By Larry Ray Hafley
The United Pentecostal denomination, which is commonly identified as the “Jesus only” or “Oneness” sect, wrests various Scriptures in lame and vain attempts to establish their fundamental keystone and cornerstone doctrine; namely, that Jesus Christ is the only person in the Godhead. They believe and teach that: (1) “Jesus Is The Father,” (2) AJesus Is The Son,” (3) AJesus Is The Holy Spirit.”(Gordon Magee, Is Jesus In The Godhead Or Is The Godhead In Jesus? pp. 14-16).
To prove the latter point, that Jesus is the Holy Spirit, the “Oneness” people often argue from John 14:18, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, yet Jesus says, “I will come to you.” So, Jesus is the Holy Spirit, or so they say. Mr. Magee uses Jn. 14:18 in this regard in the afore-mentioned tract.
(1) Elijah and John the Baptist: The Old Testament states emphatically and unequivocally, “I will send you Elijah the prophet” (Mal. 4:5). Does this mean the literal person, Elijah? No, for in John 1:21, the Immerser was asked directly and specifically, “Art thou Elijah? And he saith, I am not.” Yet Jesus says, “this is Elijah which is to come” (Mt. 11:14). How do we .explain this? How can John the Baptist be Elijah while not being Elijah? Before the Baptist’s birth, the angel told his father Zacharias that “thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son …. And he shall go . . . in the spirit and power of Elijah ” (Lk. 1:17). Elijah was sent when John the Baptist came. But who regards them as one and the same person? Thus, if one can see how that Elijah was sent when John the Baptist came, he ought to be able to see how Jesus came when the Holy Spirit came.
(2) AAnother comforter:” Just two verses preceding the one in dispute, Jesus said, “And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Comforter” (J n. 14:16). The word “another,” says W. E. Vine, “expresses a numerical difference and denotes another of the same sort.” The Holy ‘Spirit could not be “another” Comforter if he was Jesus.
(3) What One Does The Other Does: There is a sense in which God, or Deity, works as one, or what one does the other does. Compare John 5:19, “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.” This statement must not be pressed to say that there is no distinction made between the work of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for three verses later Jesus makes a separation between his work and the Father’s. “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (Jn. 5:22). But John 5:17; 19, shows a oneness in work that may also explain how Jesus came when the Holy Spirit came.
(4) John 14:26: If Jesus taught in Jn. 14:18 that he was the Holy Spirit, then he surely clouded and confused the issue just eight verses later when he said, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Observe the clear difference Jesus makes between himself, the Father and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Why this obvious reference to separate and distinct persons if it is contrary to the immediate utterance of Jn. 14:18?
Truth Magazine, XVIII:23, p. 11
April 11, 1974