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Baptism by water produced the Holy Spirit’s fruit of repentance. It was a brief work of John the Baptist and Jesus’ disciples. While water baptism is evident in the Acts of the Apostles, its replacement by Holy Spirit baptism was quickly foretold by Christ himself (Acts 1:5). Water baptism has no spiritual significance for the believer today.
What matters is spiritual baptism. It determines whether an individual is saved or not (Rom. 8:9; Acts 19:2). As a matter of fact, Romans 8:9 challenges its readers with the exhortation “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” This verse closes with the implication that if you say you believe, and you have not been born of the Spirit, you are LOST!!! In Acts 19:2, on his journey to Ephesus encountering twelve disciples of John the Baptist, Paul completely shocked his itinerant audience with these words, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” This bombshell revealed you could actually believe but be lost and headed for hell. Belief without faith is vanity. It is not the individual that initiates this virtue but the Holy Spirit that produces such fruit. Faith lies outside and beyond man.
Those who teach that water baptism is necessary, as well as an integral ‘part’ of a believer’s identity are teaching heresy. Jesus knew that such a work would be abused and manipulated by men as a requirement in a works-based system of redemption. Water baptism, like many other doctrines and commandments of men would be a litmus for ‘salvation,’ maturation, and acceptance into ‘Christian’ circles.
Jesus’ never baptized his followers in water (John 4:2) and certainly never wanted this practice to be equated with redemption, nor as a means of keeping others in bondage through church tradition, a religious experience or some spiritual right-of-passage. Jesus’ baptism by John inaugurated the Messiah’s public ministry. When Jesus said, ‘I do this to fulfill all righteousness,’ he was stating that by inaugurating his public ministry, he would be fulfilling all that he had been sent to accomplish—become the sin bearer for mankind.
Baptism by the Holy Ghost produces REPENTANCE, SANCTIFICATION, CONSECRATION and REGENERATION.
Regeneration is an event that occurs once, in a moment of time. It involves crucifixion of self or the old man being spiritually slain. It also involves the transference of Jesus’ righteousness to the sinner. This phenomenon is called imputed righteousness. It is something that cannot be earned or merited by human effort. It cannot be purchased with money. It also is not conferred upon an individual through church attendance, membership, giving, determinative ‘saintly behavior’ (“will worship” Col. 2:23) or denominational affiliation. It is something God grants to the saint by his elective counsel. On the other hand, repentance, sanctification and consecration occur throughout the believer’s life.
Repentance is required through God’s initial act of Holy Spirit baptism. It reveals an attitude of sorrow and grief for one’s sins and how my spiritual indifference has alienated me from my Creator.
Sanctification means the hold of the world and its influence has been loosened on my life, while the grip or fascination with the world, no longer captures my attention.
Consecration means I discover what my purpose is to advance the kingdom of Christ on earth, based on the giftings he has blessed me with.
1. John 3:22—After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judæa; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
John 4:1-3—When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) 3 He left Judæa, and departed again into Galilee.
In John 3:22 three facts are stated. First, Jesus and his disciples came into the land of Judæa. Second, Jesus stayed with his disciples in the land of Judæa. Third, his disciples baptized. If this is not true then John 4:2 cannot be true. You have to either accept the obvious exegesis of this verse OR you can choose to play God and call Jesus a liar.
It will also be noted, that what the Pharisees heard was hearsay. It was not based on the facts gleaned through a personal eyewitness account.
Jesus’ baptism by John inaugurated the Messiah’s public ministry. When Jesus said, ‘I do this to fulfill all righteousness,’ he was stating that by commencing his public ministry, he would be fulfilling all that he had been sent to accomplish—become the sin bearer for mankind. Above image by Henry Coller (1846-1917)
Baptism of repentance (water baptism)
This type of baptism performed by John the Baptist could not save the individual. Its purpose was to reveal the fruit of repentance, a work of God’s conviction, by the individual turning from sin thereby making acceptance of Jesus’ message possible. While turning from sin and receiving sin's forgiveness was absolutely necessary, it was not enough in the structure of redemption to allow the sinner to acquire Jesus’ imputed righteousness. One had to make Christ Lord in their life.
A new day was dawning. This could not occur until Christ’s Holy Spirit was given. This did not occur until Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost—after Christ’s death, burial, resurrection and ascension into heaven. John’s method of baptizing the individual has been a point of contention between various denominations. Some practice complete immersion of the individual in water. Others engage in sprinkling. Some denominations even ‘baptize’ the individual by repeatedly dipping their converts in water.
