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From: firstname.lastname@example.org (JEB)
Subject: Re: Steve Winter is a $cientologist!
Date: 21 Oct 1995 15:13:04 GMT
Organization: Ingress Communications (email@example.com)
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Steve is actually a member of this sect. (although he will not admit it)
THE UNITED PENTECOSTALS AT A GLANCE...
* History: The United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI)
began in 1945 as a result of a merger of the Pentecostal Church,
Inc. and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ.
* Organization facilities: The UPCI has as its headquarters a
three-story building located in Hazelwood, Mo., in the
northwestern St. Louis metropolitan area. This building also
holds its publishing house, Word Aflame Press, which produces the
church's tracts, books, Sunday School materials and other church
* Educational facilities: The UPCI supports nine Bible colleges
throughout the United States and Canada.
* Missionary Efforts: The UPCI has a foreign mission division,
which sponsors and oversees the work of more than 400
missionaries and national workers in more than 100 countries. The
church's foreign mission budget was about $12 million in 1987.
Domestically, the denomination sponsors an orphanage, a
rehabilitation center for boys, and a ministry for alcohol and
* Membership: The UPCI claims a worldwide membership in excess of
1.4 million. In 1988, the sect reported 400,000 members, 3500
churches, and over 7,000 ministers within the United States and
Canada. The denomination's organizational structure is
congregational, with the local churches being autonomous in their
conduct of business.
* Doctrinal distinctives: The UPCI insists that water baptism by
immersion in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38) must be
performed for the remission of sins. The UPCI also holds to a
non-trinitarian view of God. The church maintains that there is
only one person in the Godhead, Jesus Christ. This one-person God
has revealed Himself as the Father in creation, as the Son in
redemption and as the Holy Spirit in regeneration. Because of
this latter doctrine, the sect has, at times, been nicknamed
"Jesus Only." The denomination also emphasizes the baptism of the
Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Finally,
the church stresses a strict social behavior and holiness code.
(Sources: Dictionary of Christianity in America, Dictionary of
Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, and Encyclopedia of Ameri
can Religions, Vol. 1.)
THE ONENESS DOCTRINE:
FULL GOSPEL OR FOOL GOSPEL?
by Edgar L. Havaich
Christians occasionally encounter people who appear committed to
Jesus Christ but profess some beliefs about the nature of God
that are radically different from those of traditional
Christianity. These often zealous individuals come under a
variety of names: Apostolic Pentecostals, Oneness Believers and
Jesus Only's. Christians would do well to take a second look at
the underlying belief structure of the Oneness adherent.
Oneness teachings are much like those of a man named Sabellius,
a third-century figure who was labeled a heretic by the Christian
Church. Believed to have been born in Libya, North Africa, his
ante-Nicene unitarian doctrine spread both in Rome and Egypt and
has been refined, amplified and propagated down through the
Unlike the Church's belief that there is one God expressed in a
unity of three distinct persons all having the attributes of God
and claiming to be God, Sabellius taught that the Godhead was one
person revealed in three different manifestations. Furthermore,
Sabellius believed that the Godhead was expressed through its
operations: The Father was revealed in creation; the existence of
the Son was limited to the period of His earthly redemptive work;
once He had returned to heaven, God was revealed as the Son no
longer but as the Holy Spirit in his operation of sanctification
of the Church. This teaching is called modalism.
Because of his beliefs, Sabellius was excommunicated from the
Church. Yet the idea of modalistic monarchianism, the belief that
God reigns while manifesting Himself through different modes of
operation, is perpetuated today through the Apostolic Pentecostal
Today's Oneness movement got its start at a 1913 camp meeting
for the relatively young Pentecostal Church. In Arroyo Seco, near
Los Angeles, a message was given noting that in the days of the
apostles baptism was performed in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts
2:38) instead of using the Trinitarian model given by Christ, who
instructed Christians to baptize in the name of the Father, the
Son and the Holy Ghost (Matthew 28:19). After deliberating for
one night over the message he had heard, a man by the name of
John C. Scheppe revealed his "new insight" into what he saw as
the true nature of the Godhead. His "revelation" was the
beginning of the modern Apostolic Pentecostal Church.
Modern Oneness Pentecostals believe that Jesus is the Father or
the Son-Father (hyiopator), that is Jesus is the physical
manifestation of the Father who is Spirit. The Holy Ghost is not
considered a part of the Trinity but merely the spirit and power
of the Son-Father.
Oneness theology also embraces the teaching that salvation
comes through repentance and baptism by immersion in the name of
Jesus only. The question posed by many apostolics, "Have you been
baptized in the name?", is one way they determine if the person
they are conversing with meets their criteria of a "true
believer." One further proof of a "legitimate" conversion is
whether the individual has been baptized in the Holy Ghost with
the evidence of speaking in tongues.
The basis for Oneness doctrine lies with a group of key
scriptures that have been misinterpreted or misunderstood by
apostolic adherents. One such verse is Colossians 2:9, "For in
Him [Christ] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." In
considering the title of Oneness, author Gordon Magee's booklet,
Is Jesus in the Godhead or is the Godhead in Jesus?, it would
appear that we must make a choice as to who is dwelling in whom.
