SermonIndex Audio Sermons
SermonIndex - Promoting Revival to this Generation
Give To SermonIndex
Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Acts 2:38

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( 1 | 2 Next Page )

Joined: 2003/5/12
Posts: 573

 Acts 2:38

I have recently run into a doctrine along the lines that we are only to be baptized exclusively in the name of Jesus in this post-Pentecost age. The argument, as best I can tell, goes along these lines:

1. Baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is commanded only before Pentecost.
2. In Acts 2:38, under the new dispensation (i.e. post-Pentecost), belivers are to be baptized exclusively in the name of Jesus.

I am not sure how accurately I represented the view but either way I find this line of thinking very intriguing.

 2003/8/3 15:36Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 39795

 Re: Acts 2:38

I have recently run into a doctrine along the lines that we are only to be baptized exclusively in the name of Jesus in this post-Pentecost age.

This is an of-shoot denomination that was formed and is an abvious heresy. Its called: [b]Oneness Pentecostal theology.[/b]

"Oneness Pentecostal theology is a false doctrine that denies the Trinity, states there is only one person in the Godhead, that you must be baptized to be saved, and that speaking in tongues is a necessary sign for salvation. Oneness Pentecostal theology is not biblical." - here is a bunch of info on it! :)

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2003/8/3 15:49Profile

Joined: 2003/5/12
Posts: 573


Thanks for the resource Greg. Here's the part that references the specific doctrine I am interested in:
"Must baptism be 'in Jesus' name"?
Oneness Pentecostal theology maintains that baptism must be by immersion using the formula "in Jesus name" and not the formula "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit" as is found in Matt. 28:19. They reject the Trinitarian formula because they reject the Trinity. To support their method, they cite various Bible verses that reference baptizing in Jesus' name and claim that this is proof for their doctrine. Following are some of the Bible references they quote.

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, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
Acts 8:16, "For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus."
Acts 10:48, "And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days."
Acts 19:5, "When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus."
The phrase, "in the name of the Lord" is not a reference to a baptismal formula, but a reference to authority. It is similar to hearing someone say, "Stop in the name of the Law!". We understand that the "name of the Law" means by the authority of the Law. It is the same with baptism "in Jesus' name." Consider the following:
"And when they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?" 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people, 9 if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, 10 let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead — by this name this man stands here before you in good health" (Acts 4:7-10). (See also Acts 4:17-18; 5:28; 5:40-41; 8:12; 9:27-28.)

We can see that the phrase is used in the Bible as an expression of authority. This is also verified in Acts 16:18 which says, "And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour." We also see that when people were being baptized that they did it calling on Jesus' name (Acts 22:16); that is, they were calling upon Jesus who has all authority in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18). The church is supposed to "call upon the name of the Lord Jesus" (1 Cor. 1:2) because it is by His authority (John 1:12) that we Christians have the hope and right of forgiveness of sins and adoption as His children (Rom. 8:15).
Therefore, the Oneness Pentecostal people are simply in error by demanding that baptism be done with the formula "In Jesus name." Instead, it should be done as Jesus commanded:

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matt. 28:19)."

Wow, I was expecting a much more convincing critique to be honest. I remain unconvinced. I understand the authority of the name of Jesus aspect, but that just seems to take one on a sidetrack. Yes, it "could" be understood in that way, though I feel that the burden of proof remains on the advocates of the "old" formula. Is there a single instance in the New Testament where baptism is done in the name of "the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit"? If not, it seems clear who maintains the burden of proof. If it is, then that will be interesting. However, I would think that it would have been mentioned in the critique from the site.

Instead of discussing the entire Oneness view, I would like to only discuss this one aspect. I would like to treat the subject with a fair and open mind. It is weak logic to deem this specific doctrine wrong on the basis of it's association with the larger view. That is also unjust. It like the "guilt by association" phenonmenon in sociology (or maybe it would be psychology, or social-psychology). An example would be if there was a group of students who were friends. A few of them were caught lying and so the entire group was deemed "liars" by their schoolmates. It would even be incorrect to assume that those few who did get caught in a lie are "liars" in the sense that they have lied before. This may be wise to consider in relations with them, but is unjust to hold against them as a general label.

If every reference to a baptismal formula post-Pentecost uses "Jesus only", then to me it seems just to, at the very least, give this view a fair look.

It seems to me that the "authority" critique doesn't hold. In Matthew 28:19 Jesus says,
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." If the "Jesus only" is an authority issue (which I think makes sense) it seems we have to concede that this pre-Pentecost formula given by Jesus in Matthew 28 is also an authority issue. How can we distinguish, and what does that really change?

