The title for this article is taken from 1 Corinthians 15:29: “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all?” The Mormons have built a key tenet of their religion on this Bible verse. Here is a brief statement from one of their websites that offers their explanation: “Baptism for the Dead, or Proxy Baptism is the means whereby those who never had a proper opportunity to accept Christ in life may have the opportunity to be baptized.”
For the source of this quote and more extensive information about the process of proxy baptism, please go to this website:
This Mormon belief is an example of man’s interpretation of the Bible without adequate support of the Scriptures. There is much to discuss about this belief, but my focus is on the fact that they baptize in the name of Jesus. However, they are not alone. The Catholics and most other Christian groups also baptize in the name of Jesus. These groups use the name Jesus, despite the facts that there is no “J” in the Greek or Hebrew languages, the name of Jesus has only been known for the last 400 years, and that the Messiah was a Torah-abiding Jewish man.
Yes, the name of the Messiah is important! Peter tells us that we are to be baptized in Messiah’s name. (Acts 2:38) Baptism replaced physical circumcision (Colossians 2:11-12) and is as significant for obedience to the new covenant as physical circumcision was for the old covenant. However, for a valid baptism, you must use the correct name.
Messiah was a Torah-observing Jew who was born under the law. (Galatians 4:4)
He kept the law perfectly. How do we know this? We are told he was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) To be without sin, you could not have transgressed the law. (1 John 3:4). Further, Messiah tells us in Matthew 5:17 that: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” Yes, Messiah died in sin, our sin, not his own. Since it was not his own sin, he could not repent and therefore had to be resurrected by his Father.
We are told in John 1:29 that Messiah was, “the Lamb of Yahweh, which taketh away the sin of the world.” He took our sin but did not commit sin himself. Paul tells us that Messiah became sin for us. (2 Corinthians 5:21) In 1 John 1:7, we are told that Messiah “cleanseth us from all sin.” He took ALL the sin of all mankind on himself. He is the only human being to die in sin. The Torah (Deuteronomy 21:22) tells us this: “If a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree.” (1Peter 2:24) That verse describes Messiah. He was the only human being to die in sin and to be hanged from a tree. Deuteronomy 21:23 tells us that this man also became a curse. Galatians 3:13 confirms that it was Messiah who became a curse.
However, there was more that happened to Messiah than just becoming a curse.
He also lost his name. Deuteronomy 29:20 tells us this: “All the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and Yahweh shall blot out his name from under heaven.” The loss of his name at death was not optional. It was the law.
Messiah died on a tree, not a cross. (1 Peter 2:24) He was dead before the Roman spear punctured his body and released his blood into the ground. (John 19: 33-34) That blood is identified by his human or birth name. His body was then taken down and placed in a tomb.
Father Yahweh resurrected his Son and restored the Son’s spiritual existence by his will. The human life and name were gone. Messiah’s spiritual life was restored with a new, inherited name, YahwehShua.
His life was in the blood and not in the tomb. (Leviticus 17:11) Only his flesh and bone went into the tomb. The Spirit of his Father resurrected his body. There was no need for blood. His blood absorbed ALL the sin of mankind and is therefore identified by his human name. That name is now defiled. This is why he had to inherit a new name. (Hebrews 1:4)
Messiah inherited a “more excellent name.” (Psalm 148:13; 8:9) The inherited name was above his human name which was now gone. His inherited name was that of Yahweh, the family name. (Ephesians 3:15)
Messiah was now Yahweh-Savior or YahwehShua. (Isaiah 43:3,11; 49:26; 60:16) The Father’s name is Yahweh, and the Son’s name is a combination of the Father’s name and the Son’s. This is consistent with what we are told in Revelation 14:1 and Matthew 28:19.
Matthew 28:19 uses the singular name of the Father and Son. The Spirit is not a person but a power. Revelation 14:1 says the 144,000 saints have the name of the Father and Son on their foreheads. The King James Version of the Bible incorrectly translates the Greek with only the Messiah’s name. The Greek reveals
that it is the name of BOTH the Father and Son. It is also important to note what the apostle John says in his second letter in verse nine: “He that abideth in the doctrine of Messiah, he hath both the Father and the Son.”
To be resurrected when Messiah returns, you must have been baptized in the name of both the Father and the Son. This baptism allows the Spirit of the Father to freely give you the down payment of his Son’s Spirit. This down payment must be developed over time into the complete Spirit of Messiah (Galatians 4:19); it is not instantaneous. You freely receive the Father’s Spirit, but Messiah’s Spirit must be formed during the rest of your life.
Paul confirms the importance of the Son’s Spirit in Romans 8:9: “Now if any man have not the spirit of Messiah, he is none of his.” You must be baptized in His inherited name. If you have been baptized in any variation of the Son’s human name you have been “baptized for the dead.” The human life, which remained in his blood in the ground, was defiled by all the sin of mankind. His human name was blotted out and is now the name of death.
The baptizing that the Mormons, Catholics or any other group does in a human name is worthless. It ignores the scriptural requirements to have the name of the Father and Son. All groups who baptize in the human or birth name of Messiah are committing the same error of baptizing for the dead.
The good news is that all mankind not properly baptized in their lifetime still will have the opportunity for life after death. The saints are resurrected when Messiah returns and do not face the second death. However, after the thousand-year reign of Messiah, all mankind ever conceived who were not in the better resurrection will be resurrected to judgment. This will be a physical resurrection, not spiritual. It is important to emphasize that not one human being will remain dead; all will eventually live at a spiritual level. The Father and Son do not leave any of their human creation dead. It is true that each resurrection has a different level of benefits, but all who are resurrected will live a spiritual existence. A proper baptism prior to Messiah’s return gives you the greatest access to the kingdom of Yahweh. This is a very important point that you should carefully consider.
The human or birth name of Messiah is no longer relevant to salvation. Paul tells us in Romans 5: 10 that: “We were reconciled to Yahweh by the death of his son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” The name, YahwehShua, is the source of life. The human or birth name was only able to provide reconciliation.
The name of Yahweh has been known for thousands of years. Joel 2:32 reminds us that: “Whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh [not LORD] shall be delivered.” Luke quotes this verse in Acts 2:21 and Paul also refers to the importance of this verse in Romans 10:13.
If you believe that scripture is not the truth of Yahweh, then you will have a chance to learn the truth in the general resurrection following Messiah’s reign. If you desire the greatest access to the kingdom of Yahweh, then this would be through the better resurrection. (Hebrews 11:35) If this is what you seek, then pray to Yahweh for truth and carefully consider the importance of understanding the blotting out of the name of Messiah. He lost his birth name for you and was given a new name for your life-saving baptism. You must have a baptism unto life and not a baptism for the dead!
For more information, please contact the elder and ask him about a true baptism.