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Oneness Pentecostal

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An offshoot of the Pentecostal branch of Christianity, Oneness Pentecostalism is based on strict unitarian monotheism. They believe in the one God, and the complete and full deity of Jesus. They reject the doctrine of the Trinity. According to Oneness Theology, this one God does not have three Persons but rather is exclusively God the Father. God is not a plurality of persons, minds, individuals or multiplicity of consciences, but does have a plurality of manifestations, roles, titles, attributes, or relationships to man (which are not limited to three).

Whereas Trinitarian Christianity teaches that God is existent in three divine Persons or members in the Godhead (named "God the Father, "God the Son" and "God the Holy Spirit") and "God the Son" was the one who became incarnate, Oneness Theology states that there is only one member of the Godhead, namely Jesus, and the idea of God as duality or trinity is heretical. Oneness Pentecostals describe God in strictly monotheistic terms and do not use terms like "trinity", "persons", "members", "separate", "they", "them", etc. to describe the one God of the Bible. Oneness Pentecostals baptize "in the name of Jesus Christ", which they claim is how the original church did (Acts 2:38; Acts 8:16; Acts 10:48; Acts 19:5; Acts 22:16). Oneness Pentecostals do not deny the existence or divinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; they just deny that there are a multiplicity of persons, members, individuals, minds or consciences. According to them Jesus is the incarnation of the fullness of God and not the incarnation of one third of the Godhead or one member or person of the Godhead. In His deity, Jesus is God (which is known in Scripture as LORD, the Spirit of GOD, the Spirit of the LORD, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, and the Father). This teaching is also referred to by many Trinitarian as Jesus-Only doctrine or Sabellianism. Many Trinitarian Christians believe it to be a heresy. Oneness Pentecostals deny that claim, and do not use the term "Jesus-Only doctrine" themselves.

In Oneness Theology there is an existential distinction that is clearly seen in Scripture (such as the incarnation where God in the incarnation comes to exist in Christ in complete human existence and continues to exist as God eternally as Spirit (Matt 1:23 "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us).

There are many Oneness Pentecostal denominations, here are the larger ones:

  • The Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus, external link (http://www.apostolicassembly.org)
  • United Pentecostal Church, external link (http://www.upci.org)
  • The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World,external link (http://www.pawinc.org)
  • The Apostolic Church of the Faith in Jesus Christ
  • The Bible Way Churches of Our Lord Jesus Christ World Wide
  • The Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ, external link (http://www.ALJC.org)
  • The Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith
  • The Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church of God


Oneness Pentecostal groups with headquarters in other countries include The United Pentecostal Church of Colombia, an indigenous church and the largest non-Catholic church in the country; The Apostolic Church of the Faith in Christ Jesus, with headquarters in Mexico. The Oneness Pentecostal movement in the former U.S.S.R.; and the True Jesus Church, an indigenous church founded by Chinese believers on the mainland but whose headquarters is now in Taiwan. There are many smaller organizations (approximately 130 worldwide), independent churches, and charismatic fellowships that are Oneness Pentecostal in doctrine.

The Oneness movement dates back to the early 20th century, in the waning days of the Azusa Street Revival, however it claims it's roots and origin had it's beginning on the "Day of Pentecost" in the Upper Room in Jerusalem as recorded in the Book of Acts.

References

"The Pentecostals", by Walter J. Hollenweger, Professor of Mission at the University of Birmingham


External links

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