One of the strongest arguments against “Jesus Only Theology” also known as “Oneness Theology” and “Modalism” is found in the gospel of John.
This is a chain reference that you can use the to teach the person that believes in “Jesus Only” to witness to them.
Why witness to the “Jesus Only”, “Oneness Theology” church? Because we will see that Jesus said the teaching is not true! Should you be concerned if Jesus said your teaching about the “Godhead” is not true?
The “Jesus Only” group tries to use Acts 2:38 to prove their theology. I will have a page coming soon about this verse. Stay tuned.
A Truth is Established by 2 or More Witnesses
In John 8 we see; that Jesus is being confronted (for the second time), by the Pharisees, for breaking Gods teachings from the Old Testament concerning what is a true witness. Jesus is being confronted because He makes an “I Am” statement about Himself in verse 12, which is a claim to be God.
(John 8:12,13) Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
The Pharisees therefore said to Him,
"You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true."
The Pharisees said in verse 13, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true”. Why did they say this?
Their question comes from a teaching from the Old Testament that is actually law and it is that, a truth is established “on the testimony of two or three witnesses”.
(Deuteronomy 17:6) Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.
(Deuteronomy 19:15) "One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.
“Jesus Only” theology has Jesus breaking these laws.
This law is very important and is used to establish a truth in Gods system of things. This law is that a truth is established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
We use this law in our court system in America today. For example if I am charged for a crime, I can have the court call witnesses to establish if my testimony is true. If one or two more people will appear on my behalf then I will be released because my testimony is established as to be true on their collaborating testimony. Since others confirm my claim then there is more than just my self-testifying of my claim. These two or more witnesses have determined that I was telling the truth.
When studying John’s writings specifically you see that he repeatedly uses this idea of “two or three witness” establishes a truth when you read the Gospel of John and his epistles.
Now. It also must be noted that I could not just testify of myself in a court of law there must be another person testifying for me. According to the law in the bible for establishing truth it must be on the testimony of two or more people. This idea is played out for us in the example that in an American court it must be someone other than me who witnesses in order to establish my claim to be true. For example I could not in an American court stand before the judge and say that my other witnesses are; “me, myself, and I”. This would have my other witnesses in fact just be myself making the same claim.
So to establish the truth of Jesus being God, the true testimony must come from two other witnesses that are not Himself. If “Jesus Only Theology” or “Oneness Theology” were true then we actually have Jesus testifying of Himself only. “Jesus Only” or “Oneness Theology” believes that Jesus is the Father, Jesus is the Son and Jesus is the Holy Spirit and He just changes “modes” whenever He wants (Modalism).
If this is true then Jesus is actually saying that I Am God on the testimony of Me, Myself and I.
But the truth is that the Trinity is the truth of God and within the doctrine of the Trinity we don’t have Jesus simply testifying of Himself but the different Persons of the Father testifying and the Person of the Holy Spirit testifying of the truth that Jesus is God. The “Trinity”, which is: One God, in Three Persons. Only within the Trinity do we have an accurate testimony of: A truth is established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
So how does Jesus deal with the accusation of the Pharisees in John 8:13 that He cannot just testify of Himself? Let’s look.
First Jesus does establish His own case that He is the “I AM” and the light which is a claim of deity.
(John 8:14) Jesus answered and said to them, "Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going.
Next, He does confirm that they are judging Him by the law. And Jesus does confirm the laws the Pharisees are speaking of are the references I gave you from Deuteronomy.
(John 8:15-17) You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true.
Now Jesus does testify of Himself. (John 8:18) I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me."
The True Testimony Manifested
When did we see the testimony of two or three witnesses establish that the doctrine of the Trinity is true? We see this testimony played out visually and audibly in the bible at the baptism of Jesus.
(Luke 3:21-22) When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased."
Jesus is in the water.
The Holy Spirit is descending in bodily form.
The Father is speaking from heaven.
Jesus is not the Father as He is in heaven speaking from there about His Son.
Jesus is not the Holy Spirit as we see, as Jesus is in the water the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form.
They are three separate Persons!
This is an example of the “Trinity” not “Oneness Theology” or “Jesus Only” teachings, which are found here to be false.
