The New Testament and the Denials of Oneness Pentecostalism


Introductory Remarks


The vision of Atavist Bible Churches takes into account that there are a variety of doctrinal conflicts and systemic eschatological distortions (e.g., "the Four Views"); however, in the Christian world there now consists of more than 38,000 separate groups.[1] But, surprisingly, most Christians accept and believe in the same basics: God is three in One; Jesus was born of a virgin, he was God and for our salvation became a man; he bled and died on a Cross and was buried and arose on the third day, victorious over the grave. Most believe salvation can only be attained through Jesus' blood, not works of the Law, or acts of self-righteousness.  Christians understand that it is by grace that we have been saved and eternal life is a free gift, however, to believe that a trinitarian God is purely 'evil' distinguishes Oneness Pentecostals from the entire Christian world and deserves our concern and attention to make sense of it.

The potential for real conflict in mutual efforts comes in the form of individuals carrying unscrutinized doctrinal baggage (i.e., doctrinal hostilities) that is both demonstrably unbiblical, illogical and divisive. Calvinism[2] falls into this category as does Mariolatry[3] and the superfluous doctrine of Apostolic Succession.[4] Because these ideas can be shown to be false in the light of the Bible and because they carry the potential to destroy ideological unity, foresight demands that these be singled out and addressed in the initial stages of our efforts. Oneness theology or "Modalism" also carries that same grave danger and I would like to address it in an ongoing series of talks.

This talk is the result of over 36 years of careful reflection, many discussions and personal research on the phenomenon of the Modalistic concept of God. I have written these thoughts with the sensibilities of one who has the rock bottom truth in mind. It is penned to express what is duly observed and sincerely understood about the oversights, misrepresentations and errors of what the Oneness people teach about the God of the Bible, or how they erroneously duplicate in conversation what they suppose Christians believe about the Trinity.

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Aulus Gabinius and the Division of Judæa into Five Regions (Revised with Corrections)

Random Notes about 1st Century B.C. Judæa

Following the Roman conquest of Judea led by Pompey in 63 BCE, Aulus Gabinius, proconsul of Syria, split the former Hasmonean Kingdom into five districts of legal and religious councils known as Sanhedrin and based at Jerusalem, Jericho, Sepphoris (Galilee), Amathus (Perea) and Gadara (Perea— Al-Salt or Decapolis— Umm Qais).

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In 57 B.C. Antigonus I the Hasmonean, the son of Aristobulus II, seized power and incited the Jews to rebel against Roman dominion. The governor of Syria, Aulus Gabinius deposed him, restored Hyrcanus II as high priesta and divided Judæa into five autonomous districts Jerusalem, Jericho, Gadara, Sepphoris & Hammath. (Source:link).

Jerusalem was conquered by Cneius Pompey on the one hundred and seventy-ninth olympiad and by Herod the Great, twenty-five years later (to the day) on the one hundred and eighty-fifth olympiad.  These two disastrous takeovers happened on the 23rd of the month of Sivan, which was at the time of the Jews' annual feast of mourning for the defection and idolatry of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, "who made Israel sin" (See 1 Kings 13:33-34 and Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews 14.4.3:66 and Antiquities of the Jews 14.16.4:487).  

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We Need Fellow-Workers, Advisors and Counselors

An Effort Like This Cannot Succeed Without Your Help

A number of fascinating examples of cognitive dissonance scenarios should convince anyone paying attention that something is amiss.  As an experiment you can ask the following questions and listen to answers Christians give and see for yourself that something is not right.

You ask: Sir, Mam, did the early Christians believe Jesus was coming back in their lifetime?  The answer is usually, Yes!

You follow that question up with a second (equally intriguing) query: Sir, Mam, Does the New Testament anywhere indicate that the Second Coming was actually at hand, or near in the first century?  The answer you may get is: Yes!  They may be aware that the New Testament, in a few places, does advocate that the Second Coming was around the corner.1  

Then you ask a third question:  Do you believe the New Testament expectation of a soon-coming Second Coming of Christ materialized in the lifetime of any of the first Christians?  The answer you will normally get is: NO! or Absolutely Not! 

Now you're going to want to say something along the lines of . . . If the early Christians believed Jesus would come back in their lifetime and the New Testament itself actually advocates that belief and if the expectation of an early Second Coming did not materialize, does that mean that the ministries and part of the preaching of the Apostles is untrue (i.e., uninspired)?  How can the overall integrity of the New Testament be defended if the apocalyptic part of it is questionable and unreliable?  At this point Christians are usually willing to say that God's sense of time and man's sense of time are two completely different things (and even if Jesus comes 2 billion years from now, it'll still (technically be) 'soon.'   It may also be offered that, "No man knows the day or the hour—not even Jesus—so neither Jesus or the Apostles could have been absolutely sure of a first century Second Coming.

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