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).
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First Pentecostal Church of the Lord Jesus Christ
Bay Springs, MS
Church the way it was meant to be…