The Father's Name

Do We Have the Father's Name? In the book of Revelation we read a remarkable prophecy about those who have the Father's name.

"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father's name written in their foreheads." (Rev 14:1)

When does a Christian receive the Father's name? Are we born with it? Do we take it on at the resurrection? How and when does a converted person acquire the Father's name?

The responsibility for those of us who would seek to understand the truth of scripture, particularly the very words of Jesus Christ, is an awesome one indeed. The Church of God has long known that the Authorized Version of the Bible contains spurious language. An example we all remember is 1 John 5:7 which contains the Trinitarian insertion - "the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost."

The apostasy that has come to the full since the death of Herbert W Armstrong, the twentieth century Church of God leader, has brought renewed attacks on every facet of true doctrine. Some men are saying, "We will not baptize the way Herbert W Armstrong baptized." To bolster their contention they even bring into question the Holy Bible itself.

The absolute doctrinal authority of the Bible itself must be upheld. Those men reason that since non-scriptural material found its way into the Authorized Version of the Bible, similar sounding material must be removed. Thankfully, many ancient manuscripts remain in existence which pre-date the Authorized King James Version of the Bible, and which are able to authenticate Scripture. Those ancient manuscripts do not contain the material added in 1 John 5:7 No man is permitted to pick and choose verses they would like to delete.

"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you." (Deut 4:2)

There are serious spiritual consequences for violation of God's clear instructions not to tamper with the Holy Scriptures.

"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." (Rev 22:18-19)

The word "Name" carries a number of different connotations. It sometimes means "authority," as in: "Stop in the name of the law!" It can mean reputation, as in: "He has a good name." It can mean first name or family name. A father's son carries his sir-name.

When Jesus Christ commanded His disciples to baptize men and women into or in the NAME of the "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, " He meant that they should baptize them into the "NAME OF GOD." A Christian receives the Father's name at baptism. It is the same name that Jesus, the Son of God, possesses. At baptism, a convert is also baptized into the Spirit of God - the spiritual life of God. "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body... and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." (1Co 12:13) At baptism, we become children of God - possessing the Father's name.

"And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." (2Co 6:18)

A correct baptism includes: Baptism into the Father's name, baptism into Jesus Christ's name (same name), and baptism into the Spirit (same spiritual life as God - "God is Spirit." (John 4:24).

When we began our physical life we took on our dad's name. At baptism and the receiving of God's Holy Spirit we begin to put on God's spiritual life. The night before He died, Jesus prayed for us. To be kept in the Father's name - we must already have the Father's name.

"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." (John 17:11)

An old heresy of baptizing, "In the Name of Jesus Only," which was addressed by Herbert W Armstrong in 1948 has again come to the fore. The traditional teaching of the Church of God with regard to baptism was given in the booklet: All About Water Baptism 1948 in a chapter by that name: In Name of Jesus Only pg. 7 (1972 edition)

"Since some today are being baptized over again "in the name of Jesus ONLY" in order to eliminate the Father, and the Holy Spirit, this should be considered here. The contention of these people is that this passage in Matthew 28:19 is the only place in the Bible where the names of the Father and the Holy Spirit are commanded. They argue that a biblical command must be established "in the mouth of two or more witnesses," and since they claim there is but this one witness to this command, it must be rejected. All other passages mention only the name of Jesus.

The explanation is that two or more witnesses are required only in the case of HUMAN testimony -- where one accuses another. That instruction does not apply to the divine Witness, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, and to assume it does is surely close to blasphemy against the Holy Spirit! On the contrary, "ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable ...." And, THE SCRIPTURE CANNOT BE BROKEN! If you can break, disprove, reject, or throw out this one scripture, you can reject all the rest!

In this passage, the word translated "in" should properly be translated "into." The meaning, then, is that repentant believers are baptized INTO God the Father, and into Christ the Son, and into the Holy Spirit. But the one who plunges the new believer under the water performs the act IN THE NAME OF -- that is, by authority of, JESUS CHRIST. Why?

Because Jesus said "ALL POWER" -- and that includes all authority -- "is given unto me in heaven and in earth." He has ALL authority! Either we do it by His authority, or else we are doing it without any authority."  Not Baptized into a Denomination pg. 11 (1972 edition)

"Notice carefully, too -- we are "BAPTIZED INTO JESUS CHRIST" (verse 3, above), or, as Jesus expressed it in Matthew 28:19, into the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- NOT INTO SOME CHURCH ORGANIZATION OR DENOMINATION."  In the BAPTISM CEREMONY that has been used by the church for half of a century it is stated in part, "I now baptize you, not into any sect or denomination of this world..."

In Lesson 25 of the 58 Lesson Bible Correspondence Course we read: Baptized "Into" What?

1. What further instruction does Christ give His ministers concerning baptism? Matt. 28:19.
COMMENT: Many have misunderstood this important scripture. Let's understand exactly what it means.

In Matthew 28:19 the original Greek word translated "in" is "eis", and actually means "into." Therefore, this verse should be translated, "... baptizing them INTO THE NAME of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

In other words, when a person is baptized and receives God's Spirit, he becomes the begotten SON of God -- God places HIS OWN NAME on the newly baptized believer! He now carries the name of GOD. He belongs to God. He is God's SON!

This scripture simply means we are baptized or immersed INTO the DIVINE FAMILY NAME CALLED "GOD"! And it is done "in the name" -- by the AUTHORITY -- "OF Jesus Christ."

At present, the literal spiritual Family of God consists only of the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the divine nature and power of the God Family -- not a "third person" as some erroneously assume.

When Jesus told His disciples to baptize people in or into the NAME of the "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” surely He meant that they should baptize them into the "NAME OF GOD."

The contrary argument against our long practiced form of baptism appears to be:

Because there is no specific record in the Bible that the disciples baptized "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit", then they never did so.  If that is the case, then the conclusion can only be that Christ never instructed them to do so.

Therefore, it must also be concluded that: Matt 28:19 is NOT an accurate record of precisely what Jesus Christ said and the verse is, therefore, spurious.

The "argument of silence" is used in this instance. Those who would change baptism argue, since there is no example of the disciples actually using the Matt 28:19 formula, then the disciples never baptized the way we do today. To bolster their argument, they give Matt 29:19 the disparaging title of "a Trinitarian formula." Ample evidence exists that the apostles did baptize in the "name of the Lord".

What we need to consider closely is exactly what this statement, "Baptism in the name of the Lord," really entails.

Jesus Christ, in two instances, told us exactly which authority and name He came in.

"I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not" (John 5:43)

"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... "I and my Father are one." (John 10:25-30)

In practice, the disciples did baptize, "in the name of the Lord," meaning the Father. The term, "Lord," does not refer to Jesus Christ alone.

"...Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days." (Acts 10:46-48)

The Greek word for Lord, which is invariably used in this and similar instances, is according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, (2962) Kurios: supreme in authority. Kurios has been traditionally referred to as the "Almighty" within the Church and has usually inferred or included the being whom we refer to as "The Father".

"Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I." (John 14:28)

In Christ’s own admission, it would follow that the Father is and will remain the supreme authority into which name the faithful must be baptized. Unless it can be demonstrated beyond question that Christ did not use these words, then we cannot and should not accept the significant change in the administering of baptizing in Jesus' name only.

Lacking the authority to change the Bible - we must not change baptism from the exact method Jesus commanded of the disciples in Matthew 28:19. A Christian receives the Father's name at baptism when he is baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. (Matt 28:19)

One last point, "Name" here in Matthew 28:19 is onoma. It is singular, indicating that the Father, Jesus Christ and us - have one and the same name!

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." (Rom 8:16)