The argument could be made that if water baptism simply involved the method of sprinkling or dipping, then why would John need a whole river (Jordan River) to perform this ceremony? Baptism by immersion is given further legitimacy as we read in John 3:23, “And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there; and they came, and were baptized.”
We know the Middle East is arid and a desert. Water is scarce. There were many people coming to John for baptism. While Romans 6:4-6 is not referring to water baptism but spiritual regeneration known as baptism by the Holy Spirit, its veiled allusion to water baptism by immersion is nonetheless obvious. Again, though there might be a connection outwardly, to what happened when John the Baptist immersed his disciples, the spiritual reality of what occurred, supernaturally and invisibly, was the most important thing to note. In Romans 6:4 it is what is being communicated to the reading audience NOT water baptism--the old man is not crucified, the body of sin is not destroyed, and sanctification has not occurred or one's service to sin is still there.
In I Corinthians 10:1-5 we have the account of Moses and the Hebrews who were baptized under the cloud and in the sea partaking of the same spiritual meat and drink. That drink for them was Jesus Christ. If baptism were necessary for the redemption of one’s soul, simply a work, then where is the assurance of salvation when it says, “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” (v. 5). Namely, their lack of faith condemned them to a Christless eternity.
Only in a system of works is the heresy taught that there is no assurance of salvation. If you believe, as the Bible teaches, assurance of salvation can be found only in the shed blood of Christ and his indwelling Holy Spirit, then according to Roman Catholic dogma you are guilty of the sin of presumption. To believe you are going to heaven based on the work and words of Jesus Christ, namely the Bible, then according to Catholic teaching you you have engaged in the sin of presumption.
In I Peter 3:21 we learn the true definition of baptism as Peter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, compares water baptism to Holy Spirit baptism, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ . . .” Note, Peter is saying that water baptism can never save anyone, only “the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
In Acts 1:5 Jesus said this practice of water baptism would cease when the Holy Spirit was given. Jesus himself refrained from water baptism knowing it would become a tool by religious people in the future as a means of controlling others AND adding a work to Jesus’ selfless act of grace.
In Acts, water baptism’s relevance is only disclosed occasionally because the person, or persons, wanting this performed had not heard Jesus’ words directly. In those passages of Acts where the word baptism is used, in the absence of the clear context that water was involved, the conclusion that must be made is that the reference is to spiritual regeneration, salvation, or personal redemption NOT water baptism. This important point eliminates many passages used by pastors as justification for water baptism:
· Acts 2:38—This passage reveals that whereas repentance was a ‘proof’ of the Holy Spirit’s work in the life of the potential convert during John’s baptism of repentance, this verse makes known, for the first time, the numerous steps (awareness, conviction, repentance, forsaking, contrition) that would all dovetail and precede an event known as baptism by the Holy Spirit—a “gift” given whereby it can never be earned. You will note, there is no use of the word water in this context
· Acts 2:41—This verse, upon careful examination, says that they which were baptized received the word of Christ “gladly.” This cannot happen unless the recipient of Christ’s words has had their heart of stone removed and given a heart of flesh. Something else, water baptism cannot add one person’s name to the heavenly roll call AND water baptism cannot regenerate a person’s soul. Scripture goes on to say, "and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”
· Acts 8:12-17—This is the story of Simon the sorcerer who had bewitched (the politics of repackaging a lie, disseminating it through different channels, and repeating it over and over again) the citizens of Samaria only to be confronted by the power of Jesus’ gospel through the preaching of Philip the evangelist. This passage clearly references water baptism because the Samaritans had not been born again until Peter and John, coming down from Jerusalem, laid their hands on the Samaritans. It is at this point; the Samaritan disciples were truly Christian when they received the Holy Ghost. While this passage does not directly use the word water, its context clearly implies water baptism. Failure to reject this truth would mean the Samaritan believers were born again and that the laying on of hands by Peter and John constituted multiple baptisms by the Spirit. There is no support for this in the New Testament anywhere (Eph. 4:5). It is also interesting to note, that these believers were water baptized before they were born again. In verse 16 the parenthetical statement reveals that the Holy Spirit had not fallen on any of the Samaritans when Peter and John came down from Jerusalem. It says the Samaritans were baptized in water only. There is also no suggestion that Philip was directly responsible for initiating water baptism. The reason Peter and John were sent from Jerusalem to Samaria were twofold:
· Acts 8:27-39—This is the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. What becomes evident is Philip does not initiate the water baptism of the eunuch. Also, though it does not expressly say Philip did not mention the importance of baptism by the Holy Spirit, he did confront the Ethiopian. The eunuch believed with all his heart and confessed Jesus Christ as the Son of God. It was then and only then, when Philip perceived a change in the eunuch’s heart, that water baptism was permitted. Though Philip water baptized the eunuch, it was made clear to the Ethiopian that inner regeneration was what counted, not an outward expression of the eunuch’s faith. Jesus’ knew this outward expression would eventually be used and abused by men as a spiritual hold over individuals in the practice of religious bondage following the completion of the scriptures as the believer’s authority.
