Water Baptism in the Name of Jesus (Not!)
There’s power in the Name of Jesus.
But apparently not in baptism.
The vast majority of Christians worldwide for the last two-thousand years have absolutely refused to invoke the Name Above Every Name  in water baptism.
By this, at the very onset of their Christian walk, they have failed to honor the Lord Jesus though simultaneously claiming a very close walk with Him.
Most are simply unaware. Many have been taught an alternative method and have accepted it, though it violates Scripture. Some simply do not care.
What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.
“Baptism doesn’t matter. So back off.”
“Baptism is very important, of course, but the first Christians obviously got it wrong.”
“Baptism in the Name of Jesus is heresy.”
“Oh that. Yeah, there’s some weird people out there doing some weird stuff, especially those guys. The verse at the end of Matthew is very clear on the right way to baptize.”
Despite the fact that every single reputable Biblical encyclopedia, dictionary, ancient source, and denominational historical record states flatly and clearly that the original water immersion method taught and administered by the apostles included invoking the pure and holy Name of Jesus, about 95% of all Christians continue to refuse to use the Lord’s Name in baptism. And most conduct baptism in a man-made non-Scriptural manner.
This disses the Lord.
If a Christian believes in and honors the Holy Trinity, (a non-Biblical term), his or her water baptism will certainly reflect it. He or she will honor these three distinct Persons by invoking their Biblical titles. He or she will honor the first Person of the heavenly Godhead—the Father. He or she will honor the second Person of the heavenly Godhead—the Son. And he or she will honor the third Person of the heavenly Godhead—the Holy Spirit.
There’s only one little problem.
This is something the first followers of Jesus never did.
And the reason why is simple: They recognized Jesus the Messiah as YHWH Himself. And they honored the one God of the Hebrews and showed their allegiance to Him by invoking His Name, the Name Above Every Name, in water baptism. They were taught by the apostles themselves, who set the precedent, and who were themselves taught directly by the Lord Jesus.
The record in the Book of Acts and throughout the epistles is clear—there is absolutely no Scriptural historical evidence whatsoever for title baptism. It never occurred. It was a much later development.
Now, why does one suppose this happened? Why was it officially changed, though the Word of God continues to loudly declare it openly and exclusively? Who could possibly be responsible for removing the powerful and holy Name of the Lord Jesus from baptism?
Regarding the Word of God, which Christians claim to honor, here is the overwhelming evidence that demands a verdict:
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” [Mark 16:15-18]
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. [Acts 2:38-41]
But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. Even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip, and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed. Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. [Acts 8:12-17]
So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; [Acts 9:17-18]
“A certain Ananias, a man who was devout by the standard of the Law, and well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing near said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very time I looked up at him. And he said, ‘The God of our fathers has appointed you to know His will and to see the Righteous One and to hear an utterance from His mouth. For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard. Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’” [Acts 22:12-16]
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days. [Acts 10:44-48]
It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. There were in all about twelve men. [Acts 19:1-7]
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. [Romans 6:3-4]
Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. [1 Corinthians 6:11]
There is a reason such verses of Scripture bring strong reactions. If one studies the Book of Acts, one discovers that the enemies of the Lord hated His Name, and they hated His followers’ use of His Name. They knew there was great power in the Name of Jesus, and they knew it greatly superseded their power.
Demons were cast out by the Name of Jesus, not mere titles.
Miraculous healings took place by the Name of Jesus, not mere titles.
People were being made free from the wicked power of sin by the Name of Jesus, not mere titles.
Concerning the command of the Lord regarding water baptism, why have most Christians agreed with the enemy?
“There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:12]
This is why Peter said what he did at the conclusion of the first prototypical message of the Church Age. Immersion in water in the name of Jesus signified the giving of oneself to Jesus as one’s Lord and Savior. It signified an extremely undignified and all-embracing act—dying completely to self—performed in the open and recorded in public for all to see. It signified the burial of the repentant (dead) person and total surrender to the Lord Jesus.
Instead of dissing the Lord in baptism, it was the highest possible form of praise.
Real Christians are constantly on the move toward greater spiritual growth and maturity, the gaining of more revelatory knowledge, and a closer walk with the Lord. We learn new things all the time. Life with the Lord Jesus is a spiritual adventure. It is productive and fruit-bearing, though there are times of severe struggle and trial.
However, resistance against new revelation is often on the surface, ready to emerge. In light of that:
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. [2 Timothy 2:15]
Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. [Acts 17:10-11]
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. [Colossians 3:17] 
© 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Philippians 2:9
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
I don’t understand. I’ll read this again carefully. If people aren’t being baptized in the name of Jesus, how are they being baptized? Is the name of Jesus left out? I’ve never witnessed nor heard such a thing. I’ve heard the arguments about the purpose of baptism ( for remission of sins vs symbolism of salvation vs church membership) but never about doing it in Jesus’s name. Please explain. Thanks
Thanks Marcia. In the beginning, when Christianity was real and no counterfeits had yet to exist, water baptism was always conducted by full immersion in living water invoking the Name of Jesus. No other name was ever used. No titles were ever used. Three centuries later the Name of Jesus was completely removed from water baptism by official decree at the First Council of Nicea by the new Universal Constantinian Church and replaced with the titles “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Since that time the vast majority of all Christian denominations have adopted the corrupted version and refuse to use the Name of Jesus.
