By G. T. Haywood
God has a controversy with His people. The whole Pentecostal movement is being terribly shaken. Terror seems to run rift through the ranks. Consternation is filling the hearts of the popular-bent leadership, and the printed-pages of the latest church organism are filled with warnings, misrepresentations and slanderous attacks upon the character of men of God with accusing them of bigotry, dishonesty of heart and self aggrandizement. The blessed name of Jesus is being assailed and constant use of that name in testimony in the midst of a people opposed to the present great issue is looked upon as “making a hobby” of the name of Jesus.
But what is all this about? The people, no doubt, would like to know. But of the many papers with have read upon the subject none of them seem to fight from the same point of view. One explains how “to act in the name of another,” while the other takes up the “doctrine of the Trinity” (a word found only in Webster’s dictionary, and not in the Bible), while still another takes “a shot at water baptism” as a non-essential to salvation. None of these articles have touched the vital points of the scriptures that are so prominent in this great controversy; viz., Matt. 28:19 and Acts 2:38.
For the past eight or nine years the cry has been “back to Pentecost,” “back to the Bible,” “Back to the apostolic days,” and every attempt that is made to return to the old land mark is met with great opposition on every side, and many of those who seemed so eager to come is possession of apostolic power and simplicity of the gospel are found to be the most obstinate in preventing the people of God from reaching their coveted position.
God’s ways are not our ways. Our prayers have been heard. We have sought for the “old paths, where is the good way” that we might walk therein and find rest for our souls: Jer. 6:16. So God, is His bountiful mercies, has turned our eyes unto the great inauguration day of the glorious gospel of Christ, and behold, we were brought the door of entrance into the spiritual house of God, and like Ezekiel; we beheld that “waters issued from under the threshold. And the fruit of Peter’s great harvest of souls on the day of Pentecost was through the simple manner in which he showed the “heart-stunged” multitude how they could be saved (Acts 2:21, with verse 38), “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.”
After looking back over the past records of the Pentecostal ministry it was that we had not been baptizing according to the apostolic order, but rather we were following the customs of backslidden church who has lost the vision of Jesus and had become strangers to the revelation of deep things of God. With faith and confidence in the whole New Testament as the inspired word of God, a move was then made to baptize those inquiring for salvation according to the directions given by the Holy Ghost through the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost.
When this was begun the Lord began to manifest Himself in a wonderful way and Satan became stirred. Then the question of (Matt. 28:19) Jesus’ commission to baptize in the name of Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost alone, and many not being able to harmonize the passages of Scriptures (Acts 2:37 and Matt. 28:19), began to delve into the subject of the Trinity. Finding it a greater task than they had contemplated they came to the conclusion that they would obey Jesus’ words rather than Peter’s, and that if Peter disobeyed Jesus’ words they were not going to do so. Such statements are not far from sacrilege.
They break the faith of a simple child of God in the inspiration of the record of the Book of Acts. IT makes the first message under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost unreliable. It cast great reflection upon the men whom God entrusted to introduce this great gospel of Christ to the world. It points out weakness in the “foundation” of the church and sanctions the statements of infidels and higher critics that the Bible contradicts itself. To say that we cannot follow the words of Peter and Paul is to ignore the words of Jesus in His prayer on the night prior to His crucifixion: “I pray not for these (apostles) alone, but for them also which shall believe in Me through their (the apostles) word” (John 17:20). Brethren, we are set forth for the defense of the word of God, rather than the discrediting of the same.
To rightfully understand the commission of Jesus in Matt. 23:19 we must take the record of the only authentic church history in existence. The Acts of the Apostles. We must believe on Him “through their word” (Jn. 17:20_. Jesus gave the commission and Peter gave it forth by “revelation” under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Who among us is so wise as to be able to amend or criticize the first gospel message preached by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven?
The Name of the Father, Etc.
