Recently I visited a Pentecostal church and noticed the amount of scripture used in the pastor’s sermons and his passion for his message. For the most part I found the teachings helpful. However, I did notice that he kept mentioning something that did not sound right. After the first time I heard him, I thought maybe I misunderstood him or he misspoke. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt and not assume anything. But . . . he kept talking about the Father and Jesus in a way that was not right. I finally realized that this was part the pastor’s and possibly the denominations core theology. I just found it so hard to believe that they did not believe in the Trinity – the belief that there is one true God who exist in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. A few weeks later I was reading through one of my theology books, and I saw it – “Oneness” Pentecostalism. This is what I had heard. I will not detail all of their beliefs, but I will tell you what I heard this pastor say. He claimed that before Jesus died, his divinity left him. He did not back this up with the Bible, but with “logic”. He stated that God cannot die and thus Jesus could not die with his divinity. I admit, this is a tricky area and not one to easily dismiss. But the implications here are quite astounding. This would mean that when Jesus died, he was a man (that is a frightening thought!). But this is false doctrine, it is not true. This pastor is not using the Bible to back up his claim. I think the real question here is if Jesus is God. Do you know how many times the Bible tells us he is God? Here are a few references (Isaiah 9:6, Matthew 1:23, 2 Peter 1:1, John 1:1,3, John 8:24,58, John 10:30-33, John 14:6-7, 9-11, 1 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 1:8-9, Revelation 1:8). And if Jesus is God, then he cannot “lose” his divinity. But don’t take my word for it. Search it out! Does it say anywhere in the New Testament that Jesus lost his divinity? Anywhere?! No, of course not. And this is the point. Your belief system must hold fast to the truth of what the Word actually says.
Suppose I did not know exactly what I believe, would I have noticed the error? Not until someone showed me. Is it important to know that Jesus is God and maintains his divinity? Yes! If not, then the gospel rests on a man, and not the great I AM! What you believe about God determines how you will live because what you believe about the Supreme Authority affects how you view people, yourself, and all of life. This is why it is critical to not only know what you believe, but why. Anyone will agree that understanding the Trinity is difficult, particularly the operation of the Trinity during the death and resurrection of Jesus. If this is an area you want to understand more clearly, I recommend, Alistair Begg. His content is free on the TruthForLife App. Alistair has a series called, “Jesus 101” that answers difficult questions about Jesus. It is crucial to get the truth in you so that you can discern between true and false doctrine. It does matter! The world is drowning in false teaching. Get the truth, then share it!