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About Georgia 
Up Way Publications 35th Anniversary
Talk To Ministers

Talk to Ministers
If You Love the Lord Jesus and I
Followers of Jesus Christ Ministries/ UP WAY PUBLICATIONS  •   P.O. Box 1015 . Kailua, Hawaii 96734 .
VOL.4                                                                             ________                                                      No. 3

Who Is On The Lord's Side?

Dear Fellow-laborers in the Kingdom of God:

As I enter the Community Pentecostal Church, Anytown, U.S.A. I introduce myself as Rev. Smith, an independent Full Gospel minister, one of the first questions I hear anymore is," Well' , Brother, which way do you baptize? You know there Is only one way -- Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."

I reply, “Well, Matthew did quote Jesus as saying to baptize in the Name Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but Peter, on. the day of Pentecost --"

"I see, Brother Smith, you believe like the ‘Oneness’ people. We don't believe that way here. You prefer Peter's word to that of our Lord. if you have time after the service, I'll be glad to straighten you out, but please don't enter Into the discussion in Sunday School. You Might confuse some of my people with this 'Oneness' doctrine. We're strictly Trinitarian here,'' Pastor Thomas informs me.

Feeling rather rejected, I sit through a very interesting and enlightening Bible study and, aside from possibly one aside thrown in for my benefit about the Trinity, the rest is strictly Bible and completely right. The sermon, too, is a great great exposition from the Bible, and not one flaw can I find in the pastor’s, doctrine except that as he wound up to begin, knowing I'm there and have a "dangerous" doctrine, he did warn people to beware of getting tangled up in "oneness" doctrine.

After the service, I take a few moments to speak with the pastor, having, carefully avoided saying more than "Praise the Lord," of "God bless you," as I shook hands with his people. "You know, pastor, I really enjoyed your teaching and preaching and believe just as you on about everything except--''

"Yes, I know, you just believe in Jesus and we believe like the Bible teaches, Father, Son and Holy Ghost." He then sets out to "Straighten out" my doctrine, and is surprised to find out that I do not deny the Father, the Son, nor the Holy Ghost, and that perhaps  one of the greatest differences is my stand on holiness and the absolute necessity of being baptized BOTH in, water in Jesus Name and the Holy Ghost. Those points be readily admits, but insists that since Jesus said "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, that is it.

The following Sunday, I look up the Apostolic Pentecostal Church in Somewhere U.S.A. and again introduce myself as Brother Smith, an independent Full Gospel minister. Pastor James at once inquires, "Have you been baptized in Jesus Name, Brother?''

“Yes, I have, praise the Lord!''

"Where, by whom? Is he with our organization? How long have you believed in baptism in Jesus Name?" The questions go on. That I was raised in a Trinitarian church -- at least in name -- raises questions in the good pastor's mind, and like the Trinitarian the week before, I am advised to keep quiet in discussion and that the pastor would like to inquire of me more fully as to what I believe.  Again, I agree with the Sunday School lesson completely except for a few aside comments about the “Three God" people. Here I notice a much higher standard as a whole among the people. Longer haired women with longer skirts and less jewelry and makeup, and men with neater hair and less flashy shirts and suits. I feel a little bit more at home here, but for the digs at the “Trinitarians.”

What's this argument all about? Is there One God or Three Gods? Is Jesus in the Godhead or the Godhead in Jesus? I have yet to hear any *Trinitarian  preacher, from the pulpit say anything to deny that "In Him (Jesus) dwelleth ALL the fullness of the Godhead Bodily,”1) nor yet have I ever heard any Oneness Pentecostal deny that "There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father,  the word (Jesus), and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”2) In IN fact, most Trinitarians I've ever heard praying, pray to God in the, Name of the Lord Jesus Christ just as do most Oneness and all Oneness use Matthew 28:19 as a basis for saying baptism later was commanded by our Lord.

Who is right, then? Pastor Thomas, the Trinitarian or Pastor James, the Oneness? Was I all mixed up in being in both churches? I don't know of any Trinitarian Pentecostal who will say that there are Three Cods if you express It in that my, nor any Oneness who deny" that God has manifested Himself as Father, as Son, and as the Holy Ghost. So If there is real difference, why then the argument?

