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Title:False Doctrine of Modalism: As taught by the United Pentecostal church
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Modalism: As taught by the United Pentecostal Church (UPCI)

Click to View See also: "Sixty Questions On The Godhead" refuted

A False View of God:

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Definition: Think of a being that can "morphe", "shape shifter" from one form into another. There is only one being at any one time. Modalism views God as a being that has three different forms. Sometimes God exists in the "form" the "Father", sometimes the "Son", sometime the "Holy Spirit", BUT NEVER ALL THREE AT THE SAME TIME. The essential difference between Modalism and the Biblical trinity, is that in Modalism, the three members of the Godhood never exist at the same time and in Trinity, they always co-exist at the same time. Hence Modalism is defined in relation to Trinity as "Trinity where only one person of the Godhead exist at any one time" If the three modes of God are able to co-exist AT THE SAME TIME, then there is no essential difference with Modalism and Trinity doctrine.

Now some Modalists, will disagree with our definition pointing to the fact that all three modes did indeed manifest themselves a the baptism of Jesus. Modalists do not consider such triadic manifestations as normal but exceptions. Modalists do, however, openly admit that the "role/mode" of the "Son" did not exist before the incarnation and it will cease at the second coming as per 1 Cor. 15:23-28. Modalists do teach that generally, God took the role of Father in the OT, the Son during Jesus life on earth, and the Holy Spirit during the "church age". We merely ask Modalist one question to prove the point: "Who was Jesus praying to?" Modalism, therefore, not only contradicts the Bible, it assaults common sense by destroying the utterly obvious distinction in persons between the Father and the Son.

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Modalism:

(Modalistic monarchianism) Click to View Monotheism Click to View The Son is not divine, but a created being with both beginning and end. Click to View Holy Spirit is a person, but it seems they view the Holy Spirit is just the power of God rather than God himself. Click to View They view God as one in number rather than one in unity Click to View They wrongly view God as having 1 personality rather than three Click to View They believe that God changes forms or modes Click to View They wrongly view "God" as a name rather than a designation for a class of being.

Visual illustrations of Modalism:

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Illustration

Explanation

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God takes on three modes or roles. They appear to be three different men, but in fact they are the same man wearing different names and clothes only but inside it is the same man! A single man can be a cop, a construction worker and a judge!

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Click to View Just like H2O can be water, vapour or ice and be the identical substance, so too with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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Egg illustration: Whereas, Trinity views God either as one egg with three parts (white, yolk and shell) or as three separate eggs, Modalists view God as one whole egg with three different names at different times.

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The various names of Modalism

Overview of Modalist Terms

Modalists (UPC) Contradict themselves!

Understanding and Defining Modalism

The Modes of Modalism over time

History of Modalism

Refuting Modalism:

Two Spirits in one body of Jesus.

Red and Blue letter Bibles!

Who was Jesus praying to?

Jesus had eternal pre-existence

Father sent the pre-existent Son

How could Jesus go to be with the Father? He would change "modes" and become the Father!

one office of a Person cannot go to be with another office of that Person

Who is on the throne?

Son on earth, Father in heaven

Son does what he sees Father doing

No man knows the day, even the son!

Son Sent of the Father

The Son is with the Father

Two Witnesses

Plural use

Conversations Between Persons In The Godhead?

Another Comforter

Are Jesus And The Father One In Purpose Only?

Click to View The various names of Modalism

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Modalism

After the three modes or offices which it claimed the one Person of the Trinity occupied. Think of God as a "shape shifter" that can change His form into three different shapes or modes!

Sabellianism

After its founder, Sabellius, a third century priest in Rome whom we discuss more in the history section of this document.

UPC

UPC is an abbreviation for "UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH" and is used throughout this document. The UPC is the only major denomination known to bear the torch of Sabellius' 3rd century doctrine. So Modalism is primarily a discussion solely about the United Pentecostal church.

Generally most reference to UPC are from, "The Oneness Of God", David K. Bernard, 1956, ISBN 0-912315-12-1

Modalistic monarchianism

Refers to the "ism" {belief} of "mono" {one} "arch" {ruler} in various modes or manifestations.

Patripassianism

After its claim that the Person of the Father (Patri-) suffered (-passion) on the cross when Jesus died.

Click to View Introductory overview of Modalism

Modalism is an ancient heresy on the nature of God dating back to the 3rd century. Today, the United Pentecostal Church (UPC) is the sole proponent of this heresy. The United Pentecostal Church has a reputation of forcing its members into blindly towing the "party line" under the threat of disfellowship, do not allow their members the freedom of independent thinking. You will find trying to teach a UPC the error of Modalism to be as unfruitful as trying to teach a Jehovah's Witness the truth about blood transfusions. Both these groups believe their doctrines are directly confirmed to be true by the Holy Spirit and are totally closed minded and blind to truth!

Like all false doctrine, it must invent wild and ridiculous "companion doctrines" to explain the main false doctrine. Just as Catholics have invented the companion doctrine of the "immaculate conception of Mary" in order to explain how Jesus did not inherit the sin of Adam (inherited sin = Total Depravity, "T" in TULIP of Calvinism) so also the UPC (United Pentecostal Church) has invented the companion doctrine that Jesus was a man with two distinct spirits inhabiting his one fleshly body. In order to explain away the most obvious distinction in the three members of the God (trinity) they invent one of the most unbiblical and just plain silly doctrines known on earth, namely that Jesus had two spirits: 1. the eternal divine spirit of God 2. the human spirit of a man. Kind of like a split personality in one body. Hence when Jesus was praying, it was the human spirit praying to the Divine spirit IN THE SAME BODY! He was basically praying to himself!

Two of the most heretical aspects of Modalism is first, that Jesus Christ had no pre-existence before his incarnation. They take the identical "logos-theology" view that the Christadelphians teach! And second, that the divine spirit left the human spirit at the cross and that ONLY HUMAN BLOOD was shed for man, God really didn't die for man. A mere human died for man!

The error of modalistic monarchianism is in blindly focusing on the ONENESS of God passages, holding to a strict undefendable definition of oneness to the exclusion of the mass of Biblical proof of the distinction of God. United Pentecostals, like Sabellius focus solely on the oneness passages (Deut 6:4 & Jn 10:38) to the exclusion of the wealth of scripture that shows the oneness of God is best understood in terms of unity rather than a specific number!.

"His central proposition was to the effect that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the same person, three names thus being attached to one and the same being. What weighed most with Sabellius was the monotheistic [oneness passages] interest." ("Sabellius," Encyclopedia Britannica, XIX, 791.)

The Bible evidence is stacked AGAINST Modalists at about 20 to 1! The reason United Pentecostals continue to hold to the ridiculous doctrine of Modalism, is because they are deluded into thinking that the Holy Spirit is performing manifestations like tongues and modern day prophecy. Indeed! They believe that unless the Holy Spirit has made each one of them speak in tongues, THEY ARE NOT SAVED! So the prophetic word of the pastors affirming that Modalism is correct, overrides the obvious falseness of the doctrine of Modalism! They are swayed more by what their "spirit-filled preacher" says than the word of God! "How can we be wrong, when we have the Holy Spirit guiding us?" they reason. Of course Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and 7th day Adventists make the same claims of the Holy Spirit's guiding them! The Bible says they are wrong!

In the end, Modalists (United Pentecostal Church) are hardened ANTI-TRINITARIANS and enemies of truth. They are theologically close kin to Jehovah's Witnesses and Christadelphians often using the identical arguments to defeat "Trinitarians". After the second coming, all three of these groups have the identical view of God and Christ namely, they have the "one true God" and a human (who did not exist before the incarnation) named Jesus Christ co-existing for all future eternity.

