“Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:21-23
WHY GOD SPEAKS TO OTHER PENTECOSTALS
“Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:21-23 “Then the king said to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:13,14 “Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the callings of God are without repentance.” Romans 11:28.29 I was physically born and raised on Long Island New York but I was spiritually born again in an Apostolic Pentecostal Church in Jacksonville, North Carolina, while serving in the United States Marines in 1983.
I must admit that I was one of the hardest people to be persuaded to believe in the Oneness of God and that full New Testament Salvation consists of faith, repentance, water baptism in Jesus Name, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. No matter how much scriptural evidence I saw I refused to accept the full Apostolic message unless I could confirm that the majority of Christians in the first two centuries also believed the selfsame message. My reasoning was as follows: “If the Apostles truly taught the Oneness of God and baptism in Jesus Name so strongly then there should be clear historical evidence to corroborate modern day Oneness Theology and the necessity of Water Baptism in Jesus Name for salvation within the first few centuries of the church.
If I could not find substantial evidence to prove that this message was once dominant during the lifetimes of the original apostles and their immediate successors than this teaching could not be true.” Prior to attending the Apostolic Church in Jacksonville, North Carolina, I had been attending a Southern Baptist Church. I was seriously considering quitting the Baptist Church because I was very disappointed when they told me that I had received the gift of the Holy Spirit after repeating a prayer. Although I had truly repented of my sins and had dedicated my life to Christ I still felt a lack of power in my life. I felt greatly disappointed when they told me that I had received the gift of the Holy Spirit while I could feel no discernible presence of any Holy Spirit inside of my heart.
I was repeatedly told to just accept and believe that I had already received the gift of the Holy Spirit by faith. This greatly discouraged me because I figured that I should be able to discern the presence of God’s Holy Spirit inside of my life. I thought that the gift of the Spirit would be powerful and fulfilling. If I had already received the gift of the Holy Spirit then why did I feel so empty? I kept asking God that if this Baptist Church was not preaching the whole truth to me that God would please reveal His truth to me. I can vividly remember praying one night with tears in my eyes that if the church I was attending was not preaching the whole truth that God would reveal to me a church that did! It was not long after praying that desperate prayer that God sent an Apostolic Pentecostal brother into my Marine Barracks. This brother had a powerful supernatural presence abiding with him. It was as if Jesus Himself was speaking directly to me from his mouth.
As soon as I met this brother I quit attending the Baptist Church and started regularly attending the Apostolic Church in Jacksonville North Carolina. If I had not been honest in my heart, I would never have desperately prayed for more truth. This reminds me of the words of Jesus when He said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” I continued attending the Apostolic Pentecostal Church with my Marine friend, brother Franzik, who had recently arrived at the New River Helicopter base near Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. I was amazed at how many scriptures that brother Franzik could quote and how his whole face lit up every time he shared the Word of God with me. There was definitely something very different and very powerful about his walk with God that intrigued me and inspired me to gravitate to this anointed servant of God. It was not long until I found that the majority of the Apostolic Fathers of the early church were what scholars called “Modalistic Monarchians.” They did not believe in the Trinity doctrine of the second century Bishop of Carthage named Tertullian who stated that “they that always make up the majority of believers reject the Trinity.”
As I continued studying I found out that the majority of believers Tertullian was ridiculing believed in Oneness Theology and baptism in Jesus Name just like the Apostolic Pentecostal Church I was attending in Jacksonville, North Carolina. This greatly encouraged me to continue attending the Oneness Apostolic Pentecostal Church because their teachings harmonized with the majority of Christian believers in the early second century church. I later also found out that the majority of the Apostolic Fathers of the first two centuries of Christian History believed in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and in spiritual gifts. This was my fleece before the Lord. Prior to receiving more confirmation I kept trying to argue with brother Franzik that baptism in the titles Father, Son, and Holy Spirit was also valid because Jesus said so in Matthew 28:19. Even though I tried to argue against the truth I know in my heart that I was just testing brother Franzik to make sure that what he was telling me was indeed the truth.