If we notice the words of Jesus in Matt. 28:19 closely we will see that Jesus said baptize them “in the NAME (not names, as of many) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” and the question arises, “what is the Name?” Some say that to say the word “name” is in the singular and not plural is only a grammatical play on words and that it is not worthy of notice, but the
Made use of the same kind of “grammatical play on words” when the he was endeavoring to bring the Galatians back to the simplicity of the gospel of Christ, saying: “He saith not, and to SEEDS, as of many: but as of one, and to thy SEED, which is Christ.” Gal. 3:16. Thus we are free to say:
He saith not, “baptize in the NAMES, as of many; but as of one” baptizing them in the NAME: which is LORD JESUS CHRIST. By prayerful consideration any one can see clearly from scriptural standpoint of view that we have the same right to direct the attention of the people to God to the fact that the word NAME is to the singular and not in the plural. In the expression “of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost” we have a beautiful picture of the Heavenly Family, the type of which is to be found in the human family of “father, child and mother.” Now, as the earthly family has a NAME that will include every member, so has the Heavenly. In Ephesians 3:14, 14 we read, “For this cause I bow my knee unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the WHOLE FAMILY in Heaven and earth are NAMED.” To off-set this truth some say that the “of whom” refers to the word “Father,” but in reading 2 Tim. 2:10 we find that the apostle saith, “Let everyone that NAMETH the NAME of CHRIST depart from iniquity.
In the Early Church
Those who had taken upon themselves the NAME of JESUS CHI RST through the confession of their faith and their identification with Him by baptism into His death (water baptism) and the reception of the Holy Ghost, were called (named) Christians (Acts 11:26: Acts 26:28; I Peter 4:16), thus proving that the earthly portion of the WHOLE FAMILY was named after the LORD JESUS CHRIST. This being true, then we are safe that the Heavenly portion of the WHOLE FAMILY, including the Godhead, beareth the same precious name also.
If the NAME of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is LORD JESUS CHRIST- and I am sure they are not ashamed of that NAME- the Peter was exactly right when he said on the day of Pentecost, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of JESUS CHRIST,” for it was undoubtedly revealed to him by the HOLY GHOST, even as the NAME of the Heavenly Family was made known to the Apostle Paul by revelation (Ephesians 3:3, 4, 14, 15). What then? We conclude that if a person has not been baptized in THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST they have not been baptized in the NAME of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, because the NAME referred to in Matt. 28:19 is LORD JESUS CHRIST as Peter proved in Acts 2:36-38. That is why those who have been baptized under the form literally of Matt. 23:19 are being baptized according to the apostle’s words on the day of Pentecost.
Because many are being baptized again in the NAME of JESUS CHRIST, great “horror” seems to have come over some of the Pentecostal leaders and they are charging those who are thus baptized with the “crime” of “leaving out God and the Holy Ghost” and of “denying the adorable Trinity.” By so doing they cause many to stumble at the word and say terrible things against the name of Jesus Christ.
The Trinity or Godhead
The doctrine of the Trinity has been discussed for centuries, sand of all that has ever been said or written upon the subject it seems that no one has been able to fully unravel this mystery. No natural mind, however great, is able to fathom this great secret of all ages. Without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness. It will never be understood so long as we fail to believe the words of the Holy apostles and Prophets and Jesus Christ our Lord.
God, the Creator
GOD, in His creative work, can only be seen and understood by the things that are made (Rom. 1:20). The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament showeth His handy work. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There was no language or speech where their voices were not heard. Psa. 19:1-3. With his wisdom man explored the heavens and named and numbered the stars; he learned the “times and seasons” and marked them by the things that God had made; he bored his way into the earth and found the veins of gold and silver; but with all his wisdom he “knew not God’ (I Cor. 1:21). God looked down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there was any that did understand, that did seek after God. And behold, every one of them had gone back: they had become altogether filthy; there was none that did good: no, not one. Israel, God’s chosen people, had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and the hope of Adam’s posterity seemed to be blasted forever (Psa. 53:2, 3; Rom. 3:9-18, 23). The day of vengeance was in God’s heart; He looked and there was none to help; He wondered that there was none to uphold; neither was there any intercessor; therefore, God became
In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. And the same was in the beginning with god. And the word was made flesh and dwelt (tabernacled) among us full of grace and truth (I John 5:19). And without controversy, great is the mystery of Godliness. GOD was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit: seem of angels (God was), preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up to glory (I Tim. 3:16). Since God was manifest in the flesh what was His (God’s) name at that time? None can deny the fact that His name was called JESUS (Matt. 1:21). Every name has a meaning, and the angel said: “And thou shalt call his name JESUS; for (because) he shall SAVE his people from their sins.” JESUS in the Hebrew language means SAVIOR. In Isaiah 43:3, 10, 11 read, “For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy SAVIOUR; before me there was no GOD formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and besides me there is no SAVIOUR.” Again we read, “God our Saviour.” Since JESUS and SAVIOUR are synonymous, then it can be clearly seen that “GOD (was) our JESUS.” For God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. The Prophet said his name shall be called the MIGHTY GOD, the Everlasting FATHER (Isa. 9:6). And when Philip said unto Jesus, “Show us the FATHER,” Jesus answered, “Have I (the everlasting FATHER) been so long time with you and yet thou hast not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the FATHER; and saith thou then, show us the FATHER?”