In John 3:22 this verse is cited as ‘proof’ Jesus water baptized, even though in John 4:2 it clearly says Jesus did not water baptize his disciples. Let us examine verse 22 clearly. This verse makes four statements; three obvious, one implied:
· Acts 9:17, 18—In Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, the Christian persecutor ultimately receives the Holy Ghost as he is leaving the house of Judas, having been met by Ananias. Having received his sight, Paul arose and is baptized by the Holy Spirit of Christ—the mind and person he had been persecuting since his Pharisaical upbringing. The reception of Paul having his physical sight restored, was parallel to him receiving his spiritual sight
· Acts 10:47, 48—In Peter’s witness to Cornelius and his family, Peter gives in to the pressure of the circumcision that were present, “fearing them which were of the circumcision” (Gal. 2:12). Here, Peter is the one initiating water baptism and it is sad Peter is the one ‘giving in.’ Peter struggled with being a man pleaser as we see by Paul’s rebuke of Peter in Antioch from Galatians 2:11-21. Peter fell into the trap of compelling the Gentiles, by word and deed, to observe the law even as the circumcision were doing. I understand it indicates that those of the circumcision “believed” and assumed by Peter to “have received the Holy Ghost as well as we,” but the truth of the scriptures identified the circumcision as those who believed circumcision was necessary for salvation, just as there were those who were convinced that water baptism was a requisite for regeneration. There were many within the fold who were adding to the gospel and rejecting the notion that the New Testament was the blood covenant Jesus’ had secured on Calvary—they were the tares within the field of wheat. Remember, sincerity is not a litmus of whether a person is born again. Jesus said, 'Ye shall know them by their fruits.' It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit that is the evidence of a changed heart. That is the benchmark of genuine Christianity
· Acts 16:14, 15, 30, 33—In the stories of Lydia of Thyatira, a seller of purple, and the Philippian jailor, we saw the power of Paul sharing the gospel and the fruit that resulted from Paul’s obedience—Lydia and the Philippian jailor not only were saved but their whole households were baptized by the Holy Spirit.
· Acts 18:8—In this story of the chief ruler of the synagogue in Corinth, Crispus, we observe he and his household believed as well as certain within Crispus’ synagogue. It says they believed AND were baptized. Despite that, many within the synagogues were Jesus’ enemies. The power of the gospel within this synagogue to overcome the spiritual malaise was evident, “and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.” Faith from Christ’s Holy Spirit was required before true regeneration could occur
· Acts 19:1-7 (the Holy Spirit in and on his elect)—Paul’s encounter with twelve of John’s disciples on the way to Ephesus reinforced the notion of what the Baptist’s water baptism was all about, namely that the baptism of repentance was to prepare the sinner to receive the message of Jesus and reveal that God was evident in the life of the potential convert. John’s baptism was not equivalent to redemption; however, it was an important first step and requirement in the formula of regeneration. As the story goes, Paul’s profound statement to John’s disciples was, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” Paul’s penetrating question busted the whole notion of what biblical Christianity was all about wide open. Paul’s question distinguished the difference between belief and genuine Christianity—Jesus Christ’s restorative and renewing Holy Spirit. Could someone believe and not be born again? Absolutely! This is precisely what Paul’s interrogative established. This is why we read the circumcision who were present with Peter when Cornelius’ kin heard the gospel or when Peter was in Antioch and was advocating a dual message of works and grace because he “feared the circumcision.” It was Paul who exposed the double-mindedness evident in the circumcision as typical of those who just believe but have not received the Holy Spirit—many are called, but few are chosen. These are those whose names are written in the book of life only to have their pardon blotted out, when standing before the final Judge come judgment day.