Jesus commanded baptism to be carried out in the Name. Not Names or Titles! Father, Son, and Spirit are not names but titles. Jesus said to the Pharisees in John 8:44 “You are of your Father the Devil.” In 1 Samuel 2:12 the Scriptures state that the sons of Eli were sons of Belial [The Devil]. Jesus said to baptize in one Name not three different Names. Could Mary have ever actually called her Son’s Name Son? Matthew 1:21 does not say to Mary and Joseph, “You shall call His Name Son for He shall save His people from their sins.” It says, “You shall call His Name Jesus.” Wherefore the name of the Son of God has to be “Jesus” and scriptural water baptism must be carried out in that Name! I had asked God to confirm the truth to me in early Christian history outside of the Bible. Now I had confirmation that this was indeed the true gospel message from both inside the Bible and from outside the Bible through Church History.
After researching the scriptures extensively and after researching early Christian history I received true Christian Baptism in Jesus Name and the true gift of the Holy Spirit. After conversion, I felt the genuine power of God both inside of my spirit and my body. I immediately dedicated my life, time, and finances to God by being faithful in the Pentecostal Church I was attending. I began praying and studying for hours every day outside of my military work. Before I got saved I used to do physical exercise for about four hours per day, six days per week. After I experienced true Bible salvation I stopped lifting weights and running so much and began using most of that time in my pursuit of spiritual growth and knowledge. I quickly developed an insatiable desire to know God in prayer and to know everything about the Bible as quickly as possible.
I remember spending my entire two week military leave reading the Bible for about 15 hours per day. I did not even want to take a break to eat or rest. In just two weeks I read from Genesis chapter one all the way to the book of Proverbs. It was not long until God began to use me in some of the gifts of the Spirit. God was placing me in a kind of spiritual boot camp for many years before I was allowed to enter the five fold ministry. I attended every single church meeting and quickly became involved in outreach ministry. I attended two regular church meetings on Sundays (a morning service and a night service). I began attending Monday Night Bible School which covered a systematic study of the Epistles of the apostle Paul. I attended regular Wednesday night Worship and Bible study. I regularly attended Friday night youth service which involved more worship, prayer, and preaching. And I also attended every Saturday morning prayer meeting.
After Saturday prayer we use to go out knocking on doors in the community. One day while we were out knocking on doors, I heard the familiar sound of someone speaking in very authoritative tongues. I quickly discerned that it was coming from a particular house we were passing because it was summer time and the windows of the house were open. I asked the more seasoned brother who served as a Navy Corpsman if this man came from another church like us. Was there another Apostolic Pentecostal Church on the other side of town? He quickly retorted, “No, he attends an Assembly of God Church. They also have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit like us but they do not baptize in Jesus Name, nor do they believe in the Oneness of God. They believe in a Trinity of three divine persons.” I can’t remember the exact words he spoke to me so many years ago but this is very close to what he told me. I said to him, “but he sounds just like us! How could this be?” My brother gave me the best answer he could give. He said, “I don’t understand it all either but God gives the Holy Spirit to anyone who will believe. Yet that does not mean that they are fully obedient to all of the Apostles Doctrine.” I highly regarded the advise of this strong Christian brother because he was always prayerful and vigilant about the Fathers business.
This was the brother who God had miraculously spared while his entire platoon he was assigned too were all killed in the Beirut Bombing in Lebanon in the early 80's. He was the only truly born again Christian brother out of all seventy Marines in his platoon yet he was the only one to be spared. The righteous brother was ordered to leave the building to perform a duty just before the truck filled with explosives hit the building. Every single unrighteous man in his platoon that he had shared the gospel with perished while he alone survived! “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you . . . Because you have made Yahweh, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place . . . .” Psalm 91:5-8 When I went home that afternoon I was very confused. How could God be giving His Spirit to others who did not believe in the full unadulterated message of the first century apostles?
How could anyone who received the gift of the Holy Spirit with the initial sign of tongues also believe in the false doctrine of a Trinity of three divine persons? After searching the scriptures more I found that many would prophesy in His Name, cast out demons, and do many wonderful miracles in the Name of Jesus but would not baptize in that name, nor obey the full foundational doctrines of the first century apostles. This greatly troubled me for many years. After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corp I moved back to Long Island where I grew up. When I became strong and established in the faith and spiritually mature I decided that I would venture out and visit other Pentecostal Churches who did not baptize in Jesus Name (but I never missed a regular service in my home church). I wanted more evidence to prove that these people were false prophets and I had wanted to win them to the truth of the Oneness of God and true Christian baptism in Jesus Name. The first church I visited was very weak and unimpressive.
