Otherwise Known as the Oneness Movement


By Dr. Ken Matto


I and my Father are one.  (John 10:30)


There seems to be a resurgence within Christianity that denies the Trinity.  Denominations such as the following:



Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church of God (AOHCG)-13,000
Assemblies of the Lord Jesus, Inc. (ALJI)-50,000
Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ World Wide, Inc. (Bible Way)-250,000
Church of Our Lord Jesus of the Apostolic Faith (COLJF)-30,000
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW)-1,000,000 reported
Pentecostal Church of Apostolic Faith (PCAF)-25,000
United Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic) (UCJC-A)-100,000
United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI)-500,000 (1.5 million worldwide)


Other Designations

"Jesus Only" churches; "Apostolic Pentecostals"; The "Oneness Movement"; The "Jesus Name" Movement



Pentecostal Herald (UPCI)
The Global Witness (UPCI)
The Bible Way News Voice (Bible Way)
The People's Mouthpiece (AOHCG)
The Contender for the Faith (COLJF)
Christian Outlook (PAW)


Educational Institutions

AOHCG: Berean Christian Bible College-Birmingham, Ala.
PAW: Aenon Bible School-Indianapolis, Ind.
UCJC: Institute of Biblical Studies-Baltimore, Md.
UPCI: Apostolic Bible Institute-St. Paul, Minn.
Apostolic Missionary Institute-Oshawa, Ont.
Christian Life College-Stockton, Calif.
Indiana Bible College-Seymour, Ind.
Texas Bible College-Houston, Texas

This Belief Bulletin presents basic Oneness Pentecostal history and doctrines and provides a biblical analysis and response.


Then you have famous charismatic charlatan T.D. Jakes who also believes in the Oneness doctrine.  I went to his website to find his statement of faith and there was none which means he is hiding his beliefs.


Modalism basically is the belief that there is one God in three manifestations.  In the Old Testament he is God the Father, then he is Jesus in the flesh, and now in this time he is the Holy Spirit.  As a Trinitarian, the Bible teaches one God in three persons: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  When someone cannot explain the trinity, they explain it away and Satan is right there to give them help.


Modalism is the resurgence of the false belief of Sabellianism.  It comes from a third century priest named Sabellius who taught in Rome but may have been of Libyan heritage.  He taught that God was single and inseparable and therefore could not be in three separate persons so he believed instead in three manifestations instead of three separate persons.  As Christians we take the trinity on faith because it is a great mystery to us.  As finite beings, it is impossible for us to know everything that an infinite God does or performs so we take these things on faith.  Now let us turn to the Bible and see if Oneness is a biblical doctrine or if it is a heresy.


John 14:8-9

{8} Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.  {9} Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?  (John 14:8-9)


Philip was one of the earliest disciples that Jesus walked with which means about 3½ years and yet Philip did not understand that Jesus was the express image of the Father. Philip saw all the miracles which Jesus did and no one could do those miracles unless they are of God. If you have seen Jesus, then you have seen the Father and this Philip did not understand so Jesus asks him why would you want me to show you the Father? Jesus was sent by the Father to this world and both of them worked in harmony during the entire ministry of Jesus and therefore if one saw the ministry of Jesus, they were seeing the ministry of the Father. Philip was showing that at this point that there was not yet full understanding. Jesus was about to go to the cross and here Philip wanted some type of sign concerning the Father.  One thing that Philip did not include was the fact that if he saw the Father in glory, he would be consumed in a non-second because no flesh can stand before the glory of God.


John 10:30

I and my Father are one.


To understand this verse we must go back to verse 28.


John 10:28

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.


There are also three major teachings in this verse. The first teaching is that those who Jesus knows as His sheep will be given eternal life. Eternal life for the believer begins at the moment one becomes saved. This why physical death is only a portal into Heaven. Physical death of a believer in no way ends the believer’s life, it begins the life of no pain and suffering for eternity. Then Jesus states that they will never perish. There are so many Christians who want to make Jesus a liar by stating that they can lose their salvation. Maybe they can lose the salvation they have created, like works, but they can never lose the salvation the Lord gives by grace. Then the third teaching is that no one will ever have the ability or strength to take a true believer from the sheepfold of Christ. This is because the true believer has eternal security in Christ. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3)  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:5) The true believer is dead and hidden in Christ plus we are kept by the power of God. Who or what can transcend the power of God?


John 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.


Jesus focuses in on the third teaching of verse 28 and now makes a connection between the keeping power of God and the believer. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:5) We saw this in the last verse it basically teaches how God protects and guards the believer to preserve them unto the day of their home going or the last day rapture. Jesus then adds the comfort that the power of God and God Himself is greater than any enemy that can come against the believer. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)  Satan is beyond his power if He thinks that he is able to remove a believer from the power and keeping of God. Since God the Father is greater than all these enemies of the Christian, then what does the Christian have to worry about? This verse is at the heart of eternal security since God is greater than all the enemies of the Christian, then how could anyone believe that they can lose their salvation? It is an untenable belief which has caused so many to go into works bondage believing they can regain their salvation by doing works. A horrible belief system.


John 10:30

I and my Father are one.


Jesus had previously stated that the sheep were safe in His hands and in the previous verse He states that they are safe in the Father’s hands. Now Jesus is equating Himself with the Father and is claiming the same power and ability to keep the sheep safe from any enemy who would try and pluck them out of the hands of either. This verse also teaches the unity of the Father and the Son. They are one in power, one in unity, one in purpose, one in salvation, one in nature, one in essence, while they are two separate persons. The Jews had asked Jesus to tell them plainly whether He was the Christ or not. He still does not answer directly but He gives them a major indicator that if He and His Father are one and His Father is God, then they really have their answer in this citation.