Modalists teach: "We must remember that the Son is not the same as the Father. The title Father never alludes to humanity, while Son does. Although Jesus is both Father and Son, we cannot say the Father is the Son." UPC. So Modalists make a clear distinction between Father and Son, just like Trinitarians and Arians do. They have created a doctrine with false distinctions within the being of Jesus. (two spirits in one body)

The Son was sent from God as a man, not as God: "God sent forth his Son, made of a woman" (Galatians 4:4)." UPC

Click to View Modalist Terms for God

Term

Actual UPC Modalist Statements Generally most reference to UPC are from, "The Oneness Of God", David K. Bernard, 1956, ISBN 0-912315-12-1

Our commentary

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The Father

"We must remember that the Son is not the same as the Father. The title Father never alludes to humanity, while Son does. Although Jesus is both Father and Son, we cannot say the Father is the Son." UPC

To Modalists, Father always refers to God, in the mode of Father

Jesus Christ

"Jesus is both Father (divine) and Son (Human)" UPC

"one can speak of the pre-existent Christ since the Spirit of Christ is God Himself. UPC

"When we see a plural (especially a duality) used in reference to Jesus, we must think of the humanity and deity of Jesus Christ. There is a real duality, but it is a distinction between Spirit and flesh, not a distinction of persons in God." UPC

"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 a man, but He prayed to God, to the same God who dwelled in His humanity and who also inhabits the universe." UPC

"Jesus' prayers to God the Father came from His human life, from the Incarnation. His prayers were not those of one divine person of God praying to another divine person of God, but those of an authentic human praying to the one true God. Prayer is based on an inferior person praying to a superior being." UPC

"This was not a struggle between two divine wills, but a struggle between the human and divine wills in Jesus." ... "Some may object to this explanation, contending that it means Jesus prayed to Himself. However, we must realize that, unlike any other human being, Jesus had two perfect and complete natures - humanity and divinity. What would be absurd or impossible for an ordinary man is not so strange with Jesus. We do not say Jesus prayed to Himself, for that incorrectly implies Jesus had only one nature like ordinary men. Rather, we say the human nature of Jesus prayed to the divine Spirit of Jesus that dwelt in the man." UPC

"God did not die on the cross, nor did a divine eternal person offer blood from a divine eternal body. As the Son of God Jesus offered His own human body and His own earthly blood to God." UPC

To Modalists, the terms Jesus or Christ refer to both the human spirit and the divine Spirit in the one body of Jesus as He walked the earth. They view Jesus as "authentic human praying to the one true God" and say there was a "struggle between the human and divine wills in Jesus". They try to hide this belief by saying that the distinction in Jesus was between the Spirit and the flesh. To say the distinction is between spirit and flesh is misleading because flesh cannot pray or talk or think. The real distinction for Modalists, is between two intelligent spirits/wills. They cannot escape the fact that they must view Jesus as having two spirits/wills in one body. To say the distinction is merely between spirit and flesh is as ridiculous as a person walking around calling himself "we" in reference to his human spirit and body. They prove they believe Jesus had two spirits when they admit a: "struggle between the human and divine wills in Jesus" Will cannot equal flesh in this equation!

The Son, Son of Man, Son of God

"The title Father never alludes to humanity, while Son does." UPC

"The Son was sent from God as a man, not as God, Gal 4:4." UPC

"God did not die on the cross, nor did a divine eternal person offer blood from a divine eternal body. As the Son of God Jesus offered His own human body and His own earthly blood to God." UPC

"The term Son refers to the Incarnation. This means that the Son is not an eternal nature, but a mode of God's activity made especially for the purpose of salvation of mankind. There is no pre-existent Son" UPC

The humanity of Jesus did not exist before the Incarnation, except as a plan in the mind of God.

We cannot say the Son pre-existed the Incarnation in any substantial sense.

The plan of the future Sonship existed with God from the beginning - as an idea in the mind of God.

All of these passages describe the distinction between Jesus as a man (Son) and Jesus as God (Father).

"of that day no man knows... neither the Son, but the Father" (Mark 13:32). Again, the humanity of Jesus did not know all things, but the Spirit of Jesus did." UPC

"it does indicate a distinction between the deity (Father) and humanity (Son) of Jesus Christ. The Son, who is visible, revealed the Father, who is invisible."

"In the end, that flesh will have completed its purpose. The Son will be submerged in God's plan so that God may be all in all (I Corinthians 15:28)." UPC

To Modalists, the term, "son of God", Always refers to human spirit of Jesus that had no pre-existence before his incarnation into Mary. Imagine that! They view the Son of God, our saviour as just a man who had no more pre-existence before his birth than us! They in fact take the identical position on the pre-existence of God, the Son, as Christadelphians! Notice at the end, they even admit that the "Son of God" will cease to exist after the resurrection for all eternity! We want to know what happened to the human spirit of the Son??? The United Pentecostal churches view of the Son of God is complete heresy! In Acts 7:56 Stephen said after seeing a vision, "Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." Obviously, Stephen saw TWO beings!

Logos Word

(Jn 1:1,14)

"How do we explain the use of the word with in John 1:1-2 and I John 1:2? John 1:1 says the Word was with God, but then goes on to say the Word was God. The Word is the thought, plan, or expression in the mind of God. That is how the Word could be with God and at the same time be God Himself." UPC

"The Logos is seen as referring to God's activity. Jesus is therefore the Word or activity of the Father clothed in flesh." UPC

"So, both the terms Logos and Holy Spirit refer to God Himself, in specific modes of activity." UPC

John 1:1, 14 is a good summary of the teaching on the pre-existence of Jesus: In other words, Jesus existed from all eternity as God. The plan of the future Sonship existed with God from the beginning - as an idea in the mind of God. Ultimately, this Word became flesh - as the extension of God the Father in human form."

John 1:1 The Word is the thought, plan, or expression in the mind of God.

"We should also note that I John 1:2 does not indicate that the Son was with God in eternity. Rather, it states that eternal life was with the Father." UPC

Modalists view Jesus as the SON in an identical way they view Jesus as the LOGOS/WORD in Jn 1:1. No pre-existence, just a thought in the mind of God! They take the identical position that Christadelphians take on the Logos passages and it is heresy!

The Holy Spirit

"The Holy Spirit is not a separate being any more than the Logos. The term Holy Spirit describes what God is, and refers to God's power and action in the world." UPC

"So, both the terms Logos and Holy Spirit refer to God Himself, in specific modes of activity." UPC

"It is clear from the context that the Holy Ghost is simply Jesus in another form or manifestation. In other words, "another Comforter" means Jesus in the Spirit as opposed to Jesus in the flesh. UPC

This is identical to what Arians like Jehovah's Witnesses and Christadelphians say about the Holy Spirit! The Holy is not a personal being, but the mere power of God, like electricity is a non-personal power! Notice that say it "describes what God is", rather than names God Himself!

So where did Jesus go when the Holy Spirit came? Did Jesus cease to exist? Or are Modalists forced to admit that two modes of God can operate at the same time, basically throwing the foundation of Modalism into chaos and contradiction?

Click to View Modalists (UPC) Contradict themselves! Generally most reference to UPC are from, "The Oneness Of God", David K. Bernard, 1956, ISBN 0-912315-12-1

UPC Statement #1 on the Son

UPC Statement #2 on the Son

Click to View "This is called the indiscernibility of identicals. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are identical, except for the name! Modalistic monarchianism can be defined as the belief that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are manifestations of the one God with no distinctions of person being possible." UPC

Click to View "We must remember that the Son is not the same as the Father. The title Father never alludes to humanity, while Son does. Although Jesus is both Father and Son, we cannot say the Father is the Son." UPC

Don't try to figure this out. United Pentecostals can't even figure it out! False doctrine is always contradictory within itself!

Click to View Understanding and Defining Modalism:

Modalism defined from the mouth of a Modalist:

Modalism defined and rephrased in our words:

Click to View "When we see a plural (especially a duality) used in reference to Jesus, we must think of the humanity and deity of Jesus Christ. There is a real duality, but it is a distinction between Spirit and flesh, not a distinction of persons in God." UPC

Modalists teach that Jesus was a being with a single human body that was inhabited by two different Spirits/wills. One was the Spirit of God, the other was an ordinary human spirit. To say the distinction is between spirit and flesh is misleading because flesh cannot pray or talk or think. The body without the spirit is dead. Jas 2. The real distinction for Modalists, is between two intelligent spirits/wills. They cannot escape the fact that they must view Jesus as having two spirits/wills in one body. To say the distinction is merely between spirit and flesh is as ridiculous as a person walking around calling himself "we" in reference to his human spirit and body.