The church was much larger than ours and there were many more people than in our Apostolic Church but I could tell that these professing Christians were not on fire for God like I was accustomed to in the Oneness Pentecostal movement. The weakness and worldliness of the Trinitiarian church I was visiting also confirmed to me that the Oneness Pentecostals were right and the Trinitiarians were wrong! The anointing of the Spirit enabled me to quickly share the true word of God about baptism in Jesus Name. It was not long until a young man came to church with me to get baptized in Jesus Name. However, I quickly realized that I was not welcome to continue visiting this church because our doctrines were diametrically opposed. Then I visited another Pentecostal Church that baptized using both the titled and the Name of Jesus. However, they clearly believed in a Trinity of three divine persons and rejected the full Apostolic Faith. This church impressed me because I could feel the presence of God and the praise and worship was demonstrative just like in the Apostolic Churches.
There just happened to be a visiting Evangelist who was ministering on one of the nights I attended. He called me up to the front to pray over me. I came up believing that this man was a false prophet and that I was going to be able to expose him. Yet to my surprise, I felt the power of the Holy Spirit coming from this Preacher and the Spirit hit me so powerfully that I began to tremble. He prophesied over me saying that he saw a vessel and oil was being poured into it. And that I would be used to set the captives free. I feel the presence of God all over me just typing out this prophesy again. I was utterly amazed and baffled that God would use people in such a powerful way without having the full understanding and obedience to all of the apostles doctrine. I quickly realized that I must respect other Pentecostal believers who have the Baptism of The Holy Spirit.
God later showed me that many Pentecostals who claimed to believe in a Trinity also had much anointing and revelation from God. This both confused me and humbled me at the same time. It is easy for people to believe that God is with them in all of their teaching just because the presence of God is also with them. The operation of the gifts of the Spirit simply means that people are praying and opening their hearts in faith to that portion of the Word of God. But it does not mean that God is sanctioning all of the teachings or actions of a particular church or minister. God further showed me that He was not happy with many Oneness Pentecostal Churches either. Some Oneness Pentecostals are also lacking in prayer, the gifts of the Spirit, and the fruit of the Spirit. Many Oneness Pentecostals are Apostolic in their doctrine but lack the true Apostolic spirit of the Apostles. To be Apostolic in spirit is to live your life abounding in the fruit of the Spirit just like the original apostles did. Jesus commanded us to love our enemies as well as our brethren. Many professing Apostolics and Trinitarians are failing in both areas! God is calling all of His people to complete obedience.
No one can justify himself before the presence of the Almighty! Some Oneness Pentecostal Preachers are also preaching heresy when they say that Jesus is just God in a shell of flesh. In saying this they strip away the true humanity of Jesus and contradict many scriptures. Many Oneness Pentecostals have fallen into the same sins as their Trinitarian Pentecostal brethren. God is not a respecter of persons. All who sin against Him will be equally punished, no matter how loyal anyone may be to the true Apostolic Doctrine! Scripture is replete with examples of Prophets who disobeyed God and allowed a spirit of error to creep in. The Prophet Balaam clearly had accurate prophetic unction from Yahweh but ended up prophesying for financial profit. Although Balaam could not directly curse Israel he ended up telling the Midianites to send their women out to entice the Israelite men to sin (Numbers 31:16). In this way God would curse the Israelite men through their sins. Joshua later had Balaam killed because he was a greedy and selfish prophet (Numbers 31:8 / Joshua 13:22). “Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and have run greedily in the error Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.” Jude 11 The unnamed prophet from Judah recorded in 1 Kings chapter 13 disobeyed the Word of Yahweh by believing another Prophets lye.
