- How do we get to the Father?
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
- How do we get the Spirit? John the Baptist said,
Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Mark 1:8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
Luke 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
John 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
- Jesus said,
Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
- Peter said,
Acts 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
Acts 11:16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
- Who comes with the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter?
Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
John 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
So, to get to the Father, it is through Christ. To get the Spirit of the Father which was in Christ, it is through the only mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
- What could Christ have meant in Matthew 28:19?
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
First, the language is familial: Father, Son, Holy Ghost (the Spirit of His Son, Galatians 4:6).
- What is the name of the Father in that verse?
- What is the name of the Son in that verse?
- What is the name of the Holy Ghost in that verse?
- How did the Apostles understand that verse?
- What does “name” mean?
- Could it be that “name” means character and authority? (Jacob/Israel, Saul/Paul, etc.)
- Could it be that baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit is a public acceptance of a person being adopted into the “royal family”, by symbolically being crucified as Christ was? (See Romans 6:3-11, Galatians 4:4-6)
- Do you know the Comforter (the Holy Ghost) in the Bible was actually given a name? Look up the last out of the five times that the Greek word for Comforter (parakletos) was used: 1 John 2:1. What is the name of the (Greek) “Comforter” or “Advocate”? __________ ___________?
- Is there a reference in the Bible exemplifying a believer being baptized the way Matthew 28:19 is written?
Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 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.
- Notice the other great commission references:
Mark 16:15-18 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.
Luke 24:45-48 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
- What baptism examples do we find from the apostles?
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 19:4 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.
Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
- Does baptism symbolize what the Father went through?
Romans 6:3-11 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. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So… when we are baptized, we are crucified with Christ, resurrected with Christ, and brought by Him, and Him alone (Acts 4:12), to be adopted into the family of the Father (God the Father, the “only true God” according to John 17:3), of the “only begotten Son” (John 3:16), and the Holy Ghost (“the Spirit of His Son” according to Galatians 4:6).
Finally, if someone wants to use the wording of Matthew 28:19 during the baptismal ceremony, so be it, but may their minds understand the only way we will get to the Father and the Holy Ghost. Yet, if someone wants to use the name of Jesus during the baptismal ceremony, so be it, and may they understand that it is through the name of Jesus that we get to the Father, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
It would not be fair to use only Matthew, or the book of Acts to guide our approach to baptism, so, I appeal to everyone to use all the evidence found in the Bible (understanding that there is more than just what is found in this short study).
1 Corinthians 1:10-15 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 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? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
Notice, the references made by Paul to being baptized was in one name.
Email answer 1)
There is a Heavenly Family. It’s made up of the Father and His Son (Matthew 28:19), along with all those who are willing to have God as their Father (angels, you, me, etc.)
EGW understood that.
Where are the verses in the Bible that show people being baptized in the way Christ described in Matthew 28:19? If none, why not?
Are there verses about people being adopted into the heavenly family? Yes! Many!
Is there a way to the Father other than through the Son? No. (Recall John 14:6).
Did John the Baptist teach (in the Elijah message) that Christ would baptize us with the Holy Ghost? Yes (See Matthew 3:11).
So, we come to the Father through Christ. We receive the Spirit through Christ, the only mediator. The apostles, in the book of Acts, knew that. Hence, every baptism in the book of Acts was in the name of Jesus.
Because that is how we are adopted into the Royal Family of Matthew 28:19.
“Baptism is a most solemn renunciation of the world. Those who are baptized in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have *forsaken the service of Satan* and have *become members of the royal family,* children of the heavenly King. They have obeyed the command: “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, … and touch not the unclean thing.” And to them is fulfilled the promise: “I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.” 6T 91.3
Email answer 2)
“The teachings of John were in perfect harmony with those of Jesus…”
But “a dispute arose…”
That is what I have always seen in this quote.
Did John change his manner of baptizing?
Did the disciples?
What about the book of Acts?
Which do we have more of a Biblical foundation for? Father, Son, and Holy Ghost baptisms? Or in the name of Jesus?
The latter, for sure. But that does not cause me to ignore one for the other.
Matthew and Acts are both in the Bible. Use them both. Find harmony.
Did the pioneers understand this harmony? Unquestionably. Did they choose Matthew 28:19 instead of the examples found in Acts? Yes, does that make the other wrong? I say no.
But “a dispute arose…”