Israel’s Three Prophetic Baptisms #4

Friday, July 13, 2012

“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:” (Matthew 3:11 KJV).

Let us review Israel’s three prophetic baptisms listed in today’s Scripture:

  1. John’s water baptism: John the Baptist preached, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [approaching, near]” (verse 2). The first step in anointing believing Jews to become priests in Christ’s kingdom was to have them wash with water like Israel’s priests did before entering the ministry (Exodus 29:4). Israel needed to prepare for her coming Messiah (Jesus) by confessing her national sins (breaking the Old Covenant) and being water baptized of John.
  2. The Holy Ghost baptism: Israel’s Messiah Jesus will baptize her with God’s Holy Spirit (Acts chapter 2). This was the second and final step in anointing believing Jews to become God’s priests. After washing with water, Israel’s priests were anointed with oil (Exodus 29:7). Oil in Scripture is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, the “anointing” that believing Jews received on Pentecost (John 7:39 cf. 1 John 2:20,27).
  3. The fire baptism: A Jew needed both John’s baptism and the Holy Ghost baptism in order to function as a priest in Christ’s kingdom: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). This is why water baptism was necessary for salvation in Israel’s program (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). Any Jew who refused the two above baptisms would receive the fire baptism, God’s wrath. Unbelieving Jews would never enter Christ’s earthly kingdom, previously perishing in the fire baptism (Christ’s Second Coming, and eventually hellfire). Joel 2:28-32 and Acts 2:16-21 indicate this fire baptism would have occurred shortly after Acts chapter 2 (the Holy Spirit baptism). However, God interrupted and temporarily suspended Israel’s program: our Dispensation of Grace postponed this fire baptism, which is yet future (notice Israel’s prophetic timeline of Joel 2:28-32 and Acts 2:16-21 knew nothing of our dispensation occurring between baptisms 2 and 3).

Israel’s Three Prophetic Baptisms #3

Thursday, July 12, 2012

“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:” (Matthew 3:11 KJV).

Today’s Scripture demonstrates that, contrary to church tradition, “baptism” in the Bible does not always mean water baptism. We want to examine the three “baptisms” found in today’s Scripture. By searching God’s Word, we will discover precious truths that traditional Bible teaching overlooks.

BAPTISM #3: He shall baptize you with fire.”

Read today’s Scripture with its context (John the Baptist is warning Israel’s unbelieving religious leaders): “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… he [Jesus Christ] that cometh after me is mightier than I… he shall baptize you… with fire: 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” (verses 10-12; cf. Luke 3:16,17).

Like John’s water baptism and Pentecost’s “Holy Ghost baptism,” this “fire baptism” was prophesied in the Old Testament. The LORD had told Israel through the prophet Joel (2:30,31) that after He would pour out His Spirit: “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come [Christ’s Second Coming].” This will be fulfilled during the seven-year Tribulation, culminating with Christ’s Second Coming to establish His kingdom (Matthew 24:29,30a; cf. Mark 13:24-26; Luke 21:25-27).

Why will Jesus Christ baptize Israel with fire? The context of today’s Scripture (verses 10-12) explains this “fire baptism” is God’s wrath: the fire at Christ’s Second Coming will purge out and remove from earth the unbelieving Jews in Israel (Zechariah 13:8,9; cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). Consequently, only believing Jews will remain to ultimately enter Christ’s earthly kingdom (only saved Jews can be God’s priests).

Israel’s Three Prophetic Baptisms #2

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

“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:” (Matthew 3:11 KJV).

Today’s Scripture demonstrates that, contrary to church tradition, “baptism” in the Bible does not always mean water baptism. We want to examine the three “baptisms” found in today’s Scripture. By searching God’s Word, we will discover precious truths that traditional Bible teaching overlooks.

BAPTISM #2: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”

In the context of today’s Scripture, God the Father has sent John the Baptist to water baptize repentant Jews in the river Jordan (verses 1-6). When John sees many Pharisees and Sadducees (Israel’s religious leaders) coming to his baptism, he explains to them that he is baptizing with water, but Israel’s Messiah (Jesus) will later “baptize [Israel] with the Holy Ghost” (today’s Scripture; cf. Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33,34).

Like John’s water baptism, this “Holy Ghost baptism” was prophesied in the Old Testament. The LORD had told Israel through the prophet Joel (2:28,29): “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”

In Acts 1:5 Jesus reminded His Jewish disciples, “…Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” John the Baptist, Joel, and Jesus Christ are certainly speaking of the day of Pentecost (Acts chapter 2). In fact, the Apostle Peter tells Israel on the day of Pentecost that God pouring out His Holy Spirit on them and their speaking in tongues are the fulfillment of what Joel had spoken 800 years earlier (Acts 2:16-18 cf. Joel 2:28,29).

Why is God pouring out His Holy Spirit on Israel? He is preparing them for their kingdom, when His Holy Spirit will empower them to do His will in the earth (Luke 24:47-49)!