The prophet from Judah was commanded by the Word of Yahweh to go and prophesy against the disobedient King of the ten tribes of Israel. The Prophet from Judah was commanded by the Word of Yahweh not eat or drink with anyone until he arrived back in Judea. Yet another old prophet from Bethel with a true unction from Yahweh lied to the prophet from Judah by saying that an angel of God had told him to tell the prophet from Judah that God has now changed His mind and that he can now eat and drink before returning back into Judea. “He said to him, I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of Yahweh, saying, Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water. (He was lying to him.) So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water.” 1 Kings 13:18,19 But while the prophet from Judah was eating and drinking at the house of the prophet from Bethel, the Spirit of God entered the prophet from Bethel who had lied to the prophet from Judah and prophesied that the prophet from Judah would be killed because he had transgressed the Word of Yahweh.
“Now it happened, as they sat at the table, that the word of Yahweh came to the prophet who had brought him back; And he cried out to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, Thus says Yahweh: Because you have disobeyed the word of Yahweh, and have not kept the commandment which Yahweh your God commanded you, but you came back, ate bread, and drank water in the place of which Yahweh said to you, eat no bread and drink no water, your corpse shall not come to the tomb of your fathers . . . When he had gone, a lion met him on the road and killed him.” 1 Kings 13:20-24 The prophet from Bethel said that an angel from God had appeared to him saying that God has now changed the first message that He had originally given to the prophet from Judah. This reminds me of the apostolic warning in Galatians 1:6-9: “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who would trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or AN ANGEL FROM HEAVEN, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” The omniscient God does not give out commandments and then quickly change His mind. True angels of God do not speak words which contradict the words that Yahweh God has already given. There is a lying religious spirit of error working throughout our world which says that God has now changed His mind about doctrinal issues. However, the true church of Jesus Christ will “continue steadfastly in the apostles doctrine . . . (Acts 2:42)” just as the early church did in the first century A.D. The prophet from Judah was powerfully used by God to deliver a true Word from God. After delivering God’s message, Yahweh backed up this prophet by miraculously splitting the altar apart and withering King Jeroboam’s hand. After that God hearkened to the prayer of this prophet by healing King Jeroboam’s withered hand back to normal again.
Therefore, no matter how powerful God may use an apostle, prophet, or evangelist, this should never be interpreted to mean that that the messenger is always without error. Yahweh God immediately brought swift judgment upon the prophet from Judah because he believed the lie of another prophet with a spirit of error. The elderly Prophet from Bethel who lied to the Prophet from Judah then prophesied accurately to the Prophet from Judah even though he had previously lied. Notice that once Yahweh God gave the commandment that He did not change His mind. All New Testament commandments must be fully obeyed until the coming of Jesus. We must never listen to the “ten thousand” or more instructors in Christ who contradict the words of the original Apostles (See 1 Corinthians 4:15). There is a lying spirit on all professing apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, or teachers who would tell us that God has now changed His mind. No matter how powerful one’s gifts or miraculous ministry may be, if the minister speaks lies which contradict the Words of Yahweh recorded in the New Testament, all who follow him will perish in their disobedience. “If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch.”
All must obey the apostles doctrine even if the way is very narrow and there be very few that actually preach it! In 1 Kings 22:10-23 we find proof that God allows evil spirits to place a lying spirit in the mouths of prophets and preachers: “The King of Israel and Jehoshaphat the King of Judah, having put on their robes, sat each on his throne . . . and all the prophets prophesied before them. Now Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made horns of iron for himself; and he said, Thus says Yahweh: With these you shall gore the Syrians until they are destroyed. And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramoth Gilead and prosper, for Yahweh will deliver it into the King’s hand. Then the messenger who had gone to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying, Now listen, the words of the prophets with one accord encourage the king, Please, let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak encouragement. And Micaiah said, As Yahweh lives, whatever Yahweh says to me, that I will speak. Then he came to the King; and the King said to him, Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall we refrain? . . . . Then he said, I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And Yahweh said, These have no master.
