A Better Baptism #13

Monday, September 30, 2019

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV).

Behold, the only baptism that counts for eternity!

Romans 6:3,4: “[3] Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? [4] Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Despite what we have heard over the years, dear friends, water baptism is not in this passage! Again, water baptism (a physical substance) cannot place us into the Body of Christ (a spiritual entity).

The moment we believed on Jesus Christ dying for our sins, being buried, and being raised again for our justification (1 Corinthians 15:3,4), the Holy Spirit placed—baptized—us into the Church the Body of Christ (today’s Scripture). It was instantaneous and invisible. We did not see, feel, or hear it—and we would not know about it without the Scriptures. Moreover, the Spirit of God transferred Christ’s identity to us: when He died, we died with Him, and when He was resurrected, we were resurrected with Him. Romans chapter 6 says we are dead to sin, and alive unto God.

Compare that to Colossians 2:11,12: “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” This is no more a physical (water) baptism than it is a physical circumcision. Water baptism is not here.

Now, Galatians 3:26-28: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Here is the one baptism that counts for eternity….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who is speaking in Proverbs 8:22?

A Better Baptism #12

Sunday, September 29, 2019

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV).

Behold, the only baptism that counts for eternity!

Ephesians chapter 3 again: “[1] For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, [2] If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: [3] How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, [4] Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) [5] Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; [6] That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: [7] Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

“[8] Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; [9] And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:….” The Church the Body of Christ is exclusively a Pauline revelation: we will not find it outside of the Apostle Paul’s ministry. To repeat, “the mystery of Christ… the fellowship of the mystery” (the Body of Christ) is a Pauline concept. Prior to Christ’s words spoken through Paul, it was unknown that God would form one body of believers (Jew and Gentile), separate and distinct from the nation Israel and her prophetic program.

This “mystery” (secret) entity would involve a unique “baptism.” God Himself would perform this “baptism,” and the eternal salvation of our souls would depend upon it. We always hear the appeal to “join the local church and get water baptized.” However, their focus should be membership and baptism in the Church the Body of Christ….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What exactly is going on in John 11:49-52?

 

A Better Baptism #11

Saturday, September 28, 2019

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV).

Behold, the only baptism that counts for eternity!

If the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul pronounced only “one baptism” in our Dispensation of Grace (Ephesians 4:5), then what exactly is it? To discover the answer, we simply search Paul’s epistles for forms of the word “baptize.” Beginning in Romans and running all the way through Philemon, we encounter today’s Scripture. This is the cross-reference to Ephesians 4:5.

Let us read today’s Scripture with its context, slowly and carefully: “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” Water is a physical substance whereas the Church the Body of Christ is a spiritual entity. It is absolutely impossible that physical water can place us into a spiritual organism. Consequently, we know Paul is not referring to water baptism here (among other reasons).

How do we become members of the Body of Christ? The Bible says the Holy Spirit takes believing sinners and puts them into the Church the Body of Christ. Whether “Jews or Gentiles” (national/religious background irrelevant), “bond or free” (social status insignificant), God the Holy Spiritnot a preacher or priest—will take all who believe on Jesus Christ, and He will make them one with Christ. This is an invisible transaction—not a visible water ceremony!

Ephesians 1:12-14: “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

Let us see what else Paul says about our “one baptism….”

A Better Baptism #10

Friday, September 27, 2019

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV).

Behold, the only baptism that counts for eternity!

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:…” (Ephesians 3:1,2). Paul added, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37). Furthermore, he wrote, “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:…” (Romans 11:13).

If we truly are Bible believers, then we will believe these verses: Paul is God’s “sent one” (“apostle”) for us Gentiles (see Acts 26:16-18). The Holy Spirit moved Paul to write that he is God’s spokesman to us: Jesus Christ the Lord speaks to us through Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. We do not look for God’s words outside of Paul’s ministry. If we ignore Pauline theology, as Christendom has done for 20 centuries, then we overlook God’s current dealings with man, and wind up doing Satan’s will! It is that serious!

Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:5, a troubling verse to religionists: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” For us Gentiles in this the Dispensation of Grace, the Holy Spirit claims there is one baptism.” Earlier, we read Matthew 3:11: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:….” There are three “baptisms” here—John’s water baptism, the baptism with the Holy Ghost, and the baptism with fire. Which one is the “one baptism” for our dispensation? According to today’s Scripture, none of them!

To repeat: there is a special “baptism” associated with Paul’s ministry and message. It is not found anywhere else in Scripture. Therefore, if we overlook Paul, we ignore the only baptism applicable to us, the one that counts for eternity….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should we strive to distribute the Four Gospel Records?

A Better Baptism #9

Thursday, September 26, 2019

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV).

Behold, the only baptism that counts for eternity!

For far too long, dear brethren, assumptions and suppositions have beset the spiritual edification or growth of the Church the Body of Christ. Centuries upon centuries have been utterly wasted because God’s plain words have been ignored. Religious tradition of all denominations has largely been used to substitute the Scriptures. We are doctrinally weak and functionally dead—and it is our own fault! For 2,000 years, we have so labored to hear the words of men… and we are obviously so devoid of God’s power and mind. We do not think like our Heavenly Father, but rather like lost people who lack the Bible!!

Christ issued a scathing rebuke to ancient Israel, especially concerning its religious leaders who possessed the Hebrew Old Testament but were overwhelmingly ignorant of its truths. Mark chapter 7: “[6] He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. [7] Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. [8] For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do…. [13] Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”

They stressed external washings. “Clean your hands before you eat,” the religious Jews were known for saying. Meanwhile, they completely disregarded a spiritual cleansing, something only God can perform. Man has a sinful heart—they had a sinful heart—but they were too preoccupied with water ceremonies to realize their lost or fallen estate (see verses 14-23). The professing Church today is no different. Not only do we rip verses from their contexts, we largely ignore the special revelation the Lord Jesus Christ gave to the Apostle Paul to give to us. Again, we must (!) pay attention to the “baptism” of today’s Scripture….

A Better Baptism #8

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV).

Behold, the only baptism that counts for eternity!

Today’s Scripture speaks of a “baptism” that almost no one mentions or understands. All we hear about is water baptism in “Christian” circles—the erroneous idea that the word “baptism” in Scripture always refers to water. Unfortunately, another problem is that most individuals assume water baptism must always be immersion. A lot of the confusion stems from a failure to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Unless we approach the Bible dispensationally, friends, we will not have hope in understanding baptism or any other Scriptural theme. Two simple passages that outline the dispensational layout of Scripture are Acts 3:19-21 and Romans 16:25,26.

The Apostle Peter preached in Acts chapter 3: “[19] Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. [20] And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: [21] Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”

Compare that to what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans chapter 16: “[25] Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, [26] But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:….”

Paul’s ministry discloses material that God had kept secret while He was revealing information to Peter. When Paul wrote today’s Scripture, he was focusing on something other than Israel’s prophetic program and kingdom water baptism. We do not try to harmonize Peter and Paul, making all their teachings the same. There is a “baptism” unique to Paul’s ministry, and it is not (!) water baptism….

A Better Baptism #7

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV).

Behold, the only baptism that counts for eternity!

Dear brethren, God the Holy Spirit gave us His inspired, preserved, and translated words that we may not be ignorant of either His will or Satan’s wiles (schemes). It is sad to say it, but personal experience shows us that nearly 100 percent of professing Christians are clueless concerning the things of God and the things of Satan. They could not spot God’s works if their eternal souls depended on it; they could not identify Satan’s works if their eternal souls depended on it, either!

The lie program—how Satan expresses his erroneous doctrine—is largely misunderstood, but this is not God’s fault! For 20 centuries, professing Christians have overwhelmingly failed in their acquisition of the Scriptures. Almighty God gave us the blinding light of His pure words… yet most of us wallow in spiritual mire and grope around in spiritual darkness! As a whole, the Church the Body of Christ has relentlessly sought to teach denominational dogmas instead of simple Bible truths. No wonder we lack God’s power! It is not surprising that we are doctrinal impotent and unable to withstand and correct false teaching!

