The "Oneness" Pentecostal Groups

The "Oneness" Pentecostal Groups

Have you any suggestions on working with the "Oneness" Pentecostal group?

By HAROLD T. GRUVER, Missionary, Costa Rica Mission, Central America

Have you any suggestions on working with the "Oneness" Pentecostal group?

We should be careful to distinguish the "Oneness" people from the trinitarian Pentecostal groups, as the following citation will show:

"In 1914, the same year that the Assemblies of God was organized, a schism developed in the movement in­volving belief in the Trinity. Some of the ministers withdrew from the newly organized Assemblies of God to form the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. The schism involved the exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ as both Father and Holy Ghost, and, therefore, was in essence Unitarian. These people became known as the 'One Name' people, and they taught baptism in the name of Jesus only (Acts 2:38), repudiating the bap­tismal form of Matthew 28:19.

"The 'One Name' people broke up into several groups which are not recognized by the trinitarians of the Pentecostal movement. These groups became known as the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ, the Pentecostal Church, Inc., and the Pentecostal Assem­blies of the World. However, the first two of these groups later combined under the name United Pente­costal Church, Inc."—J. ROSWELL FLOWER, General Secretary, General Council, Assemblies of God. (Quoted in The Ministry, October, 1947.)

This group is also variously known as "New Issue," "Jesus Only," "Pentecostal Oneness," and "Pentecostal Wonders;" Besides the afore­mentioned organized groups, there are also some unorganized groups holding to more or less the same teachings.

The "Oneness" believers are generally in­clined to more fanaticism and disorder in the conduct of their services than other Pentecos­talists, who sometimes speak of them as being under demon influence. Their chief point of difference is on the doctrine of God. They be­lieve there is only one person in the Godhead, and that person is Jesus, who is also the Father and the Holy Ghost. This teaching is based on such passages as John 10:30 ("I and My Fa­ther are one") and John 14:7-ii.

There are some differences even among vari­ous "Oneness" groups. All unite in baptizing by immersion "in the name of Jesus," "in the name of Jesus only," "in the name of the Lord Jesus," or "in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ." They say that since Jesus is the Fa­ther and the Holy Ghost as well as the Son, this formula fulfills Matthew 28:19. Proof texts they use are Acts 2 :38 ; 8:16; 10 :48 ; 22:16. The majority of them regard this baptism as essential to salvation.

All of them believe in baptism in the Holy Spirit accompanied by speaking in other tongues. Some regard this as an accompani­ment of conversion, and others regard it as an experience subsequent to conversion. Those who teach it as an accompaniment of conver­sion expect the convert to receive the experi­ence and speak in other tongues upon emer­gence from the baptismal waters. This teaching is based on Acts 2:38, correlating Acts 9 :17 and Acts 22:16, and thus the reception of the Holy Spirit is made an accompaniment of bap­tism.

When we deal with these sincere but mis­guided people, it would be well at the beginning to use the same tactics as with other Pentecos­talists, and avoid as much as possible any refer­ence to speaking in tongues and other distinc­tive features of their teaching: Teach them clearly and strongly the claims of God's laws and the perpetuity of the Sabbath, until they see the truth of it.

Inasmuch as they are secret rapturists, teach them, next, concerning the manner of Christ's return, and the millennium. When you have shaken their foundations loose on these points, they will become more receptive to teaching on their other doctrines, because they will begin to wonder whether, since they are wrong on these, it is barely possible that they are wrong on some other things. The following material may be used to enlighten them on the Godhead:

I. The three persons of the Godhead mani­fested separately. Matt. 3 :16. Jesus, the Son on earth, the Holy Spirit manifested as a dove; and the Father speaking from heaven. Also Matt. 17:5; John 12:27, 28; 14:26. Call atten­tion to the three in this last citation.

2. Jesus prayed to the Father. John 12:27, 28; 11:41, 42; 14:16. (Note that this is another Comforter, not the same one.) John 17:1, 5, II, 25; Luke 23:34. Was He praying to Him­self?