What could be clearer than this to show that the name of the Father was JESUS? Without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness; GOD was manifest in the flesh… preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. In His Divinity He was GOD; in His flesh He was the SONG OF MAN; in His obedience He was THE SON OF GOD (John 14:810; 5:27; 8:29; with Heb. 5:8, 9).
The Holy Ghost
The words, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing,” have been very little understood by many who have read t hem, but Jesus said, When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come he will guide you into all truth- he shall teach you ALL things, and bring ALL things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 6:63; 14:26: 16:12-15.
The day before he had made that mysterious utterance he had fed the multitude with the loaves and the fishes and they beheld his miracles and were filled. And seeing that they understood not his purpose in so doing He then began to show them that the bread with which He fed them while in the days of his flesh could not satisfy the soul; but there was another kind of bread, which, if they should eat thereof, would endure to life everlasting. And he said, “I’m am the bread of life,” ” and the Bread I will give is My Flesh, which I give for the life of the world…whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life; and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” When they heard this many were offended, because they understood Him to mean his natural flesh and blood, and they said this is a hard saying; who can hear it?”
Seeing that they understood Him not He said, “What and if ye shall see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? (to receive of the Father the promise of the Spirit). It is the Spirit (Holy Spirit) that quickeneth; the flesh (natural life and body of Jesus) profiteth nothing.” No man could eat of the of that bread from Heaven, nor drink of that blood, until that Body of Jesus was “broken” and His Blood was shed on the Cross of Calvary. After the resurrection Jesus was with the disciple forty days, but during that time no one was offered the “Bread and Water of Life.” Just before He made His departure for Heaven He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit had come. The flesh profiteth nothing; it is the Spirit that quickeneth.
When the day of Pentecost was fully come that life which was “profitable” came bounding down from Heaven and they all did drink and were filled with the “Spirit that quickeneth.” As Peter gave forth the words the multitude did truly “eat” them and were soon “filled” with the Holy Spirit. They were all by on Spirit baptized into one body and were all made to drink in one Spirit. (1 Cor. 12:13)
Since Jesus’ departure in to Heaven we are to know Him no more after the flesh, and the only way we can know Him is by the Holy Spirit. The first man, Adam, was made a living soul/ the last Adam, was Jesus (Christ), was made a quickening Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45). “Now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17). The only manifestation of Christ on earth is the Holy Spirit; and by this alone we are able to understand His final words; “And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world,” and “he shall give you another Comforter; that he may abide with you for ever.”
Many other things may be said upon this subject, for it seems to be inexhaustible. But these things are written that those who desire to obey God’s final message to his people may do so without fear or doubting. To be baptized in the NAME of JESUS CHRIST is the only way to fulfill the commission of Jesus in Matt. 28:19, for in Christ dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He that denieth the Son the same hath no the Father, but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.
There is no possible way of one denying God and the Holy Ghost when they act in the name of Jesus. For if we cling fast to the precious Name of Jesus we will so please the Father that the presence of the Holy Spirit will abide with you forever.
This article “The Great Controversy” by G.T. Haywood is excerpted from Meat in Due Season, June, 1916.