BIBLICAL FULFILLMENT
BAPTISM [Gr: BAPTIZO]
I am Jessie Mills, Ph.D.
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Child & Adult Clinical Psychology - Mills
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REVIEW OF 2 PET. 3:10
EXTANT DOCUMENT. OF FULFILLED PROPHECY
Acts 2:38, "And Peter said to them, repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

It is very clear, and emphatically stated in Acts 2:4, that the Holy Spirit was the author of the instructions given to Peter in what one must do to obtain the salvation and meet the requirements of " Brethren what must we do?" Acts 2:37. Some argue that these instructions were given to the Hebrew nation exclusively. However the unanimity of Acts 2:38, and that of Acts 10:44-48, is unequivocally a repeat of Acts 2:38. Incidentally, it would be dispickable and indignant to say that the Holy Spirit meant any thing other than immersion in water. To immerse is to "dip into entirely, as into water, involve deeply, to baptize by immersion." While immersion is Latin for the same act, to speak of baptism by immersion as dipping now seems rude, but was entirely proper and usual in early English." Britannica World Language Dictionary, page 664.

In more than fifty years, I have found no other way prescribed by Christ, or the Holy Spirit in which one may commit an act other than that which the Holy Spirit prescribed in Acts 2:38. The creditability of the Holy Spirit is inexpugnable. This is shown in John 16:13," But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come".

The above, in its original text and context, has been, and is to this day, being rejected. In rejection, one is really saying that the Holy Spirit was misled by God why? Because it was God who gave the message to the Holy Spirit.

The Scriptures are often rejected as the plenary, verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God, undermining the very foundation of the written Word. Why should one even pretend to speak as the oracles of God, when he rejects those things he does not like? 1 Pet. 4:11.

The message above is truth? Why? Because God gave the truth to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit spoke the truth through Peter. John 17: 20-23, speaks to the point of being one in Him, and may be perfected in unity. Question, just how much truth could one abandon, and remain in unity with Christ?

When anyone so teaches that baptism is not essential to salvation, that person, or persons have denied the Holy Spirit and has committed malice against the Holy Spirit, which results in blasphemy!

As I have prayed to God to show me what to write, and what to say in this article, He has led me to an unexpected subject. The journey to this finished product is all to God’s glory. Jesus said these words: "Greater love than no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13, Then the Apostle Paul said, " Be ye imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ." Both suffered severely for their friends. Both suffered death for their friends. Both died the awful death because they loved the truth, and loved those they taught the truth to, and even to those they never knew; they loved.

Certainly, the love of Christ is the greatest example of sacrificial love. What constitutes a sacrifice? Is it that the cost is high? Or is it something of great value that had to be given up? A sacrifice is not something that should be taken lightly.

In learning about the high cost of sacrifice in teaching, or in writing about the spiritual Gospel of Christ and its cost, I am reminded of John 3:16, God gave His only begotten Son that His creation might believe His Word and be saved. God made the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus Christ imitated His Father, and gave Himself in order to ratify the truth through the Gospel. That Gospel was delivered to God’s creation, and God’s creation began to change the original meaning of the written Word. Man who will dedicate his life to the teaching of the original Word without change is also "laying down his life for his friends." For they are following the example of Christ.

We read about change agents who have crept into the Lord’s Church within this society, indeed they have caused a collision with God’s Word. However, I would like to think of this method of change as postmodernism. Postmodernism may well be the most used and least understood buzzword in the Church today, as well as decades gone by. But let me define postmodernism in my own way. When I refer to postmodernism, I am referring to a set of common assumptions which is thought to be out of tune with today’s society, so we assume that we have the authority to change words or doctrines to meet the growing need of society. No longer is truth and reality a set of rules and instructions, beliefs and practices, rather it is change. So where has love for the Word gone? Where is sacrifice? Where is the plea to our teenagers to return to the basics? Who can say I am an example of Christ and be received?

In our society today when preachers and elders implement plans that focuse on teaching kids and teenagers about God’s plan, His standard of truth, sacrifice and love it fails, Why? Because such standards of truth, sacrifice and love must first be seen in the parent within the home. If it is not in the home, it will not be in the Church. If it is not in the home of the teenagers, it will not be in their church. And since we live in a society where in so many cases the Church doors are open to almost anything that will attract the teenager to their Church. Numbers are the plan, not truth, and it is not pleasing God.