Let each return to his house in peace. And the King of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell you he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil? Then Micaiah said, Therefore hear the word of Yahweh: I saw Yahweh sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left. And Yahweh said, Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead? So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. Then a spirit came forward and stood before Yahweh, and said, I will persuade him. Yahweh said to him, In what way? So he said, I will go out and be A LYING SPIRIT IN THE MOUTH OF ALL HIS PROPHETS. And Yahweh said, You shall persuade him, and also prevail, Go out and do so. Therefore look: YAHWEH HAS PUT A LYING SPIRIT IN THE MOUTH OF ALL THESE PROPHETS OF YOURS, and Yahweh has declared disaster against you.” God allows a spirit of delusion to fall on those who receive not the love of the truth of God’s Word because they find pleasure in their disobedience. “And with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 1Thessalonians 2:10-12 Most people hear what they want to hear and resist hearing what they dislike hearing. Yet we must resist this human tendency by seeking to obey the whole counsel of God that was preached to us by the original apostles of Christ. There can be no compromising or turning back from the original scriptural commandments of God that He has given us through His holy apostles and prophets. The New Testament scriptures point out that all these things happened in the Hebrew Scriptures as examples for us that we should not disobey God either (1 Corinthians 10:11). King Saul also continued to prophesy while he was disobedient to God and an evil spirit was troubling him (1 Samuel 18:10;19:23,24). Likewise, Ahithophel’s gift of wise counsel remained even after he joined the rebellion of Absalom against Kind David. “Now the advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one had inquired at the oracle of God. So was all the advice of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.” 2 Samuel 16:23 Notice that Ahithophel’s gift from God continued to operate accurately even after he rebelled against King David.
This rebellion was also a rebellion against the authority of God’s government. A spirit of error can bring rebellion against God in a believer even while the Holy Spirit is also working in the believer. When Ahithophel understood that Absalom had refused to take his prophetically accurate advise, he set his house in order and hanged himself (See 2 Samuel 17:23). Ahithophel knew by his prophetic gift that Absalom would fail to overthrow his father King David. Ahithophel was so certain that his spiritual gift still operated accurately, even while in rebellion against God, that he decided to kill himself rather than being humiliated when King David prevailed. Therefore all who have faith in the divine Spirit for supernatural gifts ought to humbly pray that all spirits of error and deception be unmasked. For many are called but only a few are chosen. Even Caiaphas the high priest prophesied under the inspiration of the Spirit of Yahweh when the chief priests and pharisees had assembled together to discuss overthrowing the ministry of Jesus: “Then the chief priests and the pharisees gathered a council and said, What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.
And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish. Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation.” Caiaphas was clearly against the ministry of Jesus. We have no record of Caiaphas ever obeying the gospel of Jesus. Yet he himself had a gift and calling from God which operated accurately even though he himself was disobedient to God. For many are called but few are chosen! When I later studied the birth of the modern day Pentecostal movement I quickly found that all early twentieth century Pentecostal once believed in a Trinity of three divine persons but that God had enlightened many early Pentecostals who had opened their hearts in faith to another portion of the Word of God.
The majority of Pentecostals continued to accept the Trinitarian doctrine probably because the majority of new Pentecostals were taught Trinitarianism in the main line denominations they came out of. They were closed minded to receiving more revelation from God in doctrinal areas. To them, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit for Trinitarian Pentecostals was just an added blessing but their doctrinal beliefs they had held in their traditional denominations never changed. By 1916 about one quarter of the Pentecostal movement turned to Oneness Theology (more Pentecostals turned to Oneness Theology in the Southern United States than in the North) and about a third of the ministers in the Assemblies of God also turned to Oneness Theology. Oneness Pentecostals believe that God is One in His divine essence but has manifested Himself to us as Father in creation, Son in redemption, and Holy Spirit in His emanating presence. Oneness Theology is similar to Trinitariansm because Jesus is described as being both fully God and fully man.
However, Oneness Theology differs from Trinitarian Theology because Oneness exponents teach that the deity within Jesus is not a second divine person apart from the Father. Oneness adherents do not divide God up into three different divine persons because the scriptures never do so. According to Oneness Theology, Jesus is man from Mary but He is God from the Holy Spirit who came into the womb of Mary. The Holy Spirit is the same divine Spirit of the Son. This was what the majority of the earliest Christians had taught in the first two centuries before the Roman Catholic Church developed the doctrine of the Trinity. Hermas was a prophet in Rome sometime around A.D. 100 who was mentioned by the apostle Paul in Romans 16:14: “The angel of repentance, he came to me and said to me, I want to show you what the Holy Spirit which spoke with you in the form of the church, showed you; for that Spirit is the Son of God.” Jack N. Sparks (a Trinitarian), writes in his preface to his translation of the Shepherd of Hermas: “You wouldn’t call Hermas a precise theologian. His terminology in speaking of the Son and the Holy Spirit is so confusing that he seems to identify the two as the same Person.”