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Full immersion water baptism in the name of Christ is essential to salvation! We are “buried” with Christ in the baptism process, and rise to walk a new person. We contact the blood of Christ in baptism, which we know as Christians, is that which saves us!
We also receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as we rise from the waters of baptism. Those who preach that baptism isn’t necessary for salvation, or for any other reason, are sadly mistaken. The scriptures say otherwise…
I do not fully agree, Steve, but I do appreciate your comment and am thankful that we do agree on the use of the Name of the Lord Jesus in water baptism.
The Blood of Jesus is applied at Repentance. When one does a detailed, exhaustive study of the application of blood during the days of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, one will discover that the blood of sacrificial animals was NEVER officially applied to the Bronze Laver, where the priests washed before they entered the tent to minister.
(1) The first step in the sacrifice was killing the animal on the Altar of Sacrifice, which existed in the open air just inside the entry within the walls of the tabernacle enclosure but outside the tent. This is representative of Repentance, when one dies out to the Lord. Real repentance is representative of death and the sacrifice of our lives to the Lord, which is the highest possible sacrifice we can make, and is fully required for salvation. It is the first thing one must do when coming to the Lord. The Blood of Jesus is applied at repentance, just as the sacrificial victim’s blood was shed at the Altar of Sacrifice. One must allegorically shed his or her blood on an altar of repentance first, before the Lord’s shed blood is also then applied.
And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. [Hebrews 9:22 NASV (Other versions say remission)].
Without the use of the Name of Jesus there is also no sacrifice. His sacrifice and the sacrifice of an individual believer (real repentance) must both take place to create the required Blood Covenant.
(2) The next step was washing at the open air Bronze Laver, which was filled with pure, fresh, living water. The laver was located between the Altar of Sacrifice and the entry of the enclosed, roofed tent. It was next in line.
The full process is as follows, starting from outside the enclosure:
The priest first entered the walls of the enclosure through the entry opening, representing Faith, proceeded to the open air Altar of Sacrifice, representing Repentance, then proceeded to the Bronze Laver, which represented Water Baptism. These elements were lined up in the order commanded by God. Each was a prerequisite for going farther. The priests were commanded to wash at the Bronze Laver before they could enter the tent to minister. Blood was never applied at the Bronze Laver, which means the Blood of Jesus is not applied at water baptism.
(3) The third step was entering into the first section of the tent, the Holy Place, to minister. But before one could properly minister, one had to be anointed of God as a priest to do so. In the New Covenant, we are a kingdom of priests, which means all real Christians are anointed of God to minister. Our primary ministry is to the Lord Jesus, whom we pledge ourselves to serve, and then is our ministry to one another (as in keeping with the two great commandments). We must be anointed with the Holy Spirit for both.
This is why Peter answered all those who were crying forth under great conviction on the Day of Pentecost, wondering what they must do, in the following way:
(2) And each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;
(3) And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
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With all respect, I have learned long ago not to present counterpoints to those who do not believe in baptism as necessary for salvation.
Having said that, I cannot reconcile what you have said here…that salvation happens at the point of repentance. For one of many verses I could point to, look at (Acts 2:38).
Peter said to them “…repent, AND be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the Holy Spirit.”
If salvation were given at the point of repentance, then why would Peter have added the necessity of baptism to his remark?
Also, many verses having to do with receiving the Holy Spirit are tied to water baptism. This would seem reasonable as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, (God Himself), would not take place in the “tent” of an unbeliever.
I submit this remark for your consideration only, and not to engage you in debate.
Thanks Steve. I appreciate it. I am not interested in debate for the mere sake of debate, but proper discussion, in love, among real Christians is healthy. Much truth can be gained through a group of believers getting together and discussing the Word of God, even if they do not agree on everything. That should be what Bible Studies are all about, at least in part. We can gain truth we might not otherwise have.
With regard to baptism and salvation, you have presupposed something about what I believe that is not true. Though some theologians dispute the accuracy of the last few verses of Mark 16, I do not. And in Mark 16:16, the Lord Jesus said: “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.”
It should be obvious that one who does not believe the Gospel and does not act on it will not see any reason to get baptized, which means water baptism is only for believers. Water baptism was obviously important to the Lord Jesus, the original apostles, and the entire early community of the Lord.
If one hears the real Gospel message and makes the decision to come to the Lord, one is first acting on BELIEF or FAITH. The real Gospel message says a person will die in their sins if they don’t recognize that they are a sinner. A person who believes the real Gospel message is thus convicted of one’s sins in hearing the real Gospel, and consequently cries out in repentance to God for salvation. If one’s heart is honest and sincere, the Lord Jesus will accept the sacrifice of one’s life and His grace and forgiveness will be applied for salvation.
