The Scriptural Priority of the Oneness Doctrine In the Plan of Salvation
By: Clifford H. Readout, Jr.
A brief and concise definition of the truth expressed in the Oneness doctrine is that the one true and almighty God became a Man called the Lord Jesus Christ. He is both the one and only Lord God Almighty and the human Messiah, called “the Son,” who gave His life to redeem us. In Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. He is not a “second person” in the Godhead. There is’ no other God or “Divine Person” than He. Beside Him there is no Saviour.
It is fully as serious an error to detract from or deny His perfect and ultimate humanity as it is to lessen or dilute His absolute and exclusive deity. He is both fully human and fully God. There is none like Him!1
Knowing Versus Believing
This study does not imply that everyone must be able to give a theological exposition of the Oneness truth in order to be saved. It is possible to know a truth with certainty in spirit and not be able to express it with mind and vocabulary. Nor does this study accept the popular definitions of “believing.” Scripture defines believing as more than a mental assent or agreement in James 2:21-23.
The precise definition of how the Scripture was fulfilled which said, “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness” can be given as an equation:
Faith + Works = Believing – Imputed Righteousness.
He that believes not shall be damned.2 Believing is essential to salvation.
It is possible to believe a lie, but it is impossible to know a lie. Only truth can be known. It is also possible to be ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.3
It is possible to believe the truth, or to know the truth and act upon that knowledge. It is by knowing the truth that men are freed from the bondage of idolatry and other sins.4
Faith Versus Hope
Faith is essential to salvation:
“Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). We must believe that He is, not just that there is a God.
“Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).Hebrews 11 describes faith and details its effects but does not define it. Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as ” substance” and “evidence” and not the intangibles of hope and the unseen. Faith is defined in II Peter 1:1-5.
Peter began this epistle with faith, defined faith, then instructed us to add to our faith.
“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ.” Since no man can serve two masters, Peter was disavowing all loyalty to any other God but Jesus Christ.
“To them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” The defining of faith begins in this verse.
This like precious faith was obtained through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Faith is obtainable because Jesus Christ lived righteously before men, which, in His case, required His death on the cross. His righteous life enabled us to know God!5
At the very opening of this epistle, Peter identifies the deity (God) and the humanity (Savior) of Jesus Christ. Many translations and versions of the New Testament give us the reading: “our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.”6 Thus, He is defined as both God and Savior: deity and humanity.
“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” The vehicle through which (or in which) grace and peace are multiplied unto us is “the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” This knowledge is defined throughout the rest of this epistle as:
“The knowledge of Him,” (not “them”), 1:3.
“The knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1:8.
“The knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” 2:20.
“The knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” 3:18.
“The knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” is another reference to the deity (God) and the humanity.
(Jesus our Lord) of Jesus Christ, not to the knowledge of two persons. It is specifically the combination of His deity and humanity that is the subject of this knowledge.
Beside punctuation often being arbitrary (depending on translator bias which is impossible to escape), the Greek conjunction kai (and) can also be rendered “even”: “God, even Jesus our Lord.” It is the knowledge of the deity and humanity of Jesus Christ through which grace and peace are multiplied unto us!
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” “God and Jesus our Lord” speaks of only one person! It is “His,” not “their,” divine power.
Peter also tells us why it is through the knowledge of the deity and humanity of Jesus Christ that grace and peace are multiplied unto us. Not only grace and peace, but all things that pertain unto life and godliness are given unto us through the knowledge of the deity and humanity of Jesus Christ!
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”7 It is through this Oneness knowledge that the “exceeding great and precious promises” are given! We can become partakers of the divine nature only if we first escape that corruption! Only by calling upon the promises of God can we escape the corruption that is in the world through lust! These promises are essential!
The knowledge of the deity8 and humanity of Jesus Christ (that He is the one and only God and also our Savior) through which the promises are given must be the very prime essential! Oneness must be an essential truth, for it is the truth expressing the knowledge of Him!9
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith.” This is the key to defining faith! “This” is “faith.” We are told to go beyond our knowledge of Him, beyond our faith, to add to our faith! The Greek root word (noun) that is translated here as “faith” is used in three primary contexts in the Scripture:
1. Faith as a cognitive and objective commodity: the intellectual comprehension of the truth of the oneness of the Godhead.
2. Faith as a volitional and subjective response resulting from that comprehension. This is the link between the noun (faith) and the verb (to believe). While faith, in this second context, is primarily concerned with intellectual responses, the verb “to believe” is primarily concerned with the outward actions that result from faith.
3. The faith, as opposed to faith, as the body of truth revealed to the church. This is the context used most seldom of the three.10
The definition of faith that follows encompasses all three usages:
1. Faith is our personal, intimate knowledge of the person (the deity and the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ), identity (including His name), and plan (salvation) of God that enables us to discern what He intends to do so that we can act in harmony with Him.
2. Active faith is responding in harmony with what we have discerned God intends to do (acting on our knowledge of His person, identity, and plan). Inactive faith is dead, being alone.
3. The faith is the body of truth given to the church through the revelation of the person, identity, and plan of God.
Faith is knowing that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Man who died, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, is the one and only Lord God Almighty and our Savior. Knowing this will open our awareness to His plans so we can cooperate with Him.
Believing God is knowing Him (faith) plus obeying Him (works) and will result in His imputing righteousness unto us so we can escape the corruption that is in the world through lust, and become partakers of His divine nature (conformed to the image of the Son).
The only thing common to all those named in Hebrews 11 is that they knew which “god” is the one true God and they acted in harmony with what He intended to do. This is the faith they all had in common!
Not all men have faith (11 Thessalonians 3:2).Idolaters are children in whom is no faith (Deuteronomy 32:20).
Romans 12:3 addresses men in the church relative to their importance in the body. It does not say that all men have been given “a measure of faith.” It does say that God has given every man “the measure of faith,” i.e. the rule by which every man can measure his knowledge of God (faith) and determine his true stature before Him).11 This is confirmed by texts dealing with the revealed mystery.
“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen” (Romans 16:25-27).12 Four significant facts can be seen from this passage:
(1) The mystery made manifest and known is that “to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever.”13 That is, that God has defined Himself as Jesus Christ and will not receive glory as any other but Jesus Christ for ever. He is the one true and only God as well as the human Saviour.
(2) Paul declared that we are established by the preaching of Jesus Christ which is according to the revelation of that mystery, not by just any preaching of Jesus Christ.
(3) God commanded the mystery to be made known to all nations so men out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation could accomplish the obedience that is derived out of faith.
