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02 January, 2007 / theexpositor

T.D. Jakes on the Trinity

by Ken Silva- Apprising Ministries 

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. (2 Corinthians 6:14)

In “But Southern Baptists Say Ok To ‘Bishop’ T.D. Jakes” I showed you that Ed Young, Jr. of Fellow Church is hosting a conference called Creative Church Conference 2007 (C3 2007) next month. On the bill with him for C3 2007 is his dad Dr. Ed Young, Sr., twice president of the SBC and “ex”-Mark Driscoll, an orginal member of Leadership Network’s Terra Nova Project. And also on the platform will be Oneness Pentecostal “Bishop” T.D. Jakes, pastor of the megachurch The Potter’s House.

You see the bottom line in our generation is this: either this faith of Jesus Christ was actually delivered once and for all or it was not. Heretical cult of personality teachers such as T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Brian McLaren, and Rob Bell will tell us it wasn’t and so we need their new Gnosis to “really understand” what the Bible plainly teaches. But no matter what these dreamers might say it doesn’t change the fact that the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is essentially defined as:

Within the nature of the one God there are three co-equal and co-eternal Persons (cognizant egos); God the Father; God the Son – Who is Christ Jesus of Nazareth – and God the Holy Spirit. And these three Persons are that one God. (c.f. – Keeping You Apprised of – the Holy Trinity)

T.D. Jakes On The Trinity

When Jakes speaks of the nature of God he expresses the view of Oneness Pentecostalism (aka Jesus Only) an heretical sect that teaches:

there is but one person who is God who acted in three separate manifestations (aka modes). In the Old Testament they say he acted as Father; in the New Testament he was the Son – Jesus, and now he is acting as Holy Spirit. Not three persons, but one person acting in three different ways or roles.

This teaching is not simply not Biblical and has already condemned as heresy by the Christian Church around 220 AD. accurately tells us about the man Sabellius who originally taught what Oneness people still believe today:

Christian priest and theologian, b. probably Libya or Egypt. He went to Rome, became the leader of those who accepted the doctrine of modalistic monarchianism, and was excommunicated by Pope St. Calixtus I in 220. Opposing the orthodox teaching of “essential Trinity,” Sabellius advanced the doctrine of the “economic Trinity.” God, he held, was one indivisible substance, but with three fundamental activities, or modes.

The interested reader will also find the piece What Is Oneness Pentecostal Theology? from Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry very helpful as well. This is how the Belief Statement from The Potter’s House where Jakes is pastor currently reads:

God–There is one God, creator of all things, infinitely perfect, abd eternally existing in three manifestations: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Here we notice the language of Oneness Pentecostalism which is virtually identical to that expressed by Sabellius. In my article Can You Be An Evangelical And Deny God? I have pointed out that T.D. Jakes was listed number 13 among Time’s infamous top 25 Evangelicals and billed as “The Penetecostal Media Mogul.” And while it is true that Jakes is indeed a Pentecostal all right, as I just stated above he is actually a “Oneness Pentecostal.”

Now Jakes himself said in the February 1, 2000 edition of Christianity Today:

While I mix with Christians from a broad range of theological perspectives, I speak only for my personal faith and convictions. I am not a theologian, and I avoid quoting even theologians who agree with me. To defend my beliefs, I go directly to the Bible.

My views on the Godhead are from 1 John 5:7-8, “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.” (NKJV)

I believe in one God who is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I believe these three have distinct and separate functions—so separate that each has individual attributes, yet are one. I do not believe in three Gods (Online Source, emphasis mine).

Jakes’ Ordination Is From A Oneness Pentecostal Church

And as I have said before it’s little wonder why Jakes avoids quoting “even theologians who agree with” him because those of us who study Comparative Religion will immediately recognize the modalism contained in the vague explanation of his beliefs. As a matter of fact in that very same CT article called “My Views on the Godhead” Jakes in forms us:

I was raised Baptist and became Pentecostal 26 years ago at a Greater Emmanuel Apostolic Church, where I was later ordained a Bishop.

