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Apostolic Succession Doctrine

- What is God’s way of continuing the work of the original apostles?

- Who is the sucessor or replacement for Judas Iscariot? Matthias or Paul?

 

Jul 26, 1996

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Baptism

Posted by: Administrator on August 10, 2011 9:35:14 AM (9905 Reads)

BAPTISM

 

In Christianity, baptism (from Greek baptizo: "immersing", "performing ablutions", i.e., ritual washing) is for the majority the rite of admission, almost invariably with the use of water, into the Christian Church generally and also membership of a particular church tradition (Wikipedia).

 

In the Holy Bible these are the occasions for “baptism.”

 

1. John the Baptist baptizing his disciples:

 

Joh 3:23   And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.

 

2. Jesus Christ enjoining His Disciples to baptize: 

 

Mat 28:19   Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name  of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

 

3. Simon Peter encouraging the people to be baptized:

 

Act 2:38   Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 

4. John’s disciples on hearing Paul about the Holy Spirit:

 

Act 19:2   He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3   And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. 4   Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5   When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

 

5. Jesus Christ’ baptism of Fire:

 

Mat 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:

 

 

Baptism of John the Baptist

 

This is the prophecy in the Old Testament that would give comfort to the chosen:

 

Isa 40:2   Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned… 3   The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

 

Who could answer this call but John the Baptist?

 

Mat 3:3   For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

 

So therefore, we find John the Baptist baptizing his disciples in the Jordan River:

 

Joh 3:23   And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.

 

Baptism in this sense then indicates immersion in water. Since God uses the language of man with which the Holy Bible is written, we always try to see the Natural Man’s perception compared with God’s intended message from His words. It is written God and Jesus Christ speaks parables:

 

Psa 78:2   I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:

 

Eze 20:49   Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?

To the Natural Man , baptism means immersing a person in water (H2O). To God however, one reference for “water” is His word:

 

Eph 5:26   That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

 

Jesus Christ confirmed it:

 

Joh 15:3   Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

 

If to God His words are expressed in parables, then the BAPTISM of John the Baptist accomplished its purpose by taking the spiritual meaning of “water.” Then the “way” to be straightened is “God’s way” in contrast with “man’s way.”

 

Isa 55:8   For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

 

Jer 31:9   They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble…

 

God gave His words as guide leading His chosen to eternal life and John the Baptist heralding the “right way” to tread.

 

Mat 3:1   In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 3   For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

 

 

mountain and hill

 

The “mountain and hill shall be made low” must refer to the additions man supplemented the words of God with. These are “precepts and traditions” that our Lord condemned.

 

Isa 29:13   Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

 

Mar 7:8   For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men

 

During the time of Christ, why did Gamaliel become a famous teacher of the word of God, and why were there “doctors and teachers of the law?”

 

Luk 5:17   And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by…

 

Luk 11:46   And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers. 52   Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

 

So was Nicodemus a prominent teacher of the word who could not understand what our Lord was talking about the need to be “born again.”

 

John 3:10 (NIV) You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?

 

Joh 3:10 (KJV)  Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

 

Jesus said divine knowledge and wisdom is endowed to the humble that He called “babes.”

 

Luk 10:21   In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

 

Long before, in the Old Testament, this truth was already revealed to the chosen of God:

 

Isa 28:9  (KJV) Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

 

So did Paul received this revelation and wrote:

 

2 Tim 3:15   And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

 

John the Apostle affirmed it there is no need for human teachers. The reader may be thinking where Jesus appoints the following, not to take the titles, but only to perform the function of sharing what has been received from Him:

 

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

 

Of course this must refer to spiritual matters only, and not on social, political, scientific and other matters.

 

1 Joh 2:27   But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie…

 

Today, Bible Schools and Seminaries became fixtures of every sect. These are the “mountain and hill” that need to be leveled. From these, diverse teachings about the word of God accelerated the division of Christianity. These “mountain and hill” that need “to be leveled” brought more additions to mini “mountains and hills” referring to many unscriptural beliefs and practices.