(4) When the Oneness truth is preached from the Scriptures of the prophets the hearers can come to know the identity of the one true God, so they can then do what He wants them to do to be saved: call upon His exceeding great and precious promises, escape the corruption that is in the world through lust, receive the things that pertain unto life and godliness, and become partakers of the divine nature.14
Thus, “the measure of faith” is the Oneness revelation of Jesus Christ! If we know Jesus Christ is both the only God and our human Savior we have true faith. If not, our “faith” does not “measure up,” and our works cannot be counted as “the obedience of faith.”
Oneness is “the wisdom of God in a mystery” that was foreordained unto our glory. Our glory is to understand and know God.15 Paul defines this mystery again in I Corinthians 2:1-8. The essence of it is simply this:
“Jesus Christ, and him crucified … even the hidden wisdom … which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” The redemption power of the crucifixion is derived from the fact that the Man who died was also “the Lord of glory!” “Jesus Christ (the Man), and Him (the Lord of glory) crucified!”
Paul determined “not to know anything” among the Corinthians, save this one great truth. It is the first priority and foundation of Paul’s message.
It is this Oneness knowledge, faith, that is the foundation of Christianity in Peter’s message. Faith is the foundation upon which all else is to be built.
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” (11 Peter 1:5-7). There is a specific structure given for the order in which these qualities are to be built into our lives, and faith, or Oneness knowledge, is the starting point.
It is upon this rock of revelation that the Lord builds His church.16
The wise man also begins with the foundation rock and builds his house upon it! His house stood the test, not because it was so well built, but because it was founded upon a rock. The building process must begin with the rock and build upon it, not just be on it.17
The foolish man also built a house. His house stood secure as long as the sunshine of God’s patient waiting for the precious fruit of the earth shone down upon it. But when the storms of judgments came, that house fell, not because it was poorly built, but because it did not have the right foundation.
It is this rock of revelation, the Oneness truth, that Paul, as a wise masterbuilder, laid as the foundation truth. We are to start our building upon that foundation. “I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon … If any man build upon this foundation … If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon. . .”18
The household of God is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Their foundation was the chief cornerstone. Their doctrinal foundation was the Oneness truth. Jesus Christ (the humanity revealing the deity) is the chief cornerstone, the foundation stone. We must begin with Him (as who He really is) and then build upon that foundation the doctrines of the apostles.19
Isaiah 28:9-13 tells of a people unto whom the Word of the Lord was in proper order but whose end was destruction. They would not hear. When the Lord Jehovah also became our salvation (Yeshua, Jesus) they rejected Him.
The same stone who was rejected is the stone who will grind to powder those who rejected Him. In the parable (Matthew 21:33-44; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19) it is the Son who is rejected and the Father who destroys those who rejected the Son. Yet, in Jesus Christ’s interpretation of the parable, the stone rejected (the Son) is the stone who will grind to powder (the Father)! So, Jesus Christ is both the Son (ultimate human) and the Father (absolute deity). God who became the Man Christ Jesus is the foundation stone. The doctrine that expounds the truth about Him is the foundation doctrine.20
Everyone who intends to build a Christian life needs to count the cost, then lay the foundation. The foundation must be laid before the tower can be built.21
The real foundation of the tabernacle was the presence of God. The Ark of the Covenant was the representation of that Presence. Thus the Ark was the first thing God told Moses to build.22
Solomon’s Temple began with the laying of the foundation. It did not begin with the altar (typical of repentance?), nor with the laver (typical of baptism?), nor with the incense or its altar (typical of prayers?), nor even with the glory cloud (typical of the baptism of the Holy Ghost?). The foundation comes first!23
In Isaiah 44:24 – 45:6 God defines “all His pleasure” as: ordering the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the laying of the foundation of the Temple. All of the events prophesied were designed to bring people to know the God of Israel and to know that He alone is God. The events following Cyrus’ decree give insight as to the priority God places on the foundation!
When Zerubbabel led the children of Israel out of captivity and back to Jerusalem, their first action to reestablish proper worship to God was the building of the altar. The Scripture seems to indicate that they built the altar just as it was supposed to be built and offered upon it just as the Word of God said. They even kept the Feast of Tabernacles “as it is written.” Everything had been done “by the book,” “But the foundation of the Temple was not yet laid.”24 The significance of this statement is shown in what God said about it almost sixteen years later in Haggai 2:19-19:
Verses 10-12. “The four and twentieth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius” was significant enough to be specified in the Word of God. It tells us when this word came: about sixteen years after the altar was built. It is also a special day, as will be seen after hearing what God had to say:
Just because the holy things touch things that are neither holy nor unholy, those neutral things shall not become holy. Also, the holy things will not remain holy if they touch those things that are not sanctified, even if they are not specifically unclean. We need to understand this principle. We are not going to be made holy just be association and contact with the things of God. But we can neutralize our own sanctification and holiness just by getting involved with those things which are lawful, but unsanctified. Let us keep our “standards” of righteousness high!
Verse l3. If someone who is inherently unclean touches those things that are neither clean nor unclean, they become unclean. In addition to this, the sanctified ones who are touched by the unclean are defiled by that touch. We who have been sanctified by God for the work of His service must not allow ourselves to be touched by sin and uncleanness. The holy is defiled by the touch of uncleanness.25
Verse 14. That message came to explain God’s perspective on the altar they built, and all the offerings they made there for sixteen years.
The people are unclean.
The nation is unclean.
Every “work of their hands” is unclean.
And that which they offer “there” is also unclean.
Where is the “there”? It is upon the “work of their hands!” God called that altar “the work of their hands.” There is a sorrow of the world which works death. There is a repentance that must be repented of. Such repentences are not unto salvation, but merely the work of our hands. If it is not in accord with the purpose and plan of God, and accomplished by Him, it will not save (11 Corinthians 7:10).
Verses 15-17. The four and twentieth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius was a day God wanted the people to consider. It was the day before a stone had been laid upon a stone in the building of the Temple.26
For sixteen years, from the building of that altar to that day, God had withheld his real blessings. The people of God lacked the supplies they needed and suffered the afflictions of the nations which knew not God, because He smote them. Yet they did not turn to Him.
They may not have known they were being smitten. They may have thought any life in Jerusalem was better than a life as a captive in the world of sin, feeling they should not complain about the conditions, thinking that what they did have was the provision and blessing of God.27 As far as they were concerned, that altar was a turning to Him. It was the altar of Jehovah. But Jehovah did not consider it or the offerings given there to be a turning to Him!
