Truth, Understanding, Insight

Holy Spirit

9th August 2009, mgh


7) The name of the Father, of the son and of the holy spirit

This phrase is much spoken of. But it might be given more prominence than it is worthy of. The phrase only occurs once in the whole Bible.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and 'of-the holy spirit' (Matthew 28:19)

Once only! The Bible always follows God's own rules of everything being established in the mouth of two or three witnesses (Deut 17:6 19:15, Mat. 18:16, 2 Cor. 13:1). Every important incident through the entire Bible has at least 2 references to it. There are four gospels and no corroborating witness to this. On the Bible's own terms this phrase is not specifically important. This is one of only 9 times that the Greek text has the exact term 'of the holy spirit'.

We can know what Yeshua said by analysing the words. The name of 'the father' is not 'father', but a Hebrew phrase given to Moses (Exodus 3:13). Not as most translations have 'I am', but, 'I will be' which is the same Hebrew word as in verse 12,

And he said, 'Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee:... ' (Exodus 3:12)

The name of 'the Father' is, in English, “I will be who I will be”. The name of 'the son' is Yeshua, the same as the Hebrew for 'Joshua', which means 'Yah shall save'. The name of 'the holy spirit' was given to us by John. Yeshua called it 'the advocate/intercessor' and the spirit of truth. Therefore the name is 'He who will be who he will be, Yah shall save, the advocate/intercessor'. But this does not tell us what was meant by baptising into the name. So what does Yeshua mean by the instruction?

The apostles spoke a lot about following Yeshua's commands (1Jn.2:3, 2Peter2:21,1 Thess.4:2). They were told, according to Matthew, to go out and do this thing and there is not one record that they literally did this. The actions of the Apostles show us what Yeshua meant. Peter said,

Repent, and be baptised each one of you in the name of Yeshua Anointed, for forgiveness of sins, and you shall receive the gift 'of-the holy spirit' (Acts 2:38)

According to Luke, Peter baptised in the name of 'Yeshua Anointed', not in the name of the father and the holy spirit, though he spoke of the gift 'of the holy spirit'.

Peter baptised those of Cornelius' household “in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48). This is possibly the name of Yahweh, as Luke sometimes used 'the lord' to refer to Yahweh (Acts 18:25) and often wrote 'the lord Yeshua' (Acts 19:5) when referring to Yeshua. Peter did not here give a gift of the holy spirit as it was given, in a special case, directly from God. Peter, it seems, did not baptise in the name of the holy spirit. However Peter led the decision to baptise as a result of the evidence of the gift of the holy spirit.

Paul says he was told by Ananias to “be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of himself (Yeshua see context)” (Acts 22:16).

Paul was told to call on the name of Yeshua, the 'Just One' He was first given his sight then was filled 'of spirit holy', then was baptised (Acts 9:17-18). Luke does not say Paul was given of the gift of the holy spirit, as those such as Philip and Ananias couldn't give it to Paul. What came upon Paul was greater than the gifts of the holy spirit, as Paul himself could give of the spirit he had. Neither Paul or Ananias mention being baptised in the name of anyone. Paul was to call on the name of Yeshua, something quite different.

Paul shows his understanding when he found twelve baptised by John the Baptist at Ephesus. Paul re-baptised them “in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Act 19:5). They were not baptised into the name of Yahweh or or the holy spirit. But after they were baptised, through Paul, they received of the power (or hand) of spirit the Holy (One), that gave the two specific gifts of languages and prophecy (Acts 19:6). It does not say the twelve received 'the holy spirit' they received a part of the power of the spirit belonging to the Holy One, from Paul.

Philip, who was not of the Apostles, went to the Samaritans.

But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.(Act 8:12)

When he baptised it was in the 'name of Yeshua Anointed'. He didn't baptise in the name of Yahweh or the holy spirit. He couldn't even give of the holy spirit (Acts 8:12,16). We are given a complete description of Philip baptising the Ethiopian Eunuch. The Eunuch confessed “Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Act 8:37) and Philip baptised him without any more words, and certainly the Eunuch never received a gift of the holy spirit as Philip couldn't give it.

We must conclude that the words recorded by Matthew were not for Philip (or us), but only for the Apostles. In fact Matthew tells us this as he says the eleven went to meet Yeshua (Matthew 28:16). In reading any text the first rule is to see who the words are directed to, and in what context they are said. The words were only for the Apostles. They only were able to baptise in the name of the holy spirit. Mark records the same incident

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and 'of-the holy spirit' (Matthew 28:19)
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved (Mark 16:15-16)

Mark records Yeshua spoke of dramatic miracles the eleven would do, including not being hurt by drinking deadly things, clearly beyond the province of the gifts of the holy spirit. This was for the Apostles only, it is clearly not directed at us. But we can put the two incidents together. Yeshua said that whoever believes in 'the name' and is baptised shall be saved. The name is the plan of He who will be, in the work of Yah shall save and in the work of the advocate/ intercessor, the spirit of truth. This 'name' was summarised by Mark as 'the Gospel'. This we can do.

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. (1Cor 12:13),

In the context the 'one spirit' is the “Spirit of God” where 'no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the spirit Holy” (1Cor 12:3), which was the work of the holy spirit by the Apostles, including Paul. Paul explains what he means. Being baptsied in 'the name' was to 'put on' Christ.

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Gal 3:27)

This being the sum total of evidence, we may conclude that the Apostles knew that Yeshua was not asking his Apostles to mouth a set of words over a person. Rather the people had to take on the name by understanding fully the purpose of Yahweh, as understood in the meaning of his name, and also the purpose of Yeshua as understood in the meaning of that name. The Jews of that time understood the purpose of Yahweh concerning the kingdom, but they needed to understand the name of Yeshua or the salvation through Yeshua. However, Cornelius as a Gentile needed to firstly, become part of the name of Yahweh, as a close reading of the text indicates Cornelius and his house were not proselytes. This would explain why Luke says in Cornelius' case he was baptised into “the name of the Lord” (Yahweh) where all others were baptised into the name of Yeshua.

Yeshua's words to the Apostles specifically told them (not the disciples and not us) they were now to be teachers of the knowledge of Yahweh's plan (I will be who I will be), the way of salavation (Yah will save) and that they would be supported in their teaching work by the holy spirit.

NEXT PAGE... Holy Spirit Gifts

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