I was unable to locate a website for this church but from years of personal reasearch and study I can tell you that invariably when we see the word Apostolic in the name of a church it is Oneness Pentecostal. Jerry L. Buckner further tell us that the Christian Research Institute “has received two e-mails sent by T. D. Jakes Ministries to people inquiring” about Jakes’ view on the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. According to Bruckner one “e-mail response is that ‘Bishop T. D. Jakes and The Potter’s House of Dallas believe there is one God who manifest [sic] Himself in the Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.’ ”

This representative for T.D. Jakes goes on to say they have “never denied the Trinity, and we are disappointed that anyone would misunderstand or misrepresent us.” Bruckner then informs us:

T. D. Jakes Ministries and historic Christianity both use the word Trinity, but the meaning of the word appears to be different. Walter Martin taught us that we must scale the language barrier of the cults. We must recognize the reality that unless terms are defined, a semantic jungle will envelope us, making it difficult, if not impossible, to properly contrast orthodox Christianity with teachings outside it.

On the T. D. Jakes Ministries Web site, an older but still accessible version of their Statement of Faith reads, “There is one God, creator of all things, infinitely perfect, and existing in three Manifestations: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”29 Their current doctrinal statement has been altered somewhat to read: “THREE DIMENSIONS OF ONE GOD (1 John 5:7, Matt. 28:19, 1 Tim. 3:16)” — “We believe in one God, who is eternal in His existence, Triune in His Manifestations, being both Father, Son and Holy Ghost AND that He is Sovereign and Absolute in His authority.” (Online Source)

And finally Bruckner is quite correct when he notes that the “position taken by T. D. Jakes Ministries remains problematic” at best:

The problem lies in the word “manifestation.” Manifestation is a modalistic term often used by Oneness Pentecostals. Modalism views Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as different modes of God’s activity rather than three separate persons (ibid).

Jakes Must Be Held Accountable To State Clearly What He Believes

The fact of the matter is this: If Ed Young, Jr. and Ed Young, Sr. are unwilling to accept this information concerning T.D. Jakes contained here within, which is readily available, then at the very least they should now have a meeting with him. Jakes should asked point blank: Do you in fact believe the following concerning the nature of the God you profess to serve:

In all the universe there is but one God. Within the nature of this one God there exists three distinct co-equal and co-eternal cognizant egos, or Persons: God the Father, God the Son–Who is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and God the Holy Spirit. And these three Persons are that one God.

And should that answer from “Bishop” T.D. Jakes be anything less than, “Yes” he should immediately be dropped from C3 2007. This is also an issue that the leadership within the Southern Baptist Convention should also begin to investigate. They need to assess just how it is that a two time ex-president of the SBC like Dr. Ed Young could possibly have been so obtuse spiritually that he would allow his son to yoke them to a heretic like T.D. Jakes in the first place.

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? (2 Corinthians 6:14-16, NASB)

Men and women, quite frankly this is an issue that I should never even have had to bring up in the first place.
Ken Silva- Apprising Ministries



  1. William Head / Oct 9 2007 20 06

    While I do believe T.D. Jakes is confused and should go back and get a real education on the Bible before he preaches the word, I do not think a person to be born again has to have a degree in theology to be saved.
    All people are saved through simple faith in Jesus Christ. People on the internet keep faulting this theology or that theology as being off here or off there but the simple fact is that “Simple” childlike faith in Jesus Christ as savior saves. Not a deep theological understanding of the trinity which comes after salvation, not before salvation. You need to take the context of faith and leave it in the original meaning. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. By grace are we saved through faith, it is a gift of God not of works lest any man should boast. Understanding the Trinity is a deeper knowledge which comes after a person is born again through faith alone in Christ alone.

    William Head

  2. Jay / Nov 26 2007 17 06

    In answer to William Head –

    I may have missed it, and if so I apologise, but I don’t believe anybody said that T. D. Jakes isn’t saved. Maybe he is, and maybe he isn’t – I don’t have enough information on which to evaluate the question. I suspect you don’t either.

    That’s not Mr. Silva’s point.

    The point is that T. D. Jakes appears to have taken an heretical position, or one bordering on that, and that it would be proper to try to get clarification and on that basis decide whether he is truly heretical or perhaps he simply misspoke (in which case he could retract and amend his words in a manner as public as that in which they were first misspoken)!

