UPDATE: On January 27, 2012 T. D. Jakes was interviewed by pastor Mark Driscoll and pastor James MacDonald. T. D. Jakes has stated he has some different views on the Trinity and now says he embraces the doctrine of the Trinity. Has he really changed? (Check out our updated post at T. D. Jakes now says he embraces the doctrine of the Trinity) If and when this is officially proven to be an actual fact, we will remove the information below, and it will be with much joy.
Bishop Thomas D. Jakes is a very popular preacher and writer. The purpose of this examination is to provide people with information concerning T. D. Jakes beliefs & teachings on the Trinity doctrine, his affiliation with the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI, Oneness Pentecostals) and Higher Ground Always Abounding Assemblies, and other issues of concern. Our intent is not to be judgmental but to be open to the truth and test all things in light of the Scriptures. The concern is, Is Bishop T. D. Jakes a true or false teacher of God, and What is the evidence.
I have attempted to contact Bishop Thomas D. Jakes:
In the year 2002 I sent Bishop T. D. Jakes (Potters House Ministries) 4 emails asking him to clarify his beliefs & teachings on the Trinity so I could have a better understanding of what he believed and taught people concerning this essential Christian subject. I did as what the Scriptures teach on attempting to get the exact truth from him on these issues, and I never got one reply. It is now 2004 and to my knowledge Bishop T. D. Jakes has not changed his affiliation with the UPCI movement and this is tremendous concern for the body of Christ.
Bishop T. D. Jakes is a person who has taught and written on many emotional subjects such as being men and women of God, yet what has he given to the public on his theological beliefs concerning the identity of God is and what is required to be saved? Bishop T. D. Jakes is like many other charismatic teachers who address many emotional issues that people flock to but in the end the true substance of being sound in the faith is dismissed.
Why be concerned with Bishop Thomas D. Jakes?
According to the Watchman Fellowship ministry: “Jakes acknowledges ties to the Oneness Pentecostal movement. He is a first assistant to the general bishop of Higher Ground Always Abounding Assemblies, a Oneness Pentecostal network. Jakes said he traces his spiritual heritage to both Baptists and Oneness Pentecostals. “I have been shaped by both denominations. I appreciate both, but am controlled by neither.”" (quote from Watchman Fellowship) It is not to easy to find information about Higher Ground Always Abounding Assemblies online but from what is found at their site they promote many Oneness Pentecostal (Apostolic) Churches who in theology reject the doctrine of the Trinity. Bishop T. D. Jakes says the following concerning his Church history: “I was raised Baptist and became Pentecostal 26 years ago at a Greater Emmanuel Apostolic Church, where I was later ordained a Bishop. I resigned from that denomination 11 years ago, and have continued to fellowship with Higher Ground Always Abounding Assemblies.” (from Christianity Today)
Along with Bishop T. D. Jakes issues of the Trinity he also demonstrates some other warning signs that need to be addressed. T. D. Jakes states the following from his website called Potters House: “I try to avoid setting myself up as a judge to tell anybody what God did or did not call them to do. There are many women who are celebrated as ministers: Marilyn Hickey, Joyce Meyer, Jackie McCullough, Dr. Iona Locke, Ernestine Reems and Iverna Tompkins. Many women are making a contribution to the body of Christ.” (From Potters House ministries) Among these women ministers there are false doctrines and teachings concerning the Gospel message and what Christ did to make atonement for sin. Women ministers such as Marilyn Hickey and Joyce Meyer are involved with the Faith Movement and teach that Jesus died spiritually, which is a false doctrine. Dr. Iona Locke identifies herself as a Bishop and Biblically she falls (anyone woman) short because the Apostle Paul clearly teaches in his epistles (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1) that it is men who are leadership as Bishops, Elders, Overseers, not women. Along with that Dr. Iona Locke claims divine revelation from God that contradicts God’s revelation to the Apostle Paul: “The LORD told me that He wanted His Church back and that it had been in the hands of men long enough. He also said that He would rule from this place. The Church was to be founded upon Old Testament values with New Testament graces.” (from Bishop Iona Locke) This quote is supposedly from the LORD but what makes this devastating is the fact that the LORD spoke directly to the Apostle Paul on this issue thus showing her claim to fame is false and unbiblical. Ernestine Reems, also known as Bishop Ernestine Reems falls in the same category as being proven Biblically that she is not following God’s Word in accuracy. As to Iverna Tompkins, she is a part of the Brownsville Revival movement, which in turn shows Biblically that she is off based according to what the Scriptures teach concerning spiritual gifts. Here is a quote from concerning her: “Outstanding message by Dr. Iverna Tompkins. She encouraged and challenged us to not give up. God is waiting to use us in a mighty way in these last days. Our confidence has to be in Him. Pastor Kilpatrick said this was one of the best messages ever preached at Brownsville.” (info on this) As to Jackie McCullough, also known as Rev. Jackie McCullough, she is a preacher and singer, yet she shares platforms with T. D. Jakes and Rod Parsley. (info on that) Rod Parsley is a preacher involved with the Faith Movement and has many unbiblical doctrines. Putting all of these women ministers together Bishop T. D. Jakes has shown himself to be unbiblically sound in the faith in regards to true spiritual leadership.
