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Historical Accounts of How The Doctrine of the Early Church Was Changed By The “Church Fathers” (Catholic) Of the Third Century

Historical Accounts of How The Doctrine of the Early Church Was Changed By The “Church Fathers” (Catholic) Of the Third Century
By O. F. Fauss

Many, who are not satisfied to take the Scriptures for their only authority, go to the “Church Fathers” and “Church History” to try and prove their argument. They fail to remember that to do so they must refer back down through the channels of the Roman Catholic Church to base their claims.

From the best authority we can find, the first genuine account of the using of the words of Matthew 28:19, as a formula in water baptism, is found in Justin’s First Apology. This was written about ninety years after the death of Paul, about 153 A.D.

To know the truth of the matter, as to when the early church got away from the “old paths” laid down by the Apostles, let us remember the warning of the Apostles, that after their departing, grievous wolves were sure to come, and departing from the faith and doctrines of devils would prevail. We will trace the real cause of the leaving off the practice of “baptism in the name of Jesus,” in spite of the fact that this was the only way any of the Apostles every baptized. The record in the Book of Acts speaks without contradiction, that this is true.

We have not been discussing the Godhead, but it will be necessary for us to investigate the origin of the doctrine of the “Trinity” or “Three distinct Persons in the Godhead,” for us to see how it ever became involved in the formula of baptism.

All will admit that the doctrine of the holy Trinity is the very heart and soul of Catholicism, and the Catholic Church is the outcome of the falling away, following the death of the Apostles. Inasmuch as the terms: “Trinity,” “Triune God,” “Second” or “Three Persons in the Trinity,” are not found in Scripture, we will refer to the best authentic Encyclopedias available.

On the subject of the “Trinity,” we quote from The World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 16, p. 7270. “The doctrine is a development of Christian theology not being taught in the Old Testament, but capable of being deducted from passages in the New Testament. The first authoritative statement of belief in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (as separate persons) was made by the earliest general council of churches, held at Nice in 325 A.D., which also declared the Son to be equal substance with the Father. With regard to the Holy Spirit, the East and West subsequently divided.”

Let us remember the calling of this council at Nice in 325 A.D., was made by the Roman Emperor Constantine, to settle the dispute by ballot, of one or three persons in the Godhead. Hence the fathers of the Catholic Church thereafter branded all heretics who dared to oppose them and hold to the original teaching and practice of the Apostles as recorded in the Book of Acts.

On the same subject let us look into the American Encyclopedia Dictionary, p. 4189, “The word Trinity is not found in the Scriptures, and is said to have been first used by Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch, in the second century; but from texts quoted the early church recognized that the sacred writings taught (1), that there is ONE God; (2) that Christ was called God; and (3), that the Holy Ghost was also called God: and from the combination of these truths the doctrine of the Trinity was deducted…. The Council of Nice (325 A.D.) by affirming the Divinity of Christ, and that of Constantinople (381 A.D.) by affirming the divinity of the Holy Ghost, while insisting on the unity of God; declared the “doctrine of the Trinity in unity” to be the doctrine of the Church. From that time it was never called in question (by the Catholic fathers) except by a few obscure sects, until the Reformation.”

In the New International Encyclopedia, Vol. XIX, Page 474, we read in part, “The most elaborate statement of the doctrine (trinity) is to be found in the Athanasian Creed which asserts that ‘we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in unity–neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance–for there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost….the doctrine is not found in its fully developed form in the Scriptures…. it is generally conceded, however, that the Christian of the second and even the third centuries, did not treat the subject with the same definiteness and accuracy of expression as later writers. They were consent for the most part to use scriptural expressions in speaking of the Father and of the Son, and of the Spirit without defining articulately their relations to one another.”

Let us look into the New Practical Reference Library, Vol. V. “Trinity, a Theological name given to the doctrine which declares the union of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as three persons and one God. The Doctrine of the Trinity is nowhere expressly taught in the Scriptures: but in parts of the New Testament it is implied and is often indicated in the Old Testament. The definition of the Trinity adopted by the Catholic Church and generally accepted by Orthodox Christians, is that there is in the Godhead three persons who are in one substance co-eternal and equal in power…. The term persons is not applied in the Scripture to the Trinity, but some analogous to the conception of personality seems to be implied in the Apostolical arguments of the epistles.”