It is obvious then, that one will follow up one’s faith and repentance with whatever is required, and that includes water baptism, which is exactly what the thousands of repentant Jews did on the Day of Pentecost in response to Peter’s message. They recognized the Lord Jesus as their Savior and long awaited Messiah and were water baptized in His Name.
Years later, Peter wrote:
…who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ… [1Peter 3:20-21]
In other words, water baptism is not meant to be a bath for either the body or the soul, but an outer public symbolic act of obedience and discipleship, in which one tells the world that the Lord Jesus is now one’s Savior and Lord, and it also tells the members of the Lord’s community that a new member has been added, and that the new member has pledged himself or herself to the Lord Jesus and no one else. It is also, as Peter wrote, the act of a good conscience. It is a symbolic act which typifies burial after death. Repentance is death (not actual physical death), and water baptism is burial (not the actual burial of a dead person).
A real disciple, one who has given his or her heart completely and totally to the Lord, will thus do anything the Lord Jesus requires as obedience to Him, on day one, on day one thousand, on day ten thousand, and until one’s physical death. Otherwise one is in disobedience, which is sin.
It must be pointed out, though, that over the last two thousand years, the one correct form of water baptism practiced by the first believers has been corrupted into several different forms and formulas by various ecclesiastical bodies. Many believers have been taught incorrectly but do not know it. It is up to each individual believer to search the scriptures for the truth of the matter and act accordingly.
Every Christian believer should obey the command of the Lord and be baptized in water by full immersion invoking the Name of Jesus.
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I completely agree with the last paragraph…thank you for all of the information.
So, are you saying the gift of the Holy Spirit is Received at Baptism?
Thanks Don. It certainly worked out that way on a few occasions as recorded in Acts.
Of particular interest is the passage in Acts 19. Paul met with some disciples, about twelve of them, when he arrived at Ephesus. He asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed. This presupposes in Paul’s mind that it was possible to be a believer without yet receiving the Holy Spirit.
They told him they had never heard whether there even was a Holy Spirit. Then Paul asked them an interesting question. He asked them just how, exactly, were they water baptized. Again, in Paul’s mind, correct water baptism had something to do with receiving the Holy Spirit.
They told him they were baptized unto John’s baptism. Hence, they were baptized in the name of John. Maybe they missed some of John’s teachings, because John certainly mentioned the Holy Spirit. Paul thought, “Ohhhh… No wonder.” Reading between the lines, he then explained to them that John’s baptism was a national baptism unto repentance and was designed to prepare the hearts of people for the ministry of the coming Messiah, and to believe in Him.
Their hearts were obviously right with God, because the next thing you know they immediately got baptized in the Name of Jesus.
(If one recalls, Peter said at Pentecost that if one is baptized in the Name of Jesus, answering a good conscience toward the Lord, one WILL receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.)
Then, after those disciples were water baptized (immersed) in the Name of Jesus, Paul laid his hands on them and they were miraculously filled with the Holy Spirit, just like so many others were in various Book of Acts accounts. This was verified by the fact that their speech was given over to the Lord, the common sign throughout Acts, in that they all began speaking with tongues and prophesying.
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Amen. You have no doubt heard this – Jesus said to be “baptized IN THE NAME” of the …
Titles are not A NAME. There is NONE OTHER NAME under heaven given among men whereby, we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Blessings.
Thanks David. I appreciate it.
This issue otherwise obviously reveals the incredible power of religious deception in that the vast majority of Christians do not know what should be clear facts and most refuse to accept this truth and act on it once it has been revealed. One can trace this rebellion, disobedience, and stubbornness to the teaching of false, man-made doctrines which continue to be far more popular than the truth. For those who may be confused or willing to receive this truth, I would suggest one should allow the Lord’s leading instead of the influence of “blind leaders of the blind.”
Thanks again and be blessed.
Hello from Ireland, i just find this website. I am happy, because we need Real Christians in this world. Very hard to find Real Christians. Many people say they are “real” christians, but they never reborn in the WAY Jesus Christ said to Nicodemus in the Bible. If someone never reborn, then he or she doesn’t have a NEW Nature from Heaven. He or she has only the old nature, adam’s nature which is not good enough to belong to Heaven. Nicodemus believed in God, of course he believed, he was a teacher in Israel. But even if he believed in God, Jesus Christ stated to him that he need to born again from water and the Holy Spirit. Because everybody need a New Nature from the Holy Spirit to get citizenship in Heaven. Today’s word many UNREAL “christians” doesn’t even know anything about what I wrote here! Or, they heard about this, but they stand against this, because the darkness broke their mind to not understand these things for never get the point of Christianity. The point of Christianity is: get new nature from Heaven. The old nature has a hostile relationship with Heaven and God. That’s why Jesus Christ stated the point: we need new nature. If someone want to contact me and talk about these things: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for the visit and comment. The Lord Jesus certainly stated clearly that we MUST be born again spiritually from above:
Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” [John 3:5-7]
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