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THE BIBLICAL COMMISSION OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST:
Mt. 28:19-20, ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing [these believing disciples] in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I [Jesus, and not a church hierarchy,] have commanded you; and lo, I Am with you always, even to the end of this world.’
THE PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION OF JESUS’ COMMISSION:
Acts 8:30-40, ‘So Philip ran to [the eunuch,] and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ And he said, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him… Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to water. And the eunuch said, ‘See, there is water. What hinders me from being baptized? [Seeing that I now understand the Scriptures, accepted Jesus as my Christ, and was born again?]’
Then Philip said, [This verse was omitted from new versions of the Bible:] ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he answered, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.’
THIS IS THE EXAMPLE JESUS GAVE HIS DISCIPLES:
Mt. 3:16, ‘When Jesus had been baptized, He came up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and abiding upon Him. And a voice came from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.’
Paul taught Scripturally born again believers in Col. 2:8-15: “See to it that no one carries you off as a spoil or makes you captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism, following human tradition, (men’s ideas of the material rather than the spirit world)… disregarding the teachings of Christ… In Him you [born again believers] were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but in a spiritual circumcision by stripping off the body of the whole corrupt, carnal nature with its passions and lusts. Thus you were circumcised when you were buried with Him in your baptism [by submersion], in which you were also raised with Him to a new life through your [personal] faith in Christ…”
Jesus Christ is the Creator God
TRULY SCRIPTURAL WATER BAPTISM AND REPENTANCE — WHAT DO THIS MEAN?
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To understand the Scriptural water baptism, which Jesus demonstrated for us and commanded all His disciples to follow, one must understand Who Jesus Is, what He really did for us, and that obedience to the true context of His Word, the Bible, is not an option, (Mt. 3:13-17; 28:19-20.) Jesus said in Jn. 12:47-48, “…He who rejects Me and does not receive My [true] Words, has that which judges him – the Word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” We can never say we belong to Jesus, if we do not “accept His words.” When we ‘receive’ Jesus’ words, we accept Him. Jesus Himself Is The Word of God, (Jn. 1:1-5.) Jesus Himself Is God, (Col. 2:9; Jn. 1:1-5; Heb. 1:1-14; Rev. 1:8!) Should we reject His words, we reject Him! Therefore, hear the words of the Lord Jesus Christ concerning Scriptural water baptism. Not my words; (God forbid!) not the next man’s words or church clergies’ words, but Jesus’ own words.
It is a grave sin to push Bible verses out of context to insert a false doctrine and ultimately, an entire church system, which deviates from the truth of God’s Word. This is exactly how all the different denominations of, and affiliations to Christianity came into being. One can ‘prove’ anything from the Bible. For instance, using this type of interpretation, I can ‘prove’ from the Bible “there is no God,” (Ps. 14:1.) So, if “there is no God,” we can burn our Bibles and start going wild, for if there is no God, there is no heaven or hell, and thus, there is no point to any type of faith or religion. Ah, but let us read that verse in context! Ps. 1:14 actually proclaims, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt. They have done abominable works...”
For the sake of our eternal souls, we must hide ourselves in God’s Truth! As Jesus God’s Son Himself Is Truth, there is only one mark of a sincere believer: a sincere desire for Scriptural truth, to be able to understand God’s will and obey Him from the heart! God’s Scriptural truth will always remain the only “lamp for our feet” in this deceitful dimension. I am not talking about a few verses or passages from the Bible to ‘prove’ a church doctrine of some kind. I am referring to “the entire truth of God’s Word,” (Ps. 119:160.)
The opposite of truth are lies and deception. Accordingly, 2 Ths. 2:9-10 warns, “The coming of the lawless one, [who makes his own doctrines, etc.,] is according to the working of Satan… and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
· THE BAPTISM OF JOHN THE BAPTIST, JESUS, PETER AT PENTECOST, OR OF PAUL?
· The Repentance Peter called for at Pentecost is the same Repentance John the Baptist called for, Mt. 3:1-3
· Renewal of our mind must follow the rebirth and Scriptural water baptism
· BAPTISM, THE ‘SAVING’ SACRAMENT FOR A DENOMINATIONAL ‘elite’?
· ADULT BAPTISM? BABY BAPTISM? RE-BAPTISM? ‘CIRCUMCISION FOR COVENANT CHILDREN?’
