In my post, “The Testimony of Others“, I stated that our Baptist History begins with the first church that the Lord Jesus Christ started, and our heritage continues down through the centuries. I am thoroughly convinced that this is a true statement because of the doctrine of true, N.T. Baptist churches AND because of the unaltered testimonies of friends and foes alike throughout these last 2000 years of record.
It is very important that this be told…someone once said, “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing“. Well, I don’t want that to be said of us, dear reader, so I am compelled to build upon my first post that I liked to above.
The Names of Baptized Believers since the Time of our Lord Jesus Christ
1. Disciples – Mark 2:15, “And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.”
2. “This way” – Acts 9:2, “And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.”
3. Saints – Acts 9:13, “Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem”
4. Christians – Acts 11:26, “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
5. Anabaptists– 2nd to the 16th Century. This word means “to re-baptize”, and this name was given, by their persecutors and foes, to the baptized believers who Scripturally baptized people who were sprinkled or christened as an infant. This can be plainly seen in the quotes of antiquity:
“The institution of Anabaptism is no novelty, but for 1300 years has caused great disturbance in the church…” Ulrich Zwingli, Swiss Reformer (1484-1531)
“… as early as the 3rd century AD the apostate Church opposed the anabaptists.” Henry Bullinger (1504- 1575), Protestant Swiss reformer
“We shall afterward show that the rise of the Anabaptists took place prior to the Reformation of the Church of England, and there are also reasons for believing that on the continent of Europe, small hidden Christian societies, who have held many of the opinions of the Anabaptists, have existed from the times of the apostles. In the sense of the direct transmission of divine truth, and the true nature of spiritual religion, it seems probable that these churches have a lineage or succession more ancient than that of the Roman Church.” Robert Barclay (1648-1690), Quaker historian
6. Baptists – 17th Century to the Catching Away of the Saints, The Rapture.
“I have no question in my own mind that there has been a historical succession of Baptists from the days of Christ to the present.” John T. Christian, college professor, historian, author
“Of the Baptists it may be said that they are not reformers. These people, comprising bodies of Christian believers known under various names in different countries, are entirely distinct and independent of the Roman and Greek churches, have had an unbroken continuity of existence from Apostolic days down through the centuries.” William C. King, Crossing the Centuries, 1912
“Clouds of witnesses attest the fact that before the…papery, and from the Apostolic age to the present time, the sentiments of Baptists, and the practice of baptism has had a continued chain of advocates, and public monuments of their existence in every century can be produced.” Alexander Campbell, Church of Christ
“Baptists maintain that they existed before the Catholic apostasy took place; that they existed alongside Catholicism after her formation; and that they existed apart from Catholicism.” Sir Isaac Newton, English scientist, historian
“We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the Reformation, we were reformers before Luther or Calvin were born; we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed from the very days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel underground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect, yet there has never existed a government holding Baptist principles which persecuted others; nor; I believe, any body of Baptists ever held it to be right to put the consciences of others under the control of man. We have ever been ready to suffer; as our martyrologies will prove, but we are not ready to accept any help from the State, to prostitute the purity of the Bride of Christ to any alliance with Government, and we will never make the Church, the despot over the consciences of men.” Charles Spurgeon
[For more quotes, please see my previous post linked above]