In the Third Century, A. D. at the time of Pope Stephen (an anapope) and the Emperor Constantine, there was a church council meeting called the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.) and there it was determined that no longer would the practice of the Apostles (baptism in Jesus Name) be acceptable, but that it must be done in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Trinitarian churches still cling to this doctrine despite their own declaration that to be sound Bible doctrine a passage must be confirmed by other Scripture, and every other reference to Christian baptism in the New Testament indicates clearly a baptism in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Oneness churches, as a whole, have not only had this revelation, but also a stricter standard of holiness. But are the Oneness wholly right? Doctrinally, perhaps yes, but one thing BOTH seem to lack -- the AGAPÉ Love of God. Time that should be spent telling the world that Jesus Saves, Heals, and Fills with the Holy Ghost Comforter is spent instead in the argument of One or Three. On more occasions than one, I've felt a strong leading to visit a particular church with a message of Bible deliverance burning in my heart only to become involved in this doctrinal squabbIe and not allowed to open my mouth in the service, and the pastor, so aware that he had to be especially strong on his doctrinal view in that service that he could scarce preach about repentance, conversion, baptism, the Holy Ghost, holiness, faith, or anything else.

Can you deny the earnest seeker who has repented of his sins and read only Matthew 28:19 that he has obeyed God's will when he is baptized according to what appears in that passage? Can you deny the new convert who has been shown only Acts 2:38 that he has complied with God's divine will? “By their fruits ye shall know them,”#3,) “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh upon the heart,”4) While in a strict sense, the person who has followed the Matthew passage alone has not USED the actual Name in immersion he has still acknowIeged that Jesus IS that Name when he said "Lord Jesus, Save me!”

What then?  Shall we draw our swords and do battle with those who don't have quite the full revelation or shall we preach the unsearchable riches of Christ5). Shall we challenge them to the boxing or wrestling arena, knowing we are bigger, stronger, faster, or shall we take them aside as younger brothers and instruct them lovingly, more perfectly6). You seldom win love with a clenched fist, but compassion draws love In kind. Who will be on the Lord’s side?

The Apostle Petor, the first great Oneness Pentecostal preacher, was a Jew who told God, "I have never eaten anything that is common  or unclean " (Acts 10:14). He kept the Jewish laws, though a Pentecostal Christian, yet when he entered Cornelius' house, though he fully believed in circumcision and was himself, and though at that time there had been no ruling excusing Gentiles from circumcision, he none-the-less  did not  demand circumcision of the household before he would pray for them or enter their house. And God honored the Gentile faith by moving and baptizing with the Holy Ghost.

Philip did not tell the Ethiopian eunuch that because his skin was black he could not receive the Gift of God, nor did he demand circumcision. (Acts 8:30-39). Peter and Philip both simply preached the Love  , of God and salvation through Jesus Christ in a complete form and let less important matters take care of themselves. In  none of the Gospels, as Christ gave the Great Commission did He command that we, display any hatred or malice or that we dispute nor argue with those who do not quite understand the kingdom of God, nor ridicule them. His  command was LOVE, Make  PEACE, be Merciful, be Meek (not know-it-alls). Poorin Spirit (not considering ourselves to "have it all"). (Matt. 5:3-12).

What do I believe? "In Him dwelleth ALl the fullness of the Godhead bodily." (Col.2:9). 
“There is none other Name under heaven given among men whereby we must saved." (Acts 4:12). "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." (John 14:9). But to cap all this and to relate this to myself, I believe, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ  for the remission of sins, and  ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."  (Acts 2:38). All my theology is of no value if I cannot obey God. Just because my brother & doesn't understand how the Father can be the Son or the Holy Ghost, I don't knock him down. I just seek the opportunity to deal with him more fully about the blessed revelation of just who Jesus is! 

Who is on the Lord’s side?

Keynotes:(* Pentecostal. 1)Col. 2:9; 2) 1 John 5:7; 3) Matt.7:16; 4) 1 Sam. 16:7; 5) Eph. 3:8; 6) Acts 18:26

(Samuel M. Smith, 12/12/71)

Added note: In 1971, when this was first written, I had experienced the type of evangelistic rejection I have described here in this "Talk" numerous times. The fact is that while the Apostles’ doctrine, the only real Bible doctrine on the Plan of Salvation DOES call for slaying of our old man, the sin nature, in REPENTANCE, the burial of our old man in Water Baptism with Jesus Christ and resurrection to walk in newness of life, much as a beautiful and beneficial butterfly lays an egg that hatches into a destructive caterpillar that goes through a death to it’s old nature and becomes totally new as a butterfly with no more desire to chew on the leaves and twigs that used to be its life. And while we must stand for truth and as ministers, we must know those who labor among us in the Lord, to know that they are not bringing in a damnable heresy, we also need to make sure to heed the Holy Spirit when visiting ministers drop in. They just might have something that will be a blessing to you and your congregation.

Finally: DO NOT LOWER your holiness standard, but elevate, RAISE it to full agreement with what the Bible really says.

Yours for Jesus' sake,

Bro. Sam

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