· SCRIPTURAL WATER BAPTISM IS A COMMANDMENT (NOT A COVENANT) OF JESUS
· SCRIPTURAL WATER BAPTISM IS THE WILL OR ‘COUNSEL’ OF GOD
· SCRIPTURAL WATER BAPTISM IS THE HOLY SPIRIT’S CIRCUMCISION OR CUTTING AWAY OF THE ‘OLD MAN,’ (THE OLD BODY OF SIN FROM THE BORN AGAIN HUMAN SPIRIT OF THE BELIEVER
· Should we be dunked three times in baptism or only once?
· THE LITTLE CHILDREN – WHAT IS SCRIPTURAL?
· THOSE WHO OBEY JESUS MUST CONTEND WITH THE HATRED OF SATAN AND HIS DISCIPLES
THE BAPTISM OF JOHN THE BAPTIST, JESUS, (Mt. 28:19-20,) PETER, OR PAUL?
Water baptism cannot accomplish anything in, or by itself. Without the believer’s personal and sincere acceptance of Christ and a stern decision to follow Him in a new life, water baptism is a dead, lifeless, occult ritual. However, as a symbol of sincere believers’ immersion into Jesus Himself and into His full atonement in their place, water baptism points directly to the believer’s transition from spiritual death to spiritual life through faith in the crucified, risen Christ: the Savior of Golgotha, (1 Pt. 2:9-10; 3:18-22.) Footnote, Spirit Filled Bible, 1 Pt. 3:18, “It is the response of faith on the occasion of [obedience to Jesus’ commandment to baptize believing disciples, Mt. 29:19-20] that saves. Water baptism is linked to the believer’s confession of faith, Rom. 6:3-4.)”
All Jesus’ true disciples know that only the full atonement of Jesus in their place makes for forgiveness of sin, but Jesus commanded obedience to His New Testament/Covenant commandments, which “proves” the faith of His disciples, (Jn. 8:31; 15:15: 1 Jn. 2:4.)
In the context of Scriptural truth, John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, Paul, and all Jesus’ true disciples through the ages commanded the same baptism, which was administered in exactly the same way as Jesus Himself had demonstrated in Mt. 3:13-17, and which Jesus Himself commanded in Mt. 28:19-20.
Before Golgotha, the baptism of John was a ministry to the Hebrew nation, which pointed directly to Jesus, (Jn. 1:29.) Jesus’ ministry to the Hebrews was in the same dispensation before Golgotha and thus also still under the Old Testament Covenant, (Jn. 1:1-11.) However, both John’s baptism and Jesus’ ministry pointed directly to His full atonement in the place of all mankind, which was, at that stage, not accomplished yet, (Jn. 3:16-17.)
At Jesus’ ascension after Golgotha and His resurrection from the grave, He commissioned His disciples to evangelize the whole world, commanding the example of His own baptism for all believing disciples; promising to send the Holy Spirit to empower them to be His witnesses among their own people as well as in the whole world, (Jn. 1:12-13; Mt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8.) Mt. 3:13-17 described exactly what happened when Jesus asked John to baptize Him. “...When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water, [because He was completely submerged in water,] and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove upon Him, [Afrikaans edition, 1998; Dutch, 1902.] And a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.’”
A closer look at what Peter commanded at Pentecost, when Jesus fulfilled His promise to send the Holy Spirit, illustrates the meaning of Jesus’ water baptism and Jesus’ baptism with the Holy Spirit for true believers, (Mt. 3:11-12; Acts 1:8.) Peter said, “filled with the Holy Spirit,” said in Acts 2:31-39, “[God] spoke concerning the resurrection of Christ… Having received… the promise of the Holy Spirit, [Jesus] poured out this which you now see and hear, [the coming of the indwelling Holy Spirit as of the sound of wind, and of fire, with the manifestation of His gift of tongues, Acts 2:1-4: 1 Cor. 6:18-20; 14:2, 22.] ...Let all know that God has made Jesus, Whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ… [Once they believed in Jesus and chose His salvation, Peter said,] Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit.” Peter was not referring to the gift or sign of tongues, (1 Cor. 14:22.) He was speaking of the Holy Spirit Himself as the completely free, indwelling Gift from God.
