November 1, 1986 Issue
M. Lynwood Smith

    In compliance with requests by brother Don King and solicitations by a number of other brethren (which I appreciate very much), I will undertake to fill this space with exactly what the caption suggests, "Pages from the Past". There are not many issues alive today that were not prevalent years ago. And as I peruse these "pages of the past" I thrill at the masterful manner in which these giants of yesteryears trained their guns on them. I would not in any way discredit the able men of our day who write and address these matters. We need them, and we gratefully thank God that we have them, but we need to avail ourselves of the "things that were written aforetime" by our brethren whose voices have been stilled by death.

    I will be selecting articles that have value for us today as much as possible. I will be quoting from different brethren on various topics. Whenever possible I will given an update on the articles--when it was written, where it was published and the situation that called it forth. Naturally, I pray that it will be interesting as well as helpful.

    We are giving below, an article by brother H.C. Harper. This piece is in the form of a "review". I will be printing several of this type as this seemed to be one of brother Harper's most common styles of conveying the Truth. This is in reply to an article which had been written by brother Moore in the Christian Leader. This was a very outstanding and powerful digressive paper in those days.

by H.C. Harper

    Brethren are needlessly concerned over whether a person should be "baptized IN the name of the Father Lord Jesus," or "INTO the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit"--whether the one doing the baptizing should use the former or the latter in his "ceremony." We have answered this question a number of times both privately and publicly, but as a ghost," it will not down." Both from Alabama and Florida comes the question again, from one in this form:

    "What is obeying Acts 2:38? Is it baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit? Matt 28:18, 19. Does this mean to baptize in God's name, and in the Son's name, and in the Holy Spirit's name?"

    The other wishes to know whether the candidate should be baptized "in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit"?

Obeying Acts 2:38 is repenting, turning in heart from sin all that the Lord condemns, and being immersed in order that God may pardon or forgive the past and accept you into his kingdom as one of his children. In Peter's answer the phrase, "in the name of Jesus Christ," means By the Authority of Jesus Christ. This baptism (of a properly prepared candidate) inducts the baptized one INTO (not in) the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The clause, "baptizing them in the name of the Father," etc., in Matthew 28:19 should be "baptizing them INTO (not in) the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit," as it is in the Standard American and denotes the authority of which it is done, and "into the name of the Father, etc.," denotes the wonderful relationship the baptized one comes into.

    Entering into that relationship does not depend upon what the preacher says when he is doing the baptizing, but upon the proper preparation of the one being baptized. The preacher may use either one or both of these phrases in his "ceremony," or use neither of them, say absolutely nothing, and it will not have any effect upon what God proposes to do for the one baptized. The exercise of his pardoning grace for the penitent sinner does not depend upon what the administrator of baptism says, but upon the condition and purpose of the candidate. And no one can come into the relation of Son to the Father without also enjoying a certain relationship of Son to the Holy Spirit. Hence, one does not have to be baptized either "in" or "into" the name of the Holy Spirit to be in the relationship of Son to the Father, of brother to Jesus the First Born, and to have the Holy Spirit for his comforter. One baptism "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (i.e., by his authority), puts the baptized one "INTO the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit," whether the administrator says anything when he is doing the baptizing or not.

If those interested have access to "The Christian Baptist," turn to page 522 and there you will find an edifying article on this subject by Bro. Alexander Campbell--Christian Leader.

    Reply-- If unfounded assertions are admitted as proof, I can prove that the moon is made of green cheese. "Every wind of doctrine" is foisted upon the people in this way. If Brother Moore could give some scripture to sustain his unfounded assertions, there would not be so much "ghost," and the question evidently would "down." Campbell does not touch on the question in "The Christian Baptist" on page 522, nor on any other page, and it is not likely that he even heard of the question in his day. Campbell does, however, enter an extended criticism of the King James version for rendering eis in Matt 28:19 "in" instead of into, as it should be; and the world's scholarship today sustains his criticism.

    There is a modern preacher or two with a few followers that I have come in contact with in Missouri, Alabama, and Florida, who teach that the latter part of Matthew, the part containing the Commission, is spurious, and who contend that Acts 2:38 contains the "formula" for baptizing.

    Mr. Trott discussed this question through our paper with a Mr. Lloyd, from Missouri, and I met him on the same question orally in Floralla, Alabama, a few years after that. And Bro. J.W. Reynolds, of Kingston, Ala., has met a Mr. Farmer, who moderated for Mr. Lloyd, in Alabama several times.

    Campbell did not contend over petty things; and from the emphasis he places on the difference between the signification of "into" in Mt 28:19 and "in" it is evident that Campbell would take issue with what the Leader teaches. If the Leader's contention were true, Mt 28:19 would as well be out of the Bible.

    The truth is, the 28th chapter of Matthew is inspired scripture, and the contention of Mr. Lloyd and that of the Leader is absurd. The Son of God has not given commands just to set forth matters of indifference. Mt 28:18 is a command to the one being baptized, and each command has a different signification. The sinner is commanded to be baptized "in or upon (en or epi) the name of Jesus Christ" ("relying on the name of Jesus Christ, i.e. reposing one's hope on him. Acts 2:38."--Thayer, p. 94.

    The sinner can not omit these (both or either one) and have a baptism commanded by Christ. This, to the sinner.

    The one doing the baptizing is commanded to baptize "them into (eis) the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" ("by baptism to bind any one to recognize and publicly acknowledge the dignity and authority of one (cf. baptize 11. b. (aa.) Mt 28:19."--Thayer, p. 447.

Here eis expresses the purpose, or design, incumbent on the one baptizing to make it obedience to the command of Christ, just as eis in Acts 2:38 expresses the purpose, or design, incumbent on the one to be baptized to make it obedience to the command there. And the one being baptized should know the design of his baptizer; hence to talk of a ‘say-nothing baptism" is absurd. If Brother Moore were inspired we might take his ipse dixit.

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