The Oneness doctrine is popular among Evangelical
and Oneness Pentecostal churches. It's a false doctrine
teaching that Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Oneness doctrine is traced back to the fist and
second century, but was repopularized in the twentieth
century. In 1913, Pentecostalism broke into two major
divisions over the Oneness (Jesus only) doctrine1.
By 1983, 44% of all Evangelical churches believed the
"Jesus only" doctrine2.
Monarchianism dates back as far as the first century
by some accounts, but is not clearly seen in history
until the second century. This doctrine teaches that
God is one person, and opposes teaching relating to
There are two major types of Monarchianism, dynamic
Dynamic Monarchianism is also called Adoptionism. This
doctrine asserts that Jesus was born a man, and didn't
preexist as God.
After Jesus proved Himself to be a sinless man, God
adopted Him and filled Him with the Holy Spirit, thereafter
making Him divine.
Dynamic Monarchianism is similar to the Jehovah's
Witness doctrine that Jesus was created by God, and
is not divine.
Modal Monarchianism is also called Sabellianism, named
for Sabellius who became the leader of those who believed
this doctrine in the 2nd century.
This doctrine teaches that the Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit are modes of the one God. It denies that the
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate individuals.
Oneness Pentecostal groups and "Jesus only" Evangelicals
are modalists, composing the largest numbers of believers
of this doctrine.
Unfortunately, through, this doctrine is spreading
to other churches today.
An outward sign of Oneness and "Jesus only" churches
is they baptized in the name of Jesus, rather than in
the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And, they
believe they're praying to Jesus whenever they pray,
no matter how they address their prayer.
Twisting The Scriptures
Believers in the Oneness doctrine often twist the Scriptures
by taking attributes and analogies of God in the Old
Testament, and misapplying them to New Testament Scriptures
relating to Jesus.
- They take Old Testament Scriptures relating to
God as the Creator (Gen. 1:1; 2:7).
- They take New Testament Scriptures relating to
Jesus as the Creator (Col. 1:16-19; etc.).
- Then they conclude that God and Jesus are the same
person, twisting the Scriptures, rather then rightly
dividing the word of truth.
- They ignore the fact that these same verses contradict
their doctrine when the whole council of God is rightly
- Genesis 1:1 Elohim is plural, showing
there is more than one individual in the Godhead,
as reflected in Genesis 1:26 where the word "Us"
- Col. 1:16-17 Paul tells us that all
things were created through Jesus and for Jesus,
indicating that He was active in creation, as
a separate individual from the Father (Col. 1:19;
- They ignore other Scriptures that contradict their
doctrine (Gen. 1:26; Jn. 1:1; Heb. 1:2).
Scriptures Refuting The Oneness Doctrine
Many Scriptures refute the Oneness doctrine. Here is
a partial list of the better ones:
- Gen. 1:1, 26 The plural word for "God" is
used regarding creation, indicating that God (i.e.,
the Godhead) is composed of separate individuals.
- Col. 1:16-19; Heb. 1:2 Jesus was active
in creation as a separate individual.
- Jn. 1:1 John uses the Greek definite article,
to differentiate between two divine individuals in
- Jn. 14:23 Jesus uses the plural pronoun
"we" which shows He's a separate individual from the
- 1 Cor. 11:3 Christ is the head of man, and
God is the head of Christ, showing that Christ and
the Father are separate individuals.
- 2 Jn. 1:9 John uses the word "both" showing
that the Father and Son are separate individuals.
- 1 Tim. 2:5 Jesus mediates between man and
God (Father), showing that He is a separate individual
- Rom. 8:34 Jesus is at the right hand of
God, interceding for us, showing that He is a separate
individual from God.
- 1 Jn. 2:1 Jesus is our Advocate in heaven,
pleading our case before God, showing that He is a
separate individual from God.
- Rom. 8:26-27 The Holy Spirit is interceding
for us, through differently than Jesus (Rom. 8:34),
showing that the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and God are three
- 1 Cor. 15:23-24 Christ will hand over the
kingdom to the Father at the end, showing He's a separate
individual from the Father.
- Phil. 2:10-11 Jesus will be exalted for
eternity in heaven, and bring glory to the Father,
showing that He's a separate individual from the Father.
- Heb. 12:2 Jesus is in heaven, sitting at
the right hand of the throne of God, showing He's
a separate individual from the Father.
- Heb. 13:8 Jesus is the same for eternity,
showing that He'll always be a separate individual
from the Father.
- Rev. 22:1, 3 God (Father) and the Lamb (Jesus)
are two separate individuals whom we'll worship in
We only need one Scripture, that's rightly divided,
to prove a doctrine is false. Such was the case when
Jesus taught the error of the Sadducees' doctrine on
the resurrection (Matt. 22:23-33).
Many plain Scriptures teach that Jesus is a separate
individual from God the Father.
Therefore, all other conclusions from Scripture must
agree with this fact, that Jesus is a separate individual
from the Father, or else it's false.
- 1 William H. Swatos and Peter Kivisto, Encyclopedia
of Religion and Society, (Rowman Altamira, 1998) p.
- 2 Ibid, p. 358.