The Bible Speaks Concerning
Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ
By: Rev. Charles C Burnett-Morrow
There is probably no single issue embraced and taught by the apostolic movement which is more clearly articulated in the Word of God than is the matter of baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Secular and religious historians are clear, the only baptism known to the early Christian church, through the second and third centuries, was baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. It was not until the trinity doctrine was officially adopted by the early Roman Catholic church fathers in 325 AD that the practice of baptizing in "the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" began. We are told by Rome that this change was made in response to a more clear understanding of Matthew 28:19. After all, the apostles, and Peter in particular, whom the Roman organization claims to be their first pope, were mistaken in interpreting the words of our Lord in Matthew 28:19 to mean that they were to baptize in the singular name of Jesus alone.
The truth, my friend, is quite simply this; Jesus Christ had given His apostles authority to establish His church on earth. No one outside of the Lord's chosen has the authority to change or alter the Gospel message in any way whatsoever! The Word of God clearly speaks concerning this:
1 Corinthians 12:27-28
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
2 Peter 3:1-2
1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
The apostles gave clear warnings that some would arise from within the church itself who would seek to pollute and dilute the true doctrine of God as delivered by the apostles themselves. Peter, Paul, Jude, and John each gave warnings concerning this matter:
2 Peter 2:1-2 (The Apostle Peter is speaking/writing)
1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
1 John 4:1 (The Apostle John is speaking/writing)
1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Jude 1:3-4 (The Apostle Jude is speaking/writing)
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Acts 20:29-31 (The Apostle Paul is speaking/writing)
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
The Lord Himself issued this clarion warning:
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
How anyone can fail to see that the Roman Catholic organization has consistently produced evil fruit; murders, genocide, torture, bribery, greed, and so on, for century after century, and still believe that this organization has anything to do with God's true church is beyond my comprehension! Paul clearly spoke of those who would dare change the message preached by the apostles to another message...
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
II Corinthians 11:3-4
3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
In the book of Revelation, God's prophets and apostles are called to rejoice over Rome's destruction and judgment, as she had for millennium stood in direct opposition to every truth ever taught by God's holy apostles and prophets. Her gall in changing the mode of baptism from "Jesus name" to the trinitarian formula was but one arrogant action, followed by thousands of others.
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. 20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
If indeed Peter was given the keys to the kingdom of heaven, it would only stand to reason that the message He preached on the Day of Pentecost was the immutable, unchangeable, and indisputable truth of God that is able to set humanity free!
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
The Samaritans also received the same identical message:
14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
The house of Cornelius, the first of the Gentile converts, also received the identical same message:
Acts 10:44-48 (GENTILES - Which puts to rest the lie that Jesus name baptism was only for the Jews.) 44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
And the Gentile converts at Ephesus also received the same identical message!
1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
The Roman organization has explained away the issue of baptism in the name of Jesus Christ by saying that this mode of baptism was only necessary in the early church for the sake of the Jewish believers who needed to specifically acknowledge Jesus Christ. But if this were true, why is it then that EVERY SINGLE BODY OF PEOPLE to whom this Gospel is recorded as having been presented were recorded as having either been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, or were commanded to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ?
10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
According to Peter, there is NO OTHER NAME whereby mankind is able to be saved. Salvation and the name of Jesus Christ are married one to the other. One cannot be saved without the name of Christ, and it is in baptism that the name of Jesus Christ is applied to our lives for the purpose of remission of sins. Look at Paul's own testimony:
12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, 13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. 14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. 15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. 16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Sounds like baptism in Jesus name to me. And it also appears that the purpose for that baptism is to remit sins, "wash away thy sins." Peter said at Pentecost,
Acts 2:38 - "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins..."
Paul made it clear to the Corinthians that their ought not to be any schisms or divisions within the body of Christ, regardless of what spiritual authority or teacher you preferred or chose to follow, after all, as Paul says it, "Was I crucified for you?" Obviously they were baptized in the name of the one who had been crucified for them!