It seems as if, in Acts 2:38, Peter connects Jesus’ water baptism of believers directly with God’s forgiveness, calling for repentance and then water baptism “for the remission of sins.” Peter probably assumed all believers would know what he was saying. He did not take the time to explain that water baptism is a declaration and a symbol of believers’ conscious and complete, spiritual and mental submersion into Christ Himself: their personal acceptance of Christ as their God, Lord and Savior, (Jn. 1:12-13.) Water baptism is also a declaration and the sign or symbol that believers submerse themselves into Jesus’ full atonement in their place, into the truth of His Word, and into His eternal life in heaven. Thus, water baptism is a declaration and symbol (and nothing more) of our personal forgiveness and salvation through sincere faith in Christ, (1 Pt. 3:21.)
This is what Peter meant by “being baptized for the remission of sin:” God’s Word is always the Scriptural symbol of “water.” Sincere believers are ‘made holy’ or sanctified, not by church sacraments or rituals, but “by the [spiritual and rational] washing of the water by the Word,” (Eph 5:26; Rom. 12:1-2.) Therefore, Scriptural water baptism testifies that Jesus Christ, (The Word, according to Jn. 1:1-3,) bought the complete forgiveness of His disciples at Calvary, and through their acceptance of the Truth of His Word, (Jesus Himself and His full atonement,) He had become complete and full forgiveness for all His personal believing disciples, (Rom. 3:21-26.) This is what Jesus meant when He commanded the personal rebirth through faith in Jn. 3:3-5, “Unless one is born again, [or live spiritually through personal faith in Jesus,] he cannot see [understand] the kingdom of God… Unless one is born of water [the truth of Jesus Word,] and the Spirit, [Holy Spirit conviction and power,] he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” This is not physical water baptism. This is what true water baptism symbolizes.
Thus, John the Baptist, looking towards Golgotha, was preaching the same water baptism of Peter. And Peter, in Holy-Spirit power, was preaching the baptism of John in the light of Golgotha and Pentecost.
This is why later, Paul defined the same baptism of John the Baptist and of Peter of Pentecost from Jesus’ New Testament/Covenant truth. Jesus miraculously opened Paul’s blind religious eyes and taught Paul how to explain the same Gospel more clearly, (Acts 9:1-19; Gal. 1:15-24; 2:1-5; Rom. 6.) From Paul’s standpoint, he was looking back to the completed atonement of Jesus: His cross, resurrection, ascension, and the fullness of Pentecost, when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to indwell His blood-cleansed believers for the first time in all of history, and defined the Scriptural water baptism accordingly.
The Spirit Filled Bible explains, “Baptism ‘in the Name of Jesus’ is a public, [New Testament/Covenant] acknowledgement that we have personally accepted Jesus as Christ and Lord. The ‘Name’ of Jesus, [“Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,”] suggests [His] nature or character; to confess Him to be all that His Name denotes. Baptism in and of itself is not a means of forgiveness and salvation… and John’s baptism, just as ‘Peter’ or ‘Paul’s’ baptism, only has power as a type or symbol of Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection onto eternal life in heaven for all those who personally choose to accept and follow Him, (Jn. 3:16-17; 1:12-13.)”
Hence, it is an immovable fact that Jesus’ commandment to baptize His believing disciples has never, can never, and will never ‘change’ in God’s Book! There exists not a single Bible verse that suggests that God has, or ever will annul, ‘change,’ or minimize the water baptism of Jesus, as Jesus Himself illustrated, and as all His sincere believers practiced through the ages.
So, why all the terrible contention over the very clear meaning and method of water baptism in the truth of the Bible? As someone said, “[Only] If one sees the Light, one will [and can] see the Water.” (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5.)
The repentance, which Peter called for at Pentecost (Acts 2:38,) is the same repentance that John called for when he came out of the Wilderness, (Mt. 3:1-3)
On the day of Pentecost, for the first time under the New Covenant of Christ, (after His resurrection and ascension,) with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, God came to live inside Jesus’ born again believers for the first time in all of history, (Acts 1:1-5; 2:38; Mark 16:16-18.) He came to indwell them with “a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind” not real wind; and made His presence known in them with flames as of, but not real fire, (Acts 2:2-4.) Then, one of the signs that He is present in Jesus’ disciples, (His manifestation of the gift of tongues in this case, 1 Cor. 12:4-11; 13:1; 14:2, 22,) began to manifest through them, (Mark. 16:16-18.)
