The Oneness Movement
What are some of the core differences between what the Oneness Movement teaches and what the Bible teaches?
What you need to know.
The Oneness Movement Teaches About God
The Triune Godhead Does Not Exist.
“The Bible does not teach that there are three distinct centers of consciousness in the Godhead or that Jesus is one of three divine persons.”
“Norfolk Apostolic Church website”]
- Jesus is the Father, Word (Son), and Holy Spirit.
"God is absolutely and indivisibly one… The one God existed
as Father, Word, and Spirit before His incarnation as Jesus Christ...”
[From: “Norfolk Apostolic Church website”]
“This one true God manifested Himself in the Old Testament in various ways; in the Son while he walked among men; as the Holy Ghost after the ascension.”
[From: "Bethel United Pentecostal Church"]
The Bible Teaches About God
The God of the Bible is a triune God.
- There is one God (Deut. 6:4), three Persons.
Matt. 4:10; 16:16; 22:32, 37 (One God); Matt.
6:6, 9, 14–15; 10:32–33; 11:25 (The Father is God); Matt. 1:23; 9:6; 11:27; 12:8; 16:27; 19:28; 25:31; 26:64 (Jesus is God); Matt. 1:18, 20; 10:20; 12:18, 28, 32 (The Holy Spirit is God).
- Father, Son and Holy Spirit
are distinct Persons.
1 Cor. 1:30-31; Rom. 15:6 (Church glorifies both Father and Son); Gal. 1:3 (Grace and peace from both
Father and Son); Jn. 3:16–17 (Father sent the Son); Jn. 3:35; 11:41–42; Matt. 11:27 (The Father and Son love, speak to, and know each other); 1Jn. 2:1 (Jesus is our advocate with the Father); Jn. 5:31, 32, 37 (Father and Son are two distinct witnesses); Acts 1:8; Jn. 14:16-17 (Jesus sends the Spirit); Jn. 14:16 (Holy Spirit is another comforter);
Jn. 16:13–14 (The Holy Spirit seeks to glorify Jesus).
- Therefore Jesus is not the Father or the Holy Spirit.
Zech. 12:10; 10:12 (There is one LORD Deut. 6:4, yet He speaks of Another identified as the LORD); Matt. 3:13-17 (Jesus baptized,
Spirit descends, Father speaks); Matt. 28:19 (Baptize in the name (name means "power/authority")
of all three).
For more information, see our page No Holy Trinity
The Oneness Movement Teaches About
Acts 2:38 must be obeyed before full salvation occurs.
“The application of grace and the expression of faith come as a person obeys Acts 2:38, thereby receiving the new birth promised by Jesus.”
[From: UPCI – About Oneness Pentecostalism]
Acts 2:38 reads: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
- They teach the above verse means full salvation is acquired through the following steps:
“… obey the gospel by repentance (death to sin)…”
“… water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ (burial)…”
“… and the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial sign of speaking in tongues as the Spirit
gives the utterance (resurrection).”
[From: “UPCI - Beliefs/ Gospel”]
Note: The United Pentecostal Church International links their interpretations of Acts 2:38 and Rom. 6:2-4 with 1Cor.15:1-4 (see illustration at top of page), identifying their teachings as
[From: ‘UPCI – Our Beliefs” and illustration from: “Apostolic Bible Study Church”]
Therefore the Oneness Gospel requires works of obedience.
“Saving faith, then, is (1) acceptance of the gospel of Jesus Christ (see
above) as the means of salvation and (2) obedience to that gospel (application or appropriation of that gospel).” (Italics in
[From: “Norfolk Apostolic Church website”]
The Bible Teaches About Salvation
Acts 2:38 is not teaching what is required in order to obtain salvation for the following reasons:
- Full salvation is not obtained
through baptism, but baptism is for those who are already saved.
23:39-42; (Thief on the cross saved without being baptized); Acts 10:44-47 (Believers received Holy
Spirit prior to baptism); Acts 8:26-40 (Ethiopian baptized in water after salvation); Acts 20:24-27 and 1Cor. 1:14-16
(Paul declared the full counsel of God, yet baptizing was not part of the gospel he preached).
- The word baptism
does not always mean immersed in water.
Rom. 6:3 with
Gal. 3:23-29 (Written to believers. “Baptized into Christ” means immersed in, or have clothed yourself with Christ. Notice water is not mentioned); Matt. 3:11 (John baptized with water, but Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit and with fire).
“Dead to sin” (Rom. 6:2) comes after salvation, not before.
Eph. 2:1; Isa. 64:6 (Works considered dead without the Holy Spirit); Phil. 2:13 (God works in believers to do His will); Rom. 6:2 (“Death to sin” written to those who already
have the Holy Spirit)
- Is speaking in tongues needed as proof of Salvation? No!
1Cor. 12:7-11, 29-30 (Holy Spirit gave different gifts. Not all received gift of tongues); Gal. 5:22-23 (The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control.Tongues is not mentioned); Jn. 6:37 (All
the Father gives to Jesus are saved. Speaking in tongues not required).
more information, see our pages Acts
2:38 and Speaking In
The true Gospel message of deliverance and newness of life is solely the work of God, not by any works we can do (including baptism).
1 Cor. 15:1-4 (Jesus paid it all!); Jn. 3:16 (God so loved that He gave!); Jn. 6:28-29 (The work
of God is to believe in the One He sent); Matt. 16:15-17 (Truth about Jesus is revealed by God); Jn. 6:44 (The Father draws people to Jesus); Acts 2:21
(All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved); Acts 2:39 (Promise is for all
whom God will call); Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; Jn. 6:47 (Salvation is a free gift
from God, not by human works); Eph. 2:10; Phil 2:13 (God works in believers to do His will).