And yet it was NEVER administered in the three names anywhere in Scripture, even though Jesus specifically commanded this in Matthew 28. Read Acts for yourself carefully. I did last night and again today to confirm what I remembered. Either the disciples disobeyed Jesus, or that command belongs to a different dispensation, a coming time of judgment.
The Bible doesnt say it will take 2,000 years for someone to figure out how to rightly divide the Word, but it does say in the latter days many false prophets will arise. Hmm....
And as I wrote before, this was ALREADY happening while Paul was writing his letters. He complains that all in Asia had rejected his Revelation. Why do you suppose there was such an uproar in organized religion when people began suggesting God's Word said you could be justified by faith through Grace? Or when Believers started teaching about the Body of Christ, the Mystery, or anything else Paul taught in his prison epistles? Everything Paul wrote has been in his prison epistles for almost 2,000 years! His Revelation was just waiting for folks to discover it and walk in its Truth. Why was it ignored, dismissed, misunderstood, or not taught? I simply believe the Word became less important as Christianity was overwhelmed by Judaizers, pagan converts and their ideas, and religious tradition. Its simply the nature of a large bureaucracy that always leads to corruption. The average convert sitting in the pew didn't know any better and dared not challenge religious authority.
I do agree no one baptized using three names. Go read Matthew 28:19 again carefully, you will notice the word name is singular not plural.
Yea! We have found common ground! Nobody used the three names in baptism. As far as singular versus plural - that's worthy of some careful thought. The Bible is quite specific and does not throw words around. There is a reason the Holy Spirit inspired Matthew, who was an eyewitness presumably, to record the three separate names. The more important point to consider is, nobody in Scripture followed this direct command Jesus laid out in Matthew 28. It is incumbent on the child of God to study the Word and let it reveal the reason this might be.
You do mention there were some faithful Christians tortured and put to death after the first century........I hear that a lot but they never have any names. Can you name some faithful Christians in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries that rightly divided the word and were tortured and killed? Not asking for 1,000, just one would do. Any???
Do you really want me to discover an individual's name in the 5th century who was burned as a heretic? That seems like a very big waste of time and not productive to this discussion. There is a vibrant historical record of religious persecution, violence, and genocide by many religious groups for centuries in Europe. IF EVEN ONE person was murdered by a group who claims to follow Christ, something is amiss. The fact that there were millions, if you include all the wars, pogroms, witch hunts, starvation, and ethnic cleansing done at the behest or encouragement of religion, there is something terribly, terribly, wrong. Note, that I never identified any specific religious group. I do believe there were plenty of sincere Christians of all backgrounds who were doing their best with what revelation they had to live Godly lives. Its the leadership that has generally failed folks. Another factor was the darkness that prevailed before the Word was widely distributed and readily available. That is one reason why I think we live in a golden age for Believers. I can access hundreds of books, study aids, translations, just on my laptop alone. I can search and cross reference until my fingers go numb. The Internet expands that infinitely. There is no excuse for not knowing God's Word intimately.
Finally, is there some teacher that has written a book in the last 50 years that you could recommend to,me to learn more about why the three names werent used in baptism and what the third commission is? I am fascinated by this rightly dividing the word.
Its older than 50 years - 1916 to be exact and available online for free. The author is E W Bullinger who was a remarkable theologian. I am not of fan of most theologians, but he is brilliant. His work on Figures of Speech in the Bible, The Witness of the Stars, and his Commentary on Revelation are all outstanding. If you want to understand the nuts and bolts of the Bible get his Companion Bible - also available for free and loaded with notes and appendices. I have a big print hard copy and an electronic version on my laptop that I use often as a reference. As with any MAN, read his work and compare it to the Word. Like any man, he can and will make mistakes. In ANY question, God's Word is your final answer.
For this specific topic I will refer you to his wonderful work - How To Enjoy The Bible. Its probably my second favorite book after God's Word - and that's high praise because I have a lucrative Christian library spanning three generations of ministers and teachers. I'll post the link below. Its a PDF, so the relevant pages are 123-132. For an intellectual in the late 19th/early 20th century, he writes at level that is easily understood no matter where you are in your faith journey. Some of his points can be tough to chew at first, but open the Bible and look up the reference verses for yourself.
Here is the appendix on the Three Commissions - #167 From The Companion Bible. This is very brief, but hopefully gets you started. The link at the bottom will take you to many other articles and books by the same author, as well as other Christian writers. All of it is free to read or download.
And since this thread is on baptism, here is an appendix on the word use. Note how it disappears in the prison epistles. Appendix 167 can be found also at the site below if its easier to navigate.