 

The original apostles never bothered to build chapels, churches, and cathedrals, knowing that God does not live in temples made with hands.

 

Act 7:47   But Solomon built him an house. 48   Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, 49   Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?

 

The temple built by Solomon is but a symbol for the spiritual residence of God and these are His chosen:

 

1 Cor 3:16   Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

 

1 Cor 6:19   What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

 

Today, chapels, churches, and cathedrals became fixtures where religious leaders teach and looked up by the laity. Never did the original apostles of Christ build these physical structures for they did not gather many people. They only meet in houses.

Have not religious leaders today read this?

 

Luk 22:25   And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. 26   But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

 

Jam 2:9   But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

 

These additions to the word of God gave way to Jesus’ sharp rebuke to the Scribes and Pharisees for robbing God of the honor exclusive to Him:

 

Mat 23:6   And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7   And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. 8   But be not ye called Rabbi (or teacher): for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9   And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10   Neither be ye called masters (or leader): for one is your Master, even Christ.

 

“Rabbi” means teacher, pastor, shepherd, or leader. Looking around, one can see many more unscriptural beliefs and practices of sects that are contrary to the principles our Lord inculcated to His Apostles and Disciples.

 

 

“Every valley shall be exalted (raise up)”

 

These refer to the truth being ignored that is tantamount to “diminishing” from what “is written.” Foremost of these is the “First of all the commandments” that our Lord enunciated when a humble Scribe asked Him about.

 

Mar 12:28   And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? 29   And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

 

“Israel” refers to all that believe in the inspired word of God in the Holy Bible. Following the “first of all the commandments” is love of God:

 

Mar 12:30   And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

 

If we will note, our Lord only repeated what was written in the Old Testament:

 

Deu 6:4   Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5   And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

 

John the Baptist tried to “fill up the valley” with the TRUTH about Jesus Christ that would eventually solve the “mystery” of the identification of the One True God. He told his listeners:

 

Joh 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.

 

John was pointing to Jesus as the Savior or Redeemer and yet the Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is claiming the following:

 

Isa 43:11   I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

 

“Beside” indicates position and yet it is written:

 

Mar 16:19   So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

 

How could John the apostle saw only one throne in heaven?

 

Rev 4:2   And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

 

Many professing Christians claim and affirm they know JESUS CHRIST, and yet they are subject to His rebuke in the following:

 

Joh 8:19   Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

 

With the belief that Jesus is only a Son of God, and also a Creator, how could many people reconcile the following claim of the Father?

 

Isa 44:24   Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

 

Neh 9:6   Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things…

 

And at the same time the Father claiming the following:

 

Isa 43:10   Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

 

Indeed, not knowing “The Lord our God is one Lord” is a large “valley” that needs to be filled up. It became an eye-opener for these “mountain and hill,” and “valley” made the way “crooked” and the “places rough.” The causes of these “crooked way and rough places” are the following taboos that religious leaders have not preached to the people:

 

Prov 3:5   Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

 

Jer 17:5   Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm…

 

Jer 17:9   The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

 

 

“The crooked shall be made straight”

 

A typical example of a “crooked way” is what some of the multitudes after being fed by Jesus Christ with “bread and fishes” said:

 

Joh 6:14   Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

 

But when Jesus began to speak about the need “to eat His flesh and drink His blood” in order to have eternal life:

 

Joh 6:54   Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

 

Many of His Disciples were heard the following, and began to leave Him:

 

Joh 6:60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

 

Jesus revealed their real motive in following Him. They were only after material and physical benefit.

