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Names and Titles

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Jesus, then, received His Name by God’s actual and direct interposition. The words amount to a command: “Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.” God made Him both Lord and Christ or The Christ—meaning Messiah or Anointed. That is, He conferred these stupendous titles to Him, as consequent of His death and resurrection.

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By Frank J. Ewart

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Among the many opponents of the Apostolic custom of baptizing believers into the Name of Jesus, back in the year 1914, when the writer first preached and practiced his revelation, was a very eminent Missionary Evangelist. His hostility led him to adopt many questionable methods of defending the orthodox view. He went from place to place where the truth had spread; like Saul of Tarsus, “Breathing out threatening’s and slaughter against the church,” whose chief characteristic was baptizing into and working miracles in the Name of Jesus, (Acts 3-4). “He has come here to bind all that call upon thy Name.” One of these methods that made a deep impression upon his audiences, was the use of a chart, on which all the titles of Jesus; such as, Prophet, Priest, King, Lord of Lords, King of Kings were printed. Jesus appeared, in small letters, at the bottom of the list. The irate preacher’s contention was that there was no difference between titles and names. When asked by a subordinate, who was administering baptism at the end of the service, how or in what Name he would baptize, he answered, “Oh, use the formula that the Lord Jesus gave us to use : Father, Son and Holy Ghost.” To the writer’s personal knowledge, eight of the twelve that were baptized that night have since been baptized into the Name of Jesus.

Now, here was a palpable case of confusing Names with Titles. Had the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Peter, commanded the penitent three thousand, on the day of Pentecost, to be baptized into the TITLES of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, there would have been no disparity between Matthew 28:19, which is universally recognized as, and called, “The Great Commission,” and Acts 2:38, which must be universally recognized as the complete fulfillment of that commission.

However, as everyone can ascertain, the most accurate and ancient manuscripts of the Scriptures have not altered the text of the Great Commission, in the sense in which it is now being considered. The place that the word “Name,” (not NAMES) occupies, involves the act of baptizing into a name or “The Name” which is “The Name” of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, in order to fulfill it. Now this is exactly what the Apostle Peter commanded. He never repeated the (nameless) formula of Matthew 28:19, and, in fact, that formula is never invoked over a candidate for baptism throughout the entire Book of Acts. Peter commands them to be baptized into the Name—Jesus—the Christ, (he had previously declared that “God hath made this same Jesus both Lord and Christ”). Or, in exact phraseology, God hath given to this man whom ye crucified, whose Name is Jesus, the titles of Lord and Christ.

When one dispassionately examines the word setting of the Great Commission in the light of Acts 2:38, (and be it ever so reverently said, that if it was not fulfilled literally and completely on the day of Pentecost, then, it never was or has been fulfilled by the early Christian Church) they will admit that this commandment could only be obeyed by baptizing people into a name, which is the Name of the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Peter again tells us, “Neither is there salvation in any other name; for there is none other name given under heaven among men whereby we can be saved.” (Acts 4: 12) Doctor Weymouth translates, “For there is no second name given under heaven among men, whereby we can be saved.” If there is no second, then it is certain there can be no third. However, when the writer asked an ardent advocate of the orthodox interpretation of Matthew 28: 19, “What is the Name of the Father?” He answered, “Father is His Name!” Now the title of father can only be achieved by entering into a parental relationship. Son designates a filial relationship, and Holy Spirit is the spiritual and invisible essence of the other two entities of the Godhead, so not one of the three designations can possibly be called a name. So, in the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of the Great Commission, as given through Peter, we have a complete refutation of the theory being considered—namely, that repeating the three titles of the formula is the proper way to fulfill it. It also proves that the Name, Jesus, is the Name of the Godhead. It proves that the Apostles regarded and proclaimed the fact that Jesus came with His Father’s Name, as the supreme Biblical evidence of the absolute Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ; and this is the very evidence that has been almost totally obscured to the minds of the church for upwards of eighteen centuries.

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