preaching” on the streets of New York City and when I walked by one of them pointed at me and called me “white devil.”  That was my brief encounter with these guys.  Their theology is radically off from biblical Christianity as Dr. White clearly shows.

My prayer is that the Church will rise up and answer the Hebrew Israelite movement.  They are racist, anti-Christ, and false teachers.  They need to be shown their errors and I pray that they repent.  As I listened to the above debate, I prayed for God to open this man’s eyes to his sins and that he would be brought to repentance (2 Timothy 2:24-25).

I greatly appreciated the end of the debate where Dr. White clearly preaches the gospel.  He preaches that Jesus is calling all sinners to repent (Acts 17:30-31) and He will save people from every nation as He has promised (Revelation 5:9-10).  The gospel is not just for Jews but for all people (Acts 13:44-52; Ephesians 2).

Doing Something With Jesus

I have often said that whenever the doctrine of the Trinity is denied, the group that does the denying must do something with Jesus.  The Father is usually not attacked.  The Father is usually held up as the eternal God but groups who deny the doctrine of the Trinity must do something with Jesus and it is Jesus who is usually attacked and demoted.  The Holy Spirit is often altogether ignored.

Consider two groups who are similar in many ways: the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Oneness Pentecostals.  Both are Arians.  Both find the theological heritage in Arius and his condemned teachings.  Arius said that there was a time when the Son was not.  Arius viewed God the Father as the eternal God and the one that we must worship but Jesus is viewed as a created being and less than the Father though still the Son of God.  Arius reasoned that since God is one and the Father is God, the Son cannot be God logically lest there be another god.  Therefore, the Son is a created being though exalted by the Father.

Now consider the Jehovah’s Witness (JW hereafter).  The JW’s teach that Jehovah God alone is God.  Jehovah is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the supreme creation of God and He is Michael in the Old Testament.  JW’s (after 1954) forbid people for worshipping Jesus Christ.  They teach that Jesus is wonderful, our example, our Savior but He is not God.  He is a creation of God and the firstborn of Jehovah’s creation (Colossians 1:15).  The New World Translation follows the JW bias but denying the Lord Jesus His full deity in passages such as John 1:1.  In JW teaching, Jesus is the Son of God but He had a beginning and He has an ending as well when in eternity Jehovah alone will be worshiped as the true and living God (John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 15:24).  The point here is that Jesus is less than the Father (Jehovah) and He is a created being.

Oneness Pentecostals are not much different.  They will declare that Jesus is God which makes them separate from JW’s but Jesus the Son is not eternal.  Only the Father is eternal.  In Oneness teaching, there is only one God (which is biblically true) and since there is only one God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are all the same God (true) but not persons but instead are manifestations of the one true God (this is a heresy called Sabellianism).  Jesus is the one true God in Oneness Pentecostal teaching but only Jesus is God.  Thus Jesus is the Father, Jesus is the Son, and Jesus is the Holy Ghost.  Jesus the Father alone is eternal.  The Son had a beginning in Oneness teaching.  The Son is not eternal but only came to be in Luke 1:35.  Until Jesus the Son was born in Bethlehem, He did not exist as the Son but only as the Father.  So the Son is not the eternal God but only the Father is the eternal God (Jehovah).

Do you see the link?  The JW’s teach that Jehovah alone is God (the Father) and the Oneness Pentecostals teach that only Jesus the Father is eternal.  Both deny that the Son is eternal.  Both teach that the Son had a beginning and has an ending.  Jesus the Son is not important as much as the Father is.

In Trinitarian theology, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all the one true and living God.  There is only one God and He is revealed in Scripture as three persons in the one Godhead.  While the mystery of the Trinity is not easy to grasp, we must do something with Jesus.  Jesus is called God in the Bible (John 1:1, 14, 18; 20:28; Romans 9:5) and He shares in many aspects of divinity along with the Father and the Spirit.  Jesus spoke of His Father as distant from Him but He never made Himself less than the Father.  Jesus viewed Himself equal to His Father (John 10:30) and yet as the Messiah, He was perfectly obedient to His Father (Hebrews 5:8).  Jesus said He came from heaven (John 3:13) and He said He came from the Father (John 17:5).  Hebrews 1:3 says that the Father created the entire worlds though Jesus Christ the Son.  If Jesus is a created being, how can this be?  Philippians 2:5-11 is clear that Jesus is equal to God and He took upon Himself the form of a servant to do the will of His Father.

Time does not permit me to defend the deity of the Spirit but He too shares in the personality of God.  The Spirit is not a force as in JW teaching or a part of Jesus the Father but instead the Spirit is very much a Person who does the works of God.  The Spirit is co-equal, co-eternal with the Father and with the Son.

