One-ness Doctrine, what is it, really and how to become one ?
What is it, really? Together, let us take up this matter, starting with how this “Oneness” is interpreted by established religion, detractors of the concept, etc.
To start with, a well-known Christian denomination expounded this concept (1).
“Oneness doctrine differs from Sabellianism in that Oneness Pentecostals conceive of the “trimanifestation” of God as simultaneous instead of successive, as is the case with classical Modalism(2, 3). They contend that, based on Colossians 2:9, “fullness… in bodily form”. Unlike Arians, who present the Son as subordinate being to the Father, both Oneness and Trinitarians seek to establish(union) between the Father and Son. So, from the Oneness viewpoint the Son is both distinct from the Father while being essentially one with the Father by virtue of his ontological oneness with the Father. It should be noted that both views, Oneness and Trinitarianism, resolve the issues of distinction of consciousnesses to the principle of monotheism by attributing ontological oneness of being to the Father and the Son – the difference is in what way they are distinct and in what way they are one. The difference being that Oneness Pentecostals still maintain that the Father and Son are not actually distinct persons, but rather are distinct modes or manifestations.”
Sexual Act is “Oneness”of the flesh?
There was a time when “being a prude” was the culture and people were hesitant to discuss sex openly. Masters & Johnson’s research was a product to help resolve this issue and bring it to national awareness. “They jointly wrote two classic texts in the field, Human Sexual Response and Human Sexual Inadequacy, published in 1966 and 1970, respectively. Both of these books were best-sellers and were translated into more than thirty languages”(9).
With this backdrop, one religious organization, the Worldwwide Church of God based in Pasadena under the leadership of Herbert W. Armstrong(10), addressed this issue in a free book Missing Dimension in sex(11). Based on Genesis 2:24, he indicated that the sexual act is a mandate for husband and wife with the goal of procreation. That “they shall be one” is the commandment to engage in sexual act among married couples as an expression of love for one another that carries responsibilities and obligations.
Aside from “sexual oneness”, are husbands and wife really “one” because of holy matrimony? Is this something automatic for both in marriage or something that both have to work on? So different in many ways, each realizes that they have to manage their diversities on many issues. They are not of “one mind” in all that confront them. In fact, friction from misunderstandings between husband and wife is a given. Their decision-making process is different from one another because of the composite of their knowledge and experience stored in memory for many years through their unique growth and development. Actions originate from their brain with intellectual and emotional components which are different between husband-wife as there are diversities between male-female. Their relationship will end up well and sustain itself for many years of marital bliss only through complex series of trade-offs which may still be misunderstood by one another. Nevertheless, each one should make a serious resolve to know each other more and to give in, whatever is best. Still, no matter what they do, they just have to take it in, live calmly and peacefully with their differences. And this difficulty is inherent, because they are trying to reach an impossible goal to be “one” with each other on their own. The foundational basis for what is right or wrong has to be from neither one of them but from God, the origin of truth. Their goal has to be “one with another” through “oneness” with God. Then, they will be empowered to do so with a “Helper” to assist them. So, should this be the goal? To be “one” with each other through God?
What is “being one”, really?
As interpretation of “oneness” may not be ontological, physical sexual act or with humans on their own in marital bond, what is it then? The meaning of the original verses from whence different interpretations emanate, cannot be understood conceptually unless subsequent context especially in the New Testament is considered. There are numerous verses alluding to this concept of “oneness” in the New Testament. Here are some:
John 10:30 “I and the Father are one.“(NIV)
What does they are “one” mean? Are they “the same” but different manifestations as in “modalism” or Sabellianism? Simultaneous appearances as in Oneness Pentecostalism? This is the same concept relating to “oneness” and woven into the the Shema Doctrine that caused a split between Athanasius and Arius. So, what is the truth?
The context of the preceding verse can be deduced from:
John 10:38 “But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”
John 14:11 “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works‘ sake” (KJV)
John 17:21 “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one–as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me”(NLT).
All of these verses that followed John 10:30 give the meaning of “one-ness” and what it referred to. Unequivocally, being “one” is defined as “the Father being in Jesus and he being in the Father”. That is being “one”, and not those previous enumerated false assumptions of what it meant. Moreover, notice that “works/action” proved this presence. But how? And, John 17:21 is a plan and prayer of Jesus for the future of this oneness for mankind as to how.
Caution: The word Father should not be confused with (Isaiah 9:6, ESV). which contextually meant “father” or the “creator” referring to Jesus the Creator. This YHVH Elohim/El Shaddai/Logos/ Lord God who incarnated into man-Jesus was the proximate Creator, and as such was the “father” of all.
How to be one with God?
As oneness is about the Father being “in Jesus” and “Jesus in the Father”, how could this be done?
The following verse in 1 Corinthians 12:13 will help us understand the mechanism of how, which is through “spirit-baptism”.
“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”
This is the mechanism for man/anthropos-Jesus that made him “one” with the Father and vice-versa. By spirit-baptism, they became “one”. But, while the mechanism of being “one” starts with “spirit-baptism“, it undergoes a “process” that takes time. Notice that our “trailblazer”(Jesus) became “one” with the Father by baptism of the Holy Spirit at River Jordan. As in John 10:38 and John 14:11, actions/works are reflected in miracles by this “in-dwelling power“. Moreover, the narrative at Gethsemane gave hint that, altogether, their “oneness” has to develop to its fullest. The in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit started “oneness” but has to be continuous in a voluntary way; it is not forced and should not be “like a dog returns to its vomit”. Continual overcoming is shown by Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. where he had to follow voluntarily the Father’s will, and not his will, as in “may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.“(Matthew 26:39).