Some thoughts has been posted in regards to changing God’s Word to satisfy those who have sought to make changes in order to distinguish, and mark visibly a difference of separation from the original Church of Christ which was planned in Heaven before the earth was created. Prov. 8:22-30, Heb. 4:3. We note in a careful study of creation that all things were well thought out, and planned by God, Christ His Son, and the Holy Spirit, before even the angels were created. Speaking of the creation of angels we must consider 2 Peter 2:4, and Jude 6, in order to establish the creation of angels. After the creation of angels, there were those who also sought to have their own way in regards to their obedience to God and Christ. In doing so, the scripture informs us that they sinned; but what was worse they were cast out of the paradise of God, Heaven. Down to the pits of darkness to await judgment. James 1:17 states that there is no variation, or shifting shadow with God. Simply put God does not change His plans to accommodate mankind, rather He is actionable, and affords prosecution as a trespass of sin.

Which now brings us back to Acts 2:38, and the Holy Spirit. Which I repeat. "Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins."

God, and the Holy Spirit gave those instructions some two thousand years ago. I have not found since I started this lesson any other instructions, which would replace Baptism as being essential to ones salvation. God is not changeable, nor wavering James 1:17. If I cannot believe that God gave the proper instructions to follow in the plan created in Heaven in the beginning, why bother even going to Church?

In what way does it do you good to go to Church if you do not believe? How can you say that you have faith when you do not believe Acts 2:38? Faith is belief, and belief is faith.

A thought to consider the power of a good story begins with truth. People of the Church are more biblically illiterate and less connected to the Church today than they were even fifty years ago. Over the last century, our culture has moved farther away from a Christian foundation. While we have seen major events and changes, these events increase the gap between Church and its members, and sadly increases the gap between man and God. However we are free moral agents, and have the right to make our choice, good are bad.

Some people in the past, and even now makes good choices as they are led by their belief. One such decision is recorded in Acts 8:26-39. The Ethiopian Eunuch was returning from worship at Jerusalem his belief was so strong that he traveled several hundreds of miles to worship the God whom he believed in, and upon returning to Ethiopia he was reading the Old Testament scriptures from Isaiah chapter 53. Phillip joined himself to the chariot and asked the Eunuch do you understand what you are reading? The Eunuch answered and said how can I unless someone guide me. Phillip taught him the Gospel, which included being baptized in water for the forgiveness of sins. Coming to a body of water the Eunuch said see here is water what hinders me from being baptized, if you believe you may. And when they came up OUT of the water, the spirit caught away Phillip.

Another case in point is the baptism of Acts 19:1-7, about twelve men had been baptized into John’s baptism, and the Apostle Paul inquires " Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" Paul followed the instructions of Acts 2:38, and baptized these men and they received at that time the Holy Spirit, remember in Acts 2:38; Peter promised the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus in John 3:5, said, "Truly, truly I say to you unless one is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

BENEFITS OF BAPTISM.

First of all one must believe, belief produces faith in Christ Jesus, ones heart is turned to God, therefore God at that time hears you. However the down side of this is that God does not hear the prayer of a sinner. John 9:31," We know that God does not hear sinners; but if any one is God fearing, and does His will, He hears him." Therefore, it is God’s will that one believes, repents, confess his sin, and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.

" And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit". 1 Cor. 3:16 "Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwells in you". 1 Cor. 6:19," or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own"? Rom. 8:26," and in the same way the spirit also helps our weaknesses; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."

Acts 20: 7," And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to depart the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight." One must have been baptized before he can take of the bread and fruit of the vine.