Jesus is where we find our problems.  Those who deny the Trinity must denounce and dethrone Jesus.  Jesus has to become less than the Father or less than God.  In Islam, Jesus is a great prophet but certainly not God.  In JW, Jesus is a created being but not the eternal God.  In Oneness Pentecostalism, Jesus is the name of the one true God but Jesus the Son only came to be when the Holy Ghost caused Mary to be impregnated.  In Mormonism, Jesus is a son of God like we all are and in fact He is a son along with Lucifer.  In Arianism, Jesus was a created being who is less than the Father.  In Sabellianism Jesus is part of a manifestation or mode of God but certainly there is no Trinity.

We stumble over Jesus just as Scripture predicts (1 Peter 2:6-8).  We must do something with Jesus.  I choose to worship Him and adore Him and praise Him and preach Him (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).

Written by The Seeking Disciple

09/28/2015 at 12:11 AM

Short Thoughts on Helping Others Understand the Doctrine of the Trinity

The doctrine of the Trinity is not an easy doctrine to grasp.  For one, we are limited as human beings to understand God.  His ways are beyond our ways and His thoughts are beyond our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).  God has made Himself known to us in His Word but even there we are limited in what we know about God.  We know enough about God to fear Him and to be saved by His grace (John 17:3) but we are still limited in what we know about God.

This should not cause fear nor doubts to arise.  If you can figure out your God, He is not the true and living God who has revealed Himself to us by His Word.  The true and living God is simply a mystery to us.  He is not a man (Numbers 23:19) nor has He ever been a man (Isaiah 43:10).  God has always been God and will always be God.  God never changes (James 1:17).  God remains the same and His years will never end (Psalm 102:27).  The immutability of God is a doctrine that we should rest in (Hebrews 13:8) knowing that God will keep His promises since He is forever faithful (1 Kings 8:56; Romans 4:21).

When it comes to understanding the doctrine of the Trinity, it helps to think this way: there is only one what (God) and yet there are three who’s (Divine Persons).  One God eternally existent in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Each of the divine persons is a person in that they are co-equal, co-eternal with the other members of the Triune God so that the Father is not the Son nor is He the Holy Spirit nor is the Son the Father nor is He the Holy Spirit nor is the Holy Spirit the Father nor is He the Son.  The Father is God.  The Son is God.  The Holy Spirit is God.  Yet again, there is not three manifestations of the one true God (modalism) nor is the Father greater than the Son and the Spirit (Arianism).  Instead, the Bible teaches us that there is one God (Deuteronomy 4:35; 6:4; 32:39; 2 Samuel 7:22; 1 Chronicles 17:20; Psalm 83:18; 86:10; Isaiah 44:6; 45:18; Mark 12:29; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:5).  Yet the New Testament is clear that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God yet there is only one God.

How then do we reconcile these facts?  Those who deny the Trinity run into error.  If you deny the doctrine of the Trinity, you must do something with the one true God.  You then must turn to answering who is God?  Is the Father then God and yet not the Son or the Spirit?  Or are there now three gods which means you must deny the fact that there is only one God?  Cults often attack the Lord Jesus and deny His full deity or they make Him less than the Father.  Oneness Pentecostals claim to exalt Jesus but they deny the full deity and persons of the Father and Spirit (though they would claim to embrace their deity while denying their personhood).  Most cults exalt the Father as above the Son in some way (although the Bible does teach the willful submission of the Son to the Father in His mediating role; see 1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

It is simply easier to come to the mystery of the Trinity and admit I don’t fully understand it but I accept it by faith because it is what the Bible teaches.  God is beyond me.  Again, I point to Isaiah 55:8-9.  God’s ways are not my ways.  He is God and I humble myself before Him.  I confess that there is only one God and yet three persons in the one Godhead.  I confess that the Father is not the Son nor is He the Spirit.  I confess that truth to all three persons.  There is only one God but three persons in the one Godhead.  I know not how this is nor does it completely make sense to me but it is what Scripture teaches and I humble myself before the one true and living God.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

07/10/2015 at 5:45 PM

Quick Post on Oneness Pentecostals

Oneness Pentecostalism is a growing sect.  From its lowly beginnings around 1916 from a split within the Trinitarian Pentecostals, the Oneness Pentecostals have grown to well over 5 million people.  The largest of the Oneness denominations is the United Pentecostal Church International based out of Hazelwood, Missouri.

I have encountered only a few Oneness Pentecostals.  While I am sure there are a few militant followers among them, the ones I have met were not your typical Oneness followers.  In fact, they embraced me as a Christian which is not the case from what I have been reading regarding Oneness Pentecostal.  Very quickly let me establish what makes Oneness Pentecostals unique.

1.  Modalism.

As the name states, Oneness Pentecostals are sometimes called “Jesus Only” churches.  They hold that Jesus is the one God and He alone is the one God.  Of course, we Trinitarians believe the same but Oneness Pentecostals differ with Trinitarians by saying that the Lord Jesus is the Father, Jesus is the Son, and Jesus is the Holy Ghost.  There are not three divine Persons but only one Person in the Godhead, the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:9).  While Trinitarians believe in only one God (monotheism), we believe that the Bible teaches that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God yet there is only one God but three persons in the Godhead (Matthew 3:13-17; 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).  While I admit this is mystery, I believe the Bible affirms one God and three persons in the one Godhead (1 Corinthians 8:4-6).