 

Joh 6:26 Jesus … said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

 

“The words and the laws are spiritual”

 

The qualification of New Testament ministers is clearly defined:

 

2 Cor 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

 

Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

 

The “letter” or the literal meaning of the word does not yet give the “intended message” until divinely revealed in reference to other words. It was demonstrated when Jesus fed the multitudes with “bread and fishes” and then told them:

 

Joh 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

 

He followed this with an offer:

 

Joh 6:54   Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

 

Joh 6:49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

 

Therefore, Jesus’ many miracles on healings must not have intended to benefit the body, but rather the soul. Thus, Jesus told the multitude:

 

Joh 6:63   It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

 

Therefore many people who simply see the literal opening of the eyes of the man born blind, actually they have not received the revelation of the spiritual nature of the miracle when Jesus expounded it in the following:

 

Joh 9:39   And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40   And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41   Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

 

From the foregoing statement of our Lord, sin is related to not being able “to see” or recognize Jesus Christ. Therefore, there is no way to receive forgiveness as long as a person remains “spiritually blind.” Repentance is not what a person feels about sins for this is just remorse in the eyes of God. Humbling oneself so as to realize “spiritual blindness” by not recognizing God is what is important to Him. Therefore, the following cannot apply to the “called” for this is exclusive to the “chosen.”

 

1 Joh 1:9   If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

In the end, the “called” will only suffer humiliation for whatever claim they have done for God:

 

Luk 13:26   Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27   But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

 

The man in the illustration was not actually blind at birth, but rather like the Pharisees who were “spiritual blind” for not recognizing Jesus Christ. By this miracle, the man was “healed” and recognized Him and therefore worshipped Him:

 

Joh 9:35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

 

The Pharisees who did not realize they are “spiritually blind” instead of worshipping Jesus hated him.He told them:

 

Mar 2:17   … They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

 

People who are aware of their “spiritual diseases” like blindness, dumbness, deafness, lameness and other illnesses are the ones seeking for spiritual and not literal healing from the Lord. Therefore, any person professing to know Jesus Christ must be aware of His sharp rebuke:

 

Joh 8:19   Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

 

But many people do not realize their spiritual deafness and ignore this reproof:

 

Mat 13:15   For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

 

For the “spiritual lame” they could not walk on the “way of righteousness.”

 

Joh 8:12   Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

 

Joh 11:10   But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

 

Mat 9:5   For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?

 

For Christ “raising to life” Lazarus and many others, He only put into action the Old Testament word that says:

 

Prov 21:16   The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.

 

Therefore those “in the graves rising to life” means they benefited from the Testament of Salvation at the death of Christ on the cross and His resurrection:

 

Mat 27:51   And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52   And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53   And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

 

This is the equivalent of transformation from a spiritual “goat” to “sheep” that our Lord told Nicodemus the need to be “born again.”

 

Joh 3:3   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

 

2 Cor 5:17   Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

Paul received this revelation of the spiritual nature of the word of God and wrote:

 

2 Cor 4:18   While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 

Rom 7:14   For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal…

 

God is harvesting souls and not bodies that all end in the cemetery. Very clear therefore, John’s baptism is “immersion” not in literal water, but “acceptance of everything written” on the word of God.

 

 

“Make the rough places plain”

 

Are not “rough places” in the eyes of God, for religious leaders putting themselves in exalted position as Jesus rebuked the Scribes and Pharisees?

 

Mat 23:2   Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: 6   And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 8   But be not ye called Rabbi (or Pastor): for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9   And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10   Neither be ye called masters (or leaders): for one is your Master, even Christ.

 

Since Old Testament time these titles have been prohibited to be used by anyone. They are exclusive to God:

 

Psa 111:9   He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.

 

Therefore, the Baptism of John the Baptist is total “immersion in the letter of the word” where nothing is added like human perceptions resulting in human precepts and religious traditions. Hence, Baptism means total acceptance of what is written in the Holy Bible being the inspired word of God. Nothing should be ignored and avoided. Foremost of these are the following taboos that are totally ignored and therefore spiritual “valleys that need to be leveled, raised up or exalted.”

 

Prov 3:5   Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

 

Jer 17:5   Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

 

Jer 17:9   The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

 

To reject the intended meaning of the baptism of John the Baptist would lead to the “way of Balaam,” a type for a phony prophet in the Old Testament that our Lord saw in the Scribes and Pharisees during His time.

