At 4:24 into Dr. Dalcour’s lecture on ‘Heis (https://youtu.be/c-tm7p94Hkc),’ Mr. Dalcour said that Oneness Pentecostals believe that “Jesus is the one person God who manifests or appears sometimes in the mode of the Father, sometimes in the mode of the Son, sometimes in the mode of the Holy Spirit”. Then Dalcour said, “And you have to decide when he is speaking as Father or Son”.
Oneness Response: Dalcour's understanding of Oneness theology is convoluted because Oneness theologians never speak like Dalcour does in his lecture on this video. Since Mr. Dalcour should have cited Oneness theologians to explain what we believe rather than making up his own definition of what we believe, I will cite some prominent Oneness Theologians to expose his error.
Oneness theologian Jason Dulle wrote that “… the duality of wills are not internal to Christ between His two natures, but external to Christ between God's two modes of existence: as God (Father), as man (Son, Jesus). There is only one divine person, but that one divine person is willing in both a divine manner (as Father) and in a human manner (as Son). In God's divine manner of existence as the Father God wills exclusively in a divine manner, while in God's human manner of existence as the Son God wills exclusively in a human manner. Christ is God's human manner of existence, and in that mode of existence God wills exclusively according to what He is; i.e. man.” (Jason Dulle’s Article, ‘How Many Wills Does Jesus Have’ - http://onenesspentecostal.com/willofchrist2.htm)
At approximately twenty three minutes and forty five seconds into David Bernard’s Debate with Robert Morey, David Bernard stated, “When we speak of Jesus conversing with the Father, it is understandable that Jesus was speaking as AN AUTHENTIC HUMAN BEING”. And at twenty three minutes and thirteen seconds into the same debate, Dr. Bernard said that the prayers of Jesus were “always in the context of A REAL HUMAN LIFE”. Then at approximately twenty four minutes and thirty seconds into the same debate, David Bernard said, “You must understand that it was as A REAL HUMAN BEING that he submitted his will to God”. (From David K. Bernard’s Debate with Robert Morey, YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/MiWZKjbeMMc)
Oneness author Dr. Daniel Segraves wrote that Jesus is God manifest in genuine and FULL HUMAN EXISTENCE: “Everything that Jesus did and said He did and said as who He was, God manifest in genuine and full human existence”. (Dr. Daniel Segraves Article, Thoughts on John 17:5, 3/23/2010 http://evidentialfaith.blogspot.com/2010/03/thoughts-on-john-175-by-dr-daniel-l.html)
Oneness theology clearly teaches that God became “a genuine human being” in the incarnation through the virgin who lived as “an authentic human being”. This explains the prayers and temptations of Jesus Christ as a true man living among men. Therefore, Oneness theologians acknowledge that Jesus Christ is both “God Almighty” as to his true divine identity and “fully man” as to his true human identity because God Himself became a man within the Hebrew virgin.
The Oneness theological position does not teach that Jesus ever prayed to the Father as the Father, as our position affirms that Jesus prayed and submitted his human will to the Father as “a real human being”. Hence, God the Father was able to operate as the unchangeable God outside of the incarnation with only one Divine will, while the child born and son given is God the Father with us as “an authentic HUMAN BEING” who prayed “in the context of A REAL HUMAN LIFE” with a real human will. Thus, we have One Divine God Person as the Father and one mediator between that God Person and all humanity, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5). For “the only true God” (John 17:3) also became “an authentic human being” as a human person because one person as one person cannot mediate or interact with himself.
Oneness theology affirms that the One God who is our Heavenly Father also became a distinct human being through His incarnation in the virgin. For when God the Father’s ‘substance of Being’ (Hypostasis in Heb. 1:3) became a man as a fully complete human being (Heb. 2:17), the new human existence of the Son was “given life in himself” (John 5:26) within the incarnation while the divine life of the Father retained His immutable “life in himself” (John 5:26) outside of the incarnation. Hence, Jesus is not God the Father with us as God the Father; He is God the Father’s new human existence living with us as “a genuine human being”. Trinitarians usually laugh and ridicule our position before taking the time to honestly examine what our position really is.
We do not believe that Jesus “sometimes spoke as the Father, and at other times spoke as the Son, and at other times spoke as the Holy Spirit”. We believe that Jesus always spoke as “God manifest in genuine and full human existence”. Dr. Daniel Segraves is a prominent Oneness author who wrote that Jesus is God manifest in genuine and FULL HUMAN EXISTENCE: “Everything that Jesus did and said He did and said as who He was, God manifest in genuine and full human existence.” (Dr. Daniel Segraves Article, Thoughts on John 17:5, 3/23/2010 http://evidentialfaith.blogspot.com/2010/03/thoughts-on-john-175-by-dr-daniel-l.html)
DR. DALCOUR'S CONVOLUTED UNDERSTANDING OF ONENESS THEOLOGY
Firstly, Oneness theologians do not start with Jesus as a Son because the Son is the man who had a beginning by his virgin conception and birth. Hence, God did not appear as a Son (a man) until the fullness of time had come. Therefore God did not “appear” or “manifest” Himself as a living Son anywhere in the Hebrew Bible (Hebrews 1:1-2).