    This is not some guy in the pew whose salvation we are evaluating. This is a man who leads others, for good or ill. This is a man who has gotten a lot of media attention, for good or ill.

    It is quite proper to review his public statements on theological matters. If he’s no theologian, great, then why is he making theological statements on which others rely? If he’s no theologian, then let him be quiet on theological matters until he understands what he’s talking about.

    But he did speak on theological matters, and he is responsible for his words – words spoken before thousands, on very public platforms. Every Christian has an obligation to “search the scriptures” (Jn 5:39) or to imitate the Bereans who, having listened to Paul and Silas preach the word, “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11).

  3. Tylana / Dec 21 2007 4 14


    Jakes’ website ( says under the About Us/Honors section that he received his bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees from Friends International Christian University. This entity is listed as a diploma mill by the U.S. Dept. of Education, as it is unaccredited.

  4. Jay / Jan 21 2008 21 38

    In response to Tylana – actually, the web site is I wouldn’t mention it except that it makes a huge difference in this case!

    I was checking your claim. Looks true to me. A simple google search shows that Friends International Christian University was already shut down in Hawaii for being unaccredited (and various other counts). Both the charges, and the judgement, are available to anybody on the web site.

  5. Humphrey / Feb 3 2008 17 35

    I think you people are confused.It might be all of you are talking the same thing!.Jakes can defend himself form the scriptures(he is not wrong), you may also take are scriputer from the same bible to criticize him.Be careful the bible is like jigsaw puzzle, thats why HOLY spirit is always here to help us.The issue of God to be in three forms or whatever,is not a point, andi do not think any of you will go to hell by believing different.We are required to be Holy as he is Holy.

    Let us think about to win the lost hearts.

    Be blessed.

  6. ROd / May 29 2008 19 34

    I know I’m late here but I have to respond to this. To use 2 Corinthian 6:14 is insinuating that Bishop Jakes is an unbeliever. He might intrepid what he reads different what you believe but it doesn’t make him an unbeliever. If a man confesses that Jesus is Lord of his life, I don’t see how anyone can say that some one is a Saved from eternal damnation.

    Secondly, degree or not, God can use anyone He pleases to speak to His people and win the lost. Prov 11:30 states he who wins souls is wise. School gives you information. The Holy Spirit is the Master Teacher. How dare we dismiss anything that Paul writes because he didn’t have a degree or. Our relationship with God and being in position to hear from hear from God and then obedient to His voice out weighs any MDIV or DD. There are people that obtain these degrees and lean on there own understanding but that’s another topic.

    Lastly, I agree with Humphery. I don’t think that we will ever began to comprehend the mind of God. His Word is never the same when you read it and internalize it each time. There is always fresh revelation when it’s internalized and not memorized.

    We shouldn’t be putting our faith and stoke in man
    There are so many people hurting, sick, dying, bound by strong holds and that’s in church. We don’t have time to argue about who believes what. The main question is; do they believe that Jesus died for there sins and making savior then Lord.

    (Matthew 12:25). ………Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand’.

  7. theexpositor / May 29 2008 20 02

    It is absolutely important what a person believes and what T.D. Jakes believes is not consistent with what the Word of God proclaims. Without going over it again, but just to say his erroneous doctrines concerning salvation, the Trinity and the prosperity-gospel are totally opposed to Biblical Chrisitianity and thus declaring him a heretic is in my opinion jusitfied. Regardless of what Time Magazine declares, how many books he sells, or how much time he is given on TBN, Jakes is a false teacher, and is leading, and has led, thosuands if not millions, down to the road to eternal hell. It has been upsetting, but not surprisiing, to read how many people here have condemened us for daring to call Jakes accountable to Scritpure, and fidn it so easy to discount the plain truth of God’s Word in order to justify an obcessive opinion of this man. I call on Jakes to repent, to call on thsoe he have deceived to repent, and to place himself at the mercy of our Holy and Righteous Lord.

    Comments to the post are now closed. Tahnk you all for your comments.


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