This is brand new territory for me so my logic has not been tried by others. I hope that the council of others on this site will prove fruitful here.

 2003/8/3 16:39Profile

Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 14
Lockport IL


I have been going to an Apostolic Pentecostal Church where they believe in the "Oneness doctrine" but I myself believe in 3 persons in one Godhead.

But I do believe that when Jesus said "...baptising them in the [b]Name[/b] of the Father ,Son, and the Holy Spirit" That the name is Jesus.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are titles and if you look in the book of John, Jesus is giving the Name of God.

vs 17:11 "....Holy Father, keep them in your

[b]Name[/b], [b]the Name which you have given Me,[/b]..." NASB and NIB

To me Jesus is saying to the Father to keep us in the Fathers name the same name that was the name of the Son which is "Jesus". Could it be that Jesus is a junior? and the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is Jesus?

So even though I believe in the 3 seperate persons of the Godhead or "Trinity" I believe by examples set forth in scripture that the proper way of baptism by water is in the Name of Jesus.

I am definately open to correction but this appears to me to be scriptural. We are called to be baptised in the name of not the titles of. and as mentioned earlier there are no examples of anyone being baptised in the titles of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I have a question -- does the name Jesus have the same meaning as Emmanuel? God with us. :-?


 2003/8/4 17:09Profile

Joined: 2003/8/3
Posts: 1

 Re: Acts 2:38

The biggest problem here is, understanding the doctrine of the godhead. Anyone who has studied the bible and history know that the trinity was invented by the Roman Church. It originated three hundred years after the church was born. Until this period of time there was no question about baptism. There was only one way the original church baptized. That was in the name of Jesus. If my soul is important to me I think when I stand before Almighty God I would like to say "I did it the bible way." Also, remember that the scriptures tell us that Jesus did not baptize, but He's disciples did it for him. Jesus trained His new church leaders before the church was born at pentecost. Do you think that the period of time that all the ages pointed to would be fouled up by his disciples? I thank not! His disciples baptized in the Name of Jesus. It would be foolish to think that after Jesus trained them, they would do it wrong.

 2003/8/4 23:12Profile


JesusisGod2 asked:

I have a question -- does the name Jesus have the same meaning as Emmanuel? God with us. :-?

My answer to this is a positive NO! The name of Jesus means He who saves, or saviour that is why Matthew 1: 21 says.."...and you shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins". Emmanuel is from the Hebrew or Aramaic and means "God with us".

I would like to throw out some thoughts here about this subject. I think you are taking it up way too literally here. I believe the thought behind "in the name of" does not necesarily mean using a formula such as "I baptise you in the name of Jesus" but that the one who does so must have the "authority" that the name of Jesus signifies. Much like one who represents, like an ambassador, his King's interests to another country. He comes in the name of the King of England, for instance, and has the authority to "act" on the Kings behalf. If you are going to use a formula I think you would be best to use the one commanded by the Lord Jesus Himself. Just my thoughts on the matter!


 2003/8/4 23:32

Joined: 2003/8/5
Posts: 75
Livermore, CA

 Re: acts 2:38

I personally believe that, if they did it in the bible, that's how we should do it. Who are we to change the way things were done in the bible? Never, NEVER in the bible (I've looked!) was anyone baptised in the name of the Father, Son, Holy Ghost. Never. Peter, Paul, James, all the apostles were Jews, and the most important scripture in the bible to the Jews is Deut. 6:4 "Hear O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD". Jesus himself vouched for this in Mark 12:28. There is no way a Jew would baptise in a triune formula, it's just not possible... they were taught, literally, that the first thing you say when you wake up is Deut. 6:4, and the last thing you said when you went to bed was the same. There is no way they believed or understood or even contemplated that God was triune. To them, God was simply God. There is 1 God, it says it in the scriptures, and no where does it even imply that there are 3, except for Matt 28:19 and 1 John 5:7, and you can look at these and understand they are all talking about the same person.

I think the main problem for us mortals in understanding the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is that these are the manifestations of God, the only way we can view or understand God... we see God in us (Holy Ghost), as Jesus (Son) and as the master of all heaven (Father). We don't see him in any other ways. It's the same God, the same person, the same being... only 3 ways we understand him though.

If the apostles did it, and wrote about it in the bible... then that's the way I'll do it. No shortcuts, no halfhearted christianity. "Work out your own salvation with *FEAR* and *Trembling*." I think too many times Christiandom doesn't truly quake or fear in the presence of God and we end up taking the "shortcut", making excuses for man made doctrines and "the easy way" to do things.