Verses 18-19. “Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the LORD’S temple was laid, consider it …. From this day will I bless you.” Their seed was still in the barn, the fruit trees gave no great harvest. But God said that situation was about to change because on the four and twentieth day of the ninth month in the second year of Darius they laid the foundation of the Temple of the LORD.
Could this be a prophetic key for our ministries? Is our seed yet in the barn? Has the gospel really been sown in all the world as it should be? Have the fruit trees of our day brought forth? Have we really experienced as great a harvest as we should? Have we been specialists in altar-building and sacrifice-making rather than foundation-laying? If we would make this great Oneness foundation the priority of our message to the lost would God open the doors now closed to our missionary efforts? If we put our emphasis on the truth of “which God really is God” would the sower insure that we could get our seed out of the barn and into the fields? If Oneness is given priority in our message would the Lord of the Harvest grant us the great endtime reaping?
Even Zechariah (Haggai’s fellow prophet during those times) emphasized that the foundation must come first before the Temple of the LORD could be built at all. “in the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built” (Zechariah 8:9-15).
The ministers who lay the foundation first will also know the satisfaction of a completed work. “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house: his hands shall also finish it” (Zechariah 4:9).
The altar has been recognized as an accurate type of repentance. The foundation has been shown to be an accurate type of the Oneness doctrine. God’s perspective plainly shows that repentance (altar) that precedes knowing which God really is God (Oneness) is merely the result of the sorrow of the world, and not true repentance.28
The revelation of God is the foundation of biblical repentance:
“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee, wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6).
“I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up … Then said 1, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips … For mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 6:1, 5).
David is a wonderful example of this principle. I Samuel 12 details how God renewed David’s revelation and led him to the repentance that is well described in Psalm 51.
While John the disciple knew Jesus as a man he was quite content to lay his head in His bosom. But when he saw Him as the Lord of Glory among the candlesticks he fell down at His feet as dead (John 13:23; Revelation 1:12-17).
The repentance that is founded upon the revelation of the Oneness of God is secure, but “repentance” is not a good foundation for the revelation.
We must be rooted and then built up in Him (Colossians 2:7). For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. And this does not mean whoever we may think Jesus Christ to be, but who He really is. The real Jesus, not an imaginary Jesus, is the foundation.
We know there is no other God but one, that an idol is nothing in the world.29 Yet God speaks of idols as though they really are gods. He gets upset when people “worship Him” according to their own ideas about Him. He is jealous when men worship “nothing.”30 He would have destroyed every Israelite except Moses just because they called a golden calf by His name and proclaimed a feast of Jehovah, worshipping His name around the calf.31 They were calling upon the right name; they had experienced His provision and power. Why was God so upset about it?
Because God has revealed Himself as the only God and expects everyone to know that He is the only God! Idolatry is conceiving of God as someone or something that He has not revealed Himself to be! God conceives of Himself as the Lord Jesus Christ, and He has revealed Himself to be the Lord Jesus Christ. He has never revealed Himself to be Baal, Allah, Three co-equal persons, or anyone or anything except the Lord Jesus Christ. Any other concept of the identity of God is idolatry. A study of the words vanity, idolatry, and imaginations proves this.32
One false god recorded in the Scriptures stands paramount in the danger it presents to the church. The Scriptures warn us about that one particular false god at least twice. Who is this other god? What is the identity of this most dangerous and insidious false god? “Another Jesus! “33 Another Jesus so closely identified with the real Jesus that the church itself had to be warned about the subtleness of the difference. Another Jesus who is just slightly not quite the one and only Lord God Almighty. Any Jesus who is not the only God and the Man our Savior is “Another Jesus.” We are warned not to be led away by any means from the Christ in whom dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.34
Making a Difference
God was distressed when the priests failed to show the difference between the unclean (idolatry) and the clean (faith), between the holy (truth) and the unholy (lie.)35 Failing to cause people to distinguish between their erroneous concepts of God and the Oneness truth robs them of the key of knowledge.36
The LORD was well pleased with some other priests. He desired them to be in His presence and committed His blessings to them. They were the ministers who taught the people the difference between the holy (Oneness truth) and the profane (all other Godhead doctrines), and caused them to discern between the unclean (falsehoods) and the clean (truth).37
Only by making the difference known are we really giving people a choice between their false concepts and the truth. Those who do not know God need us to teach Oneness in contrast to all the “another Jesus” doctrines (the Godhead theologies of trinitarianism and “Christian” polytheism, Judaism, Islam, pagan polytheism, and all other errors). Only by teaching every man his neighbor, saying, “Know the LORD!” will we be able to fulfill our part in the prophecies!38
Spirit and Truth
Our whole Christian life and experience must be founded upon the real Jesus Christ. We must worship Him in spirit. This means more than just having the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues, more than just a shout and a dance. It also means our worship of Him must be from within us, with the deepest sincerity; it must be real-a life of worship that is actually in the person of Christ. Our experiential life of worship must be in spirit!
We must also worship Him in truth! Our experiential worship, in spirit, must be joined to true doctrinal worship of Jesus Christ. Our doctrinal life of worship must be in truth! Both our experiential and doctrinal life must be rooted and built up in Him, founded upon Him and the truth about Him.39
Colossians 1:18 demands that we give Jesus Christ the preeminence in
all things. Should not the doctrine of His identity be given
preeminence over all other doctrines?
The First Commandment
God gave one particular commandment priority! The Priority
Commandment, the first of all the commandments, is to hear that “the
LORD our God is one LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:28-34).40 Can
people love our one Lord so fully and completely without knowing that
there is no other God? How can they know there is no other God without
having heard this great Oneness truth? How can they hear it unless we
who know it preach it to them? We have been sent to do just that!41
Preaching this Oneness truth should be our priority! The Great
Commandment cannot be fulfilled without the First Commandment having
Peter’s message to those monotheistic Jews and devout men, which must
have been preached in the Hebrew tongue, ended at the foundation to
which all men must be brought if they are ever to be built into the
“Therefore [because of all I have said so far] let all the house of
Israel [monotheists who had relegated Jesus Christ to a position lower
than His due] know assuredly [have faith] that God [the Elohim of
Israel] hath made that same Jesus [Yeshua, Yahweh/Jehovah-Salvation]
whom ye have crucified [the Man who was rejected, crucified, died, was
buried, and rose again] both [not either/or, not part of each, but
both] Lord [the Yahweh/Jehovah of Israel] and Christ [the anointed
flesh/Messiah]” (Acts 2:36).
