i love being Apostolic! for years, i contemplated the meaning of life in Christ and why one denomination taught certain things that another did not. i spent my Sunday school years in an apostolic church and became very familiar with Pentecostal worship. the singing, shouting, and dancing did not frighten me off upon returning to church in adulthood. the reason why this way was right and others’ conception was misguided was the key to this life that i had to determine for myself. In the Name of Jesus by David K. Bernard covers the fundamental principle of all of Christianity; the identity of Jesus Christ.
as oneness Pentecostals, we identify and are identified with the name of Jesus. for centuries, people have been tracing their linage and displaying their family crest. we identify as the sons of God and joint-heirs with Christ through His “bloodline.” we have taken on the name of Jesus and have been given the power to operate with all of the authority that name represents.
i am taking a couple of points away from reading this book. first, “the name of Jesus is invested with all of God’s power and authority.” Jesus’ earthly ministry was an incredible display of the absolute sovereignty of God in Christ Jesus. He did not tolerate disease, demons, or death! Jesus showed us His complete dominion over all things and then said, “He that believeth on me…greater works than these shall he do” (John 14:12). He has delegated a sampling of His authority to us to continue His work. as sons and daughters of the King, having been baptized into His name and understanding Jesus’ identity, no power can prohibit the ultimate authority of the universe and His perfect will for these last days!
the next point that i want to glean from this book is “Using the name of Jesus in baptism is inextricably linked with the very purpose of baptism itself.” refusing to invoke the name of Jesus when we are baptized, or baptizing someone else, is not as specific as the Bible teaches. if we are only being baptized to join a CHRISTian church, why not call on the name of Christ. if we are expressing our inward dedication, “whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17). perhaps you want to represent the burial of Jesus, and your rise to new life, the Father and the Holy Spirit were never buried. the name of Jesus is the only saving name, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
baptism is not a new Christian practice; it has been practiced for centuries as a cleansing ritual. baptism was also how a convert would be considered Jewish. they would be immersed and take on the covenant name of Abraham (https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/conversion-to-judaism). the promise to Abraham was that “in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). Jesus, fulfilling that promise, being born of the lineage of Abraham, declared, “this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). the New Testament, or covenant, name of conversion according to the Bible is Jesus. Peter decrees this saying, “be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).
in conclusion, i will not apologize for being excited about Jesus, who He is, and the authority in that all-powerful name! traditions of men and elders’ opinions have crippled the “Christian” church. we are meant to operate in authority and have primarily settled for mediocrity. i thank God for my early Apostolic experiences and for the desire to reach past the excepted into the mystery of godliness: where “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:16).