Since God is Spirit (John 4:24) we realize that this cannot refer
to all three persons residing within the body, or being incarnate
within the earthly body of Jesus. Yet if, according to Oneness
theology, the Godhead is in Jesus, but Jesus is not in the
Godhead, we find a contradiction when Jesus Himself says "the
Father is in Me, and I am in the Father (John 10:38).
The more plausible explanation of Colossians 2:9 is that the
divine nature of the Godhead was totally revealed through the
person of Jesus Christ. Jesus also went on to state that we, too,
share this unique union when in John 14:20 he said, "I am in My
Father, and you in Me, and I in you." In other words, being made
in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26) and having Christ
living within us (Colossians 2:20), we also have a part in
revealing the loving nature of our God to a lost and dying world.
To maintain the apostolic position that Colossians 2:9 means the
Godhead resides in Jesus but Jesus does not reside in the Godhead
would force us to go one step further when considering John 14:20
and come to the blasphemous conclusion that we, too, are a part
of the Godhead.
Isaiah 9:6 is another verse that Oneness theology uses to
substantiate its doctrine. Referring to Christ's title,
"everlasting Father," the apostolic feels justified in drawing
the conclusion that scripture has affirmed his position that the
Father and the Son are one and the same.
However, the word "Father" is merely the tool used to address
Christ's deity, just as the word "Son" depicts His humanity.
Moreover, the Hebrew word for Father 'ab' is used in accordance
with a custom usual in Hebrew and in Arabic, where he who
possesses a thing is called the father of it. Thus Abialbon (II
Samuel 23:31), "father of strength," means "strong"; Abiasaph
(Exodus 6:24), "father of gathering," means "gatherer"; Abigail
(I Chronicles 2:16), "father of exultation," is a woman's name
meaning "exulting"; and so forth." Therefore, in keeping with the
Hebrew custom the title "everlasting Father" or as it has also
been translated, "Father of eternity" would simply be stating
that Christ is eternal. (Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old
Testament and Practical: Isaiah, Vol. I, Grand Rapids, MI.: Baker
Book House, 1950 reprint, pg. 193, as quoted in Robert M. Bowman,
Jr., "Oneness Pentecostalism and the Trinity", Forward, The News
and Research Periodical of the Christian Research Institute, Vol.
8, Number 3, 1985, p. 23-24.)
Trinitarians have been accused by Oneness writers of believing
in three gods. Oneness writer Thomas H. Weisser even went so far
as to state "The theologians with their babblings will be brought
to their knees before the One God in Jesus Christ. Their
trinitarian beliefs will do them no good as Christ tells them to
depart from Him because they are workers of iniquity. He will
remind them of the scripture they know so well: 'If ye believe
not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins (John 8:24).'" (3
Persons? From The Bible or Babylon, pg. 43) In spite of numerous
articles by Trinitarians declaring their belief in the one God as
defined by the Bible, Oneness adherents persist in their
accusations that we believe in three Gods and are only paying lip
service to the Bible. Such statements lead us to believe that
those who issue them are either uninformed as to true trinitarian
doctrine, or have deliberately ignored this position in an
attempt to make their point.
True trinitarian doctrine is substantiated throughout scripture.
It states first and foremost that there is only one God.
See the following:
Deuteronomy 4:35 - Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest
know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.
Deuteronomy 6:4 - Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
II Samuel 7:22 - Wherefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there
is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee,
according to all that we have heard with our ears.
Isaiah 43:10 - Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my
servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and
understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed,
neither shall there be after me.
Isaiah 44:8 - Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told
thee from that time, and have declared it? Ye are even my
witnesses. Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God: I
know not any.
Mark 12:32 - And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou
hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none
other but he.
Galatians 3:20 - Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but
God is one.
I Timothy 2:5 - For there is one God, and one mediator between
God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
Apostolics and other anti-Trinitiarians seek to support their
theology on the basis of many of the above verses. However, these
verses do not limit the number of persons contained in the
Godhead, but only emphasize that there is one God. This in no way
contradicts Christian theology. It should be noted also that
within the Shema, the great Jewish confession of faith
(Deuteronomy 6:4), the Hebrew word for "one" is achid. Achid
means a united one, whereas the Hebrew word yachid means absolute
one or only one. While the word yachid would have much better fit
Oneness theology, God Himself declares that He is achid (united
one). (See further, Genesis 1:5 and 2:24 for other uses of achid
in compound unity.)
Yet within the nature of the one God there are three beings:
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. scripture designates each one as
being God as the following passages show:
The Father is called God
I Peter 1:2 - ... elect according to the foreknowledge of God
the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience
and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.
II Peter 1:17 - For he received from God the Father honour and
glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent
glory, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
Isaiah 64:8 - "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the
clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."
The Son is called God
John 1:1-3 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning
with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not
any thing made that was made.
John 10:30 - "I and my Father are one." (Jesus is speaking.)
John 20:28 - And Thomas answered and said unto him, "My Lord and
Hebrews 1:8 - But unto the Son He saith, "Thy throne, O God, is
for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of
The Holy Spirit is called God
Job 33:4 - "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of
the Almighty hath given me life."
