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Importance of Spiritual Baptism (Part 1)

Importance of Spiritual Baptism (Part 1)

Someone who just loves me to death and has fought tooth and nail for the observance of baptism by immersion in water as the only acceptable and biblical way to baptize new converts, asked me to read Ironside’s complete article on baptism and refute it point by point and not simply dismiss it out of hand. So, “Here I stand, I can do no other.”

Baptism

BAPTISM: WHAT SAITH THE SCRIPTURE?

By Dr. H.A. Ironside

PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION

Several years having elapsed since the first publication of this booklet, and a new edition being called for, I have considerably revised my former paper, though altering nowhere the teaching therein set forth.

Further study and experience have only confirmed what was first written, although I believe I see many kindred truths in a much fuller, broader way than I did some years ago.

The revision consists largely of additional matter which I hope may make clearer what is now sent out, and commended to the prayerful consideration of the people of God into whose hands it may fall.

The great essential is Christ, not baptism; but they who love His name will seek to keep His word.  But in this it is well to remember that an unkind, critical spirit is far more to be deplored than divergent views and practices in regard to ordinances, however precious. (Emphasis added)

If the great essential is Christ (and I wholeheartedly agree), then no argument in favour of baptism by immersion in water being an essential part of Christian doctrine is feasible, let alone it  being a sign of God’s approval, as Dr. Ironside later indicates in his dissertation on baptism.

We would do well to remind ourselves of God’s own testimony regarding his Son because that and that alone magnanimously proves that Christ is God’s “Great Essential.” Nothing else is needed.

For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.

If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son.

Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself.

Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.

And this is the testimony that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:7-13)

Jesus’s earthly ministry was initiated by his baptism in water which served as a preliminary, anticipatory sign or symbol of the way in which He would accomplish man’s redemption through his blood, referring to his death by which his earthly work was terminated, and thereby accomplishing and fulfilling all righteousness. (Matthew 3:15).

Jesus’ baptism in water could never have been a fulfillment of all righteousness if He hadn’t been baptized (been wholly submerged and immersed in death). Hence his words in Luke 12:50: “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!”

Several people have asked me: “Why was Jesus distressed until He was baptized when He had already been baptized in water by John the Baptist?”

Hadn’t He already been baptized by John the Baptist? Yes, He was. But this baptism, when the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended from heaven upon Him simply gave Him the mandate, authority and power to accomplish the essential baptism into death on the cross.

Hence John’s magnanimous words in 1 John 5:6 “This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.” Indeed, there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water, and the blood.

To assert that a convert’s baptism is a testimony or a sign or a symbol of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection is to suggest that God the Father’s own testimony regarding his Son is insufficient.

Yes, a saved and blood washed saint’s testimony is great but God’s testimony is much greater.

He has already fulfilled all righteousness in and through Christ Jesus who came by water and blood.

It is finished; nothing more in terms of God’s testimony in and through water and in and through blood is needed. What is required of a saint is to testify by word of mouth. What does the Bible say?

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. (Revelation 12:11)

It is not a once-off ritual that testifies to our death, burial and resurrection with Christ.

It is the unsurpassed power of our daily spoken word (our verbal testimony) to the unsurpassed power of the blood of the lamb that testifies to our death, burial and resurrection with Jesus Christ.

A once-off ritual which has absolutely nothing to do with salvation is powerless.

Hence Paul’s exhortation in Romans 6 that our identification with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection is made effectual by our own cognitive reckoning (faith) that we have indeed been baptized (immersed) into Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

I sincerely believe that the devil is using a ritual that has nothing to do with salvation as a tool and a ploy to divert the saints attention from the genuine and practical way to overcome the devil, our own fleshly nature and the world, and that is to use our God-given reasoning (reckoning) faculties to reckon that we have indeed been baptized into Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

Although baptism was initially a Jewish ordinance and later used by John the Baptist and the early Christian church which was uniquely Jewish in the beginning, it has developed into a ritual accompanied by the speaking in tongues and slain in the spirit, both of which have become tools in the hands of Satan.

Dr Ironside then wrote:

H.A.IRONSIDE
Fruitvale, CA, March 1915

PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION

While, in the pages that follow, controversy has been so far as possible (consistently with the object of presenting what I believe to be the truth as to Baptism) sedulously avoided, yet it is hoped a careful perusal may prove helpful even to those who have been troubled by conflicting views.

The pamphlet presents the conclusions I have been obliged to come to after utterly denying for a number of years any present importance attaching to this ordinance, and after a careful study of what others have put forth on the subject, as well as much time spent, I trust before the Lord, over the word of God.

The apology for its publication, if such be needed, can be stated in a few words.

In going about, now for some years, seeking to “do the work of an evangelist,” I have been importuned again and again for a paper expressing my thoughts on this question.

Finding no publication that seemed to me altogether suitable (so few being at all full without being exceedingly controversial), I have tried to give as clearly and briefly as possible, what I believe to be the scriptural teaching upon it.

The query as to whether baptism brings its subject into the Kingdom of Heaven, the House of God, or the Body of Christ, has not really been touched.

Here I need only to say that I do not believe it brings one into any of the three.

To my mind the importance of it is not in regard to what it brings one into (and, as others have noted, Scripture NEVER says it brings one into anything), but in that it is the clearly expressed will of the Lord Jesus for His disciples, and therefore should possess marked interest for all who desire His approval.

I presume that those known as Friends, or Quakers, with numbers of other Christians who recognize no ordinances (though they assuredly lose much by such neglect), are yet in the Kingdom, the House and the Body.

At least, I know of no Scripture that teaches, directly or indirectly, otherwise. (Emphasis added)

Ironside happily concedes that baptism by immersion in much water has absolutely nothing to do with salvation, i.e. to bring the convert into the Kingdom of God, or the Body of Christ or the House of God.

Yet, he makes much ado about baptism being the expressed will of the Lord Jesus for his disciples and therefore should be of great interest to all who desire His approval. If this is true, then the one criminal who was crucified next to Jesus was allowed to enter into God’s Paradise without his approval. And guess why? Well, we all know that he wasn’t baptized by immersion into much water, which according to Ironside,. is a sign of God’s approval.

The most shocking thing about Ironside’s statement, “To my mind the importance of it is not in regard to what it brings one into (and, as others have noted, Scripture NEVER says it brings one into anything), but in that it is the clearly expressed will of the Lord Jesus for His disciples, and therefore should possess marked interest for all who desire His approval,” is that it distorts the meaning and purpose of God’s revealed will and therefore deceives the many who are captivated by his remarks.

Every single will or resolve of the Father expressed in the Bible has a purpose and ultimately a single-minded goal in view.

He never says: “OK you guys, listen up, this particular will or command of mine cannot benefit you in the very least. It has nothing to do with salvation or sanctification; it cannot bring you into my Kingdom; it cannot gain you access into the Body of Christ and it cannot bring you into the House of God. In fact it is completely impotent and cannot do anything for you. Nonetheless, you MUST obey it if you want to obtain my approval.” Really? REALLY???

A simple example will suffice. In 2 Peter 3:9 God expresses his will that none should perish but that all should come to repentance and be saved.

Any old Tom, Dick and Harry will tell you there is a magnanimously divine purpose in this.

His purpose is to grant everyone an opportunity to repent because it is his will that all of mankind, without exception, should enter into his Kingdom and the Body of Christ and the House of God.

No! saith the great Ironside, “To my mind the importance of it is not in regard to what it brings one into (and, as others have noted, Scripture NEVER says it brings one into anything), but in that it is the clearly expressed will of the Lord Jesus for His disciples, . . .”

But my dearest Lord Ironside, can’t you see that this was precisely why Jesus became man? “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8).

God’s entire plan, purpose and will for mankind is to get them all into his Kingdom and yet you demand that we adhere to a ritual that has absolutely no value whatsoever so that we may obtain his approval?

Even the most basic man-made command contained in a country’s constitution has a specific purpose and that is to benefit law abiding citizens and punish the lawbreakers.

But you, Mr. Ironside, demand that we keep a command that benefits no one. Really??? REALLY???

In that case we may as well desist from being baptised by immersion in water because it does not bring us into God’s Kingdom and neither does it bring us into hell.

What then is the expressed will of the Father and his only begotten Son?

Surely if their expressed will was the baptism by immersion in much water so that his disciples may obtain his approval (which replicates a works-based salvation, although many would deny it), then Luke 19:10 should rather read as follows, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost and to baptise them by immersion in great quantities of water so that they may obtain my Father’s approval.” Really? REALLY???

This borders on blasphemy because it denies the efficacy of Christ’s death on the cross, his burial and resurrection. Indeed, it suggests that you have to do something, albeit being baptised by immersion in water, to obtain his approval. Really? REALLY???

Fancy that, Ironside admits that baptism by immersion in water does not save but audaciously declares that it obtains God’s approval.

The result of his immoderate statement suggests that all who are not baptised by immersion in great quantities of water like rivers, dams, swimming pools and the likes, do not have God’s approval. Let’s briefly look more closely at the meaning of the word “approval.”

The Merriam Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus defines “approval” as follows:

  • the belief that something or someone is good or acceptable : a good opinion of someone or something
  • permission to do something : acceptance of an idea, action, plan, etc.

Adherents to baptism by immersion in water claim that converts who’d been washed in Christ’s blood (i.e. been saved) are the only approved candidates for baptism by immersion in water.

But wait a second. If salvation through the blood of Christ alone permits him/her entrance into the Kingdom of God, the House of God, and the Body of Christ because God deems them good and acceptable (suitable) for his Kingdom — through the blood of his Son, of course — what kind of approval does baptism by immersion in water offer the repentant sinner?

Is it a special kind of approval that surpasses and exceeds the approval repentant sinners receive who’d been washed and cleansed of all their sins in the blood of Christ? Let met put it this way. The blood of Jesus Christ’s gains God’s approval for repentant sinners to be “delivered . . . from the power of darkness, and . . . [to be]  translated  . . . into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). However, God’s approval of the repentant sinner is only ratified the moment he or she is baptised by immersion in a lot of water in public, AFTER they had been saved. Surely, this gives the “whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose” kind of baptism precedence over Jesus’ kind of baptism.

I hope you can see that, although the adherents to baptism by immersion in water proclaim that baptism has nothing to do with salvation, they are inadvertently or deliberately exalting baptism above salvation, because “it is the clearly expressed will of the Lord Jesus for His disciples (all those who’d already been saved), and therefore should possess marked interest for all who desire His approval.

If baptism by immersion in large quantities of water, like a river, a large tub, a swimming pool or whatever, was the will of Jesus Christ for his disciples [including Judas), the Holy Spirit would at least have mentioned it somewhere in Scripture.

The fact is, however, that there is no record in Scripture that any of the disciples went to John the Baptist to be baptised in the Jordan. (John 4:1-2).

Some may argue that the disciples must have been baptised because they themselves baptised new converts (Acts 8:35:39).

As matter of interest; If the phrase “come up out of the water” meant that the convert must be immersed in water and then come up out of the water, it would follow that both Philip and the eunuch were baptised, because Acts 8:39 clearly says that they both came up out of the water.

Among his band of disciples only Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, not to set the example of how future converts should be baptised, but to fulfil everything which He had come to accomplish (Matthew 3:13-17).

The righteousness Jesus had to fulfil (completely accomplish the right thing) was to end the old of which John the Baptist was the last prophet and to bring in the new.

Dr Ironside continues to write:

Baptism certainly is connected with the sphere of profession; that is not disputed, but insisted on; only let there be profession and not infantile unconsciousness.

The Word is simple: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal.3:27).

This can only be true of professed believers, who, in this act, publicly put on Christ, or, in other words, acknowledge Him as their Lord.

That it is not, properly speaking, a Church ordinance, but a Kingdom ordinance, I also admit and teach, because, unlike the Lord’s supper, baptism had a place before the Church began, and will have one after it has been taken to heaven; but whether tribulation saints will enter into its import as Christians can is very questionable. (Emphasis added)

Paul often used traditional military and traditional Roman dress codes to illustrate Christian values and truths. Most Christians are thoroughly accustomed with Ephesians 6 where he uses Roman body armour to describe the spiritual armour of God.

He uses something similar when describing what it means to be clothed with Christ in Galatians 3:27.

When a youth came of age in Roman society he was given a special toga which demonstrated that he earned the full rights of his family to be honoured as an adult.

The entire nation of Israel were kept under the disciplinary teaching of the Law and as such were regarded as children being tutored to receive Christ as their Messiah (verse 24).

Jesus Christ, having fulfilled the law (including the old Jewish law of baptism as it was administered by John the Baptist), has given us the right to no longer be regarded as children under the Law but as adult sons through faith, never to be reckoned again as being under a Jewish slave-guardian.

Paul reminded the Galatians Christians that they no longer needed to be UNDER the Law but that they had been COMPLETELY ENVELOPED (covered, clothed) with Jesus Christ (who had fulfilled the Law) the moment they were baptized into Him spiritually by the Holy Spirit.

What we need to discern is whether Paul was referring to the ordinance of baptism by immersion in water or spiritual baptism with the Holy Spirit into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, i.e. salvation proper.

Ironside seems to think it refers to the ordinance of baptism subsequent to salvation since he says it can only “be true of professed believers, who in this act [baptism], publically put on Christ, or, in other words acknowledge Him as their Lord.”

The act of baptism by immersion in water in public is therefore equal to the putting on of Christ like a new garment. Whoa! That’s dangerous, very dangerous it suggests that water baptism itself is salvation proper.

A more careful and thorough reading of the passage shows that Paul did not maintain that the putting on of Christ like a new garment occurs in public when the professed believer acknowledges Him as Lord through baptism.

Paul simply said: The moment you were baptized into Christ, that was the moment when you put on Christ.” (Isaiah 61:10). The verse says it so plainly and clearly in the Amplified Bible:

For as many [of you] as were baptized into Christ [into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah] have put on (clothed yourselves with) Christ.

Water baptism cannot possibly bring a repentant sinner into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Anointed One.

And yet Ironside seems to think so. Listen again carefully to what he says: “This (Galatians 3:27) can only be true of professed believers, who, in this act, publicly put on Christ, or, in other words, acknowledge Him as their Lord.”

He says in effect: “All who profess to believe in Jesus Christ (“infantile unconsciousness” cannot profess anything) can and will only put a stamp of approval on their professing faith (and thus obtain the aproval of God), and make it true when they publically put on Christ in this act (baptism by immersion in water) and thus declare Him to be their Lord.

Jesus Himself does not think too highly of people who profess to be believers and acknowledge Him as lord in public (Matthew 7:22).

I’m not suggesting that Ironside was lost. I am merely saying it is dangerous to propound something contrary to what Paul teaches in Galatians 3:27 because it can and does indeed mislead millions into an erroneous soteriology.

Paul never even once mentions that the putting on of Christ must of necessity take place in public.

Ironside sanctimoniously taps those who are guilty of eisegesis (to read something into the text that is not there) over the knuckles but fails to see his own eisegetical blunders.

Yes, of course, if the putting on of Christ is a baptismal ritual, then it must be done in the public eye, as all the adherents to baptism by immersion in water so demand.

However, if the putting on of Christ is salvation proper then it need not be in public. Most salvations occur in private where the repentant sinner is alone with God to reason with Him (Isaiah 1:18; Matthew 11:28).

Dr Ironside continues:

I am not wholly ignorant of what esteemed brethren? to whom I am indebted for much, have penned on “Household Baptism,” etc., though I remember that others, equally gifted and godly, have differed radically from them; so I would beware of following either unless I have a clear Scriptural basis for so doing.

I confess that while reading the books of the former, their theories seemed very plausible and had certain charms for me; but when I turned from their writings to the word of God I could not find the theories.

It seemed to me that they had read their teachings into Scripture, not out of it; rather eisegesis, than true exegesis. (Persons desirous of investigating the question of the baptism of children in households, in order to weigh what may be said for the practice, will find the leading arguments clearly and graciously stated in “Christian Baptism,” by Waiter Scott; “Reasons for my Faith as to Baptism,” and “A Review of Objections to Household Baptism,” by F.W.Grant. “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the others judge.” The principle, at least, of this verse is doubtless applicable here.)

I ask an equally careful comparison of my statements in the following pages with the unerring guide, the Word of Truth. ” Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. ”

H.A.IRONSIDE
Oakland, CA, April, 1901

The “esteemed brethren” who “have penned on ‘Household Baptism” are those who argue that the household baptism of Cornelius and his family must have included infants. Whether “infantile unconsciousness” forbids infants to be baptised, remains to be seen in the next edition of my series on “The Importance of Spiritual Baptism.” – Thomas Lessing

Read:  Importance of Spiritual Baptism (Part 2)

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166 comments to Importance of Spiritual Baptism (Part 1)

  • I never could understand why the greatest missionary of all time could say:

    I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.) For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. (1 Co 1:14-17)

    It seems as though Paul was saying that baptism has very little to do with the preaching of the Gospel or at least that baptism is not an essential part of the preaching of the Gospel. OK, we may argue that Paul was careful NOT to baptise Christians because it could lead to a situation where some would say, “Nah, nah, nah, nah naaah nah, Paul of Tarsus baptised me. Who baptised youuuuu?” The best thing to learn from this is that when you desire to be baptised by immersion, then don’t go to a well-known or celebrity preacher for your baptism. Rather go to a nobody. That would at least nip baptismal-highmindedness in the bud. The only problem then would be that you probably could not be baptised in public because non-celebrities do not operate in public. They usually baptise in the private confines of their homes, like Ananias.

    I, for one, was baptised as a baby and never again after that. And yet I do not lack any of the spiritual benefits Christians have who’d been baptised by immersion. I too have been baptised into the death of Jesus Christ the day He saved me (Romans 6:3-4). I too have been raised with Him into newness of life. I too am seated (in Him) with Him at the right hand of God. I too will be raptured by Him. I too will be judged at the Bema throne of judgment according to what I have done in this body. I too will return with Him to earth at his Second Coming after the seven years of tribulation on earth. I too will enter his blessed 1000 years Kingdom on earth, etc. etc. etc. So, as you can see, I am in no way behind or lacking in anything the immersed Christians possess. To sum up my situation as a non-immersed-baptised-dude I would like to quote these words:

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us (including me) in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, (Eph 1:3)

    “Every spiritual blessing” is every spiritual blessing.

    I never could understand why baptism per se needs to be a public announcement of my faith in Jesus Christ when I can simply tell people about my faith in Jesus Christ. If baptism is a public announcement of one’s faith in Jesus Christ then it should be done in public and not in a church where, I assume most people are supposed to be saved. The entire purpose of witnessing in public is to convince unbelievers that they need Christ. What would be more effective: a public baptismal occasion of which unbelievers do not understand the meaning in any case, or a verbally understandable testimony? Which of these is going to benefit the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Paul was not baptised in public. He was baptised in the confines of Ananias’ home in Damascus (Acts 9:17-18).

    I am NOT trying to discourage those who want to be baptised by immersion or those who’d already been baptised by immersion. All I am asking is that you acknowledge that I too have been gifted with all the spiritual blessings in heavenly places despite the fact that I haven’t been baptised by immersion. There is no difference between you and I. Or, perhaps there is a slight difference: You are wet sinners whilst I am a dry sinner.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Thomas

    lol, I love you Thomas! This is the thing, we get out spiritual gifts from high places the moment we are saved, not when we get baptised. So I totally acknowledged you.

  • Sally Forth

    The final authority is not the Apostle Paul, but the Lord Jesus Christ who said in Matthew 28:19

    Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, BAPTIZING them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

    Just because Paul did not do the baptizing does not mean that he thought it unnecessary. To give such an impression would seem to undermine the direct command from our Lord.

    Ultradispensationalists, and other groups discount the significance of water baptism while others go to the other extreme and say that it is essential for salvation. Neither position is biblically correct.

    Leading someone to the Lord is only the beginning and too often the new convert is not properly discipled and grounded in the faith and this includes baptism and a proper understanding of it. To consider it an option goes counter to the Lord’s final instructions to the Church.

  • Sharon

    Since I am a Baptist I can say…we do not believe that baptism is essential to salvation. The repentant thief on the cross didn’t have time to come down and be baptized.
    The Baptist preachers that I personally of have never taught that baptism was a part of salvation. Baptism as Deborah stated is an outward act of our inward faith in Christ Jesus.

    If a person is physically unable to be baptized they are still saved. IF the newly saved person is able to be baptized then after the pastor has talked with this person and explain what baptism means then they should be baptized. But if they choose not to be baptized they are just as much a Child of God Almighty as I am.

    The denomination that calls themselves “The Church of Christ” do believe that baptism is the only way a person can be saved. That is extreme heresy. When my grandfather was a child his parents were of this denomination.

    But thank God, someone witnessed to my grandfather and he chose to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior. He began reading the bible and realized that what he had been taught as a child was very wrong. In time God chose to call my grandfather to preach the simple and glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.
    I am so thankful for my grandfather’s salvation, being called to preach and pastor for over 60 years. Had he not received Jesus as Savior I most likely would not be saved.

    My grandfather never preached that one had to be baptized to be saved. My brother has never preached you have to be baptized to be saved. My pastor doesn’t preach that one must be baptized to be saved.

    Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
    Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    That is salvation.

  • Sally Forth wrote:

    The final authority is not the Apostle Paul, but the Lord Jesus Christ who said in Matthew 28:19

    Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, BAPTIZING them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

    Paul received the Gospel directly from Jesus Christ which gives all his statements great authority. Or was he being disobedient? I was merely trying to explain that I have no shortcomings in the blessings God bestows on those who have been baptized by immersion. Or is there something I am missing out on?

    Was Paul baptised by immersion? The text in Acts 9 doesn’t seem to say so. It simply says that Paul arose (stood up) and was baptized. He was probably seated on a chair or on his knees when he stood up (arose) to be baptized. It does not say that he was immersed in much water.

    Surely, if Paul had been of the opinion that baptism was an essential part of the Gospel, he would have baptised all his converts. Paul was not the final authority; we all know that. But, he could say with confidence “Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.” (1 Ti 2:7). To speak the truth in Christ you must bear the authority of Christ, which Paul surely had, I would dare to assume.

    When I was saved by the grace of God I was BAPTIZED into the Name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It simply means that I was immersed into everthing the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit entails and represents – their righteousness, their holiness, heir love, and their truth. Had I been immersed in water at that particular time, water baptism would not have added anything to which I had already received by faith in Jesus Christ. I received forgiveness for my sins and the FULLNESS of his Holy Spirit. This all happened when I received the Living Water (Holy Spirit) by faith alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. This is precisely what happened to one of the scoundrels who was crucified next to Jesus.

    Some Christians seem to believe that they are missing out on something when they are not baptised by immersion. I have heard many Christians mentioning first and foremost their baptism when I ask them how they were saved. “Would you mind telling me how you were saved?” Then the answer comes “Oh I was baptized by immersion.” No, they do not regard their baptism to be their salvation but they do see it as a signal or sign of their salvation.

  • Sharon wrote:

    Since I am a Baptist I can say . . . we do not believe that baptism is essential to salvation.

    If baptism is not essential to salvation, what then is its purpose? It doesn’t save sinners; it doesn’t sanctify them and neither can it be seen as a witness to unbelievers, unless unblievers are told beforehand what the meaning of it is. Some say it is an outward act of our inward faith in Christ. Unless I am wrong I don’t see anything where it says this in the Bible. What I do see is that when Paul speaks of being baptised into the death of Jesus Christ that the mind (your reasoning) comes into play.

    What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 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. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 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. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:1-11)

    “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death” seems to suggest water baptism by immersion. The problem is that water cannot immerse you into the death of Christ and the passage categorically states that we are buried by baptism (immersion into the death of Christ). So the baptism here must refer to spiritual baptism into Christ’s death through the mighty work of the Holy Spirit the moment a repentant sinner puts his/her trust in Jesus.

    I have noticed that when Christians speak about being baptized into the death of Christ, they automatically refer to water baptism. They rarely mention the crux of this passage which is this: “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” To reckon yourself dead unto sin is the genuine outcome and reason for being baptised into the death of Christ. If we do not continually reckon ourselves to having been baptized into Christ’s death (which is a spiritual and not a physical thing like baptism), then our water baptism means nothing. Our outward act of our inward faith, therefore, is not a once-off act of baptism by immersion but a continual inward reckoning that we have been crucified unto sin, our own desires, and the world and its dainties.

    I’m sorry but water baptism by immersion has become an entertainment manoeuvre to make the so-called pastors (charlatans) look and feel good. It already began in Paul’s time (many bad things began in his time) and that’s why he said: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”

    Indeed, the final authority is not the Apostle Paul, but the Lord Jesus Christ and that is why Jesus Christ gave Paul the authority not to baptize but to preach the Gospel. (1 Corinthians 1:17).

  • Claudia

    Amen, Thomas.

  • Sally Forth

    With all due respect, there seems to be some confusion between the baptism of the Holy Spirit which occurs at the moment one makes the decision to receive Christ and the ordinance of water baptism.

    When Jesus gave the Great Commission, He was not telling His followers to impart the baptism of the Holy Spirit because no man can do that, it is entirely an act of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was referring to the physical act of water baptism which goes hand in hand with discipleship of a new believer and is a picture of what has occurred by faith in the heart of the new believer.

    To downplay the importance of water baptism by immersion is to undermine biblical truth. There are two basic extreme schools of thought regarding the topic of water baptism. Ultradispensationalists believe water baptism is of little or no significance as well as the Lord’s Supper and the baptismal regenerationists consider it to be necessary for salvation. Both positions are incorrect.
    Those who profess to be born again and say they have no need of baptism; that baptism, since it is not essential for salvation, is of little or no value or place in the life of the believer – in essence ignore the Great Commission, “marching orders” given by our Lord. Not so with Saul of Tarsus, as he was immediately baptized, and began to tell the good news of salvation.
    Thomas said:

    Was Paul baptised by immersion? The text in Acts 9 doesn’t seem to say so. It simply says that Paul arose (stood up) and was baptized. He was probably seated on a chair or on his knees when he stood up (arose) to be baptized. It does not say that he was immersed in much water.

    This is a leap right over a cliff. Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan, immersed – He set the example. The very definition of “baptize” means to immerse. The Apostle Paul would surely have followed the Lord’s example of being baptized – to suggest otherwise is to suggest he was “baptized” unbiblically.

    The apostle Paul wrote that baptism is a burial (Romans 6:4), and that’s why both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and came up out of the water.

    “…then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water…”
    Acts 8:38-39
    The word “baptize” signified that Saul/Paul was immersed when baptized at Damascus. This is confirmed in Romans 6: 3-4 and Colossians 2:12; 3: 1, where he refers to the ordinance and shows its symbolic and spiritual meaning, as well as a practical calling for the believer to a godly life honoring the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Buried with Christ in baptism – raised up also with Him – to walk in newness of life, having our hope set on Christ at the right hand of God – these are the words of the Apostle Paul and clearly demonstrate his position on water baptism. The spiritual is expressed in the physical act. It is the testimony of believers being in Christ and Christ in them the hope of glory. This is its meaning, whether for Saul of Tarsus, for believers at Rome and Colossae, to whom he was writing, or for all who would come after, even to our own times.
    What does the word itself mean? The word “Baptize” means “To dip under water” The Greek work “Baptizo” means “To immerse or dip under water”. It best symbolizes a burial and resurrection! Other modes of “baptism” do not accomplish this.

    “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death…”
    Romans 6:4a

    Thomas said:

    Had I been immersed in water at that particular time, water baptism would not have added anything to which I had already received by faith in Jesus Christ.

    Water baptism does not add anything to our salvation. But our Lord commanded believer’s baptism for a purpose. To use the thief on the cross as an example that one doesn’t need to be baptized is inappropriate. That example is proof that baptism doesn’t save, but it does not negate the Lord’s command for believers to take the step of baptism. The thief did not have the opportunity to be discipled and grow in the Lord, but that does not negate the need for discipleship.
    Thomas said:

    Some Christians seem to believe that they are missing out on something when they are not baptised by immersion. I have heard many Christians mentioning first and foremost their baptism when I ask them how they were saved. “Would you mind telling me how you were saved?” Then the answer comes “Oh I was baptized by immersion.” No, they do not regard their baptism to be their salvation but they do see it as a signal or sign of their salvation.

    Those who respond to the question posed by saying they were baptized do not have a proper understanding of the Gospel and most likely believe in baptismal regeneration. I know people like that and it is a red flag waving. They are in great danger because they may not be saved at all if they are equating baptism with their salvation.

    Baptism expresses, symbolically, the redeeming acts of Christ; immersion equals death, submersion equals burial; emergence equals resurrection. The lifting of the person from out of the water is not only a physical necessity, but also completes the picture, showing Christ risen from the dead and the believer risen with Him. When properly understood and explained, water baptism is a testimony to the faith of the believer, and all believers and those observing.

    To answer the question as to why the Apostle Paul apparently did not consider it his role to baptize requires that we look at it in context.

    For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void. (1 Corinthians 1:14-17)

    His primary role was to spread the Gospel message and move on and leave the discipling and baptisms to others. He shared truths with those under his care through letters of instruction.

    Factions were a problem in the Church and there is always a tendency for people to honor status. Paul didn’t want to risk people thinking their baptism was more special than somebody else’s because they had been baptized by him when all glory should go to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one would say you were baptized in my name. Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other.

    Thank you Deborah for posting this article. It is an important issue for all believers. For believers who cannot find a church it may pose a problem to find a way to be baptized, but if the desire is there, the Lord will provide some way. If it is not possible, the Lord knows the desire of the heart and will honor that.

  • Sally Forth

    Thomas said:

    I’m sorry but water baptism by immersion has become an entertainment manoeuvre to make the so-called pastors (charlatans) look and feel good. It already began in Paul’s time (many bad things began in his time) and that’s why he said: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”

    Just because there is abuse of an ordinance is no justification for abandoning it. Sadly, the nature of man, has always been to taint the Word of God and pervert what is meant to be holy.

    Water baptism DOES have a purpose or the Lord Jesus would not have ordained it and provided an example for us!

    He calls us to preach the Gospel AND disciple AND baptize in water AFTER we have been baptized by the Holy Spirit that brings about an INNER change.

  • Sally Forth wrote:

    To downplay the importance of water baptism by immersion is to undermine biblical truth. There are two basic extreme schools of thought regarding the topic of water baptism. Ultradispensationalists believe water baptism is of little or no significance as well as the Lord’s Supper and the baptismal regenerationists consider it to be necessary for salvation. Both positions are incorrect.

    Those who profess to be born again and say they have no need of baptism; that baptism, since it is not essential for salvation, is of little or no value or place in the life of the believer – in essence ignore the Great Commission, “marching orders” given by our Lord. Not so with Saul of Tarsus, as he was immediately baptized, and began to tell the good news of salvation.

    Thomas said:
    Was Paul baptised by immersion? The text in Acts 9 doesn’t seem to say so. It simply says that Paul arose (stood up) and was baptized. He was probably seated on a chair or on his knees when he stood up (arose) to be baptized. It does not say that he was immersed in much water.

    This is a leap right over a cliff. Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan, immersed – He set the example. The very definition of “baptize” means to immerse. The Apostle Paul would surely have followed the Lord’s example of being baptized – to suggest otherwise is to suggest he was “baptized” unbiblically.