The Encyclopedia Americana, Vol. 27, page 69, also states, “. . .the doctrine of the Trinity is nowhere expressly taught in the Old Testament. The doctrine in regard to the divine nature which is most strongly insisted on throughout the Old Testament, is the unity of God as opposed to polytheism (more gods than one), and by the names by which God revealed Himself to Moses, (Exodus 3:14, 15, and other passages) it is implied that the divine nature is inscrutable to human intelligence….among the definitions which resulted from the conflict of opinion in the early Church with regard to the doctrine of the Trinity, that which was adopted by the Catholic Church and is generally accepted by orthodox Christians, fairly claims the merit of the fullest harmony and most comprehensive consistency is with the various statements of Scripture. It is that there are in the Godhead three persons, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It was only, however, after a severe and protracted conflict that the definition came to be generally accepted, and as soon as the definition proceeds one step further a wide schism again separates the Church, The Eastern Church holds that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father; the Western, throughout all its divisions, adopting the amended form of the Nicene Creed, holds that He proceeds from the Father and Son. . .the word ‘TRINITY’ is not in the Scripture; the term ‘persona ‘ is not applied in Scripture to the Trinity. ”

Adam Clark in his Commentary concerning John 1:1-14, makes it very clear that there can only be one omnipotent or Almighty. There is no such thing as more than one person in the Godhead co-eternal; co-equal in power, there cannot be two or three Almighty’s.

Some have dared to quote the works of the very fathers of the Roman Catholic church, of the second, third and fourth centuries as a decisive proof of their claims. Those resorting to the “Church Fathers” can only find their claims dated back as early as about the middle of the second century.

Even in Paul’s day, he was accused of heresy, and if the teaching and practice of those condemned by the originators of Catholicism as heretics were examined, you will find them condemned for holding firm to the “old paths” as taught in the Book of Acts. Even those who oppose baptism in Jesus’ name must admit there was a strong controversy over the subject in the early centuries of the Christian era. Let us remember the words of Jesus, “And ye shall be hated of
all nations for my name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9). And also the words of God through the prophet Isaiah, “Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy and they shall be ashamed” (Isaiah 66:5).

The above material was published by Word Aflame Press, 1985, pages 287-292.
This material is copyrighted and may be used for study & research purposes only.

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Objections Answered

Objections Answered
By O. F. Fauss

We have already answered those who are not content with the New Testament record, but go to the “Church Fathers” or the records of church history, establishing the church of Rome, which resulted in an estimated number of one hundred million or more believers in the Lord Jesus to be martyred in every conceivable way of torture.

Some object to “Baptism in the name of Jesus,” by saying it was for the Jews only, because of their unbelief in Jesus as the Christ. No one can read the Book of Acts and say that only Jews were baptized in the name of Jesus. The Samaritans, Cornelius’ household, the Ephesians, the Corinthians, and others all prove otherwise. The contention that because of “unbelief in Jesus” inspired the statement of Peter’s answer in Acts 2:38, should be (if that was so) enough to proclaim it today from every house top. Never was the world so full of “unbelief.”

Some contend that it doesn’t matter how you baptize and refer to records in Acts as follows: “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ,” “in the name of the Lord Jesus,” and “in the name of the Lord.” Thus their claims are based on a motive to confuse rather than to see that the name of Him who died and was buried, and rose again, is the One whose Name is authority, and in whom alone we can find salvation. (See Acts 4:12.) They never try to confuse, “In my name shall ye cast out devils, etc.” and “anointing with oil in the name of the Lord,” but always are able to say, “In the name of the Lord Jesus!” If it takes the authority of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who declared Himself to be the Omnipotent, when He said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth,” (Matthew 28:18), to cast out devils, it also takes the authority of the same One whose name is Jesus, for the remission of our
sins.

The contention that “To be born of water and of the Spirit,” (John 3:5) 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 2:38), are not to be taken to mean the same. The question answered in both passages refers to the same thing, “entering into the kingdom of God.” Some trying to offset the real truth in John 3:5, fulfilled in Acts 2:38, have pushed water so far out of God’s plan until it’s an act of outright hypocrisy for them even to attempt the practice of “water baptism” in any form.

The common contention or objection that it is useless for any one to be “re-baptized” for they were honest the first time. Honesty is not quite a substitute for the Word of God. Surely the Ephesian disciples were honest, and yet their honesty caused them to be baptized again, for when they heard the truth, as it is in Christ, were glad to be baptized in His name.

Another usual objection is, “I’d rather take the words of Jesus, than the words of Peter.” This is an outright admission that they would rather doubt the inspiration of the New Testament than to leave their Catholic inspired idea and accept the Word of God. Surely Jesus, in choosing Peter, and granting him the keys of the kingdom, foreknow exactly how Peter would “invite” the first New Testament converts into the church of the kingdom of God. . .Why not accept the direct acts of those who heard Jesus give the commission, as sufficient interpretation of the words of Jesus. Peter was not alone on the Day of Pentecost, for he “stood up with the eleven.”