In Acts 19:3 Paul stated, “Unto what then were ye baptized?” Paul understood the importance of baptism by the Holy Spirit. It was the key that unlocked the door for the believer to move on with his or her life in Christ. Without that key, life and one’s purpose was placed on hold, for without faith it is impossible to please God. Revealing the faith of their newfound Messiah, Paul laid his hands upon the twelve who had just been baptized by the Holy Spirit and they not only are filled with the Spirit, BUT also had the Spirit come on them as they spoke in tongues and prophesied
· Acts 22:16—In Paul’s public defense in Jerusalem he tells the story of his conversion to Jesus Christ. In verse 16 Paul tells the audience that Ananias “a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there” told Paul ‘what are you waiting for, get up and be baptized,’ wash away your sins calling on the name of the Lord. Jesus’ blood washes away sins. Water baptism can never wash away sins. Paul could not have performed, and endured in the flesh, what Jesus had asked him to do without the supernatural grace given to him by the Spirit.
· Romans 6:3-7—Without emphasizing the obvious, these verses are taken out of their context of redemption and said to be scriptures supporting water baptism. Ridiculous! Typical of the pastor, cleric, or rabbi establishing and justifying control through manipulation and ignorance:
1. Bible ignorance—convincing the congregant that the religious leader can only understand scripture (Catholicism calls this magisterium)
2. lies—persuading the church attender that if he only knew Greek and Hebrew, then and only then could he discern the truth of God’s word, that all ‘bibles’ say the same thing, and that church attendance is tantamount to redemption
3. deceit—that water baptism, ‘holy living’ (Methodism’s complete sanctification), and other works are necessary to keep us in good standing with God. Remember, the law is fulfilled in us (Rom. 8:4) because it is through Jesus' imputed righteousness and the mind of Christ within one keeps the law
4. fear, shame and guilt—are feelings produced by unbelief and recognized by manipulators as a primary 'weak link' by which an individual or group can be accessed, steered and driven. The ultimate goal of the manipulator-charismatic leader is to create a unified mind within the masses—a collectivist mentality or social memory complex. Nimrod first saw the advantage of applying his skills, as a hunter, to the psychological techniques he had perfected on animals. Many have followed suit, in the secular fields of politics and consensus science. We see that evolution has become the blueprint for all contemporary-consensus scientists. A good example of this is climate change and quantum physics where abstract, speculative, theory is equivalent to ‘science’ (truth) and parallel universes have rendered reality and objective truth obsolete. The last verse, verse 7 says it all. Water baptism cannot free the sinner from sin—can you say fruit production—"If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Rom. 8:9)
Before his conversion to Christ, Saul was a persecutor of Christ and his followers. Even though he was very devout, religious, and pious, as a Pharisee he fervently believed he was doing God a favor in his relentless persecution and jailing of those he believed were his enemies.
Jesus endured the same from the religious crowd as well. Isn't it strange that those who claim to take such a moral high ground are so hypocritical in their words and actions towards those they disparage and curse. See image at top again
Acts 1:5—For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Acts 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.
 Acts 2:41—Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Bewitching is the politics (what was once in the realm of esotericism and religious gobbledygook, or mysticism, is now evident in government through the guise of politics) of repackaging a lie, disseminating it through different channels, and repeating it over and over again. Spiritually, bewitching occurs when the truth of Jesus’ word, the Bible, has been rejected, and the rejector substitutes the truth for a lie. The consequence of bewitching occurs when Jesus’ position and title as the Lord of all is substituted for another mere mortal and that person is worshipped. This is the case, whether it was the Samaritan’s veneration of Simon the sorcerer, or the fanatical, psychotic ravings of a crazed murderer like Charles Manson, Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh, Mason and Adventist religious teacher William Miller, or the Catholic groomed and brainwashed Charles Wesley.Interesting to note how the accuracy of scripture exposed the hypocrisy, hearsay, rumour and gossip of the spiritual leaders of Jesus’ day. Note John 4:2, as well as the verse that precedes and follows this verse, “When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) 3 He left Judæa, and departed again into Galilee.” It becomes clear from this verse that Jesus’ enemies utilized hearsay rather than personal eyewitness testimony to formulate their presumptuous assessment of Jesus. Like all practical individuals, Jesus didn’t waste any more of his precious time in a place where people cared not to make him Lord in their life, “He left Judæa, and departed again into Galilee.”
To those thinking this is water baptism, baptism by the Holy Spirit is an invisible phenomenon performing for the individual what they cannot do for themselves: conviction of sin, contrition (sorrow) for sin, confession of sin, forsaking of self (crucifixion of self), lordship of Christ (sanctification and consecration), imputation (the transference of Jesus’ righteousness to the sinner), pardon, and the inheritance of Jesus’ promises to the saint, including eternal life in the hereafter.