    If Jesus set the example for water baptism by immersion in the Jordan River, then we would again have to revert to John the Baptist’s baptism because He was baptized with John’s baptism. Why? Because He had to fulfil all righteousness (Matthew 3:15). If He had already fulfilled God’s righteousness in John the Baptist’s baptism, why then do we need to do the same? “Fulfilled” means “it is finished,” “klaar,” “accomplished,” “brought to perfection.” If this is so, we can and have nothing to add to it. The only reason why Jesus had to be baptized with John’s baptism by immersion in the Jordan River was so that He could fulfil God’s righteousness.

    In fulfilling God’s righteousness in John the Baptist’s baptism, He had brought to a close the old in order to bring in the new. When Jesus came to John for his baptism by immersion in the Jordan River John said: “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (Matthew 3:14). What he actually meant was: “I need to be baptized by you with your kind of baptism (with the Holy Spirit) and yet you come to me to be baptized in the Jewish way, i.e. water baptism by immersion?” Of course John the Baptist could not have received Jesus’ baptism with the Holy Ghost because He had not been crucified and risen from the dead as yet. Nonetheless, this is what John meant when he said these words.

    What was the old form of baptism and was there any righteousness in it? It was a common practice among the Jews to baptize by immersion in water all proselytes who had been converted to Judaism. Circumcision usually accompanied this ceremony. Only heathen proselytes were baptized in this way. Jews and Jewesses and even the children of the proselytes were never baptized because these were considered as born into (immersed in) the covenant and had no need of their particular kind of baptism for the proselytes.

    Sounds familiar, doesn’t it, when you take another peek at Calvinism. Nevertheless, this was the belief among Jews when John the Baptist appeared on the scene and began to baptize Jews left, right and centre without the authority and permission of the Jewish Sanhedrin. Hence the Pharisees commanding question: “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” They were saying in effect: “If you are baptizing Jews who have no need of baptism because they are already born into (immersed in) the covenant, then you must either be the Messiah or Elijah because only their authority supersedes and overrules the Sanhedrin’s authority.” Was there any righteousness in their kind of baptism? Of course not because they made a distinction between the heathen who supposedly needed to be baptized into the covenant whilst the Jews did not need baptism because they were supposedly already immersed in the covenant by birth, and thus already saved (righteous with God).

    Jesus’ baptism by immersion in the Jordan River, which the Jews had been doing all along with the proselytes, was to prove that their particular baptism was unrighteous (not right with God) and that He, in the fulfilment of God’s righteousness, by virtue of John the Baptist’s baptism, whose baptism was a baptism unto repentance of sin, was indeed the accepted ANTICIPATORY baptism to the genuine baptism which God has ordained – the baptism with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

    And now, some thoughts on the baptism with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Some argue that the baptism with fire refers to God’s judgment on unbelievers. I tend to think that this is not the case. Having seen and heard in Romans 6 that baptism relates to a death and resurrection, we may safely assume that the baptism of the Holy Spirit and with fire can both be applied to Jesus Chris’s death (crucifixion) and resurrection.

    Jesus Christ is our Burnt Offering, the only offering in the Old Testament that was completely devoured by fire, signifying Jesus Christ’s complete dedication to the will of his Father. As such, and in identification with Christ, the believer must also see himself/herself as having been offered (sacrificed) in Christ our Burnt Offering to God in complete dedication to God’s will.

    If Paul, as you said, would surely have followed the Lord’s example of being baptized by immersion in the Jordan Riover, he would have had to revert to John the Baptist’s baptism because Jesus was baptized with John’s baptism to fulfil God’s righteousness. Like Paul we do not and cannot fulfil God’s righteousness. It is a fait accompli, so much so that we now immediately can be baptized with the Holy Spirit (the Living Water) and with fire the moment we receive Jesus Christ as our Saviour through faith alone. Hence the exhortation:

    Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. (Rom 6:13).

    Sally Forth wrote:

    Those who profess to be born again and say they have no need of baptism; that baptism, since it is not essential for salvation, is of little or no value or place in the life of the believer – in essence ignore the Great Commission, “marching orders” given by our Lord.

    Are you saying that those who profess to be born again are usually the ones who say they do not need baptism, or are you implying that those who say they do not need baptism are merely professing Christians and not genuinely saved? This is a dangerous statement, to say the least, because it gives the impression that baptism is necessary to validate one’s salvation. You may say that baptism is not necessary for salvation but in the same breath you suggest that only the genuinely saved Christians admit that baptism is a necessary part of one’s salvation. No wonder you are a little confused.

    Someone expressed the concern that they have nowhere to go for their baptism for fear of being baptised by a false teacher, a charlatan or whatever. I have the same concern. I am thinking in terms of everything that goes hand in hand with baptism these days – slain in the spirit, speaking in tongues, (most do not even know what they are saying and may even be cursing God), and the phenomenon of impartation. Let’s assume Pastor X is a wonderful guy. Oh, he is so solid in his doctrine and his ways that you can refer him to anyone for baptism. But, Pastor X has visited a preacher some ten years ago and was slain in the spirit. Will you go to him for your baptism? OK, you may not think it such a big issue but remember this; as soon as he lays his hands on you he may just be imparting to you the same spirit that entered him when he was slain in the spirit.

  • Sally Forth

    I never said at ANY time that water baptism is essential for salvation. In fact, I emphasized that it is NOT a work for salvation. Salvation is by faith ONLY. I never even hinted that water baptism is legalism. I clearly pointed out the error of baptismal regeneration. I am utterly astounded that my comment was misunderstood as I labored to make it clear.

    I never said that there is a double standard. If you are going to accuse me of that you are going to have to accuse our Lord Jesus because the thief on the cross was not baptized and there are certainly death bed professions where baptism is not possible or certain illnesses. This is because of God’s GRACE and that we are NOT under law!

    I pointed out the mandate of our Lord Jesus, the Great Commission which includes water baptism. He wasn’t setting up a new law, He was establishing an order, convert and disciple, which includes the step of baptism. As I pointed out, the Apostle Paul explained the beautiful picture that immersion depicts of the death, burial and resurrection as we identify with our Lord.

    I don’t believe that I am not the one who is confused here. I am not a legalist. I know what grace is and treasure it and am a sinner saved by it. My Lord did it ALL on the cross and He said it is finished! But I took the step of baptism because I wanted to obey Him and identify with Him, just as I want to live for Him and obey Him. That doesn’t make my obedience a work of salvation! It is because I LOVE Him and want to serve Him. I can’t imagine why any believer would not want to follow the Lord in water baptism and further try to undermine it. Sorry, but I cannot relate to this line of thinking.

    To disregard or discount the ordinance of water baptism clearly stated in the Word is to be disobedient in my opinion. But our God is a God of grace. Water baptism is not a law – it is to benefit the believer and to commemorate what has ALREADY occured in the life of the believer.

    Unless I missed it, I don’t see the Lord’s Great Commission addressed in this discussion. It seems clear to me.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Sally

    >> it is to benefit the believer

    How does it benefit the believer?

  • I have said it earlier and would like to repeat it here. I do not discourage Christians who feel they want to be baptized by immersion in water. But guess what?

    The one thief next to Jesus on the cross who repented was immediately baptized (by immersion) into the fulness of God and that makes me happy.

    May I say one thing more. Sally wrote:

    The apostle Paul wrote that baptism is a burial (Romans 6:4), and that’s why both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and came up out of the water.

    “…then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water…” Acts 8:38-39

    – See more at: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2013/10/28/importance-baptism/#more-16678

    Surely the expression “then Philip and the man went down into the water . . .” simply means that they both waded into the water where Philip baptized the Ethiopian. It does not say that the Ethiopian was immersed in the water. Had “went down into the water” meant immersion then Philip too was immersed because the verse clearly says that they both went into the water.

    All I am asking is for those who have been baptised by immersion in water not to deem those who haven’t been baptized in this way to be professing Christians who are lost. Sally has already suggested something like that and it makes me sad.

    He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mar 16:16)

    The second part of the verse simply says that those who do not believe are damned and not that those who do not believe and are not baptised are damned.

    And with that I close my case.

  • Sally Forth

    Thomas, are you an advocate of other modes of baptism other than immersion? ONLY immersion is a true picture of the death, burial and resurrection. Pouring or sprinkling are not. Immersion is biblical, the other modes are not. Would you not agree? Why do you keep suggesting the possibility that the unuch or the Apostle Paul were baptized other than by immersion? The very word “baptize” limits the method to immersion.

    There should be no pride whatsoever in baptism. Where did I suggest such a thing? It would be ludicrous for someone to be prideful that they were baptized. It is in fact a surrender or should be.

    Another point where baptism is important. When one comes from a false religion such as Roman Catholism, the new convert needs to learn biblical baptism and the error of infant baptism. Missionaries report that many new converts have difficulty breaking free from their past and by taking the step of believer’s baptism it helps tremendously to break the ties from the false religion. Conversion is instantaneous, but discipleship is a process. If taught properly the new convert understands it is not an issue of their salvation. I seem to have to emphasize that over and over again.

    Deborah asked what benefit there is for believer’s baptism? There is a benefit in every act of obedience to the Lord. It is a way for the believer to give glory to the Lord. Also, one could ask what benefit is there for taking communion. Among other things it reminds us of the sacrifice our Lord made for us. We don’t do it to get any benefit, or that should not be our motivation, but there is blessing in obedience and a clear conscience.

    I don’t see how one can read the Great Commission and take a “okay if you do and okay if you don’t” approach to believer’s baptism. There may be instances due to physical infirmity or isolated circumstances, but that should be the exception. I witnessed once when a crippled man was not able to get down into the bapistry and the pastor had to modify the mode of baptism, but if that man was able, he would have been more than willing to get into the water. I have seen an 80 year old frail lady go into the waters of baptism, aided and protected by men. It was a beautiful picture. Water baptism is a beautiful picture of what our Lord did for us. Whether there is a crowd present or just family, it is a witness to one’s faith.

  • Sally:

    Thomas, are you an advocate of other modes of baptism other than immersion? ONLY immersion is a true picture of the death, burial and resurrection. Pouring or sprinkling are not. Immersion is biblical, the other modes are not. Would you not agree? Why do you keep suggesting the possibility that the unuch or the Apostle Paul were baptized other than by immersion? The very word “baptize” limits the method to immersion.

    Sally, stop seeing only water when you hear the word immersion. Romans 6 to which you frequently refer, does not mention water even once. The immersion here is an immersion into death. (Romans 6:4).

    Why can’t you understand John’s words in Matthew 13? “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. (Matthew 3:11). Only the Holy Spirit can baptize ((immerse) repentant sinners into Jesus Christ’s death. Water baptism by immersion was John the Baptist’s baptism and NOT Jesus Christ’s baptism. Can’t you see that?

    You keep on saying that baptism is a symbol of one’s death and resurrection. Symbols cannot and never have brought sinners to Christ. So, what’s the point in clinging to symbols? What if someone like myself have not been immersed in water, does that make your symbolized death and resurrection any better than my immersion in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Does your symbolized death and resurrection make you a better witness than I? Oh, I forgot, you have labelled me a professing Christian because I have not been immersed in water. So I cannot use that as an argument, can I?

    Sally:

    There should be no pride whatsoever in baptism. Where did I suggest such a thing? It would be ludicrous for someone to be prideful that they were baptized. It is in fact a surrender or should be.

    I never once used the word pride in my rebuttal. I merely asked whether the immersed in water Christians have received something special whilst the non-immersed in water do not receive that something special. You haven’t answered me.

    Sally:

    “Another point where baptism is important. When one comes from a false religion such as Roman Catholism, the new convert needs to learn biblical baptism and the error of infant baptism. Missionaries report that many new converts have difficulty breaking free from their past and by taking the step of believer’s baptism it helps tremendously to break the ties from the false religion. Conversion is instantaneous, but discipleship is a process. If taught properly the new convert understands it is not an issue of their salvation. I seem to have to emphasize that over and over again.”

    No Sally, the ex-Roman Catholic must learn how to be saved (how to genuinely be immersed in the fullness of God, including his death and resurrection), because Catholics have a false soteriology. Conversion from one church to another is NOT conversion and neither is conversion from infant baptism to immersed baptism true conversion.

    To say that the believer’s baptism helps new converts to break free from the past and all ties from the false religion is an affront to the Name of Jesus Christ. Christ alone can break the sinner’s ties with his past (1 John 3:8). With such a statement you are actually attributing salvific properties to immersed baptism in water.

    You really don’t have to tell me that conversion is instantaneous and that discipleship is a process. I already know that. What you don’t seem to know is that discipleship is not just about telling new converts about the right and wrong way of baptism. It is more about telling them how to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him. Do that and you will be making a genuine contribution to the making of disciples?

    Sally:

    Deborah asked what benefit there is for believer’s baptism? There is a benefit in every act of obedience to the Lord. It is a way for the believer to give glory to the Lord. Also, one could ask what benefit is there for taking communion. Among other things it reminds us of the sacrifice our Lord made for us. We don’t do it to get any benefit, or that should not be our motivation, but there is blessing in obedience and a clear conscience.

    You still haven’t told us what that benefit is. Yes, you allege that it gives glory to God. If baptism gives glory to God then you should at least acknowledge that water baptism by immersion was John the Baptist’s way of baptism and that Jesus Christ’s baptism has superseded it. (Matthew 3:11). To cling to the old is definitely not giving God any glory.

    I suppose you are going to tell us that there is a right and a wrong way to celebrate Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Drinking from a large beaker is correct and from small cups is wrong?

    Sally:

    I don’t see how one can read the Great Commission and take a “okay if you do and okay if you don’t” approach to believer’s baptism. There may be instances due to physical infirmity or isolated circumstances, but that should be the exception. I witnessed once when a crippled man was not able to get down into the bapistry and the pastor had to modify the mode of baptism, but if that man was able, he would have been more than willing to get into the water. I have seen an 80 year old frail lady go into the waters of baptism, aided and protected by men. It was a beautiful picture. Water baptism is a beautiful picture of what our Lord did for us. Whether there is a crowd present or just family, it is a witness to one’s faith.

    Paul of Tarsus doesn’t seem to have taken the Great Commission very seriously when he, at the behest and command of his Master, did not baptize most of his converts but merely preached the Gospel to them. (1 Corinthians 1: 17). Paul must have known that when he preached the Gospel and sinners came to Christ for their salvation that the Holy Spirit was the ONE who did the baptizing (immersion) part when He baptized them into Jesus and his death and resurrection.

    Your argument that physical infirmities OK’s sprinkling with water and strong and healthy physics OK’s immersion in water is very poor to say the least. I would rather say that the infirmed are blessed with exactly the same blessings as the healthy because both are immersed in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in exactly the same way the moment they are saved. And that, my dear friend, is the difference between water baptism (John’s baptism) and the baptism with the Holy Ghost and with fire (Jesus Christ’s baptism). I does not diffrentiate between people. People getting saved and being baptised into the death and resurrection of Jesus Chrrist, to me, is not just a beautiful picture. It is a miracle.

    Thank you for you insights. I’m done!

  • Sally Forth

    Thomas, with this I am done as well. You have confused the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at conversion with the ordinance of water baptism that our Lord has ordained to take place after one has been saved.

    I have explained that the Apostle Paul did not discount water baptism and the reason he did not baptize but delegated it to someone else was to avoid causing factions in the Church.

    With all due respect, you do not understand the significance of John the Baptist’s ministry to the Jewish people and Christ’s instructions to the Church. Apparently you believe that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit replaced water baptism and that Paul considered it less than important. This is exactly the way that ultra/hyper dispensationalists believe. You have not indicated if you believe that the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper is valid for today.

    My dear brother, these are lies from the very pit. I am sorry to be so blunt, but this is very serious and it deeply concerns me. I am concerned for you in this vein of thinking. I do not mean to come across as arrogant and a know-it-all, because you are no doubt a much better student of the Word than I am. But of this topic I am certain with all my heart.

    I used the example of the crippled man who could not enter the waters of baptism and you turned it into something profane. My intention was to demonstrate the grace of God. The man had already been baptized in the Holy Spirit and saved by grace and faith. He wished to be obedient to the Lord in water baptism but was unable to do so. My reason for the example was to show that it was what was in the man’s heart that mattered to God, not that he wasn’t able to be immersed. You then still confused the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at conversion with water baptism by immersion.

    As for the Roman Catholic converts, the pastor/evangelists who led them to the Lord and He baptized them with the Holy Spirit then labor to mentor and disciple them and grow them in their faith know more about this than you or I do. Water baptism is a huge step for them due to overcoming their past. These are pastors who know the true Gospel and defend it with their very lives. They know of what they speak. Water baptism is not all they talk about with new converts – they teach them the Bible and sound doctrine. There is a reason that our Lord instructed evangelists/pastors to baptize believers.

    There is no point in continuing. I do hope that anyone reading this discourse will get the true meaning. Deborah’s article is correct and I hope she lets it stand as written.

  • Sally

    Thomas, with this I am done as well. You have confused the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at conversion with the ordinance of water baptism that our Lord has ordained to take place after one has been saved.

    Sally, when does the baptism of the Holy Spirit take place?

  • Sally wrote:

    I have explained that the Apostle Paul did not discount water baptism and the reason he did not baptize but delegated it to someone else was to avoid causing factions in the Church.

    So, what you are actually saying, is that Paul had a reason to disobey Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19. He would rather have someone else causing factions in the church than himself. In any case that’s not the reason Paul himself provided for his reluctance to baptize new converts. Why didn’t Peter or John or James delegate the perfomance of baptism to others so as not to cause factions in the church? They were just as famous and well-known in the church as Paul.

    By the way, Paul was the one who said it is a good thing for factions to occur in the church. Why then would he have wanted to avoid factions?

    or doubtless there have to be factions or parties among you in order that they who are genuine and of approved fitness may become evident and plainly recognized among you. (1 Cor 11:19)

  • Sally Forth

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    Sally
    Thomas, with this I am done as well. You have confused the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at conversion with the ordinance of water baptism that our Lord has ordained to take place after one has been saved.Sally, when does the baptism of the Holy Spirit take place?

    At the moment one receives the Lord as Savior.

  • Sally Forth

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    Sally wrote:
    I have explained that the Apostle Paul did not discount water baptism and the reason he did not baptize but delegated it to someone else was to avoid causing factions in the Church.So, what you are actually saying, is that Paul had a reason to disobey Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19. He would rather have someone else causing factions in the church than himself. In any case that’s not the reason Paul himself provided for his reluctance to baptize new converts. Why didn’t Peter or John or James delegate the perfomance of baptism to others so as not to cause factions in the church? They were just as famous and well-known in the church as Paul.
    By the way, Paul was the one who said it is a good thing for factions to occur in the church. Why then would he have wanted to avoid factions?
    or doubtless there have to be factions or parties among you in order that they who are genuine and of approved fitness may become evident and plainly recognized among you. (1 Cor 11:19)

    Paul did not disobey the Lord Jesus. As I said before, his major role was to share the Gospel and left the discipling to others. He was an evangelist. Just because he did not do the baptizing himself does not mean that it was not done.

    As for the other issue, he didn’t want to risk causing problems amongst the congregation by people being caught up in being baptized by him as a prominent figure in the Church. It could have been a distraction.

  • Sharon

    Small comment. The word BAPTISM comes from the Greek word BAPTISMO which means to plunge or immerse in water. It adds nothing to our salvation other than it is the very first act of obedience we should do if one is physically able.

    As far as the thief on the cross. That is the perfect example of baptism having nothing to do with salvation. Besides where would there be found water that is pure enough to wash away sins?

    Simply put from a simple mind like mine, Jesus’ blood atoned for the sins of ALL mankind, even for a woman like me. His blood made me clean and being baptized was a witness to those who were present that I AM SAVED.

  • Sally Forth wrote:

    At the moment one receives the Lord as Saviour.

    Well, if the baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire occurs at the moment of rebirth (Jesus Christ’s baptism which you cannot see), why do you revert to water baptism (John the Baptist’s baptism, something you can see) subsequent to the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire? You are teaching people to live by sight and not by faith (Hebrews 10:38). You may say that baptism by immersion is not necessary for one’s salvation and yet you say it is important because you are obeying Christ. In fact, you are being double-minded when you say, No it is not important for salvation, and then, Yes, in some way you are obeying Christ.

    Which of the two baptisms witnesses to the fact that you have been saved: Jesus Christ’s baptism with the Holy Spirit and with fire which only the Holy Spirit administers to a repentant sinner OR John the Baptist’s baptism with water which any charlatan, false teacher, false prophet, Tom, Dick and Harry etc. etc. etc. can administer?

    Both you and Deborah have said: “Baptism symbolises the Christians’ identification with Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, burial, and resurrection.” I don’t see this being said anywhere in Scripture. Paul merely said that John’s baptism is a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. He did not say that it symbolises the Christian’s identification with Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, burial and resurrection. (Mark 1:4; Acts 19:4). How could it when Jesus hadn’t even been crucified, buried and raised from the dead when John was baptizing in the desert region? If John the Baptist’s baptism by immersion in water was a symbol of Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, then surely the Holy Spirit and Paul would have said so.

    Wait a sec. Doesn’t Paul say so in Romans 6:4: “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.” It doesn’t in the very least suggest that “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism in water into death.” Paul simply says that we have been buried with Him by being immersed into death, and that, as you have acknowledged happens the moment one receives the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.

    Walvoord and Zuck says:

    1:4. In fulfilment of the preceding prophecy, John came (egeneto, “appeared”) on the stage of history as the last Old Testament prophet (cf. Luke 7:24-28; 16:16), signalling a turning point in God’s dealings with mankind. John was baptizing in the desert region (erēmo, dry, uninhabited country) and preaching a baptism of repentance. The word “preaching” (kērussōn) could be rendered “proclaiming as a herald,” appropriate in light of the prediction in Mark 1:2-3.

    John’s baptism was no innovation since Jews required Gentiles wanting to be admitted into Judaism to be baptized by self-immersion. The startling new element was that John’s baptism was designed for God’s covenant people, the Jews, and it required their repentance in view of the coming Messiah (cf. Matt. 3:2).

    This baptism is described as one relating to or expressive of repentance for (eis) the forgiveness of sins. The Greek preposition eis could be referential (“with reference to”) or purpose (“leading to”) but probably not cause (“on account of”). “Repentance” (metanoia) occurs in Mark only here. It means “a turnabout, a deliberate change of mind resulting in a change of direction in thought and behaviour” (cf. Matt. 3:8; 1 Thes. 1:9).

    Ironically, John the Baptist’s baptism precedes salvation and does not follow it as a symbol of death, burial and resurrection. Mark 1:4 says: “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance FOR (in order to receive) the remission of sins (salvation).”

    So, to say that John the Baptist’s baptism, which God designed explicitly for his covenant people. the Jews, as a transition from the old to the new, is a symbol of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection is totally wrong. It is merely a symbol of repentance UNTO the forgiveness of sins (salvation). So, next time you attend a baptismal ceremony tell your Pastor that he should rather baptise people BEFORE their salvation because John the Baptist’s baptism was merely a Jew’s acknowledgment that he wanted or desired to be saved through his/her repentance (a change of mind for the better). The baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire is of itself perfect salvation.

  • Sally Forth wrote:

    Paul did not disobey the Lord Jesus. As I said before, his major role was to share the Gospel and left the discipling to others. He was an evangelist. Just because he did not do the baptizing himself does not mean that it was not done.

    As for the other issue, he didn’t want to risk causing problems amongst the congregation by people being caught up in being baptized by him as a prominent figure in the Church. It could have been a distraction.

    You’re not listening. I asked: wasn’t Peter, John, James and the rest just as prominent as Paul? If so, why didn’t they too refrain from baptizing new converts, allegedly to avoid factions in the church?

  • Sharon

    Small comment. The word BAPTISM comes from the Greek word BAPTISMO which means to plunge or immerse in water. It adds nothing to our salvation other than it is the very first act of obedience we should do if one is physically able.

    I don’t see any “water” in Romans 6:4 – only death. Therefore you can’t always associate BAPTISMO with water. You say so because you have been taught to say so. Let’s rather search the Scriptures.

    John the Baptist’s baptism was a witness to the Jews (who believed they were saved because they’d been born into the covenant) that they were indeed NOT saved and that they urgently wanted to be saved.

    John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance FOR the remission of sins. (Mark 1:4)

  • Dan

    Thank you Debs for this article. The IVP Bible background Commentary states the following on Rom 6: 1–5
    “For Jewish people, baptism was the act by which non-Jews converted to Judaism, the final removal of Gentile impurity; by it one turned one’s back on life in paganism and sin, vowed to follow God’s commandments, and became a new person with regard to Jewish law. A person who became a follower of Jesus likewise gave up his or her old life; through participation with Christ’s death, Paul says, their death to the old life in sin, which was crucified in Christ, is an accomplished fact.”

    Could it be that water baptism (immersion) served indeed as a witness to the Jews as Thomas pointed out?

  • Dan

    My apologies, the last sentence should read: “Could it be that water baptism (immersion) SERVES as a witness to the Jews….”

  • Sally Forth

    Thomas said:

    Well, if the baptism with the Holy Spirit AND FIRE occurs at the moment of rebirth (Jesus Christ’s baptism which you cannot see), why do you REVERT to water baptism (John the Baptist’s baptism, something you can see) subsequent to the baptism of the Holy Spirit AND FIRE ? YOU ARE TEACHING PEOPLE TO LIVE BY SIGHT AND NOT BY FAITH.(Hebrews 10:38). You may say that baptism by immersion is not necessary for one’s salvation and yet you say it is important because you are obeying Christ. In fact, you are being double-minded when you say, No it is not important for salvation, and then, Yes, in some way you are obeying Christ.

    Which of the two baptisms witnesses to the fact that you have been saved: Jesus Christ’s baptism with the Holy Spirit AND WITH FIRE which only the Holy Spirit administers to a repentant sinner OR John the Baptist’s baptism with water which any charlatan, false teacher, false prophet, Tom, Dick and Harry etc. etc. etc. can administer?

    Dear Brother,

    I said I was done, but you persist in causing confusion in bringing confusion to a simple and beautiful truth

    One thing I have noticed – you keep using the terminology “WITH FIRE” when you mention the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

    This seems to come from Matthew 3:11. You misunderstand this passage and the nature of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which saves. One is distinctly different from the other. Fire in the word stands for judgment. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is of blessing, not judgment. You might be basing your opinion upon the tongues of fire at Pentecost, but many other verses do not support this view. The following verse, 12 equates fire with judgment.

    In fact, fire is used much in the NAR and other false religions and extreme Pentecostal circles. Anytime this is emphasized, it raises a red flag for discerners. Some cursory research will bear this out.

    John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus. Jesus had a twofold purpose in walking some 60 miles to be baptized. He had no sin so why was He baptized? Firstly, to identify with the godly who were repenting but also it symbolized the way He would fulfill His mission to save mankind. His immersion spoke of death on Calvary, and burial, but His coming our of the water foreshadowed His resurrection. The Holy Spirit appeared as a dove, not as fire.

    Brother, there is no reverting as you say, but a progression from John the Baptist’s ministry to the Israelites to the accomplishment of Christ on the cross for our redemption. There is no conflict except for those who use John’s baptism as basis for baptismal regeneration. You are mixing apples with oranges.

    Your logic is faulty in many ways. For one thing, the fact that water baptism is not biblical because it is done for the wrong reasons or by false teachers. Don’t you realize that the precious Gospel is misquoted, perverted and watered-down by false religions and teachers? Every truth of God is an object of attack by the enemy of our souls.

    I know someone who was baptized by immersion in the Church of Christ who believe you must be baptized to be saved. When that person came to know the true Gospel, they were rebaptized by a pastor who taught biblically. We live in a fallen world – those things are going to happen. That is a straw man argument.

    Again, you seem to refuse to come to terms with the Great Commission given by our Lord who instructed His followers/evangelists to share the Gospel and then to follow it up with baptism, water baptism by immersion, the only biblical mode.

    You accuse me of being double-minded and promoting sight over faith. How astounding! Water baptism is AFTER the fact of conversion – it doesn’t cause anyone to believe. The belief is already established. It is a step of identification with and obedience to the Lord. It is a demonstration of what has occured in the inner man. Apparently our Lord considered believer’s baptism important.

    Bottom line is that you, no doubt without realizing it are promoting mysticism. Our Lord knows that as humans we need the physical to complement the mystical – first water baptism after conversion and then the Lord’s Table on a regular basis.

  • Sally Forth

    Thomas I would ask you to consider these passages:

     In the Bible, note the many references to the REJOICING that came either in connection with, or after, one’s baptism!
     In Acts 2:41 we are told that, “they that GLADLY received the Word and were
    baptized “- verse 46 goes on to tell us that, afterward they ate
    together, “with GLADNESS and singleness of heart.”
     In Acts 8:39 we are told that when the eunuch was baptized he “went on his
    way REJOICING!”
     In Acts 16:34 we are told that, after the Philippian jailer was baptized, he
    “REJOICED GREATLY.”

  • Have you closed the comments to this article? I took the time to write a lengthy rebuttal to one of Sally Forth’s comments. When I approved it, it was nowhere to be seen. Poof! Gone!

  • Hi Dan,

    If water baptism (immersion) were to be a witness to the Jews, then we will have to repeat what Jesus once said to them.

    An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

    No, I really think the best way to witness to a Jew is to prove to them that Jesus in indeed their Messiah. (Acts 9:22).

    Water baptism (immersion) is not going to make them jealous, is it? (Romans 11:11).

  • Sally Forth wrote:

    I have explained that the Apostle Paul did not discount water baptism and the reason he did not baptize but delegated it to someone else was to avoid causing factions in the Church.

    Have you ever baptized anyone in your life?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Hi Thomas

    Nope, comments are still open, let’s check the SPAM section. Check the SPAM section, gosh, I really don’t know what happened to your comment Thomas. Sorry. I am very confuzzled.

  • jrdavis

    I have followed this particular conversation with interest regarding the “importance of Baptism”.
    There is however something I would like clarification regarding the “church” and the “apostles”.
    Speaking of Peter, John and James, Thomas wrote on 1st November/9.50 am;
    “They were just as famous and well-known in the church as Paul”.
    I understand that most Christian teachers teach that the “church” was a mystery revealed to Paul, or at least that Paul started the “church” after Pentecost; thus the apostles/Israel are NOT part of the church? Are they or not?

  • Sally Forth wrote:

    This seems to come from Matthew 3:11. You misunderstand this passage and the nature of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which saves. One is distinctly different from the other. Fire in the word stands for judgment. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is of blessing, not judgment. You might be basing your opinion upon the tongues of fire at Pentecost, but many other verses do not support this view. The following verse, 12 equates fire with judgment.

    Fire is not always associated with the judgement of the wicked.

    Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1Co 3:13-15)

    As I explained earlier fire is also associated with Jesus Christ as our Burnt Offering which translates into a complete dedication (offering) to God. Those who are baptized (immersed) into Christ’s death become offerings of complete dedication to God. This is not judgment but service and dedication.

    Sally Forth wrote:

    John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus. Jesus had a twofold purpose in walking some 60 miles to be baptized. He had no sin so why was He baptized? Firstly, to identify with the godly who were repenting but also it symbolized the way He would fulfil His mission to save mankind. His immersion spoke of death on Calvary, and burial, but His coming our of the water foreshadowed His resurrection. The Holy Spirit appeared as a dove, not as fire.