[When one believes his heart is turned to God.] [Turning his heart to God, allows God to hear him, and the Holy Spirit begins His work on conversion.] [Belief brings about repentance and godly sorrow] Godly sorrow brings about baptism.] [Baptism brings about the forgiveness of sins.] [The forgiveness of sins brings one in communion with God.] [Communion with God places one into the body of Christ.] [Being in the body of Christ means that Christ is the only head of the Church which was planned in Heaven and restored at Pentecost Acts 3:21.] And the writer says about Christ," Whom Heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time." It is very evident that when this verse is understood in its proper context we can see the following. First and foremost is the word "Restoration." Restoration of all things refers to all things that were planned in Heaven even before the creation of earth, Heb. 4:3, Pro. 8:22-30. When you study the creation period you find that God created Heaven as the abode of Himself, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit, with God’s ability to foresee the future throughout eternity, and with His foreknowledge. He was able as the designer, with the help of the Son, and the Holy Spirit to draw up a plan of salvation. A scheme of redemption for all eternity, then when all the plans were finished, then Christ the executor of God’s plans began to create. He knew in advance that angels would be created. Christ created His Church in Heaven, this was necessary in order that angels could worship God under that order, the Church was created by Christ and for Him, that was the Fathers will.

The Fathers will is fully established and documented. See Colossians 1:16-18, " For in Him all things were created, both in Heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the Church; and He is the beginning, the first born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything."

And so the restoration is not only spoken of here but also in Isaiah 2:1-3, the former house of God, the former Church would be re-established in Jerusalem. So the question is asked what happened that the Church of Christ had to be re-established? The answer is that in Heaven it was established as a spiritual institution. When earth was created and man and his wife created in the garden, Christ offered to them the spiritual Assembly, the Called out, Zion, and the Church, all meaning one and the same. However, Adam and Eve rejected the spiritual and decided to serve the physical, which was the devil, and so the spiritual was recalled until man was ready to serve God. Therefore in Acts 3:21, the Restoration of all things, was indeed those things which were created in Heaven, rejected, and now in Acts 3:21 man is ready to accept the spiritual which according to Isaiah chapters 51-53 foretells also as being restored. King James Version 1811 says bringing again, which indicates a second time.

Now let us be advised that you cannot restore anything that has not previously been in use. So the Church of Christ was created in Heaven for Jesus Christ as well as all other things, therefore, the Church of Christ did not according to God’s Word, and the prophets begin at Pentecost in 33 A.D. It begin in Heaven and was restored on the Pentecost. Read again Acts 3:21, " Restoration of all things."

Consider now the teaching, which comes forth that baptism is not essential to salvation. It is ministered when one wants it. In order to identify that person as a member of that particular Church. Do you know who started this idea, and wrote a Church manual for all the churches of that denomination to follow?

The title page reads-THE STANDARD MANUAL FOR BAPTIST CHURCHES.

By Edward T Hiscox, D.D.

I would like to quote from his book on page 22. "It is most likely that in the Apostolic age when there was but one Lord, one faith, and one baptism, that no differing denominations existed. The baptism of a convert by that very act constituted him a member of the Church, and at once endowed him with all the rights and privileges of full membership. In that sense, baptism was the door into the Church. ---Now it is different; and while the churches are desirous of receiving members, they are wary and cautious that they do not receive unworthy persons." Page 20, note 8 Baptism is not essential to salvation, for our churches utterly repudiate the dogma of baptism." 1951 Ed.

We have come a long way in this subject of baptism! Now when the service is over and the call is made for certain sinners who has been chosen to be outstanding beforehand is told to come to the prayer bench confess that you want Christ to come into your heart, now you pray the sinners prayer. Well that’s it folks. That is how far we have departed from the original truth.

Earlier in this document I had given an illustration of " postmodernism" and that it had effected the true Gospel of Christ, even shortly after the full gospel had been published. Now at this point of the lesson I want to refer to the absolutes of postmodernism. In general, postmoderns tend to ignore or reject ultimate standards, which God has raised up as our guide. Isaiah 62:10, "Go through, go through the gates; clear the way for the people; Build up, build up the highway; Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the people." In many ways the people just don’t get it when it comes to moral absolutes. In fact, this tendency has led me to describe them as the loophole of society, especially when they have been conditioned by the change elements of the world. This practice of anything goes, and that the Bible is out of date for our society today has led the younger generation to a line of thinking and behavior that builds a personal picture of God and how they make moral decisions in their own life styles, it seems that there are no more ABSOLUTES. Any thing that God has said can be changed to better fit our society