I CORINTHIANS 1:12-13
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
Paul further makes it clear to the church at Corinth that…
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Paul clearly states to the church at Corinth that washing and sanctification are wrought through the name of Jesus Christ and by the working of the Spirit of our God. The Lord Himself clearly stated that those who believed AND WERE BAPTIZED would be saved...
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: 40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; 41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
The Word of God states clearly that we are baptized "into Christ." The Roman Catholic church teaches that baptism in "the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" constitutes one's being baptized into the "Holy Trinity." I for one, will not be baptized into the trinity, but into Christ Himself as this is the teaching and practice of His true church as taught by His holy apostles.
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
The apostles, while wrestling over the matter of how much of the law was to be embraced by the Gentile believers, worded things this way...
17 That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
The phrase, "upon whom the name of the Lord is called," clearly speaks of baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. In his letter to the Romans, Paul clearly ties together obedience to the Gospel and "calling upon the name of the Lord."
"12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel..."
Now remember the very words used by Ananias as he commanded Saul of Tarsus to arise and be baptized...
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
The Matthew 28:19 Issue
Their are many Biblical historians and theologians who believe that Matthew 28:19 did not read originally as it reads today. Why do they believe this? Firstly, because it is clearly in "trinitarian language." Trinitarian language did not even begin to remotely appear until well into the third century AD. Secondly, this phrase is worded in such a way as it appears NOWHERE ELSE in all of New Testament writings. Thus, we are inclined to believe that this phrase was changed in the early history of the church in an effort to give the trinitarian doctrine, and it's subsequent change in baptismal formula, some sort of validity and Biblical basis. The wonderful thing about the Word of God, however, is that while you may attempt to change or alter it, you cannot possibly destroy it. For this reason, I offer you the following simple, Bible based explanation for this verse as it appears today.
We know, of course, that the name of the Son is Jesus...
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (The name Jesus speaks of Jehovah's role as Saviour, thus, the angel states, His name shall be called Jesus - FOR He shall save His people from their sins.) 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God (NOT, "God the Son") with us. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Jesus IS the FATHER:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name (singular, not plural) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
First of all, this verse, which is corraberated nowhere else in the entire Bible, and certainly not in any of the other Gospels, states clearly that the disciples were to baptize "in THE NAME" (This term is singular, and not plural). There is only ONE NAME that is applicable to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. That name is Jesus! How do we come to that conclusion?
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
The same ONE we call Prince of peace and Wonderful, Counsellor is also the ONE we call Everlasting Father and Mighty God!
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.
25 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. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one.
1 John 3:1
1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Because it knew who not? The Father!
25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, 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.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. 19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
1 Peter 1:10-12
10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
The Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ are one and the same. There is only ONE SPIRIT whereby we are all baptized into one body...
1 Corinthians 12:12-26
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
Therefore, it is easily seen that to baptize in THE NAME, or one singular name, of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost IS TO BAPTIZE IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, as this one name is inclusive of all three manifestations of our God. The Bible teaching:
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Notice that it is said "the fullness of the godhead dwelleth in Him," and NOT that He dwells in the godhead! There is an enormous difference! He, Jesus Christ, is the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost embodied in human form.
1 Timothy 3:16
16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
The final word is clearly stated by the apostle Paul to the Colossian church...
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Baptism is an ordinance which involves both "word" and "deed."
The Bible speaks very clearly on the matter of Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.
1. There is no other name which can be used in baptism which is able to bring cleansing and remission of sins.
2. Baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins is essential to salvation as it is an act of obedience, following our faith, as "faith without works, being alone, is dead (useless)." JAMES 2:19-26
3. Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ identifies us with His (The Lord's) death, burial, and resurrection.
4. Baptism in the name of Jesus Christ initiates us into the mystical, universal body of Christ.
If you have yet to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, dear friend, I exhort you this hour to hear this simple undiluted message and obey it's call today. Churches that baptize in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins may be found in your community in the phone book under the heading of Apostolic or Pentecostal. You should call that church first and specifically ask them, "Do you baptize in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins?" If they stutter or answer, "No," keep looking. Church organizations which embrace this truth and practice baptism according to the apostles message include:
And there are others. Please consult the Internet or your local phone directory.