    Brother, there is no reverting as you say, but a progression from John the Baptist’s ministry to the Israelites to the accomplishment of Christ on the cross for our redemption. There is no conflict except for those who use John’s baptism as basis for baptismal regeneration. You are mixing apples with oranges.

    Indeed, John’s baptism of repentance was a forerunner of Jesus Christ’s baptism. Why was He baptized? You should know that because the Bible says why. He was baptized to fulfil (bring to perfection) God’s righteousness. He fulfilled (brought to perfection and to a close) the old in order to bring in the new – baptism with the Holy Spirit and with fire. As I said, you are reverting to the old which has already been fulfilled by Christ.

    Sally Forth wrote:

    You accuse me of being double-minded and promoting sight over faith. How astounding! Water baptism is AFTER the fact of conversion – it doesn’t cause anyone to believe. The belief is already established. It is a step of identification with and obedience to the Lord. It is a demonstration of what has occurred in the inner man. Apparently our Lord considered believer’s baptism important.

    If water baptism is AFTER the fact of conversion (and salvation) then John’s baptism was not a baptism of repentance (a change of mind- metanoia) but salvation itself. Repentance itself (a change of mind) is not salvation. It is merely a preliminary prerequisite in order to be saved. Acts 19 proves this. When Paul met up with the twelve in Ephesus who had been baptized with John’s baptism of repentance, they had not as yet received the Holy Spirit. In fact, they hadn’t even heard of the Holy Spirit. Paul declares in Romans 8:9 that anyone who does not have the Spirit of God (has received his Spirit by faith) is not saved. These persons genuinely repented (changed their mind for the better) but they hadn’t put their trust in Jesus Christ up until the time Paul met them. And yet they were baptised by John the Baptist.

    Sally Forth wrote:

    Again, you seem to refuse to come to terms with the Great Commission given by our Lord who instructed His followers/evangelists to share the Gospel and then to follow it up with baptism, water baptism by immersion, the only biblical mode.

    Matthew 28:19 does not say that you must use water to baptize new converts. It simply says that we must baptize (immerse) new converts INTO the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The word “eis” (“in,” “into”) refers to “motion” from one place into another. We find the same principle in Colossians 1:13 “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us INTO (eis) the kingdom of his dear Son.” (Colossians 1:13). Whenever you lead someone to Christ you are in fact baptizing (immersing) them INTO the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and delivering them from the power of darkness and translating them INTO the Kingdom of his dear Son THROUGH and WITH the mighty work of the Holy Spirit WITHOUT immersing them in water. That’s why Scripture says that we are co-workers with God (1 Corinthians 3:9).

    Why do you call me brother when you have already suggested that I am merely a professing Christian and not saved? Or do you call everyone a brother and sister?

  • jrdavis wrote:

    I have followed this particular conversation with interest regarding the “importance of Baptism”.
    There is however something I would like clarification regarding the “church” and the “apostles”.
    Speaking of Peter, John and James, Thomas wrote on 1st November/9.50 am;
    “They were just as famous and well-known in the church as Paul”.
    I understand that most Christian teachers teach that the “church” was a mystery revealed to Paul, or at least that Paul started the “church” after Pentecost; thus the apostles/Israel are NOT part of the church? Are they or not?

    Whenever the Bible refers to “a mystery” (“musterion”) it means that God has revealed something (through someone He has chosen) which was unknown or was not in existence in the past. The church as a mystery simply means that God has broken down the wall of separaration between the Jews and the Gentiles and made them (the believers among Jews and Gentiles) ONE in Jesus Christ. This was somehting that hadn’t been a reality in the past (Old Testament).

    “Church” is called the “Ecclesia” (the called out ones from without the world – Colossians 1:13) and includes both believing Jews and Gentiles. The reason why there are so little Jews in Gentile churches today is because most of the Gentile churches believe that they have replaced Israel as a nation. Replacement Theology is as dangerous as idolatry itself.

    Paul did not start the church. The church was started through the Jewish apostles of Jesus Christ at Pentecost. Paul (a Jew) was called to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles whereas Peter and the others were called to preach it to the Jews. I believe this to be one of the reasons wwhy Paul was not called to baptize, because baptism was primarily designed by God for the Jews. Why? “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks (Gentiles) seek after wisdom.” (1 Corinthians 1:22)

    Let anyone who seeks to be baptized, be baptized but they dare not tell me that anyone who is not baptized by immersion in water is a professing Christian and not saved. That, to me, is arrogance in the extreme.

    I would rather have written an article caleld the “Importance of Salvation” rather than the “Importance of Baptism.”

  • Sally Forth wrote:

    Those who respond to the question posed by saying they were baptized do not have a proper understanding of the Gospel and most likely believe in baptismal regeneration. I know people like that and it is a red flag waving. They are in great danger because they may not be saved at all if they are equating baptism with their salvation.

    The entire Bible was written to show lost sinners that they desperately need salvation, redemption, regeneration, the new birth. So what’s the point of introducing into people’s lives a rite that cannot save, cannot sanctify and cannot witness to unbelievers?

    Ironically, those who adhere to baptism by immersion in water are against speaking in tongues whilst the latter often accompanied baptism in the Bible. If the phenomenon of speaking in tongues has ceased, why do they still cling to baptism that was often accompanied by the speaking in tongues.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Thomas

    >> Let anyone who seeks to be baptized, be baptized but they dare not tell me that anyone who is not baptized by immersion in water is a professing Christian and not saved. That, to me, is arrogance in the extreme.

    I agree with you Thomas. I would never do that.

  • I feel like I’m being deliberately ignored. I asked several quesitons and no one answers me. I have one question left for Deborah and Sally.

    Deborah wrote:

    Baptism needs to take place by full immersion under water and not by sprinkling of water as a baby. Baptising babies is not biblical as a baby has not believed in Jesus Christ and accepted Him as their personal saviour and they don’t understand what the baptism is all about.” (Emphasis added)

    Neither do babies understand what sin is. However, here is my question.

    Do all babies when they die go to heaven? And please, try not to ignore me.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Thomas

    Baptism needs to take place by full immersion under water and not by sprinkling of water as a baby. Baptising babies is not biblical as a baby has not believed in Jesus Christ and accepted Him as their personal saviour and they don’t understand what the baptism is all about.” (Emphasis added)

    Neither do babies understand what sin is. However, here is my question.

    Do all babies when they die go to heaven? And please, try not to ignore me.

    I am not ignoring you Thomas, I am attentively paying attention to what you are saying and learning :) And yes babies go to heaven when they die.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    I am not ignoring you Thomas, I am attentively paying attention to what you are saying and learning :) And yes babies go to heaven when they die.

    If all babies go to heaven when they die (are saved, in other words), what prevents them from being baptized when they are still babies? What makes them any different from adults who are saved and are baptized subsequent to their salvation? Or is baptism by immersion in water magically more potent than sprinkling?

  • jrdavis

    Thomas,
    Thank you for clarifying what you believe to be the inauguration of the church.
    But when I use that wonderful tool called “Bible Gateway”, I discovered that in Matthew 16.18 and 18.17, it would appear that the church started then? Or at least there is a clear mention of it. Or is this some sort of Roman Catholic teaching, as I have heard Catholics quote these verses as regards the beginnings of their church, which they believe to be the true church.
    But without this Roman muddying of the waters, in view of these Scriptures, I would have thought the so-called “Apostolic church” originated then?

    Going back to the “Importance of baptism”, it would appear that baptism has NO salvific power at all, and is nothing more than a church sacrament? In view of this then, why are some folk so against infant baptism, especially in the light of the Philippian jailer in Acts 16.33? It doesn’t mention babies, but it does say “all his”, likewise with Lydia in Acts 16.15.
    Obviously a baby cannot have faith and repentance toward God, but likewise how many adults have been baptized, wrongly believing in some kind of regeneration from being dipped?
    Certainly I believe adult baptism has a value in regards making a public confession of one’s faith. I say “public”, but rather among church members.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Thomas

    >> If all babies go to heaven when they die (are saved, in other words), what prevents them from being baptized when they are still babies?

    All babies are babies until the age of accountability (age is different in every child). You will have to wait till they are older to baptise them when they know who Jesus is.

    >> What makes them any different from adults who are saved and are baptized subsequent to their salvation?

    Nothing, they are the same.

  • jrdavis wrote:

    Thomas,
    Thank you for clarifying what you believe to be the inauguration of the church.
    But when I use that wonderful tool called “Bible Gateway”, I discovered that in Matthew 16.18 and 18.17, it would appear that the church started then? Or at least there is a clear mention of it. Or is this some sort of Roman Catholic teaching, as I have heard Catholics quote these verses as regards the beginnings of their church, which they believe to be the true church.
    But without this Roman muddying of the waters, in view of these Scriptures, I would have thought the so-called “Apostolic church” originated then?

    Indeed, the RCC believes that Peter himself was the rock on which the church was built. Any church built on Peter would be a very unstable and shaky church. No, the rock to which Jesus referred was Peter’s testimony that Jesus is the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:16).

    The church was inaugurated on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out. Matthew 16:16 is a refenrence to this day.

    jrdavis wrote:

    oing back to the “Importance of baptism”, it would appear that baptism has NO salvific power at all, and is nothing more than a church sacrament? In view of this then, why are some folk so against infant baptism, especially in the light of the Philippian jailer in Acts 16.33? It doesn’t mention babies, but it does say “all his”, likewise with Lydia in Acts 16.15.
    Obviously a baby cannot have faith and repentance toward God, but likewise how many adults have been baptized, wrongly believing in some kind of regeneration from being dipped?

    Certainly I believe adult baptism has a value in regards making a public confession of one’s faith. I say “public”, but rather among church members.

    No rite or ceremony is mentioned in Scripture to be some kind of witness to unbelievers. Witnessing is by word of mouth and preaching the Gospel (Revelation 12:11; Romans 10:17). The best water baptism can do, is to remind us of the way John the Baptist baptized the Jews in the Jordan River.

  • Sally Forth

    Thomas, I am not ignoring you. I have come to realize that any discussion with you is futile.

    Yes, babies/children are covered to go to heaven until the age of accountability.

    It is inane and preposturous to suggest that it would be appropriate for babies to be considered for BELIEVER’S baptism. Babies are NOT BELIEVERS. They are innocents not capable of believing and by God’s mercy they are covered by His grace until they reach such an age to comprehend the plan of salvation. To perform the ordinance of BELIEVER’S baptism on a baby would be akin to sacrilege and a mockery.

    And to respond to your accusation – I NEVER at any time suggested that you were not saved. And to answer your question, I refer to CHRISTIANS as my brothers and sisters in Christ. I addressed you respectfully and courteously as a brother in Christ, trying to reason with you, only to be spurned and treated condescendingly.

    You are deceived about this issue and I sincerely hope that you come to know the truth.

  • Sharon

    “The church was inaugurated on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out. Matthew 16:16 is a reference to this day.

    The Word CHURCH means a called out assembly. The church did NOT begin at Pentecost. Jesus called his disciples together and basically blessed them and warned them and sent them forth into the world to preach the gospel.

    The church was given the power and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Prior to Pentecost there had been baptisms and the Lords Supper. Of course we know that those are the only ordinances for the church. No infant baptism, no salvation outside of Jesus Christ.

    Act 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

    According to this verse of scripture it says that the church was already in existence. If not then who were the “added unto them?” These folks trusted in Jesus Christ, were then baptized and then they were “added unto the church” that was in existence already.

    JMO

  • Sharon

    Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
    Matthew 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
    Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

    Mark9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

    I’m believing that God the Father & God the Son are very interested in children. Man went against God and have tried for eons to add to or take away from the perfect, Holy & Inspired Word of God.

    All a baby gets if baptized is wet and possibly that at both ends. :o)

    Thomas
    >> If all babies go to heaven when they die (are saved, in other words), what prevents them from being baptized when they are still babies?
    Nothing prevents them from being baptised as babies, however babies are babies until the age of accountability (different in every child). You will have to wait till they are older to baptise them when they know who Jesus is.
    >> What makes them any different from adults who are saved and are baptized subsequent to their salvation?
    Nothing, they are the same.

  • Sharon

    Thomas if I may say, babies that die are SAFE. They have no knowledge of sin & good. They are innocent and unable to understand that God even exists. When Davids first child with Bathsheba died King David said referring to this baby, he cannot come to me but I will go to him. That meant that the baby was in heaven and that David would see and get to know his son in heaven. Babies go to heaven because God intercedes for them. They are SAFE in heaven. It doesn’t matter who their parents were. Calvinists that I know of believe if the parents were of the “elect” then the baby would go to heaven. But if the babies parents were not elect then they went to hell. That is another lie of the Calvinist persuasion.

    The baby goes to heaven, not based on themselves, or their parents. They go to heaven because of who God is. My post at the bottom of the page has verses about what God/Jesus says about babies. Those people that have aborted babies and never repented the blood of that baby cries up to God just like when Cain killed his brother Able. His blood cried up to God. When the day comes for judgment I cannot help but believe God will revenge the murders of all of the billions of children that has been abused and murdered.

    One thing is clear, Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus love the little children of the world. That is a song from my childhood. I grew up knowing Jesus loved me.

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    I feel like I’m being deliberately ignored. I asked several quesitons and no one answers me. I have one question left for Deborah and Sally.
    Deborah wrote:
    Baptism needs to take place by full immersion under water and not by sprinkling of water as a baby. Baptising babies is not biblical as a baby has not believed in Jesus Christ and accepted Him as their personal saviour and they don’t understand what the baptism is all about.” (Emphasis added)
    Neither do babies understand what sin is. However, here is my question.
    Do all babies when they die go to heaven? And please, try not to ignore me.

  • Sally Forth wrote:

    It is inane and preposturous to suggest that it would be appropriate for babies to be considered for BELIEVER’S baptism. Babies are NOT BELIEVERS. They are innocents not capable of believing and by God’s mercy they are covered by His grace until they reach such an age to comprehend the plan of salvation. To perform the ordinance of BELIEVER’S baptism on a baby would be akin to sacrilege and a mockery.

    You acknowledge that all babies go to heaven when they die which, I hope you know, means that they are saved for all eternity. And yet you say it is sacrilege to perform the so-called “BELIEVER’S” baptism on them. You are actually saying: The Godly salvation of babies = SACRILEGE (1. The misuse or desecration of anything regarded as sacred or as worthy of extreme respect. 2. The act or an instance of taking anything sacred for secular use). It proves that you are elevating baptism above salvation itself. That is more like sacrilege than anything else. Listen up, whether babies are baptised or not makes no difference because they all go to heaven when they die, in the very same way the thief on the cross went to heaven when he died. Do those who have never been baptised with the BELIEVER’S baptism see the inexpressible beauty and holiness of Jesus Christ’s face when they go to heaven OR are they (including myself) confined to a so-called NON-BELIEVER’S baptism quarters never to see his face for all eternity? Your suggestion is more of an insanity than anything else.

    Let’s look at your statement more closely. You are in effect saying that a believer’s faith validates (authenticates, ratifies) baptism, otherwise it is of no effect. Since when must sinful man ratify something that God Himself has instituted? Allow me to remind you what Jesus said to the Pharisees. “The baptism of John, whence was it? From heaven, or of men?: You are saying it is of men because man’s faith must validate or authenticate baptism. That is sacrilege number 2.

    Have you forgotten your own words?

    Those who profess to be born again and say they have no need of baptism; that baptism, since it is not essential for salvation, is of little or no value or place in the life of the believer – in essence ignore the Great Commission, “marching orders” given by our Lord.

    OK, let’s see now. I believe it is not necessary to baptise anyone in water by immersion and therefore I am ignoring the Great Commission and therefore I am a professing Christian and therefore I am not saved. Stop your hypocrisy, please!

    I asked you a question which you did not answer. Have you ever baptised anyone? Please answer my simple question. If you don’t I will know that you are deliberately dodging my questions.

  • Sharon wrote:

    Thomas if I may say, babies that die are SAFE.

    Thank you for your beautiful dissertation on the universal salvation of all babies. BUT what does it mean to be “SAFE?” Is it something less than “SAVE” or “SAVED?”

  • Sharon wrote:

    Act 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

    According to this verse of scripture it says that the church was already in existence. If not then who were the “added unto them?” These folks trusted in Jesus Christ, were then baptized and then they were “added unto the church” that was in existence already.

    So, you are saying that the Holy Spirit permanently indwelt believers before His outpouring on the Day of Pentecost?

  • Sally Forth

    Thomas, you obviously had great respect for Dave Hunt and TBC. I have followed Dave’s ministry for many years and have admired his humble spirit and strong stand for truth based upon solid biblical ground.

    Here is a portion of the TBC Statement of Faith:

    10.We believe that two ordinances, neither of which is essential to salvation, are to be observed in obedience to our Lord by all believers until Christ’s return: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

    I have not dodged your questions. In fact I have answered some that didn’t make much sense. Call me a hypocrite or whatever name you wish. I am done here.

  • Sally Forth wrote:

    It is inane and preposturous to suggest that it would be appropriate for babies to be considered for BELIEVER’S baptism. Babies are NOT BELIEVERS. They are innocents not capable of believing and by God’s mercy they are covered by His grace until they reach such an age to comprehend the plan of salvation. To perform the ordinance of BELIEVER’S baptism on a baby would be akin to sacrilege and a mockery.

    Don’t you find it strange that Philip administered the BELIEVER’s baptism when those whom he baptised were not even saved as yet?

    Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) (Acts 8:15-16; Romans 8:9).

    When Philip performed the ordinance of the BELIEVER’S baptism on a group of unsaved people, he must have made a mockery of it which is akin to sacrilege.

  • Sally Forth wrote:

    Thomas, you obviously had great respect for Dave Hunt and TBC. I have followed Dave’s ministry for many years and have admired his humble spirit and strong stand for truth based upon solid biblical ground.

    Here is a portion of the TBC Statement of Faith:

    10.We believe that two ordinances, neither of which is essential to salvation, are to be observed in obedience to our Lord by all believers until Christ’s return: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

    I have not dodged your questions. In fact I have answered some that didn’t make much sense. Call me a hypocrite or whatever name you wish. I am done here.

    You’re quite right, I had great respect for Dave Hunt. However, he said many things about baptism with which I do not agree.

    Once again: Have you baptized anyone yet? Why don’t you answer me?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Sally

    It’s an interesting question that Thomas poses, “Once again: Have you baptized anyone yet?” Thomas is not being silly by asking this question.

    He asks this question for a reason, please answer him.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    An article on Baptism by TheBereanCall

    Question: I keep encountering the teaching that water baptism has no place in this dispensation; that the entire subject of water baptism is Jewish….Can you help me?
    TBC Staff

    Feb 1 1995

    Question: I keep encountering the teaching that water baptism has no place in this dispensation; that the entire subject of water baptism is Jewish;…that all mention of “baptism” in the Pauline epistles is baptism of the Holy Spirit;…[and that] baptism in the gospels and the Acts applies to Jewish believers only….Can you help me?

    Response: Testing this theory against the Scriptures quickly disproves it. In the Great Commission, Jesus very clearly tells the disciples (and us today) to “preach the gospel to every creature [i.e., to every race, tribe and individual, not only to the Jews]. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk 16:15-16). It is clear that while failure to be baptized does not damn the soul (not one verse says so), and although it is not part of the gospel (“Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel” – 1 Cor:1:17; see also 1 Cor:15:1-4), yet all who believe the gospel are to be baptized. Christ told the disciples to teach or disciple “all nations [i.e., not only Jews but every nationality], baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Mt 28:19). The Great Commission required the disciples to teach their converts to obey everything Christ had commanded them (v 20). Thus each new convert was also to make disciples and teach them to obey all that Christ had taught the original twelve—which included, then and today, baptizing converts from every nation.

    We have the record that every Gentile convert was baptized. The Corinthians, who were surely not all Jews but mostly Gentiles, were baptized (1 Cor:1:14-17), as was an Ethiopian when he believed the gospel (Acts:8:35-39). So were the Roman centurion, Cornelius, and his relatives when they believed (Acts:10:47-48). Likewise the Philippian jailor (a Gentile) and his house were baptized after they believed on Christ (Acts:16:30-33). There are other scriptures, but these should be sufficient to show that baptism is for today and for all (not just Jews) who believe the gospel. If this generation is to preach the gospel, which it is commanded to do, then it must continue to baptize all who believe it. If only Jews are to be baptized, then the gospel must be only for them. But that is not biblical and would leave the rest of us unsaved. The gospel is “to the Jew first , and also to the Greek [non-Jew]” (Rom:1:16). [Emphasis added]

    While baptism doesn’t save, it is an act of obedience on the part of believers who are saved, a declaration to the world that they have been saved not by their good works but by the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, of which baptism is a symbol: “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” (Rom:6:4). Baptism is therefore inappropriate for infants who have made no choice to believe the gospel. Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians:1:14-17 that baptism is not part of the gospel; one is saved without being baptized. But those who believe are baptized and since salvation is for all, baptism is for all, Gentiles as well as Jews.

    source: http://www.thebereancall.org/content/february-1995-q-and-a-1

    ——————–

    Thomas Reply:

    The question should not be whether baptism is for Jews and Gentiles. The question should rather be whether John’s baptism was instituted for the Jews and the Gentiles. If John’s baptism was instituted by God for both the Jews and the Gentiles then we should ignore John’s words in Matthew 3:11: “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: (Mat 3:11). Jesus’ baptism superseded that of John. John’s baptism was an “unworthy shoes bearing” baptism. That’s what he said, not I.

    I don’t know whether Dave Hunt baptised believers. If not, then he was downright disobedient. And there is no point in saying that he left it to others in the church. The Great Commission in Matthew 28 is NOT for the hierarchy in the church (that started in the RCC) but for all believers. If we are to make disciples of individuals from all nations, then we should baptise them as well. Most Christians, when you ask them, “Have you baptised believers with the believer’s baptism?” they usually say NO! So, who is being disobedient to Christ and his Great Commission?

    To use 1 Corinthians 1:14-17 as proof that baptism is inappropriate for infants is really taking it too far. Dave Hunt believed in the universal salvation of all little babies. If baptism is so important then babies who all go to heaven must at least be baptised with the sprinkling of water. Why should they, when Christ’s blood covers them whilst they are still in a state of innocence and incapable of sinning, be excluded from the important rite of baptism? Philip did indeed say to the Ethiopian eunuch “if you believe with all your heart then you may be baptised” (Acts 8:37) but failed to explain to the Samaritans that they could not be baptised unless they were saved (Acts 8:15). In fact, he baptised unbelievers who as yet had not received the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9).

    If Dave Hunt’s rendition of Romans 6:4 is correct then the symbol of water baptism ratifies our death with Christ and not the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The verse clearly says “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism (immersion) into death.” You can either interpret this as: “Therefore we are buried with him by the symbol of immersion into water into death” OR “Therefore we are buried with him by the baptism of the Holy Spirit into death.” The one is an unworthy shoes bearing baptism and the other a Holy Spirit baptism.

    Hunt’s rendering would have to be something like “Therefore we are buried with him by the symbol of water baptism into death.” That cannot be possible because it is the Holy Spirit (the Living Water) that baptises believers into death and not a symbol. That is precisely why John said: “I indeed baptize you with water (a symbol)) 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.” The immersion (baptism) here is a spiritual baptism into death.

    Apart from Romans 6:4 that allegedly signifies water baptism, I find no other verse in Scripture that says water baptism is a symbol of a believers identification with Christ. Romans 6:4 does not say that our identification is through the symbol of immersion in water but through reasoning (the rational use of our minds). Our reasoning that we are dead and buried is the thing that makes our death and burial a daily reality and not a once-off symbol bearing rite. We should stop teaching people that their victory over sin lies in a once-off symbolic rite of baptism while we fail to tell them what the Bible tells us to tell them – “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. ” (Romans 6:11)

    I find it rather strange that Hunt acknowledged that Paul was sent NOT to baptize but to preach the gospel. And yet he seems to suggest that baptism is part of the Gospel. He wrote: “If only Jews are to be baptized, then the gospel must be only for them. But that is not biblical and would leave the rest of us unsaved. The gospel is “to the Jew first , and also to the Greek [non-Jew]” (Rom:1:16).”

    “Repent and believe the Gospel” is the only prerequisite for anyone to be saved. Hunt acknowledges this but then says “But that (baptism only for the Jews) is not biblical and would leave the rest of us unsaved.” How does that work for you? Baptism does not save but if you do not baptise both Jews and Gentiles then it will leave the rest of us unsaved? What he says in effect, is: “If baptism by immersion in water was only for the Jews, then the rest of us would have been unsaved.” So much for his statement that baptism is not necessary for salvation. He is combining salvation and baptism into one and the same bundle for salvation. If baptism had been an indispensable part of the Gospel (Good News), then Paul would have baptised everyone he converted to Christ. Who is correct – Hunt or Paul of Tarsus?

    Let’s assume that John’s baptism by immersion in water was only for the Jews and not for the Gentiles. Does it thwart or frustrate the salvation of the Gentiles? Does it keep them from being saved? Of course not because John’s water baptism is not an indispensable ingredient of salvation. Nonetheless, Gentiles ought to be baptised, not in water but with the Holy Spirit into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ in order to be saved. The obvious conclusion is that BAPTISM is not necessary for salvation (John’s baptism designed for the Jews) but BAPTISM is necessary for salvation (the Baptism of the Holy Spirit). So, it does not matter whether John’s baptism was for the Jews or not; it does nothing to alter the Gentiles’ position in Christ when they are baptised with the Holy Spirit into the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Yet, Hunt says: “”But that (baptism only for the Jews) is not biblical and would leave the rest of us unsaved.” Hunt is contradicting himself when he says the notion that John’s baptism is only for the Jews is unbiblical and in the same breath that it has nothing to do with salvation. If John’s baptism is for both Jews and Gentiles, which is the biblical view according to Hunt, then the rest won’t be left unsaved. I don’t think Hunt realized what he was saying when he said it.

    ————-

  • jrdavis

    To quote Sharon, speaking of Acts 2.41:

    “According to this verse of Scripture it says that the church was already in existence. If not then who were the “added unto them?” These folks trusted in Jesus Christ, were then baptized and then “added unto the church” that was in existence already.

    This makes much sense. Just because the Roman Catholic church have twisted the meaning of Matthew 16.18, doesn’t mean the church wasn’t started then upon the Rock which is Christ?
    The Church must have originated with His little flock?

    Regarding the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, CERTAINLY the Holy Spirit came down in great measure “in the house where they were all sitting” Acts 2.2. But, surely according to Luke 1 the Holy Spirit indwelt Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth, and likewise Simeon in Luke 2.25.

  • The Berean Call wrote:

    While baptism doesn’t save, it is an act of obedience on the part of believers who are saved, a declaration to the world that they have been saved not by their good works but by the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, of which baptism is a symbol: “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” (Rom:6:4). Baptism is therefore inappropriate for infants who have made no choice to believe the gospel. Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians:1:14-17 that baptism is not part of the gospel; one is saved without being baptized. But those who believe are baptized and since salvation is for all, baptism is for all, Gentiles as well as Jews.

    If we were to accept that baptism is an act of obedience on the part of believers who are saved, then we would have to accuse Philip of disobedience because he baptised people in Samaria whilst they were yet unsaved (Acts 8:15).

    William Lane Craig observes:

    So what had happened in Samaria was that Philip had preached the Gospel, he had baptized them with water but it says very plainly they had not yet received the Holy Spirit even though they had undergone water baptism. But when the delegates from Jerusalem and Judea come down to Samaria, they ratify what Philip had done in bringing the Gospel there. They lay their hands upon them and now they, too, receive the Holy Spirit and are baptized in the Spirit.

    Read more: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/defenders-2-podcast/transcript/s7-4#ixzz2jmUten8N

    So, here we clearly see and understand what Paul meant in Romans 8:9 and that some had indeed been baptised whilst they were yet unsaved (not as yet baptised with he Holy Spirit and with fire). It is clear, from this passage that water baptism preceeded their salvation which makes the notion that water baptism by immersion in water must always follow the baptism of the Holy Spirit because only believers may be baptised with the BELIEVERS’ baptism, something of a myth. Listen up, the notion that only an ordained pastor may administer baptism and communion started with the Roman Catholic Church. The command is that YOU must make disciples of the nations and baptise them with the Holy Spirit into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    I would like again to state categorically that I am not trying to dissuade anyone to be baptised by immersion in water. That’s your choice. Nonetheless, if water baptism is important then you too should obey Christ’s Great Commision in Matthew 28 and begin to baptise by immersion in water everyone you lead to Christ. You may argue that, like Paul who was not sent to baptise but preach the Gospel and therefore left the baptising part to others, you also leave the baptism part to others, like, for instance, your pastor.

    Someone said that Paul refrained from baptising all his converts because he did not want to cause factions in the church. That’s a very strange statement to make because baptism ought not to cause factions in the church since it is regarded to be a symbol of the believer’s death burial and resurrection by most Christians.

  • The church could never have started without the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. That happened on the Day of Pentecost. It was then and only then that the Holy Spirit could indwell believers permanently. He never indwelt people permanently BEFORE his outpouring on the Day of Pentecost.

  • jrdavis

    Thomas,
    You write;

    “The church could never have started without the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. That happened on the Day of Pentecost. It was then and only then that the Holy Spirit could indwell believers permanently. He never indwelt people permanently BEFORE His outpouring on the Day of Pentecost.”

    Would you provide Scripture Chapter and Verses that teach this?
    I would agree with Sharon’s comment that the church’s origins were “already in existence” prior to Pentecost.

  • Sharon

    It absolutely could start without the Holy Spirit and it did start while Jesus was on earth. The church was empowered at Pentecost. As long as Jesus was on the planet the Holy Spirit could not come. Only one part of the Trinity can be on earth at a time.That is why Jesus told the disciples that it was expedient for them that he go back to the Father so thatthe Comforter/Holy Spirit could come.

    Church= Called Out Assembly. Jesus called them together and ordained them to preach unto the House of Israel only. That is what they did. Once the church was empowered there was added unto THEM (the already existing church in the upper room)about 3,000 souls.

    Baptism is the first Ordinance of the Church
    The Lord’s Supper is the second & last.
    Both of those had been done prior to Pentecost. The Pre-Pentecost Church had observed both of those ordinances.

    Under whose authority did those things take place? It was done by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, the HEAD of the True Church. Later after He went back to the Father the authority to do those ordinances was entrusted to the Church.

    So my friend, the True Church was in existence prior to Pentecost. Jesus left the planet, the Holy Spirit came and filled the believers, empowered the church and then the Disciples turned the world up-side down for the cause of Jesus Christ.

    His Peace to you.

  • Sharon

    Thomas, they didn’t have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit prior to Pentecost is true. But they were in the physical presence of Jesus Christ. As long as Jesus was there with them they didn’t need the indwelling. When Jesus left, the Holy Spirit came and began to live in them.

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    The church could never have started without the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. That happened on the Day of Pentecost. It was then and only then that the Holy Spirit could indwell believers permanently. He never indwelt people permanently BEFORE his outpouring on the Day of Pentecost.