Jesus Himself declared that we “should believe on Him through their (the Apostles’) word” (John 17:20). Obeying the words of Jesus means more than just “resting” on one verse, and closing the eyes to all the other passages of Scripture, pertaining to the same subject. Matthew 28:19 is perfectly in harmony and is easily understood when studied with that of Mark, Luke and John. The true meaning is clearly manifested all through the Book of Acts and preached in the Epistles. As long as the Apostles lived, there is no record in any Encyclopedia or Church History, that will prove that any other formula was ever used in baptism, other than in the name of JESUS.

Jesus told His disciples to, “Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). The only Scriptures the Apostles had to search, and all they had to even prove that Jesus was the Christ, was the Old Testament. Anyone who has sought an explanation of the fact that they baptized in the name of JESUS, have found that in the light of the Old Testament, it was impossible for them to understand the words of Jesus any other way.

In the Epistles we are admonished by Paul, “Be ye followers of me, even as I am also of Christ,” and “Ye became followers of us, and of the Lord” (I Corinthians 11:1; I Thessalonians 1:6).

The main and strongest objection is that “Baptism in the Name of Jesus,” does not agree with the doctrine of the “Trinity.” And those who dare to support such an objection, find themselves in a muddle and produce some very doubtful arguments, especially trying to establish that God and the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of God) are two separate persons. They completely close their eyes to great and lofty claims of Jesus, when He said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8, 17; read Isaiah 44:6-8; 41:4; Revelation 22:13). Jesus never did say He was a second person. It’s absurd to try and believe that there is more than one Almighty. It is well to note that God was in Christ, and that no man can come to God or find God, outside of Jesus. He is the only door to the presence of God. If there were three separate and distinct persons in the Godhead, water baptism only points to or has reference to Him Who died and was buried, and rose again, that was and is, only Jesus.

Some have tried to justify their objection to baptism in the name of Jesus by saying, “You exalt Jesus too much, or give glory to Him that belongs to the Father.” That’s the same reason the Jews had Jesus put to death. It seems to be prompted by the same spirit today. Now let us just think for a moment–how much shall I exalt Jesus? “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, [which is God’s own name]: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. . .and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11). When God Himself so crowned His only begotten Son, even Jesus with all the fulness of the eternal God, and was so pleased that in Jesus should all fullness dwell (Colossians 1:19; 2:9), and calls all the universe to so honor Him as the visible manifestation of Himself who is invisible, it seems an act of rebellion on the part of any man, who seeks an argument, to refuse His name in baptism. The name of Jesus is exalted, “Far above. . .every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:21).

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY WORD AFLAME PRESS, 1985, PAGES 293-297. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

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Symbolized or Typified in the Old Testament

Symbolized or Typified in the Old Testament
By O. F. Fauss

As we study the Word of God, it is wonderful to note that the author of the Scriptures, “spoke the end from the beginning,” and of “things that are not as though they are.” It is wonderful how God delights to reveal His Word to those who are hungry and seeking for an understanding of His great plan and purpose among men, whom He created for His glory, and came to redeem.

Adam and Eve, type of Christ and the Church:

“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called, Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:21-23).

In both Romans and I Corinthians Paul refers to Adam and Christ, showing that Adam was a type of Christ.

Let us notice that in comparing the two: Adam went to sleep, and while asleep there was taken from his side that which brought into existence, Eve, his wife. Jesus, while asleep in death on the cross, His side was also pierced, “And forthwith came there out blood and water,” (John 19:34), the elements by which He hath chosen to bring forth His church. His bride.

Adam only had one wife. Jesus only had one church.

Eve was the mother of all living. The Church is the mother of us all. (Galatians 4:26; Revelation 21:2).

Adam said Eve was flesh of his flesh and bone of his bones. To be in the bride of Christ, both the blood and water are essential, and placed in God’s plan of salvation.

Typified in the Furniture of the Outer Court of the Tabernacle.

Everyone who studies the plan of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, given to Moses, will agree that “Moses wrote of Jesus.” Many writers have given wonderful explanations proving this to be true.

All agree that the “Brazen Altar” was fulfilled when Jesus went to the cross. He was the lamb of God; He became the sacrifice for sin. In all this it is easy to agree. Yet when we move on out or toward the “Sanctuary” or “Holy Place” the next thing we find is the “Brazen Laver.”