No one, and I repeat, NO ONE that is fearing God and trembling in fear for his soul is going to argue against being baptised exactly the way they did it in the bible.

I conclude with Acts 4:12- "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved".

You know the Name. There is power in that name.

God bless you all,

J. Wilson

 2003/8/5 3:44Profile

Joined: 2003/4/17
Posts: 124

 Re: Acts 2:38

The Trinity was invented?

Gen 1:26 And God said, Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth

Gen 11:7 Go to, let US go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

Isa 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for US? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

The change of the number, I and us, is very remarkable; and both being meant of one and the same Lord, do sufficiently intimate a plurality of persons in the Godhead. ~ John Wesley

And who will go for us? not directing his discourse to the seraphim, as if he consulted with them: for who of all the creatures is the Lord's counsellor? but to the Son and Spirit, who it is certain were concerned in this mission. ~ John Gill

1Jo 5:7 For there are THREE that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these THREE are ONE.


 2003/8/5 9:12Profile

Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 14
Lockport IL


Hi zapthycat

I do respect your position and admire your faith in the Living God. But I have some scriptures I would like you to consider.

In Daniel 7:13 "I saw in the night visions, behold, [b]One like the Son of Man[/b] came with the clouds of heaven, [b]and came to the Ancient Of Days[/b] and they brought [b]Him[/b] near before [b]Him[/b]"

this clearly shows 2 seperate persons and if you read vs 14 there is no mistake that the one refered to here is Jesus.
and the one Jesus is being presented before is the Father.

In Acts 7:55 "But he being full of the [b]Holy Spirit[/b] looked up steadfastly into heaven [b]and saw[/b] the glory of God,
[b]and Jesus standing[/b] [color=0000FF]on the right hand of God[/color]

This to me anyway cleary shows the three different persons in the Godhead.

The very name of Eloheim is plural and this allows for but does not teach per say the "Trinity". I do understand that the term "Trinity is a man given name for the Godhead.

I 'll let you respond before I go any further so as I dont end up writting a book. I looked at the "Oneness doctrine" pretty strongly and prayed over it because I was always taught oo three persons in one Godhead and God showed many scriptures and continues to do so of what we refer to as the "Trinity"


 2003/8/5 10:06Profile

Joined: 2003/5/12
Posts: 573


I am very surprised at the amount of support for the "Jesus only" formula.
But now it seems we have moved on to a much bigger discussion I think. I hope eventually we can get back to the original. But for now I am very interested in this new direction.

Here's some of my thoughts. I really don't get the trinity idea. ANd that's ok with me. I don't get many things about God.
But since I really don't grasp the concept, I am very open to hearing other understandings concerning this mystery of God. Especially since, as it has been mentioned, the doctrine was not established until awhile after the original Christians had passed on (or so I have repeadedly heard, although I haven't done the research myself). But for sure it's not emphasized as a clear doctrine in the Bible. Do we all agree with that?

SOme might think it foolish to even conceive of denying the classic doctrine of the Trinity, just as much as one might consider it foolish or rediculous to challenge the classic doctrine of Original Sin. Finney challenged the later and so does Paris Reidhead ("Hidden Things" sermons). So, even going with the flow of speakers and influential names on this site, this kind of speculation doesn't seem out of bounds.

I would definately be interested in hearing more about this verse as referrenced by Taka:

"1Jo 5:7 For there are THREE that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these THREE are ONE."

1John 5:6-8
"This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement."

So clearly in context the water and the blood both concern Jesus. Also, you can notice the huge difference in this version as compared to the one referrenced by Taka (KJV or NKJV or other?) I see that both the KJV, NKJV, and the Amplified all include the extra statements, while the NASB and NIV do not. A study note in my NASB Key WOrd Study Bible states, "A few late manuscripts read [i]in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth, the Spirit[/i]".

So I find it intriguing that this doctrine that was, shall we say, instituted "later" on, finds one of it's strongest supports from statements found in a few "late" manuscripts. BUt I don't know the accuracy of that statement nor have I done any research here.

Acts 7:55-56 are pretty hard to argue with. But I would want to hear the interpretation of a "Oneness" adherent. Surely they have read this verse and have a understanding of it that works with their view. Perhaps one will read this. If that's you, please express your view.

I've also found Genesis 18 fascinating concerning this issue.

 2003/8/6 0:56Profile

Promoting Revival to this Generation.
Privacy Policy