This is the “like precious faith” that all who will be Christians must
obtain. This is the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the
revelation of the mystery. Oneness is right at the top of God’s
priority list! What was the result of hearing this message? “Now when
they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter
and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
It was not until “then” that Peter told them how to obey the gospel!42
If a man has more than one god, he is lost.
If a man has one god but it is the wrong one, he is equally lost.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the only right one God!
In John 8:19-27, the subject of the conversation (established in verse
19) is “the Father.” Jesus said, “Except ye believe that I am he, ye
shall die in your sins.”43 It is essential to believe that Jesus
Christ, the Son of God, is also the Father!44 Idolatry still costs
When the Lord returns, “them that know not God, and obey not the gospel
of our Lord Jesus Christ” will be recipients of His vengeance in
flaming fire (11 Thessalonians 1:7-10).45 Let us notice these
� Faith plus works (James 2:21-23);
� Hear and love (Mark 12:28-34); � Know and obey (11 Thessalonians 1:7-
� He that believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:16).
Scripture puts first emphasis on knowing Him and second emphasis on
obeying Him. So should we.
“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine” (John
10:14). The Lord Jesus Christ knows who His sheep are, and His sheep
know Him. The unsaved cannot know who His sheep are because they do
not know who He is. Not knowing Him excludes being in His flock.
“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God
hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the
creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things
that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are
without excuse; because that, when they knew God, they glorified him
not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their
imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:19-21).
This is both a historical statement about the Jew’s rejection of God’s
truth in favor of idolatry and a prophetic warning to the church that
was at Rome. Two classes of error are described: (1) not knowing the
revealed God, and (2) knowing Him, but not glorifying Him as God.
Either error will cost the Soul.46
“For if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost” (11
Corinthians 4:3-6). Who hid it? From whom is it hid? What knowledge
is hidden from the lost?
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God,
and [kai] Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).
“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an
understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him
that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and
eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (I
“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ
[does not worship in spirit and in truth], hath not God. He that
abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him
not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him
God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (II John 9-11).47 Let us
notices the parallels:
� God, and Jesus our LORD (11 Peter 1:2);
� God, even Jesus Christ (John 17:3);
� In Him. . . even in His Son (I John 5:20-21);
� The Father and the Son, (11 John 9-11);
� Deity and humanity; Oneness.
This is only one doctrine. It is the only true doctrine of God.
Without it there is no eternal life. This one doctrine is the basis
upon which our organizational and personal fellowships must be
Our hearts must know and respond to the Oneness truth, and with our
mouths confession must be made unto salvation.48 That confession is:
* that God Himself became a Man, known as Jesus Christ;
* that Jesus Christ is both God the Father and the Son of God;
* that God (the deity) was in Christ (the humanity);
* that God (the deity) was manifest (made visible) in the flesh
*that in Christ (the humanity) dwells all the fulness of the Godhead
(the full person/being/essence of deity) bodily (incarnate).49
Every spirit that is of God will confess the truth that Jesus Christ5O
is come in the flesh!51 This is the doctrine that everyone who is to be
received into the fellowship must bring.52 Even those who prophesy
accurately must always point to this one great God to be accepted!53 We
must not accept “Another Jesus!” In Galatians 1:6-9, Paul is very
specific what our response is to be toward all who preach any other
gospel than this great Oneness gospel.
“Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge
of God; I speak this to your shame” (I Corinthians 15:34).
The responsibility to take this truth to the world rests upon those of
us who have received this revelation. It is a shame to us if those
around us do not at least know that the Lord Jesus Christ is our
Authorities are commissioned to teach this most basic Oneness truth to
those under them, and parents must teach it to their children because
without the foundation truth all other truths profit nothing in the
This study does not imply that everyone must be able to give a
theological exposition of the Oneness doctrine to be saved. Nor does
it imply that all who use the terminology of false doctrines really
believe the tenets of those doctrines. (it is a shame to the Oneness
movement that they do not know of the alternatives to that
This study does claim that no one holding a false concept of the person
and identity of the Lord Jesus Christ (God) is saved. Idolatry is
still the most prevalent sin in the world, and is still enough to keep
a soul out of the kingdom! Salvation is contingent on conceiving of
God as being Jesus Christ, and no other, confessing Him as God, then
responding to that truth with obedience to the gospel.
The Evangelistic Battle
According to II Corinthians 10:3-6, the war we must wage is:
(1) Casting down imaginations (causing people to give up their
idolatrous concepts of God);
(2) Casting down every high thing that exalts itself against the
knowledge of God (not allowing anything to hold a higher priority than
the knowledge of God; not allowing anything to diminish the knowledge
of God in our lives and that of others);
(3) Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ
(forcing ourselves and causing others to think the truth about Him so
we and they can obey Him);
(4) Not taking revenge on any disobedience until we ourselves are
fully obedient (apply the mercy we have received from Him to the lives
“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. 1,
even 1, am the LORD; and beside me there is no Saviour. I have
declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange
god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am
God” (Isaiah 43:10-12). We are to be witnesses that He is God!
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon
you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Judaea, and in Samaria,
and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We are not to be
witnesses unto repentance, baptism, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, or
holiness, but unto Him! The first priority in all our witnessing,
preaching, and teaching must be given to the truth expressed by the
“Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of
Hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no
God. And who, as 1, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in
order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? And the things
that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. 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” (Isaiah 44:6-8).
1. Colossians 2:8-1 0; Isaiah 43:10-13. See Appendix One. For
further details on the titles “the Son of God” and “the Son of Man” see
Sir Robert Anderson, The Lord from Heaven, Kregel Publications, 1985
reprint, pages 29-45.
2. Mark 16:16.
3. 11 Thessalonians 2:11; 11 Timothy 3:7.
4. 11 Thessalonians 2:13; John 8:32; 1 John 2:21-22.
5. John 1:18; 8:19; 14:9; 1 John 5:20.
6. The Revised Standard Version, The New American Standard
Bible, The New International Version, The New King James Version, The
New English Bible, The Amplified Bible, The New Testament in Modem
English (Phillips), The New Testament in the Language of the People
(Williams), The New Testament in the Language of Today (Beck), and The
Good News Bible all give that rendering.