In order for the priest to get into the “Holy Place,” where the light of the Golden Candlesticks shine, where he could partake of the Shew-bread, and worship at the “Golden Altar of Incense” or even pass through the first vail, he must first come by way of the “Brazen Altar,” the sacrifice for sin, and then, with the blood, upon him, must wash in the “Brazen Laver” lest he die, (Read: Exodus 30:18-20; Mark 16:16) before passing through the vail. Hence the “washing in the Brazen Laver” is fulfilled in the New Testament plan (the Old Testament was a type) when we have accepted Jesus at the Cross (Brazen Altar), and our faith in His blood is evidenced by our obedience in baptism in His name (Brazen Laver) and are filled with the Holy Ghost (the first vail).

God’s name was in the old Temple as we read in I Kings 8:29, “That shine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which thou hast said, ‘My name shall be there’.” God’s name must therefore be in the New Temple which Jesus spoke of when He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19).

Typified by Ark of Covenant:

All the Ark of the Covenant contained or possessed and all it figuratively spoke of, today is found in Jesus. God’s name was in the Ark (II Samuel 6:2). “The ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD.” It was where His glory dwelt, “between the cherubims.” Jesus is our Ark today, and we will never behold God’s glory outside of Him. “For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). “To give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (II Corinthians 4:6).

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY WORD AFLAME PRESS, 1985, PAGES 283-285. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.BY O. F. FAUSS

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The Essentially of the Name of “Jesus in Baptism”

The Essentially of the Name of “Jesus in Baptism”
By O. F. Fauss

All through the ages past, it is a noticeable fact that God has demanded great respect and reverence for His name.

We have heard the statement, “What’s in a name?” The very tone of such in referring to any subject under discussion involving the name of the Lord, is very irreverent. It could only be an expression of the unlearned or willingly ignorant.

When God began leading Israel out of Egypt, He never waited until He brought them to the promised land, but enroute He warned them that, “I send an Angel before thee to keep thee in the way.” (Read Exodus 23:20-23.) He warned them to, “Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not, . . .for my name is in him.”

In the giving of the ten commandments, God said, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain” (Exodus 20:7).

God introduced Himself to Moses and Israel, by His glorious and wonderful name, “JEHOVAH,” when He said to Moses, “I am the LORD, And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, our by my name JEHOVAH was I not known unto them. Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I AM the LORD [JEHOVAH], and I will bring you out. . . and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm” (Exodus 6:2, 6).

The value of God’s name was so great until He threatens those who dare to profane it, “If thou wilt not. . .fear this glorious and fearful name THE LORD [or JEHOVAH] THY GOD; then the LORD [JEHOVAH] will make thy plagues wonderful” (Deuteronomy 28:58, 59).

David said, “And they that know thy name, will put their trust in thee” (Psalm 9:10). And Isaiah declared, “Make mention that his name is exalted” (Isaiah 12:4).

Solomon encouraged us by saying, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10). And the prophet Zechariah speaking of Christ setting up His earthly kingdom, said, “And the LORD [JEHOVAH] shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).

The Apostle James acknowledged in Acts 15:14, how that God did visit the Gentiles, “to take out of them a people for his name.” To this agreed Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, when he said, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people” (Luke 1:68). The angel of the Lord appeared unto Joseph, also confirmed it by saying, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). The very name of Jesus, means JEHOVAH-SAVIOUR, or JEHOVAH WHO SAVES.

To this agreed the prophet Isaiah, and repeated by Matthew (1:23), “Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

Jesus, in His prayer in John 17:6, said, “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gayest me out of the world.” He had also stated in John 5:43, “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”

How could it be possible for those men whom Jesus acknowledged had witnessed the manifestation of God’s NAME, be mistaken in the manner in which they obeyed His command, “That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name” (Luke 24:47)? Surely they knew what was the name of the Father, for He taught them to pray, saying, “Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9).

Every reference of Christian baptism, or everything it symbolizes, points us to Jesus, the One that died and was buried and rose again. To be identified with Him, to be buried with Him in baptism, is the least one could expect to do to walk with Him. There is no other way to reach God or find God. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). In the preceding verse (11), the Apostle emphasized that the name of JESUS, was the “stone, set at naught of the builders.” This is proven because of the question he was answering in verse 7, “By what name have ye done this?”

In James 5:14, we find definite instructions regarding prayer for the sick among us. All holiness and Pentecostal movements or groups have laid great stress on this verse, and we all believe it, because it is the inspired Word of God. Let us notice this verse very closely, “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. ” This is exactly the same words and language we read in Acts 10:48, “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. ” If you anoint the sick in the name of the Lord, which is Jesus (“Ye shall lay hands on the sick, in my name”) why try to avoid the truth and the true meaning of God’s Word in the matter of baptizing in the name of the Lord?