  • Sharon

    Semantics. They aren’t “saved” but they are SAFE, in Heaven. They had no opportunity to be saved since they died so very young. They, like all mankind are “eternal beings.” Since it is not our Fathers will that they perish, do we do as the Calvinists who say that only the BABIES OF THE ELECT go to heaven should they die? If that is true then scripture stating that it is not His will for these babes to perish we need to remove those verses then. Of course those children are in heaven. To believe other wise is calling Jesus a liar.

    So then, they are SAFE in heaven with our Lord Jesus. Can they be called SAVED? Perhaps saved from perishing according to our Fathers unwillingness that they perish.
    But they are not SAVED in the same sense as we are. We realized we were a sinner that deserved hell. We received by faith Jesus Christ and repented of our sin and by the same faith believe we will spend eternity in heaven with God the Father, God the Son & God the Holy Spirit.

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    SA Topsites ::

  • Dan

    I agree with that Thomas. The history of the Church starts on the day of Pentecost and finishes on the day of the Rapture.

  • Sharon wrote

    Semantics. They aren’t “saved” but they are SAFE, in Heaven. They had no opportunity to be saved since they died so very young. They, like all mankind are “eternal beings.” Since it is not our Fathers will that they perish, do we do as the Calvinists who say that only the BABIES OF THE ELECT go to heaven should they die? If that is true then scripture stating that it is not His will for these babes to perish we need to remove those verses then. Of course those children are in heaven. To believe other wise is calling Jesus a liar.

    No, not SEMANTICS but deliberately changing the meaning of words. “Saved” means “saved” and “safe” means “safe.” The word “safe” appears only thirteen times in Scripture and never, I repeat never in connection with little babies. You must have heard it from your pastor who heard it from someone else which makes it a manmade doctrine. I am not interested in manmade doctrines. Here’s the truth:

    Babies didn’t ask to come into this world of sin, brokenness and unrighteousness and neither did they participate in the process of being introduced into this world. Nonetheless, they are tainted with the sins of their parents (Psalm 51:5). It is this taint of sin from which little babies must be saved and washed in the blood of Christ. Only the blood of Christ can wash away the babies’ taint of the sins of their parents. As such they are saved because the blood of Christ saves and does not merely make one safe. That’s nonsense. To say that the blood of Christ makes one safe, to me, demeans Christ’s blood and his sacrifice on the cross.

    Are the little babies who are “safe” kept in the “safe compartment” in heaven whilst those who are “saved” are kept in the “saved compartment?” Or do little babies share in the same glories and blessings of heaven than those who have been saved?

  • Sharon

    Oh my. My point is they are in heaven. I have lived in many different places. Some words mean the same thing in some places and totally different in others. So…drop semantics. No I didn’t learn some man-made teaching.

    Your comment: Are the little babies who are “safe” kept in the “safe compartment” in heaven whilst those who are “saved” are kept in the “saved compartment?” Or do little babies share in the same glories and blessings of heaven than those who have been saved?

    It seems that sarcastic remarks mean the same every where and you Thomas are a very sarcastic man.

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    Sharon wrote
    Semantics. They aren’t “saved” but they are SAFE, in Heaven. They had no opportunity to be saved since they died so very young. They, like all mankind are “eternal beings.” Since it is not our Fathers will that they perish, do we do as the Calvinists who say that only the BABIES OF THE ELECT go to heaven should they die? If that is true then scripture stating that it is not His will for these babes to perish we need to remove those verses then. Of course those children are in heaven. To believe other wise is calling Jesus a liar.
    No, not SEMANTICS but deliberately changing the meaning of words. “Saved” means “saved” and “safe” means “safe.” The word “safe” appears only thirteen times in Scripture and never, I repeat never in connection with little babies. You must have heard it from your pastor who heard it from someone else which makes it a manmade doctrine. I am not interested in manmade doctrines. Here’s the truth:

    Nonetheless, they are tainted with the sins of their parents (Psalm 51:5). It is this taint of sin from which little babies must be saved and washed in the blood of Christ. Only the blood of Christ can wash away the babies’ taint of the sins of their parents. As such they are saved because the blood of Christ saves and does not merely make one safe. That’s nonsense. To say that the blood of Christ makes one safe, to me, demeans Christ’s blood and his sacrifice on the cross.
    Are the little babies who are “safe” kept in the “safe compartment” in heaven whilst those who are “saved” are kept in the “saved compartment?” Or do little babies share in the same glories and blessings of heaven than those who have been saved?

  • Sharon wrote:

    It seems that sarcastic remarks mean the same every where and you Thomas are a very sarcastic man.

    Didn’t you know that sarcasm was often used by some of the Old Testament prophets, Paul and even Jesus sometimes to convey something they wanted to emphasize and bring across to their listerners in a more forceful way?

    Once again, Jesus’ blood does not only make one safe; his blood SAVES to the uttermost!

    And you, Sharon, are a very emotional woman.

  • Sharon

    I realize that sarcasm was used in the Bible. As for my being an emotional woman, yes I am and there is a reason why as well but that is between me and the Good Lord.

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    Sharon wrote:
    It seems that sarcastic remarks mean the same every where and you Thomas are a very sarcastic man.

    Didn’t you know that sarcasm was often used by some of the Old Testament prophets, Paul and even Jesus sometimes to convey something they wanted to emphasize and bring across to their listerners in a more forceful way?
    Once again, Jesus’ blood does not only make one safe; his blood SAVES to the uttermost!
    And you, Sharon, are a very emotional woman.

  • Sharon wrote:

    I realize that sarcasm was used in the Bible. As for my being an emotional woman, yes I am and there is a reason why as well but that is between me and the Good Lord.

    I find it rather odd that you are keen to defend yourself and not respond to my observations with regard to Jesus Christ’s blood. Does Jesus’ blood only make one safe or does his blood save to the uttermost?

  • jrdavis wrote:

    Would you provide Scripture Chapter and Verses that teach this?
    I would agree with Sharon’s comment that the church’s origins were “already in existence” prior to Pentecost.

    Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both (Jew and Gentile) one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. (Ephesians 2:11-18)

    A unity of faith in Christ can only be accomplished by His Holy Spirit. Thererfore, the Spirit had to indwell believing Jews and Gentiles alike to make them one in Christ and so that, through Him (the Holy Spirit) both (Jew and Gentile) may now have access by the one Spirit unto the Father. First He had to break down the barrier (wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles). This He accomplished on the cross. How did He accomplish the unity between Jew and Gentile? He could only have accomplished it on the Day of Petecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out so that He may indwell both believing Jews and Gentiles. It is the indwelling Spirit of God that binds and unifies Jews and Gentiles into one body – the church.

  • Sally Forth

    Sharon, you are right concerning the issue of babies and children under the age of accountability. Thomas is quite confused. It doesn’t matter how we refer to their condition, they are covered by the blood of our Lord and in His perfect plan He does not condemn those who are incapable of understanding and receiving Him. Salvation requires BELIEVING and babies cannot believe. Thomas is nitpicking as to you referring to them as “safe”.

  • Sally Forth wrote:

    Sharon, you are right concerning the issue of babies and children under the age of accountability. Thomas is quite confused. It doesn’t matter how we refer to their condition, they are covered by the blood of our Lord and in His perfect plan He does not condemn those who are incapable of understanding and receiving Him. Salvation requires BELIEVING and babies cannot believe. Thomas is nitpicking as to you referring to them as “safe”.

    I don’t know whether you realize it but you are saying exactly what I have been saying all along. I said that all babies are covered by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ and as such they are all saved for all eternity. But you and Sharon find it convenient to make a difference between “safe” and “save.” “Safe” does not require faith because little babies are unable to believe but “save” does. The fact is that both “safe” and “save” have their root in the same word “sozo” which means to be saved or to be made whole. Both believing adults and little babies who cannot believe are saved and made whole. There is not difference.

    None of you have as yet explained what you mean by “safe.” What do you mean by “safe?” Do you mean they are safe but not saved?

  • Sally Forth wrote:

    As for you being an emotional woman, that is just another one of Thomas’ condescending statements. The Lord gave us emotions and He was not afraid to show emotions as He wept.

    There is nothing wrong with emotions but then it should always be in harmony with God’s truth in his Word. One should never become overly emotional when you are confronted with the truth. It clouds your discernment which is particularly important for the distinction between truth and error.

  • jrdavis

    Thomas,
    So, Zecharias, Elisabeth, Anna, Simeon, John the Baptist and others who were filled with the Holy spirit will get raptured at the same time as the Church? This seems to be what you are saying as they would be “one in Christ” as they certainly believed He was the coming Saviour? Simeon and Anna for example, seen and believed in the Messiah according to the OT Scriptures, Luke 2.30 and Luke 2.38? They like Mary believed in “God my Saviour” Luke 1.47?
    Having said the above, if the Church started at Pentecost, this wouldn’t make sense? Yet I believe the Scriptures teach that the Church started with Jesus when he called out to Himself His disciples as He was/is the Rock in Matthew 16.18? I shall have to dig deeper…

  • jrdavis wrote:

    Thomas,
    So, Zecharias, Elisabeth, Anna, Simeon, John the Baptist and others who were filled with the Holy spirit will get raptured at the same time as the Church? This seems to be what you are saying as they would be “one in Christ” as they certainly believed He was the coming Saviour? Simeon and Anna for example, seen and believed in the Messiah according to the OT Scriptures, Luke 2.30 and Luke 2.38? They like Mary believed in “God my Saviour” Luke 1.47?
    Having said the above, if the Church started at Pentecost, this wouldn’t make sense? Yet I believe the Scriptures teach that the Church started with Jesus when he called out to Himself His disciples as He was/is the Rock in Matthew 16.18? I shall have to dig deeper…

    If the church started when Jesus called out to himself his Jewish disciples, then the Gentiles were excluded from the church. You may argue that the Gentiles were added later. Even so, the Jewish disciples of Jesus, when they were first called to Him were very timid, fearful and ill-equipped to live up to the massive task Jesus had in store for them. Peter denied the Lord Jesus thrice. Why? The main reason was that he had not as yet been empowered by the indwelling Spirit of God. He received power from above on the Day of Pentecost, to the degree that he could say with boldness and without fear: “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” (Acts 2:22-23)

  • Sharon

    jrdavis wrote:

    Thomas,

    Yes & Amen.

    So, Zecharias, Elisabeth, Anna, Simeon, John the Baptist and others who were filled with the Holy spirit will get raptured at the same time as the Church? This seems to be what you are saying as they would be “one in Christ” as they certainly believed He was the coming Saviour? Simeon and Anna for example, seen and believed in the Messiah according to the OT Scriptures, Luke 2.30 and Luke 2.38? They like Mary believed in “God my Saviour” Luke 1.47?
    Having said the above, if the Church started at Pentecost, this wouldn’t make sense? Yet I believe the Scriptures teach that the Church started with Jesus when he called out to Himself His disciples as He was/is the Rock in Matthew 16.18? I shall have to dig deeper…

  • Sharon

    Sally Forth wrote:

    Sharon, you are right concerning the issue of babies and children under the age of accountability. Thomas is quite confused. It doesn’t matter how we refer to their condition, they are covered by the blood of our Lord and in His perfect plan He does not condemn those who are incapable of understanding and receiving Him. Salvation requires BELIEVING and babies cannot believe. Thomas is nitpicking as to you referring to them as “safe”.

    I don’t know whether you realize it but you are saying exactly what I have been saying
    Thomas…you are swallowing a camel and choking on a gnat. Safe & Saved are interchangeable. These babies are not saved like we are. They cannot place their faith in Jesus Christ like we have. They will be in heaven because of who God is and God the Father is not willing that any of these little ones parish. The word SAFE is used simply because as I stated they have not as yet been saved.

    Thomas, you are my brother in the Lord. I will not post on this topic any more. I believe you like beating a dead horse. Debra told me not too long ago that you are a good guy. I will take her word for it.

    Thomas wrote:

    I said that all babies are covered by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ and as such they are all saved for all eternity. But you and Sharon find it convenient to make a difference between “safe” and “save.” “Safe” does not require faith because little babies are unable to believe but “save” does. The fact is that both “safe” and “save” have their root in the same word “sozo” which means to be saved or to be made whole. Both believing adults and little babies who cannot believe are saved and made whole. There is not difference.
    None of you have as yet explained what you mean by “safe.” What do you mean by “safe?” Do you mean they are safe but not saved?

  • I refuse to answer you, Sally, because you are deliberately twisting the meaning of my comments so as to make me look like the guilty ogre. Since when is it demeaning to call someone emotional when they themselves admit that that they are the emotional type? Let me repeat what I said in a comment to her. I too have had my fair share of deep emotional experiences in life but i refuse to divulge them here. It has absolutely nothing to do with the subject and I refuse to feel sorry for myself.

  • Sharon wrote:

    Thomas, you are my brother in the Lord. I will not post on this topic any more. I believe you like beating a dead horse. Debra told me not too long ago that you are a good guy. I will take her word for it.

    So, it’s OK for you to beat a dead horse but when I want some clarity on your view on the words “safe” and “save” I am the one who beats the dead horse.

    I am not here to present myself as a good or a bad guy (Galatians 1:10). I am here because this site is designed to test all things in the light of Scripture. I am used to this kind of response from men and women who do not agree with me. That’s fine with me. Funny thing, however, is that they have no wish to refute me from Scripture. They would rather take something I said and twist it out of context to score a point.

    Perhaps you are already doing it, but the best way to get over your own emotional experiences is to pray for others who are caught up in similar circumstances. It helps. Jesus Himself did it when He prayed while suffering the most excruciating physical and spiritual pains on the cross “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

  • Sally Forth

    Sharon said:

    Thomas…you are swallowing a camel and choking on a gnat. Safe & Saved are interchangeable. These babies are not saved like we are. They cannot place their faith in Jesus Christ like we have. They will be in heaven because of who God is and God the Father is not willing that any of these little ones parish. The word SAFE is used simply because as I stated they have not as yet been saved.

    She answered Thomas’ question clearly and concisely as did I. Thomas is the one doing the twisting of Scripture and has shone by his own words that he is void of compassion, even accusing Sharon of self-pity while pridefully saying he would never disclose his emotional hurts thereby putting her down for sharing hers.

    Even as she showed charity to him, he spurns her good intentions. Perhaps Thomas would do well to review the fruits of the Holy Spirit which should be the hallmark of every believer lest we become a clanging cymbal and sounding brass. Speaking the truth in love and seasoned with grace displays a humble spirit, not thinking more highly of ourselves as the Scripture admonishes us.

    I came to Sharon’s defense and this is my final word. I extend grace to all concerned.

  • Sally Forth wrote:

    Sharon said:

    Thomas…you are swallowing a camel and choking on a gnat. Safe & Saved are interchangeable. These babies are not saved like we are. They cannot place their faith in Jesus Christ like we have. They will be in heaven because of who God is and God the Father is not willing that any of these little ones parish. The word SAFE is used simply because as I stated they have not as yet been saved.

    And I asked whether the blood of Jesus Christ was shed only to make people “safe” or to “save” them to the uttermost? Nowhere in the entire Word of God does it say that Jesus shed his blood to make people safe or to feel safe. He shed his blood to cleanse them or their sins which in simple terms means to SAVE them to the uttermost. If “safe” does not equal “save” as you believe then the babies are in hell, not in heaven. Once again “save” or “saved” means to have your sins blotted out, cleansed, covered by the blood of Christ. That equals to be saved to the uttermost.

    You are contradicting yourself. First you say “Safe & Saved are interchangeable” which means that both words can be used to express the same principle or thing. And then you say: “The word SAFE is used simply because as I stated they have not as yet been saved.” Please make up your mind. Is “safe” equal to “save” or not.

    You are welcome to come to Sharon’s defense in defiance of the truth. Perhaps you should learn to rather defend God’s Word.

    Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. (Jud 1:3)

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Sharon

    Can you ask that you don’t bring in your life story into this, because it’s really got nothing to do with the subject at hand. Getting all emotional about it ain’t going to help anybody :) ok? Thomas is not bulling you, he is debating with you.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Sally

    Thomas was not demeaning Sharons emotional state, you are now taking things way to far. Stop it.

  • Someone asked me to address all of the passages in Scripture that deal with baptism. One of the most important passages is the one in John 3:5 where Jesus said the following:

    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. (John 3:5).

    The best way to approach this passage is to ask yourself a few questions.

    1) Can physical water (H20) lead to salvation?
    2) Can repentance lead to salvation?

    I am sure we can all agree that #1 cannot lead to salvation whilst #2 can lead to salvation. Combine the two – water and repentance – and you have what Paul said of John’s baptism: “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.” (Acts 19:4).

    Nicodemus, like every Jew, knew exactly what Jesus meant when He referred to water as a requirement to enter the Kingdom of God. It couldn’t have been physical water of which he spoke because He made it abundantly clear that washing ceremonies couldn’t produce spiritual purity. Ponder these passages for a moment.

    Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. (Matthew 15:1-11).

    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. (Matthew 23:25)

    Having established that Jesus couldn’t have referred to physical water as a requirement to enter God’s Kingdom (to be saved), it must have been something else to which He referred. And indeed, it was. The “water “refers to the repentance ministry of John the Baptist. Jews were very particular about signs (Matthew 12:38-39; 16:1). With John’s baptism the Jews expressed their change of mind (metanoia) in regard to Jesus Christ.

    In a nutshell then; the water points to the repentance ministry of John the Baptist and the “Spirit” to the application by the Holy Spirit of Christ to an individual. As such the water baptism of John was a preliminary and anticipatory baptism (Matthew 3:4) making it clear that repentance (a change of mind) was necessary before a repentant sinner could be saved. So Jesus was actually saying that Nicodemus, in order to enter the Kingdom of God, needed to turn to Him (repent) (Matthew 11:18) in order to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. As such it does not follow salvation (the baptism with the Holy Spirit) as a signal or sign that the repentant sinner has died, been buried and raised with Christ but actually precedes it. Therefore, repentance (expressed in the rite of John’s baptism) leads to salvation.

    Repentance (a change of mind) is of itself not salvation. There is nothing man can do of his own accord to be saved. This is where Calvinists miss the boat when they argue that man is unable to do anything to be saved. They presume that anyone who has repented (changed his mind) for the remission of his sins (the message John preached in the wilderness – Matthew 1:4) is assisting God in his redemptive work. They say man is void of a free-will and therefore cannot change his mind for the better (metanoia). Hence, God must sovereignly and irresistibly regenerate the elect only so that they may repent which amounts to a kind of “the elect must first be saved before they are able to repent.” They have reversed the order of salvation, i.e. from “repentance leads to salvation” to “sovereign election and regeneration leads to repentance.” Jesus gave us the order of salvation — “water” (John’s baptism of repentance) and then the baptism of the Holy Spirit (salvation proper). It is impossible to reverse the two. In fact, those who believe water baptism by immersion is a sign or symbol of a believer’s immersion into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ are doing the very same thing. They are saying: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of the Spirit and of water, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” “Water now becomes the sign or symbol of salvation itself (no longer of repentance as in John’s water baptism) and therefore must be administered after salvation (baptism with the Holy Spirit), making it a so-called Believer’s Baptism.

    To reiterate what I said earlier, I need to remind you that the believer’s baptism (immersion) into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is not constituted by a once-off symbol bearing sacrament but a continual and obedient reckoning (rational) that we are indeed dead to sin and alive to God.

    For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin (and NOT, look back in retrospect to your once-off baptism by immersion in water), but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:10-11)

  • jrdavis

    Thomas,
    There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the Holy Spirit came down from above in Acts 2, and the Bible teaches that, as Jesus said Himself the “comforter” would come; John 16.7. But that still DOESN’T mean that the Church didn’t start prior to that great event? Certainly Peter was a changed man and without the Holy Spirit descending on Pentecost the Church would never have became empowered at that time from above.
    I am starting to see how the “beginning of the Church” is an important issue in regards to the timing of the rapture. The “rapture” came into my line of thought because a contributor of yours, Dan stated; “The history of the Church starts on the day of Pentecost and finishes on the day of the Rapture”, but is this really so?Because if the disciples ask the question of the time of the Lord’s return in Matthew 24-25 as the founders of the New Testament Church, then the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine becomes untenable? Therefore if one believes that the Church started in the Gospels when Jesus called out His disciples, you cannot then hold to the pre-tribulation rapture? It just wouldn’t add up? So to have a pre-tribulation deliverance/rapture and a Second Coming, you need to separate the Church from Israel/OT believers? Surely this is contrary to what you were communicating in an earlier reply when quoting from Ephesians 2.11-18. If we are to be “one in Christ” then don’t we have a common salvation, Jude 3 ? I believe I read somewhere, “The Church is in the Old Testament concealed, and in the New Testament revealed”.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Sharon

    Please read and understand what Thomas is saying about Baptism. I was totally wrong in my thinking. We have all been led to believe that baptism is a once off dip in the water symbol, it’s not…to repeat what Thomas said, “I need to remind you that the believer’s baptism (immersion) into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is not constituted by a once-off symbol bearing sacrament but a continual and obedient reckoning (rational) that we are indeed dead to sin and alive to God.”

  • Hans

    Tom stated:So Jesus was actually saying that Nicodemus, in order to enter the Kingdom of God, needed to turn to Him (repent) True. However true repentance can only come about by real faith, faith in the Name of Christ, the Word whom became flesh.
    6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
    1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

    Joh 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

    Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

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

    We should be washed by the water of the word. Faith in the Word are followed by obedience to the word (a washing by the Word) and is a daily exercise as Tom pointed out.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    >> We should be washed by the water of the word. Faith in the Word are followed by obedience to the word (a washing by the Word) and is a daily exercise as Tom pointed out.

    Thanks Hans!

  • Micheline

    Hi
    OFF TOPIC – Can someone pls give me the link to the section where you can ask general questions….I’ve been looking for it for hour now….no success :(
    Thank you

  • Sharon

    John 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.

    John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

    John 3:5 A man being born of water….John 3:6 tells us that is his “fleshly birth.” Jesus distinguished the difference of being born in the flesh (water) and being born in the spirit or born again.(3:7)
    John 3:5 is not referring to baptism. It is referring to the birth of a person. That baby is in a watery sack until it breaks and is then born the first time. Jesus says, that which is born of the flesh…he explains verse five.

    But then what does an emotional woman know? A lot.

  • Sharon wrote:

    John 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.

    John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

    John 3:5 A man being born of water….John 3:6 tells us that is his “fleshly birth.” Jesus distinguished the difference of being born in the flesh (water) and being born in the spirit or born again.(3:7)
    John 3:5 is not referring to baptism. It is referring to the birth of a person. That baby is in a watery sack until it breaks and is then born the first time. Jesus says, that which is born of the flesh…he explains verse five.

    But then what does an emotional woman know? A lot.

    It is obvious that you cannot be born again if you haven’t been born as yet. How can an unborn being be born again? That’s silly. Why would Jesus state the obvious when the obvious is so absolutely obvious? What you are suggesting is that Jesus told Nicodemus who had already been born into the world by natural birth that he first needed to be born in a water sack until it breaks before he could be born again. That’s exactly what Nicodemus believed at first: “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb [“a watery sack until it breaks”] and be born?”

    The construction of the sentence “Except a man be born of water AND “the spirit,” . . .” shows that “water” and “of the Spirit cannot be separated or split apart in the sense that the one (“water”) happened in the past and the other (“of the Spirit”) happens much later and separately from the first. Both must take place at the same time and simultaneously. There is only one plausible explanation for both “water” and “with the Holy Spirit” to take place simultaneously and at the same time, and that is “repentance” which was the main thrust of John the Baptist’s water baptism, and regeneration (to be born of the Spirit).

    You seemed to have changed your mind about water baptism. First you said water baptism by immersion is indispensable for a believer and now you say, NO, it is the natural birth that is indispensable. Well, Helloooo!! Emotional people usually chop and change between two or more thoughts whenever they have nothing left to substantiate their arguments.

    The “flesh” to which Jesus refers here is not natural birth but the fallen nature of man which started with Adam and Eve. He was saying that a fallen man cannot regenerate himself. In other words, a person who has been born in sin and has inherited Adam and Eve’s sinful nature cannot regenerate himself. It is only the Holy Spirit that can regenerate the dead spirit of a human being. In other words, they must be born from above.

    So, next time you present the Gospel to an unbeliever you should say to him/her. “You must first be born in a watery sack until it breaks AND (you MUST use the word “AND” here because Jesus used it and because it signifies that both occur simultaneously) of the Holy Spirit. The unbeliever would probably say to you. “What!!! You must be kidding me. Do your really expect me to go back into my mother’s womb and remain there until the watery sack breaks? Really!!! Come on, get real man.”

  • Sharon

    Thanks Thomas. I knew I could count on you to make more of your caustic comments. Right on time too. :o) Bless you Thomas…bless you.

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    Sharon wrote:
    John 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.
    John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
    John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
    John 3:5 A man being born of water….John 3:6 tells us that is his “fleshly birth.” Jesus distinguished the difference of being born in the flesh (water) and being born in the spirit or born again.(3:7)
    John 3:5 is not referring to baptism. It is referring to the birth of a person. That baby is in a watery sack until it breaks and is then born the first time. Jesus says, that which is born of the flesh…he explains verse five.
    But then what does an emotional woman know? A lot.
    It is obvious that you cannot be born again if you haven’t been born as yet. How can an unborn being be born again? That’s silly. Why would Jesus state the obvious when the obvious is so absolutely obvious? What you are suggesting is that Jesus told Nicodemus who had already been born into the world by natural birth that he first needed to be born in a water sack until it breaks before he could be born again. That’s exactly what Nicodemus believed at first: “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb [“a watery sack until it breaks”] and be born?”
    The construction of the sentence “Except a man be born of water AND “the spirit,” . . .” shows that “water” and “of the Spirit cannot be separated or split apart in the sense that the one (“water”) happened in the past and the other (“of the Spirit”) happens much later and separately from the first. Both must take place at the same time and simultaneously. There is only one plausible explanation for both “water” and “with the Holy Spirit” to take place simultaneously and at the same time, and that is “repentance” which was the main thrust of John the Baptist’s water baptism, and regeneration (to be born of the Spirit).
    You seemed to have changed your mind about water baptism. First you said water baptism by immersion is indispensable for a believer and now you say, NO, it is the natural birth that is indispensable. Well, Helloooo!! Emotional people usually chop and change between two or more thoughts whenever they have nothing left to substantiate their arguments.
    The “flesh” to which Jesus refers here is not natural birth but the fallen nature of man which started with Adam and Eve. He was saying that a fallen man cannot regenerate himself. In other words, a person who has been born in sin and has inherited Adam and Eve’s sinful nature cannot regenerate himself. It is only the Holy Spirit that can regenerate the dead spirit of a human being. In other words, they must be born from above.
    So, next time you present the Gospel to an unbeliever you should say to him/her. “You must first be born in a watery sack until it breaks AND (you MUST use the word “AND” here because Jesus used it and because it signifies that both occur simultaneously) of the Holy Spirit. The unbeliever would probably say to you. “What!!! You must be kidding me. Do your really expect me to go back into my mother’s womb and remain there until the watery sack breaks? Really!!! Come on, get real man.”

  • Sharon wrote:

    Thanks Thomas. I knew I could count on you to make more of your caustic comments. Right on time too. :o) Bless you Thomas…bless you.

    There you go again, steeped in your emotionalism. You have reached the stage where you do not care to search the Scriptures to see whatever I have written is the truth or not. You piously attack me personally and then audaciously bless me. Your kind of blessing , while you harbour animosisty in your heart, is not a blessing but a curse and I rebuke you in the Namen of Jesus Christ.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Sharon

    >> But then what does an emotional woman know? A lot.

    What was that comment in aid of? eh?

  • Hans

    I got lost in what Tom and Sharon was trying to say. I wish to give an explanation that might help Sharon. Jesus Christ gave us a command to spread the gospel, that people might hear of Him and make a choice. The scripture tells us:Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. When a person hears the word of God, the gospel of Christ, and he loves what he hears, his heart will be cut and broken. That in itself constitutes faith, and repentance, and rebirth. Words can not ad to that true repentance of the heart, and true repentance can only happen when you truly believe, and faith can only come by love for the truth. When you believe in the word, you are washed by the word, you are baptized into the word, and God gives unto you his Spirit to dwell in you, to teach you and to guide you, and to work in you to do God’s will.

  • Sharon

    Hans, I appreciate you contacting me concerning the water baptism of believers. I believe that the ordinance of baptism is to be administered as soon as possible if the newly saved person is not hindered by their health. Baptism does NOT save. Baptism is not essential for someone to go to heaven.

    Our baptism is symbolic (Romans 6:4) of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a testimony to others present that this person has received Jesus as their Savior. It is one of the very first acts of obedience to God.

    The true church of Jesus Christ has two ordinances. 1. Baptism 2. Lord’s Supper Neither of those things are some mystical act that a person MUST do. They simply are the only two ordinances of the church.

    Again…no one has to be baptized to go to heaven. I do not understand though why a new convert would not want to be scripturaly baptized. (immersed) But that is between them and God.

  • Sharon

    Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

    Sharon
    >> But then what does an emotional woman know? A lot.
    What was that comment in aid of? eh?

    It was as much good as Thomas’ caustic comments to anyone that doesn’t agree with him. I don’t consider him to be debating as you suggested once to me. He enjoys trying to tear apart people. He states he knows the condition of my heart? Only God knows that.

    I am sorry I ever commented concerning anything Thomas has written and even more so under the topic of Baptism. No matter what I or anyone else says he then begins to find fault in the person. He can have his “Bully Pulpit” but I will no longer sit in his congregation.

    I know you and Thomas are good friends. That is fine. You know him far better than I do. But if I may offer you some advice…step back & take a look at things he has said and in the spirit of how he says those things since you made him a part of your blog. I pray that you will use the gift of discernment that God has given to you Deborah.

  • Sharon

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    Sharon wrote:
    Thanks Thomas. I knew I could count on you to make more of your caustic comments. Right on time too. :o) Bless you Thomas…bless you.
    There you go again, steeped in your emotionalism. You have reached the stage where you do not care to search the Scriptures to see whatever I have written is the truth or not. You piously attack me personally and then audaciously bless me. Your kind of blessing , while you harbour animosisty in your heart, is not a blessing but a curse and I rebuke you in the Namen of Jesus Christ.

    LOL Thomas…now you know a persons heart. I guess God died and left you in charge right? You do not know me but yet you can judge my heart? I think not. That is only for God to know. I don’t hold animosity in my heart towards you Thomas. If anything I have pity for you. You blind yourself to the feelings of others. If someone disagrees with you then up comes your Bully Pulpit and you start judging a persons heart or even their salvation for disagreeing with you. I wish only God’s peace for you Thomas.

  • Sharon wrote:

    Our baptism is symbolic (Romans 6:4) of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a testimony to others present that this person has received Jesus as their Savior. It is one of the very first acts of obedience to God.

    Why would you be so adamant to defend baptism while you are silent on how to be saved? Why would you want to cling to a shadow that belongs to the old dispenstation of John the Baptist while you already have the wonderful and glorious genuine article described for us in Romans 6:4?

    Romans 6:4, as I explained earlier, does not even mention water. You assume that it must be baptism in water because you have learnt that when the word “baptism” is mentioned it automatically refers to water. The baptism in Romans 6:4 is not a symbol but a fact and refers to the factual immersion into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (not in water) by the Holy Spirit.

