In The Mouth Of Two Or Three Witnesses Study Notes
Rev Gary L Evensen
@2005 NJUPC INC
This will be the third time I am coming to you. "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established."
2 Corinthians 13:1 (NKJV)
The Apostle Paul writes in the book of 2nd Corinthians 13:1 that in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established, that referring back to the book of Deuteronomy 19:5 when the command was originally brought forth.
Lets start with the 3 witnesses concerning water baptism spoken by the Lord Jesus
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,
47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
These three witnesses show us 3 different ways that water baptism was spoken about by the Lord Jesus Christ
1) That If we are not baptized we will be condemned ….(Mark 16:16)
So here we find a synopsis of the words of Christ concerning this subject and since according to his word he gave the responsibility of teaching and preaching to his disciples in John 20:21 we need to look and see how they baptized there converts.
(as my father has sent me I also send you)
As we look into the Book of Acts, and the book of Acts is the correct place to see how people were baptized because we have in Acts a history of the establishment of the church, the first place we must go is to Jerusalem because that’s where Jesus said baptism would first be preached!
We find that in the 2nd chapter of Acts in Jerusalem exactly that happening after the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was poured out in the upper room!
Peter stood on that day and began to preach repentance and remission of sins in Acts 2:38!
In Acts 2:38 Peter fulfilled Luke 24:46-47
When they wanted to know what to do in Acts 2:37, Peter preached baptism for the remission of those sins they committed against Christ fulfilling Mark 16:16
As I have shown in my study entitled “What about Matthew 28:19” when Peter preached baptism in Jesus name he fulfilled Matthew 28:19 because in the name of Jesus is the name of the Father and the Name of the Son and the Name of the Holy Spirit and that name (singular) is one!
So we can see here in the simplicity of the Gospel how that Peter fulfilled all three of the teaching of Christ
But lets look for more witnesses and see if there are at least 2 more witnesses showing that the disciples baptized in Jesus name
In Acts chapter 8 we find once again people were baptized in Jesus name
14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
In Acts chapter 10 we find one more time people being baptized in Jesus name
Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.
Of course we understand here that the name of the Lord is Jesus, but just in case theres any doubt lets look for one more witness and that is found in Acts 19
3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Here we find another witness but very interestingly this witness also shows that if the saving name of Jesus has not been applied in the waters of baptism, the converts should be re-baptized in the name of Jesus Christ!
These converts had only been baptized with the baptism of John, which was repentance for remission of sins. They lacked the name of Jesus being called over them! And that just was not good enough for Paul, he gladly re-baptized them in the name of Jesus.
Its at this point we stop looking for more witnesses because the New Testament in broken up into 4 divisions
1) The gospels, the life ministry and death of Christ
It would be incorrect for us to go to the Epistles to see how the church was established because the church was established in Acts and that was where the 1st fulfillment of the words of Christ concerning water baptism took place, in Jerusalem
So in summation we find 3 witnesses on the need to be baptized through the words of Christ and 4 witnesses on how converts were baptized in the book of Acts.
This more than fulfills the requirement that there be 2 or three witnesses.
And those witnesses declare baptism in Jesus name for the remission of sins in fulfillment of the words of Christ.