Theological Twaddle Intensifies the Battle

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3 KJV).

How does Satan “beguile” (trick) and “corrupt” our minds? Today’s Scripture and the following verse give us details.

Some of the most confused people with whom you will ever discuss the Bible are religious leaders, especially theologians (seminarians). Having recently “suffered” nearly five-dozen pages of “theological twaddle (nonsense),” I set aside the volume in utter disgust. The author, despite his Doctorate in Theology, was perplexed about God’s Word: he was just as “skilled” in Scripture as the average denominationalist. (Seminary = Cemetery for God’s Word.)

One needs only casually glance at Christendom to reach the following conclusion: “People who claim to spend the most time studying the Bible—those in seminaries, Bible colleges, monasteries, et cetera—are usually the very people contributing the most to Bible ignorance.” Quite a paradox!

Satan is extremely sneaky (“subtil”). The devil understands that the best way to corrupt our Christian minds “from the simplicity that is in Christ” is to complicate that simplicity: to make God’s Word less clear to us, so we grow discouraged from ever opening our Bible! Modern English “bibles,” although claiming to be “easier-to-read,” have only confused God’s Word with their corrupt readings and denominational biases.

Also, to Satan’s delight, many ministers preach “another Jesus, another spirit, another gospel” (the verse following today’s Scripture), thus keeping people ignorant as to what God is doing today. They encourage you to follow Christ’s earthly ministry (which was to Israel only; Romans 15:8), to believe and preach the “gospel” of Acts 2:38 (what was for Israel only; Acts 2:36), and to seek the “Spirit baptism” of Acts 2:4 (which again was for Israel only; Joel 2:28,29).

There is a spiritual battle occurring today (Ephesians 6:11,12). Satan contends to overthrow your Christian mind and faith (2 Corinthians 10:3-5), and he will use “theological twaddle” (religious tradition, human viewpoint) to do it. Guard yourself with dispensational Bible study: follow the Apostle Paul as he follows Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).

God Which Worketh in Me Mightily

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13 KJV).

Today, there is great discussion in Christendom about “Holy Ghost power.” Religion’s “Holy Ghost power” is simply a flesh-appealing duplication of Israel’s time-past program—Acts chapter 2—a program that God is not operating today. We cannot force God to do something He is not doing today. It behooves us to study God’s Word so we can learn what He is doing today and then, by faith, follow that.

If we have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, the Holy Ghost has permanently indwelt us (Romans 8:9,11; 1 Corinthians 3:16,17; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 2 Timothy 1:14). While we Christians are never in danger of losing the indwelling Holy Spirit, we can prevent Him from working and accomplishing His will in and through us. Paul wrote, “Quench not the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). To “quench” the Holy Spirit means to hinder Him from working within us. We can choose to let God the Holy Spirit use His Word to transform us, or we can decide to do what we want to do (Romans 8:1).

The Bible says: “…the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). As you study the King James Bible rightly divided, God the Holy Ghost will take His Word and transform you from the inside out for His glory. If we let the Holy Spirit work in us, He will produce “the fruit of the Spirit” in our lives: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22,23).

Paul wrote, “whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily” (Colossians 1:29). God’s “good pleasure” is that He wants to transform our daily behavior, so that it better reflects our “new creature” status in His Son Jesus Christ (Romans 12:1,2; Ephesians 4:20-24).

Saints and brethren, will you by faith let God transform you using His Word, thereby allowing Him to work mightily in you, as the Apostle Paul did? I hope you will.

The Outpouring of the Holy Ghost

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

“(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified)” (John 7:39 KJV).

Why was the Holy Ghost poured out in Acts chapter 2? From the Scriptures, we can list at least three reasons:

  1. TO FULFILL PROPHECY: Circa 800 B.C., JEHOVAH God told Israel:  “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit” (Joel 2:28,29). According to the Apostle Peter, this was fulfilled in Acts 2:16-18.
  2. TO EMPOWER THE TWELVE APOSTLES AND DISCIPLES: Jews from every nation under heaven had gathered in Acts chapter 2 to celebrate the feast of Pentecost. In order to evangelize these lost Jews, the apostles had to speak human languages they had never formally learned. This problem was solved by the gift of tongues brought on by the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-11). The Holy Ghost would also bring Jesus’ teachings to the apostles’ memories. Jesus had told them: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26; cf. John 14:16-18, John 15:26,27, and John 16:7). Furthermore, the Holy Ghost  empowered the apostles to perform miracles, signs, and wonders (Luke 24:49; Mark 16:17-20).
  3. TO SIGNIFY JESUS’ EXALTATION/GLORIFICATION AT HIS FATHER’S RIGHT HAND: After Jesus died on Calvary’s cross, and was buried and resurrected, He would be glorified by sitting at His Father’s right hand (Psalm 110:1). Father God would then send His Holy Spirit to indicate Jesus was exalted/ascended: “[Jesus] therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear” (Acts 2:32-36; cf. today’s Scripture).