    You wrote:

    Again…no one has to be baptized to go to heaven. I do not understand though why a new convert would not want to be scripturaly baptized. (immersed) But that is between them and God.

    You’re wrong. You MUST be baptized in order to go to heaven. If you are not baptized you will go to hell. You must be baptized into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit and that happens/happened the day one is born again. If water baptism by immersion is not necessary for your salvation and sanctification, how and what does it contribute to your salvaton and sanctification? Zilch, as you admitted.

    You wrote:

    Our baptism is symbolic (Romans 6:4) of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a testimony to others present that this person has received Jesus as their Savior. It is one of the very first acts of obedience to God.

    Where in Romans 6:4 does it say that water baptism by immersion is a testimony? If its got nothing to do with salvation, what kind of testimony are you putting forth that has nothing to do with salvation? How on earth can it be beneficial to unbelievers when it has nothing to do with salvation? The command is to go to unbelievers and testify to them and NOT believers. If it has nothing to do with salvation and yet you do it because you supposedly want to be a witness to unbelievers, then you are leading them away from salvation and not towards it. Rather open your mouth and use your tongue, which you have been doing all along to misrepresent me, and TELL people about Jesus so that they may be saved. Stop using a ritual that has nothing to do with salvation as a testimony of salvation. You are misleading unbelievers.

    You wrote:

    He states he knows the condition of my heart? Only God knows that.

    You’re so right; Only God knows your heart and that is why He inspired the prophet Jeremiah to write: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer 17:9). I never said I knew your heart. That’s a lie which is much worse than being caustic. You are misrepresenting everything I had said and then you have the audacity to accuse me of being caustic. You are not blessing someone while you accuse him unrighteously of lies.

    I’m sorry but I’m not going to waste my time with you and Sally Forth any longer. You are welcome to use a ritual that has nothing to do with salvation as a testimony of salvation in order to mislead unbelievers. By the way, being a witness and giving a testimony is supposed to be a daily occurrence and not merely a once-off ritual in a church which, at any rate, has nothing to do with salvation.

    What are you going to teach new converts to say when they are baptized? “Hi there! My name is so and in obedience to Jesus Christ I am allowing myself to be baptized by immersion in water which has nothing to do with salvation as a wonderful testimony of my salvation?” Huh???? You must be kidding, is what an unbeliever would probably say to you. No wonder the Bible says: ” . . . for the children of this world (unbelievers) are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” (Luke 16:8)

    Bye bye.

  • Sharon wrote:

    I know you and Thomas are good friends. That is fine. You know him far better than I do. But if I may offer you some advice…step back & take a look at things he has said and in the spirit of how he says those things since you made him a part of your blog. I pray that you will use the gift of discernment that God has given to you Deborah.

    Deborah. Now isn’t that just so kosher? Sharon accuses me falsely while she blatantly wants to get rid of me and wishes you to ostrazize me from your blog. I’m a caustic bully who operates from a bully pulpit with whom she wants to have no fellowship. Now that’s what I call real Christians love.

    If a man (or woman) say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (1 John 4:20-21)

    I am quite happy to leave the blog because I do not want to give anyone the incentive to hate me and sin. As you already know, someone else who hates my guts (because they are allegedly in the right to hate God’s enemeies while they allegedly love their own enemies, which is nothing less than a schizophrenic kind of love) was instrumental in the closing down of my previous blog. Little did I know that some of your most trusted friends would want to do the same. I am shocked, to say the least.

    If Sharon can prove that I had said or written anything in a spirit of malice and hatred, I will gladly apologize.

  • Hans

    While reading the comments of Tom about baptism, I was persuaded to his reasoning from the scripture, and even more of scripture came to my mind, of which I commented. I was reading through it once more tonight when more of scripture came to my mind. I wish to share it with you.
    Act 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
    Act 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    Act 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
    Act 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
    Act 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
    I have stated that we are washed by the water of the word, meaning the word itself and the Spirit of the word. It just makes perfect sense, and yet here we find that people were still baptized after receiving the Holy Spirit. I suppose we have to rethink everything again in prayer. If I find the answer I will test it with you.
    I sometimes do find that some of the comments given on this blog is not done in love. Please be careful. I know none of us is perfect.

  • Hans wrote:

    While reading the comments of Tom about baptism, I was persuaded to his reasoning from the scripture, and even more of scripture came to my mind, of which I commented. I was reading through it once more tonight when more of scripture came to my mind. I wish to share it with you.
    Act 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
    Act 10:45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    Act 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
    Act 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
    Act 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
    I have stated that we are washed by the water of the word, meaning the word itself and the Spirit of the word. It just makes perfect sense, and yet here we find that people were still baptized after receiving the Holy Spirit. I suppose we have to rethink everything again in prayer. If I find the answer I will test it with you.
    I sometimes do find that some of the comments given on this blog is not done in love. Please be careful. I know none of us is perfect.

    As I explained in one one of my previous comments, Jews were forever seeking a sign. Two signs were given to the believing and unbelieving Jews who witnessed the salvation of Cornelius and his family – the speaking in tongues and water baptism. Please bear in mind that the sign of speaking in tongues was not for believers but for unbelievers.

    Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. (1 Corinthians 14:22)

    Therefore it is reasonable to assume that Cornelius and his household spoke in tongues as a witness to the unbelieving Jews that salvation had also come to the Gentiles. It is interesting to note that the speaking in tongues and water baptism was concomitant (went hand in hand). If Peter had only baptized Cornelius and his household it would not have been much of a witness to the unbelieving Jews because water baptism was a common practice among the Jews prior to John the Baptist’s water baptism. Hence the speaking in tongues. When Paul came onto the scene as an apostle sent to the Gentiles (not the Jews) these signs seemed to have come into misuse. Hence Paul’s alarming statement “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” (1 Corinthians 1:17). We should bear in mind that Paul did not receive the Gospel from flesh and blood but directly from Jesus Christ. So the command not to baptize but to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles was a command he received directly from Jesus Christ.

    Contrary to what Paul said about the speaking in tongues in 1 Corinthians 14:22, most Christians among the Charismatic and Pentecostal fraternity, insist that the speaking in tongues is a sign of the infilling or baptism of the Holy Spirit. If that were true, millions of God’s blood-washed children are not saved because they do not speak in tongues, of whom, I am one. I am sure many of the other readers of Deborah’s blog do not speak in tongues. Are they lost? Furthermore, if Cornelius and his household’s conversion is to be taken as standard procedure where baptism in water was delivered, then the speaking in tongues must also occur during these baptisms.

    Baptism has been a controversial issue for many centuries. What concerns me the most about those who believe in baptism by immersion in water, is that they insist it must be done in a lot of water. This is nothing but pure legalism. They have made it law and, to say the least, it is very dangerous. Why? – because they have removed them from without the sphere of grace into the sphere of law.

  • I appreciate your thanks but what is you opinion? You seem to be limping between two different opinions.

  • Hans

    What you have mentioned about baptism being a ritual of the Jews seems reasonable, although I do not have that historical knowledge. My spirit agrees with the truth of being baptised into the word of God, (by the Spirit of God) and I know that for a fact, but if water baptism is irrelevant, that I still do not know for a fact. What you have said seems logical, and God has given us logic, but as you have previously mentioned: The bible tells us, the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. I do not trust my own heart, and have never had the information given by you about baptism being something of Jewish religion, and therefore thank you for that information. To me that is new evidence that I still have to measure with God’s word.

  • Hans wrote:

    What you have mentioned about baptism being a ritual of the Jews seems reasonable, although I do not have that historical knowledge. My spirit agrees with the truth of being baptised into the word of God, (by the Spirit of God) and I know that for a fact, but if water baptism is irrelevant, that I still do not know for a fact. What you have said seems logical, and God has given us logic, but as you have previously mentioned: The bible tells us, the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. I do not trust my own heart, and have never had the information given by you about baptism being something of Jewish religion, and therefore thank you for that information. To me that is new evidence that I still have to measure with God’s word.

    It is imperative to realize that the first church was Jewish. Therefore, it was inevitable that when Gentiles were added to the original Jewish church there would be arguments over things like what to eat and what day or days to observe (Romans 14:1-8). This was one of the things Paul had to contend with when he began to preach the Gospel among the Gentiles. In Romans 13 verses 13 and 14 he says, among other things, that the Jewish and Gentile Christians should refrain from quareling and jealosy. Then in verse 14 he says that they should put on the Lord Jesus and make no provision for the flesh. We usually associate the flesh with things like sexual immorality and sensuality. Making provision for the flesh includes things like the making a law of something and insisting that everyone should obey those laws in order to be in the right with God. “Now listen up, you Gentile Christians. Sunday is not the Day of the Lord but Saturday and if you don’t fall in with our obsevance of that day, you are in for some big trouble with God.” “Hey, you Gentile Christians, listen up. You can’t eat that. It is not kosher. It is better to eat only vegetables because that will at least protect you from eating any meat that is not kosher.” Notice how Paul deals with the problem. He doesn’t say “Ok, you’re right and your’e wrong.” He gently takes them back to Jesus Christ and exhorts them to put on Jesus Christ – to cover their bickering, arguments and jealasy with Christ.

    You may have noticed that I had said all along that I do not discourage those who want to be baptized by immersion in a lot of water. However, there are those who consistently insisted that new converts should be baptized in this way as soon as possible because that was the only correct thing to do. In response Sally Forth wrote:

    Leading someone to the Lord is only the beginning and too often the new convert is not properly discipled and grounded in the faith and this includes baptism and a proper understanding of it. To consider it an option goes counter to the Lord’s final instructions to the Church. – See more at: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2013/10/28/importance-baptism/#comments

    Notice carefully the phrase “To consider it an option goes counter to the Lord’s final instruction to the Church.” And yet Paul went counter to it. Sally Forth admits it but chooses to remain blind to Paul’s alleged disobedience and continues to defend water baptism tooth and nail. This is a classic example of, as Paul put it, “making provision for the flesh to gratify its desires.”

    When I referred her to Paul’s baptism in Ananias’ home in Damascus and that he obviously was not baptised by immersion in a lot of water, she wrote:

    “This is a leap right over a cliff. Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan, immersed – He set the example. The very definition of “baptize” means to immerse. The Apostle Paul would surely have followed the Lord’s example of being baptized – to suggest otherwise is to suggest he was “baptized” unbiblically. – See more at: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2013/10/28/importance-baptism/#comments

    Notice the phrase “This is a leap right over a cliff . . .” which I assume means to commit suicide. The strange thing about her arguments is that she admits to the fact that water baptism has nothing to do with one’s salvaton but nonetheless says it is suicidal if you do not allow yourself to be baptized by immermersion in much water. Here again it is nothing else than a law she insists must be obeyed. As in the case of the Jews’ insistence that the Gentile Christians should only eat certain foods and observe certain days, this too is nothing else than making provision for the flesh to satisfy its desires.

    She also wrote:

    Those who profess to be born again and say they have no need of baptism; that baptism, since it is not essential for salvation, is of little or no value or place in the life of the believer – in essence ignore the Great Commission, “marching orders” given by our Lord. – See more at: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2013/10/28/importance-baptism/#comments

    Her arguments are replete with inconsistencies. She categorically stated that baptism has nothing to do with salvation but says in the same breath that those who say they have no need of salvation are merely professing Christians (not saved). Now, please, explain to me in simple terms what she really meant? Are you saved when you are baptized by immersion in a lot of water and are those who are not baptized by immersion in water only professing Christians (not saved)? This is the kind of thing you can expect when Christians make laws and insist that others must obey or else. This is not only a case of making provision for the flesh to satisfy its desires but passing judgment on those who do not believe that baptism by immersion in water is necessary.

    Perhaps you can explain to me the anomaly of baptism being a testimony of salvation and yet it has nothing to do with salvation. Why would anyone in his right mind want to adhere to a ritual that has nothing to do with salvation as a testimony of his/her salvation? Beats me.

  • jrdavis

    Thomas,
    I am sure there are many that have been fully immersed as adults who were never saved; likewise I unhesitatingly believe that many who have been baptised as infants (who never were re-baptised as adults) are truly among the Lord’s flock.
    I think; if any one cares that is, with all that has been said on this needlessly contentious matter, it is obviously important to be at peace, and to have a “good conscience” toward God 1 Peter 3.21, Acts 23.1? And that we should “work OUT” our salvation, not for it, with “fear and trembling” Philippians 2.12?

    Regarding the “Church”, so the “Church” as you call it DID exist prior to Pentecost? If plain words mean anything, I believe that is what you have said to Hans? Or have I missed something?

  • jrdavis wrote:

    Regarding the “Church”, so the “Church” as you call it DID exist prior to Pentecost? If plain words mean anything, I believe that is what you have said to Hans? Or have I missed something?

    If the church existed prior to Pentecost (including the Old Testament) then Paul’s discourse in Ephesians 3 is superfluous and of no value. He discusses a mystery that had not been revealed to anyone in the past but had then been revealed to Him by God. He defines the mystery (musterion) in Ephesians 3:6: “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.”

    It is interesting to note that the phrase “the same body” (σύσσωμος sussōmos) appears only once in the entire new Testament (Ephesians 3:6). The mystery does not convey something esoterically mysterious. It conveys the meaning of something being a sacred secret hidden in the ages past but now revealed. The Gospel of God made is possible for Jews and Gentiles to be united in the same body through faith and faith alone in Christ. Some argue that the mystery is that Gentiles would be saved. This is not true because the Old Testament gives ample evidence of many Gentiles who had been saved through faith in Jesus Christ. The mystery is that Jews and Gentiles would be joined together in the same body. It is a revolutionary concept that was unknown in the past.

    No I did not say that the church existed prior to Pentecost. If I were to say so I would be making Paul and God who revealed the mystery to him liars.

  • Hans

    Tom
    I want to thank you once more for your writing on baptism. I scrutinized all of scripture concerning baptism, and their is no shadow of a doubt in my mind that water baptism as done by John is of no effect today. The only baptism and a baptism of truth is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, being clothed with Jesus Christ.

  • jrdavis

    Thomas,
    If what you say is true, I am at a loss to know what to make of the following two Scriptures; 1 Corinthians 15.9 and Galatians 1.13 ? Why ever did Paul “persecute the Church of God”, if the Church was a “mystery” or “musterion”, revealed exclusively to him, as you say? The Church WAS built on Christ the “Rock” in Matthew 16.18.
    I certainly believe the “mystery” WAS the fact that the Gentiles were called into the Church after Israel’s national rejection of the Messiah. The Lord said “Go not into the way of the Gentiles” Matthew 10.5, before Israel’s national rejection, and yet afterward He gives the “Great commission” in Matthew 28.19-20.
    Ephesians 3.6 only teaches that we are “fellow heirs” and in the “same body” which is Christ.
    There is but ONE Church.

  • Thomas,
    If what you say is true, I am at a loss to know what to make of the following two Scriptures; 1 Corinthians 15.9 and Galatians 1.13 ? Why ever did Paul “persecute the Church of God”, if the Church was a “mystery” or “musterion”, revealed exclusively to him, as you say? The Church WAS built on Christ the “Rock” in Matthew 16.18.
    I certainly believe the “mystery” WAS the fact that the Gentiles were called into the Church after Israel’s national rejection of the Messiah. The Lord said “Go not into the way of the Gentiles” Matthew 10.5, before Israel’s national rejection, and yet afterward He gives the “Great commission” in Matthew 28.19-20.
    Ephesians 3.6 only teaches that we are “fellow heirs” and in the “same body” which is Christ.
    There is but ONE Church.

    It is obvious that 1 Corinthians 15:9 and Galatians 1:13 proves that Paul persecuted the church AFTER it had already been birthed at Pentecost. He couldn’t have persecuted any alleged church before Pentecost because he hadn’t even arrived on the scene yet.

    No! the church wasn’t built on the Rock in Matthew 28:19-20. In the very next book, the Book of Acts, Jesus commanded his disciples NOT to depart from Jerusalem and to “wait for the promise of the Father, which, . . . ye have heard of me.” (Acts 1:4). Therefore the sequence of events is:

    1) Go into all the world and make disciples. HOWEVER, before you go,
    2) wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father (the outpouring of the Holy Spirit) who will empower you to preach the Gospel.

    Your presupposition that the church was already birthed in Matthew 28 suggests that the disciples had been disobedient and decided not to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit and immediately departed from Jerusalem to make disciples in the surrounding cities. The church could not have been birthed before Pentecost because Jesus was still on the earth and the Holy Spirit hadn’t been given yet. What do you think Jesus meant when He said: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you [to your advantage] that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7) While He was still bodily on earth (also in his resurrected body), He could not indwell the believers. That would become a reality only after He had departed and sent his Holy Spirit to indwell every single believer among the Gentiles and the Jews and to unite them in the same body- into ONE church, as you said.

    How could the Gentiles have been called into the church after Israel’s rejection of the Messiah when there hadn’t even been a church in existence yet (Gentiles and Jews in the same body)? Surely you ought to agree that the rejection of their Messiah could not have been much of an incentive for the Holy Spirit, who hadn’t been poured out then, to baptize believing Jews into the same body as believing Gentiles. You must remember that the reigious hierarchy and and entire Jewish nation rejected Jesus as their Messiah. There were only a few Jews who believed in Jesus as their Messiah.

    In my humble opinion you are mixing verses that really do not have anything to do with the birthing of the church. For instance, Matthew 10:5 does not relate to the church in any which way possible. It relates to a Jewish custom. According to this custom Jews were obliged to bring news, and especially good news, first to their brethren and then to non-Jews. Think of it. Although Jesus knew beforehand that the Jews were going to reject Him, He, out of sheer respect for the customs of his brethren after the flesh, sent his disciples first to the Jews.

  • Hans wrote:

    Tom
    I want to thank you once more for your writing on baptism. I scrutinized all of scripture concerning baptism, and their is no shadow of a doubt in my mind that water baptism as done by John is of no effect today. The only baptism and a baptism of truth is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, being clothed with Jesus Christ.

    Thanks again for your thanks. I am pleased to hear that you scrutinized the Scriptures like a real Berean. That’s the only way to go to come to a correct conclusion. And yes, do not believe anything anyone else says or writes without testing it against the Word of God. Bully for you. God bless.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Sharon wrote:

    I know you and Thomas are good friends. That is fine. You know him far better than I do. But if I may offer you some advice…step back & take a look at things he has said and in the spirit of how he says those things since you made him a part of your blog. I pray that you will use the gift of discernment that God has given to you Deborah.

    Sharon, I think I shall step back from you, you words have caused nothing but harm.

  • jrdavis

    Thomas,
    We can but disagree (amiably I hope!).
    I do thank you for your time and effort put into what some may consider to be a side issue.
    As regards the precise point in time when the Church of Jesus Christ began, I would certainly locate it at Matthew 16.18: Just because the Lord Jesus said so. We also have further confirmation in Matthew 18.17? Having said that, many would believe otherwise because the Roman Catholic Church have twisted Matthew 16.18 to mean something different, not to mention also the fact that many believe Paul started the Church, which, obviously he couldn’t have done so, according to 1 Corinthians 15.9 and Galatians 1.13?
    Undeniably and most certainly, as you correctly assert, something happened at Pentecost; the Holy Spirit came down from above, but I fail to see the correlation with this great event and the origin of the Church? Clearly it is NOT there, not as far as I can see it, unless of course you can show me chapter and verse to the opposite?
    Your correspondent Dan says; the “Church age ends at the rapture”; but, many believe that the Church (OT and NT believers in Christ) are “raptured” together. But surely this cannot be before the great tribulation? If, as I said in my post on 8th November, the Lord’s disciples asked Him when He would return; the pre-tribulation rapture would not stand Biblical scrutiny? It would make no sense at all?

  • jrdavis wrote:

    Thomas,
    We can but disagree (amiably I hope!).
    I do thank you for your time and effort put into what some may consider to be a side issue.
    As regards the precise point in time when the Church of Jesus Christ began, I would certainly locate it at Matthew 16.18: Just because the Lord Jesus said so. We also have further confirmation in Matthew 18.17? Having said that, many would believe otherwise because the Roman Catholic Church have twisted Matthew 16.18 to mean something different, not to mention also the fact that many believe Paul started the Church, which, obviously he couldn’t have done so, according to 1 Corinthians 15.9 and Galatians 1.13?
    Undeniably and most certainly, as you correctly assert, something happened at Pentecost; the Holy Spirit came down from above, but I fail to see the correlation with this great event and the origin of the Church? Clearly it is NOT there, not as far as I can see it, unless of course you can show me chapter and verse to the opposite?
    Your correspondent Dan says; the “Church age ends at the rapture”; but, many believe that the Church (OT and NT believers in Christ) are “raptured” together. But surely this cannot be before the great tribulation? If, as I said in my post on 8th November, the Lord’s disciples asked Him when He would return; the pre-tribulation rapture would not stand Biblical scrutiny? It would make no sense at all?

    The Bible Knowledge Commentary says of Matthew 18:15-20

    The Lord had just spoken about offenses; now He talked about what should be done when known sin occurs. When a brother sins against another, the two of them should discuss the matter. If the matter can be settled at that level, there is no need for it to go any further. But if the sinning brother refuses to listen . . . two or three witnesses should be taken along for clear testimony. This was in keeping with Old Testament precedents, as in Deuteronomy 19:15. If the sinning brother still failed to recognize his error, the situation should be told before the entire church or “assembly.” The disciples probably would have understood Jesus to mean the matter should be brought before the Jewish assembly. After the establishment of the the church on the Day of Pentecost, these words would have had greater meaning for them.

    In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said “I WILL (future tense) build my church” and in verse 19 “I WILL (future tense) give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” Peter only received power from on high and was given the keys of heaven at Pentecost, not before.

    I suppose it’s amiable to disagree but the problem is this: When you say that the church started in Matthew 16:18 and 18:17 you are going contrary to what the Bible teaches and anything contrary to what the Bible teaches is a lie. Where do lies come from? (John 8:44)

    Darby believed that the Old Testament saints are going to be raptured together with the New Testament saints before the tribulation. Fact is: they are not. The Old Testament saints are going to be resurrected at the Second Advent of Jesus Christ to the earth. They were NOT part of the church because they hadn’t been baptized with the Holy Spirit like the church saints.

  • jrdavis

    Thomas,
    So, according to your logic, if the disciples had a dispute that needed to be resolved immediately after the Lord’s very words in Matthew 18.17/Deuteronomy 19.15, and before Pentecost; He wasn’t addressing them as the New Testament Church, but to a previous Jewish Church? And yet all the while, the members in the latter Church or assembly are one and the same as in the previous one?
    So when exactly did the Jewish Church transmigrate, or morph into the Gentile/Jewish Church; at Pentecost? So all the Lord’s disciples suddenly became members of a different Church/Congregation/Assembly? Or are, even the Lord’s disciples part of the New Testament Church at all?
    When you apply “future tense” to Matthew 16.18, I agree; I could certainly say to you; “I will see you tomorrow” i.e. the next minute, hour or day?
    And would you show me where in God’s Word “Peter was given the keys of heaven at Pentecost”?

    I do find this reasoning of yours utterly incredulous!

    I also agree with you that lies do indeed come from Satan, as per the Scripture in John 8.44.

  • jrdavis

    Thomas,
    So, according to your logic, if the disciples had a dispute that needed to be resolved immediately after the Lord’s very words in Matthew 18.17/Deuteronomy 19.15, and before Pentecost; He wasn’t addressing them as the New Testament Church, but to a previous Jewish Church? And yet all the while, the members in the latter Church or assembly are one and the same as in the previous one?
    So when exactly did the Jewish Church transmigrate, or morph into the Gentile/Jewish Church; at Pentecost? So all the Lord’s disciples suddenly became members of a different Church/Congregation/Assembly? Or are, even the Lord’s disciples part of the New Testament Church at all?
    When you apply “future tense” to Matthew 16.18, I agree; I could certainly say to you; “I will see you tomorrow” i.e. the next minute, hour or day?
    And would you show me where in God’s Word “Peter was given the keys of heaven at Pentecost”?

    I do find this reasoning of yours utterly incredulous!

    I also agree with you that lies do indeed come from Satan, as per the Scripture in John 8.44

    Of course you would find my reasoning incredulous and indeed for the following reasons.

    1) You believe that the outpouring, infilling and empowering of the Holy Spirit was not necessary to unite Jews and Gentiles in the same body (Ephesians 2:11-16).
    2) You believe that Peter already had the keys of heaven in his possession when he was still a timid, fearful and vacillating disciple (Matthew 26:34).
    3) You deny that one of the most important purposes of the cross was to unite believing Jews and Gentiles into the same body. (Ephesians 3:6).
    4) You believe that the church (the same body of Jews ands Gentiles) was not a mystery in the Old Testament and that therefore Paul lied in Ephesians 3. This is very dangerous because it also makes Jesus a liar who personally gave Paul the entire Gospel.
    5) You deny that the church was built on the death, burial AND RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION of Jesus Christ. Hence your silly argument that the church was already in existence in Matthew 16:18 and 18:17 when Jesus had not yet been crucified, buried and resurrected, let alone ascended into heaven. Can’t you understand that the church is built on the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ and not just on his physical and temporal appearance on the earth?

    The keys of heaven was the privilege and authority Peter received from Jesus Christ to bind and loose. This simply means that he received the authority and power to proclaim the Gospel and to say to those who do not believe “Your sins are not forgiven” and to those who believe “Your sins are forgiven.” (Acts 2). He was able to do the same thing with the household of Cornelius (Acts 10-11; cf Acts 15:19-20). In your frame of mind Peter already had this authority when he cursed and said “I do not know the man” (Matthew 26:72) because he apparently did not need the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to endow him with power from above to proclaim the Gospel (bind and loose).

    Your reasoning is becoming a little haywire.

  • jrdavis

    Thomas,
    I asked you to reason from Scripture; I cannot accept your reasoning, sorry.
    I certainly DO believe that the Bible teaches that the Church started on THE Rock, which is on Jesus; Matthew 16.18; He says so Himself.
    You are the one dividing the body, not me! I believe there is ONE Church, or ONE called out body of believers from the first to the last; ONE deliverance (i.e. ONE Second Coming). I would certainly say that you are mis-interpreting God’s Word. Ephesians 2.11-16 teaches that Jesus Christ has made us both ONE, this means that we ARE all ONE (Jew and Gentile) in Christ? Surely you can see this? In other words there is ONE Saviour? You would have us believe that Abraham the “Father of faith”, of all people, is separated from New Testament Christians? Yet he is the “father of our faith?” Is he not? In other words you tell us that the “father of our faith” stands on lesser ground than us?? Romans 4.11-12, Romans 4.16. That he is not resurrected at the same time as us New Testament believers?
    Certainly, I DO believe when Peter was a “timid, fearful and vacillating disciple”, that he had the “keys of heaven in his possession”, the Lord had decreed so! Would you deny this veritable fact? Let us look again at Matthew 16.18; “I will BUILD My Church”? When I BUILD a house, I start with ONE brick? Indeed the Church WAS very small in the beginning? The gospel has and is going throughout the WHOLE world?
    The Church is ONE body, from Adam until the last person who will ever be saved in Christ’s coming 1000 year reign! Can you not see this? That is ALL that I am contending for. On point 4 above, you are incorrect to say that I said “the Church was not a mystery in the OT”, if you, or any unbiased reader would bother to read the thread of our conversation thus far, you would see that is NOT the case! Read Psalm 22.22, one Scripture for example; that the Church WAS in the Old Testament, concealed, and has been revealed in the New Testament.
    1 Peter 1.9-12 in fact tells us that the Old Testament prophets prophesied and searched diligently of the grace that should come unto us, and of what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was IN them did signify when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow…angels desire to look into.
    The Old Testament Prophets looked forward to the cross, we look back to it.
    It is interesting, your reasoning about Peter; how then would you explain the altercation Paul had with him as described in Galatians 2.11-14? This event, I believe happened after Pentecost?
    This is a lesson for all of us?

  • jrdavis.

    That’s your problem. You shun reasoning. If we should go along with your rejection of reasoning we will need to find some verses in the Bible that explicitly uses the word Trinity so that we may believe in the Trinity. Do you believe in the Trinity being three separate Persons in ONE GOD? If you do, why do reject my reasoning?

    Concerning Galatians 2:11-14: Pentecost did not make Peter or any of the other disciples sinless. They often lapsed into sin and this was one of those occasions when Peter made a real boo-boo. So what’s your point?

    Look, if you refuse to see reason as a means to understand the Word of God and adamantly refuse to believe that the church was established at Pentecost simply because you refuse to acknowledge the future tense (I will) in the English language, so be it. I refuse to waste my time with you any longer.

    Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7)

  • Sally Forth

    Do Baptism and the Lord’s Supper Have Any Place in
    the Present Dispensation of the Grace of God?

    IT is most distressing to one who has revelled in the grace of God for years, but has recognized on the other hand that grace produces loving obedience in the heart of the believer, to read the puerile and childish diatribes of the ultra-dispensationalists, AS THEY INVEIGH AGAINST THE CHRISTIAN ORDINANCES AS THOUGH OBSERVANCE OF THESE IN SOME WAY CONTRAVENED THE LIBERTY OF GRACE. Insisting that Paul had a new ministry revealed to him after Acts 28, and that this ministry is given only in the so-called prison epistles, they make a great deal of the fact that in these epistles we do not have any distinct instruction as to the baptizing of believers, or the observance of the Lord’s Supper.

    We have already seen, I trust clearly, that Paul himself disavows any new revelation having been given him after his imprisonment, but insists that the mystery was that very message which he had already made known to all nations for the obedience of faith. It was but part of that whole counsel of God which he had declared to the Ephesians long before his arrest. These brethren, by a process of sophistical reasoning, try to prove that baptism belonged only to an earlier dispensation and was in some sense meritorious, as though it had in itself saving virtue, but that since the dispensation of grace has been fully revealed, there is no place for baptism, because of changed conditions for salvation. TO STATE THIS ARGUMENT IS BUT TO EXPOSE ITS FALLACY.

    Let one point be absolutely clear: No one was ever saved in any dispensation on any other ground than the finished work of Christ. In all the ages before the cross, God justified men by faith; in all the years since, men have been justified in exactly the same way. Adam believed God and was clothed with coats of skin, a picture of one becoming the righteousness of God in Christ. Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. Nevertheless, afterwards he was circumcised; but that circumcision, the apostle tells us, was simply a seal of the righteousness he had by faith. And throughout all the Old Testament dispensation, however legalistic Jews may have observed the ordinance of circumcision and thought of it as having in itself some saving virtue, it still remained in God’s sight, as in the beginning, only a seal, where there was genuine faith, of that righteousness which He imputed. The difficulty with many who reason as these Bullingerites do, is that THEY CANNOT SEEM TO UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LOVING LOYAL OBEDIENCE OF A DEVOTED HEART, AND A LEGAL OBEDIENCE WHICH IS OFFERED TO GOD AS THOUGH IT WERE IN ITSELF MERITORIOUS. No one was ever saved through the sacrifices offered under law, for it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sin. Nevertheless, wherever there was real faith in Israel, the sacrifices were offered because of the instruction given in the Word of God, and in these sacrifices the work of Christ was pictured continually.