7. Some might teach that the “Whereby” refers to “glory and virtue,”
perhaps claiming that the Greek requires more than one antecedent
object. This would be incorrect for the following reasons:
* There is no other scriptural validation for the idea that glory and
virtue are the method for imparting the promises. The text has already
established that the knowledge of Him is the vehicle through which all
things that pertain unto life and godliness are given unto us, and
“all” things includes the promises. It would be a contradiction to say
the promises are given through a different vehicle.
* The knowledge of Him contains the two elements which would be the
dual objects required by the Greek: the deity and the humanity.
8. A precise usage of the terms deity and divinity should be noted.
Some would obscure the truth and the issue by admitting that Jesus
Christ is divine rather than that He is the Deity. The Deity refers to
the Godhead and can (by scriptural definition) be applied to only One.
Divinity can mean something less. The church will be partakers of the
divine nature but will never be the deity. Jesus Christ is the Deity.
His humanity is divine. He is not divided.
9. There are many gods conceived of in the minds of men, but the
true God has revealed Himself as being alone (Isaiah 37:16; 44:24;
45:21-23; 46:9). No one can know the deity and humanity of Jesus
Christ and consider Him to be less than the only God, for there is only
one God who really is God.
10. Hastings, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics (New York: Charles
Scribners and Sons) Vol. V, p. 689. See also Cross. Oxford
Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press, 1974), p.
11. See also 11 Corinthians 10:13.
12. See also Colossians 2:1-10.
13. To identify who “God only wise” is, refer to the following texts:
I Timothy 1:17; Jude 25; and Titus 1:3, 2:10, 13; 3:4, 6; and, for
emphasis, Acts 20:28; Colossians 1:15; 2:9; and Revelation 1:5. If
Jesus is not the only God, He is at least the only wise God. Those
that are not wise are idols.
14. See also Romans 10:9-21.
15. Jeremiah 9:23-24. We must not change our glory for idolatry
(Jeremiah 2:11; Psalm 106:19-22).
16. Matthew 16:13-21. Jesus Christ specified the rock as the
foundation and established it as being typical of the knowledge of His
deity and humanity. See also Deuteronomy 32:4, 15, 18; 1 Samuel 2:2;
22:32; Psalm 18:31; 31:3.
17. Matthew 7:24-29 ‘spoken to His disciples on the mountain); Luke
6:46-49 (spoken to the multitude on the plain).
18. 1 Corinthians 3:9-15. We should note that the warning is to take
heed “how,” not “with what materials,” we build upon the foundation.
19. Ephesians 2:20-22. We must allow the apostles to teach us
through the Scriptures, rather than follow our traditions and opinions
20. Exodus 15:2; Psalm 118:14-22; Isaiah 12:1-3; 8:13-17. Acts 4:10-
1 Peter 2:3-8.
21. Luke 14:28-29.
22. Exodus 25:8-22. The pillars and boards that supported the
tent of the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place were overlaid with gold.
These were to have bases of a talent of silver each. If the typology
holds -true, the gold represents deity and the silver represents the
humanity through which deity was manifest in order to purchase
atonement. These would be foundational structures (Exodus 30:11-15).
The Tabernacle had no other form of foundation, which may also signify
that it was designed by God to be a temporary program.
23. 1 Kings 5:17-18; 6:1, 37-38; 11 Chronicles 3:2.
24. Ezra 3:1-13. We should especially note Ezra 3:6.
25. This may explain John 20:17’s prohibition to Mary Jesus Christ,
as God, cannot be defiled, but His function as the human high priest
may have been subject to defilement. The woman with the “issue of
blood” (which was an uncleanness) touched the hem of His garment. He
was not defiled. He did perceive that virtue had gone out of Him.
This means that virtue had flowed out to an uncleanness (not that
defilement had come into Him), and had been replaced by the
inexhaustible supply within Him. He prohibited Mary from touching Him
probably because He was functioning as the human high priest, and could
not allow what would have been at best a neutralizing touch. Later
that same day He allowed the other women to touch Him (Luke 8:43-48;
John 20:17; Matthew 28:9).
26. Foundations were laid after this manner: first the chief
cornerstone, a perfect stone with ninety degree corners; then the other
foundation stones were laid beside it until the whole floor area of the
Temple was laid. After this full foundation was laid building upon it
would begin. The day God is specifying in this text was before any
stones had been laid upon the foundation.
27. Sometimes we may settle for less than what God wants us to have
because we have not performed all His pleasure. Have we been settling
for half as much grain as we have needed? Do enough people really get
the Word of God out of our ministries? Have we been making do with
only two-fifths of our vessels getting filled? Do hungry souls walk
away from our altars without having received what they really need from
God? Do enough get filled with the Holy Ghost? Do we keep enough of
those who do receive the Holy Ghost?
28. Repentance is a gift of God: “for to give repentance” (Acts
5:31); “granted repentance unto life” (Acts 11:18); “give them
repentance” (11 Timothy 2:25); “the goodness of God leadeth thee to
repentance” (Romans 2:4); “godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation
not to be repented of” (11 Corinthians 7:10).
29. 1 Corinthians 8:4-7; 10:19-20.
30. Deuteronomy 32:15-21.
31. See Appendix Two.
32. See Appendix Three. A fine study of the nature of Israel’s
idolatry is given in H. L. Ellison, The Old Testament Prophets, “Men
Spake from God” (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1977), especially pages 31-
33. II Corinthians 11:1-4.
34. Colossians 2:8-10.
35. Ezekiel 22:26; Isaiah 5:20-21.
36. Luke 11:52.
37. Ezekiel 44:23; Nehemiah 8:7-8.
38. Jeremiah 31:33-34; Hebrews 8:10-12. We cannot cease doing what
we have never done.
39. John 4:24; Colossians 2:6-7.
40. We must not confuse the First Commandment with the Great
Commandment. The Great Commandment is the goal to which the First
Commandment will bring us. The Great Commandment is contained within
the First, but the First Commandment is not contained within the Great,
rather it is the foundation of it.
We must not assume that the Word of God confuses Matthew 22:34-40 and
Mark 12:28-34 as being the same event. Matthew reports of a lawyer who
tempted Jesus, asking about the Great Commandment, trying to trap Him
in error. Mark reports a different incident, one in which a scribe
perceived the insight of Christ and commended Him for it. This one
asked of the First Commandment. And Jesus gave him a different answer
than He gave to the tempting lawyer.
41. Romans 10:14-15. (Believe = faith + works = know + love.)
42. The first words of Acts 2:36, 37, and 38 need to be considered.
43. The he is properly placed in the English because the antece-
dent of the “I am” is “thy father.”