One mind, one accord
As Jesus’ “oneness with the Father” has to start but also continue to develop, so shall ours be after receiving the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. And, through the process of “spiritual growth and development” we will mature by continuing to abide by being “one” in him. This process of spiritual embryology has been shown to us through the science of physical embryology(10,11,12).
And through abiding, we will then have “one mind and one accord”.
Re-evaluation of biblical verses
Since all of mis-interpretations about “oneness” originate from biblical verses, let us now take them up one-by-one for re-evaluation with my comments:
Genesis 2:24“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh”(NIV)
Mark 10:6-9“But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
1 Corinthians 7:10-11”To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.”
1 Corinthians 7:39“A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.”
Comment: Why should these verses be interpreted as human marriage? Strictly speaking, not only does the man but also the woman leaves their father and mother in this relationship. Moreover, what does “father and mother” mean? From what we know now about “oneness”, this verse may actually be a prophecy of Jesus’ future relationship with humanity. No human came to be, without coming from creators like “mother-father”. Similarly, YHVH/El Shaddai came from above, in a way “leaving his father-mother” to become human and to be “united with his (future) wife”(13). See also Marriage of the Lamb.
The preceding interpretation is buttressed by Paul in:
Ephesians 5:31-32 “As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.”
Indeed, these verses are an “illustration of the way Christ and the church are one“, through “spirit-baptism“.
Just to digress, this YHVH Elohim/El Shaddai/Logos/ Lord God was the proximate Creator, and as such was the “father” of on ll. In his relation with Israel, he was “married to her”(Jeremiah 3:14; Isaiah 54:5)
However, while the divorced husband is still alive, YHVH ELOHIM was prohibited to marry another nor adulterous Israel/ human wife marry another she was committing harlotry with (Romans 7:3; Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 7:10-11).
But, YHVH ELOHIM incarnated to man/anthropos Jesus who then died by crucifixion. So, as the “husband” died, Israel is free to marry another. And this takes effect spiritually and in the future. Both “resurrected Jesus” and “new Israel”( 1 Corinthians 7:39) can then remarry.
Mechanism-wise, this would occur only after “new Israel” is re-created through “spiritual in-dwelling, growth and development”, aka “in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy”, being prepared and betrothed as in Hosea 2:19-20. In a way, the “new bride/new Israel/a virgin, not previously divorced wife”, nor defiled (Leviticus 21:14 ) is to wed with her “new bridegroom”, “her builder” (Isaiah 62:5) at a “grand marriage supper of the Lamb“(Revelations 19:7-16).
The “new Israel“ is composed of anyone with the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit who are overcomers to the end.
This will be a marriage of the “Son of God” with one who “never have given birth, nor been in labor” yet will “have more children “, as in
“Sing, O childless woman, you who have never given birth! Break into loud and joyful song, O Jerusalem, you who have never been in labor. For the desolate woman now has more children than the woman who lives with her husband,” says the LORD”.NLTIsaiah 54:1 https://www.biblehub.com/nlt/isaiah/54-1.htm
The concept of “oneness” emanated from the mis-interpretation of: Genesis 2:24; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 7:10-11; 1 Corinthians 7:39. The truth behind preceding verses were explained in: John 10:38; John 14:11 ; John 17:21
“Oneness” is not ontological, physical sexual act or with humans on their own in marital bond. The principle extends to the horizontal and lateral relationship among members of the church, as edifying that maybe. As far as the “church” is concerned, the goal of “oneness” is not among each other on their own. It is about “one-to-one” direct and vertical relationship with the Father/Son, through the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Thus, being “one” is defined as “the Father being in Jesus and he being in the Father”.
This “oneness” starts at “spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit” but has to mature and develop through a process that requires continuous and voluntary “not my will but yours (God)” be done. The principle of “growing up” maturation from “intra-uterine”was emphasized by Jesus in:
Matthew 18:3 “And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
By this maturation process guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit, like Jesus was, the person becomes an “overcomer” which is necessary for salvation as in:
“To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Revelation 3:21
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” Hebrews 12:1
God has planned for humanity, the path for salvation/immortality. Jesus is our “way, truth and the life”, our forerunner/trailblazer for this path. He has done it, so should we also through the in-dwelling power of the “Helper/Advocate”/Holy Spirit as in:
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate(Helper)to help you and be with you forever–
God bless 🙏😇
2. Modalism. Retrieved 4/4/19 from https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Modalism
4. Oneness.Retrieved 4/4/19 from http://m.biblestudyguide.org/articles/oneness/what-is-the-oneness-doctrine.htm
6. What is God. Retrieved 4/5/19 from https://fact-s.net/2014/06/29/what-is-god-2/
7. Nature of God. Retrieved 4/5/19 from
8. Trinity Doctrine Deconstructed. Retrieved 4/5/19 from https://fact-s.net/2018/10/07/trinity-doctrine-deconstructed/
9. Masters and Johnson. Retrieved 4/6/19 from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masters_and_Johnson
10. Jesus, author and finisher of our faith. Retrieved 4/7/19 from https://fact-s.net/2019/03/07/jesus-author-finisher-of-our-faith/
11. Kingdom of God in Human Anatomy. Retrieved 4/7/19 from https://fact-s.net/2016/12/21/kingdom-of-god-in-human-anatomy/
12. What is the Kingdom of God? Retrieved 4/7/19 from https://fact-s.net/2018/09/12/what-is-the-kingdom-of-god-2/
13. Jesus, carpenter,builder or what?Retrieved 4/9/19 from https://fact-s.net/2019/01/21/jesus-carpenter-builder-or-what/
Original post: April 10, 2019 as a Dedication
Reposted: May 9, 2019 as a Dedication