 Romans 6:3-7—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. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
I first came across this word in connection with an article describing the social structure among those within the demonic realm or extraterrestrial biological entities, specifically the Greys. It means the control of a group by an externally dominant and potentially physically abusive master. Much indirect evidence exists for anyone wanting to pursue this although my advice in the pursuit of any details is that you guard yourself against any fascination or openness to such demonic activity as it will result in darkness, despondency, as well as personal destruction and madness (demonic influence or possession). We are dealing with demons. If you reject the truth of Jesus’ words, you are a target of these ‘aliens.’ Be advised!
This event occurs once and is invisible, supernatural, and is a transformative work of grace affected by the Holy Spirit. Its effect is eternal and is of immeasurable and incalculable significance to the individual.
It can be stated that while Jesus’ blood is the ransom or debt payment making forgiveness possible, this transaction cannot be consummated until the Holy Spirit baptizes the individual. Then and only then, is this heavenly pact between Jesus and the sinner made sure. Remember, it is not enough to believe. If belief is not mixed with faith, a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22), then the individual is NOT BORN AGAIN!!!
In I John 2:2 it says Jesus Christ satisfied God’s requirement (propitiation) for the perfect sacrifice. This payment for sin is not only extended to believers, but it is also granted to the whole world. Remember, this verse is not saying all men are saved. It is declaring, however, that Jesus Christ satisfied God’s requirement for a perfect sacrifice. And because that sacrifice has been extended to all men, all men stand guilty before their Creator and Judge Jesus Christ. In short, no can say Jesus did not pay for their sins. But unless there is confession, repentance, contrition, and an invitation to make Jesus Lord in one’s life, forgiveness WILL NOT be granted and justification cannot occur. These behaviors and actions are fruit produced NOT by the individual, but by Christ’s Holy Spirit. There is no cooperative effort that exists between the Holy Spirit and the sinner. Redemption and justification are ALL OF GOD. As it says in Romans 8:33, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.”
Why did God choose to change the way he did things from the Old Testament to the New Testament? Why would this dispensation of the apostolic church age, and what was to follow, distinguish themselves from all prior biblical dispensations?
The importance of the Holy Spirit being given to the elect lay in the fact that a monolithic (colossal) counterfeit ‘Christian’ system would emerge saying ‘I am Christ’ and deceive many. In the latter times, which we find ourselves, this counterfeit system has been laid. It is being prepared by godless individuals. Their man is the beast. God will permit him to rule during the final three and a half years. This one-world phony religious system is here. It does not teach grace but works and the expectations of men. It does not advocate biblical inerrancy but reliance on Greek and Hebrew ‘scholars.’ It does not call for unity of the Spirit of Christ, but blind trust in a seminary trained pastor whose goal is to build and maintain his own congregation. It does not challenge believers to read and study the inerrant scriptures and separate themselves from apostates and a religious world that is increasingly antichristian. It does not call for us to separate from counterfeit religious assemblies because that would be ‘forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.’
I John 2:2—And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Another way of putting this is that nothing is put on the account of the sinner. Why? Because it is something only God can do. Redemption is ALL of God.
The apostolic church age established the rules and ordinances by which that which could be identified as Christian would be Christian. They also wrote the New Testament and revealed what would happen after the apostolic church age disappeared. When at the end of this unique and one-of-a-kind age came to a close, the most profound, liberating, and unique events occurred. First, the complete and inerrant scriptures would be the believer’s authority. Spiritual authority vested in the agency of any human institution would disappear. Second, the believer’s teacher would be Christ’s Holy Spirit. That also meant the primary clerical offices enumerated in I Corinthians 12 would disappear. The believer pursuing the sacred word would compare spiritual things with spiritual or the Bible with the Bible.
When these Protestant churches do not teach grace but works, cannot recognize which Bible is the Bible, place more emphasis on the social contract between individuals than enthusiastically proclaim the sum and substance of the Christian life (the whole counsel of God, the gospel), and believe the pastor is the end of any spiritual matter instead of the inerrant scriptures, my interest in attending any Protestant assembly vanishes.
The descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in Jerusalem, signaled a new dispensation--the apostolic church age. Its duration would last approximately 67 years from 33-100 A.D. Christ's death, resurrection and ascension marking its beginning, while the death of the last apostle, John, and his completion of Jesus' Book of Revelation, signaling its completion. This age was marked by apostolic miracles, the formation of clerical offices with their authority, the planting of apostolic churches, the establishment and re-establishment of church ordinances (marriage and the Lord's communion), and the teaching of Christ's people regarding his marching orders for his elect.