44. That is, it is necessary to know (faith) that Jesus Christ is the
Father as well as the Son, and act (works) upon that revelation (truth,
illumination) to be saved. Because a Jesus who is less than both the
Father and the Son is not the real Jesus.
45. See also Hosea 4:6.
46. We should look at some of the key words of the text with
reference to Appendix One:
*Vain = idolatrous.
*Imaginations = false concepts of God and His identity.
*Foolish heart = without the knowledge of God at work.
*Darkened = what light they had was taken away.
His eternal power and Godhead cannot be a “divine mystery.”
47. “God speed” is translated from a Greek word meaning “re-
joice, be of good cheer, be it well with thee.” It is expressive of a
desire for the success of the one being greeted. It certainly is
improper for a Christian to wish false teachers success in their
teaching. See The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (Grand
Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., rpt. 1980), Vol. 11, p.
48. Romans 10:10.
49. A few texts: I John 2:21-25; 11 Corinthians 5:19 and I Timothy
3:16; and Colossians 2:8-10.
50. Jesus Christ = Yahweh-Salvation, anointed flesh of God.
51. 1 John 4:1-6.
52. 11 John 7-11.
53. Deuteronomy 13:1-5.
54. Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
Appendix One: Defining Oneness
The following statements are scriptural components of this doctrine:
* God is One (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29).
* God is a Spirit (John 4:24; Ephesians 4:4).
* God (who is a Spirit) became a Man (Exodus 15:2; Isaiah
12:2; Psalm 118:14-21; John 1:1, 14; 11 Corinthians 3:17).
* The Man whom God became is identified by the name “Jesus,”
with various other titles added, such as “the Lord Jesus, Jesus Christ,
the Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth” (Luke 1:31; Matthew 1:21;
Acts 8:16; 10:36; 11:17; 22:8).
* The Man whom God became was fully God in the absolute sense
through “the mystery of godliness,” which is the incarnation. Thus,
the Man whom God became is “God with us, the mighty God, the
everlasting Father, and the Almighty (I Timothy 3:16; Isaiah 7:14;
Isaiah 9:6; Revelation 1:8).
* The Man whom God became was also fully human in the
ultimate sense through the seed of the virgin woman of the lineage of
Eve, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and David, yet totally without any
sin nature because He was also God (Genesis 3:15; 49:10; 1 Kings 8:26-
27; Acts 2:30; Romans 9:5; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 4:15).
* As a Man, He increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour
with God and man; learned obedience, suffered, died by crucifixion, was
buried and rose again the third day (Luke 2:52; Hebrews 5:8-9; 1
* As a Man, the Scriptures use the following titles to
designate His deity (Godhead) and His humanity (Sonship): (1) “the
of God” (I John 4:15; 1 John 5:20) and (2)”the Son of Man” (Matthew
12:8; John 5:27).
Appendix Two: Polluting the Name
There is an Old Testament example of the name of God being applied to
an idol: Exodus 32:1-35; Nehemiah 9:18. Following are some guides in
*” gods” = Elohim in 32:1, 4, 8, 23, 31.
*”LORD” = YHWH (Yahweh or Jehovah) in 32:5.
*”God” = Elohim in Nehemiah 9:18.
*See also Deuteronomy 9:7-29; Psalm 106:19-22; and Acts 7:38-41
(especially verse 41).
It seems likely that the people did not intend to make an image of
their Jehovah. This becomes understandable in the light of the
position Moses held before the people. He was the visible
representation of God (Elohim) to them (Exodus 4:16; 7:1). This is
reflected in the reason they gave for wanting an image made: “For as
for this Moses … we wot not what is become of him” (Exodus 32:1).
Examining the language of the text and noting that only one calf was
made, it becomes unreasonable to accept the plurals used in the
Authorized Version. The usage of the English plural, “make us gods”
and “these be thy gods” is not accurate. What the people desired was a
visible representation to replace Moses, who was the visible
representation of Elohim to them. This is why the feast was proclaimed
to be a Feast of the LORD and not to a calf. The people never intended
to supplant Jehovah with an idol. They did not violate the first
commandment, but rather the second and the third! A very excellent
treatment of this idea can be found in The Pentateuch and Haftorahs,
2nd ed., edited by J. H. Hertz, (London: Soncino Press, 1981), pp. 356-
Even though idolatry may not have been their intent, God’s judgment
against those who applied His name to the idol was very serious. His
judgments are always according to His Word, and not the intents of men.
It is detailed in Exodus 32:26-35. In accordance with the commandments
in Exodus 20:4-7, they would not be held guiltless. Nor will anyone
else who ascribes the name of God (Jesus Christ) to a false mental or
physical image of Him.
The same error seems to have been repeated, as seen by examining the
Hebrew of I Kings 12:28-32 and comparing it with Amos 8:14, where “God”
is Elohim. The tribe of Dan was the leader of this type of idolatry.
It becomes obvious that a lack of personal illumination of the person
and identity of God is fatal.
Appendix Three: Vanity = Idolatry = Imaginations
A comparison of the following texts reveals that idolatry is most
specifically defined in Scripture as a false concept of the identity of
God. We should note how these texts relate the terms vanity, idolatry,
and imaginations (or falsehoods).
Vanity = Idolatry = Imaginations
Acts 14:11-17 (same text) 11 Corinthians 10:3-6
Deuteronomy 32:15-21 (same text) (same implied)
I Kings 16:13 (same implied) Ezekiel 18:12
Jeremiah 2:4-13 (same implied) (same implied)
Jeremiah 10:6-16 (same text) (same text)
Jeremiah 16:19-21 (same text) (same implied)
Jonah 2:7-9 Ezekiel 11:5, 20, 21
Ezekiel 13:3-9, 14, 23 (same text)
Ezekiel 20:3-9, 18-19, 39
Jeremiah 51:17-19 (same text) (same text)
Jeremiah 18:12-15 (same text)
Job 35:13 Jeremiah 9:14
Polluting the Name = applying God’s name to that which is not God (an
idol). Idolatry is abomination. Rebellion is also equivalent to
by J. Mark Jordan
In analyzing this paper, it is helpful to first offer a summary of its
major arguments. Such a summary focuses on the essentials of the
paper, and tests whether or not the respondent understood the main
points. (The author confirmed at the symposium that this response
accurately summarizes his points.) This recapitulation shows the
general thesis of the paper first, followed by a review of the major
premises upon which the thesis is built. After this, we will analyze
the strengths and weaknesses of the paper.