By and large today, many teenagers are growing up in a society and culture where the social influences are underminding home and Church, and where the denominations of the world is geared to attract the younger generations to their system of worship. Where there is no ABSOLUTES. Where there is no ABSOLUTES in the homes. Open the door to an ice box in the kitchen the first thing you see is a supply of beer, along with a few bottles of wine. But that’s ok, for Paul said, " to take a little wine for the stomach sake!" On and on we could go, but our subject is making changes in God’s Word which effects the creditability of God Himself, however these illustrations reflects the results of the change being made by change agents within the Church of Christ, and in all the denominations.

Change, practice, and teaching that baptism is not essential to salvation, is not limited to just that subject. It goes much farther than that. In spite of what the Apostles left as examples in regards to worship within the first century Church, as well as information from ancient writers. All this has no real effect, and no real meaning in the society of this period of time. In fact I share with you just one more change in our worship system. People as was recorded in Acts chapter two met daily to have fellowship and break bread, and have common meals together. Breaking of the bread was in observing the Lord’s Supper. But later when there began to be many congregations, the records show that Christians began to meet on the first day of the week for worship, study, fellowship, and the breaking of bread, and taking of the fruit of the vine. But now the Baptist Manual has changed that! Page 20, note 5, " Our churches have very generally come to observe the supper on the first Sunday of each month!

The Standard Manual for Baptist Churches, by Edward T. Hiscox.

Acts 20:7, " And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread." Do you get it? " The first day of the week." Does not every week have a first day? If so, then Christians are to come together just as they did in Acts 20:7 to break bread, on the first day of each week. The Bible is silent on monthly terms!

The intellectual man no doubt feels that he encounters an intellectual cross in Christianity at nearly every step of the way. Yet the intellectual man may seem to be enthusiastic over what the many denominations has accomplished in this connection of religion which teaches the opposite of what the Apostles were guided by the Holy Spirit to teach. The results is, as it is with most, the intellectual man accepts what he thinks will serve him physically and will fill his needs physically, The intellectual man does not consider authority for the religion he serves. Every thing must have a functioning head in order to survive. Godly headship in any area of administration provides covering, or direction, to the subordinates. The lack of headship in an organization will cause confusion, conflict and turmoil. You see the lack of godly headship in all denominations. If it did not exist then there would be no denominations. All people would serve God on His terms.

In this document at various places where the need arose, I have spoken of Absolutes, and above I have spoken of authority, now the need arises to say that authority establishes and supports absolutes. However, not Christianity as such, but the religions of the world has virtually eliminated the concept of absolutes. Every thing is relative. Situational ethics reign in the Church, government and entertainment.

It makes me wonder what some of these UNAUTHORIZED spiritual leaders would do [If] Jesus Christ came back and called for their CREDENTIALS that authorize them to do what they are doing! James 3:1.

Many times in Christianity God wants us to study deeper than our childhood traditions. Creeds drawn up by unauthorized men. We are all brainwashed in our childhood beliefs by those before us, and the things we have heard and believed during our lifetime.

In this document I have debated nothing. Although I have tried very hard to be understanding when it comes to people and their desire to change God’s Word for their own benefit, I understand that when you follow the money trail, you will find error on a grand scale. That is my understanding.

CONCLUSION. Too much of a good thing, Solomon said," Have you found honey? Eat so much as is sufficient for you, lest you be filled therewith, and vomit it." If you eat just enough honey that is sufficient to satisfy your normal appetite that is fine, but if you eat more than you need it could have nauseating consequences. The lesson is simple: Over indulgence in any area of your life can lead to serious problems that could have a negative effect on others beside yourself. There is one good thing in which there is no danger of excess: it is the truth of God’s Word. For most Christians the problem is not getting too much, but reading too little of God’s Word.

JESSIE E. MILLS

1729 Hwy 79-N

BONIFAY, FL 32425

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© Copyright 2015 by Jessie Mills. All Rights Reserved by the author, Jessie E. Mills, Jr. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior express written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or other publications. Such quotations must be used with proper reference to their context and give appropriate credit to their authorship.