You can never claim the cleansing of His blood, without accepting and believing on His name. The blood is in His name. “Whosoever believeth in him shall not perish,” (John 3:16 also 18). “Because he believeth. . .on the name of the only begotten Son of God.” “And that believing, ye might have life through his name” (John 20:31).

Why sing any longer, “Where He leads me I’ll follow, and I’ll go with Him all the way,” and then refuse to bear His wonderful holy name in baptism? Why try and debate the question and resent being “buried with him in baptism,” in His name?

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY WORD AFLAME PRESS, 1985, PAGES 279-282. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

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Paul’s own Teaching on Water Baptism

Paul’s own Teaching on Water Baptism
By O. F. Fauss

It will be well for us to consider the life and doctrine of the Apostle Paul, even on the subject of water baptism.

His statement to the Thessalonians (I Thessalonians 1:5), “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but. . .in much assurance,” should encourage us to look into what and how he preached the gospel.

His challenge to the angels to contradict his message makes it all the more important that we believe and preach accordingly. “But though we or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you [See Acts 19:1-6], let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8).

He informed the Corinthians that what he preached unto them, he had also received himself first before delivering it unto them. (See I Corinthians 15:1-4.) The Scriptures further indicate that Paul preached the same thing everywhere he went in every church. (See Colossians 1:23.) (See also I Corinthians 4:17.)

It cannot be denied that Paul was baptized in water in the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 22:16), and that he practiced baptizing his converts, even though they had formerly been baptized in water, unto John’s baptism.

(See Acts 19:1-6).

Paul goes so far as to say that water baptism in the name of Jesus is necessary to put you into Christ. “Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized unto his death?” (Romans 6:3). Some try to make you think he was talking about the baptism of the Spirit here, but the following verse shows plainly that he was talking of water baptism, and that in the (singular) name of Him who died for us. “Therefore we are buried with him [not them] in 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 the newness of life [the baptism of the Spirit]. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death [Who died for us?], we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Romans 6:4, 5).

The same term, “buried with him in baptism,” is used in Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians (2:12), for he had already informed them that Jesus was (in His earthly life) the “image of the invisible God, the first-born [resurrected and glorified] of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body of the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him shall all fullness dwell. . .For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 1:15-19; 2:9).

Paul said to the Galatians, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). This is fulfilled in Acts 2:38, the authority of the entrance into the body of Christ.

Let us notice the record of Paul’s experience and what took place at Philippi. His vision of a man calling for help over in Macedonia, made him to know the Spirit of God had called him there to preach the gospel. (See Acts 16:6-10.)

His first service was held out of the city by the river side. (See Acts 16:12, 13.) His first convert was a certain woman named Lydia. She was baptized and her household. (See verse 15.)

After a number of days, Paul cast out an unclean spirit from a girl, which resulted in both he and Silas being placed in jail. (See Acts 16:16-24.)

The miracle that took place that night, and resulted in the conversion of the jailer and his family, will surely prove the essentially of baptism as we read: “And he took them [Paul and Silas] the same hour of the night [midnight], . . and was baptized, he and all his, straightway” (Acts 16:33). It is certain they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, due to the wonderful exaltation of Jesus in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him [Jesus], and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven,and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY WORD AFLAME PRESS, 1985, PAGES 275-277. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

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The Great Commission

The Great Commission
By O. F. Fauss

The Great Commission is summed up in four commandments, or duties to be fulfilled, with a promise following, namely:

1. “Go ye therefore. . .”
2. “Teach all nations. . .”
3. “Baptizing them in the name of the Father,
4. “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. . .”

And now the promise that followed: “And, lo, I am with you alway. . .” So great was the Commission that Jesus promised to accompany those who dared to obey it. His promise was not for just one short period, but “alway, even unto the end of the world.” His promise was given on conditions, and those conditions were the fulfilling of the commandments contained in His Great Commission.

The Great Commission was spoken to the eleven apostles and those gathered together with them at Bethany.

They received His commandment to evangelize the world. In His commandment to do so, He emphasized the “continued observance” of all else He had commanded.

It is wonderful, too, to note that they carried out His commission to the letter, as recorded by Mark in the closing verse of his Gospel: “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following” (Mark 16:20).

Therefore, we shall endeavor to analyze the Great Commission as follows:

1. The training and qualification of those commissioned.
2. The Commission emphasized by Matthew, Mark and Luke.
3. The records proving how, and in what manner, the Commission was obeyed.

The Training and Qualification of Those Commissioned
We should notice how Jesus selected and called men to follow Him; how He instructed and trained them; how He proved Himself to them; and how He acquainted them with deity and power.