 

 

The second kind of Baptism

 

The second instance for baptism was when Jesus told His Disciples:

 

Mat 28:19 (NIV) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

 

Mat 28:19  (KJV)  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name  of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

 

To note, there is a difference in the rendition of the verse for the two translations of the Bible. In the New International Version (NIV), “make disciples” was commanded for the Disciples to do. However, no instance in the Old Testament where a prophet or chosen of God was endowed the authority to appoint fellow servants (disciples) of God.

 

Even so, the Apostles of Christ before receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Peter acting as spokesperson, replaced Judas Iscariot with Matthias (Read: Acts 1:16-26). This is probably what every Christian sect leaders are following in appointing their respective priests, pastors, and ministers by taking the translation in the New International Version of the Bible.

 

However, very clearly Jesus Christ never recognized Matthias as replacement for Judas Iscariot. Instead, He appointed Paul known as Saul of Tarsus, formerly His persecutor.

 

Rom 1:1   Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

 

And, in the Authorized Version or KJV’s rendition of “teach” in Mathew 28:19, this also cannot be taken literally without contradicting the following:

 

Mat 11:25   At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

 

2 Tim 3:15   And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

 

And never was Paul taught by the original Apostles for he testifies to the following:

 

Gal 1:11   But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12   For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

From the foregoing exposition of God of His words, the second occasion for “baptism” is revealed.  After Pentecost the Disciples began to “speak in tongues” when Peter spoke about Jesus Christ. Let us remember it was Peter who recognized Jesus, proclaiming Him the “Christ” and the “Son of the living God.” With this affirmation, Jesus told him, “flesh and blood hath not revealed that unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” Therefore, it required a “miracle” for Peter recognize Jesus.

 

From David, Peter began tracing the roots of Jesus. He spoke of the significance of His crucifixion on the cross, His resurrection from the dead, and concluding this with the following: 

 

Act 2:36   Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

 

Here is the significance of Jesus being called “Lord.”

 

Psa 33:12   Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

 

Isa 44:24   Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

 

Here is the significance of Jesus being called Christ that means savior. The FATHER speaking:

 

Isa 43:11   I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. 10   Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

 

What God revealed to Peter in proclaiming Jesus is the “Christ,” is that he saw Him as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who made the Testament of Salvation.

 

Gen 17:7   And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

 

And this truth requires the death of the maker or testator:

 

Heb 9:16   For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.   17   For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

 

Therefore the Father, the maker or testator of the testament had to manifest Himself in the flesh:

 

1 Tim 3:16 (KJV)  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

 

There can be no other entity that could point to the “testator in the flesh” but JESUS CHRIST! Therefore, Jesus Christ must be the FATHER in the flesh.

 

Phi 2:6   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.

 

Matthew confirmed this in:

 

Mat 1:23   Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

 

Isaiah long ago wrote who the “Savior” is! The Father speaking:

 

Isa 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

 

On the cross, Jesus in His role as the Father declared fulfilling the Testament of Salvation:

 

Joh 19:30   When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

 

Apostle John confirming what he saw and heard from Jesus His primary role:

 

1 Joh 3:16 (KJV)  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

 

Many people cannot believe this and asking, then where was God before the resurrection of Jesus? They overlooked that at the death of Lazarus the beggar his body was in the cemetery, but he was alive in Paradise in the bosom of Abraham.

 

Luk 16:22   And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom…

 

Some of those who heard the truth about Jesus recognized Him as Peter did, that they asked him what to do: 

Act 2:37   Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38   Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 

Then Peter continued his exhortation to them:

 

Act 2:40  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized… 42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

 

Those who gladly received the words of Peter were actually “baptized by the Holy Spirit” and recognized the true identity of Jesus Christ. Like Peter their eyes were open to see the two roles of Jesus Christ:

 

Mat 16:16   And Simon Peter … said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17   And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

 

They recognize Jesus as the CHRIST, actually the “Father in the flesh” ready to fulfill His testament of salvation with His death on the cross. And they acknowledged Jesus as the only begotten SON of God, the “Anointed One,” serving as their model in humility:

 

Rom 8:29   For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 

 

John’s Baptism without the Holy Spirit!

