Review these enlightening audio podcasts and hear Bishop Jones in his own words
Noel Jones. Trinity Pt. 2
In what can only be deemed as a highly confused if not even down right deceptive, radio interview,
former (current) PAW (Pentecostal Assemblies of the World) Bishop Noel Jones appears to have denied the teaching of Oneness. Oneness, is a doctrine mostly prevalent in organizational Apostolic circles and is normally called "Jesus Only" teaching. This doctrine primarily centers around the thought that Jesus is the Father in creation, the Son in redemption and the Holy Ghost within the the church. This is called modalism. In this teaching we observe Jesus in three "modes" or roles as God. To be more specific, the emphasis is that God (more specifically Jesus) has "manifested" himself as the Father, "manifested" himself as the Son and "manifests" himself today as the Holy Ghost. Please keep this in mind as you will see it later in new clothes.
Early in church history, modalism was rejected as a description of God not contained or found within scripture. It was considered to be a heretical doctrine and those that believed it were considered to be heretics. It was hailed as an ascription or imposition upon the nature of God and an inaccurate portrayal of the person of Jesus. One of the reasons that this is a heresy is because under the modalistic construct, Jesus cannot be truly eternal. He (as son) "begins" or starts "to be" as it pertains to the redemption of man and mankind and more specifically when he puts on flesh. Trinitarians hold however that Jesus exists eternally, from the beginning with God, is God and is a participant within creation itself as scripture describes:
John 1:1-3:~"1-In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2-The same was in the beginning with God. 3-All things were made by him; and without him was
not any thing made that was made."
In addition, the "person-hood" of God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost, according to scripture, is based and established upon relationship. Not based or established upon role or method of operation. Thus is the distinction between a trinitarian understanding of God and a oneness and modalistic view of God.
As a side note, while there is a hint of Arianism in modalism, Arianism is pretty much dispelled from the argument under the weight of the fact that Jesus claimed to share the same nature of God, as opposed to a lesser nature as found within Arianism. Paul dispelled the myth of Arianism by stating that Jesus thought it not robbery to be claimed as being equal with God.
John 5:18 ~"Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God."
Phil 2:5-11 ~"5-Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6-Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7-But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8-And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9-Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10-That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11-And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
In Paul's own words on the subject there is a clear subject object distinction that comes through clearly and does not make sense under a modalistic view. The blog Jesus Christ Is Lord goes into much greater detail regarding the historical nature of this issue than I will in this article.
The Bishop's Heretical "Revelatory Expressions" Variation Revealed
The problem is that Bishop Noel Jones has redefined and created new terms associated with the trinity and taken the argument to an new heretical level. This is how he now describes the trinity:
"Three manifestations is what I call it, but I don't even use manifestations, I don't want to use persons...Here's what I use: I use three "revelatory expressions". I think "revelatory expressions" is a better word than persons, and is a better word than manifestations. One God, three "revelatory expressions". He reveals himself as Father, reveals himself as Son, reveals himself as Holy Spirit. Even though they all are one, they have three distinct functions, that separate them in the Godhead and allows God to perform the task of salvation. The Father thought it, the Son executed it, and the Holy Spirit brings it."
What we see here wrapped up in the term "revelatory expression" is the same understanding of "manifestation" as previously taught under modalism. His distinction of God within the Godhead is yet based on functionality, not relationship. He clearly points to the three distinct "functions" of God to distinguish the "revelatory expression" ie: manifestation. In other words he dresses up Oneness teaching in new clothes and redefines it. However, we should ask, does he claim that what he teaches is no longer oneness doctrine or teaching? It's really quite a move and one that is only revealed when he begins to deliver a more complete understanding of his view of God. For Bishop Jones God is defined both by properties and operation or function. Defining God by operation is modalism 101. However, Jones adds the dimension of properties or physical makeup to the argument to further muddy the waters. Look at the following statement in which one is made to believe that he is a trinitarian...however, pay very close attention:
"I wanna go on record, The Father, in the Godhead, the Father, is nothing but Spirit, He is all Spirit. There is no flesh with the Father. The Son is Spirit and flesh. That's why the scripture says the Spirit was given to him without measure, because the Spirit that runs through Jesus Christ is the Father. There is only one Spirit in the Godhead, there ain't three of 'em. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God that functions within human beings, draws human beings, overshadows human beings, and operates in human beings, and that is why the Spirit overshadowed Mary, the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary"
Be careful here, because once again, we have a revised and renewed expression of the trinity and the nature of God. His statement is simply modalism repackaged. In fact for many believers in modalism Jones's statements are an insult and aren't appealing. They are murky at best. Bishop Jones hails that the physical makeup of God is pure Spirit. However the physical makeup of Jesus is Spirit and "flesh". This Spirit/flesh mixture (which is nowhere taught within scripture as a characteristic or identification of Christ) is hailed by Jones as what distinguishes him from the Father. Further, his teaching is that the operation or purpose of the Holy Ghost within the life of the individual believer is how the Holy Ghost is identifiably different from the Father and the Son. In other words the distinction of the Godhead based on a combination of modes or "operation" and physical packaging. Once again, this isn't a biblical description of God the Father, the Son, nor of the Holy Ghost.