Secondly, Oneness theologians affirm that the Father alone is “the only true God” (John 17:3) and that the Son and Spirit are manifestations of the Father Himself.
Thirdly, Dalcour confuses Oneness Theology (Modalism) with Nestorianism when he said that we have to decide when Jesus “is speaking as Father or Son”. Nestorius taught that Jesus spoke and acted as two persons within one body (Nestorianism) while Oneness (Modalism) teaches that God became a true man in the virgin who could only act and speak in his human mode of consciousness. Hence, Knowledgeable Oneness theologians know that we do not “have to decide” when Jesus is “speaking as Father or Son” because Jesus only spoke as one human person with only one human mind, one human consciousness, and one human will.
Oneness Modalism teaches that God as God is the Father who only has one divine will outside of the incarnation, while Jesus is “God with us” as a man who only has one human will inside of the incarnation. Thus, Jesus could only speak as all humans speak, through his fully complete human nature and will. Hence, God as God is the Father's omnipresent Holy Spirit outside of the incarnation who acts and speaks as God alone, whilst Jesus is God as man who is the Father's Holy Spirit inside the incarnation as a true human Son who could only act and speak as a true man (a human Son - Heb. 2:17 states that Jesus was “made fully human in every way” - NIV).
When Jesus said, “He that has seen me has seen the Father (John 14:9)” and “before Abraham was, I AM (John 8:58),” he spoke as “who He was, God manifest in genuine and full human existence (Oneness author Dr. Daniel Segraves wrote, “Everything that Jesus did and said He did and said as who He was, God manifest in genuine and full human existence”. - Dr. Daniel Segraves Article, Thoughts on John 17:5, 3/23/2010 http://evidentialfaith.blogspot.com/2010/03/thoughts-on-john-175-by-dr-daniel-l.html).”
Dr. Segraves has written fifteen books in print and is currently a professor of biblical studies at Urshan Graduate School of Theology (a UPCI endorsed Bible College – endorsed by David Bernard). Why would Dr. Segraves who teaches at the most advanced UPC Bible College say that “Everything that Jesus did and said, He did as who He was, God manifest in genuine and full human existence” if Oneness theology actually taught that Jesus “sometimes spoke as the Son” and “at other times spoke as the Father”?
The Oneness position clearly teaches that “everything” Jesus “said” was as God manifest in genuine and “full human existence” rather than as God the Father’s existence outside of the incarnation. Therefore, Mr. Dalcour’s polemic against Oneness Theology is based upon his erroneous assumption that we believe Jesus spoke as God the Father rather than our belief that “everything” Jesus said was in his “genuine and full human existence”.
None of the arguments used by Dr. Dalcour proves that “heis” (heis means “one”) supports a Trinitarian position. The Greek word for one (heis) and the Hebrew word for one (echad) mean the same thing as our English word ‘one’. It is the context of each particular passage that determines whether a singular or plural one is intended. Trinitarians cannot find a single context in scripture where God as God is spoken of as “one” as a plurality of persons. All Trinitarians can find are post incarnational examples of the Father and Son because the omnipresent Father also became a distinct man with a human “life in himself” (John 5:26). Therefore, “heis” can refer to the Father and Son as “one” (heis - John 10:30) in "union" or “purpose”, or as being “one” (heis) in “divinity” because the Father's divine person also became a human person (Heb. 1:3; Heb. 2:17).
After citing 1 Corinthians 8:6, Dr. Edward Dalcour said that God is two persons because “heis” (meaning “one”) is used twice: once for the Father and once for the Son. However, the passage only speaks of “one God” as our Father and “one Lord Jesus Christ” as a true man. Nothing in the text states that there is an alleged second divine person called a God the Son.
1 Corinthians 8:6 says that to us Christians “there is but one God the Father ... and ... but one Lord Jesus Christ”.
Interestingly, why would Paul leave out the Holy Spirit as a true God Person in such an important passage of scripture? The words, “but One God the Father” and “but one Lord Jesus Christ,” prove that there are only two persons addressed here: One Divine Person as our Heavenly Father, and one human person as a child born and son given. For God’s Divine Person also became a human person as “the brightness of his glory (the Father’s) and the express image of His Person (the Father’s Person – Heb. 1:3)”. Hence, we have God as God the Father with a Divine “life in himself” (John 5:26, “As the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son life in himself”) and Immanuel God with us as a man with a distinct human “life in himself (John 5:26). Wherefore, 1 Corinthians 8:6 says nothing at all about two alleged Divine Persons because scripture inform us that the Father has both a Divine “life in himself”, and a distinct human “life in himself” via His incarnation as a true man through the virgin.
1 Corinthians 8:6 only speaks of One God Person who also became one man person by His virgin conception and birth. For just as 1 Timothy 2:5 says that “there is One God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” so there is but One God the Father and one man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus we have only one true God the Father and only one man, the Son, because God also became a true man in the incarnation through the virgin with a distinct human “life in himself” (John 5:25; Heb. 2:17).