Upon completion of this brief period, a new dispensation would arise. It would see the inerrant scriptures become the believer's authority, while the Holy Spirit become the believer's invaluable and priceless teacher. This would be short-lived as corrupt, religious men would wrest Christ's authority away from the scriptures and supplant the teacher of the Holy Spirit with ecclesiasticism, clericalism, and scholasticism. I call this period, which we are still in, The Completed Word vs. The Apostate Church.
See image Pentecost in Jerusalem
The parting of the Red Sea was a miracle. The definition of a miracle is something that cannot be explained scientifically or rationally. In his purpose to speak to men in this fashion, why would Providence subject himself to the very laws he instituted? At that point, they would not be miracles. Whales in the Gulf of Aqaba? Perhaps. A rare Blue Whale sighting was recently recorded. Krill, the Blue Whale's main food source, has been declining.
image source article
In I Corinthians 10:1-5 we have the account of Moses and the Hebrews who were baptized under the cloud and in the sea partaking of the same spiritual meat and drink. That drink for them was Jesus Christ. If baptism were necessary for the redemption of one’s soul, simply a work, then where is the assurance of salvation when it says, “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” (v. 5). Namely, their lack of faith condemned them to a Christless eternity. Lest you think I'm being hasty in this assessment, the older generation consisted of well over a million people (men, women, and a mixed multitude). With the exception of Joshua and Caleb from that older generation, you'll discover just how few actually entered the Promised Land .
Evidence of Egyptian chariot wheels, horse hooves, as well as horse and human bones have been discovered at the Nuweiba Beach crossing. In no other location within the Gulf of Aqaba has this evidence been seen.
Article from True Discoveries web site.
left to right—aerial geography of the location of the Gulf of Aqaba (biblical Red Sea) in relation to the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea. There are five significant depressions within the Gulf of Aqaba. Starting from the south and working toward the northern tip and the city of Elat, Israel you encounter: Hume Deep, Tiran Deep, Dakar Deep, Arnona Deep, Argonese Deep, and finally the Elat Deep. Approaching almost 6,000 ft. deep in some places, very little hydrologic interface occurs between it and the larger Red Sea. An absence of freshwater into the Gulf of Aqaba as well as at its constricted confluence at the Gulf of Tiran, makes for a highly saline marine environment.
Migration of local earthquakes in the Gulf of Aqaba, North Red Sea
This practice was confined primarily to the apostolic leadership. It involved outwardly expressing apostolic approval and empowerment, as well as the apostle's blessing, like we see in Acts 6:6 with the commissioning of the seven who ministered to the needs of the widows within the church.
The laying on of the apostle’s hands to give the Holy Spirit is also evidenced in Acts 8:17. The story involves the Samaritans, Philip, and Simon the Sorcerer. Before they were born again the Samaritans had been baptized in water. There was an absence of the Holy Spirit’s presence amongst Philip’s audience. It was here in Samaria, the Samaritans heard Philip’s powerful preaching. This occurred after those who had been seduced by Simon the sorcerers’ lies. It was not until Peter and John came down from Jerusalem to confirm that what they had heard was truly the case, that the Holy Spirit was given to these followers of Simon.
In a rare case in Act 13:3, at the church in Antioch, Syria the elders had to choose amongst a pool of teachers and prophets (Barnabas, Niger—Simeon, Lucius, of Cyrene, Manaen brought up with Herod tetrarch, and Saul), to fill an evangelistic ministry. The elders were told by the Holy Ghost to separate Barnabas and Saul for the work Jesus had planned for them. The elders, laying their hands-on Barnabas and Saul, bless and confirm their consecration (designation) of their ministry. This laying on of hands had no spiritual power revealed outwardly as reflected by a significant supernatural manifestation, such as the giving of the Holy Spirit or the divine distribution of tongues and prophecy.
It must be noted however, that even in such an innocent case as cited here, I am sure the original authority to do this was passed on to the church leadership of Antioch by one of the apostles.
In Acts 19:5, 6, while at first glance appear to be separate verses, they are actually one. Verse 5 says the twelve disciples of John the Baptist were baptized. Verse 6 volunteers more information by saying how baptism was accomplished, and what followed spiritual regeneration—speaking in tongues (known human languages) and prophecy.
How the laying on of the apostle’s hands was executed is speculative:
1. was the recipient standing or kneeling?
2. was a single hand used?
3. were both hands placed on the head?
4. or were both hands placed on the shoulders looking directly into the eyes of the recipient while praying?