Bishop T. D. Jakes and the Trinity Doctrine
Along with T. D. Jakes obvious connections to the Oneness Pentecostals he provides clear evidence for his doctrines and beliefs being against the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity. In other words, T. D. Jakes is teaching false doctrines in opposition to what the Bible teaches on the identity of who God is. Examine the connection between what the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI) teaches and what T. D. Jakes teaches on how God has been revealed to mankind.
At Potters House, T. D. Jakes states the following: “There is one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in three Manifestations: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” (Potters House Ministries Belief Statement) What does T. D. Jakes mean by stating God is eternally existing in three manifestations? Closely comparing this with what the UPCI states it is clear that T. D. Jakes has the same theology as he did when he was involved with the Greater Emmanuel Apostolic Church.
At Potters House, T. D. Jakes states the following: “We believe in one God who is eternal in His existence,Triune in His manifestation, being both Father, Son and Holy Ghost AND that He is Sovereign and Absolute in His authority.” (Potters House Ministries Doctrinal Statement) When T. D. Jakes states that God is Triune in His manifestation as being Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, he is teaching that God has revealed Himself in three different ways and not through three distinct personages. This is not Biblical and those who care about what the Bible teaches must be aware of this.
T. D. Jakes was interviewed by Living by the Word on KKLA, hosted by John Coleman, Aug. 23, 1998 and was asked the following question: “My first question would be, the Trinity would be defined as one God Who’s revealed Himself in three distinct Persons, each co-equal and co-eternal. How important is it for the believing Christian to hold to this belief?” T. D. Jakes response to this question was: “The Trinity, the term Trinity, is not a biblical term, to begin with. It’s a theological description for something that is so beyond human comprehension that I’m not sure that we can totally hold God to a numerical system. The Lord said, “Behold, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one, and beside Him there is no other.” When God got ready to make a man that looked like Him, He didn’t make three. He made one man. However, that one man had three parts. He was body, soul and spirit. We have one God, but He is Father in creation, Son in redemption, and Holy Spirit in regeneration.” (Click Here for this information) This is the same as what the United Pentecostal Church International states concerning their doctrines on who God is and their beliefs concerning the Trinity.
The official teachings of the United Pentecostal Church International state the following concerning who God is and what they believe about the Trinity: “In distinction to the doctrine of the Trinity, the UPCI holds to a oneness view of God. It views the Trinitarian concept of God, that of God eternally existing as three distinctive persons, as inadequate and a departure from the consistent and emphatic biblical revelation of God being one…Thus God is manifested as Father in creation and as the Father of the Son, inthe Son for our redemption, and as the Holy Spirit in our regeneration.” (fromwww.upci.org/about/index.asp) This is exactly what T. D. Jakes stated on his beliefs concerning the Trinity and what he believes concerning who God is.
Along with what the UPCI teaches on who God is and their beliefs about the Trinity there are Oneness Pentecostal Churches who have also voiced their thoughts:
“God is manifested as Father in creation and as the Father of the Son, in the Son for our redemption, and as the Holy Spirit in our regeneration…Rather than affirm the man-made doctrine known as the Trinity, we adhere to the wonderful, biblical revelation and doctrine that God is one…God is not a committee of three persons, and neither is He schizophrenic” (Apostolic Church of Clarksburg/ www.clarksburgcac.com/about.us/)
“We believe the Bible teaches that there is only one true, ever living, eternal God, infinite in power, holy in nature, attributes and purpose, and possessing absolute, invisible deity. The One true God has revealed Himself as Father, through His Son in redemption, and as the Holy Ghost, by emanation. This one true God manifested Himself in the Old Testament in various ways; in the Son while he walked among men; as the Holy Ghost after the ascension.” (Bethel United Pentecostal Church/ www.bethelupc.org/faith.html)
For more information on what Oneness Pentecostal Churches and teachers teach on the issues of who God is and the Trinity, then check out our Exposing Official Doctrines & Teachings of Oneness Pentecostals.