Click to View "When we read a difficult passage relative to Jesus, we should ask if it describes Him in His role as God or in His role as man, or both. Does He speak as God or as man in this instance? Remember that Jesus has a dual nature like no one else ever has had." UPC

Click to View "When we see a plural in relation to God, we must view it as a plurality of roles or relationships to mankind, not a plurality of persons." UPC

Just as ONE man can be called by different people, a "husband", a "son" and a "father", so too the one God can be called the "Father", "Son" & "Holy Spirit".

Click to View Historically, Sabellius described his teaching of Modalism in the following ways. The one sun has roundness, heat, and light; but there is only one sun. The one man has body, soul, and spirit; but there is only one person. So God might manifest himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but still be only one person. UPC

Sabellius own illustrations are clear enough to convey the message of this false teaching, we will refute it below.

Click to View "God did not die on the cross, nor did a divine eternal person offer blood from a divine eternal body. As the Son of God Jesus offered His own human body and His own earthly blood to God." UPC

Amazingly, Modalists deny the divine sacrifice of Christ! They divide Jesus up onto human and divine and only the human part died on the cross. Hence it was human not divine blood that saves us!

Click to View "We are not to suppose, however, that the human Jesus was not different from other people, for only He was born by the Holy Ghost. God was His immediate Father. He is rightfully called the "only begotten of the Father:' His miraculous birth meant that His humanity was not tainted with the inherited sinful nature of the Fall, and through Him God could reveal Himself to us in redemptive love." UPC

Modalists, being Calvinists, believe in the false doctrine of Total Hereditary Depravity of man (all men inherit the guilt of sin of Adam). One of the theological problems with Depravity is trying to explain how this Depravity was not transmitted to Jesus. Catholics invented the false doctrine of the Immaculate conception of Mary to over come the problem. Modalists invented the false doctrine of the duel spirits of Jesus in one human body. (Jesus had 1. a human spirit. 2. a divine spirit. 3. a human body)

Click to View If two things have every property in common, then they are one thing (e.g., Norma Jean Baker and Marilyn Monroe, Casius Clay and Muhammed Ali). But if there is only one property that is not the same, then they are separate persons. This is called the indiscernibility of identicals. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are identical, except for the name! Modalistic monarchianism can be defined as the belief that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are manifestations of the one God with no distinctions of person being possible. Furthermore, the one God is expressed fully in the person of Jesus Christ.UPC

As we will clearly see below, the Father Son and Holy Spirit are different in many ways more than just in name!

Further this contadicts other statements UPC's make about the Son. They also teach: Click to View "We must remember that the Son is not the same as the Father. The title Father never alludes to humanity, while Son does. Although Jesus is both Father and Son, we cannot say the Father is the Son." UPC

So in one breath, Modalists claim the Son is identical to Father, in another they say he is different!

Click to View The Modes of Modalism over time:

Modalism is a complicated and confusing doctrine full of contradictions with both the Bible and itself. We have tried to piece together the "Modes of Modalism". Here is how Modalism sees God at different time periods

Modalist view

Our comments:

Before incarnation

God exists as in the mode of the father. The mode of the Son of God and the mode of the Holy Spirit does not exist except as a thought in God's mind.

As you can see, Modalism and Arianism are closely related. Both deny the actual eternal co-existence of the Son of God and the Holy Spirit.

Incarnation

The Father sends himself only now he calls himself also the Son.

100% of the language of the incarnation is that there are two distinct beings involved. Only a Modalist with his complicated theories could get it wrong!

30 years of Jesus on earth

Jesus walks around as a "two willed" being. One will of God and the other the will of an ordinary man.

Jesus Christ as the mode of the Son, comes into existence. Jesus is a comprised of the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of a man in one body.

At Ascension

Jesus going to be with the Father and sends Himself back as the Mode of the Holy Spirit back to earth.

The problems created by Jesus going to heaven and asking the Father to send the Holy Spirit back to earth while Jesus remains at the right hand of God are just too much for even the best Modalist to make any real sense of!

Now in heaven

Jesus is at the Right Hand Of Himself. Acts 7:55, Stephen looked up into heaven while being stoned to death and "saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God." God does not literally have hands. This is obviously figurative. Jesus "sat down" on the right hand of God (as in Hebrews 10:12) instead of simply saying He is at the right hand of God (as in Romans 8:34) UPC

Of course this is figurative, but God still conveyed to Stephen in the vision the figure of two separate beings! Is the Holy Spirit guilty of irresponsibly leading us to this natural human conclusion? Hypocritically, first they accuse others of taking the vision too literally. Then they split literal hairs over "on the right hand" vs. "at the right hand". In fact the Greek is identical in these two verses (Heb 10:12 & Rom 8:34) and only illustrates one of many translating inconsistencies in the KJV. Modern translations all translate it the same way. But of course the UPC also views the KJV as the only true Bible on earth today!

After 2nd coming for all eternity

"In the end, that flesh will have completed its purpose. The Son will be submerged in God's plan so that God may be all in all (I Cor 15:28)." UPC

Unlike Arians, Modalists actually destroy the Son of God once and for all after Judgement! "Submerged into God's plan" means the "Son" will go back to being just a thought in the mind of God as he was before his incarnation! In other words, the Son had both beginning and END! What heresy!

Click to View History of Modalism:

Modalist false account of History:

Truthful Historical record:

Click to View "We should remember that the New Testament writers had no conception of the doctrine of the trinity, which was still far in the future at the time they wrote Scripture. They came from a strict monotheistic Jewish background. To the Early Church, who had no concept of the future doctrine of the trinity, these same passages were very normal, ordinary, and readily understandable in their perception of the mighty God in Christ. To them there was no thought of contradicting strict monotheism and the deity of Jesus." UPC

Modalism was unknown until the third century, when a priest in Rome named, Sabellius began to teach this new doctrine. Modalism and Sabellianism are synonymous terms used to describe this false doctrine on the nature of God. To state early Christians didn't believe in the "trinity" is to assume the point to be proved! In fact Modalism, is historically unrecorded until it made its first debut through Sabellius. The concept of trinity is clearly seen in many of the early writings of uninspired Christians. We have documented 84 historical quotes at: www.bible.ca\H-trinity.htm proving that Modalists (UPC) deliberately mislead their members into believing a falsified historical record!

True History of Modalism:

We get much of our information on the Modalists from Tertullian (died c. 225), who wrote a treatise against Praxeas.

The early Christians were quick to spot new heresies. In the third century, Sabellius, a Libyan priest staying at Rome, invented a new one. He claimed there is only one Person in the Godhead, so that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all one Person with different "offices," rather than three Persons who are one Being in the Godhead, as the orthodox position holds. Of course, people immediately recognized that Sabellius's teaching contradicted the historic faith of the Church, and he was quickly excommunicated. His heresy became known as Sabellianism, Modalism, and Patripassianism. It was called Sabellianism after its founder, Modalism after the three modes or offices which it claimed the one Person of the Trinity occupied, and Patripassianism after its claim that the Person of the Father (Patri-) suffered (-passion) on the cross when Jesus died.

Cyprian coined for these modalistic monarchians the nickname "Patripassians" (the teaching that the father suffered, along with the son on the cross). The first prominent advocate of patripassianism was Praxeas (190 a.d.). True, he would not be understood as speaking directly of a suffering (pati) of the father, but only of a sympathy (copati). He conceived the relation of the father to the son as like that of the spirit to the flesh. (the controversy regarding patripassianism seems somewhat obscured at this late date. Cyprian and others claimed these Modalists were Patripassians); Sabellius denied that he was a Patripassian. (Schaff admits that the Patripassians did not mean a real suffering but only a sympathy. Would any Trinitarian claim that God the father had no sympathy with his own son as he hung upon the cross? The Modalists never used the term of themselves.)