    When John the Baptist came in the way of righteousness, he called on men to confess their sinfulness and their just desert of death by baptism, and so we read that the publicans and sinners “justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.” There was no merit in the baptism. It was the divinely appointed way of acknowledging their sinfulness and need of a Saviour. Therefore it is called a baptism “unto repentance for the remission of sins.” They were like men in debt, giving their notes to the divine creditor. A note does not pay a debt but it is an acknowledgment of indebtedness. Christ’s baptism was simply Ms endorsement of all of these notes. When He said to John, who would have hindered Him from being baptized, “Suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness,” it was as though He said, “In this way I pledge Myself to meet every righteous demand of the throne of God on behalf of these confessed sinners.” And this is surely what He had in mind when, three years later, He exclaimed, “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” (Luke 12: 50). On the cross He met the claims of righteousness and thus fulfilled the meaning of His baptism.

    Christian baptism has its beginning in resurrection. It was the risen Christ about to be glorified who commissioned His apostles to go out, not simply to Jews, observe, nor yet to proclaim a second offer of the kingdom, as some say, but to carry the Gospel to men of all nations, baptizing those who professed to believe, in (or, unto) the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. THIS WE SEE THEM LITERALLY DOING THROUGHOUT THE EARLY DAYS OF THE CHURCH, AS RECORDED IN THE BOOK OF ACTS. WHEREVER THE GOSPEL IS PRECHED, PBAPTISM IS LINKED WITH IT, NOT AS PART OF THE GOSPEL, FOR PAUL DISTINCTLY SAYS, “CHRIST SENT ME NOT TO BAPTIZE, BUT TO PREACH THE GOSPEL,” BUT AS AN OUTWARD EXPRESSION OF FAITH IN THE GOSPEL. It is evident in the Book of Acts that there is a somewhat different presentation of this, according as to whether the message is addressed to Jews in outward covenant relation with God or to Gentiles who are strangers to the covenants of promise. Paul calls these two aspects of the one Gospel, the Gospel of the circumcision and the Gospel of the uncircumcision. The Jew being already a member of a nation which, up to the cross, had been recognized as in covenant relationship with God, was called upon to be baptized to save himself from that untoward generation. That is, to step out, as it were, from the nation, no longer claiming national privilege, nor yet being exposed to national judgment. With the Gentile, it was otherwise. He was simply called upon to believe the Gospel, and believing it, to confess his faith in baptism. AND THIS ABAIDES TO THE END OF THE AGE AS OUR LORD HIMSELF CLEARLY DECLARED IN THE CLOSING VERSES OF NATTHEW 28. THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANY CHANGE IN THE ORDER.

    IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT SUPERSESEDED WATER BAPTISM, BUT SCRIPTURE TEACHES THE VERY CONTRARY. Cornelius and his household were baptized with the Holy Spirit when they believed the Word spoken by Peter. But the apostle, turning to his Jewish brethren, immediately asks: “Who can forbid water that these should not be baptized which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” And they were at once baptized by authority of the Lord Jesus, which is what the expression “in the name of” involves. THIS WAS NOT A MERITORIOUS ACT. IT WAS A BLESSED AND PRECIOUS PRIVILEGE GRANTED TO THIS GENTILE HOUSEHOLD UPON THE EVIDENCE OF THEIR FAITH IN CHRIST.

    IT HAS BEEN OBJECTED THAT THE APOSTLE PAUL HIMSELF MAKES LIGHT OF BAPTISM AND WAS REALLY GLAD THAT HE HAS NOT BAPTIZED MANY AT CORINTH. IT IS SURELY A MOST SHIFTY KIND OF EXEGESIS THAT WOULD LEAD ANY ONE TO MAKE SUCH A STATEMENT. In the record in Acts, where we read of Paul’s ministry in Corinth, we are told that many of the Corinthians hearing, believed and were baptized. Paul did not himself do the baptizing, save in a few instances, BUT HE CERTAINLY SAW THAT IT WAS DONE, and the Holy Spirit evidently quotes the record with approval. Why then did Paul thank God in First Corinthians 1, that he had baptized so few? The answer is perfectly plain. Because the Corinthians were making much of human leaders and he saw the tendency to glory in man. He knew that if there were many there who had been baptized by him, they would be likely, under the prevailing conditions, to pride themselves upon the fact that he, the apostle to the Gentiles, had been the one who baptized them. But far from making light of baptism, when he chides them for their sectarian spirit, he shows them that the only name worthy of exaltation is the name of the One by whose authority they had been baptized.

    As to the various disputed scriptures in Romans 6: 3, 4; Colossians 2: 12; Ephesians 4: 5; and Galatians 3: 27, where baptism is mentioned without any definite indication as to whether it is water or Spirit, one thing at least is perfectly clear. Water baptism is necessarily implied, because Spirit baptism is but a figurative expression, and water baptism was the act upon which the figure was based. This comes out in the first mention of Spirit baptism. “I indeed,” says John, “baptize you with water” (this then was the actual literal baptism), “but He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” It is not literal baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is not literal fire, but figurative. If this be but kept in mind, there would be no confusion. Baptism in water pictures both burial and resurrection. On this Paul bases his instruction in Romans 6 and Colossians 2:12. Thus water baptism marks people out as belonging to Christ by profession, and therefore is the basic thought in Galatians 3: 27, even though it is by the Spirit’s baptism that people are actually united to Christ.

    THERE HAS BEEN MUCH DISPUTATION REGARDING THE PASSAGE IN EPHESIANS 4, BUT WITHOUT LAYING SPECIAL STRESS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER BAPTISM, IT IS VERY EVIDENT THAT THE PASSAGE WOULD HAVE NO MEANING IF WATER BAPTISM, AS WELL AS THAT OF THE SPIRIT, WERE NOT IN VIEW. LET ME TRY TO MAKE THIS PLAIN. IN THE OPENING VERSES, THE APOSTLE CALLS UUPON THE EPHESIAN BELIEVERS, AND OF COURSE ALL CHRISTIANS, TO WALK WORTHY OF THE VOCATION WHEREWITH THEY HAVE BEEN CALLED, AND HE LAYS STRESS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF ENDEAVORING TO KEEP THE SPIRIT’S UNITY IN THE BOND OF PEACE. THEN HE EXPLAINS THIS UNITY AS BEING SEVENFOLD. IN VERSE 4 HE EMPHASIZES THREE SPECIAL THINGS, ONE BODY, ONE SPIRIT, AND ONE HOPE. NOW THERE CAN BE NO QUESTION THAT THE SPIRIT IS BROUGHT IN HERE AS FORMING TRHE BODY, AND THE SPIRIT FORMS THE BODY BY WHAT IS CALLED ELSEWHERE THE BAPTISM OF THE SPIRIT. THEN IN VERSE 5 WE HAVE ANOTHER TRIO, ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM. HERE IS SEEMS TO ME CLEARLY ENOUGH WE HAVE, NOT A DUPLICATION OF WHAT WE HAVE ALREADY HAD IN VERSE 4, BUT SOMETHING THAT IS MORE OUTWARD. ONE LORD IN WHOM WE BELIEVE, ONE FAITH THAT WE CONFESS; AND ONE BAPTISM BY WHICH WE EXPRESS OUR ALLEGIANCE TO THAT LORD AND THAT FAITH. IN VERSE 6 WE HAVE GOD HIMSELF AS THE FATHER OF ALL, THE FOUNDER OF THIS BLESSED UNITY.

    Now without going into any disputation as to whether the term “one baptism,” is to be confined to the baptism of the Spirit, or the baptism of water, it is certainly evident that it at least implies water. No man confesses his faith in Christ by the baptism of the Holy Spirit alone, for millions have been baptized by the Holy Spirit, and yet the world knows nothing of it. On the other hand, of course, many have faith in Christ who have never been baptized in water, but that does not alter the fact that, according to the Lord’s own instructions, water baptism should follow confession of Christ. The Lord has never rescinded this order, and for men to attempt to do so is but to substitute human authority for divine.

    The statement has been made that inasmuch as all carnal ordinances were abolished in the cross, THIS INCLUDES BAPTISM and the Lord’s Supper. HOWEVER, TO MERELY STATE THIS IS TO REFUTE IT, INASMUCH AS CHRISTIAN BAPTISM WAS NOT GIVEN UNTIL JUST BEFORE THE LORD’S ASCENSION, and the Lord’s Supper was given from heaven to the apostle Paul by special revelation, long after Christ’s ascension (1 Cor. 11: 23, 24). TO READ INTO SUCH A PASSAGE AS HEBREWS 6: 1, 2 ANY REFERENCE TO CHRISTIAN BAPTISM, IS IGNORANCE SO COLOSSAL THAT IT DOES NOT EVEN DESERVE AN ANSWER. The apostle there is definitely referring to Judaism in contrast with Christianity. THE “DOCTRINE OF BAPTISM” IS THE TEACHING OF WASHINGS UNDER LAW.

    TO THE LOVER OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST THERE CAN BE NOTHING LEGAL ABOUT BAPTISM. It is simply the glad expression of a grateful heart recognizing its identity with Christ in death, burial, and resurrection. Many of us look back to the moment when we were thus baptized as one of the most precious experiences we have ever known.

    All ultra-dispensationalists do not reject the Lord’s Supper, but those who are rigidly tied up to the prison epistles and have practically no other Bible, set this blessed ordinance aside in the same curt way that they dismiss water baptism. WE ARE TOLD THAT IN A SPIRITUAL DISPENSATION THERE IS NO PLACE FOR OUTWARD OBSERVANCES. And yet, singularly enough, these brethren meet together for worship and prayer, and that very frequently upon the first day of the week, though they are almost a unit in denying that this is the Lord’s Day. They insist, though the Holy Ghost has Himself changed the term; that the Lord’s Day is identical with the Day of the Lord; and so the observance of the first day of the week is with them simply gross legality. Think of parting with all the holy privileges of the Lord’s Day on the plea that it is a mark of higher spirituality to make this a common day like any other. I know that some quote as authority for this, Paul’s words in Romans 14: 5: “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” But an examination of the entire passage in which this verse is found, will make it clear that the apostle is here referring to Jewish distinctions between clean and unclean meats, and holy and common days, and he would have Gentile believers respect even the legal feeling of their Jewish brethren in these matters. The enlightened Christian of course in a very real sense esteems every day alike, that is, every day is devoted to the glory of God, but this does not mean that he fails to differentiate between days on which he participates in the ordinary activities of the world, and the first day of the week, which is largely set aside for spiritual exercises. We have known men to glory in their liberty, as they called it, who could take part in Christian service on Lord’s Day morning and spend the afternoon golfing, or in some other more worldly way, and this on pretence of a higher spirituality than that of those who are supposed to be legal, because they use the hours of the entire day either for their own spiritual upbuilding or for the blessing of others.

    It is strange that many, who insist that there are no ordinances or commandments connected with the dispensation of pure grace, should take up collections in their services and urge people to give as unto the Lord to support their ministry. logically, they should tell people that giving is legal and belongs to the old dispensation, but has no place in the present age, when we simply receive but give nothing in return! The passage already referred to in 1 Corinthians 11 makes it clear that though the apostle Paul did not receive his instruction concerning the observance of the Lord’s Supper from the twelve, it was given to him by special revelation from heaven, thus indicating what an important place it has in this age. Surely one is guilty of gross perversion of Scripture who dares to teach that since Paul’s imprisonment, the Lord’s Supper should no longer be observed, when the Holy Ghost has said, “As often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come.”

    The most sacred hours that many of us have ever known have been those spent with fellow-believers seated at the table of the Lord, recognizing in the broken bread and poured-out wine, the memorials of our Saviour’s death, and thus in a new way entering into and appropriating the reality of which the symbols speak. WE MAY BE THOUGHT LEGAL, because we refuse to surrender such precious privileges at the behest of some of our self-styled expositors of pure grace, but we remember “that the grace of God salvation bringing for all men, hath appeared, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world, looking for that blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ,” and until He come, by His grace, to remember Him in the way of His own appointment.

  • Sally Forth

    The aforementioned exposition was by H.A. Ironside long since gone to his reward.

  • Sally Forth

    You have stated in no uncertain terms that you will no longer engage me in a debate with regard to baptism and yet you continue to do so and diligently provided us with an entire and lengthy exposition on what Ironside says about baptism. May I ask you a few questions?

    1) You have been baptized by immersion in water; I was not. You are going to heaven and I am going to hell because I am, according to you, just a professing Christian. And don’t tell me you never suggested that I am a professing Christian because you did just that. This is just another example of the high mindedness of those who had been baptized by immersion in water and there attitude toward those who hadn’t. They think they are the cat’s whiskers. Therefore baptism must have some kind of say in whether someone goes to heaven or not, or at least some kind of say in whether a person is a genuine Christian or just a professing one. The fact that you insist that baptism be administered to every new convert proves that you at least see some kind of salvific value in it.

    2) Baptism has nothing to do with one’s salvation and yet an ordinance that has absolutely nothing to do with one’s salvation MUST be obeyed as a symbol of salvation? How does that work for you?

    3) Infant baptism is unbiblical. You agreed that all babies who die as infants go to heaven and yet they ought not to be baptized because it is allegedly unbiblical. How does that work for you?

    The Lord’s Supper was instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ as a REMINDER of his death until He returns. Therefore it is an ordinance to be observed perpetually until he returns. If baptism was a REMINDER or a SYMBOL of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Christian’s identification therewith, it too should have been an ordinance to be observed continuously until He returns. However, it is a once-off ordinance and therefore not continuous.

    Once again, if you want to observe an ordinance that has absolutely nothing to do with salvation as a symbol of your salvation, it is your choice and privilege to do so. Nevertheless, don’t make a law of it demanding that everyone be baptized by immersion in water lest they be guilty of disobedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. I for one, don’t see the need to observe an ordinance that has nothing to do with my salvation as a symbol of my salvation. That’s just plain ludicrous. Yes, the Lord’s Supper has no salvific value and is merely a REMINDER of his death. Baptism has no such memorial value.

    As I said, if it reminded one of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He would have said so in plain language but He clearly never says so in any part of the New Testament. And please don’t quote Romans 6 to me again, trying to prove that baptism is a symbol of Jesus Christ death, burial and resurrection. Nowhere in that entire chapter is water mentioned. It simply says that all those who have been saved are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ. And that to me is sufficient to validate my own salvation. I need nothing more than that.

    And by the way I am not an ultra-dispensationalists. I am a despensationalist because the Bible very clearly teaches dispensationalism.

  • jrdavis

    Thomas,
    Certainly the blessed Trinity is very CLEARLY taught in Scripture; I am in perfect agreement with you there.
    I am only contending for the truth, that is all.
    My point is that the precise origin of the Church (Matthew 16.18) does indeed have a crucial impact on the timing of the rapture, for those who have the eyes to see it (it may well be that you can see this?).
    As I said in an earlier post; If the disciples ask the question of the time of the Lord’s return in THAT chapter as the founders of the New Testament Church, then the pre-tribulation rapture theory becomes untenable. The disciples on the Dispensational scheme, must therefore not be identified with the Church, but with the nation of Israel. Dispensational theologians MUST do this to maintain their pre-trib rapture theory.
    Even your “Bible Knowledge Commentary” man, John Walvoord said that “there is not a single clear scripture that teaches pretribulationalism”.
    The Bible teaches that Matthew 24.31, 1 Corinthians 15.52 and 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17 and Revelation 11.15 is the SAME event; i.e. the Second Advent.

    I am happy to continue our conversation in a cordial manner, that is.

  • Thomas,
    Certainly the blessed Trinity is very CLEARLY taught in Scripture; I am in perfect agreement with you there.
    I am only contending for the truth, that is all.
    My point is that the precise origin of the Church (Matthew 16.18) does indeed have a crucial impact on the timing of the rapture, for those who have the eyes to see it (it may well be that you can see this?).
    As I said in an earlier post; If the disciples ask the question of the time of the Lord’s return in THAT chapter as the founders of the New Testament Church, then the pre-tribulation rapture theory becomes untenable. The disciples on the Dispensational scheme, must therefore not be identified with the Church, but with the nation of Israel. Dispensational theologians MUST do this to maintain their pre-trib rapture theory.
    Even your “Bible Knowledge Commentary” man, John Walvoord said that “there is not a single clear scripture that teaches pretribulationalism”.
    The Bible teaches that Matthew 24.31, 1 Corinthians 15.52 and 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17 and Revelation 11.15 is the SAME event; i.e. the Second Advent.

    I am happy to continue our conversation in a cordial manner, that is.

    The fact that you agree to the Trinity being taught very CLEARLY in the Scripture, although the word TRINITY never once appears in Scripture, shows that our responsibility to reason from Scripture is vital. However, you accuse me of unilateral reasoning which is not true because I have constantly reasoned from Scripture. I even referred you to Peter’s denial of the Lord Jesus Christ when he cursed and said “I do not know the man” to prove that he could not possibly have received the keys of heaven at that stage of his life.

    Peter first needed to be empowered from on high before he could administer the keys of heaven. Nonetheless, you refuse to believe this because you are bent on spreading the heresy that the church began in Matthew 16:18.

    Immediately after Jesus told Peter that he would (future tense) build his church on Peter’s testimony, Peter took Him aside and rebuked Him for saying that He would be put to death (crucified). How on earth could Jesus inaugurate the church in Matthew 16:18 when one of His chief apostles could not understand why He had to die? As I said earlier, the church is built on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and yet here one of his chief apostles to whom he promised to give the keys of heaven did not understand why He had to be crucified.

    Do you really believe that Jesus Christ would have given Peter the keys of heaven at that particular stage of Peter’s life? If He had, the first church would probably have been in a shambles right from the word go. Get with it, man. Use your God-given reasoning faculties and ask yourself, is this really possible? Could Jesus really have given Peter whom he rebuked and said “Get thee behind me Satan” the keys of heaven then when he didn’t understand the reason for Christ’s crucifixion one little bit? Nonsense!!!

    Why would Matthew 16:18 have a crucial impact on the Rapture when the Rapture is imminent (can occur any moment)? Are you one of those false teachers who would like to pin a date to the Rapture?

    When the disciples asked the question of the time of his coming, they did not even know that there was a Rapture. They were referring to his Second Advent to the earth. The Rapture was revealed to Paul and not the immediate disciples of the Lord Jesus. So they could not possibly have known about the Rapture.

    You said: “Even your “Bible Knowledge Commentary” man, John Walvoord said that “there is not a single clear scripture that teaches pretribulationalism”.” This is what the “Bible Knowledge Commentary” really says:

    The Day of the Lord is a future period of time in which God will be at work in world affairs more directly and dramatically than He he has been since the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a time referred to by many Old Testament prophets (e.g. Isa. 13:9-11; Joel 2:28-32; Zeph. 1:14-18; 3:14-15). As these and other Old Testament verses indicate, the day of the Lord will include both judgment and blessing. That day begins IMMEDIATELY AFTYER THE RAPTURE of the church and ends with the conclusion of the Millennium. This day is a major theme of prophecy with its fullest exposition in Revelation 6-19 (Page 705).

    If this is not Pretribulationism, I don’t know what is.

    Matthew 24:31 simply says that the angels are going to gather God’s elect (the surviving Jews) who had been scattered throughout the world by Antichrist during the Great Tribulation from the ENDS of the earth. There is nothing here about being caught up to meet the Lord in the air and to be with him forevermore. The gathering here will take place just prior to the inauguration of the Millennium age of peace on earth.

    Those who do not believe in a Pretribulational Rapture just love to quote 1 Corinthians 15:52. See, it’s the last trump, so it must be heralding the second advent of Christ.

    The Rapture and the Second Advent cannot possibly be the same event. To quote from Walfoord’s “Bible Knowledge Commentary” again. On page 189 he quotes Henry C Thiessen who said:

    … with Ellicott we say: “There are no sufficient grounds for supposing that there is here any reference to the seventh Apocalyptic trumpet (Rev. 11:15). . . . This salpigx (trumpet) the Apostle here terms eschate (last), not with reference to any preceding series … but as connected with the close of this aion (age) and the last scene of this world’s history.” With this we agree, except that when Christ comes only the history of this age will come to a close. Ellicott was a premillennialist, and this is, no doubt, what he means by the statement. Meyer takes the same view, on the ground that in 1 Thess. 4:16, “only one trumpet is mentioned, and that one taken for granted as well known.” The same conclusion may be drawn from the fact that Paul follows the reference to the “last trump” with the impersonal statement, “for the trumpet shall sound” (see the Greek). If he had thought of this trumpet as one of seven, he would undoubtedly have said something like the following: “For when the trumpets will be sounded and the time comes for the last one to sound, the dead in Christ shall be raised.” At any rate, there is no ground for identifying the “trump” in 1 Cor. 15:52 with the seventh trumpet in Rev. 11:15. (Henry C. Thiessen, Will the Church Pass through the Tribulation, pp. 55-56).

    There are several distinct differences between the Rapture and Jesus Christ’s Second Advent which I am not going to discuss with you now.

    If you want to continue this conversation in a cordial manner, you should at least admit you’re wrong whenever you are wrong. Your subtle accusation of me not being cordial is an old trick to discredit me. In all of my debates on the internet I’ve heard people accuse me of being arrogant, unfriendly, unchristian like etc. etc. etc. as soon as they are driven in a corner and cannot answer me. Hopefully you won’t do the same, because ad hominem attacks are a sure sign that your reasoning is fallacious.

    Being cordial means to answer questions. So please don’t follow in Sally Forth’s footsteps who refuses to answer my question: “If baptism by immersion in water has nothing to do with salvation, why would you want to use it as a symbol of your salvation?” What kind of testimony is this? In her typically cordial manner, she refuses to answer me. Why? Because she can’t. It’s as simple as that.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Sally

    You have not answered me…

    Sally

    On the other article you said it is “downright disobedient” for a Christian to not get baptised. Making it a sin for a Christian to not get baptised because disobedience is a sin. Is it a sin to not get baptised in water? You also said it is ‘a leap right over a cliff’ aka suicide for someone not to get baptised. (http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2013/10/28/importance-baptism/#comment-277526)

    If it’s got nothing to do with your salvation (as you have so stated), then why is it a sin / suicide not to get baptised?

    Also you keep judging Thomas as someone who does not take communion – you are wrong and need to say sorry, he is also not an ulta-dispensationalist and you have accused him of being this over and over – please say sorry, because he is not. I informed you via email that Thomas does not add another dispensation and you actually said you were not accusing Thomas of this and now you post this articles by Ironside accusing Thomas of just that!!

  • Sally Forth

    Deborah, I have not meant to accuse Thomas of anything. You say I keep judging him on communion. I don’t even recall mentioning that.

    Thomas kept demanding that I produce Scripture. I have limited time and when I saw the article by Ironside it provided all the Scripture references and since Ironside is a respected Bible scholar I thought it filled the bill. I don’t have the time to parse them all out and dissect the article. The references are valid and deserve a response.

    Now regarding ultra-dispensationalism. Some ultras do not believe in the ordinance of communion, SOME DO. So there was no accusation if you say I was implying Thomas is ultra and even some ultras believe in the Lord’s Supper. But they ALL disavow the ordinance of water baptism. Thomas may not be ultra, but he DOES share one of their beliefs and the Scriptures given do apply. If it was a mistake to post it, then feel free to delete the post and in fact, feel free to delete all my posts regarding this issue. I am NOT saying Thomas is ultradispy.

    I did answer the “leap over the cliff” remark to Thomas but it was not posted. I explained that it was a figure of speech and not to be taken literally. It was a poor choice of words, I am sorry.

    I have tried to be respectful of Thomas throughout this discourse. I have tried to defend a truth in which I deeply believe to be commissioned by our Lord. But I NEVER EVER implied that Thomas was not a believer or less a Christian because he has not been baptized. Anyone who has an ounce of pride in being baptized is insulting our Lord and cannot even be a believer. Perish the thought!

    I am not an enemy and do not judge Thomas for his belief – that is between him and the Lord.
    We have so much in common with standing against false teaching and teachers and Calvinism/Reformed. Why can we not disagree agreeably on this issue?

    I hope I have made myself clear. I go in peace and will not trouble you again.

  • Sally Forth

    Sorry, but I wanted to review the context of my statement of “leaping over a cliff”.
    Thomas said:

    Was Paul baptised by immersion? The text in Acts 9 doesn’t seem to say so. It simply says that Paul arose (stood up) and was baptized. He was probably seated on a chair or on his knees when he stood up (arose) to be baptized. It does not say that he was immersed in much water.

    My response:
    This is a leap right over a cliff. Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan, immersed – He set the example. The very definition of “baptize” means to immerse. The Apostle Paul would surely have followed the Lord’s example of being baptized – to suggest otherwise is to suggest he was “baptized” unbiblically.

    Thomas went off in left field when he speculated that the Apostle Paul may not have been immersed. I was quite shocked that he would make such a statement and I considered that quite a leap. I should not have said over a cliff, but it was only a figure of speech. All I meant was that it was a dangerous to leap to such a conclusion with no biblical support. That was all – no other intent.

    Why that one comment was singled out, I do not understand. I felt that I needed to further clarify. Also, I wanted to acknowledge that I did mention the Lord’s Supper in connection with ultradispys, but did not mean to imply that Thomas did not believe in the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper.

    As I said, you are more than welcome to delete any and all of my comments. And you will not have to deal with me anymore.Obviously you don’t need my permission as this is your blog and you can do as you wish. I simply wanted to state that I am fine with that. I believe I have answered all your questions to the best of my ability and have not evaded anything. You may not agree, but I can’t help that and you are entitled to your opinion as is Thomas. Again, I am not your enemy simply because I hold to a different interpretation of the significance of water baptism. I am not alone in my thinking as quite a few doctrinally solid Bible scholars hold to this view as did Dave Hunt.

    But it is what it is and again, I leave you in peace and will not contend on this issue any longer. I just felt the need to further clarify and not leave loose ends.

  • jrdavis

    Thomas,
    As ever, I sincerely thank you for taking the time to reply to my comments, certainly I do appreciate it.
    Having said that, at this moment we are “poles apart”, I cannot agree with what you teach regarding the timing of the rapture.
    I am NOT “following Sally Forth’s example”, I would rather “cut to the chase” as it were, and use few words (my own). I need not comment on Ironside, apart from the fact that I certainly DON’T agree with his pre-trib rapture teachings. And I certainly would NOT reprove any believer that hadn’t received a so-called “believer’s baptism”.
    In fact, like you, as I have said before, I believe the Bible very CLEARLY teaches infant baptism. This IS, as you know, not a “Believer’s baptism”. And I KNOW that you wouldn’t discourage any believer that hadn’t received infant baptism (like me) to be baptised as an adult. Essentially baptism is nothing more than a church ordinance,(I went through it) important though it is, like the Lord’s supper? That said, as you rightly articulate, these ordinances, can in no way be pre-requisites for one’s salvation.
    Dispensational theology ever since it originated with Darby has undergone many and varied refinements, like you, I used to be pre-trib, studied Darby, Sir Robert Anderson, Kelly, Gaebelin, Schafer, Walvoord, Ironside and a whole host of others. But, I just couldn’t accept the way they separated Israel from the Church, OT believers from NT believers, law from grace, their teachings on two Second Comings, their shenanigans over the trumpets and Matthew 13.30, just for starters.
    I am glad you claim that you are not an “ultra-Dispensationalist”, like E.W.Bullinger? Even Ironide called Bullinger’s teachings Satanic.
    Ironside only went part of the way. In my humble opinion, I believe that the Scriptures teach that Dispensationalism in all it’s forms is utterly unbiblical.
    Please understand that we can say the “Pre-Messianic dispensation” age, or “Messianic dispensation”, the TWO great ages.
    I haven’t a problem with the word “dispensation”, only with “Dispensationalism” as a theology.

  • jrdavis

    Don’t worry! Your views on a Pre-trib Rapture aren’t going to keep you out of heaven. You mentioned some names who believe in a Pre=trib Rapture but what I don’t understand is why you reject Paul’s exposition of a Pre-trib rapture when he received it directly from Jesus Christ. A rejection of Paul’s rendition of a Pre-trib Rapture is nothing else that a rejection of Christ’s rendition thereof.

    I assume you don’t believe in the seven year tribulation (a distinct dispensation) and the Millennium age of peace on earth (a distinct dispensation)?

    Darby never separated Israel from the church. What he said was that God still has some vital promises He still has to fulfill to Israel alone and NOT the church. Paul’s letter to the Romans explains these promises perfectly.

    Are you a Calvinist?

  • jrdavis

    Thomas,
    Does Paul teach a pre-trib rapture?
    Why did he worry the Thessalonian believers about the Antichrist if they were going to be “raptured” beforehand?
    Can you honestly make sense of pre-trib teachers treatment of the trumpets?
    I believe the Scripture teaches no such thing as a pre-trib rapture. I locate 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17 as the SAME event as 1 Corinthians 15.52, Matthew 24.31, and Revelation 11.15.
    The Bible teaches that the great tribulation is of 31/2 years duration. That Antichrist will break his covenant with the “many” after the first half of this “week”, Daniel 9.27.
    After the darkest night of Israel’s long and wretched history the glorious millennial 1000 year reign of Christ will commence.
    I believe the Bible clearly teaches that at the start of the millenium the New Jerusalem, the millenial City will be visibly seen, it will be the residence of those who rise in the first resurrection. Those that are “left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem” shall occupy the earth Zechariah 14.16.
    Indeed God has not finished dealing with Israel.
    Certainly I believe Israel and the Church are one in Christ.
    Luther, Calvin et’al were used mightily of God. The Reformation was a mighty work of God. Ofcourse there IS much apostasy in nominal Protestantism as you well know. There is NO middle ground between Calvinism and Arminianism. There are many so-called self styled “Biblicists” that say they are neither one or the other. How can this be?
    I can expand upon these things, but shall be a little busy in the next couple of days or so.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    jrdavis

    >> Luther, Calvin et’al were used mightily of God. The Reformation was a mighty work of God. Ofcourse there IS much apostasy in nominal Protestantism as you well know. There is NO middle ground between Calvinism and Arminianism

    Ahh yes, a Calvinist, just as I thought. Calvin was used mightly by God to murder people? What kind of God do you believe in. You don’t need to expand on anything jrdavis, we understand the evils of Calvinism all to well and have written many an article showing the doctrine up for what it is – a doctrine of demons.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Sally

    Again, you never answered my question…I will remove the suicide part to make it easier for you to answer.

    Sally

    On the other article you said it is “downright disobedient” for a Christian to not get baptised. Making it a sin for a Christian to not get baptised because disobedience is a sin. Is it a sin to not get baptised in water?

    If it’s got nothing to do with your salvation (as you have so stated), then why is it a sin not to get baptised?

  • Sally Forth

    I, like many believers who value sound doctrine view the Great Commission as a command from the Lord which includes seeing that new converts are baptized and taught the precepts of Christlike behavior and conduct and how to live their lives for Him. If we disobey the Lord, then it is sin.

    After one is saved, one is under grace. I have stated very clearly that those who view the Great Commission differently are under grace. As Christians we will sin, although grace is not a license to sin as the the Apostle Paul reminds us.

    I, like many others, believe the Bible teaches baptism by immersion as an act of obedience and identification with Christ as a picture of his death,burial and resurrection. It has no salvic significance, but it does have significance in the life of a believer in my view.

