God with His skin on?

God with his skin on? What in the world is that about?


The Apostles, whose actions and preaching are recorded in the book of Acts, obeyed Jesus’ Great Commission (which says in part, “…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost…” Matthew 28:19) by baptizing exclusively in the name of Jesus. How was this obedience? Most churches today teach that the repetition of Jesus’ statement in baptism is the correct response to the commandment, saying “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost” when baptizing someone. This was never recorded as being said during an actual baptism recorded in the Bible. So what accounts for the difference?

I was raised in a church that taught a concept of God as being in “three persons”, known as the “trinity”. For anyone to challenge that doctrine to me created great suspicion regarding their background or teaching. After coming to a point in my life being stirred to seek God more deeply for the truth in His word, I encountered a group of people who taught this differently, and God was very evident in their lives. After receiving an understanding of how the Apostles baptized people in the Bible, I obeyed the gospel message of Acts 2:38, by repenting, being water baptized in Jesus’ name and was filled with the Holy Ghost, but still did not fully understand the difference in what my original denomination had been saying about the Godhead, and what Apostolic Pentecostals taught.

When God opened my understanding, I realized that when my denomination had said “Jesus is God”, they essentially meant that is what He is – that He is divine or has a divine nature. When the Pentecostals said “Jesus is God” they were referring to His identity – God is who He is.

Think on the following references:
1) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself,… (2 Corinthians 5:19)
2) …God was manifest in the flesh…(1Timothy 3:16)
3) No man has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:18)
4) God…hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son…who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person…(Hebrews 1:1-3)
5) Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.(Colossians 1:15)
6) I and my Father are one. (John 10:30) …he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; (John 14:9)
7) Wherefore, when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, but a body thou hast prepared me: (Hebrews 10:5)

Jesus told the woman at the well (John 4:24): “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” He told his disciples after his resurrection, “…a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.”(Luke 24:39)

There had to be a sacrifice for sin — a death. The Spirit of God could not die, so in the plan and mind of God, there was the “lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8) born of a virgin, “conceived of the Holy Ghost”. In other words, God didn’t have flesh and bones, so “a body he prepared” that could be tempted, hunger, thirst, bleed, die, be buried and raised again. As one child put it, when asked who Jesus is, “Jesus is God with his skin on“.

Around Christmas time, we hear Isaiah 9:6 quoted frequently: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” We have no problem agreeing this scripture refers to Jesus, but do we also agree that it plainly calls him The mighty God and The everlasting Father? How many can there be? Paul said in Ephesians 4:5-6, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Sounds like one to me.

” If any man confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh…”

The Apostles knew fully well who Jesus was: God in flesh, and they had no problem whatsoever understanding that the name of Jesus name satisfied the equation of one name to fill the commandment of Jesus regarding baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost (“there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby you must be saved” Acts 4:12). That is why, in all the books of Acts (where all the accounts of baptisms being performed after the birth of the church are recorded), there is no reference to anyone being baptized the way my former denomination baptizes, by repeating the commandment. Look for yourself – it isn’t there.

Now, is this just “Bible trivia”? Or does it matter? The Word will judge us at the last day. Do we dare take for granted that “there must be some other explanation” or that if your preacher says it’s ‘different now’, then you can trust that?

If this stirs you to seek for more truth in God’s word, I encourage you to request a personal Bible study to look at the scriptures more closely, and to ask God to guide you as you seek for Him.

(All scriptures above from the King James Version).

Come visit us at

First Pentecostal Church of the Lord Jesus Christ

Bay Springs, MS

Church the way it was meant to be…

6 thoughts on “God with His skin on?”

  1. In response to “Most churches today teach that the repetition of Jesus’ statement in baptism is the correct response to the commandment, saying “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost” when baptizing someone. This was never recorded as being said during an actual baptism recorded in the Bible.”

    Is it recorded in the Bible the actual words spoken during any baptism? Could baptizing in Jesus’ name not imply baptizing in the authority of Jesus’ name, Churches where worship of Jesus Christ is central would not be baptizing in any other name or authority.

    Not arguing the point, just not convinced it is a major issue.


    1. Good question. Actually, the words spoken during several baptisms were recorded. Of course, the places where the name isn’t recorded, we don’t have any indication that it was done any differently than what Peter commanded originally on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:38.

