Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 134 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Matthew 28 today and our focus is on what into what name must we baptize people – are Oneness Pentecostals right to demand that we only baptize in Jesus’ name? Must I speak in tongues to be saved? We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Paris, France, parts unknown, Nepal, Bangkok, Thailand, Birmingham, Alabama, Portland, Maine, Kansas City, Missouri and Boston, Massachusetts. Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Today we read Matthew 28, and in most every instance, I would use this chapter as a springboard to talk about the resurrection, the most marvelous event in human history. Today is slightly different – our focus will be on baptism and the Great Commission, and tongues. That said, if you want to read/hear more about the resurrection, just come to our website, or Biblereadingpodcast.com, and search in the handy-dandy search tool for resurrection, and you will get a ton of articles and pods to listen to.
Recently a church member was approached by a member of a Oneness Pentecostal group, and told that they may not be Christians because they weren’t baptized with the proper formula, and they didn’t speak in tongues. To the Oneness Pentecostal, there is only one name to be baptized in, and all other ways that a person can be baptized are basically invalid. Keep that thought in the back of your mind, and let’s review the Great Commission, which is our May memory verses of the month:
Matthew 28:18-20 18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Reading that Great Commission of Jesus, how do you think He would have us baptize people – what name or names should we use? It seems pretty clear, right? People should be baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit – those are the exact words of Jesus, but a problem happened in the early 1900s, right down the road from our family and church’s homebase of Salinas, California, in a place called Arroyo Seco, California. There was a camp meeting in 1913 where a preacher named R.E. McAlister preached a message that rejected baptizing people in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, and instead said that people should be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ only. McAlister attempted to prove his point by quoting extensively from baptisms in the book of Acts, such as:
Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 19:5 5 When they heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.
Acts 10:48: He commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
All of which omit the Trinitarian formula of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A Pentecostal missionary to China tried to get up on stage to chastise McAlister, which caused a bit of a stir, and the meeting ended with people divided over the issue. The next morning, another minister, by the name of John Schaepe, woke up early and ran through the camp shouting that he had a revelation of sorts that all people must be baptized in the name of Jesus, and not the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which caused an even bigger stir in the camp. Schaepe’s specific revelation was that “Jesus: was, in, fact, the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit – so, the way to obey the Great Commission, as commanded by Jesus in Matthew 28, is to baptize people NOT in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but ONLY in the name of Jesus, because God The Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit’s name is Jesus.
Ultimately, out of this camp, a new denomination was born, The Oneness Pentecostals. They reject baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They appear to reject salvation by grace alone through faith alone (adding proper baptism and tongues to grace and faith), and they reject the Trinity. Instead, they believe that people MUST be saved by being baptized ONLY in the name of Jesus in water by immersion, that people MUST repent of their sins, and that people MUST be baptized in the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues to be saved.
This is only a tennish minute podcast, so I can’t address all of those claims with the depth they deserve, but to share a few words: There is ZERO evidence in the Bible that God the Father’s name is Jesus. God reveals His name to Moses in Exodus 3 as Yahweh. Further, it seems quite unwise to utterly reject a command of Jesus, as we see in the Great Commision. Is a baptism done in the name of Jesus spurious and ineffective? I don’t think so, because we see this in the book of Acts. Is a baptism done in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit spurious and ineffective? Of course not – Jesus commanded us to baptize that way! Must people speak in tongues to be saved? Of course not – there is LITERALLY NOTHING in Scripture that commands Christians to speak in tongues, though I do believe the gift is still active and present in modern times and should not be forbidden, according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 14. In fact, Paul clearly indicates in 1 Corinthians 12:30 that not all Christians will speak in tongues.
While it is true that several new Christians in the book of Acts spoke in tongues, it is equally true that there are more instances of people being saved in the book of Acts that do NOT speak in tongues than that do. Let’s consider the book of Acts.
Those at Cornelius’ house in Acts 10 DID speak in tongues when they were saved, and so did the twelve disciples of John who were baptized in Jesus name in Acts 19 (this gives us a TOTAL of TWO incidences of new Christians in the book of Acts who spoke in tongues)
The Bible does NOT mention tongues in the conversion of the THOUSANDS on Pentecost after hearing Peter’s sermon. Saul/Paul when he became a Christian did not speak in tongues (at least, the Bible does not record that he did), Those in Samaria who were converted to Jesus at the preaching of Philip did receive the Holy Spirit in power, but tongues is nowhere mentioned:
15 After they went down there, they prayed for them so that the Samaritans might receive the Holy Spirit because he had not yet come down on any of them. 16 (They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:15-17 (NOTICE how it says that these disciples had ONLY been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus)
No tongues are mentioned at the salvation of the Ethiopian official, nor when the proconsul was converted in Acts 13, nor the Gentiles who were saved in Antioch, or the Greeks and Jews in Iconium in Acts 14. In Acts 16, we see Lydia converted to faith, and the Philippian Jailer, and his whole family, and there is no mention of tongues. Acts 17 sees a group of Greeks in Thessalonica and in Berea converted to faith, and yet no mention of tongues. The Corinthians in Acts 18 were saved and baptized, but tongues are not mentioned there, nor among the new believers in Ephesus in Acts 19, which I believe are the last specific converts mentioned in the book of Acts.
So – adding up the numbers, I count 13 separate incidences in the book of Acts of individuals and people groups coming to faith. In TWO of those incidences, the gift of tongues is said to accompany salvation as in Acts 10, or very nearly accompany salvation, as in Acts 19. In ELEVEN of those incidences, there are not mentions of tongues. In fact, in all 28 chapters of the book of Acts, the gift of tongues is only mentioned five times, and three of those occurrences are in Acts 2.
Finally, ask yourself if the gift of tongues is so central and NECESSARY for salvation, why did Paul only write about tongues in ONE his letters (1/13) – 1 Corinthians? Why did neither Peter, nor James, Nor John, nor the book of Hebrews or Revelation mention tongues? Why didn’t Jesus mention tongues in any of His messages, nor in the Great Commission? I do believe in tongues, and believe it is a valid and ongoing and wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit, but to say that one must speak in tongues to be saved strains biblical credibility and is squarely and obviously a false teaching. If one must ONLY be baptized in the name of Jesus (and not in the name of the Father and Son) why did Jesus never teach about this? Why did the apostles never explain or command it? You’d think that if something such as this was absolutely necessary to salvation, that it would be clearly taught by Jesus and the apostles, and it obviously is not.
Friends – be wise in your reading of Scripture, and be careful when a group or denomination tells you that they are the ONLY ones who know the truth, and everybody else is lost if they don’t agree with them. Let’s read our passage.
Bible Memory verses for the month of May: Matthew 28:18-20 18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Happy by Mike Leite https://soundcloud.com/mikeleite
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