 

Here is another incident for “baptism” when Paul met the disciples of John the Baptist.

 

Act 19:1  And it came to pass…Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2  He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.

 

Very clear as previously discussed that John’s Baptism is limited only to accepting the written words of the Holy Bible from the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation. His disciples, like the Pharisees, are limited to following the “letter” of the law.

 

Mat 9:14   Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?

 

Fasting to John’s disciples is making oneself hungry of literal bread. So when Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, Satan taking this literally told Him to “turn the stones into bread.”

 

Mat 4:3   And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

 

It is written God/Jesus Christ speaks in parables that it necessitates “divine revelation” for the intended message.

 

Eze 20:49  Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?

 

Psa 78:2  I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:

 

All the written words contained in the Holy Bible are referred to as the “letter” of the word. Now it can be seen that John’s baptism is called “baptism of repentance” because a person is convicted of not truly following what “is written.”

 

Rom 3:20  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

 

Hence, how could anybody fulfill ALL that is required from the written words with this firm condition of God?

 

Jam 2:10  For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

 

Therefore the phrase “baptism of repentance” actually refers to a person’s submission to the first step of salvation enunciated by our Lord in:

 

Mat 18:3   And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 

Humility is what God expects from His chosen:

 

Luk 10:21   In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

 

Therefore, God expects a person to avoid the following taboos:

 

1. Not to trust anybody on matters pertaining to God

 

Jer 17:5   Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm…

 

2. Never to lean unto own understanding pertaining to the word of God

 

Prov 3:5   Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

 

3. Avoid being deceived by feeling

 

Jer 17:9   The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

 

The result of avoiding the foregoing prohibitions is revealed since Old Testament time. It is the endowment of “divine knowledge and wisdom.”

 

Isa 28:9  (KJV) Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

 

Truly therefore, John’s Baptism “prepare the way of the LORD, and make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Without accepting the totality of the inspired words of God in the Holy Bible with His elucidation, there could be no “Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” God’s “intended message” are based from the very words written in the Holy Bible.  Hence, the significance of John’ baptism, saying:

 

Mat 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:

 

Joh 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.

 

 

Baptism by the Holy Spirit

 

After accepting everything written in the Sacred Scriptures, but cannot obey everything as required, we realized our sinfulness. Therefore nothing can we do but to implore God’s mercy. This is when we comprehend the real meaning of the following:

 

Mat 9:13   But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

 

Many people claim “righteousness” that refers to morality or uprightness. This is acquired with human efforts through sacrifices. To God “righteousness” is obedience to everything written of His words which is impossible to do. With John’s Baptism therefore, the humble is convicted of unworthiness before God.

 

In the Old Testament:

 

Psa 14:2   The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3   They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

 

As revealed to Paul:

 

Rom 3:10   As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11   There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12   They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13   Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

 

This is where John’s Baptism leads to “repentance.” Clearly therefore, the purpose of God for His words is to humble a person to ask for His mercy. The following presents a clearer view making a person worthy of the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit.”

 

From Peter’s preaching of the truth about Jesus whom he recognized by divine revelation:

 

Act 2:36   Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

It was the FATHER referring to Himself as the LORD in the following:

 

Isa 42:8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another…

 

And it was the FATHER claiming to be the only Savior and no one beside Him :

 

Isa 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

 

Very clearly Simon Peter is referring to the primary role of JESUS CHRIST as the “Father in the flesh.” His secondary role is as “SON of God.”


Act 2:37   Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38   Then Peter said unto them, Repent , and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 

The Disciples of John the Baptist after they heard Paul spoke about Jesus Christ:

 

Act 19:2   He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3   And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. 4   Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus

 

 

“Born again”

 

Unnoticed by many Bible readers is that baptism of John the Baptist is actually tied up to our Lord Jesus’ advice to Nicodemus in:

 

Joh 3:3   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.


Paul received the revelation of the meaning of “born again” as the “miracle” of transformation from spiritual “goat” to spiritual “sheep.” He wrote:

 

2 Cor 5:17   Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

Nicodemus, a renowned teacher of the law in Israel, could not understand “born again” because he was still a spiritual “goat” then.