Listen to popular sermons and read best-selling commentaries, centuries past or modern. The emphasis is on water baptism, and more water baptism, and even more water baptism!! They are using the Scriptures—but not rightly dividing them. How great the cost when we disregard 2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Satan’s religious system has deceived so many souls, to the point where they grab Israel’s verses and force them onto us. While we focus on what God was doing or will do with Israel, we are utterly oblivious concerning what He is doing with us. Outside of God’s will for us, but focusing on His will for Israel, we trip and fall. Meanwhile, Satan ingeniously works unhindered, the Body of Christ distracted, debilitated, and down….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is a ‘jot?’ What is a ‘tittle?’

A Better Baptism #6

Monday, September 23, 2019

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV).

Behold, the only baptism that counts for eternity!

The Holy Spirit, reflecting on John the Baptist’s ministry some years later, comments in 1 Peter chapter 2: “[9] But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; [10] Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” This agrees with God’s promise 1,600 years earlier to make Israel “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:6).

It was wholly appropriate that Jews be water baptized who believed on Jesus as Christ. After all, they were now His priests—and the Mosaic Law stipulated priests wash in water. They were manifesting their faith, their change in mind, moving from idols and returning to the one true God. Malachi 4:5-6 and Luke 1:16-17 predicted John the Baptist’s ministry would “make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Also, it necessarily meant that those who refused John’s water baptism were expressing their unbelief (idolatry!). Note Luke 7:29,30: “And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.”

Jesus Christ was water baptized to be Israel’s High Priest (see Hebrews 3:1) as well as to identify Himself with Israel’s believing remnant. Read John chapter 1: “[29] The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. [30] This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. [31] And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.” Not to be outdone, however, sinful man and Satan muddle up such simple Bible truths….

A Better Baptism #5

Sunday, September 22, 2019

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV).

Behold, the only baptism that counts for eternity!

Throughout my childhood, I constantly heard about water baptism by immersion as if it were the only mode. “Immersion” is the “true” Bible water baptism, it was—and still is—declared ad nauseum. In all actuality, however, the type of water baptism associated with Israel’s repentance is sprinkling (aspersion). It is not affusion (pouring) and not immersion (dunking)! Ezekiel 36:25 again: “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.”

If the Bible is right, and it is (!), then the “baptism by immersion” groups have greatly erred and thus misled us. People who promote water baptism by immersion insist on using John’s water baptism as a pattern—failing to realize, of course, that Ezekiel limited John’s ministry to sprinkling! Preachers incessantly appeal to new Christians with, “Come, and follow Jesus in believer’s baptism. You must be immersed, by the way!” Yet, again, according to Scripture, that was not how Jesus was water baptized! John’s water baptism, to state it again and again, was sprinkling. The mode of water baptism in Israel’s program is sprinkling. Why did John urge Israel to participate in his water baptism?

John the Baptist announced in Matthew chapter 3: “[10] And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. [11] I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: [12] Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Being water baptized is the only way Israel’s believing remnant can survive God’s fiery wrath at Christ’s Second Coming….

A Better Baptism #4

Saturday, September 21, 2019

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13 KJV).

Behold, the only baptism that counts for eternity!

God the Holy Spirit declares through the Prophet Ezekiel in chapter 36: “[18] Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: [19] And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them…. [24] For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. [25] Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.”

As per the Mosaic Law (Leviticus chapter 26; Deuteronomy chapter 28), God instituted five courses or phases of chastisement or curses for Israel disobeying His commandments. As the Jews continued to worship and serve pagan gods, so JEHOVAH God disciplined them to try to reform them. The fifth and final stage of judgment was Israel exiled from the land of Palestine and scattered worldwide amongst the Gentiles. Ezekiel lived during the opening decades of that Babylonian Captivity. As the Holy Spirit promised to drive Israel from the Promised Land, so He would be faithful in bringing them back.

Approximately two centuries after Ezekiel, the Holy Spirit calls Israel to repentance through the Prophet Malachi. Chapter 3, verse 7: “Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.” How do they “return” to the God of Abraham? Here enters the ministry and message of John the Baptist! Ezekiel 36:25 again: Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.” How shocked we are to see this water baptism….