What name is "My name is in Him"? A similar verse is John 17:11-12,
which in some versions reads, "Holy Father, keep them in Thy name,
the name which Thou hast given Me; that they may be one, even as We are.
While I was with them, I was keeping them in Thy name which Thou hast given
Me; and I guarded them..." (NASB). One suggestion is 'I AM':
"...he says that the Father has given him His name (John xvii 11, 12)...What is this divine name that has been given to Jesus
and that he glorifies through His death, resurrection, and ascension?...While John too uses the title kyrios for Jesus, it is quite possible
that John thinks of ego eimi as the divine name given to Jesus. If this name is to be glorified through
the hour of the death and resurrection, John viii 28 says, 'When you lift
up the Son of Man, then you will know that 'I AM.'' (Raymond E. Brown,
The Gospel According to John, I-XII, Anchor Bible, p. 537).
'Oneness' Pentecostals say that 'Jesus' is the name of the Father which
He gave to the Son. As evidence they advance Isaiah 12:2: "Behold,
God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH
is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation." 'Jesus' means 'Jehovah is Salvation.' But no one in the gospels
reacts to 'Jesus,' a common name of the day,
as to a divine name. Here is how folks react to ego eimi: "As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he [ego eimi], they
went backward, and fell to the ground." (John 18:6). And when
do we ever see Jesus address His Father as 'Jesus?' Rather, 'Jesus' is
consistently used as a personal name of the Son. One does not read, 'How
Jesus anointed Jesus with Jesus and with power: who went about doing good,
and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for Jesus was with him.'
(Not Acts 10:38).
'I AM' was understood by the Septuagint translators as a divine name: "In Isa. lii. 6 the parallelism suggests a similar interpretation: 'My
people shall know my name; in that day (they shall know) that I am He who speaks. LXX can be read, that ego eimi is the one who speaks'; and
thus ego eimi becomes the divine name to be known in the day of the Lord." (Raymond E. Brown, The Gospel According to John, I-XII, Anchor Bible, p. 536).
God has many names, some not known to man: "He had a name written
that no one knew except Himself." (Revelation 19:12). One we do know:
'I AM',— Jehovah,— belongs to Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- “For in Him dwells all the fullness
of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the
head of all principality and power.”
- (Colossians 2:9).
The suffix 'head' is an archaic form of 'hood', so that 'Godhead' = 'Godhood'. Just as 'widowhood' is the state, nature or condition of
being a widow, so 'Godhead' is the state or nature of being God - i.e., the essential nature of Deity. Oddly, 'Oneness' Pentecostals think this
passage contradicts the doctrine of the Trinity, even though this is just exactly what Christians have always confessed about Jesus: that He is
very God of very God, participating fully and completely in the essential nature of Deity. "'Theotes': 1) deity; 1a) the state of being
God, Godhead" (Thayer's Greek Lexicon).
'Godhead' is sometimes used as shorthand for 'Father, Son and Holy Spirit'.
Even under this usage, though, the passage is still true of Jesus,
because both Father and Spirit indwelt Him: "If I do not do the works
of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe
Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is
in Me, and I in Him.'" (John 10:37-38); "For He whom God has
sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure."
(John 3:34) — and He Himself is the Word incarnate: "And the Word
became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as
of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14).
It's even true that Father, Son
and Holy Spirit dwell within the believer, though not beyond measure:
"Jesus answered and said to him, 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My
word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make
Our home with him.'" (John 14:23); "Or do you not know that your body
is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God,
and you are not your own?" (1 Corinthians 6:19).
How 'Godhead', a word which originally means the essential nature of Deity, came to serve as shorthand for 'Father, Son and Holy Spirit,' can
be traced: "Hence it is quite clear that in God's essence reside three persons in whom one God is known." (John
Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book I, Chapter XIII, 16). For Calvin's "God's essence"
one may substitute 'Godhead', because that's what the word means. This
phraseology can be overheard as if the 'Godhead' is a sort of a bin with three marbles rattling around
within; sometimes language which is not by intent spatial or topographical
is heard as if it were. The word's literal meaning should not be lost sight of: the singular, undivided essential nature of Deity.
We are partakers in God's nature on a small scale, not of the "fullness" as is Christ: "Grace and peace
be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord...by
which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises,
that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
(2 Peter 1:2-4). His is the 'fullness' - He is fully and completely God. Christians have always believed this.
"Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and
let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"
"A woman went into her kitchen to find a
burglar loaded down with a bunch of stuff he was stealing from her
kitchen. Not having any kind of weapon to scare him off, she
raised her hand and said 'Acts 2:38,' and proceeded to quote scripture.
"The burglar froze in place and
didn't move. The woman called 911, the police arrived and were
amazed to find the burglar still frozen where he stood. 'What did
you say to him that kept him from moving?' they asked the woman. She
told them that she had simply said Acts 2:38 and quoted scripture.
"The police chuckled and escorted
the burglar out to the patrol car. 'Why did the woman's quoting scripture
scare you so much?' they asked.
"'Scripture?' said the burglar, 'I thought she said she had an axe
and two 38's!'"
'Oneness' Pentecostals build Acts 2:38 into a three-step 'Salvation Plan.'
It is their proof-text not only for baptismal regeneration, but also that
speaking in tongues is mandatory for salvation. Is this interpretation credible?