 

Joh 3:4   Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

 

Today, many people are laughing at Nicodemus. Without divine revelation they think in order to be “born again” it simply needs “to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their life” without the requisite spiritual (not emotional) humility. In the first place, who is “Jesus Christ” that they require people to accept?

 

Mat 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Therefore the warning:

 

Jer 17:9   The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

 

Jesus Christ continued:

 

Joh 3:5   Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

 

 

“Born of water”

 

“Born of water” actually is what John the Baptist did as earlier expounded through the word of God:

 

Isa 40:3   The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4  Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

 

And “born of the Spirit” is further required as John told his listeners:

 

Mat 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:

 

Tying these great mystery of the word, being “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” is actually “born of the Spirit” where a person is “miraculously” converted from spiritual “goat” to spiritual “sheep.”

 

Jesus Christ as a “lamb” speaks the “language of sheep” while Nicodemus when he went to see Him cannot be expected to understand “bon again” since he was still a spiritual “goat” at the time.

 

If the people are laughing at Nicodemus for not understanding “born again,” they must be laughing at themselves after receiving the “miracle.” “Born again of water and of the Spirit” is far from what many people think by simply “Accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their life.”

 

“Baptized in the name of the Lord” in effect means “born again of water and of the Spirit.” John’s Baptism is the equivalent of “born of water,” while “born of the Spirit” in conversion from spiritual “goat” to spiritual “sheep.”

“Baptism of the Holy Spirit” therefore is what happened when those listening to Peter yearned to have the truth:

 

Act 2:37   Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38   Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39   For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

 

So with the disciples of John the Baptist on hearing Paul telling them:

 

Act 19:2   He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3   And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. 4   Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5   When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

 

“Laying of hands” is not a ritual but sharing the truth about the true Christ to the “poor in spirit” or spiritual “little children” that they deserve to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit:

 

Act 19:6   And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

 

“Speaking in tongues” as discussed in another Chapter is to speak the spiritual language of God, and to “prophesy” is the ability to articulate it.

 

 

Jesus Christ’ baptism of Fire:

 

As God told Abraham, and so with us His chosen:

 

Gen 17:1   … the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

 

After “born again,” the trek to eternal life begins. On the “way” stands man’s great enemy and this is his “own self” as Paul expounds on it:

 

Rom 7:15   For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

 

Like a child, we easily swerve from the way.

 

Rom 7:19  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

 

And so God, our Father, uses His stick to discipline us:

 

Heb 12:5   And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6   For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7   If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8   But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

 

Paul acknowledges this:

 

Rom 7:18   For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

 

Finally, our Lord has to baptize us with “fire.”

 

Mat 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:

 

“Fire” is used by metallurgists to purify and refined metals, like gold. In like manner God uses “fire” to symbolize His purification of His chosen that are referred as “gold.”

 

Job 23:10   But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

 

Mal 3:2   But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire

 

It is at this stage of the life of the chosen that God would subject them to the “Great Tribulation.”

 

Rev 2:10   Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation … be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

 

As promised, our Lord would always be with us, comforting, reassuring, and helping to go through all the trials as Jesus in His role as Son of God. He showed the “way” by example:

 

Luk 22.:42   Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

 

Finally,

 

Zech 13:9   And I will bring the third part through the fire and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

 

God’s weakness is the humility of His chosen that can deny His compassion. No amount and kind of sins they have been committed can prevent our Lord granting His mercy:

 

Isa 1:18   Come now… saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

 

And so, back to the “First of all the commandments” and this time with great joy praising and glorifying our Lord JESUS CHRIST:

 

“ The Lord our God is one Lord !

 

 

END

 

 

 

  

      1 Cor 2:14   But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    Act 1:18   Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

 “Sitting at the right hand of God” is a parable that means “power of God.”

Exo 15:6 Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.

“Repent” referring to John the Baptist baptism.

 Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

 In the name of JESUS CHRIST is discussed in the Chapter, THE NAME OF GOD.