The Legal Necessity of the Distinct Personhood of the Father and the Son
There is only so much Scripture twisting that can be done when one is trying to uphold a heretical doctrine. After a certain point, the Scripture twisting that’s been going on becomes so clear that the advocates of a heresy expose their errors on their own, proving that they were never Christians to begin with but only wolves in sheep’s clothing. This is the case with Oneness Pentecostals who adhere to a form of Sabbellianism that is everywhere contradicted by the Scriptures. Thankfully, passages that are twist-resistant are abundant in God’s Word, so this makes our duty of finding them and pointing them out to Christianity’s opponents a little easier. One such verse for Oneness Pentecostals is John 8:17-18, where Christ tells the Pharisees:
In your Law it is written the testimony of two people is true. I am the One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness about Me.
It is the testimony of two people that is true, not the testimony of One Person in two different modes! Since Christ is claiming that His testimony along with the Father’s testimony makes what He is saying true, there is absolutely no way that the Oneness proponent/Sabellian can claim that Christ and the Father are the same Person. If Christ and the Father are not distinct Persons then (i.)Christ is not keeping the Law, (ii.)He is lying about His keeping of the Law, and (iii.)His testimony about Himself is invalid. In other words, the Oneness proponent can either bow the knee to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, recognizing that these Three distinct Persons are eternally One God undivided in essence – or they can nullify the Law or, worse yet, turn Christ into a liar.
If Oneness Pentecostals want to accept Christ’s testimony about Himself, then they are legally required to acknowledge that the Father and the Son are distinct Persons. The Son is not another mode of the Father; the Son is eternally distinct from the Father and the Spirit; yet these Three are One God.