These two verses are two so-called proof texts for the Oneness believers.  Unless you look at the context of the verses you will not come to truth.  Isolating verses will never bring you to truth on a subject which requires more study.  Now let us look at John 10:30 closely.  I and my Father are one.  (John 10:30)  Notice it says, “I and my Father...”  When the word “and” is used it is speaking of two separate persons.  For example, look at a married couple, Abraham and Sarah, two separate people but considered one flesh.  They are separated by the word “and.”  One more example, David and Jonathan, two separate people separated by an “and.”  Let us attend to some verses which show that the Godhead is more than one person.


{16} And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:  {17} And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  (Matthew 3:16-17)


Notice in these two verses the plain revealing of the trinity.  The Lord Jesus was being baptized and after he came out of the water, he saw the spirit of God descending upon him and the voice of the Father in Heaven confirming that Jesus was his Son.  Those two verses are irrefutable truth of the existence of the trinity.  If a doctrine is taught, it must harmonize throughout the entire Bible or else it is an erroneous belief and must be rejected and restudied.


Other Verses which refute the Oneness Doctrine

While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.  (Matthew 17:5)


And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.  (Mark 9:7)


{34} While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.  {35} And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.  (Luke 9:34-35)


Here are three separate descriptions of Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration and each one records the Father in Heaven speaking to the three disciples confirming that Jesus was his beloved Son.


All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.  (John 6:37)


Notice in John 6:37 that the Father is the one who gives the believer to his Son Jesus.  Again revealing two separate people.


And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;  (Luke 22:29)


The Father appointed a kingdom for Jesus showing again two separate people.


But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.  (John 5:17)


The word “hitherto” contains the Greek word “arti” which means “now.”  This means that both the Father and the Son were working simultaneously showing two persons doing two jobs.


If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.  (John 14:7)


Here Jesus states that from the time he made this statement that the disciples will know the Father and will see him.  How can this be accomplished?  (Hebrews 1:3) Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Jesus was the direct image of God the Father and those who saw the miracles of Jesus, such as the raising of Lazarus, was also seeing the glory of the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. Soon the disciples will know the Father even more intimately by reason of the indwelling Holy Spirit which they will receive in 53 days. The relationship between the disciples and the Father will now become a greater reality. There is one other way that we see the Father. When we look at the creation after becoming born again, we look at it in a new light. We see how beautiful the colors are like the blue skies against the green trees and we also see the wisdom found in the creation. The way the animals are and the wisdom God placed in them. There is the Grand Canyon, Old faithful Geyser which erupts every 90 minutes, and many other wonders God has placed here. So we see the Father in a new light after we become born again.


If you notice in Hebrews 1:3, Jesus sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.  If only the Holy Spirit is the third manifestation as the Modalists believe, then who is Jesus sitting on the right hand of?  Here it is showing plainly that God the Father and God the Son are both in Heaven at the same time.  Go back to John 14:7, the Modalists teach that the Holy Spirit is the final manifestation of God and yet Jesus tells his disciples that from this point on, they are going to know the Father and will see him.  But how can that be if the Holy Spirit is the third manifestation? The Father would not be there so how would they know the Father if the Father is not there in the future?  Now they might claim that he will be there in eternity but what about the past 2,000 years, how could they know him if he was not in Heaven?


Genesis 1:26

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  (Genesis 1:26)


Another tremendous verse which puts the death knell to Modalism is Genesis 1:26.  Notice the wording in this verse.  “God said…”  The Hebrew word for God in this verse is “elohim” which implies plurality.  We can see this by the suffix “im” which means it is a plural word.  The word “elohim” means that three or more are in view.  “Elohiam” means two and is not used in the Hebrew Scriptures and “el” means one.  If Modalism was a true teaching then the word “el” would be used denoting one person but because “elohim” is used thousands of times in the Hebrew Scriptures, it refers to more than one person which we call the Trinity.  Now look at the other two phrases in this verse, “in our image” and “after our likeness.”  Notice the word “our” and how it is used.  First it is a possessive pronoun which man was going to be created in the image of God and after the likeness of God.  Now we come to the word “our” and its usage.  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:  (Ephesians 3:9)  In Genesis 1:26 we have God the Father speaking to God the Son concerning the creation of man.  If God was a single person and there existed no trinity, then who was he talking to?  It could not have been the angels because they are created beings and are not creators of anything.  Their primary reason of existence is to serve the LORD.  Man was not created in the image and likeness of angels.  Was God the Father talking to himself?  Or was he talking to His Son because the trinity does exist? Ephesians 3:9 states that God created all things by Jesus Christ and man fits into all things.  Ephesians 3:9 confirms the fact of the teaching of Genesis 1:26 that there is more than one person in the Godhead.  God the Father was speaking with God the Son concerning the creation of man in the image and likeness of God.  This means right at the outset of the Bible, the theory of Modalism has been destroyed.



The Bible completely refutes the idea of the Oneness doctrine as you read in these few verses that all the members of the trinity are plainly recorded so the Christians will be led into all truth as the Holy Spirit will do.  The Old as well as the New Testament refutes the heresy of modalism and is to be rejected because the Bible openly disproves it as we saw.  We expect cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses to reject the trinity but when Christians do it, it causes much confusion especially for new and young Christians.  Reject what the Bible rejects and truth will fill in the rest!