Before Jesus’ death and resurrection, while the old Hebrews were still living under the Old Testament Covenant or dispensation, the Spirit never indwelt believers, but only ‘came upon’ them, because Jesus’ blood-atonement in their place was not done yet, (Jn. 7:39.) Because all true believers will live under Jesus’ New Testament Covenant until He returns, there can never be a ‘second Pentecost,’ or a so-called ‘second rain or outpouring’ of the Holy Spirit as Pentecostal Charismatic preachers teach. In the context of the New Testament, and according to the one and only blood-Covenant that God cut with all sincere believers in Christ, the indwelling of the Spirit at Pentecost was and always will be the only ‘outpouring’ of the constantly indwelling Holy Spirit, (Acts 1:8.) It is impossible that the Holy Spirit could have ‘left’ His born again temples of real believers to ‘indwell’ them again at a later stage. That is why Jesus promised His Scripturally water baptized disciples, who go forth and preach His true Gospel to the world, He will be “with [and actually in] them, even to the end of this world,” (Mt. 28:19-20.)
Therefore, at Pentecost, Peter, ‘filled,’ or baptized with the Holy Spirit, commanded his Hebrew audience, “Repent and let every one of you be water baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ… and you shall receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit,” (Acts 2:38.) Peter was not referring to the Holy Spirit’s gifts, but to the indwelling Spirit Himself as the completely free, inhabiting Gift from God, (Ef. 3:1-17; Gal. 4:4-7.)
Likewise, while every believer must repent from personal sin, in Acts 2:38, Peter was not referring to sin such as stealing or lying. Peter referred to Jesus’ statement in Mark 1:15, ‘The time is fulfilled, [for the New Testament Covenant or dispensation to be established,] and the Kingdom of God, [which will be inside all true believers since the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost,] is at hand, (Acts 1:5-8; Lu. 17:21.) Therefore, repent [from Judaism and all other religiosity or temple/church religion without the truth of Christ,] and believe the [New Testament] Gospel.” The Spirit Filled Bible explains, “In Mark 1:15, Jesus announced salvation through the inauguration of a New Testament, [Covenant] of which repentance [from spiritually dead religion] and belief in the Gospel were prerequisites….”
Just as John the Baptist in Mt. 3:1-3, Peter was calling the Hebrews, (and all other religionists — as anything can be a religion without the truth of Christ; Satanism and Christianity too,) to change their preset opinion of, and attitude toward Jesus. At Pentecost, Peter insisted that Hebrews and people from all other nations must forsake their religions, (Judaism and in our day Christian churches with their false doctrines,) and believe and accept the True Gospel of Jesus, or in reality, Jesus Christ Himself. Paul said that essentially, we must all “die” to our state or spiritual position of sin, which centers on vain religiosity, to “live” in Christ, (Gal. 2:20.) Jesus does not share His blood-bought Holy-Sprit temples, (of genuine believers,) with manmade temples, doctrinal lies, and other gods.
Is it possible to receive the indwelling of the Spirit after or during water baptism?
Under Jesus’ New Testament Covenant, which began when He became a man, and became a reality for Jesus’ disciples after His cross, resurrection, ascension, and Pentecost, believers cannot receive the Holy Spirit during or through water baptism. We must already be born again (Jn. 3:3-5,) through faith in and acceptance of Christ (Jn. 1:12-13,) to receive water baptism. Consequently, the Spirit indwells His sincere disciples from the moment of their rebirth to the end of their time on earth, (Mt. 28:19-20.)
It does sound as if Peter, in Acts. 2:38, taught that one must, after repenting from religion to accept Jesus, first be baptized in water to receive the “Gift of Holy Spirit,” the indwelling Holy Spirit Himself or Jesus’ baptism with the Holy Spirit. However, in the context of the whole New Testament, it is impossible to receive the indwelling Holy Spirit without first repenting from religion to receive Jesus - which is the actual moment of a sincere believer’s rebirth in Christ, (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5; 1 Pt. 2:9-10; Gal. 4:4-7.) A temple of the Holy Spirit can never be empty, not for a single moment, (Rom. 8:9.)