The Name of Jesus

Note: This topic has been written on a sixth-grade level in order to provide understanding to both adults and children.

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We have found that there is only one God and that if you open your mind to Him, this will be easy to understand. In addition, we know that God robed himself in flesh, became the man Jesus, and came to earth to die for our sins.

Trinitarians believe that believe that Jesus is the human name of one of three persons in the Godhead, the Son (also called the Word), and it should not be used in baptism.

Before we delve into this topic, let’s look at a Biblical principle. The Bible instructs us to have several ‘witnesses’ when establishing any fact (Matthew 18:16; II Corinthians 13:1). In a courtroom, it is very hard to convict or prove innocence if there is only one witness; whereas, if there are two or more witnesses with the same testimony, the point becomes more believable. If someone cannot show you at least two verses that support what he or she believes, then you should be very careful when accepting their word.

Jesus stated that he was Jehovah several times in His ministry. In Matthew 4:3, while being tempted of Satan, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:16. The word LORD in Deuteronomy is Jehovah. Jesus is claiming to be Jehovah in the flesh. In John 8:58-59, Jesus was talking with the Pharisees. He said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” This made the Jews want to stone Him, because Jesus was saying that He was God. Do you remember the story of Moses and the burning bush? (Genesis 3:13-16)  When God appeared to Moses in the bush, He told Moses to tell the Israelites that “I AM” sent him. Any one who claimed to be God was guilty of the sin of blasphemy, and the punishment was stoning. Of course, God could say it and not blaspheme (or lie).

The Bible tells us that baptism is to be in the name of Jesus. Peter taught it in Acts 2:38. The church obeyed in Acts 8:12-1610:4819:5, and 22:16. Paul taught it in Romans 6:3 and Galatians 3:27.

We have found no documentation that speaks of someone having been healed, or had a devil cast of them, by using the titles “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” while they prayed. However, if we read the book of Acts, miracles were constantly happening when the name of Jesus was spoken. (Acts 3:6, 9:34, and 16:18)  Did you know that the only thing the priests wanted the apostles to stop doing was using the name of Jesus?  (Acts 4:18 and 9:29)

How did the Trinitarians get the idea of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost baptism? Ephesians 4:5 states that there is one baptism. Matthew 28:19 states “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Let’s look at this verse using the rules God put in the Bible. Matthew 18:16 says we need two or three witnesses before a word should be established. Matthew 28:19 is the only verse in the Bible that speaks of baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Let’s look at this verse a little closer:

Jesus told us to use a name. “Father,” “Son,” and “Holy Ghost” are not names, but titles. We can explain it like this: I am a (father/mother) and a (son/daughter). I also have Jesus living in me, because I have the Holy Ghost. I fill all three titles. Would it do you any good to be baptized in the name of Mark?  No, because I did not die for your sins. My name will not take you to heaven!

Do you remember learning about the difference between singular (one) and plural (more than one)?  Is the word “name” plural?  (No)  This means that Jesus was only talking about one name. What is that name?  JESUS.

The apostles obeyed Jesus by baptizing in His name. Peter forcefully stated in Acts 4:12 that “…there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (KJV) Paul, in Romans 10:13, agreed with him by saying “…whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (KJV)

Why do you think Satan wants to get away from “the name?”  To understand this, let’s look at why a name is important. How do you know that someone belongs to your family?  You have the same last name!  My children have my name. I have my father’s name, and my father has his father’s name.

Think about something with me for just a minute. How do you feel when you are at home? Now think about how it is when you are visiting a friend’s house. Do you feel the same? Why?  Because it is not your home; you don’t belong to (or aren’t a part of) the family that lives there.

When someone is adopted into a family, they are given the family name; they now belong to that family. This is what happens when you are baptized in Jesus’ name. You are adopted into the family of God!

Not being baptized is kind of like visiting a friend’s house. You get to eat when they eat, do what they do, and sleep when they sleep. However, you never quite feel at home. If you’re a child and were to fall and hurt your knee, would you feel comfortable climbing up into the lap of the father of your friend?  (No, probably not)  Why?  He is not your father!  You are not part of his family, so you don’t have the privileges of a family member.

If you haven’t been baptized in Jesus’ name, then He is not your father. Yes, He will take care of you as a friend would, but it is so much different when you are a part of His family. Satan knows this is true. He wants to keep you from becoming part of God’s family. If you do not receive His name, then you are not a member of the family of God. If Satan can convince people to ignore the name of Jesus in baptism, he can cause them to feel like they are “just visiting.”  They will never feel at home until they become a part of God’s family.

Satan doesn’t want you to understand that there really is just one God! He wants you to question the need for the name of Jesus; if Satan is successful, he can keep you from becoming a part of God’s family.

Copyright © 2004 Growing with God 2 by Mark and Glenda Alphin

If you are interested in further information on this topic, we recommend the book entitled Essentials of Oneness Theology, written by David K. Benard.