The doctrine of the trinity ("as in Augustine") accepted the implied equality of the father and son of monarchianism instead of the logos- christology theory of subordination of the son to the father, of Tertullian -- and even Athanasius, whose name is associated with the original Nicean creed of the trinity!

Montanism was an apocalyptic and prophetic movement within Christianity that started around the late second century. Called the "Phrygian heresy" it was named after its first prophet Montanus, who was accompanied by prophetesses, Priscilla and Maximimilla. Montanists followed a very strict discipline, which sometimes included seeking martyrdom. They believed that they were under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit. Although they treasured the Gospel of John, Montanism tended to undermine traditional authorities such as Holy Scripture and the office of the bishop. Because of this, a controversy broke out, and a series of synods was held. The movement spread far beyond Asia Minor, reaching Rome where Bishop Eleutherus excommunicated the Montanists. Tertullian became one of its most famous converts around 207-208. Most of the Montanist writings have been destroyed. Montanism sought a forced continuance of the miraculous gifts of the apostolic church, which gradually disappeared as Christianity became settled in humanity. Not surprising that it is the United PENTECOSTAL Church that today carries both the tradition of 4th century modalism and an unscriptural continuance of first century charismatic gifts, like tongues, for today. Scholars have traced Phrygian syncretism from the third century b.c. to the Christian movement called Montanism in the second century a.d. Its ascetic features are mentioned in 2:16, 18, 21-23: "food," "drink" (2:16); "self-abasement" (2:18); "do not handle, do not taste, do not touch" (2:21); and "rigor of devotion, self-abasement, severity to the body" (2:23). (United Pentecostals today carry on this ascetic tradition by forbidding women to wear pant, make-up, jewelry etc.) Moreover, asceticism is combined not only with "mystery" elements but also with other kinds of observance: "angel worship" (2:18); "visions" (2:18); "festival" (2:16); "new moon" (2:16); and "Sabbath" (2:16). Montanists, since the second century, have held heretical views of the Holy Spirit. Today they legitimize the excesses in "new" mystical experiences, as well as the ecstatic false-prophetic happenings often attributed to the Spirit of God. All modern Pentecostal/charismatic churches trace their philosophical roots back to Montanism.

Later historians, taking Tertullian's argent as truth, have labeled the Modalist doctrine as Patripassianism. However, Praxeas explained that while Jesus was the Father incarnate, Jesus died only as to His humanity, as the Son. Sabellius evidently answered the charge of Patripassianism in a similar way. The whole issue can easily be resolved by realizing that modalism did not teach, as Tertullian assumed, that the Father is the Son, but rather that the Father is in the Son. As Commodian said, "The Father went into the Son, one God everywhere." Similarly, Sabellius explained that the Logos was not the Son but was clothed by the Son. Other modalists in response to the charge explained that the Son suffered, while the Father sympathized or "suffered with." By this they meant the Son, the man Jesus, suffered and died The Father, the Spirit of God within Jesus, could not have suffered or died in any physical sense but yet He must have been affected by or have participated in the suffering of the flesh. Accordingly, Zephyrinus said, "I know only one God, Christ Jesus, and apart from Him no other who was born or could suffer... It was not the Father who died but the Son." From these statements, it seems clear that the modalists held that the Father was not flesh but was clothed or manifested in the flesh. The flesh died but the eternal Spirit did not. Therefore, Patripassianism is a misleading and inaccurate term to use for modalistic monarchianism. Modern United Pentecostals are not Patripassians because they believe that only the human spirit of Jesus died on the cross, hence no divine blood was shed for our sins! Such is utter heresy!

Basically, then, modalistic monarchianism taught that God has no distinction of number but of name or mode only. The term Son refers to the Incarnation. This means that the Son is not an eternal nature, but a mode of God's activity made especially for the purpose of salvation of mankind. There is no pre-existent Son, but one can speak of the pre-existent Christ since the Spirit of Christ is God Himself. The Logos is seen as referring to God's activity. Jesus is therefore the Word or activity of the Father clothed in flesh. The Holy Spirit is not a separate being any more than the Logos. The term Holy Spirit describes what God is, and refers to God's power and action in the world. So, both the terms Logos and Holy Spirit refer to God Himself, in specific modes of activity.

The most prominent modalist leaders were Noetus of Smyrna, Praxeas, and Sabellius. Noetus was Praxeas' teacher in Asia Minor, Praxeas preached in Rome about 190, and Sabellius preached in Rome about 215. (Heick, I, 150) Since Sabellius was the best known modalist, historians often call the doctrine Sabellianism. Sabellius, like modern UPC Modalists, focused solely on the oneness passages (Deut 6:4 & Jn 10:38) to the exclusion of the wealth of scripture that shows the oneness of God is best understood in terms of unity rather than a specific number! He said that God revealed Himself as Father in creation, Son in incarnation, and Holy Ghost in regeneration and sanctification. Some interpret this to mean that he believed these three manifestations were strictly successive in time.

Click to View Refuting Modalism: Two Spirits in one body of Jesus. Generally most reference to UPC are from, "The Oneness Of God", David K. Bernard, 1956, ISBN 0-912315-12-1

Click to View "When we see a plural (especially a duality) used in reference to Jesus, we must think of the humanity and deity of Jesus Christ. There is a real duality, but it is a distinction between Spirit and flesh" UPC

Modalists teach that Jesus was a being with a single human body that was inhabited by two different Spirits/wills. One was the Spirit of God, the other was an ordinary human spirit. To say the distinction is between spirit and flesh is misleading because flesh cannot pray or talk or think. The body without the spirit is dead. Jas 2. The real distinction for Modalists, is between two intelligent spirits/wills. They cannot escape the fact that they must view Jesus as having two spirits/wills in one body. To say the distinction is merely between spirit and flesh is as ridiculous as a person walking around calling himself "we" in reference to his human spirit and body.

Modalism must invent a complicated series of additional doctrines in order to explain many Bible passages away. The best example of one of these invented doctrines is that Modalists believe that Jesus had two spirits (one divine + one human) in one human body. (An interesting sort of "Trinity"!) For example, Modalists teach that it was the human spirit of Jesus that prayed to the Divine Spirit within the one body. So you have Jesus PRAYING TO HIMSELF! Imagine a person who is inhabited by two different spirits in one body that can talk to each other, you are beginning to understand how ridiculous Modalism really is!

To Modalists, the nature of Jesus identical to the nature of a demon possessed man!

A demon is an ordinary man (a human body with a human spirit) that is inhabited by a second supernatural evil spirit. To Modalists, Jesus was a man (a human body with a human spirit) that was inhabited by a second supernatural Divine Spirit! We would love to hear Modalists explain John 8:48 when Jesus was accused of actually having a demon! Perhaps the Jews weren't far off the truth after all!

It is important here to understand that Modalists teach that the human spirit of Jesus that did not pre-exist the incarnation, and that the divine Spirit in Jesus was of the one true almighty God! Any weakness or human desire originated from the human/Jesus, like, "I thirst or hunger".

Red and Blue letter Bibles!

We have a proposal! Since Modalists believe that sometimes Jesus spoke as God and sometimes as a man, (a body inhabited with two spirits), we should identify in the Bible when God/Jesus spoke and human/Jesus spoke.

When God/Jesus speaks, we colour the text in the Bible RED!

When human/Jesus speaks, we colour the text in the Bible BLUE!

Here are a few examples:

The text of any prayers of Jesus, Modalists are forced to accept as originating from the human spirit of Jesus, these we would colour BLUE!

"Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit." Lk 23:46

Statements like this would only originate from the human spirit of Jesus! They would be coloured in BLUE!