3. Jesus said that the Father was greater than He. John 14:28. How could He be greater than Himself?

4. Jesus was sent by the Father, came from the Father, and returned to the Father. John 6:38, 39; 8:18, 42; 9:4;12:49;16:28; 20:17. Did He send Himself, come forth from Him­self, and return to Himself?

5. His cry on the cross. Matt. 27 :46. Had He forsaken Himself?

Many other similar points may be found by a careful study of the Gospels, especially of the Gospel of John.

As to their use of the baptismal formula, it may be shown that Matthew 28:19 is a direct command of Jesus concerning the manner in which we should baptize. When we use this formula we are including the name of the Son, which is the real intent of the apostolic injunc­tions in such passages as Acts 2:38.

Show them from Acts 5:32 the necessity of obedience to God's law in order to receive the Holy Spirit. Place on them the burden of proof that the speaking in tongues invariably accom­panies the reception of the Holy Spirit. They will be unable to bring clear Scriptural proof for this. Show how the conduct of their serv­ices directly violates the injunctions of i Co­rinthians 14 for the use of the gift of tongues.

More than anything else, it will require much patience and much prayer to enlighten them.


Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus

By HAROLD T. GRUVER, Missionary, Costa Rica Mission, Central America

October 1949

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Television and Telestatus

A more appropriate time could not be chosen to stimulate our thinking along channels of tele­vision.

The Appeal of the Covenant of Grace

Let us count that study of sacred doctrine lost which has failed to prick the heart with some spiritual point or with an ap­peal that draws the soul nearer to its God.

Our Books in Public Libraries

Thousands are asking, "Who are these Ad­ventists anyway? What is their origin? What do they believe? What are they teaching, and why?"

The Bible—Its Origin and Canon

The following material is the first lesson from a series on doctrinal Bible studies for the layman by Miss Mary Walsh.

Musicians of the Remnant Church

To the remnant church God has given every gift of His Holy Spirit that the har­vest of the earth might be prepared for His coming.

Spiritual Standards for Musicians

The motto of the American Guild of Or­ganists is one which every church musician would do well to study. We reproduce it in full, believing that our church leaders will be interested to see that a cultural group such as the guild of organists recognizes and empha­sizes the spiritual standards essential for all true worship.

"Exercising the Oversight"

To be set as an overseer of the flock of God entails a tremendous and sacred responsi­bility, one that no minister can accept lightly.

Needless and Faulty Repetition

Shall I tell him his mistake?" It was a lay­man speaking, as our paths crossed the other day.

In the Time of Old Age

How often do those who have passed the strength of manhood cling to the hope of accomplishing some great work upon whiclr their hearts are set, but which they are unfitted to perform. God may speak to them, as did the prophet to David, declaring that the work which they so much desire is not committed to them.

Advantages of Spearhead Method

What is the spearhead method?

Personal Ministry in the Aftermeeting

The importance of personal work in public evangelism cannot be overemphasized.

Spearhead Effort Results

A report from the sixth spearhead effort held in the new Seventh-day Adventist church in La Crosse.

Identity in Small City Effort

A report from recent efforts.

Scope of Our Medical Work-3

The genius of the Advent Movement is against concentration of men and resources in one spot, it matters not whether the men be preachers, teachers, publishers, or plain church members. The genius of this great movement calls for spreading out and ever farther out. Can anyone give valid reasons why this princi­ple should not apply to our medical men?

Midwestern Radio Workshop

The Radio Broadcasters' Workshop held in Saint Louis, Missouri, May 17, 18, and 19 was the second workshop to be held in the his­tory of this denomination.

Editorial Postcripts

From the Ministry back page.

The Other Half of the Gospel

Music is pre-eminently the language of the heart and soul. Often it is deeper and more potent, or persuasive, than the spoken word.

Special Nights and Occasions

It is often possible, and most desirable, to have the theme of the song service fit in with the subject of the sermon, especially on themes such as the second coming, the new earth, conversion, et cetera.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - Southern Adv Univ 180x150 - Animated

Trending

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - NAD Stewardship (160x600)