For three and a half years He led them, manifested His power and love to them, and let them behold Him as He did the impossible, on many occasions. He admonished them, “Be not faithless, but believing” (John 20:27). He taught them, “When ye stand praying, forgive” (Mark 11:25), and again, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24). He said, “All things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23).

Jesus continually pointed them to a great future experience, the coming of the Comforter–the baptism of the Holy Ghost. He breathed on them and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost” (John 20:22). This was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).

After three and a half years of training, teaching and manifesting Himself to His disciples, we notice the closing hours of instructions, given in a large upper room, where He ate with them the last Passover Feast, and instituted the Lord’s Supper as a memorial.

The keynote of all His words to them pointed to that great experience which He had come to give the world. It was that of which He spoke to the woman of Samaria, and then promised on one of their feast days, when he stood and cried, “. . .If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink; He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly [or innermost being] shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37, 38).

Let us pay special attention to the last words Jesus spoke on earth to His disciples. These words were spoken after His resurrection, and after His having appeared to them, showing “. . .himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).

We notice that He “. . .Commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:4, 5).

Although He had commanded them to go into all the world, yet He made them know they were not qualified until they were filled with the Holy Ghost. He said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and [then] ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Those were His parting words to His disciples. The last emphasis He placed on all His commands was concerning the greatest and all-important qualification–the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

The Commission Emphasized

1. MATTHEW. Matthew 28:19, 20 gives us his account of the Great Commission as follows: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 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.”

Matthew understood Jesus to mean to evangelize all nations, to bring them into the knowledge of the kingdom of God, and then baptize them in the [singular] name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

What is the name of the Father? Matthew had heard Jesus say, “After this manner. . .pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9). The “name” of the Father, indicates that the Father has a name. Jesus also said, “I am come in my Father’s name” (John 5:43), and again, “I have manifested thy name [the Father’s] unto the men which thou gayest me out of the world” (John 17:6).

It is true that the expression, as recorded in Matthew’s account of the commission, gave birth to the theory of three persons in the Godhead. Adam Clarke, in his commentary of the Scriptures, said, “The orthodox, as they are termed, have generally considered this text as a decisive proof of the doctrine of the holy Trinity, . . .but this I can never believe; I must abide by what I believe to be the meaning of the Scriptures.” (Clarke’s Commentary, Vol. 5, page 284).

It is clear that the name of Jesus is the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, for the angel had announced before His birth, “His name shall be called Jesus, [Jehovah-Savior], for He shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

This was the fulfillment of the prophecy recorded in Isaiah 7:14, “. . .they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (See also Matthew 1:23.) Let us also notice, further, that the singular name of the Lord Jesus is referred to by all other writers recording the account of the Great Commission.

2. MARK. Mark gives his account of the commission, thus: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name [singular] shall they cast out devils….” (Mark 16:15-17).

Mark went further to record, that they “. . .went forth and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following” (Mark 16:20).

Mark’s account is in full harmony with Matthew and with Luke, and agrees with the record of how the commission was preached, practiced and obeyed in the Book of Acts.

3. LUKE. Luke makes us to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the apostles knew and understood the words of Jesus when He gave the Great Commission. For we read in Luke 24:45-48, “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.”

This makes clear the following:

A. What is to be preached.
B. How it was to be preached.
C. In what name it was to be preached.
D. Where this specific preaching would begin.

How The Commission Was Obeyed

IN JERUSALEM. Let us keep in mind the four commandments of duties in the Great Commission: “Go, Teach, Baptize, and Observe.”

After the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost (second chapter of Acts), they were ready for service. We have already learned that “repentance and remission of sins were to be preached in the name of Jesus,” and that it was to “begin at Jerusalem.”

Let us also bear in mind that Jesus had given Peter a very special commission in Matthew 16:18, 19, when He said, “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven…. ” Jesus further made known that the action or words of Peter, pertaining to setting up of the church, or His kingdom, would be recorded as the authority of heaven itself. Therefore, it was necessary that the Apostle Peter speak first on the Day of Pentecost–the birthday of the church.

Peter did not speak alone, for we read of “Peter standing up with the eleven” (Acts 2:14). In other words, the rest of the apostles were standing with Peter and agreeing with his words.

His great sermon, proclaiming the gospel of the Lord Jesus, so stirred the multitude that three thousand souls cried out unto Peter and the rest of the Apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37).

Peter answered with all the authority of heaven behind him, in complete accord with the words of Jesus in the Great Commission, “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. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:38, 39).

IN SAMARIA. On the Day of Pentecost, repentance and remission of sins began to be preached in Jesus’ name, starting at Jerusalem. The record shows, further, that when Philip preached Christ to Samaria, there came great joy to that city. We read in Acts 8:12, “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.” According to verse 16, they were baptized in the name of the Lord
Jesus.