Moreover, the teachings of Hermas perfectly correspond to the teachings of the Bible and modern day Oneness Pentecostals. Hermas ask an angel about his vision of about a tower being built on water:
“Why is the tower (symbolic of the church) built on water? As I said to you before, you are a sly one concerning the scriptures and you seek diligently. Well, if you seek, you will find the truth. Here then why the tower is built on water: because your life has been and will be saved through water.”
The Shepherd of Hermas 11:5 / See 1 Peter 3:20,21 / Mark 16:16 The Angel further explained to Hermas:
“Did you see that the stones which were entered through the portico [doorway] were placed in the structure of the tower but the ones that did not so enter were returned to their own place? No one will enter the Kingdom of God unless he takes his holy name. For if you want to enter a city and that particular city has been walled around and has one entrance, could you possibly enter that city except by the gateway, so, a man cannot enter the Kingdom of God other than by the name of the Son . . . The portico [doorway] is the Son of God; this is the only entrance to the Lord . . . Whoever does not receive his name cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.”
The Shepherd of Hermas 89:3-8 / See John 10:1-9
The Angel further explains why the stones of the tower which symbolize the members of Christ’s Church need to be baptized into water:
“They needed, to come up through the water in order to be made alive, for otherwise they could not enter the Kingdom of God unless they set aside the deadness of their former life. So even those who had fallen asleep received the seal of the Son of God [The Name of Jesus in baptism] and entered into the Kingdom of God. For before he bears the name of the Son of God; the man is dead, and whenever he receives the seal he sets aside the deadness and receives life. So the water is the seal. Therefore they go down into the water dead and they come up alive.”
The Shepherd of Hermas 93:2-4
The well-known book entitled “The Sherpherd of Hermas” was very popular in the early second century church. It was read in most churches and even acknowledged as scripture by the majority of the Christian Churches in the early second century A.D. The book was later rejected as part of the canon of scripture by the Roman Catholic Church in the late fourth and fifth centuries A.D.
The theology of Hermas was well received and acknowledged by the two main bishops of Rome; Clement and Grapte. Church history indicates that Clement and Grapte had the Shepherd of Hermas copied and sent out to all of the major churches within the Roman Empire. Therefore, the majority of the earliest Christians who immediately succeeded the apostles believed in the essentiality of Oneness Theology and baptism into the Name of Jesus.
Clement was the Bishop of Rome around 90 - 100 A.D. Clement was also mentioned by Paul in Philippians 4:3. Clement and most of the late first century and early second century churches did not teach that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are two separate divine persons of a trinity:
“If we say that . . . the Spirit is Christ, then he who does violence to the Church does violence to Christ. Such a man will not share in the Spirit, which is the Christ. This flesh is able to receive so great a life and immortality because the Holy Spirit is closely joined to it.” 2 Clement 14:1-5
I truly believe that God is very much concerned that we as His people speak accurately concerning Him. Yet I also believe that God is very gracious to people who say they believe in a Trinity but visualize God as only One Divine Being. I believe that Trinitarianism leads to idolatry only when believers visualize God as more than one Divine Being. Many of those who profess a belief in a Trinity also baptize in the name of Jesus. I believe that God accepts baptisms performed in the Name of Jesus even if one says he believes in a Trinity as long as the person does not actually think or visualize three different divine persons. Many Pentecostals speak and think of God as One even though they maintain Trinitarian Theology on official doctrinal statements. This is why we see that most songs produced by Trinitarian Pentecostals are in perfect harmony with Oneness Theology. The most important thing to God is what we speak and think in our hearts. We must believe and visualize God as One Divine Essence, not three!
Be careful that you are not being deceived into believing that God is 3 Divine Spirit Persons of a Trinity. I challenge you to search out the scriptures a little further. Do not believe everything you have been taught without seriously studying to investigate its accuracy. A close minded know it all attitude will never assist anyone to learn more from God. We must first humble ourselves before Yahweh God before He will grant us more revelation and understanding in His Word! Please read all of our E -Books on this web site for more scriptural and historical evidence proving that the Oneness teaching is the same teaching of the original first century Apostles.