"I thirst." Jesus said on the cross

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." Mt 24:36

"the Father is greater than I" Jn 14:28

Statements like this would only originate from the divine spirit of Jesus! They would be coloured in RED!

"Your sins have been forgiven." Luke 7:48

"Hush, be still." Mk 4:39 when Jesus calmed the sea

"Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" Mk 5:8

Click to View Refuting Modalism: Who was Jesus praying to? Generally most reference to UPC are from, "The Oneness Of God", David K. Bernard, 1956, ISBN 0-912315-12-1

In the words of the UPC church:

In our words:

Click to View "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 a man, but He prayed to God, to the same God who dwelled in His humanity and who also inhabits the universe." UPC

NO? This is double-talk! Modalism says that Jesus was praying to Himself, kind of... Actually they believe that Jesus had two spirits dwelling in His body. A human spirit that did not pre-exist the incarnation, and the one divine Spirit of the one true almighty God. They openly teach that it was the human spirit that was praying to the divine Spirit. So Jesus was a kind of "split personality" talking to himself!

Click to View "Jesus' prayers to God the Father came from His human life, from the Incarnation. His prayers were not those of one divine person of God praying to another divine person of God, but those of an authentic human praying to the one true God. Prayer is based on an inferior person praying to a superior being." UPC

So there you have it from a Modalists own mouth! The inferior human spirit of Jesus that did not exist before conception praying to the Eternal Spirit of almighty God! Two spirits in one body talking to each other!

Click to View "This was not a struggle between two divine wills, but a struggle between the human and divine wills in Jesus." ... "Some may object to this explanation, contending that it means Jesus prayed to Himself. However, we must realize that, unlike any other human being, Jesus had two perfect and complete natures - humanity and divinity. What would be absurd or impossible for an ordinary man is not so strange with Jesus. We do not say Jesus prayed to Himself, for that incorrectly implies Jesus had only one nature like ordinary men. Rather, we say the human nature of Jesus prayed to the divine Spirit of Jesus that dwelt in the man." UPC

Again it is crystal clear. United Pentecostals (modalists) believe that Jesus was a kind of "split personality" talking to himself! The struggle between divine and human wills is reavealing! Will originates from spirit not flesh. Thus they openly admit that Jesus had two spirits in his one fleshly body!

Click to View "The choice is simple. Either Jesus as God prayed to the Father (a form of Subordinationism or Arianism in which one person in the Godhead is inferior to, not co-equal with, another person in the Godhead) or Jesus as man prayed to the Father. (where no distinction of persons in the Godhead exists.) The only distinction is between humanity and divinity, not between God and God." UPC

Herein lies one of the basic mistakes of Modalists. Subordinationism is the true answer to this puzzle. Modalists are wrong when they lump Arianism with Subordinationism. All Arians are Subordinationists, but not all Subordinationists are Arians. Woman is to be subordinate to her husband in role, but is still equal before God as a being. God the son, is clearly subordinate to God the Father, but is equal in divine status. (1 Cor 15:27-28) "'All things are put in subjection,' it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all." Jesus is subordinate in role, but equally divine to the Father.

Click to View A conversation can be held between equals, but an omnipotent person does not need to pray for help from an equal. Even intercessory prayers are meaningless unless the one praying is inferior to the one to whom he prays. If he were of equal power, knowledge, and wisdom, he could take care of the needs of those for whom he prays without asking help from another. If Jesus prayed as "God the Son;' then "God the Son" is inferior to God the Father. But such an inferiority destroys the Trinitarian theory." UPC

A father will often ask for help from his child even though he the adult and stronger than the child. UPC have an unbiblical definition of prayer. Much of prayer is merely talking to God! Jesus talked to God and God talked to Jesus It went both ways! UPC think that because Jesus was not equal to the Father while on earth that this destroys Trinitarian theory. Arians like Jehovah's Witnesses and Christadelphians make the identical argument! A simple understanding of Phil 2:6-8 will clear this up, "although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men." The whole point of Trinitarian theory, not comprehended by Modalists and Arians alike, is that Jesus, God the Son, emptied himself of equality with God while on the earth. God's Spirit in the Body of a man! The problem with Jesus praying to the greater Father, while on earth, is only in the mind of Anti-Trinitarians!

Click to View Ultimate refutation of Modalism: Jn 17:5

If all of Jesus prayers originated from the human spirit of Jesus then how do Modalists account for these statements Jesus made WHILE PRAYING:

Modalists are forced to admit that these prayers originated from the human spirit of Jesus:

Jn 17:5 "And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was."

Jn 17:24 "for Thou didst love Me before the foundation of the world."

Modalists insist that the praying human Jesus had no pre-existence before the incarnation. The praying human Jesus had no glory WITH THE FATHER before the creation of the world. Modalism has defeated itself! It is inconsistent with itself! Modalists are wrong! It is false teaching!

Jn 17:19 "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself"

Only God can sanctify, Yet the praying human Jesus claimed he was going to sanctify HIMSELF! Modalism is false doctrine because it contradicts itself!

Click to View Refuting Modalism: Jesus had eternal pre-existence Generally most reference to UPC are from, "The Oneness Of God", David K. Bernard, 1956, ISBN 0-912315-12-1

From the mouth Modalists (United Pentecostals)

Our restatement of their belief in simple language

Click to View "Many passages of Scripture refer to the existence of Jesus before His human life began. However, the Bible does not teach us that He existed separate and apart from the Father. On the contrary, in His deity He is the Father and Creator. The Spirit of Jesus existed from all eternity because He is God Himself. However, the humanity of Jesus did not exist before the Incarnation, except as a plan in the mind of God. Therefore, we can say the Spirit of Jesus pre-existed the Incarnation, but we cannot say the Son pre-existed the Incarnation in any substantial sense. John 1:1, 14 is a good summary of the teaching on the pre-existence of Jesus: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... And the Word was made flesh..." In other words, Jesus existed from all eternity as God. The plan of the future Sonship existed with God from the beginning - as an idea in the mind of God. Ultimately, this Word became flesh - as the extension of God the Father in human form." UPC

Modalism, as taught by the United Pentecostal Church, views Jesus as having no pre-existence before his incarnation into Mary. (Remember, they view Jesus Christ as two different spirits co-existing in one body.) Any statement by Jesus Christ in the Bible made by the "son of man" refers to the human spirit of Jesus that had no pre-existence. They take the same view as Christadephians! This is called "Logos-theology", where the incarnation taught in John chapter one speaks of Jesus as being merely an idea in God's mind that came into being at the incarnation. Both United Pentecostal and Christadelphian doctrine are heresy!

Click to View "... God formed a plan, put flesh on that plan, and then put that plan in operation. God gave the Son a special task. God manifested Himself in flesh in order to achieve a special goal. Hebrews 3:1 calls Jesus the Apostle of our profession, apostle meaning "one sent" in Greek. Briefly stated, the sending of the Son emphasizes the humanity of the Son and the specific purpose for which the Son was born." UPC

More proof that United Pentecostals take the identical view of Jesus as Christadelphians! Jesus, according to them was just a plan in the mind of God before the incarnation! What heresy!

The following passages prove this to be a false distinction based upon a false doctrine!

How could the human spirit of Jesus, who had no pre-existence before the virgin birth, have said these things?

"Son of man" = Human spirit of Jesus according to Modalism

Jn 3:13 "And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man."

According to UPC Modalism, the human spirit of Jesus could not descend from heaven, because it did not exist prior to his birth.

Jn 6:38 "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."

Jn 6:41 The Jews therefore were grumbling about Him, because He said, "I am the bread that came down out of heaven." 42 And they were saying, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, 'I have come down out of heaven'?"

Jn 6:62 "What then if you should behold the Son of Man ascending where He was before?"

Jn 6:51 "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven"

Jn 6:46 "Not that any man has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father."

When had the human spirit of Jesus, seen the Father if he had no existence before his birth? John 6 clearly teaches that Jesus saw God BEFORE coming down to earth!