The biblical fact is that Jesus appeared in the Old Testament. In Genesis he was the "Voice of God" (קוֹל or Qol) (Gen.3:8)[some have interpreted this to mean the sound of God walking] in the garden. However, when superimposed upon John 1, which is a personification of the "Word" or "voice", one can better understand the distinction and relationship between God and His Word was clearly displayed even from the most early scriptures. In Exodus 3:2 the "servant" or (מַלְאָך malak) of the Lord appeared to Moses from the fire of the burning bush. v4 states that when Moses came aside, it was then that God spoke to Moses from the midst of the burning bush. From there the word "God" is used 19 times to describe who is speaking to Moses out of the bush. This is what is called a theophany or an appearance of Jesus in the Old Testament in his preincarnate form in a distinct role as "servant", but also as God. In other words scripture teaches the distinction between the Father and the son is an eternal distinction, not a distinction that appears in time whether flesh is involved or not. Flesh is not a distinction of the eternal Son for he was in existence before he took upon himself the limitations of humanity and flesh. Understanding this reveals the fallacious nature of what Jones espouses and teaches.
This is where it gets even more murky. Based on what Jones sets forth, he would claim that there is a distinction between the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. Here is what he says when asked directly:
When asked if the Father was Jesus he emphatically responds "No"
When asked if the Holy Ghost was Jesus he emphatically responds: "No"
But then he breaks down once again when trying to define his statements:
Noel Jones: "Jesus is the Son of God, but the name that is common to all three is the name Jesus because that's what Matthew 28:19 says and that's what the scripture says. But Jesus is not the Holy Spirit and Jesus is not the Father. Jesus is the Son of God when Jesus prayed to the Father (inaudible) he was praying to Spirit alone."
This is very creative. The name that is common to all three is JESUS. Yet neither the Father nor the Holy Ghost is Jesus. Therefore simply attribute the name Jesus to all three even though you acknowledge that at least two of the three are not Jesus??? Not only is this deceptive, it is further heresy against the orthodox understanding of the nature of God as revealed within scripture.
Jones says this because he believes that the names "The Father, The Son" and "The Holy Ghost" are simply titles or ascriptions to God. There is nothing further from the truth. The phrases describes the personification of God. In other words God is "The Father" forever, God is "The Son" forever and God is "The Holy Ghost" forever without being three God's. Scripture aptly indicates that the Father has "will" and spatial awareness and distinct relationship to the Son and the Holy Ghost. The Son has "will" and spatial awareness and distinct relationship with the Father and the Holy Ghost, and the Holy Ghost also has "will" and distinct relationship and spatial awareness with the Father and The Son. What Jones asserts simply bypasses the biblical relationship and distinctions found within scripture and is therefore not a scriptural truth. [Further information regarding why the Bishops assertion is wrong, can be found HERE.]
Defense of Oneness Baptism And The Oneness Baptismal Formula
"Well if they were baptized in the name of the Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost, it can't be a contradiction"...."It' can't be a contradiction or Jesus would have started the biggest revolution in the whole Christian matrix"...In Matthew 28:19: the name of Jesus was implicit, it was implied. In Acts 2:38 the name is not implied, it's explicated. Now, my word to anybody who would call me a heretic, is, if something is implicit and something is explicit, it can't be contradictory"..."Matthew 28:19 does not contradict Acts 2:38, neither does Acts 2:38 contradict Matthew 28:19."
This is standard oneness baptismal understanding covered up in two words..."implicit" and "explicit". This is utter nonsense.
From a scriptural standpoint Matthew 28:19 was describing authority, not outlining a baptismal formula. Jesus gave the church the AUTHORITY by the power of all heaven, (ie: the Father, Son & Holy Ghost) to do the work which he was commissioning them to do. The whole and complete object of this discourse was to provide a basis for the authority in which the Apostles would move and the establishment of a heavenly witness without two or three of which no word of God would be established. (Deut. 17:6, 2 Cor. 13:1) Jones continues in the misapplication of scripture that a formula is outlined or contained within both discourses.
Is This A Marketing Scheme Or An Appeal To The Masses?
I would say yes. I believe this whole position is about making Bishop Noel Jones, more palatable to a wider audience of believers. [See the comments section for information regarding this especially comments 15-17] I also believe that this discourse is about redefining terms under which trinitarianism and oneness has normally been understood, taught, accepted and rejected. For many there seems to be somewhat of an undue sense of fatalism as it pertains to understanding the nature of God and the doctrine of Trinity in particularly. True, the Trinity is a concept to be apprehended, however God's nature is not hidden. God's nature has been revealed through scripture, and should be ingratiated whether one likes the nature revealed or not.
The following video outlines the marketing scheme and it's all about selling Noel Jones:
Along with his marketing and business partner Scott Chaplan with whom has co-authored the book, "A Vow Of Prosperity", Jones has also undertaken the task of realigning and marketing himself to a new generation of believers. This marketing crosses and includes all Christian circles. The video talks about many things but one thing that it doesn't talk about is the controversial move that Bishop Jones undertook in being the founding partner of a Christian singles and dating service called FaithMate Dating Service. Here is their purpose:
Did FaithMate have anything to do with recent rumors that the bishop was dating or engaged to LisaRaye McCoy???"We handle the "big things", so you can focus on fun. Why spend time getting to know someone only to later discover that you don't see eye-to-eye on the major issues like faith, values, or beliefs? At Faithmate, we strive to bring together the community of black Christian singles so you can feel at home with like-minded, spiritually focused individuals.
This Is Business, Sales And Capitalism At Work.
One thing is for sure, the host of the show was inept in dealing with any of these issues and was thoroughly convinced that Jones was now a believer in trinitarian doctrine and not a heretic. Jones continues to teach and exemplify all the signs and teachings of Oneness Pentecostalism even using the name of Jesus to describe God the Father and the Holy Ghost, even continuing to baptize imploring the formula "In Jesus Name". Believing in Oneness doctrine is not the problem, going to great lengths and psychological manipulation and obfuscation to cover what one believes is a problem. What a sham and what a shame!