John 5 Teaches the Same About 2 or More Witnesses
Let’s look at the first time the Jews confronted Jesus about this in John’s Gospel in chapter 5:31. Jesus says Himself, “If I testify of Myself, My testimony is NOT TRUE”.
(John 5:31) "If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true.
Look: Jesus is making a claim to be God in John 5 and The Jews again confront Him that He cannot testify of Himself and Jesus agrees.
Jesus is being accused of claiming to be God. We know He is claiming to be God by the reaction of the Jews who wanted to kill Him for blaspheme.
(John 5:17,18) But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working." Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
For the next 12 verses Jesus explains emphatically that He is not the Father. (Read John 5:19-30 yourself)
And then in verse 31 He say’s that He cannot testify of Himself only.
(John 5:31) "If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true.
And He follows up by saying the Father testifies of Me. This must be a separate Person for this to be a true testimony.
(John 5:37) And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.
Notice the Father sent Jesus therefore they are not the same Persons.
Is John the Baptist the Other Man?
Now the “Jesus Only” group may say well the other man was John the Baptist according to John 5:
But Jesus say’s His testimony is not from man but the Father.
(John 5:33,34) You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved.
(John 5:36) But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish--the very works that I do--bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.
So you cannot argue that John the Baptist is the other man who testifies because Jesus Himself is saying the others that testify of Him are not man.
Who is the Third Person to Testify?
There are three that testify of Jesus. Not just Jesus Himself and the Father. Also in the Gospel of John we see the Holy Spirit also testifies of Jesus bearing witness that Jesus is God.
(John 15:26) "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
This Person of the Holy Spirit is not Jesus. Remember the Baptism of Jesus when the Holy Spirit descended upon Him “in bodily form”.
So we have three that bear witness, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This teaching of the Trinity is not three gods. But it is the one God in three Persons. And according to the bible is the only true testimony.
I believe this argument destroys “Jesus Only” theology. There are many other good arguments why “Oneness Theology” is false but this is a place in John 8 and 5 where Jesus and the bible say’s it is not true. “Oneness Theology” is not just another legitimate way to view the godhead. It is not true.
What About Isaiah 9:6?
The “Jesus Only” teachers will say, “Why is Isaiah 9:6 say that Jesus is the “Everlasting Father”?
(Isaiah 9:6) For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Well first of all we must establish the truth of a doctrine from the totality of scripture and not just on one verse.
The way to understand Jesus being the “Everlasting Father” is that we see He is not the Father all over the scriptures. So to understand that He is not the Father and yet we have a verse like Isaiah 9 that say’s Jesus is the “Everlasting Father” is to reconcile the question that does not contradict any other passage in the bible. Following is an example of how to reconcile this:
We see in the passage of Isaiah 9:6 that these names that Jesus is called are positions of authority. “Wonderful”, “Councilor”, “Mighty God”, “Everlasting Father”, “Price of Peace”.
These names and titles are in stark contrast to Satan’s names and titles.
Jesus is called, “Wonderful”! Satan is called, “…the wicked one…”.
(1 John 2:13) I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him [who is] from the beginning. I write to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father.
Jesus is called, “Councilor”! Satan is called, “Accuser”.
(Revelation 12:10) Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, "Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
Jesus is called, “Mighty God”! Satan is called, “the god of this age (world)”.
(2 Corinthians 4:3,4) But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
Jesus is called, “Everlasting Father”! Satan is called, “the father of lies”.
(John 8:44) You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
Jesus is called, “Price of Peace”! Satan is called, “the prince of the power of the air”.
(Ephesians 2:2) in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
With these verses in mind, to understand Jesus being called the “Everlasting Father” is to contrast Him to the opposite, Satan who is the father of Lies. The answer is that Jesus is the Father of everlasting life.
(John 12:49,50) For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak."
Is Satan God the Father because he is called the father of lies? Of course not! Jesus is not God the Father either He is called the “Everlasting Father” because of his role in how a person receives everlasting life. He is the father of everlasting life. It is through Christ that we have everlasting life in Heaven. Jesus gives us the opportunity to be born again.
(John 3:3) Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
What About if You Have Seen Jesus You Have Seen the Father?
“Jesus Only” people also argue why did Jesus say, “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father?”
Go to the page on this site that is called "HAS ANYONE SEEN GOD THE FATHER ?" to see my answer:
Thanks, Steve Tassi