    It is not legalism. If you and Thomas choose to believe otherwise, that is your prerogative. But honestly, I find it quite sad that you have been swayed from your original belief. But again, that is your choice. I make no judgements – that is between you and the Lord.

    I find it curious that you do not question Thomas’ “leap” that prompted my response in the first place of the Apostle Paul not even being immersed.

    I have answered all of your questions to the best of my ability. Let’s leave it at that, shall we?

    I do not wish to contend about it anymore but wanted to respond to your question although I felt that was already answered but didn’t want to ignore your request.

    Jesus’ greater command is that we love one another. It has been my intention to try and be respectful and civil throughout this discourse. If I have failed in any way I apologize.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Sally

    >> but it does have significance in the life of a believer in my view.

    What significance would that be? What happens to a person when they are baptised in water that is significant to the believer – some scripture would be nice to back this up.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Sally

    >> find it curious that you do not question Thomas’ “leap” that prompted my response in the first place of the Apostle Paul not even being immersed.

    I have checked this information by going to scripture and testing what Thomas has said. Also looking at many many websites on what they have to say on the issue. Unlike yourself who just surmises that Paul was baptised in water – the bible does not say so.

    “We will now take a moment to establish that, in fact, there is no record of Paul ever being water baptized. There are only two passages in the entire New Testament that mention Paul being baptized. But which baptism did he receive?

    Acts 9:17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord–Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here–has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.

    We must keep in mind that the same Greek word is used for both baptism with water and baptism in the Holy Spirit throughout the New Testament including by such individuals as John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, and Paul. So, we cannot simply assume that the word “baptism” in verse 18 refers to water baptism. And we have also established that the phrase “filled with the Holy Spirit” would have been synonymous with “baptism in the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, from this chapter itself, we find strong evidence that the baptism Paul received was baptism in the Holy Spirit, not water baptism.

    Notice that in verse 17, Ananias states there are two things he has been sent to do. First, he has been for Paul to receive his sight. Second, Ananias says he has been sent so Paul would be filled with the Holy Spirit, which unequivocally is a reference to baptism in the Holy Spirit. Then, immediately following that statement, verse 18 records that scales fall from Paul’s eyes and he gets up and is baptized. The logical assumption is that 18 is recording the occurrence of both items Ananias was sent to accomplish. And there is no reason from the context to assume otherwise. So, judging from just this passage in chapter 9, we would assume Paul’s baptism was not with water, but with the Holy Spirit. PLEASE CONTINUE TO READ HERE http://www.biblestudying.net/baptism6.html

  • Sally Forth

    Regarding the “leap” comment you apparently failed to read Thomas’ comment thoroughly. Here is what he said:

    • Thomas said:
    Was Paul baptised by immersion? The text in Acts 9 doesn’t seem to say so. It simply says that Paul arose (stood up) and was baptized. He was probably seated on a chair or on his knees when he stood up (arose) to be baptized. It does not say that he was immersed in much water.

    Thomas is not denying that Paul was baptized, but just not in much water.

    Now as to the significance of ordinance of baptism for the believer:

    1.It symbolizes Jesus dying on the cross. As the person is lowered into the water, 2. it symbolizes Jesus buried in the tomb. As the person is raised from the water, 3. it symbolizes Jesus rising from the dead.

    By surrendering to baptism, one is expressing the desire to identify with His burial, death and resurrection. It is done out of love and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ and His command which is not law, but instruction.

    It is not about what it does for the believer, it is about obedience to Christ’s command. The believer has been baptized in the Holy Spirit in the unseen, and is demonstrating it visibly in this way as well as by the changes in our lives.

    In certain works-oriented and pagan religions it calls for courage to come out and declare what has taken place in one’s heart and to count the cost. One can secretly receive Christ, but baptism brings it out into the open. Those who are converted out of works-oriented religions are called to repent of their dead works. That includes infant baptism or any other way of achieving salvation.

    There is a reason that our Lord gave this commandment when giving His “marching orders” to reach the world with the Gospel. He knew that baptism would be important in the lives of the converts, not as a benefit for themselves, but as a demonstration and yes, a celebration of their salvation.

    Surely people who have a burden for the lost and reach out to them with the uncompromised Gospel and then disciple new converts in the faith and lead them to the waters of baptism properly taught are doing the Lord’s work. They take Jesus at His Word in the Great Commission. I see no room for quibbling or criticism. That, in my view is causing division.

    I have not blindly accepted the status quo as you suggest. I have done my due diligence and my research. And I too, have read the views put forth online by those who believe that water baptism ceased and is not applicable today. I don’t buy it.

    Additionally, I have asked a pastor and trusted friend of long standing who is independent of any denomination or association and takes a strong stand against false teaching and false teachers and doesn’t hesitate to call it out and expose it. He knows the Word, divides it rightly and studies it thoroughly. He confirmed to me that this notion of negating water baptism is unbiblical and a distortion of the Great Commission.

    I love the truth and have stood up for it and counted the cost. I say that not to pat myself on the back but to simply say that sound doctrine and rightly dividing the Word means everything to me. I state this with humility because God hates pride and without Him I can do nothing.

    I would lovingly exhort you to read Dr. Ironside’s complete article entitled “Baptism: What Saith the Scriptures”.

  • Sally Forth wrote:

    Thomas is not denying that Paul was baptized, but just not in much water.

    I often use, as I like to call it, the “mirror image argumentation method,” where I hold up a mirror to someone’s argument and say for instance: “OK, you believe that baptism by immersion in a lot of water is the only correct way and compulsory for every believer, but that is not how Paul was baptized.” I am not confirming or denying that Paul was baptized. I am merely proving to you that baptism by immersion in a lot of water is not a law every single Christian needs to obey in order to benefit from “all the spiritual blessings in heaven.” Paul merely stood up and was baptized. There is no mention of water, let alone much water. The fact that he arose and was immediately baptized in stead of to “come up out of the water” proves that he was blind and sitting on a chair> – read Acts 9:17 . The word “anistēmi” means to stand up, lift yourself up, arise and is a far cry from going down in much water or coming out of much water. Now, which of these should we baptize “The Believer’s Baptism?”

    If immersion in much water is an expression or symbol of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, in what way did Paul’s baptism express it? Acts 22:16 confirms that Paul was NOT, I repeat NOT, baptized by immersion in a lot of water. There again we see that he simply arose (anistēmi) to BE baptized. Note carefully, Ananias did not say: “Arise and let me baptize you.” He said arise and BE baptized.”

    Bearing in mind that John the Baptist’s baptism in water was merely a baptism of repentance, indicating that the repentant sinner had changed his mind and had become willing to be saved by Jesus Christ (repentance itself is not salvation) and that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is in fact genuine salvation, one can understand why Ananias said to Paul “Arise and BE baptized.” As you have already said, the word “baptismo” means to be covered wholly. Having confirmed again that repentance is not salvation (the sign of John the Baptist’s water baptism) and that the repentant sinner MUST be baptized with the Holy Spirit in order to be saved, we may transliterate Ananias’ words to Paul as follows: “OK Paul, you have repented (changed your mind) about everything concerning your previous views of Jesus Christ and now you need to be baptized with the Holy Spirit (to be wholly covered with the Holy Spirit in order to be wholly immersed in God’s thrice Holy Name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in his grace, his mercy, his love, i.e. his whole character).

    If Ananias were to baptize Paul personally it would have had to be John the Baptists baptism because no man can baptize anyone with the Holy Spirit. Only Jesus can do that.

    OK, let’s assume that Ananias did baptize Paul by immersion in a lot of water, because that’s the only baptism he was capable of administering. In that case, he would have had to baptize Paul BEFORE his salvation because John’s baptism was a preliminary, anticipatory, introductory baptism, because is says: “I have changed my mind (metanoia) about Jesus Christ and am now wholeheartedly prepared and willing to be saved by Jesus Christ. The post-water baptism by immersion in a lot of water says: “I have been saved and am now prepared to repent (metanoia; change my mind) about Jesus Christ. That’s exactly what Calvinists proclaim – first the elect must be regenerated monergistically and then follows repentance, or first the baptism with the Holy Spirit and then the baptism in water with John the baptist’s baptism. Like Calvinists you are putting the cart before the horse.

    I appreciate your love for the truth. Nonetheless, we must contend for the truth and not merely a ritual that cannot save. You have to this very moment refused to answer my question. Why would you want to advise new converts to indulge in a ritual that has nothing to do with salvation as a testimony to their salvation? That’s ludicrous. If you really love the truth, then you should rather teach new converts what Romans 6 really teaches and that is that they had been baptized with the Holy Spirit into Christ’s death and as a consequence should reckon themselves indeed dead to themselves, sin and the world. But you seem to be so obsessed with a ritual being the alpha and omega of death, burial and resurrection that you have become completely blind to the real issue of Christian faith and living.

    Sally Forth wrote:

    Additionally, I have asked a pastor and trusted friend of long standing who is independent of any denomination or association and takes a strong stand against false teaching and false teachers and doesn’t hesitate to call it out and expose it. He knows the Word, divides it rightly and studies it thoroughly. He confirmed to me that this notion of negating water baptism is unbiblical and a distortion of the Great Commission.

    That doesn’t impress me in the very least. Paul who was the greatest missionary who ever lived praised a bunch of unbelievers (the Bereans) when they did not believe him outright but first checked out everything he taught to see whether he was telling the truth. They didn’t say: “Ah Paul, you’re such an esteemed pastor and therefore we believe everything you say.” Nonsense!

    Do you really think Jesus referred to John the Baptist’s baptism in his Great Commission when John himself said that his water baptism was merely an unworthy shoe bearing baptism? You must be kidding!!!

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Sally

    Ironside was a great preacher and yes he has gone to heaven, but unfortunately on the issue on baptism he got it wrong.

  • Sally Forth

    As did Dave Hunt, who heads a very long list of other heros of the faith who have gone to their reward, some of them martyred for their faith had this blind spot about water baptism. If Ironside’s exposition on baptism be so easily dismissed, what about his other teachings? Either he was Spirit led or he was not.

    Have you ever wondered why Satan would put so much effort into deceiving people into the false practice of baptismal regeneration and infant baptism? Why would he bother corrupting a false doctrine?

    Then there were the Anabaptists who apparently wasted their lives defending a false teaching.

    Obviously you and Thomas are entrenched in this belief and I see it as fallacious. Never the twains shall meet and further discourse on this topic is fruitless.

    We are all under grace and the Lord wants us to love one another even when we disagree. Grace and peace to you both.

    Thomas finds the ordinance of water baptism ludicrous? The impact of that statement is just breathtaking.

  • Sally Forth

    Thomas said:

    Do you really think Jesus referred to John the Baptist’s baptism in his Great Commission when John himself said that his water baptism was merely an unworthy shoe bearing baptism? You must be kidding!!!

    You obviously are confused as to the function of the baptism of John the Baptist and that of the Church.

    Thomas, I have answered every one of your questions. I just have not given the answer you want.

    As I told Deborah, you are obviously firmly entrenched in your view as I am in mine. When we have passed beyond seeing through a glass darkly we shall see clearly who is right.

    In the meantime the Lord Jesus’ greater command is that we love one another and that the world will know us by our treatment and love for one another. We are in the family of God but we disagree on this point. I am not alone in my view as shown by Dave Hunt and Dr. Ironside’s and other heros of the faith’s view on baptism. But the greater issue is to extend grace and peace even to those who with whom we disagree. The important thing is to reach the lost with the true Gospel and disciple them and not create division on the baptism issue.

    One last thing. I would like for you to read Ironside’s complete article on baptism and refute it point by point and not simply dismiss it out of hand. That would demonstrate fairness to a man who loved the Lord and exposited the Word in sincerity, do you not agree?

    As for me.I have said all there is to say. Grace and peace.

  • Sally Forth wrote:

    In the meantime the Lord Jesus’ greater command is that we love one another and that the world will know us by our treatment and love for one another

    I agree, but He also said: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (Joh 17:17) and “Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Mat 24:4)

    The problem with your view is that it makes a law of baptism – it mus be done in this way and no other way because if it’s done in another way it is illegal.

    The least I can do for now is to point you to Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:14: “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” NO!!! sayeth Ironside “. . . . thereby by NO MEANS infants or persons incapable of understanding the truth of the Gospel, “should be baptized. He is doing exactly the opposite to what Jesus taught in Matthew 19:14. He is forbidding and hindering infants to be blessed by Jesus. If baptism is the sign of being immersed in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and if all infants who die as infants go to heaven, then His death, burial and resurrection covers them as well. Why then should we withhold baptism or forbid them to baptized, that is IF baptism is a necessary ordinance to show that they are covered by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus? IF the kingdom of heaven belongs to infants who die as infants, then the notion that they are “safe” and not “saved” is a gross misnomer on the part of Jesus Christ. Surely, possessing (belonging to) the Kingdom of Heaven is far greater than being merely “safe.”

  • Sally Forth

    Just when I think I am done with this discourse it takes a turn that I cannot ignore.

    I have never in my life heard such Scripture twisting and coming from one who purports to have a handle on the truth.

    Oddly enough, your pointing out that Paul stood up to be baptized is the very verse that is used by those who defend and promote the baptism of infants!

    Yes, the Lord Jesus freely welcomes all the little ones who are not as yet accountable and exempted from judgment as they are incapable of making a decision for themselves.

    To baptize an infant as one would do with one who has made a profession for Christ would be to perform an act on behalf of the child, just as the Roman Catholics and others do. There is no salvic properties in the waters of baptism – that has been clearly stated – that is not the purpose. If the candidate for baptism has not made a profession and does not understand the purpose and significance of baptism it is just an empty exercise.

    You perceive yourself an an authority on the truth, but I am sorry to say that you are deceived. You do not understand the significance of the baptism of John the Baptist and how it differs from the baptism perfromed in the Church.

    Your last comment has exposed your confusion – to refute Ironside by saying he is going against what the Lord Jesus said regarding children because he negates infant baptism is absolutely shocking.

    Don’t misunderstand, I am not judging your heart, I am judging your faulty exegesis.

    It is with a heavy heart that I can clearly see that there is no hope in reasoning with you and once again I have to say that any further discourse is fruitless.

    Nothing you say from this point will prompt me to respond. As always, I leave in peace, but with a deep sense of grief and sadness.

  • Sally Forth

    You are unteachable.

    I asked you whether all infants go to heaven when they die as infants and you answered in the affirmative, and yet you persist in your fallacies. IF little babies all go to heaven, it means that Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection covers them as well, OR DOESN’T IT COVER THEM? If so, then why shouldn’t the ordinance that, according to you, symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, be administered to little babies?

    Your accusation that I am advocating RCC doctrine is disgusting. The RCC believes that infants who are not baptized go to hell. I am not saying that infants ought to be baptized and neither am I saying they shouldn’t. I am arguing from the premise that IF little babies who die as infants are also covered by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, then they too should be baptized, that is, IF baptism is a symbol of HIS death, burial and resurrection. You can’t withhold baptism from little babies who all go to heaven and hence are covered by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and only administer it to adults. IF baptism is an indispensable sign of his death, burial and resurrection and IF little babies are all covered by his death, burial and resurrection because they all go to heaven, then you MUST baptize them, THAT IS IF baptism is indispensable. Ironside denied this and audaciously went against the Lord Jesus when he negated baptism for little babies. Can’t you see it???

    What Ironside, in effect said, was that little babies are NOT covered by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and therefore should not be baptized because baptism supposedly symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If they are not covered by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus then all the little babies who die as infants are bound for hell. This is much worse than the infamous doctrine of Roman Catholicism. Therefore, Ironside suggested something that is much worse than Roman Catholicism.

    You say you are deeply grieved and saddened. I suggest you should rather be deeply grieved and saddened about the billions of people who are unsaved and to stop being grieved and saddened over a ritual THAT HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH SALVATION. Your priorities are woefully wrong.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Sally

    >> If Ironside’s exposition on baptism be so easily dismissed, what about his other teachings?

    That your problem, you seem to think that if you are wrong on baptism what else can you be wrong about? It does not work like that Sally. Ironside and Hunt are not infallable, and they can make mistakes. And this is one of them. As for the rest of what they believe, from what I know of, it’s fine.

  • Jonathan

    I must say that as a relatively new child in Christ that my eyes have been opened. I had always thought that immersion in water was a requirement for believers but it seems I was caught into the doctrines of men as many have been. Keep up the good works, Thomas and Deborah, and don’t be discouraged. :-)

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Johanthan

    Thank you so much! I believe this is a doctrine that has been taught to pastors by institutions for donkeys years and and they have just taken it as being the truth, never actually testing to see how truthful is was. But when you sit down and actually look at it, study scripture, look at this whole topic from all angles the Holy Spirit shows you the REAL TRUTH and you are amazed at how you ever believed a ‘man made doctrine’ for so long.

  • Jonathan

    That’s very true Deborah, and how sad it is that people would rather not look for themselves! Strangely, since being genuinely saved and even before, I had always known that it was the baptism of the Spirit that was essential to salvation, yet I could not put two and two together to understand how important immersion really was as far as a believer’s life was concerned. It has certainly lifted (what I can clearly see as) an unnecessary burden on me seeing as how virtually every church around here is either institutionalized in the classic sense (Anglican, Methodist, Catholic) or subscribes to Word of Faith pentecostalism and/or Rick Warren’s purpose driven agenda.

  • jrdavis

    Thomas/Deborah,
    I would certainly agree with you that Harry Ironside’s teaching on the subject of water baptism is confusing and contradictory, most especially to those who may be misled as to any salvific or re-generational powers conferred upon such an ordinance, this is almost tantamount to Popery? And this from one who is held in very high esteem by many. I can well understand why a contributor on this thread raised the question about his other teachings.

    Obviously I am at variance with the “Church and the kingdom” being two separate people groups. As you know I believe in ONE called out body of redeemed people from Adam to the Great White Throne. It has been said by some on this thread that we are now “under grace”, not “under law”. Not true; people of every age have ALWAYS been under God’s grace! Was it not by the grace of God that Israel was delivered from the hand of Pharaoh? Does not His Word teach us that it WAS His “mighty hand” Deuteronomy 5.15 (and many other Scriptures beside) that ALONE delivered His people? It was as a redeemed people God gave them laws by which to live. Are these not the same laws that will operate in Christ’s coming millenial reign? The oblations offered (according to the Mosaic Law) were for particular sins that the Israelite’s committed. Hebrews 10.4 says that “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins”? The Old Testament believers were looking to/for their Saviour/Messiah (Genesis 3.15, 1 Peter 1.19-20, Revelation 13.8 etc) we look back to Him. Yet there are many Dispensational theologians (and therefore their followers) that would have us believe it WAS possible for Old Testament believers to be SAVED by temple sacrifices/rituals? We may NOW begin to understand why many, today, believe in baptismal regeneration? Was there a genuine offer of the kingdom at Christ’s first advent?
    As pre-millenial believers we can at least discuss these things without labelling each other as heretics?

    As you well know, water baptism has taken on a meaning of it’s own (a bit like Bishops and Deacons etc): how deep? How warm? Should it be running water in a river? Sea/Lake etc? It need not be such a divisive issue? But there are some well meaning people who have contributed on this forum who have been “institutionalised” as it were, and may feel disenfranchised by some of your comments? Just because the Roman Catholic and apostate Protestant Churches perform infant baptism doesn’t negate it’s ceremonial function as a Church ordinance. Of course, we cannot call this a “believer’s baptism”. In fact is it not true that even though Baptist Churches don’t baptise infants; they will still “dedicate” them? As both these ordinances have no efficacy, at all, whatever is the difference?
    Does not Colossians 2.10-12 teach us that water baptism is but an ordinance not disimilar to Old Testament circumcision? How many ritually unsaved circumcised Old/New Testament Jews pre figure many in Christendom? Surely, are not true believers circumcised “WITHOUT hands”?
    Also, certainly, I DON’T believe in a second separate “second conversion” as taught by those of the Pentecostal/Charismatic persuasion….
    May we all grow in grace and truth.

  • jrdavis wrote:

    Thomas/Deborah,
    I would certainly agree with you that Harry Ironside’s teaching on the subject of water baptism is confusing and contradictory, most especially to those who may be misled as to any salvific or re-generational powers conferred upon such an ordinance, this is almost tantamount to Popery? And this from one who is held in very high esteem by many. I can well understand why a contributor on this thread raised the question about his other teachings.

    Christians most often rely too heavily on the teaching of great and esteemed scholars without checking the Scriptures for themselves. Paul was not impressed with leaders in the church. He said: “But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me.” (Galatians 2:6). Paul was not defaming Peter, John, James and the rest of the disciples. He merely warned the Galatians against the danger of elevating leaders onto a pedestal and lap up everything they say and do. Look what happened when Peter refused to eat with Gentiles because he feared those who were of the circumcision (verse 11). He misled many other Jews and even Barnabus by his hypocrisy. That’s dangerous, very dangerous. No wonder Paul rebuked him to his face in the hearing of all the others so that they may fear. (1 Timothy 5:20).

    Toward the end of your comment you mention that baptism is not dissimilar to OT circumcision. Some say, yes and some say, no. The fact is that both are ordinances that have been turned into a Law and as soon as you do this, you have fallen from grace by placing yourself under a law again. Falling from grace is not loss of salvation. It simply means that those who make certain things a law are replacing grace (expressed in faith alone) with law. When Paul visited Jerusalem he deliberately took Titus (a Gentile believer) along with him to see whether the disciples would pressurize him into being circumcised. As a matter of fact they did not which proves that circumcision had served its purpose and was no longer a law to be obeyed. If the disciples had forced Titus to be circumcised, it would have been an outright declaration that faith alone in the finished work of Christ on the cross was ineffectual and deficient. It would have jeopardized Paul’s mission to the Gentiles and the church at large. Nonetheless, there were many Judaizers who demanded that anyone who had been saved must be circumcised as an act of obedience to the Law of circumcision and for complete acceptance before God. This is precisely what Ironside says of baptism: “To my mind the importance of it [baptism by immersion in water] is not in regard to what it brings one into (and, as others have noted, Scripture NEVER says it brings one into anything), but in that it is the clearly expressed will of the Lord Jesus for His disciples, and therefore should possess marked interest for all who desire His approval [acceptance],” – See more at: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/2013/10/28/importance-baptism/#more-16678. Ironside was doing exactly what the Judaizers had done in regard to circumcision. He made baptism by immersion in water a law in order to obtain the approval of (acceptance before) God.

    Obviously I am at variance with the “Church and the kingdom” being two separate people groups. As you know I believe in ONE called out body of redeemed people from Adam to the Great White Throne. It has been said by some on this thread that we are now “under grace”, not “under law”. Not true; people of every age have ALWAYS been under God’s grace! Was it not by the grace of God that Israel was delivered from the hand of Pharaoh? Does not His Word teach us that it WAS His “mighty hand” Deuteronomy 5.15 (and many other Scriptures beside) that ALONE delivered His people? It was as a redeemed people God gave them laws by which to live. Are these not the same laws that will operate in Christ’s coming millenial reign? The oblations offered (according to the Mosaic Law) were for particular sins that the Israelite’s committed. Hebrews 10.4 says that “it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins”? The Old Testament believers were looking to/for their Saviour/Messiah (Genesis 3.15, 1 Peter 1.19-20, Revelation 13.8 etc) we look back to Him. Yet there are many Dispensational theologians (and therefore their followers) that would have us believe it WAS possible for Old Testament believers to be SAVED by temple sacrifices/rituals? We may NOW begin to understand why many, today, believe in baptismal regeneration? Was there a genuine offer of the kingdom at Christ’s first advent?

    As pre-millenial believers we can at least discuss these things without labelling each other as heretics?

    While the church (ekklesia) consists of believing Jews and Gentiles who had been united in one body at Pentecost, God has never discontinued his dealings with Israel as a nation. There are multitudes of promises in the Old and New Testaments that prove beyond any doubt that God is not finished with Israel. In saying you believe in ONE body of redeemed people from Adam to the Great White throne, you are not only denying everything Paul taught about the church but also the work of the Holy Spirit indwelling all believers. The Holy Spirit did not indwell believers in the Old Testament. He came over them (overshadowed them) whenever God called them to perform certain duties. Hence David’s plea “Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.” (Psalm 51:11).

    You seem to dispel Paul’s teachings on law and grace in Galatians. Indeed, it has always been grace and grace alone that saves lost sinners but God decreed that the Jews in the Old Testament should live under the Law as children who needed to be school-mastered to bring them to Christ (Galatians 3:23-25). Note his words “no longer under a schoolmaster.” God did not give them the Law to live by, as you said. God knew from the outset that Israel will never be able to live by or keep his laws (Ten Commandments) because the breaking of a single one amounted to the transgression of them all. In this way, the children of Israel were supposed to learn that they were completely at a loss and lost to keep his laws and needed to turn to Him for their salvation by faith and faith alone. Abraham was saved by faith and faith alone long before he was circumcised. Hence God’s institution of the Levitical sacrificial system of animals whereby the sinner who had transgressed God’s law would appear in the tabernacle, and later in the temple, to slaughter an innocent and unblemished animal, place his hand on its head and in faith look ahead through time to the One who would be God’s ultimate and final sacrificial lamb. The placing of his hand on the animal signified that he accepted God’s substitution for his sins in Christ, the unblemished (sinless) Lamb of God. Paul continually had to nip in the bud the belief that rituals such as the sacrificing of an animal was able to save. Hence his statement in Hebrews 10:4.

    I just love your subtle incriminating statement “Yet there are many Dispensational theologians (and therefore their followers) that would have us believe it WAS possible for Old Testament believers to be SAVED by temple sacrifices/rituals?” Who are these Dispensational theologians? Can you name a few and provide proof that they (and therefore their followers) are indeed teaching this heresy. You don’t want to call them heretics but that’s exactly what they are – heretics. I sincerely believe that the sacrificial system will be instituted again in the millennial temple. The Bible distinctly teaches that. It was prophesied by King David in Psalm 51 which I had already mentioned earlier.

    Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar. (Psalm 51:18-19).

    Like the sacrifices in the Old Testament, the newly re-instituted sacrifices in the millennial temple will have no salvific value whatsoever. Those in the OT looked forward to Christ’s sacrifice and those in the Millennial will look back in retrospect to his ultimate and final sacrifice.

    “Was there a genuine offer of the kingdom at Christ’s first advent?” As a Calvinist like yourself you should know that I know you do not believe that Jesus made a genuine offer of the kingdom at his first advent. Yes, I truly believe that Jesus made a genuine offer of the Kingdom to the Jews, although He knew then that they would reject Him.

    As you well know, water baptism has taken on a meaning of it’s own (a bit like Bishops and Deacons etc): how deep? How warm? Should it be running water in a river? Sea/Lake etc? It need not be such a divisive issue? But there are some well-meaning people who have contributed on this forum who have been “institutionalized” as it were, and may feel disenfranchised by some of your comments?
    What as strange remark “But there are some well-meaning people who have contributed on this forum who have been “institutionalized” as it were, and may feel disenfranchised by some of your comments?” The irony my dear friend, is that I was being marginalized, disenfranchised, and excluded when it was suggested that those who do not believe in baptism by immersion in water are merely professing Christians and therefore not saved. You haven’t mentioned any of the remarks I had made to disenfranchise people on this forum. Would you mind quoting me word for word?

    Another enigma or irony is that the adherents to baptism by immersion in water stipulate by decree that baptism must be administered in a certain way in order to make it legal. Your remark, therefore, “As you well know, water baptism has taken on a meaning of it’s own (a bit like Bishops and Deacons etc): how deep? How warm? Should it be running water in a river? Sea/Lake etc? It need not be such a divisive issue?:” is rather disconcerting. In fact, the division among Christians have been and still is caused by those who maintain that baptism by immersion in water is an act of obedience to God. Those who do not allow them to be immersed in water are disobedient rebels and merely professing Christians. Thus, they are cutting of, severing true believers from the body of Christ which is even worse than causing division among the brethren.

    Just because the Roman Catholic and apostate Protestant Churches perform infant baptism doesn’t negate it’s ceremonial function as a Church ordinance. Of course, we cannot call this a “believer’s baptism”. In fact is it not true that even though Baptist Churches don’t baptize infants; they will still “dedicate” them? As both these ordinances have no efficacy, at all, whatever is the difference?

    There is no such thing as a believer’s baptism. After Philip explained the meaning of Isaiah 53 to the eunuch who had just returned from Jerusalem to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, he believed the gospel and was saved. The most interesting thing about his salvation is that it foreshadows in a prophetic way the great blessing for eunuchs in the Millennium (Isaiah 56:3-5). The eunuch must have known about the Levitical law in Deuteronomy 23:1 forbidding him from entering the Lord’s assembly. Therefore, the Jews who baptized by immersion in water new proselytes to Judaism as a sign that they had been welcomed into the covenant, did not allow him to be baptized because he was a eunuch. As a consequence he was not allowed to become a full-fledged Jewish proselyte. Consequently one can understand why he said “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36). It may be transliterated as follows: “Philip, you being a Jew (he recognized him to be a Jew because of his dress), say that eunuchs aren’t allowed in the assemblies of God and are therefore also forbidden to be baptized. Look, here is water, what prevents me from being baptized?” Notice very carefully Philip never once insisted that he be baptized but graciously allowed him to be baptized when he asked to be immersed in water as a sign to him (the eunuch) that he had indeed been welcomed into the family of God (the church), while the Jews flatly rejected him. It was a unique situation and should not be taken as a rock set rule that everyone who believes should now be baptized. As I said, to relieve him of his anguish, caused by his rejection by the Jews and their intolerance of him being baptized, Philip allowed him to be baptized on one and one condition only, to believe in the Lord Jesus whom he proclaimed. The proviso the Jews set for him in order to be baptized was altogether impossible to meet. A eunuch cannot un-eunuch himself in order to make him acceptable or to obtain God’s approval. Philip says. “No my dear friend, you don’t need to change anything or try to change your condition as a eunuch. The only requirement to be saved and to be baptized into the Name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and to prove it to you, I am now going to baptize you in the water we found here.”

    Does not Colossians 2.10-12 teach us that water baptism is but an ordinance not disimilar to Old Testament circumcision? How many ritually unsaved circumcised Old/New Testament Jews pre figure many in Christendom? Surely, are not true believers circumcised “WITHOUT hands”?
    Also, certainly, I DON’T believe in a second separate “second conversion” as taught by those of the Pentecostal/Charismatic persuasion….

    May we all grow in grace and truth.

    Yes, the circumcision to which you refer is the circumcision of the heart (Romans 2:29).

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Johnathan

    Yes, I have heard of a few people who’s water baptism turned out to be a disaster, in one example, a young girl went to be baptised and another girl, the daughter of the pastor was laughing and making jokes the whole way through. The young girl tried desperately hard to take the whole baptism seriously but could not help laughing at the other girl. It has haunted her her whole life; was her baptism real? what does it mean for her salvation? As she grew much older and studying scripture she realised that baptism in water was not needed – that what the church taught was false. This person was my mother!

    Now I believed that baptism was a necessity, and I have been baptised. And I always looked back to the day of my baptism instead of the day I was saved. After learning the truth from Thomas, I spent 4 days going back and forth through all the scriptures on the matter and it hit me like a ton of bricks that this was indeed a false teaching. I then spoke to my mom about it who informed me of what she knew all along.