      The scriptures that mention the name used in specific baptisms include: Acts 8:16 (Samaritans baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus by Phillip), Acts 10:47-48 (Gentiles baptized in the name of the Lord by Peter), Acts 19:1-7 (disciples at Ephesus re-baptized in the name of Jesus by Paul). There are other references that are not this direct, such as Paul’s relating his conversion experience to the Jews and Roman soldiers in Acts 22:16, quoting Ananias as telling him, “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

      As to whether it’s a major issue, Paul apparently thought it was in the account in Acts 19. Encountering men who obviously had believed on the Lord (possibly through the preaching of Apollos who had just travelled through Ephesus and only understood John’s baptism at that time before being taught “more perfectly” by Acquila and Priscilla), Paul asked the men whether they’d received the Holy Ghost since believing. Upon hearing that they didn’t know about the Holy Ghost, his very next question was “unto what then were you baptized?” Once he re-baptized them in Jesus’ name they immediately received the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues.

      The power is in the name; I believe that’s at the root of the baptismal formula being changed by the budding Roman Catholic church at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. History from that point on shows the change in the “official” church after that point from the powerhouse turning the world upside down to something that bears little resemblance to the original church of Acts. BUT, the fact that God still gives the original Book of Acts result of salvation (Holy Ghost with evidence of speaking in tongues) to those who obey the original message of Acts 2:38 and following is the greatest witness to the fact that He didn’t change the message – man did. What sounds like the safest ground on that one?

      Thanks for asking.


      1. Thanks for the references. Though they do verify the authority of the baptism (as opposed to John’s baptism or another), however, they fall short in my mind of documenting actual words spoken. Since I am not as eloquent in the Scriptures on the fly, I defer to the following link to make the example of my understanding of Scripture on this and related subject matter. http://www.irr.org/trinity-part-VI.html

        I have listened, prayed, and been open to the Lord to reveal His truth for many years. Over and over, He brings me assurance of the truth He has taught me thus far in my journey and encouragement to stay the course. I will continue to listen, seek and pray. Know that I do admire your faith deeply and love your church family very much.


      2. I’ve reviewed the link you posted, and my impressions of it are on this line:
        – a lot of effort is being put into explaining why the writer believes that what the Apostles said they did (baptized in the name of Jesus) is not what they really did, or that we can’t know for sure; that somehow what he thinks they did (baptized by repeating the titles Father, Son and Holy Ghost) is more likely, even though the Bible doesn’t record it that way and makes no mention of the phrase after the birth of the church.
        – Spiritual things are sprirtually discerned; someone who has not yet obeyed the Acts 2:38 gospel message can fully exhaust themselves trying explain it away and feel satisfied with their results, but can you really trust someone who (though I haven’t researched this person I would venture to say this is the case) has not hiimself obeyed the gospel and been baptized with the Holy Ghost and spoken in other tongues? With all due respect, he doesn’t qualify himself to discuss the finer points of the Apostles’ teaching until he has experienced what the hearers and obedient recipients of their preaching received. That salvation came that way in the early church is irrefutable.
        – the religious world of their day fought against Jesus’ teachings, the Apostles’ teachings and the teaching and life of their followers in the early churches. The presence of a vast group of theologians who oppose the original doctrine of the church doesn’t invalidate it, but only falls in line with the historical opposition to truth.

        As for your personal search and prayer for God to guide you, don’t stop. I would only advise that seeking in the absence of exposure to what we’re seeking God about can often yield results that are not as challenging as they are when we are exposed. In other words, being where there is annointed preaching of the word of God, and the power of God is moving to tender hearts is a more accurate way to search for truth than (with all due respect) seeking from within the comfort of what one is already accustomed to. Certainly engaging in the type discussion we’re having here is a venture that brings challenge, but I encourage other means as well. Thorughly exhaust every opportunity to know that you’ve truly heard His response. The only valid examples of proper responses to the word of God are in the word of God. If there is a clear example of someone preaching and responding to the Gospel message the way mainline denominations do, then it’s valid. I haven’t seen it in the word of God, but I do see overwhelming examples of repentance, water baptism in Jesus’ name, and being filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.
        Jeremiah 29:11-14 talks about a way to seek God that brings results. Actually doing that and getting all God has in anyone’s life is actually rather unique in the world today, but is do-able.


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