In scripture, we learn that Christ dispensed power by having people touch him, or in cases where he touched many. But when giving divine commissions to his own apostles, this was unique and exclusive. Once the Savior ascended, his power would be transferred to the apostles. It remained in effect as long as any of the apostles remained alive. At the death of the last apostle, any of this proxy authority ceased as well. From this point, those needing a spiritual commission, empowerment, and authority would receive it by placing their hands on an original autograph of the inerrant scriptures housed in the sacred library of Antioch.
In conclusion, when apostolic authority ended (John died in 99-100 A.D.) and the apostolic church as the pillar and ground of the truth (I Tim. 3:15) was supplanted, both gave way to the authority of the completed and inerrant scriptures. Just as water baptism would be replaced by baptism of the Holy Spirit, water baptism has no relevance for the believer today. Similarly, the laying on of hands while symbolic and spiritually moving, has no apostolic significance because it was a gift reserved ONLY to the apostles (Judas excluded, Matthias and Paul included).
A unique phenomenon, Ananias was instructed by Jesus to lay his hands on Paul that he might receive his physical sight as well as impart to Paul the Holy Spirit. There does not appear to be any other phenomenon in the New Testament that parallels this. Not an apostle, Ananias was used of the Lord nonetheless to impact Paul's life like no other.
The Bible clearly teaches two resurrections—one for the just and one for the unjust. The resurrection of the damned can also be referred to as the second death—dead on this side of the grave and dead on the other side of the grave—twice dead (Jude 12). On this side of the grave the individual spends their whole life ignoring the still small voice of God or one’s moral conscience. When they die, the spirit goes back to God who gave it, and they become spiritless souls in hell.
The resurrection of the just involves several time periods BUT is viewed by the eternal Christ as one event—the resurrection of the just. First, you have the rapture. This occurs prior to the beginning of the last half of Daniel’s 70th week, or 3.5 years. Second, you have those who pay for their faith during the 3.5 years of the beast’s rule. Their soul and spirit ascend to heaven only to descend with those from heaven who preceded them in the rapture 3.5 years earlier. It is these who refuse to take the mark of the beast that will rule and reign with Christ for a thousand years. Finally, you have those who die during Christ’s millennial reign. When they perish, they go to heaven and return when the New Jerusalem descends out of heaven. They too, have resurrected bodies. These three separate events are viewed as one event—the resurrection of the just.
The resurrection of the unjust occurs at the end of the millennial reign of Christ. Known as the great white throne judgment, these damned souls will be involuntarily summoned before their Creator, Jesus Christ, and will be judged according to their works. They will then be relocated from hell to the lake of fire—from hot to constantly and unbearably seething. Can you say more intensely hotter than the Sun! This does not account for the tremendous pressures at these depths either.
left to right--The title of the painting by William Brassey Hole, "Jesus Makes Himself Known to Mary Magdalene." John 20:15-17--Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
The image on the right above, "Lazarus, Come Forth," by Harold Copping records the event of Lazarus of Bethany, after being dead four days, having his soul, spirit, and body restored by the power of Christ. The purpose of Lazarus' death and raising was to bring glory to the Son, Jesus Christ (John 11:4).
In John 11:23-27 we have Jesus' exchange with Martha, Lazarus' sister, before Lazarus was raised:
Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in
me shall never die. Believest thou this? 27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
The Bible clearly teaches a hell. No hades. No sheol. No purgatory either. The Bible is the only religious narrative that speaks of consequences for bad conduct committed on this side of the grave and the debt that is to be exacted on the other side. In any and all works-based systems of redemption, Judaism included, the reality of a place called hell is absent because man is seen as intrinsically good and capable of being reformed outwardly. Christianity sees man as beyond the capacity to be reformed. Man must be regenerated—made anew from within. The power and source of this regeneration lies beyond and outside himself. Until the individual understands this truth, the necessary transformation can never occur.
Contrary to Charles Taze Russell and the Jehovah’s Witnesses (J.W.’s) as well as William Miller’s Adventists, the Bible teaches no such heresy as ‘soul sleep’ or ‘annihilationism.’ This heresy says that when the unbeliever dies their soul sleeps or is annihilated—ceases to exist, vanishes, thereby avoiding eternal punishment. Sounds great, huh? Nobody is punished for any wrongdoing done in this life. Nobody is guilty. Nobody pays. Everybody wins. The wicked are justified because they avoid eternal condemnation. This is a great way to swell your following and hopefully add to your membership. This is the typical avenue all works-based systems of religion pursue.
Jesus came to set the captive free and the save us from ourselves as well as eternal hell-fire. It is only by being in Christ, that the sinner can avoid this dire sentence that awaits all mankind. Blessed be the name of the Lord for his grace and mercy in this life.