Jn 8:54-57 Jesus answered, "If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, 'He is our God'; and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar like you, but I do know Him, and keep His word. "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." "The Jews therefore said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am."

How could the human spirit of Jesus claim pre-existence before Abraham? More troubling is how could the human spirit of Jesus claim to be the "I AM" of Ex 3:14? (The context proves that according to UPC theory, this would be the human spirit speaking, not the divine spirit of almighty God!)

Click to View Refuting Modalism: Father sent the pre-existent Son Generally most reference to UPC are from, "The Oneness Of God", David K. Bernard, 1956, ISBN 0-912315-12-1

From the mouth Modalists (United Pentecostals)

Our restatement of their belief in simple language and refutation

Click to View "... The word sent does not imply pre-existence of the Son or pre-existence of the man. John 1:6 states that John the Baptist was a man sent from God, and we know he did not pre-exist his conception. Instead, the word sent indicates that God appointed the Son for a special purpose." UPC

True that the simple language of being "sent" does not inherently imply pre-existence, but John the Baptist was never said to be with God in the beginning! Notice that John clearly states that the MAN Jesus existed before John. "After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me." Jn 1:29. John was 6 months older than Jesus in the flesh. In fact Jn 1:29 throws Modalism into a tail spin because THE MAN Jesus did not exist before John, except in the mind of God. But John was also in the mind of God too. So Modalists must say that what John meant by, "the Man Jesus existed before me" is that Jesus existed in the mind of God longer/before John the Baptist. In otherwords, first God thought up the Son, then He thought up John the Baptist. We are quite sure that John never intended this and his listeners would never have understood this!

Click to View "... because many verses of Scripture teach that God manifested Himself in flesh (2 Cor 5:19, I Tim 3:16). He gave of Himself; He did not send someone else (John 3:16)." UPC

"God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself" 2 Cor 5:19 speaks of the agency of the Father working through the Son, not that the Father WAS the Son. (Just as a defendant can work through a lawyer.)

1 Tim 3:16: "God who was revealed in the flesh". God the Son was revealed in the flesh, while God the Father remained in heaven who sent Jesus!

Click to View John 3:17 and 5:30, along with other verses of Scripture, state that the Father sent the Son. Does this mean that Jesus, the Son of God, is a separate person from the Father? We know this is not so..." UPC

Modalists do not believe Jesus when He said that the Father sent him! They double-talk with their false doctrine and end up believing exactly opposite to what Jesus said! UPC's don't believe the Bible!

Click to View "... The Son was sent from God as a man, not as God: "God sent forth his Son, made of a woman" (Galatians 4:4)." UPC

More heresy and false UPC doctrine! Jesus was sent from God as BOTH man and God! Col 2:9 "For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form"

The Son of God was sent into the world: Jn 10:36 "do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?" Also the Son of Man was sent into the world

Click to View "John 3:17 speaks of the Son as sent from God. In John 6:38 Jesus said, "I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." Jesus did not come of Himself, that is of His humanity, but He proceeded from God (John 7:28; 8:42; 16:28). UPC

Modalism, with the two spirits in one body of Jesus, just won't work here. "I (human Jesus) came down from heaven, not to do mine own (Human Jesus) will, but the will of him (Divine Jesus) that sent me." The problem here is that the Human Jesus DID NOT COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN!!! It was the divine Jesus that came down! Modalists teach that the "human Jesus" had no pre-existence before the incarnation!

Click to View The Son (human Jesus) did not teach His own (human Jesus) doctrine, but that of the Father (divine Jesus) (John 7:16-17). He did not teach His own (human Jesus) commandments, but taught and kept the Father's (divine Jesus) commandments (John 12:49-50; 15:10). He did not seek His own (human Jesus) glory but He glorified the Father (divine Jesus) (John 8:50; 17:4). All of these passages describe the distinction between Jesus as a man (Son) and Jesus as God (Father). The man Jesus did not originate by the operation of the humanity, nor did the man Jesus come to display the humanity. The Spirit formulated the plan, conceived the babe in the womb, placed in that flesh all the character and quality of God, and then sent that flesh out into the world to manifest God to the world."

Click to View Refuting Modalism: How could Jesus go to be with the Father? He would change "modes" and become the Father!

John 14:12 ""Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father."

Jn 14:28 "You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.

Jn 16:10 "and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me"

Jn 17:5 "And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was."

According to Modalism, as taught by the United Pentecostal Church, Jesus the man, was dwelling in the same body as the divine Father. The founding principle of Modalism, is that God changes modes of being between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, but never at the same time. If Modalism was true, then Jesus would not "go to be with the Father" HE WOULD CHANGE MODES AND BECOME THE FATHER!

Click to View Refuting Modalism: one office of a Person cannot go to be with another office of that Person

The Bible teaches that the Father and the Son will SEND the Holy Spirit to be with us while they remain in heaven. This whole concept utterly refutes Modalism!

John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."

The Father sent the Holy Spirit? Modalists teach that the Father changed modes and became the Holy Spirit.

Jn 15:26 26 "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father"

The Son sent the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father? This utterly refutes Modalism because they teach that the Father changed into the Holy Spirit.

Jn 16:13-15 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come."

Who is the Holy Spirit listening to? Modalism teaches that the Father changed modes and became the Holy Spirit. when this happened, the Father ceased to exist. Whose initiative is the Holy Spirit speaking from?

Acts 2:32-35 "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. "For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet."

Modalism fails because here Modalists have the human Jesus at the right hand of God? Who else could it be but the Human Jesus? So in practical terms, United Pentecostals take the identical view of Jesus in the eternity to come as Arians (Jehovah's witnesses and Christadelphians) by viewing a created being called Jesus at the right hand of God forever!

Click to View Refuting Modalism: Who is on the throne?

Rev 5:21 'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

How can Jesus sit down WITH the Father on His throne if Jesus changed modes and became the Father? Notice that WE will sit down with Jesus EVEN AS Jesus sat down with the Father. Does this mean that we will change modes and become Jesus? I think not! Modalism is false doctrine!

Rev 5:6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7 And He came, and He took it out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.

How Could Jesus take anything out of the Hand of God if JESUS IS THE SAME PERSON AS GOD??? Notice that Jesus is pictured as a lamb standing and the Father is sitting on the throne. Modalists are forced to have the human spirit of Jesus co-existing in heaven with the divine spirit of God.

Rev 5:13 "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."

Clearly two distinct beings are pictured here. Modalism is false doctrine!

Jn 16:19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.

If Modalism is true, then the Holy Spirit misled us! Jesus wouldn't sit down at the right hand of the Father, he changed modes and became the Father!

Click to View Refuting Modalism: Son does what he sees Father doing Generally most reference to UPC are from, "The Oneness Of God", David K. Bernard, 1956, ISBN 0-912315-12-1

Click to View "John 5:19 says, "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." (See also John 5:30; 8:28.) In Matt 28:18 Jesus proclaimed, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth," implying that the Father gave Him this power. In John 14:28 Jesus said, "My Father is greater than I." First Corinthians 11:3 states that the head of Christ is God. All these verses of Scripture indicate that the human nature of Jesus could do nothing of itself but His human nature received power from the Spirit. The flesh was subject to the Spirit." UPC

This is both ridiculous and inconsistent! First they equate, "Son does likewise" with the "human spirit of Jesus", then they leap and equate "Flesh" with "Son does likewise". Jesus human body is the flesh and the flesh is empowered by the Spirit of Jesus. It was the Spirit of Jesus, not the flesh, that was imitating the Father!

Click to View Refuting Modalism: No man knows the day, even the son!

Click to View "In speaking of the Second Coming, Jesus said, "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father" (Mark 13:32). Again, the humanity of Jesus did not know all things, but the Spirit of Jesus did." UPC

Modalism's "two spirits in one body" of Jesus, theory, sure comes in handy here! They have a human spirit and the spirit in almighty God inhabiting one body. When they say "humanity of Jesus" they are actually referring to this second spirit in the one body. The problem is that the listeners of Jesus had no clue that Jesus was basically a split personality, sometimes person "A" would speak and sometimes person "B" would speak. Modalists are afraid to say that God, the Son, might make this statement. They feel the only alternative is Arianism. Yet Biblical Trinitarians (the view at this website www.bible.ca) have a simple way of explaining this which also puts the wooden stake through the heart of Arianism!