Salvation of any individual is contingent upon understanding and
believing the concept of God as the Almighty God manifested in the Son
or flesh, Jesus Christ.
1. Since faith is essential to salvation, then the Oneness
concept must be inherent in any definition of faith.
2. To have saving faith is to believe the Oneness concept
because the premise of faith is knowledge, and a true knowledge of God
is to see Him incarnate in Christ.
3. The preaching of the Oneness of God has preeminence over all
other subject material because the ” mystery” (Oneness) is to be made
known to all nations for the obedience of faith.
4. The foundation of the church is the knowledge of Christ as
the mighty God. All other considerations of the church are secondary
to this foundation. Indeed, all other aspects of salvation are invalid
unless built upon this foundation.
5. Any religious system not based on the Oneness concept is
1. The paper is well written and demonstrates a mastery of
vocabulary, especially theological terminology.
2. It is extensively footnoted and documented.
3. It has insightful use of Scripture and comparison of
4. It contains a particularly good study of the foundation
imagery and application of Old Testament writings in Isaiah 28:9-13 and
Haggai 2:10-19. Also included is a very good use of typology from the
5. The author is to be commended for addressing this critical
issue: If our claims of the Oneness revelation are correct, what
position does it leave the United Pentecostal Church Incorporated in
with respect to the Christian world? This question has too long been
treated either vaguely or indifferently.
1. Definitions. It is questionable to use any word in a highly
restrictive, technical sense. Words always conform to their immediate
context as well as to their generally accepted definition. The
restrictive and exclusive use of the word faith as being, in itself,
the knowledge of the person, identity and plan of salvation is somewhat
a. Other references to faith must then incorporate this
definition. There would be problems with the faith of the Syro-
phoenician woman, the gift of faith, and so on.
b. If faith is knowledge, why are we to add knowledge to
knowledge”? (11 Peter 1:5).
c. The author’s formula: “Faith + Works = Believing — Imputed
Righteousness” causes serious misgivings. He cites James 2:23 as the
proof text for this formula. But Ephesians 2:8-10 precludes the use of
works as a vehicle for salvation. Paul also refers to Abraham (as does
James) and shows that Abraham was justified without works. How can
these seemingly contradictory passages be harmonized?
The best answer must derive from the context of each passage, and
further, we must determine the very purpose with which each author
wrote. Paul was dealing with faith as opposed to ceremonial
circumcision. Circumcision does not confer righteousness. Faith in
God alone confers righteousness. This entire passage is in the context
of the question: Is righteousness due to ceremonial observance of
circumcision or is it due to faith in God? James, however, has no
correlation to this question in his context. He is dealing with faith
in opposition to benevolent works as demonstrated in compassion,
generosity, sacrifice and servanthood.
Paul’s purpose is to show faith is the ground for justification,
whereas James’ purpose is to qualify that faith. If it is truly faith
that a man claims, it will produce good works. The two uses of Abraham
can be clearly seen in this respect. Abraham’s standing with God was
not heightened or made good by his circumcision, because circumcision
was only a ceremonial seal. Abraham’s offering up of Isaac, however,
was a qualification of his faith because it demonstrated to God that it
was held in utmost sincerity and devotion toward him. Paul and James
are dealing in two different dimensions with respect to faith. Paul is
approaching the question of believing and trusting and James is
approaching the question of knowing and doing. Any attempt to make
works part of salvation is erroneous.
2. Christological battle. In his discussion of “another Jesus,”
the author must keep in mind that the New Testament apostles, preachers
and teachers were not combating Trinitarianism per se. Their
Christological struggles were with Judaizers, the Hebrew religion,
Gnostics, Platonists, and pagans. Even the Arian controversy postdated
the Apostolic era.
3. Difficulty in defining “concept.” “No one holding a false
concept of the person and identity of the Lord Jesus Christ is saved.”
This does not include all those unable “to give a theological
exposition of Oneness:’ nor “all who use the terminology of false
doctrines.” These statements of the author give rise to a question: If
this contention is critical to the point of eternal salvation or
damnation, should there not be an elemental confessions statement which
reduces truth to its simplest terms-which becomes an absolute maxim?
Many select portions of trinitarian messages, books, articles, and even
creeds that exclude trinitarian, extra-biblical terminology are
agreeable to us. Where does “concept” begin and “terminology” end?
4. Use of the Greek language. The antecedents of the relative
pronoun “whereby” (di’on) must be plural since the pronoun is plural in
the Greek (notwithstanding note #7). We should also note the “are”
instead of “is.” “Knowledge” of him may fit theologically, but it does
not fit grammatically. The exceeding great and precious promises are
contengent upon “glory and virtue.” Glory answers to “divine nature,”
and virtue answers to “escaping corruption.” The paper is strong enough
without stretching the Greek language.
5. When is one saved? We may know when a person is baptized.
We may know when a person is filled with the Holy Ghost. We may know
when a person is living a holy life. But how can we know if a person
believes the Oneness? By verbal confession? Is baptism of water and
Spirit to be withheld until Oneness is revealed and confessed?
C. Underlying implications
1. Is there any validity to one’s claims to Christianity at any
period of time since the Day of Pentecost unless he or she holds the
2. Should any Christian literature be acceptable if written by a
non-Oneness writer? (Several such works are included in this paper as
3. Are we to reject all sermons, lectures, testimonies, or even
songs if they come from non-Oneness sources? 4. This paper seems to
advocate the establishment of a uniform creed-a definitive statement of
faith-that would be acceptable to the United Pentecostal Church
Incorporated. A creed is a step beyond articles of faith. It is a
memorized statement designed to prevent any aberrant doctrine or stray
concept. Do we want this? It forces faith into the confines of man’s
language. Perhaps these implications are carried further than the
paper intended, but the questions have been begged and a position needs
to be taken.
J. Mark Jordan is pastor of the First Apostolic Church in Toledo,
By Ernest Breithaupt
Our author has submitted to us an amirable and comprehensive paper
declaring and revealing this “mystery of the ages.” In a refreshing
and stimulating manner he declares that to understand God we must be
able to discern how the incomparable absolute Deity became a man –
The author is to be commended for developing exegeses of texts not
often used in propounding the doctrine of the Godhead. Choosing to
explore as far as the limitation of time would permit those areas that
he feels are vital to his thesis, he has arbitrarily limited the scope
of his study. With careful attention to the interpretation of each
word, he has based his conclusion upon those passages most positive to
his course of reasoning.