Hell, the biblical place of torment, is real. The reason for this is that we serve a God who is just, righteous and holy. He does and will punish evil and the wicked! No other religion mentions such a place as dire and woeful as perdition. Like Russian roulette, many gamble and believe there's no such place . . . Until it's too late. Are you that void of understanding? Are you that sure it's not real?
The Virgin Birth
This doctrine is essential to understand if one is to fathom how Jesus’ paid for man’s sins AND why Jesus never addressed Mary as his mother. The Bible teaches that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Ghost (Matt. 1:18, 20). Jesus’ conception was miraculous as well as his development within Mary. The only ‘normal’ thing about Jesus conception-to-birth process was his delivery—"made of a woman, made under the law.” (Gal. 4:4).
Jesus ontogeny or development within Mary’s womb was also miraculous. If he had been attached to Mary, via an umbilical cord, his blood would have been tainted. He could not have atoned for the sins of the world. Jesus’ Father was God. Jesus had no mother in the natural sense of the word. This is precisely why Jesus never called Mary his mother . . . Because she was NOT.
Jesus’ Crucifixion and Death
Though Jesus died for the sins of the whole world thereby making all guilty, Jesus’ death had to have happened so forgiveness could be extended to the elect. The manner in which he was to die had been foretold years earlier in the Old Testament. The Messianic prophecies that were fulfilled, make Jesus’ death and crucifixion unique. Even the very manner in which he was flogged (Ps. 129:3; Is. 50:6) and then impaled on a Roman cross (Ps. 22:16) were detailed hundreds of years before Roman crucifixions were perfected and even conceived. No other religious writings have the accuracy, as recorded by the Hebrew prophets, as these accounts appearing in the Old Testament. Stories that were foretold hundreds of years before they happened.
Lest we forget the spear in Jesus’ side? (Zech. 12:10) Then there was the amount of money he was betrayed by Judas (Zech. 11:12). Do not forget how Jesus’ garment became an object of Roman sport as his enemies engaged in this despicable amusement (Ps. 22:18) at the foot of the cross, Jesus giving up the ghost, as they laughed him to scorn (Ps. 22:7,8, 13). Jesus’ death signaled the end of an old dispensation and the dawning of a new (Matt. 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20).
Jesus’ Resurrection Signaled the Eternal Hope for all Believers—Forgiveness had Been Purchased while Death, Hell and the Grave had Been Conquered
His ascension, just before Pentecost, gave the apostles what they desperately needed—strength from on high—baptism by the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that if he did not go, the Holy Spirit would not come (John 16:7). The Holy Spirit’s power, direction, and wisdom would be needed given the daunting task their Messiah laid out before them. The apostles were to plant Jesus’ church, evangelize the Gentiles, finish the task of writing the New Testament and complete the Bible giving the believers that followed the authority they needed in the absence of the apostolic church with its founder, Jesus Christ.
Matt. 26:28—For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Mark 14:24—And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Luke 22:20--Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
This authority came in two ways. One was from the completed, inerrant words of Jesus. The other was from the abiding, indwelling Holy Spirit of Christ.
"Annunciation" by Jason Jenicke
In a moment of silence Mary must take in all the the archangel Gabriel told her regarding the birth of her son, Jesus Christ.
"Advent" by Jason Jenicke
Little did Mary know that the only thing 'normal' about the son of God was that she would never be addressed by her son as mother. This never became more apparent to her than at the marriage in Cana of Galilee.
"The Adoration of the Shepherds" by Guido Reni
The fact the Holy Spirit brought about the conception of Christ within Mary, and then oversaw his development within her womb without an umbilical cord, makes the Incarnation of Jesus Christ the most miraculous and seminal event in all of history-begotten of the Father, and worthy to pay for the sin of man.
"Christ Child and St. John the Baptist" by Jason Jenicke
Elizabeth, Mary's cousin, gave birth to John the Baptist who was 6 months older than Jesus. John's birth, a miracle, before he was born, responded to Jesus in the womb by leaping. John was filled with the Holy Ghost before he was born.
Ron Dicianni, "Simeon's Moment," 2016
Luke 2:22-32--Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
"King of Kings" by Howard Lyon
At this moment in Jesus' development, the artist is rare in his artistic gifting and faithfulness to the biblical narrative capturing Jesus at 2 years of age when the wise men actually encountered Christ.
Copyright © 2008 Day of the LORD, Paul J. Wickliffe - All Rights Reserved.