Responding to the Doctrine of Trinity being unbiblical!
TD Jakes states he believes the word Trinity is not a Biblical term, but he is clearly mistaken. Officially the word “term” can be used to describe what something is, who someone is, an expression, giving a particular meaning, etc. So speaking Biblically the word Trinity is a Biblical term because this word describes the eternal nature of God being three distinct personages who are by nature the one true God of all, thus Tri-Unity. (Tri meaning three in identity, Unity meaning one in nature)
The following is from our article entitled “What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?“.
Trinity Doctrine in the Bible?
In determining if the Trinity Doctrine is Biblical we must examine what the Bible reveals about the identity of who God is. For people this is hard, but if we are going to be honest we must set aside our personal thoughts.
- The Bible teaches that there is only one God. (Isaiah 43:10, Isaiah 44:6-8, Isaiah 45:22)
- The Bibles teaches that there is one who is called the Father and is identified as being God. (1 Peter 1:2)
- The Bible teaches that there is one who is called Jesus and is identified as being God. (John 1:1-3&14-18, John 20:28-29, 1 John 1:1-4&5:20, Philippians 2:5-8, Revelation 1:17-18, Revelation 22:12-20)
- The Bible teaches that there is one who is called the Holy Spirit and is identified as being God. (John 14:16-17, John 15:26, John 16:7-15, Acts 5:3-4, Acts 13:2, 1 Corinthians 12:4-18, Hebrews 9:14, Hebrews 10:15-18)
The above points and Scriptures clearly point out that there is only one God from eternity who has been revealed as three persons known as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Some people have wrong assumptions or understandings of what Christians believe concerning who is God and on what the Trinity Doctrine is, and those who come against the doctrine of the Trinity at times misrepresent what Christians believe. What are some of the wrong assumptions or misrepresentations of the Trinity Doctrine?
Some Misrepresentations of the Trinity Doctrine
- The Trinity Doctrine is false because it makes no sense.
- The word Trinity is found no where in the Bible.
- The Trinity Doctrine is three gods.
- The Trinity Doctrine is a man made doctrine and is not Scriptural.
Now this is just a small list of excuses or beliefs which people use to disbelieve in the doctrine of the Trinity. The reasons above all have a Biblical response.
- The Trinity Doctrine is not false and the Trinity makes logical sense. Just because our minds or thoughts do not comprehend the eternal nature of God does not make it wrong or false. For example, the Bible states God is from everlasting to everlasting, that God is all-knowing, etc, but does anyone fully comprehend those things? I would submit to you, no, no one fully understands those things and at times for some people they don’t make sense. There are many things in the Bible that are true but we may not understand them, but that does not make it untrue.
- The excuse or reasoning that the word Trinity is not in the Bible is not reasonable. The word Bible is not found in English Bibles either, but does that mean the truth of the Bible is not found in the Bible? The word Monotheism is not in the Bible but the doctrine is. We base our faith or beliefs in something that is taught in the Bible, not necessary a particular word.
- The Trinity is not three gods and that is a misrepresentation of what Christians believe. Christians believe that there is one God by nature revealed through three distinct persons. No Christian believes in three gods and to state this is to give a false witness.
- Those who say the Trinity Doctrine is a man made doctrine do not understand the issues. Any doctrine we have from the Bible came from revelation from God to man, therefore doctrines are taught from man. Those who object the Trinity say the Trinity is not Biblical, but the problem is that they have not taken the time to examine the Trinity from what the Scriptures teach.
T. D. Jakes is false teacher and is misleading many
This is not an issue of feel-good mentality but on what does the Bible teach about being careful of those who are teaching false doctrines on who God is and what is our duty to be on our guard. Our purpose for sharing this information is to inform people on what TD Jakes teaches on the Trinity and for those who truly care about what the Bible teaches to be on the alert. If you have any questions on the doctrine of the Trinity please visit our Trinity Doctrine section, and if you have other questions on the Trinity or this information please contact us. May God give His people true discernment on this and may this information be useful to help people come out of the false teachings of the UPCI movement and what T. D. Jakes teaches.
“13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. 15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7:13-15 NASB)
“28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 “Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.” (Acts 20:28-31 NASB)
“13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NASB)