    So how many people out there have had baptism’s where the baptism either became a burden because it did not run smoothly and you spent your life wondering if you were baptised, or you looked back to your baptism in big shiny lights and totally dull down the day you were saved. See how easy it is for works to overtake faith. I was one of those at fault and since finding out the truth I have asked Jesus for forgiveness.

  • jrdavis

    Thomas,
    Apologies for not responding sooner. In your last reply to me you asked me to name Dispensationalist teachers who taught that it was possible to be saved by the law/temple sacrifices. In other words another way of salvation. With much respect, it ought to be common knowledge to you that many Christians do in fact errantly believe that Israel of old were saved by temple sacrifices (law) and that the church age believers ONLY are saved by the blood of Christ. In fact this IS what I believed until about five years ago. Hence the oft heard mantra “we are not under law, we are under grace.” The Ten Commandments are the Christian’s “way of life”, the “way to life IS the cross”. The Ten Commandments ARE binding on the New Testament believer, they haven’t been “done away” with, they ARE eternal. It was only the ceremonial law that was “abolished”, read Ephesians 2.15.

    L.S.Chafer the founder and first president of Dallas Theological Seminary wrote; “According to the Old Testament men were just because they were true and faithful in keeping the Mosaic Law. MEN WERE THEREFORE JUST BECAUSE OF THEIR OWN WORKS for God whereas New Testament justification is God’s work for man in answer to faith” (emphasis mine): Systematic Theology, Volume 7, page 219.

    I could quote many other such statements by Chafer, who was heavily influenced by C.I.Scofield. As I am sure you well know, Chafer was a very influential Dispensational teacher and had many followers including John Walvoord? Now, I believe that men like Chafer, Walvoord, and indeed yourself were/are sagacious and intelligent enough NOT to openly teach another way of salvation, no, not at all! It is my belief that this ‘unintentional’, or another way of salvation teaching is a by-product of errant theology, which unhappily they accepted, believed and taught; separating the Church and Israel into TWO separate people groups, which leads to two separate deliverances, the pre-tribulation rapture, and the Second Coming. I most sincerely believe that Dispensational Theology is NOT biblical doctrine. Dispensational theology, as you are aware has undergone many refinements since first being introduced by J.N.Darby, and there are today many conflicting theories within Dispensationalism, the worst, as you would no doubt agree being propagated by E.W.Bullinger. Maybe, given enough time Dispensationalism could eventually be brought into line and agree with Covenant Theology?

    On another thread on this website there is a contributor by the name of Sharon, she claims that she is no theologian (and has no bias?), yet she has the Scriptural knowledge to know that the Church had it’s foundations BEFORE Pentecost. She may not (as indeed you do) realise that this effectively destroys the theory of the pre-tribulation rapture? Because if the disciples ask the question of the time of the Lord’s return in Matthew 24-25 as the FOUNDERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH, then the pre-tribulation rapture theory is untenable? It just collapses. You well KNOW this? Therefore, the disciples on the Dispensational scheme, must NOT be identified with the Church, but with the NATION OF ISRAEL.

  • jrdavis wrote:

    Thomas,
    Apologies for not responding sooner. In your last reply to me you asked me to name Dispensationalist teachers who taught that it was possible to be saved by the law/temple sacrifices. In other words another way of salvation. With much respect, it ought to be common knowledge to you that many Christians do in fact errantly believe that Israel of old were saved by temple sacrifices (law) and that the church age believers ONLY are saved by the blood of Christ. In fact this IS what I believed until about five years ago. Hence the oft heard mantra “we are not under law, we are under grace.” The Ten Commandments are the Christian’s “way of life”, the “way to life IS the cross”. The Ten Commandments ARE binding on the New Testament believer, they haven’t been “done away” with, they ARE eternal. It was only the ceremonial law that was “abolished”, read Ephesians 2.15.

    I know perfectly well who teach/taught Dispensationalism. I asked to see whether you know but it is clear that you don’t because you have grossly misrepresented, not only some of the most esteemed Dispensational scholars, but me as well. You seem to be so hard-bent on proving that Dispensationalism is a heresy that you fail to see your own, and that is to openly and publically bear false witness against someone. With due respect, you ought to know that you are breaking one of God’s commandments which Jesus Himself dearly honoured and revered (Exodus 20:16; Matthew 19:18; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20). Paul exposed the real essence of breaking the law in regard to bearing false witness when he said it amounts to not loving your neighbour as yourself. (Romans 13:9). Fortunately you don’t need to bring a sacrifice to your church, slaughter it, and place your hand on its head and through faith receive forgiveness for your sin. You only need to go on your knees and beg for forgiveness and you will receive forgiveness for your bearing false witness because Jesus is the final and ultimate and ONLY EFFICACIOUS sacrifice for your and my sins.

    None of the persons you mentioned believed in Dispensationalism as a system proclaiming two different kinds of salvation – one for the Jews by means of temple worship and sacrifices (law) and one ONLY by the blood of Christ. The putting on of the blood of a sacrificial lamb on the door posts of the Israelite in Egypt and the entire sacrificial system in Leviticus pointed ahead of time and with great expectation to the blood of Jesus Christ. Do you really think Chafer and Walfoord did not know this OR that they knew it but deliberately ignored it? You must be kidding!

    Your infamous and derogatory remark “Hence the oft heard mantra “we are not under law, we are under grace,” is, to say the least, blasphemous. It is not a meaningless, oft repeated mantra but a clearly stated fact in Scripture. Paul emphatically states that Christians in this dispensation are no longer under law but under grace (Romans 6:1-5). Paul simply said that if today’s Christians were under the Law, it would be impossible to keep sin from being their master because the power of sin is the Law (1 Corinthians 15:56).

    You should know that the Law hasn’t been done away with, unless you believe that Jesus lied when He said: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.” (Matthew 5:17). Those who are not in Christ (saved) who fulfilled the law in the behalf of all mankind, must fulfil it themselves, which, of course, is impossible, and hence renders them fit for God’s just punishment in an eternal hell. Fulfilment does NOT equal abolishment. Ephesians 2:15 does not say that the Law was abolished; it says that the ordinances (ceremonial ordinances) representing the Law were abolished. These ceremonial ordinances (continual sacrifice of animals) are no longer necessary because Jesus’ death on the cross is the ultimate and final sacrifice for our sins. The OT sacrifices were merely pointers to Jesus’ final and ultimate sacrifice on the cross and was unable to save anyone unless the one who brought the sacrifice BELIEVED that it represented (as an anticipatory shadow) Jesus Christ’s final and ultimate sacrifice on the cross. It was not the ordinance (sacrifice) itself that saved but the Israelite’s faith in the coming One whose ultimate sacrifice was signified in the ceremonial ordinance.

    jrdavis wrote:

    L.S.Chafer the founder and first president of Dallas Theological Seminary wrote; “According to the Old Testament men were just because they were true and faithful in keeping the Mosaic Law. MEN WERE THEREFORE JUST BECAUSE OF THEIR OWN WORKS for God whereas New Testament justification is God’s work for man in answer to faith” (emphasis mine): Systematic Theology, Volume 7, page 219.
    I could quote many other such statements by Chafer, who was heavily influenced by C.I.Scofield. As I am sure you well know, Chafer was a very influential Dispensational teacher and had many followers including John Walvoord? Now, I believe that men like Chafer, Walvoord, and indeed yourself were/are sagacious and intelligent enough NOT to openly teach another way of salvation, no, not at all! It is my belief that this ‘unintentional’, or another way of salvation teaching is a by-product of errant theology, which unhappily they accepted, believed and taught; separating the Church and Israel into TWO separate people groups, which leads to two separate deliverances, the pre-tribulation rapture, and the Second Coming. I most sincerely believe that Dispensational Theology is NOT biblical doctrine. Dispensational theology, as you are aware has undergone many refinements since first being introduced by J.N.Darby, and there are today many conflicting theories within Dispensationalism, the worst, as you would no doubt agree being propagated by E.W.Bullinger. Maybe, given enough time Dispensationalism could eventually be brought into line and agree with Covenant Theology?

    Wikipedia unequivocally avows that L.S Chafer “was vehemently opposed to covenant theology. Indeed, both he and John F Walfoord did not in the very least believe that there are two kinds of salvation. Chafer wrote:

    “Are there two ways by which one may be saved? In reply to this question it may be stated that salvation of whatever specific character is always the work of God in behalf of man and never a work of man in behalf of God. . . . There is, therefore, but one way to be saved and that is by the power of God made possible through the sacrifice of Christ.” ((Lewis S. Chafer, “Editorial,” Bibliotheca Sacra Vol. 102, No. 405 (1945): 1)).

    Walfoord wrote:

    “. . . there are not two ways of salvation. All salvation of God stems from the Savior, the Son of God, and His work on the cross. … The two great essentials of salvation remain the same from the salvation of Adam to the last soul which God takes to Himself in the future. Faith is the condition and the death of Christ is the basis.” ((John Walvoord, “Series in Christology-Part 4: The Preincarnate Son of God,” Bibliotheca Sacra Vol. 104, No. 416, (1947) : 422.))

    Even some who are not Dispensational in their thinking testify that those who accuse Dispenstationalists of having two diverse soteriologocal viewpoints are woefully wrong. Willem Van Gemeren wries in his “Systems of Continuity,” Continuity and Discontinuity: Perspectives on the Relationship Between the Old and New Testaments (Westchester: Crossway Books), 70-71 the following:

    “Some think salvation is at the heart of Dispensationalism, because they erroneously think Dispensationalism teaches multiple methods of salvation. Those who properly understand the position realize its emphasis lies elsewhere.”

    Millard J. Erickson, in his “Christian Theology” (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1985), 1163 wrote:

    “…dispensations are successive stages in God’s revelation of his purposes. They do not entail different means of salvation, for the means of salvation has been the same at all periods of time, namely, by grace through faith.”

    The “elsewhere” to which Van Gemeren refers is what Paul says in Romans 11:

    I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election [according to grace] hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” (Romans 11:1-27)

    But of course, you don’t believe what Jesus Christ said through the apostle Paul who received the Gospel directly from Him. You are not a Dispensationalist because you believe the church has replaced Israel and that all the promises God had given to the nation of Israel have all been transferred to the church. It is obvious that Paul was a Dispensationalist and abhorred Replacement Theology. In your view Dispensationalism is unbiblical while Paul proves most emphatically that your non-Dispensational, Replacement Theology is totally unbiblical.

    Dispensationalism does not separate the church and Israel as far as salvation is concerned, as you have intoned, and neither does it make a distinction between two separate deliverances. Yes, the deliverance of the remnant of Israel at Christ’s Second Coming after the Great Tribulation will be a deliverance unto salvation (Ezekiel 37; 39:25-29). The Pre-Trib Rapture is not a deliverance unto salvation but a deliverance from out of the sphere of God’s wrath and righteous judgements that are coming upon the entire world during the Tribulation.

    jrdavis wrote:

    On another thread on this website there is a contributor by the name of Sharon, she claims that she is no theologian (and has no bias?), yet she has the Scriptural knowledge to know that the Church had it’s foundations BEFORE Pentecost. She may not (as indeed you do) realise that this effectively destroys the theory of the pre-tribulation rapture? Because if the disciples ask the question of the time of the Lord’s return in Matthew 24-25 as the FOUNDERS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH, then the pre-tribulation rapture theory is untenable? It just collapses. You well KNOW this? Therefore, the disciples on the Dispensational scheme, must NOT be identified with the Church, but with the NATION OF ISRAEL.

    As you may know I rejected and refuted Sharon’s view of the institution of the church before Pentecost. I maintained throughout that the church was instituted on the Day of Pentecost. So please don’t try a guilty by association trick on me because it just won’t work.

    The dispensational scheme with regard to the Rapture, in spite your effort to identify Dispensationalism with the nation of Israel instead of the church, includes both the church and the nation of Israel. In fact, the seven year tribulation will be the dispensation in which God is going to deal with the nation of Israel once again in a most miraculous way. Not only is He going to seal 144 000 Jews (12 000 from each tribe) to proclaim the Gospel throughout the entire world, multitudes of Jews are going to turn to Him for their salvation. It is, therefore, no figment of the imagination that it is called “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” The latter can only commence when the restraining work of the Holy Spirit in and through the Body of Christ (the Ekklesia) is taken out of the way because, as Paul wrote: “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.” (2 Thess 2:7)

  • jrdavis

    Thomas,
    It is very interesting that you didn’t refute the statement from Chafer that I quoted in my last post? In fact you made NO comment on it?
    It is my belief that Dispensational theology does give rise to two ways of salvation, this is what it clearly amounts to. It is a very confusing, and unbiblical theology. I NEVER said that Chafer and Walvoord openly taught that the Ten Commandments were abolished, I was only making the point that Dispensationalism has been interpreted by many believers to teach such. I am sure that you are aware of this?
    I can only believe that men such as Chafer and Walvoord (and therefore their followers) were deceived by Dispensational theology, and in their best endeavours to defend it came out with many unguarded statements which will NOT bear the testimony of God’s Word.

    Another amazing statement by Chafer:
    “Whatever may have been the divine method of dealing with individuals before the call of Abraham and the giving of the law by Moses, it is evident that, with the call of Abraham and the giving of the law and all that followed, THERE ARE TWO WIDELY DIFFERENT, STANDARDIZED, DIVINE PROVISIONS WHEREBY MAN, WHO IS UTTERLY FALLEN, MIGHT STAND IN THE FAVOR OF GOD. (emphasis added) Systematic Theology vol 4 page 14-15.
    Whatever are we to make of this? This statement recognizes the difficult question that the Dispensationalist theologian must answer with regard to the pre-Abrahamic saints. To what BODY do these redeemed people belong? Chafer implies here that he is not sure how these people came to stand in the favor of God. Secondly, Chafer IS sure that since the time of Abraham there have been TWO ways that fallen man could come to a right standing with God.
    As you said in your reply to me, Chafer IS indeed “vehemently opposed to covenant theology”, I will quote him again:
    “Covenant theology engenders the notion that there is BUT ONE SOTERIOLOGY and one eschatology, and that ecclesiology, such as it is conceived to be, extends from the Garden of Eden to the great white throne. The insuperable problems in exegesis which such fanciful suppositions engender are easily disposed of by ignoring them. (emphasis added) Systematic Theology vol 4, page 248.
    He criticizes covenant theology for teaching “ONE SOTERIOLOGY”! ONE way of salvation, and he calls it a “fanciful supposition”! This IS astounding? Chafer could NOT have chosen clearer words to say that there is more than one doctrine of salvation? He would appear to mock covenant theology for the truth that it teaches? Covenant theology teaches that the Church extends from the Garden until the end of time. Scripture teaches that there is ONE body of redeemed people. This is what I am contending for, can you not see this?

    Thomas, I MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT believe that the Church replaced Israel, that is a false charge.
    Replacement theologians believe that God HAS finished with Israel and replaced Israel with the Church, and that there will be NO literal millenial kingdom. God has most definitely NOT finished with Israel, ALL the unfulfilled prophecies (too many to mention here-you know them well, I need not quote them?) will yet come to pass.
    But, this is no new thing? Dispensationalists often ignore or even seek to refute the existence of Historic Premillennialism.
    I most certainly believe in the coming millennial reign, Scripture clearly teaches this.

    Thomas, the “time of Jacob’s trouble”, or the great tribulation is 31/2 years; Revelation 13.5, 11.2 & 12.6. Daniel 9.27 tells us that Antichrist “in the midst of the week shall cause the oblation to cease”? Indeed, the “tribulation saints” as you say, WILL come out of the great tribulation, then the Second Coming. There will be no “first resurrection” prior to the “first resurrection”, as that is what the pre-tribulation rapture theory amounts to?

  • jrdavis wrote:

    Thomas, I MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT believe that the Church replaced Israel, that is a false charge.
    Replacement theologians believe that God HAS finished with Israel and replaced Israel with the Church, and that there will be NO literal millenial kingdom. God has most definitely NOT finished with Israel, ALL the unfulfilled prophecies (too many to mention here-you know them well, I need not quote them?) will yet come to pass.
    But, this is no new thing? Dispensationalists often ignore or even seek to refute the existence of Historic Premillennialism.
    I most certainly believe in the coming millennial reign, Scripture clearly teaches this.

    Thomas, the “time of Jacob’s trouble”, or the great tribulation is 31/2 years; Revelation 13.5, 11.2 & 12.6. Daniel 9.27 tells us that Antichrist “in the midst of the week shall cause the oblation to cease”? Indeed, the “tribulation saints” as you say, WILL come out of the great tribulation, then the Second Coming. There will be no “first resurrection” prior to the “first resurrection”, as that is what the pre-tribulation rapture theory amounts to?

    Then you must be a dispensationalist if you believe in a literal future millennial age of peace when Jesus is going to rule the entire world with an iron rod from the throne of his father David in Jerusalem, on earth.

    IN another comment you said: “But, I just couldn’t accept the way they separated Israel from the Church.” The nation of Israel, like any other consists, of believers and unbelievers. In saying that Israel as a whole is not separate from the church, you are in effect saying that any other nation is not separate from the church either. The word “Ekklesia” as you know means “called out ones” (called out ones to be separate unto God). Israel as a nation does not owe its existence to the church but the church to Israel (

    Yes, the bible teaches that that there is ONE body of redeemed people. Therefore, in saying that the entire nation of Israel is not separate from the church (ONE body with the church), you are implying that some in Israel were saved in another way. You can’t include unbelievers within the ranks of Israel as a nation in the church and then say there is only ONE soteriology. In what manner do you include the entire nation of Israel in the body of Christ when the great majority of them are not saved and are lost?

    Your view that the church extends from the Garden until the end of time is an outright denial what Jesus conveyed directly to Paul in Ephesians 3.

    For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ. (Eph 3:1-9)

    Note the word “oikonomia” which refers to a household or estate, specifically a (religious) “economy – dispensation, stewardship. Paul was a dispensationalist and unlike you he did not believe that Israel as a nation was not separate from the church. He clearly says that the church as a mystery (musterion) was unknown in the Old Testament up to Pentecost when believing Jews and Gentiles were made ONE in Christ Jesus.

    I asked you whether you were a Calvinist. You haven’t answered me yet. If you are, it explains why you believe in a Covenant Theology with one soteriology. Their one soteriology is tied up in the belief that God saves only the elect and damns the reprobate or non-elect.

    Indeed, the second half of the seven year tribulation will be a time of great trouble for Israel. However, the 3 1/2 years preceding this period will be a time of comparative peace for Israel following in the wake of the peace treaty the Antichrist is going to make with her (Daniel 8:25; Daniel 9:27 KJV). Midway into the seven year tribulation Satan is going to put into action his plan which he had been dreaming of for many centuries – to sit as God in the person of his Antichrist in the most holy of holies in the temple. Jesus refers to it in Matthew 25:15.

    I will comment on your quotes from Chafer if you comment on my quotes from Chafer.

  • Rista

    Good day

    I do not know where else to ask this question so here goes. Can someone who is not an ordained minister\pastor but a Bible believing Christian dedicate\baptise a baby of other Bible believing Christians who no longer attend a church but gave their hearts to Jesus and do strive to live according to the Bible? Jesus’s words to His disciples were that they should go and make disciples and baptise them and I see no restriction there? My own children were baptised – I then still belonged to a church – and to me it is something precious to want to make a promise to the Lord, in the presence of other believers, that you’ll bring the baby up in His ways.

    God bless and enjoy the day!

  • Rista,

    You don’t need water and an audience of other believers to make a promise to the Lord. I am sure He is quite capable to understand and accept a promise made by a mother without having to use water in the presence of other believers. Remember, when you make a promise to the Lord and dedicate your child to Him, the child belongs to Him and he or she may not indulge in any worldly activities such as partying, smoking, drinking, etc when they become of age. Hopefully you don’t smoke, drink or party because if you do you will be a lousy example for your children.

    May I ask, How does a sinner give his/her heart to Jesus? As far as I know the Bible says that lost sinners should repent and believe the Gospel and consequently be baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit (also called the Living Water) in order to be saved. There is only one place in the entire Bible that says “give me your heart” and that is in Proverbs 23:26 where the Father says to his son ” My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.” He is not talking to a believer, not an unbeliever. No one can be saved without the person first realizing that he or she is a lost sinner and on their way to a well-deserving eternity in hell. Jesus did not say He came to encourage sinners to give their hearts to Him. He said that He came to seek and to find lost sinners. He cannot find people who do not realize and acknowledge that they are lost.

    The bible does not say “go AND make disciples.” It says “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, BAPTIZING them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”The phrase “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” is another way of saying, “teaching them fully about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, helping them to understand Who God is and to live more like God in their lives.” It simply means that by teaching them you are immersing them into the Name (the character) of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. So, the best thing for you to do is to immerse them into the Name (character) of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit by teaching them and being an example for them.

  • Rista

    Tnx for getting back to me Thomas, I have the answer I needed.

    To explain – Giving my heart to the Lord means that I want Him to change me – our hearts are deceitful above all things and only He can bring about the change we need. It means an acknowledgement that I’m a lost sinner, acknowledgement and repentance of my sins, asking the Lord to help me to turn my back on the things the world entice me with. I try my best to, with the help of the Lord, stay within the Biblical boundaries Jesus set up for us (I feel safe within those boundaries) so I can also set an example for my sons. I believe Jesus died to set us free FROM sin, not TO sin and only by His grace can I say no to the worldly enticements that cross my path on a daily basis. And no, smoking, drinking and partying definitely are not on my list of enticements, I cannot even begin to fathom why you had to mention that?

    God bless!

  • Rista,

    The reason I mentioned the usual run of the mill expression “I gave my heart to Jesus” is because it can, and indeed in most cases, leads to a wrong impression of what it means to be saved. Giving your heart to Jesus, involves, as I explained from Scripture, a believer who needs to commit his/her whole life to Jesus. Salvation is never depicted as a giving your heart to Jesus in Scripture.

    Unfortunately most parents think that when they have their babies baptized it is a promise they make to God. And then, when they reach their teens they allow them to party and whoop it up as much as they like. As you can see, that’s no promise or at best a promise broken. Indeed, man’s heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked which proves that when he makes promises to God it is usually just a lot of empty words.

  • colin

    Thomas,
    How do you reconcile what you say in your reply above to Rista, where you said;
    “Remember, when you make a promise to the Lord and dedicate your child to Him, the child BELONGS TO HIM and he or she may not indulge in any worldly activities such as partying, smoking, drinking, etc when they become of age”
    (emphasis mine). With your reply to Andy on 5th-6th February 2014 in the article “Jacob Prasch twisting Scripture the midrash way”:
    Andy asked in regard to the statement, in the article on that page, “If you are Elect, your children will be Elect”; where this was attributed to Calvin? To which you duly replied that Calvin taught this from his institutes iv 15. 2,20.
    It would seem that what you assert is indeed not too disimilar to what Calvin teaches?

  • Colin,

    I think you misunderstood me. There is a vast difference between what I said and what Calvin believed. I sincerely hope you don’t see the dedication/baptism of your children as salvation. In fact, God says that all souls belong to Him. Are all souls saved because they BELONG TO HIM?

    Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4)

    It does not mean that one is saved. The above verse clearly teaches this. Therefore your assumption that I made a boo-boo is wrong.

  • colin

    Thomas,
    Thank you for your reply.
    You are correct to say that “all souls are mine” Ezekiel 18.4. Like you, I certainly believe that “all souls” do indeed belong to God, be they forever in heaven or hell.
    But, reading again your reply to Rista, it seems that you are implying very strongly that when you say “belongs to Him”, I would suggest that you were very strongly inferring that would be with Him above, and not down below? I think to say otherwise, would be just a tad disingenuous on your part? Indeed why even bother, on this reasoning, as in your words to “dedicate your child to Him, the child belongs to Him…”, if you know he or she belongs to Him anyway? Surely the child would NOT “belong” to God, in the true sense, if he or she ended up in hell? He or she would be a child of Satan?
    I would think that 1 Samuel 1.11, for example, would be used by some to teach child dedication to God.
    Whatever you may think of Calvin as a man, one thing is sure, he wasn’t daft? He would have known about David and Absalom, and a host of others?
    When I have more time I will read his “institutes” on this topic.

  • Colin,

    Once again, your inference is wrong. My soteriology would be completely wrong if I should believe that “belongs to him” means to be in heaven with Him. Why do you think I quoted Ezekiel 18:4?

    Knowing about David and Absalom isn’t what made John Calvin daft. He was daft because his soteriology was daft. I believe that Calvin is in hell and my reason for saying this is the following,

    Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (2 John 1:9)

    Anyone who believes he is going to heaven because he is one of the so-called elect is deceived and needs to repent.

    Hannah’s dedication of her son was something completely different to today’s dedication of babies. Hannah’s dedication involved the giving of her son as an offering in the service of the Lord in the temple.

  • Saretta Herholdt

    thank You!

  • MV

    I have this problem.. I accepted Jesus last year but I got swayed by false teachings. I started experiencing things in my body I thought I needed deliverance ministry not thinking right cause I was panicking. That deliverance ministry made me renounce my church and even baptized me. Found out they’re not Christians. I read the post about false Holy Spirit of fire.. I am experiencing some of those symptoms. I don’t feel the fruits of the Spirit anymore. I miss the joy of my salvation. Now I don’t think I’m still saved.. What’s your opinion on this. Thank you

  • Dear MV,

    Would you mind telling me how you were saved?

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      9. Any content directly or indirectly soliciting responses from minors (defined as anyone under 18 years of age).
  7. FAIR USE NOTICE:
    1. If any part of the “Comment” is not your original work, it is your responsibility to add the name of the third party, name the book with page number or a link (url) to the website where you obtained the information.
    2. Your “Comment” may contain Copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. You are however allowed to make such material available in your “Comment” in an effort to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this Site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to:http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.
    3. If you wish to use copyrighted material from a website or any other medium for purposes to add to your “Comment” that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. (Fair Use means you may quote from copyrighted sources, but you may not publish the whole article, book, etc., in your “Comment”.)
  8. You are solely responsible for the “Comment” you upload, post, transmit or otherwise make available to others using this Web Site. Under no circumstances will Discerning the World be liable in any way for any “Comment” posted on or made available through this Site by you or any third party.
  9. You understand that all “Comments” on this Site are pre-screened or moderated. That means that every “Comment” needs to be approved by Discerning the World before it appears in the “Comments” section.  This is not an automatic process.  Discerning the World does this for SPAM reasons.
  10. Discerning the World has the right (but not the obligation) in their sole unfettered discretion to remove any “Comment” that is posted on or available through the Site. Without limiting the foregoing, Discerning the World has the right to remove any “Comment” that violates these Terms or is otherwise deemed objectionable by Discerning the World in its sole discretion.
  11. You understand that Discerning the World in their sole unfettered discretion is not obligated and can not be forced in any manner, be it legal or otherwise to remove any “Comment” that is posted on or made available through the Site by you.
  12. When submitting a “Comment,” you will be asked to provide your name and your email address. While Discerning the World does not object to your use of a pseudonym instead of your actual name, Discerning the World reserves the right, but not the obligation, to reject, change, disallow, or discontinue at any time any submission name that, in Discerning the World’s sole unfettered discretion, is objectionable or inappropriate for any reason. Discerning the World requires the submission of your email address, but Discerning the World warrants that it will not publish your email address to an outside third party without your consent.
  13. Discerning the World does not sell or rent your personal information to third parties for their marketing purposes. From time to time, Discerning the World may contact you personally via email. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge and understand that the “Comments” feature of the Site is designed to permit users to post information and commentary for public review and comment and thus you hereby waive any expectation of privacy you may have concerning any likeness or information provided to the Site by you.
  14. You are solely responsible for your interactions with other users of or visitors to the Site.
    1. Discerning the World shall have the right, but not the obligation, to monitor interactions utilizing the “Comments” facility of the Site, between you and other users of or visitors to the Site. You acknowledge and agree that Discerning the World, or any third party shall not be, and you shall not seek to hold them, responsible for any harm or damage whatsoever arising in connection with your interaction with other users of or visitors to the Site.
    2. Discerning the World does not verify any information posted to or communicated via the “Comments” sections of the Site by users and does not guarantee the proper use of such information by any party who may have access to the information. You acknowledge and agree that Discerning the World does not assume, and shall not have, any responsibility for the content of messages or other communications sent or received by users of the Site.
  15. The Site contains content created by or on behalf of Discerning the World as well as content provided by third parties.
    1. Discerning the World does not control, and makes no representations or warranties about, any third party content, including such content that may be accessible directly on the Site or through links from the Site to third party sites.
    2. You acknowledge that, by viewing the Site or communications transmitted through the Site, you may be exposed to third party content that is false, offensive or otherwise objectionable to you or others, and you agree that under no circumstances shall Discerning the World be liable in any way, under any theory, for any third party content.
    3. You acknowledge and agree that the Site, and the contents thereof, is proprietary to Discerning the World and is protected by copyright. You agree that you will not access or use the Site or any of the content thereof for any reason or purpose other than your personal, non-commercial use.
    4. You agree that you will not systematically retrieve data or other content from the Site by any means, and you will not compile a database or directory of information extracted from the Site.
    5. You agree that you will not reproduce, distribute or make derivative works of the Site or any of the contents thereof without the express consent of Discerning the World.
    6. You hereby agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Discerning the World, its affiliates and licensees, and all of their officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives from and against any and all liabilities, losses, claims, damages, and expenses (including attorneys’ fees) in connection with any claim arising out of your use of the Site or violation of any of these Terms.

DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY/LIMITATION OF LIABILITY.

  • YOU EXPRESSLY AGREE THAT USE OF THE SITE IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK. NEITHER DISCERNING THE WORLD, ITS AFFILIATES, NOR ANY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, OR LICENSORS WARRANT THAT THE SITE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY, SECURE OR ERROR FREE.
  • THE SITE IS PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS” BASIS WITHOUT WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF TITLE OR IMLPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
  • THIS DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY APPLIES TO ANY DAMAGES OR INJURY CAUSED BY ANY FAILURE OF PERFORMANCE, ERROR, OMISSION, INTERRUPTION, DELETION, DEFECT, DELAY, COMMUNICATION LINE FAILURE, THEFT OR DESTRUCTION OR UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO, ALTERATION OF OR USE, WHETHER FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT, TORTIOUS BEHAVIOR, NEGLIGENCE OR UNDER ANY OTHER CAUSE OF ACTION. YOU SPECIFICALLY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT DISCERNING THE WORLD SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR THE DEFAMATORY, OFFENSIVE OR ILLEGAL CONDUCT OF USERS OF THE SITE OR THIRD PARTIES, AND THAT THE RISK OF INJURY FROM THE FOREGOING RESTS ENTIRELY WITH THE YOU THE COMMENTER.
  • IN NO EVENT WILL DISCERNING THE WORLD, ITS AFFILIATES OR ANY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE EMPLOYEES, AGENTS OR LICENSORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, EVEN IF THEY HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, ARISING FROM, RELATING TO OR CONNECTED WITH THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE SITE OR ANY OTHER MATTER ARISING FROM, RELATING TO OR CONNECTED WITH THE SITE OR THESE TERMS.

16. These Terms constitute the entire agreement between Discerning the World and you with respect to the subject matter hereof, and supersede any previous oral or written agreement between us with respect to such subject matter.

Thank you!