Click to View Refuting Modalism: The Son exists for all eternity

Click to View "In the end, that flesh will have completed its purpose. The Son will be submerged in God's plan so that God may be all in all (I Corinthians 15:28)." UPC

Modalists believe that the human spirit of Jesus the son, will cease to exist after the second coming. When they say "submerged" that is their way of getting rid of the Mode of "God the son". The problem is that they have confused the Mode of God the Son with the human spirit of Jesus AND ACCORDING TO MODALISTS THESE ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS! So They can't even make any sense of their own false doctrine!

Jn 12:

The verses at the right prove that the Son will co-exist with God for all eternity!

"the slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever." Jn 8:35

Jn 12:34 "We have heard out of the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this Son of Man?" (If Jesus was a Modalist, this would have been a great place to teach it. Notice that they equated the Son of Man as enduring forever!)

One like a Son of Man was coming ... His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away and His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14

"But of the Son He says, "thy throne, O God, is forever and ever" Heb 1:8

"the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever." Heb 7:28

Click to View Refuting Modalism: The Son is with the Father

Click to View "How do we explain the use of the word with in John 1:1-2 and I John 1:2? John 1:1 says the Word was with God, but then goes on to say the Word was God. The Word is the thought, plan, or expression in the mind of God. That is how the Word could be with God and at the same time be God Himself." UPC

Here Modalists show their true heretical colours! They openly take the identical heretical position the Christadelphians, who deny the deity of Christ take. United Pentecostals actually do not believe that Jesus, as the Son of God, existed prior to His incarnation! Jesus was merely a plan in God's mind and didn't really exist! This is called Logos-theology and is identical to what Christadelphians say about Jesus in Jn 1:1.

Click to View "We should also note that the Greek word pros, translated here as "with, is translated as "pertaining to" in Hebrews 2:17 and 5:1. So the Word was with God in the sense of belonging to God and not in the sense of a separate person besides God." UPC

Such intimate hair splitting of Greek violates the obvious meaning of John 1:1. UPC's are in the same camp as Jehovah's Witnesses who also argue from the Greek that Jn 1:1 should read, "and the word was "A" god". UPC's and Jw's are both dead wrong in their views and translation of the Greek! If Jn 1:1 should read, "in the beginning was the Word and the Word was pertaining to God and the Word was God." At least one reputable translation would render it such. Interesting that the United Pentecostal Church is also a "rabidly and blind" defender of the superiority of the King James Version who feel that the KJV translators were actually inspired of the Holy Spirit in their translation from the "Textus Receptus". UPC views the KJV as God's perfect translation. (see www.bible.ca/b-kjv-only.htm) Funny when the KJV refutes UPC doctrine, they reject the KJV and opt for alternate translations no in the KJV!!! False teachers always want it both ways!

Click to View "Furthermore, if God in John 1:1 means God the Father, then the Word is not a separate person for the verse would then read, "The Word was with the Father and the Word was the Father." To make this imply a plurality of persons in God would necessitate a change in the definition of God in the middle of the verse." UPC

Amazing! The UPC says the identical thing that Jehovah's Witnesses say about John 1:1! Both are refuted when you understand that God is a class of being, a family rather than the sole name of the Father!

Click to View "We should also note that I John 1:2 does not indicate that the Son was with God in eternity. Rather, it states that eternal life was with the Father." UPC

Amazing again! The UPC says the identical thing that Jehovah's Witnesses say about 1 John 1:2! At least Jw's grant Jesus pre-existence before the incarnation so that Jesus can be the creator! Just as John uses a metaphor of Jesus=Word in the book of John. John uses a similar metaphor of eternal life in the book of 1 John.

Click to View Refuting Modalism: Two Witnesses

Click to View "Jesus said, "I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me" (John 8:16-18). Just before these verses, Jesus had said, "I am the light of the world" (verse 12). This was an assertion of His Messianic role (Isaiah 9:2; 49:6). The Pharisees replied, "Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true" (John 8:13). In response to their accusation, Jesus explained that He was not the only witness, but that there were two witnesses to the fact that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. These two witnesses were the Father (the divine Spirit) and the man Jesus. In other words, both God the Father and the man Jesus could testify that the Father was manifested in flesh, in Jesus. Jesus was both God and man and both natures could testify to that fact. No separation of persons in the Godhead was necessary for this. The two witnesses were the Spirit of God and the man Christ, and both testified that Jesus was God in the flesh." UPC

We might have guessed that Modalists in the United Pentecostal church would make the two witnesses of Jn 8:16: first witness: the divine spirit of Jesus. Second witness the human spirit of Jesus. Of course, if Jesus was a Modalist, he sure didn't get the point across to the disciples! Jesus didn't say, "I am a split personality and therefore unlike you, I count for TWO!" Remember according to Modalists, the divine spirit of the Father and the human spirit of Jesus reside in one body of flesh! Too bad for Modalists that Jesus always claimed he was on the earth before then standing, while the Father was in heaven! Jesus always taught that the Father and Him were in TWO DIFFERENT LOCATIONS. Perhaps Modalists would explain when Jesus was accused of having a demon, this was because they actually thought Jesus body WAS INHABITED BY TWO SPIRITS!

Click to View Refuting Modalism: Plural use Generally most reference to UPC are from, "The Oneness Of God", David K. Bernard, 1956, ISBN 0-912315-12-1

Click to View A number of times Jesus referred to the Father and Himself in the plural. These passages are in the Book of John, the New Testament writer who more than any other identified Jesus as God and the Father. It is wrong for anyone to suppose this plural usage to mean that Jesus is a separate person in the Godhead from the Father. However, it does indicate a distinction between the deity (Father) and humanity (Son) of Jesus Christ. The Son, who is visible, revealed the Father, who is invisible. This explains the dual nature of Jesus and reveals the oneness of God." UPC

Again the "two spirits of Jesus in one body" theory is their escape system! They say it is WRONG to suppose plurality means more than one. We ask WHY? Can God not even speak human language to be understood? If God wanted to indicate the Trinity, would he not USE PLURALITY? It is NOT WRONG to make this conclusion, in fact PLURALITY NATURALLY LEADS US TO UNDERSTAND MORE THAN ONE! For Modalists to say that "plural use reveals the oneness of God" is just ridiculous! Plural use conveys THE EXACT OPPOSITE to what Modalists believe and they must twist and contort your mind into comprehending it!

Click to View "How was the Father with Jesus? The logical explanation is that He was in Jesus. Therefore, if you know Jesus, you know the Father; if you see Jesus, you see the Father; and if you hate Jesus, you hate the Father.

Logical? So when I have lunch with you, I become the lunch itself because I am IN YOU? Logical is that the Jesus talked as a normal person and not some complicated code that only Modalists have the key to. If the father was WITH Jesus... I believe it!

Click to View One other passage with a plural, John 14:23, deserves special attention: "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." The key to understanding this verse is to realize that the Lord was not speaking of His bodily entrance into us. Moreover, if there are two Spirits of God, one of the Son and another of the Father, then there would be at least two Spirits in our hearts. However, Ephesians 4:4 declares there is one Spirit." UPC

Jn 14:23 needs to merely be read to refute Modalism. However, For Modalists to say that the Father and Son cannot have separate Spirits because Eph 4:4 says there is only "one Spirit" shows us how bad they twist scripture. Eph 4:4-6 lists: "One Lord, One Spirit, One Father" This equals three last time we checked. Modalists make it appear that the "One Spirit" of Eph 4:4-6 was used for the SUM of God, when in fact the very opposite is true. The "One Spirit" of Eph 4:4-6 is used SOLEY of the Holy Spirit to the DISTINCTION of the Father's Spirit and the Son's Spirit.

