What is the “Oneness” or “Jesus Only” doctrine? 

Author: BibleAsk Team

The “Oneness” or “Jesus Only” Doctrine

The “Oneness” or “Jesus Only” doctrine was first introduced by Sabellius, a Libyan priest residing in Rome in third century. Sabellius taught that God was single, with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit being three modes or manifestations of one divine Person. A Sabellian modalist would say that the One God revealed Himself to mankind throughout the ages as the Father in Creation; the Son in Redemption; and the Spirit in Sanctification and Regeneration. 

The church rejected Sabellius’ doctrine because it was not in harmony with the Scriptures and they disfellowshipped him.  But today his followers promote the “Oneness” or “Jesus Only” doctrine and teach that Jesus Christ is not only the Son, but also the Father and the Holy Spirit. They base their doctrine on Isaiah 9:6, where the Messiah (or the Son) is called “the everlasting Father.”   

Two Separate Beings

Jesus stated clearly that He wasn’t the Father more than 80 times in the Bible. Jesus prayed to His Father in Gethsemane saying, “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world” (John 17:5, 6).

And on more than one occasion, the Father spoke to Jesus from heaven. “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:17). Jesus pointed to His Father in heaven saying, “My Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).

Jesus always prayed to the Father and proclaimed that the Father had His own personal will; “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). At the Cross, Jesus called to His Father saying, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). Then, after He died and rose again, He ascended to “the right hand of God” (Romans 8:34). These verses clearly show that the Father is separate from the Son.  

While being one in purpose and power, Jesus and the Father are clearly separate and different persons. The “Oneness” or “Jesus Only” doctrine fails to notice the truth that the Son was incarnated in order to make known the character of God the Father to fallen humanity. Jesus is the only person who could show the Father, because He is the express image of the Father (Luke 10:22; Hebrews 1:3). 

When the disciples asked Christ what the Father was like, He said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus reflected clearly the character of the Father, therefore, He acquired the title “The Everlasting Father.” Also, Jesus is called the Everlasting Father because He is the Creator of humanity or our Father (Hebrews 1:2; John 1:3).

The Scriptures repeatedly separate the Father and the Son. Isaiah 9:6 is the only verse in the Bible where Jesus is called the Father. Jesus has so many other names as shown in the following link:

We can’t build a doctrine on just one verse. We need to see the weight of evidence represented by many verses in the Scriptures to understand the whole picture before forming a doctrine.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team 

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