Job 26:13 - "By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his
hand hath formed the crooked serpent."
Acts 5:3,4 - But Peter said, "Ananias, why hath Satan filled
thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of
the price of the land? While it remained, was it not thine own?
And after it was sold was it not in thine own power? Why hast
thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto
men, but unto God."
The fact that there is only one God and that we acknowledge the
Bible differentiates between the three persons making up the
Godhead does not mean we believe in three Gods. The question we
need to be asking is not "is there one God or three Gods?" but
"is there distinction within the Godhead?" Cal Beisner makes this
observation: "The great Presbyterian theologian at the turn of
the century, Dr. Benjamin Breckenridge Warfield, pointed out that
when we say these three things: 'That there is but one God,'
'That the Father;, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit is each God,'
and, 'That the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is each a
distinct person,' then we have enunciated the doctrine of the
Trinity in its completeness." (The Trinity or "Jesus Only," What
Do The Scriptures Teach? transcript from "The John Ankerberg
Beisner further observes that the need for definition is crucial
in the event of a debate because it defines the boundaries of the
debate. Most debates over this doctrine waste much time arguing
points already agreed upon. The definition B.B. Warfield has
given makes clear that there are two important points on which we
and Oneness adherents are totally agreed -- namely that there is
but one God and that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is
each God. The disagreement comes entirely from the trinitarian
declaration that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are
distinct persons. Here is where any debate should be centered.
While Trinitarians see three distinct persons within the
Godhead, Oneness believers see three different manifestations in
the Godhead. The following quote from Oneness author David K.
Bernard helps illustrate the point:
"It is necessary to distinguish clearly between the deity and
the humanity of Christ. While Jesus was both God and man at the
same time, sometimes He acted from the human viewpoint and
sometimes from the divine viewpoint. As Father, He sometimes
spoke from His divine self-consciousness; as Son He sometimes
spoke from His human self-consciousness. Only as a man could
Jesus be born, grow, be tempted by the devil, hunger, thirst,
become weary, sleep, pray, be beaten, die, not know all things,
not have all power, be inferior to God, and be a servant. Only as
God could He exist from eternity, be unchanging, cast out devils
by His own authority, be the bread of life, give living water,
give spiritual rest, calm the storm, answer prayer, heal the
sick, raise His body from death, forgive sin, know all things,
have all power, be identified as God, and be King of kings. In an
ordinary person, these two contrasting lists would be mutually
exclusive, yet the scriptures attribute all them to Jesus,
revealing His dual nature." (Essential Doctrines of the Bible, by
David K. Bernard, pp. 9,10)
Trinitarians see the use of plural pronouns as identifying
distinct persons. Oneness adherents see the use of plural
pronouns as showing the dual nature of Jesus Christ, as another
apostolic writer explains:
"All we have to do when we read our Bibles is to keep in mind
this simple thought: Is Jesus acting as a man now or is He acting
as God? - because He was both God and man, In him deity and
humanity were fused but not confused. He could speak from two
separate standpoints, He could talk as Almighty God - He could
talk as a human. For instance, when He walked on the sea He was
acting as God. When He walked beside the sea He was acting as
man. When He sat down on the wall and was weary in every limb, He
was weary as to His humanity, but Isaiah 40:28 says that
everlasting God - the Creator - faints not nor is weary. Jesus
was not weary as to His deity; He was weary merely as to His
To understand what a scriptural passage says about Jesus, then,
we must ask the question, Is He now taking the part and place of
God or is He taking the part and place of man? There we have a
wonderful key, and unfolding key to the Jesus of the four
Gospels." (Is Jesus in the Godhead or Is the Godhead in Jesus?,
by Gordon McGee, pg. 14)
When plural pronouns and terms such as "both," "another" and "
not alone" are used in reference to the Father and the Son,
distinction is evident. To state, as do Oneness believers, that
this is the Father speaking from two different points of view or
modes, is eisegesis in its most pronounced form. The following
scriptures illustrate the distinction of persons.
John 15:24 - "If I had not done among them the works which none
other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen
and hated both me and my Father."
II John 9 - "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the
doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine
of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son."
We and Our:
John 14:23 - "Jesus answered and said unto him, 'If a man love
me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we
will come unto him, and make our abode with him.'"
John 14:16 - "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you
another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever."
John 8:16 - "And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am
not alone, but I and the Father that sent me."
John 8:29 - "And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not
left me alone; for I do always those things that please him."
John 16:32 - "Behold the hour cometh, yea, in now come, that ye
shall be scattered, everyman to his own, and shall leave me
alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me."
Nothing in the texts quoted implies that there is a unipersonal
God, manifesting different roles or modes. It would be more
logical and more scripturally sound to conclude that the Father,
Son and Holy Ghost are separate and distinct individuals. It
would also be more judicious to allow scripture to speak of the
nature of the Godhead rather than relying on man's "revelations"
of what they believe the Godhead to be. Scripture speaks clearly
on this issue when it states clearly and concisely in Proverb
30:6: "Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and
thou be found a liar." God is stern in His warning regarding His
nature, for "such is the antichrist - he that denies the Father