By What Name and Power?
Matt 28:19 is the primary, core, foundational text which is featured by all who accept the triune concept of God. Brother Stefan in Korea has observed that Acts 4:7 provides a valuable key to understanding this passage. Acts chapter 4 records the aftermath of Peter and John’s healing of the lame man by the gate Beautiful in chapter 3.
When the people marveled, Peter assured them that it was not by their “own power” that the man was “walking and leaping and praising God!” But it was Jesus, the glorified Son of God, the “Holy One and Just”, “the Prince of life” and “his name through faith in his name” that had made this man whole (Acts 3:12-18). When the authorities heard about it, they arrested them, and after a night in detention, interrogated them:
by what power, or by what name have you done this?” (Acts 4:7).
Power and Name are treated as equivalent terms. This adds understanding to Matt 28:19 when coupled with verse 18 in which Jesus announced, “All power is given unto me.” Who gave Christ all power?
“Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands” John 13:3, said:
“All things are delivered unto me of my Father” Matt 11:27.
“The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand” John 3:35.
“For He has put all things under his feet” 1Cor 15:27.
“That in all things he might have the pre-eminence” Col 1:18
“He has appointed [him] heir of all things” Heb 1:2
“and given him a name which is above every name” Phil 2:9
All this—his name, his inheritance, indeed all things—are included in the meaning of all power. Therefore it is by the power or the name that has been given him that the Son “made the world…upholding all things by the word of His (the Father’s) power” Heb 1:2,3.
Likewise, it is in this name or power that Jesus instructs his disciples to teach and baptize all nations.
“baptizing them in the power of the Father [the Source of all power “of whom are all things” 1Cor 8:6], and of the Son [to whom all power and all things have been given by the Father], and of the holy Spirit [of God the Father, “the power of the Most High” Luke 1:35]. This text is identifying three powers. It is in perfect accord with the 20:1 occurrence of Ellen White’s “three powers” statements to “three persons” statement.
21 times Ellen White stated that there are “three great (or highest) powers of heaven.”
Only once she wrote of “three living persons of the heavenly trio.”