The Greatest Authority

Sunday, October 13, 2019

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works (Revelation 20:11,12 KJV).

Behold, all will one day stand before Almighty God, the greatest Authority!

Quite recently, I had the wonderful privilege of attending one of the rallies of United States President Donald J. Trump. As I stood there with others waiting for his arrival, I looked toward his podium nearby and remarked, “Wow, here is where is the world’s most powerful man will soon stand and speak!” When the President finally appeared, I was ready, if the opportunity arose, to shake his hand and give him one of our ministry cards with the Gospel of Grace printed on it. While he did not greet us attendees standing just five or so yards/meters away, it was great just being there and ministering to others!

Christians should conduct their lives and ministries knowing full well the reality of today’s Scripture. We must (!!!) get a clear Gospel message out to the masses (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)! One day, all people—yes, living and dead, wealthy and poor, mighty and weak, brilliant and simple, all colors, all creeds, all religions—will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ and give an account of their lives. Whether the United States President, or the homeless woman living in a cardboard box, or the esteemed professor at the prominent university, or the man lacking any schooling, or the clever philosopher, or the naïve college student, they are all just sinful people not deities. Therefore, none will escape giving account to Almighty God.

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

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Swaddling Clothes

Friday, October 4, 2019

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7 KJV).

What are “swaddling clothes?”

Today’s Scripture is a memorable passage read and heard every Christmas. We surely know of the “swaddling clothes” with which Mary the virgin wrapped around the body of her Child, the Baby Jesus. The angel of the Lord relays the message to the vigilant shepherds off in a nearby pasture: “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (verse 12). What in the world are “swaddling clothes?”

Our English word “swaddling” is the frequentative (recurring, repeating form) of another English term—“swathe.” The idea here is binding with strips or layers of fabric. In a crude sense, we can picture the ancient Egyptians wrapping a body to make a mummy. When Mary took the little Christ Child and wrapped Him with swaddling clothes, she was following an Oriental or Eastern custom of the day. This procedure provided warmth to His small body. Moreover, parents in this culture wrapped their newborns tightly with cloth to make their bones grow straight. There, in a tight, tiny bundle was the Saviour of all mankind!

Imagine! The Almighty Creator God took upon Himself human flesh, and reduced Himself to such a weak, fragile state. He entered Mary’s womb, taking on fleshly “clothes.” Growing little by little every day, He was finally delivered after nine months. His first cries were heard as air was forced into His lungs. He let Himself be wrapped in strips of cloth. For the next 30 years, He matured into a Man… born just to die for our sins!

Philippians chapter 2: “[5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: [6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: [7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving—these websites do cost money to run! 🙂 You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! By the way, ministry emails have really been backed up this year. I am handling them as much as humanly possible. Thanks for your patience. 🙂

A Better Baptism #15

Wednesday, October 2, 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 water baptism were as important for Christian living today as billions believe and proclaim, then why did the Holy Spirit not bother to emphasize it throughout Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon? After all, Paul is our apostle, God’s spokesman to us Gentiles (Roman 11:13). There is a problem here. Either the Holy Spirit knows less about victorious Christian living than the “water-baptism-is-necessary-today” people, or they know less about it than He does. Surely, you realize that I am being facetious. The words of the Holy Spirit are the final authority! Water baptism is unnecessary for us today (the denominationalists are claiming verses not to or about us).

Sadly, people often have such a naïve, shallow approach to the Bible. “Water baptism is Scriptural, so we need to do it. Jesus was water baptized, and we need to follow Him. Paul was water baptized, and he water baptized others, so we need to do likewise.” This is deception, a complete mishandling of those verses. Whether intentionally or accidentally, many are not letting the whole Bible speak on the subject but rather focusing on their “pet” verses. Here, God’s words have spoken. We have presented some little-known verses, and let them contradict whomever (preacher, priest, pope) or whatever (denomination, cult, sect) they contradict!

Always remember, dear friends, religionists use the Bible so long as the Bible supports their tradition. If the verse contradicts religion, or there is no verse to support the religion, then the Bible is simply ignored. That is the sad reality of the professing church today—and exactly why so much confusion abounds. God’s Word has overwhelmingly not been permitted to speak in its entirety. People using select Bible verses are misleading billions of souls. Not only must we be biblical, we must also be dispensational. Indeed, to use the Bible but not rightly divide the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15), is actually more dangerous than not using the Bible at all. This is true of the topic of baptism and all other Bible themes. Beware!

A Better Baptism #14

Tuesday, October 1, 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!

Many denominationally-minded souls will now surely raise some “what about” objections. What about Matthew 28:19? What about Paul’s own water baptism (Acts 9:18; Acts 22:16)? What about him water baptizing his converts (Acts 16:15,33; Acts 18:8; Acts 19:5; 1 Corinthians 1:13-17)?

“The Jews require a sign” (1 Corinthians 1:22). To signify to Israel that pagan Gentiles have converted to Christ, those Gentiles were to be water baptized for Israel’s benefit (Matthew 28:19). As water baptism indicates Israel’s cleansing from heathen idolatry, it also evidently serves a likewise purpose for the believing (formerly pagan) Gentiles in Israel’s program (nothing to do with us!). God is not showing anything to Israel today, for national Israel is temporarily fallen (Romans chapter 11). This will change once our dispensation closes.

Indeed, Paul water baptized—but only during Acts. Water baptism existed before him, and during the transitional phase of Acts 9–28, he was water baptized and he water baptized others. However, Jesus Christ did not send him to water baptize. Read 1 Corinthians 1:17: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”

After the Book of Acts closed, the Holy Spirit wrote through Paul in Ephesians 4:5 that only one baptism is necessary in this the Dispensation of Grace—and it certainly is not water baptism. Paul wrote of water baptism only once; here, he says Christ did not commission him to do it. It was not part of the special revelation Christ gave to him to give to us. Paul water baptized only during his “Acts” provoking ministry to Israel (see Romans 11:11-14).

That transitional period has passed, and so have all the temporary, bizarre situations people stumble over when they read and teach the Book of Acts. Paul being water baptized showed Ananias and other believing Jews that Paul had now come to faith in Christ. Water baptism showed (past tense!) how idolatrous Gentiles in Paul’s ministry had trusted Christ as well….

Bible Q&A #655: “Are the ‘angels’ of the Revelation really ‘pastors?’

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….”