PAUL AT DAMASCUS. The persecutor, Saul of Tarsus, also received the same message when Ananias said unto him, “And now, why tarriest thou? arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

IN CAESAREA. God convinced the Apostle Peter and a number of Jews who were with him in Caesarea, that Gentiles were included too. He did this by an outpouring of the Holy Ghost. Peter made this statement, “. . .that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43). After God had so convinced Peter and those Jews, Peter then commanded them “. . .to be baptized in the name of the Lord [Jesus]” (verse 48).

IN EPHESUS. About fifteen years later, or twenty-three years after the Day of Pentecost, the Apostle Paul had a revival at Ephesus (Acts 19:1-6). He emphasized the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and so stressed water baptism that the people were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then when he prayed for them, they were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues.

Nine years later he besought Timothy to abide still at Ephesus, that he might “. . Charge some that they teach no other doctrine!” (I Timothy 1:3).

IN CORINTH. Paul’s first Epistle to the Corinthians, in view of his own conversion and his manner of baptizing the Ephesians, makes it very clear that they too (as well as all others) were baptized in the name of Jesus. For he said (I Corinthians 15:1-3), “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you [See Acts 19:1-6], unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received [Acts 22:16], how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” He asks them in another place (I Corinthians 1:13), “Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” Who was crucified for the Corinthians? Jesus Christ! Into whose name, then, were they baptized? The name of Jesus Christ! The context will permit no other answer, for unless they were baptized in the name of Jesus, his statement would have no meaning whatsoever.

THE ROMANS, GALATIANS, COLOSSIANS, AND OTHERS. It is needless to go into detail showing that all these were baptized in the name of Jesus, for such statements as follow will suffice: “baptized into Jesus Christ”; “buried with Him in baptism”; “baptized into His death”; “planted together in the likeness of His death” (Romans 6:35; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12). We shall go into these Scriptures later, with a fuller explanation in Paul’s teaching on water baptism.

Let us remember this: to follow the Lord Jesus in obeying His Great Commission, we must follow these who heard Him. Paul said to the Thessalonians: “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord” (I Thessalonians 1:6).

The Apostle Peter gave us the following admonition, a short time before his execution, and thirty-three years after he had preached on the Day of Pentecost, “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us [Acts 2:38] the apostles of the Lord and Saviour” (II Peter 3:1, 2).

In conclusion, let us notice Paul’s teaching on water baptism. It will be well for us to consider the life and doctrine of the Apostle Paul, even on the subject of Water Baptism.

Paul’s statement to the Thessalonians (I Thessalonians 1:5), “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but. . .in much assurance,” should encourage us to look into what and how he preached.

His challenge to the angels to contradict his message makes it all the more important that we believe and preach accordingly. “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you [Acts 19:1-6], let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8).

He informed the Corinthians that what he preached unto them, he had also received first, before delivering it unto them (I Corinthians 15:1-4). He further stated to them that he preached the same thing everywhere he went, in every church. (I Corinthians 4:17).

It cannot be denied that Paul was baptized in water in the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 22:16), and that he practiced baptizing his converts in the name of Jesus, even though they had formerly been baptized in water unto John’s baptism (Acts 19:1-6).

Paul goes so far as to say that water baptism in the name of Jesus is necessary to put one into Christ. “Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” (Romans 6:3). Some try to make you think he was talking about the baptism of the Spirit here, but the following verse shows plainly that he was talking of water baptism, and that in the (singular) name of Him who died for us. “Therefore we are buried with him [not them] in 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 [the baptism of the Spirit]; For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death [of the one who died for us], we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Romans 6:4, 5).

The same term, “buried with him in baptism,” is used in Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians (2:12), for he had already informed them that Jesus was (in His earthly life) the “. . .image of the invisible God, the firstborn [resurrected and glorified] of every creature: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell. . .For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 1:15-19; 2:9).

Paul said to the Galatians, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). This is fulfilled by obeying Acts 2:38, the way of entrance into the body of Christ.

Let us notice the record of Paul’s experience, and what took place at Philippi. His vision of a man calling for help over in Macedonia, made him to know that the Spirit of God had called him there to preach the gospel (Acts 16:610).

His first service was held out of the city by the river side (Acts 16:12, 13). His first convert was a woman named Lydia. She and her household were baptized.

After a number of days, Paul cast an unclean spirit out of a girl. As a result, both he and Silas were put in jail. (Acts 16:16-24).