Oneness Pentecostals believe that Jesus is the mighty God.  They affirm His deity and will defend the deity of Christ against others.  However, they deny that Jesus the Son was eternally the Son of God.   They hold that Jesus took on flesh (John 1:14) and so the Son has a beginning in Bethlehem (Luke 1:35).  The Son was not eternal.  Only the Father is eternal and the Father is Jesus (Isaiah 9:6; Malachi 2:10).  But what about where Jesus makes Himself distinct from the Father you ask?  Oneness Pentecostals would say that Jesus as divine is the Father but Jesus as the Son is just a man.  So when Jesus says in Matthew 24:36 that only the Father knows the time of Christ’s return, Jesus is referring to His divine nature.  When Jesus died on the cross, the man Jesus died but the Father lives forever!  When Paul refers to Jesus being our intercessor before the Father in 1 Timothy 2:5, they point out that he points to Jesus the man because it is Jesus the man praying to Jesus the divine Father.

2.  Salvation.

Oneness Pentecostals believe that Jesus gave Peter the Apostle the keys in Matthew 16:19 to build His church and Peter preached Acts 2:38 on the day of Pentecost and this set the pattern for salvation.  First a person must believe in Jesus (Acts 16:31).  Second, a person must repent of their sins (Acts 3:19).  Third, a person must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins.  Lastly, a person must receive the gift of the Holy Spirit which must be evidenced by speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance (Acts 2:4).

A person must do all the above to be saved.  Throughout the history of the Oneness movement they have held that even Trinitarian Pentecostals were unsaved due to not being baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins despite Trinitarian Pentecostals speaking in tongues.  It seems today that Oneness Pentecostals are distancing themselves from that position.  In fact, I listened to one Oneness preacher who was teaching from a Trinitarian book and calling him “brother” throughout.

Yet if the “formula” of Acts 2:38 is true then nearly all Christians are not true Christians.  Only Oneness Pentecostals are and some hold to that position.  For years the Oneness Pentecostals have largely done evangelism among Trinitarian Pentecostals.  Entire Trinitarian churches have been “evangelized” by Oneness Pentecostals.

Do Oneness Pentecostals teach salvation by works or grace?  It depends on the preacher.  Some try to hold that salvation is all of grace despite preaching the Acts 2:38 formula.  Some flat out deny that salvation is by grace alone and emphasize that works play their part.  Some will quote Ephesians 2:8-9 but deny that salvation is faith alone in Christ alone by grace alone.  I would think that most Oneness Pentecostals hold to some form of works-righteousness holding that while Christ certainly is to be honored for His death and resurrection, man plays his part in this work of salvation.

3.  Holiness.

Oneness Pentecostals are known for their holiness standards.  By this, I mean that they believe that both their men and women should dress modestly, no jewelry usually, no makeup on women, no haircuts for women, complete abstaining from alcohol or tobacco, and separation from the world (1 John 2:15-17).  I don’t fault them per se for these positions.  I agree with them in many cases.  However, I would never stress that this defines holiness.  A man can look “holy” while being full of sin in his heart.  I have been there!  Sin doesn’t start from what I wear.  It comes from my heart (Matthew 15:18-19).  Holiness doesn’t start with what I don’t do but with Who I know (Hebrews 10:10, 14).  While the Spirit of God does help me to turn from sin and He convicts me of sin (John 16:8), I must depend on Him to help me overcome what is inside of me (Galatians 5:16-17).

Some Oneness Pentecostals stress that a person must fulfill the formula of Acts 2:38 and then keep the holiness code or they will lose their salvation.  Others are now stressing that while the holiness code is good, it is not salvation and should not be the test of salvation.  To merely own a TV use to be a sign you were going to hell in the Oneness churches but today they are relaxing that code.  I listened to one large Oneness church preaching that a person should be holy but holiness comes only by grace and not by works.  This is not the historic view of the Oneness movement but is becoming the view today.


What do I think of the Oneness Pentecostals?  I think that they are misinformed on the doctrine of the Trinity.  I believe they misunderstand the Lord Jesus Christ and even His saving work.  I believe they are a works based faith.  I believe that some may be true disciples of Jesus in their movement despite their ignorance of the Lord Jesus as the eternal Son of God.  I believe they are wrong on the view of Acts 2:38 as the formula for salvation.  I believe their holiness codes, while needful in our wicked age, should not be viewed as true salvation simply because a person does or does not keep them.  I pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Oneness Pentecostals to go back to the Scriptures to search yet again the truth of God and His being.   I pray for reformation among Oneness groups.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/07/2015 at 12:52 PM

Posted in Cults

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