Prominent Oneness Theologians affirm that our One God the Father also became one man as our Lord Jesus Christ (Christ means the “anointed one”).
Oneness Theologian Dr David Bernard wrote in his article entitled, “The Mediator Between God and Men,”
“God Himself came into this world AS A HUMAN BEING.”
Dr. Bernard did not say that “God the Father came into this world as God the Father. David Bernard clearly said that God the Father came into this world AS A HUMAN BEING.” For One God Person (the Father) also came into this world as a human person (the Son).
At approximately twenty three minutes and forty five seconds into David Bernard’s Debate with Robert Morey, brother 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 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)
The following excerpts are from J. L. Hall’s article in the Pentecostal Herald (a UPCI Publication):
“Did Jesus pray to Himself? No, not when we understand that Jesus was both God and man. In His deity Jesus did not pray, for God does not need to pray to anyone. As a man, Jesus prayed to God, not to his humanity. He did not pray to Himself as humanity, but to the one true God, to the same God who dwelled in His humanity and who also inhabits the universe.”
Brother Hall went onto write in the same publication, “Biblical facts reveal that Jesus lived as an authentic human being, that He did not merely assume the appearance of flesh (1). Therefore we should not be surprised that He prayed to God, seeking strength, guidance, and assurance. Moreover, we should not be surprised that Jesus had a will distinct from God (2), that He was truly human in spirit and soul, that He possessed a self-awareness of His humanity. Jesus' prayers to God the Father came from His human life, from the Incarnation. His prayers were not those of one divine person to another divine person of God, but those of an authentic human praying to the one true God. Prayer is based on an inferior being in supplication before a superior being. If the one praying is equal in power and authority to the one to whom he is praying, there is no genuine prayer.” (Did Jesus Pray to Himself? Article from the July Pentecostal Herald, UPCI Publication, by J. L. Hall)
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.
Oneness author Talmadge French affirmed that God became a man in the incarnation through the virgin. At 9:40 into Dr Talmadge French’s lecture on “Oneness Pentecostalism in Global Perspective,” Dr Talmadge French said, “How did God become a man and yet remain God? How is God the Father, Son, and Spirit and yet One God? It is an awesome revelation.” (Dr. Talmadge French’s lecture, Oneness Pentecostalism in Global Perspective / YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/Ag4taz7GRS8).
William Chalfant is a respected Oneness author who wrote the following in A Critique of “Bible Writers” Theology: “If Jesus Christ is not God Almighty (God the Father) then He is not able to save us (but He is). On the other hand, if Jesus of Nazareth is not the true Son of Mary, and a genuine human being, descended from David and Abraham, then He cannot be our Redeemer and our sacrifice for sins. To deny His wonderful divinity (as God the Father) is to rob Him of His rightful glory. On the other hand, to deny His genuine humanity is to rob us of our blood sacrifice, who hung in our place on the old rugged cross. If He is not one of us, then we do not have a true Mediator. 1 Timothy 2.5 states, ‘For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man (anthropos) Christ Jesus’. If He was not true anthropos and true God, then our faith is in vain. But it is not in vain, because He stood in my place.”
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)
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 mode 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.
Trinitarian Apologists Often Distort Oneness Theology
Trinitarian apologist Steve Anderson ridicules Oneness Pentecostal theology by showing the distinction between the Father’s divine will and the Son’s distinct human will. Yet Pastor Steve Anderson’s comments only support Oneness Theology as we believe that God the Father became a true human being in the incarnation through the virgin with a distinct human will.
Pastor Steven Anderson’s own words show that he has a distorted view about Oneness Pentecostal Theology. He believes that we are affirming that Jesus Chris is God the Father incarnate with us as God the Father rather than “God (the Father) Himself who came into this world AS A HUMAN BEING” (David K. Bernard’s Article, “The Mediator Between God And Men”).
The Trinitarian position that One God Person’s will could possibly oppose another God Person’s will and that One God Person could eternally subordinate Himself to another God Person in a “chain of command” contradicts the words of inspired scripture. For no Trinitarian can cite a single Bible verse to show that God as God has more than one Divine Will or that God as God has a chain of command among 3 alleged coequally distinct Divine Persons.
Knowledgeable Oneness Theologians do not affirm that Jesus as a Son is literally God the Father with us as the Father because the scriptures teach that God the Father became a man in the incarnation through the virgin as a genuine human being (a human son). Therefore, Jesus as a Son is not literally God the Father with us AS GOD THE FATHER, but rather, God the Father with us as a genuine human being.
Knowledgeable Oneness theologians do not start with Jesus as a Son because the Son is the man who had his 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).
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.
Some Trinitarian apologists like Dr Edward Dalcour and Mr Luis Reyes often confuse Oneness Theology (Modalism) with Nestorianism when they allege 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. Hence, God as God is the Father's omnipresent Holy Spirit outside of the incarnation and God as man is the Father's Holy Spirit inside the incarnation as a true human Son (Heb. 2:17).
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 the common Trinitarian polemic against Oneness Theology is based upon the 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.”
While many Oneness believers may say that Jesus spoke as two persons in one body (Nestorianism), this is not the true scriptural or historic position of Oneness Modalism.