The miracle that took place that night, and resulted in the conversion of the jailor and his family, will surely prove the essentiality of baptism. We read: “And he took them [Paul and Silas] the same hour of the night [midnight], and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway” (Acts 16:33). It is proved they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, by the wonderful exaltation of Jesus in Paul’s letter to the Philippians: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him [Jesus], and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY WORD AFLAME PRESS, 1985, PAGES 239-250. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY..

Posted in ADBA - Baptism0 Comments

Baptism Holds a Prominent Place in the Scripture

Baptism Holds a Prominent Place in the Scripture
by O. F. Fauss

When we make a careful study of the Bible, we will find that “water” has been in God’s plan from the very beginning. We read in Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and the darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” And again, in Genesis 2:10, “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden.” It was God’s pleasure to deal with water. It also became His means of judgment in the sending of the flood.

When God led Israel out of Egypt’s bondage, their first test or trial, or God’s first great manifestation and blessing to them enroute to the Promised Land, was at the great Red Sea. The Apostle Paul wrote about it by saying, “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (I Corinthians 10:1, 2).

Elijah, facing wicked King Ahab and 450 prophets of Baal on the top of Mount Carmel, in the presence of backslidden Israel, completely “baptized” his sacrifice and altar with twelve barrels of water. God’s approval was evidence by the fire that consumed it.

We will not forget Gideon and his army of 32,000. God’s test came at the water’s edge and left him only 300 men, yet not one of them failed in the battle that followed.

At the very beginning of the New Testament era, John, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness,” began preaching on the banks of Jordan, “the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins” (Mark 1:3-5).

Jesus declared that “The Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him” (Luke 7:30). When Jesus began His own ministry, He proved that, to fulfill all righteousness, it was very essential to be baptized, by submitting Himself unto John to be baptized. It is absurd to believe that Jesus, our “example,” would have been baptized in water, had it not been essential. It is useless, too, to try to prove that He was not “buried” in baptism. “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water” (Matthew 3:16).

Jesus fixed “water baptism” in His plan for the saving of mankind, when He included it so boldly and plainly in His great commission (of which we shall study later), delivered unto the disciples before He was taken up from them to heaven. The special emphasis our Lord placed upon water baptism need not be questioned by those who desire to obey His commandments. Neither should anyone question the perfect understanding with which He blessed His apostles (Luke 24:45; Acts 1:1-4).

In the Book of Acts we are confronted with the fact that whenever and wherever people believed on the Lord Jesus, they were baptized in water. All this proves the importance and essentially of baptism. Even
the Philippian jailer knew not to wait until daylight, but was “the same hour of the night: [midnight] baptized, he and all his, straightway” (Acts 16:33). Certainly had it not been necessary, with the apostles suffering with their wounded backs and the family all retired, baptism could have waited until the next day; but not so! Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ required immediate action in obeying the terms of the gospel.

We must not overlook the case of Paul at the time of his conversion. Becoming acquainted with the LORD for the first time in his life, he asked the Lord Jesus what He would have him to do. Jesus emphasized that it would be told him after he got to the city, “what he must do.” When Jesus made this clear, Paul did not try to “out argue” the question. When that devout man named Ananias came to him and said, “The Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 9:17). “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16).

There is no other doctrine or practice of the church that holds such a prominent place in the Scriptures as that of water baptism. And it must be performed in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, as we shall study further on.

We all believe that baptism should be practiced by “immersion;” we further believe that “speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance” is the accompanying sign of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. We contend and preach that “anointing with oil in the name of the Lord” is the New Testament method or practice in praying for the sick, that we should observe the Lord’s supper literally, and that giving our substance in tithes and offerings is God’s ordained plan to support and carry on the church. Yet, many forget that there is far more Scripture in support of the use of the name of Jesus in baptism than in any of the above-mentioned doctrines or practices.

There is not one single instance recorded in the New Testament, or in any genuine book of the first century, concerning the teaching and practice of the early church, where any other method (or formula) was ever used.

If baptism in the name of Jesus was so prominent in the New Testament days, and continued for at least the first 100 years of the early church, it surely should encourage us all to be willing to look into the subject with open minds and open hearts and allow the Holy Ghost to lead and guide us into all truth.

The words of Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 28:19, were never intended by our Lord to be used as a “formula” in water baptism, and, therefore, were never used as such by His Apostles. Therefore, to more fully understand the true meaning of the words of Jesus in His giving the “Great Commission,” we shall, in the next chapter, study it in detail, comparing the recorded references of the same Commission, as given us by other writers of the gospels, with that of Matthew. Scripture compared with Scripture always reveals the “deeper meaning” of God’s Holy Word.

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY WORD AFLAME PRESS, 1985, PAGES 235-238. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

Posted in ADBA - Baptism, AIS File Library0 Comments


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