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5 Reasons To Believe That Modalism Is False

Modalism is a heresy that some people have fallen into, like
the Oneness Pentecostals, for example. Modalism is the view that there really
aren’t 3 persons of the Trinity, but just 1 person of The Trinity who goes
through different “modes” of existence. Just as a man can be a father, a son,
and an employee, so also God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The
Christian church condemned this view as a heresy a long time ago, and I believe
they were right in doing so. Modalism is at odds with the scriptures. Now,
don’t get me wrong here. I’m not denying the deity of Christ. The Biblical
evidence that Jesus is God incarnate is overwhelming. What I’m saying is that
while yes, Jesus is God, no, He is not God The Father. Jesus is God The Son; a
distinct person of the Godhead. God is one divine entity that consists of 3
There are 5 arguments I want to give in this article that go
to show that modalism if false.
1: Jesus’ Prayer Life
Makes No Sense If He Is The Father.
The gospels depict Jesus on
several occasions praying to God The Father. For example, Jesus prayed to The
Father prior to the raising of Lazarus (read John 11:41-42), Jesus prayed to
the Father as an instruction to His disciples on how they should pray (Matthew
6:9-13), the gospel of John records a very lengthy prayer of Jesus to the
Father at the last supper (see John 17:1-26), and Jesus prayed to the Father in
the garden of Gethsemane right before His crucifixion (see Matthew 26:36-46,
Luke 22:39-46, Mark 14:32-42). Moreover, Hebrews 5:7 says “During the days
of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud
cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard
because of his reverent submission.”
Jesus prayed to the Father, but
this makes little sense on Modalism. On Modalism, Jesus is The Father.
On Modalism, Jesus is The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. If Modalism
were true, then we would have to conclude that whenever Jesus prays, He’s
literally talking to Himself.
Modalism reduces Jesus to this
weird individual who goes around talking to Himself and calling Himself
“Father”. What would you think of me if I told you “Evan Minton
is my father.” and then proceeded to ask Evan for help saying “Evan,
I need 20 bucks. Please lend me some.” You’d think I was a mad man. But
you wouldn’t think that if I did the same with Ron Minton (my Dad’s name).
We’re two different persons, so for me to call him “father” and ask
him for 20 bucks is no big deal. You wouldn’t think twice about it.

I’m not saying Jesus’ prayer life is irrefutable
proof of the Trinity, but what I am saying is that His prayer life makes more
sense when viewed through Trinitatian lenses rather than oneness lenses.

Jesus’ Appeal To The Two Witnesses Law.
Later, Jesus strived to align
with the Law Of The Two Witnesses. In a Jewish court, a testimony required two
witnesses. To validate His testimony before the Jewish people, Jesus said that
He had two witnesses to verify His claims. He said, “I am He who testifies
about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.”
(John 8:18).
As Richard Bushey of once put it; this would be like standing before a judge
and saying “I have three witnesses who will testify for me. Me, myself, and I.”
Would the judge hearing your case think you were actually offering 3 witnesses?
Of course not. Everyone would see that by your response, you were really only
offering 1 witness that went by 3 different names. Jesus saying that He and The
Father count as two witnesses only makes sense on Trinitarianism.
Jesus Said The Holy Spirit Wouldn’t Come To His Disciples Unless He Went Away.
The apostle John’s account of the
last supper was vastly different than the synoptic’s reporting of it. John
included a lengthy speech and prayer from Jesus that took up several chapters
of his gospel. At one point, Jesus told His disciples “But very truly I tell
you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate
will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he
will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and
(John 16:7-8).
In this passage, Jesus tells His
disciples that The Holy Spirit will not come to them unless He goes away, but
on Modalism isn’t Jesus The Holy Spirit and therefore already with them? If
Modalism were true, we would have to interpret Jesus as saying “Unless I go
away, I will not come to you. But if I go, I will send myself to you. When I
come, I will prove the world to be wrong about sin…” This is nonsense, but not
if Jesus and The Holy Spirit are distinct persons.
I like the illustration Richard
Bushey gave. He wrote
Suppose a father tells his children, “I
will not leave you alone. I will send a babysitter when I go out.” Then the
father showed up that night. What will the children think? Where is the
babysitter? Then the father tells us, “Oh, I am the babysitter.” We would think
that his actions were incoherent. One does not say that they are going to send
another, if they are the one who is coming. But that is precisely what Jesus
(from the article “Is Jesus The Holy Spirit?”)
The Word Was With God.
John’s gospel opens up with the
following words;
“In the beginning was the
Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the
beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that
has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The
light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ……..The
Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have see His glory, the
glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and
– John 1:1-4, 14 (NIV, emphasis mine)
Jesus is God and Creator of the
universe. This scripture couldn’t be more blatant about that. It’s no wonder
the Jehova’s Witness have to tamper with the text to avoid the conclusion. No
one could miss the doctrine of Christ’s deity reading through the text straight
This scripture is also
uncomfortable for modalists, since it says the Word was “With God”
and “Was God”. That’s Trinitarianism right there. Jesus is with The
Father, but He is God. He’s with God (the Father), seated at His right hand,
but He shares the same divine essence with The Father. They’re distinct
persons, but the same divine Being. If I say I was “with Bob”, what
would you conclude? You would conclude I was sitting beside him or standing in
front of him. You wouldn’t conclude we were the same person.
In fact, the Greek word for
“with” is “pros” which means “toward” or
“face-to-face” with God. The Greek text itself demonstrates that
there are two people. Jesus was “face-to-face” with the Father, and
we know that because of verse 18.
Glorify Me With The Glory I Shared With You…
During the aforementioned lengthy prayer Jesus said at the
last supper, Jesus said “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself,
with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” (
John 17:5). In
Modalist language, this would translate to “Glorify me, together with myself,
with the glory which I had with myself before the world was.” This is a very
odd thing to say. Jesus is going to glorify Himself with the glory He had with
Himself before the world was created? This makes no sense, at least on
modalism. It makes perfect sense on Trinitarianism. Moreover, again, as stated
above, the Greek word for “with” is
“pros” which means “toward” or “face-to-face”
with whoever it is you’re talking about. If Modalism is true, this passage
would lead us to believe that Jesus was somehow “face-to-face” with himself!
John 17:5 is very
anti-modalistic. John 17:5 shows us yet another distinction between The Father
and Jesus. Moreover, it’s noteworthy to point out that this Bible verse is
excellent scriptural evidence that Jesus is God. In the Old Testament, God said
that He would not share His glory with another. He said
“I am
the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another,”
42:8). In Isaiah 42:8, God says He won’t share His glory with another, and yet
in John 17:5, Jesus says He shared glory with The Father before the world was
created. If Jesus were not God (as the Jehova’s Witnesses and Mormons believe),
then either God was lying in the Old Testament, or Jesus was lying in The New
Testament. But that’s impossible! Titus 1:2 and Numbers 23:19 say that it’s
impossible for God to lie, and Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus was without sin! We must
conclude then, that Jesus was and is God Almighty.
Modalism is false. Jesus is God, but He is not God The Father. He is God the Son.

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