Click to View Why did Jesus use the plural in speaking of the believer's union with God? (John 17:21-22, "that they may be one, just as We are one") UPC

Modalists really never give an answer. But interesting Jesus does in the next verse of Jn 17 that they fail to quote: "I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity" v23. Bad news for Modalists! Jesus verified that the oneness of God is a function of UNITY. Jesus even used the word UNITY to describe it! Jesus understood the trinity and that the oneness of God was unity not a specific number to be counted!

Click to View Another way to think of our union with God is to remember the two different offices or relationships represented by Father and Son. The believer has available to him the qualities of both roles, such as the omnipotence of the Father and the priesthood and submission of the Son. He has both the Father and Son." UPC

In case the UPC church leaders didn't catch it, they are now arguing the Unity case against themselves! Notice that they argue for TWO DISTINCT roles that are ONE BY UNITY not NUMBER!

Click to View "If, on the other hand, a person were to interpret John 14:23 and 17:21-22 to describe the union of two separate persons in the Godhead, then to be consistent he would have to interpret the Scriptures to mean that believers become members of the Godhead just as Jesus is. Clearly, then, these passages allude to the union with God that the Son of God had and that we can enjoy by believing and obeying the gospel." UPC

Modalists just can't comprehend how simple this is! The Father and Son are two different and distinct Spirits that are united in purpose, will and judgement. The Father doesn't become the Son and the Son doesn't become the Father. The two are in perfect agreement! Likewise, Jesus prayed that we should be unified to the same perfect extent. Jesus prayer in Jn 17 is because he foresaw the vast religious division that exists today! Jesus wants us to be united in will, purpose and doctrine as the Father and the Son are. This is actually hard to get wrong... but Modalists get it real wrong!

Click to View "In John 17:21-22, Jesus, speaking as a man, did not state that He is the Father. However, other passages describe the oneness of Jesus with the Father in a way that transcends mere unity of purpose, and in a way that indicates Jesus is the Father. As a man Jesus was one with the Father in the sense of unity of purpose, mind, and will (John 17:22). As God, Jesus is one with the Father in the sense of identity with the Father - in the sense that He is the Father (John 10:30; 14:9)." UPC

Amazing! UPC's look at Jn 10:30 "I and the Father are one." and say, "See! Jesus was the Father!!! They are one in number and not one in merely a unity sense!" Then when they come to Jn 17:21-23, "that they may be one, just as We are one", they say, "Jesus is one with the Father in mere unity of Purpose sense and not one in number, because obviously believers are not one in number with God!" We reply, BINGO! UPC's are terribly inconsistent when they interpret the Bible. They admit that Jn 17:21-23 teaches that Jesus is one in unity with the Father, just like Biblical Trinitarians do! Obviously, both Jn 10:30 and Jn 17:21-23 are speaking of a oneness in a mere unity of purpose sense and not one in number!

Click to View Refuting Modalism: Conversations Between Persons In The Godhead? Generally most reference to UPC are from, "The Oneness Of God", David K. Bernard, 1956, ISBN 0-912315-12-1

Click to View "There is no biblical record of a conversation between two persons of God, but there are many representations of communion between the two natures of Christ. For example, the prayers of Christ portray His human nature seeking help from the eternal Spirit of God." UPC

This is utterly false!

How about Heb 1:5 "For to which of the angels did He ever say, "Thou art My Son," Answer: None, but he said it to the Son!

Heb 1:8 "But of the Son He says, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever"

All prayer is an obvious conversation between two members of the Godhead.

"John 12:28 records a request on the part of Jesus that the Father would glorify His own name. A voice from heaven spoke, answering this request. This demonstrates that Jesus was a man on earth but His Spirit was the omnipresent God of the universe. The prayer and voice did not constitute a conversation between two persons in the Godhead; it may be said that it was communication between Jesus' humanity and His deity. UPC

Jn 12:28 "Father, glorify Thy name." There came therefore a voice out of heaven: "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." This passage proves that no listener of Jesus would ever conclude that within his body was the Spirit of the Father. To say that this was not a conversation between Jesus on earth and the Father in heaven defies common sense and needs no further explanation!

Click to View "Hebrews 10:5-9 quotes a prophetic passage from Psalm 40:6-8. In this prophetic depiction of the coming of the Messiah, Christ as a man speaks to the eternal God, expressing His obedience and submission to the will of God. Essentially this scene is similar to that of Christ's prayer in Gethsemane. It is obvious that Christ is speaking as a man because He says, "A body hast thou prepared me" UPC

At least Modalists admit that a conversation is taking place between two different people! We are making some progress here! The problem for them is that God also prepared the body for himself! They make it sound like the body was ONLY PREPARED FOR THE HUMANITY, while in fact the Body was prepared for "Emmanuel... God with us" Mt 1:23 After all 1 Tim 3:16 says, "God who was revealed in the flesh". What is real amazing about all this is that Modalists in one place affirm that "God was revealed in the flesh" then when it contradicts their false doctrine of Modalism, they deny God was in the flesh!

Click to View "In conclusion the Bible does not record conversations between persons of the Godhead, but between the human and divine natures. To interpret these two natures as "persons" creates the belief in at least two "Gods." Moreover, "persons" would imply separate intelligences in the one deity, a concept that cannot be distinguished from polytheism." UPC

Now Modalists put their cards on the table! They view all Trinitarians as POLYTHEISTS! Again the identical argument that Jehovah's Witnesses and Christadelphians make! It is evident that none of these groups understands polytheism, for if they did, they would not even make this argument!

Click to View Refuting Modalism: Another Comforter Generally most reference to UPC are from, "The Oneness Of God", David K. Bernard, 1956, ISBN 0-912315-12-1

Click to View In John 14:16, Jesus promised to send another Comforter. In verse 26 He identified the Comforter as the Holy Ghost. Does this imply the Holy Ghost is another person in the Godhead? No. It is clear from the context that the Holy Ghost is simply Jesus in another form or manifestation. In other words, "another Comforter" means Jesus in the Spirit as opposed to Jesus in the flesh. UPC

Modalists claim it is very clear from John 14:16 that the Holy Spirit coming when Jesus leaves, is really Jesus not leaving after all but staying and changing modes. Clear as mud maybe! Jesus plainly said, "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth". Modalists would have you believe that Jesus asked himself to send himself! Rather, Jesus told us he would leave the earth and go to heaven where he would ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit back to earth. Now that is CLEAR!

Click to View Jesus went to heaven in His glorified body so He could form a new relationship with His disciples, by sending back His own Spirit as the Comforter. He said to them, "It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you" (John 16:7). UPC

Again, Modalists think it is clear and obvious that what Jesus meant by this was that, "If Jesus does not leave earth and go to heaven, He cannot send himself back from heaven to earth." What is clear and obvious is that Modalism is false doctrine that cannot explain away the clear meaning of Bible verses!

Click to View Refuting Modalism: Trinity baptism

What Modalists say

Refutation of this false teaching:

Click to View "Mt 28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..." speaks of the three offices or names of the one God and does not indicate three separate beings." UPC

In the Greek, tou ("the") is used for each title, and each is separated by kai ("and"). This helps support the view that in this text three distinct individual persons are being spoken of: ...in the name of the (tou) Father and the (kai tou) Son, and the (kai tou) Holy Spirit. If the Greek text had been referring to only one person, it would have most likely read: ...in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. or, ...in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Further, Modalism never has any two "modes" of God operating at the same time. Why would we be baptized into all three modes, when they never exist at one time? Since Modalists believe that "the Son" refers not to God but a mere man that had no beginning before the incarnation into Mary, Modalists must admit that at least the title of being "baptized into the name of the Son" is a human authority!

Contact Webmaster: Click here Generally most reference to UPC are from, "The Oneness Of God", David K. Bernard, 1956, ISBN 0-912315-12-1

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