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Modalism, and Why It's Wrong

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Modalism is the belief that God presents Himself in modes, or constantly changing forms. First God existed as God the Father, and then He transformed Himself into the Son (Jesus), and lastly into the Holy Spirit. Once God transforms Himself into a new mode, the old mode no longer exists; or in other words, when God existed as Jesus, God the Father was no longer existing. This belief is sometimes referred to as the doctrine of Oneness or Sabellianism.

By looking at the Trinity, we already know that God is the Father, God is the Son, and God is the Holy Spirit. However, the Bible also makes it very clear that the Father IS NOT the Son, who IS NOT the Holy Spirit, who IS NOT the Father. In other words, the Bible shows us that God existed in three forms, but as we will see below, all three forms also existed separately and symbiotically with each other.

This symbiotic relationship is perhaps best demonstrated in Mark 14:36:


From Mark 14:36 we can see two things very clearly. First, Christ (the Son) is talking to the Father. If the Father mode no longer existed, but God was now instead the Son, who is Christ talking to? Why would He ask Himself to take this cup away since all things are possible for Him? Secondly, we can see that the Son has a separate will from the Father. It is the Son's will that this cup (burden) is taken away from Him, but it is His Father's will for Him to die as a propitiation for our sins. Note that Christ says, "Not what I will... but what thou wilt." If God the Father was now God the Son, His will would not change. We know this because God is unchanging (Malachi 3:6).

We can also see the Son talking to the Father in Luke 23:46:


It is important to note here that not only does Christ cry out to God the Father, but He also commends (greek word used is paratithemi, which means to set before) His ghost or spirit into the Father's hands. This is critical as we can see that the Son is putting His ghost into His Father's control before physically dying; and if God only existed as the Son, this would be impossible.

Another example of the symbiotic relationship between God the Father, and God the Son can be seen in Matthew 3:17:


Again, if God the Father no longer existed (since He was now in the mode of God the Son), then what voice are we hearing? As long as Christ is physically existing, we know based off the teachings of Modalism that it cannot be the Father, nor can it be the Holy Spirit. Thus the voice must be that of God the Son projecting out of Heaven, stating that He is pleased with Himself.

These are just a few of the many verses that Modalism fails to address, and in fact completely contradicts. And while Oneness followers call the Trinity heretical, it is in fact the Trinity that is Biblically founded, while Modalism must tactfully dodge contradicting Bible verses.

Malachi 3:6
[6] For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.


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