by Rex Conklin with Frank Klin
After His death and resurrection Jesus calls the eleven remaining disciples together to give them their commission saying, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” - (Matthew 28:18-20 KJV)
Adding in the rest of verse 19 we read, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”
Some say that with the use of the word “name” the verse indicates that beside the Father and Son the Holy Ghost is an entity unto itself making it one of a three person god they call the trinity. If the Spirit is a separate Being from the Father and Son does it have its own name or is it actually part and parcel of another divine pattern? This study will take us through the gospel of John and Luke’s account of the apostolic church in Acts to determine by what power or name we are to baptize in. Will the evidence agree with what a majority of the “Christian” world is teaching today about a triune baptismal formula?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” - (John 3:16)
The above text identifies God as a Father who had a Son to give.
John then tells us, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” - (John 3:18-19)
What a sad reality. This reality was evident all through the life of Christ. In verse eleven of the first chapter of John’s gospel we read, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”
Those of His own who did not receive Him kept asking for proof of His identity, “Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.” - (John 10:25)
The literal Son of God testified as to where His power came from while He was on earth for He had clothed his Divinity with humanity. He gives His Father’s name as the origin and source of His power. He then warns that because they did not accept Him if “another” (allos John 14:16) came in his own name they would receive him.
”I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” - (John 5:43) Is the church telling us today that someone has come in his own name to represent Christ and His Father?
“I am the LORD (YHWH): that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. - (Isaiah 42:8)
“But as many as received him (Jesus), to them gave he power to become the sons of God (YHWH), even to them that believe on his name:” - (John 1:12)
What a precious thought. Jesus gives those who receive Him and believe on His name power to become the sons of God His Father.
“Now when he (Jesus) was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.” - (John 2:23)
Even the people that had come to the feast of Passover knew Jesus was the King who came in the name of His Father.
“On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” - (John 12:12-13)
“And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: the same came therefore to Philip…and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. - (John 12:20-23)
“If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” “Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” - (John 12:26, 28-32)
With the sacrifice of our Saviour on the cross Satan is no longer the prince of this world. As the father of lies He still tries to make that claim and comes in whatever name he chooses saying he represents the Father and Son. We do not have to fall for his deceptions. As the literal Son of God Jesus said that if He is lifted up He would draw all unto Himself and lead them, as the true shepherd, to His Father.
In John chapter 14 Jesus wants us to know something special about the relationship He has with His Father and Their relation to us. This is the continental divide between those who accept the truth of the literal Father and Son and those who do not.
“ye believe in God (the Father), believe also in me.” - (John 14:1)
“I go to prepare a place for you.” - (John 14:2)
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” - (John 14:3)
“I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;” “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.” - (John 14:6, 16; 15:10)
The Son of God in John 14:16 is “another Comforter”, the “allos parakletos” that will abide with us forever.
Parakletos: literally, "called to one's side," to one's aid. It was used in a court of justice to denote a legal assistant, counsel for the defense, an advocate; then, generally, one who pleads another's cause, an intercessor, advocate. (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words)
Jesus continues to share, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” - (John 14:21-23)
The Old Testament confirms that the Father dwells in us, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” - (Isaiah 57:15)
The Son of God tells us that He speaks in the authority of one person only, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” - (John 12:49-50)
The prophet Isaiah wrote of this truth.
“And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD (the Father). As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD (the Father); My spirit that is upon thee (applied to the Son of God as well as the believer, see also Isaiah 61:1), and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD (the Father), from henceforth and for ever.” - (Isaiah 59:20-21)
Jesus also proclaimed that the Spirit is the words that He received from His Father, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” - (John 6:63)
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost (Spirit), whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” - (John 14: 26)
We are given the same promise when the Father abides in us, “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” - (Matthew 10:20)
John the Baptist declared about Jesus, “…I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not…” “…but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit (of the Father) descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost (the Spirit received from the Father). - (John 1:26,33)
We read previously how Jesus testified that He was the Truth. You can then understand that as He is holy, He also has a Spirit that is holy. Notice how He addresses Himself, the Spirit of Truth. “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:” “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” - (John 15:26; 16:13) As Jesus spoke only what He heard from His Father while on earth, so He continues to do as the Spirit of Truth, that part of Himself that He gives to us.
When it comes to prayer look at how Jesus addresses to who, and in whose name, we should pray.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” “…whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” “At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.” - (John 14:13; 15:16; 16:23-24, 26-27)
When Jesus says that if we ask of the Father in His name and how He in turn will pray the Father for us, this sheds light on Romans 8:26. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us....”
John chapter 17 has the heartfelt prayer of Jesus to His Father. Notice how fundamental the Father’s name is in relation to unity with the believer.
“I have manifested (made visible or known what has been hidden or unknown) thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world…” “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name...” “And I have declared (recognized, made known) unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.” - (John 17:6, 11, 12, 26)
Jesus uttered that while He was on earth He declared His Father’s name and would continue to declare it. This harkens back to what we read previously when the Son asked, “Father, glorify (manifest, acknowledge, praise, honour, make glorious) thy name.” This plea was so poignant and heartfelt that the Father answered directly and audibly. “Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” – (John 12:28) How beautiful to see a divine pattern of headship and submission in the relationship of the Father and Son as the Son manifests and declares the name of His Father while the Father in turn glorifies His own name in the manifestation of His Son.
After the commission to “go…teach all…baptizing them in the name…” by what name did the apostolic church in the book of Acts do this? Did the Father glorify His name again? We will continue the study in Part 2, "By What Power or Name Have You Done These Things?"