Some areas of study are touched upon in the thesis but are not
developed to the fullest extent. One area that could have been
developed in more depth was the Name. A study of the Name is certainly
germane to a thesis to prove that the doctrine of the Oneness of God is
essential to salvation (Acts 4:12). He also could have further
developed the doctrine of baptism in His name for the remission of sins
(Acts 2:38). These are very well known areas of Oneness theology and
are covered in other theses at the symposium. Had they been included
in greater detail in this paper, they would have affirmed his
conclusion that the Oneness doctrine is essential to salvation. The
author is to be complimented for his research into some other areas
that would add more illumination to that which we have already
One weak point of the paper was the limited definition given for faith.
While the resultant conclusion is accurate, the narrowly focused view
of faith obscures some of its work. Faith is much broader in scope
than the intellectual comprehension of Oneness.
Under the heading “Faith Versus Hope,” our author has given a well
reasoned presentation of 11 Peter 1:1-5. His conclusion is correct.
If we are to escape the corruption in the world, it will be through the
knowledge of the deity and humanity of Jesus Christ. We have become
partakers of the divine nature, because of the faith we received
through His righteousness.
Hebrews 11 was covered very quickly, but it contains powerful truth
relevant to the thesis. Faith is described as giving us the confidence
or foundation for things hoped for. These things are the supernatural
things of God the same things that are all given to us in 11 Peter 1:3.
Faith produces within us a demonstration of the things of God beyond
the dimension of the human senses. Grace and peace are things of God
and must be received through faith. The Apostle Peter was saying in 11
Peter 1:2 that these are greatly multiplied by the knowledge of the
Incarnation. It does not seem that someone who is not illuminated
would be totally excluded from the grace of God. Further in verse 3
the emphasis should be on the “all” of “all things.” All things of life
and godliness are given to those who know him. It is not saying that
nothing is given to the unilluminated person.
Faith is the ability by which we comprehend God and Godliness. All who
strive to be Christians base their hope of salvation upon their faith
in God. “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of
God” (Romans 10:17). God’s Word produces faith-all of God’s Word not
just that which testifies of His Godhead.
The whole experience of a man coming to God is one of coming from a
very great distance. We could only come to Him because we were drawn
(John 6:44). This denotes movement of coming closer and closer. So
that at one time we could possess more awareness of God and
illumination than we had previously possessed, without having made the
full journey. We were one time God’s enemy and filled with carnal
enmity, but he gave Himself to us in reconciliation (Romans 5:10; 11
This is a view that we have always held in the United Pentecostal
Church. When our manual was written the qualifying word “full” was
placed in front of “salvation” in the Fundamental Doctrine, because we
recognized that some people were moving toward God but did not have
everything He wanted to give them. It would be a harsh judgment to say
that those who are in darkness and groping toward the light are
idolaters when they worship God in whatever light they have.
Under the heading “The Mystery,” the author addresses “the measure of
faith” from Romans 12:3. His premise is strengthened with some sound
application of Romans 16:25-27. However, with his assertion that
unless faith is the Oneness revelation that no works would be counted
as “the obedience of faith,” the author twice used the qualifier
“true.” Once it was applied to stature in Christ and once to faith in
Christ. This indicates that the author recognized a faith less than
the absolute “true.” While the mystery is being revealed there are
those who are being influenced by it but who have not yet obtained the
full “obedience of faith.” Their faith is something less than the
measure which is true. This same state of existence is noted in the
Kingdom of Heaven parables of Matthew 25. Their faith brings them into
the sphere of the earthly kingdom of heaven but is not the true faith
that they will need to stand in judgment.
Under “The Foundation,” the author has identified the foundation of the
church as the rock of Matthew 16:16-18. This rock is the confessed,
revealed mystery that Jesus is Christ-that is he is both humanity and
deity. Upon this never-failing assertion the true church is founded.
The paper does not recognize that man may receive something from God
without the full illumination of Oneness revelation. The foolish man
of Matthew 7:26 was allowed to build a house, however. He was not
stopped or forbidden to build. He and the wise man both constructed a
sanctuary in their lives in which they could entertain the presence of
God. As our author has pointed out everything was fine during the
sunshine of grace. Only the storm of judgment revealed the tragedy.
Jesus said great was the fall of that house, great in shock and
surprise to the unsuspecting, foolish builder. In this day when the
grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men (Titus
2:11), and the Lord has poured out his Spirit upon all flesh (Joel
2:28), men who find the abundant supply of grace and Spirit have a
false sense of security in their house-building. The wise master
builder searches out the “Rock’!-the right foundation to build upon.
Israel in the time of Zerubbabel had a decree from Darius to rebuild
the temple (Ezra 6:1-5). There was a slothfulness in their worship
that God will not tolerate. The author’s conclusion is correctly drawn
that the church that knows the foundation and has been furnished the
material with which to build on it will be judged harshly, if they
carelessly ignore that which they have been given. This same judgment
cannot be applied to the untaught man who cries out to God in distress
without truth or revelation.
The world cannot build upon the foundation unless it is declared to
them. The author’s questions are very provocative and pertinent to the
United Pentecostal Church. Do we emphasize experience at the expense
Under “The First Commandment,” the author gives his amplification of
Acts 2:36. From the material that he has provided, his interpretation
appears to be correct. The message that the Elohim of Israel was the
Lord Jesus Christ is the foundation upon which the message of
salvation-Acts 2:38-must be preached. This message of His Oneness is
the message that is hidden from the lost (11 Corinthians 4:3).
The author has attached fifty-four footnotes and three appendices to
the thesis. These include many scriptural references from wide ranging
contexts. These verses of Scripture positively support his conclusion
that the doctrine of the Oneness of God is essential to salvation. His
references to sources apart from the Scripture were not extensive.
This is understandable, when almost all that is written outside the
United Pentecostal Church is irrelevant to the subject of the thesis.
We have been given the revelation of the greatest mystery of all the
ages. This paper’s question to the United Pentecostal Church is, “What
kind of stewards are we of the mystery?”
– Ernest Breithaupt is the Superintendent of the Illinois District.
Clifford Readout, Jr. is pastor of the Apostolic Church of Enfield,
Connecticut and Foreign Missions District Director for Connecticut. He
has been a regional director for campus evangelism and an overseas
missions teacher in Kaiserslautern, West Germany. He received the
Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED IN A PAPER GIVEN AT THE 1988 ONENESS
SYMPOSIUM IN ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, BY CLIFFORD READOUT, JR., PP. 151-
196. THIS MATERIAL MAY BE USED FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.