Imagine God In Dreadlocks

Ecclesiastes 5:1 KJV  “Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.”

I listened to a “preacher” the other day discussing how Jesus went to the sinners. Jesus met them where they were. And this is what their ministry was about. Then they showed a guy leading worship service with dreadlocks down to his waist playing an electric guitar like a rock star and contortions I can not explain. There was smoke coming up from the stage, strobe lights and all the lights were off in the room except the stage. So was this “performance” about “worshipping God” or highlighting the performers? Why was the room dark?

Yes, Jesus wants us to go into the fields and work. The harvest is truly plentiful and the laborers few. But looking like and acting like the world produces worldly fruit. What would have more impact – the guy I mentioned above or take that guy, clean him up, cut his hair and let him speak about Jesus and what God has done in his life?

No, it is not about a bunch of rules but has the man never read 1 Corinthians 11:14 KJV  “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?”

If you were a drunk or a drug addict or homeless and you truly got saved, what would have more impact? You going back to witness to those you hung out with before, cleaned up, happy, delivered, and ready to show them what God can do for them or grubby looking, rock star mentality, dirty looking with dreadlocks?  Where is the new creature? The old man that died and a new man has emerged?

Why would a lost and dying world want what you have if you look like them, act like them and do what they do? Do you not know, as a believer, you are an Ambassador for the King of all kings?
Why would you want to live like the world and not as a child of the King?

It saddens me greatly to see professing believers doing what the world does. Believers who act like the world and think worship service is all about their performance. That is not how you win souls. Yes, as one preacher once said, God has a monkey wrench for all of us nuts.

And then there are those who teach God wants to bless and prosper you in everything. And that is true however, they are teaching about money mainly. But money is not true wealth. Do you owe any one money right now? A car payment? Mortgage? Credit cards? So the person who owes nothing to anyone is truly wealthier than you if you are in hock up to your ears. You may have a fancier house but you do not own that house, the bank owns it and as long as you make scheduled payments, you can live there. Miss three payments and see how long you have a house.

Friends, when we get saved, the old man dies. Is dead! Killed! Gone! God wipes the slate clean and you get a fresh start over. A second chance. Why would you want to go back to the slop God pulled you out of? I don’t understand why people, believers, want what the world offers.

Romans 12:1-2 KJV  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
[2] And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Maybe this is more of a rant than anything but for heaven’s sake, if you are a believer, then act like one.

Until next time.

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The Jewish And Gentile Connection

There is a teaching going around that declares God is done with Israel. Some teach the church has replaced Israel. And the sad thing? Some people instead of reading God’s word for themselves, choose to believe the teachers over God and his word.

If you think the church has replaced Israel, you do not know God or his word very well. A religious man who knew the scriptures very, very well explained Israel and the church. This man was a Pharisee named Saul, a Jew from the tribe of Benjamin, whom God changed his name to Paul. But before I go there, let me explain the foundation. In a nutshell so to say.

Of the people on earth thousands of years ago, God calls out this man named Abram. God makes Abram some promises and God tells Abram to go to a specific area in the world. Specific land. God changes Abram’s name to Abraham.   One of the promises God gives Abraham is a son Issac and God tells Abraham, in Isaac (not Ishmael) shall thy seed be called.

Note: Today’s Arab nations are traced back to Ishmael’s decendents.

So Isaac is born and has two sons, Esau and Jacob. Esau sells his birth right to Jacob and later, God changes Jacob’s name to Israel. Genesis 32:28 KJV
  “And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.”

Israel is now a nation made up of the 12 sons of Jacob and their families. Joseph was one of Jacob’s 12 sons and Joseph would end up in Egypt, second to their Pharaoh in power and authority. About 430 years later, Israel ends up in captivity in Egypt and God sends Moses, a Jew. Through Moses, God delivers Israel out of bondage in Egypt ( That day started what is celebrated as Passover and God tells Moses that day also starts Israel’s first month of the year – God’s calendar ).

God gives Moses a bunch of laws to give to the people of Israel. They are to write these laws down and obey those laws to earn righteousness and teach these laws to their children.  Another words, obey the laws and God will forgive your sins. Question: Did their obedience to these laws have anything to do with the promises God gave Abraham? No. Abraham was given these promises, from God himself, before Jacob. Before Israel was a nation. But the promises God gave to Abraham would affect Israel because Jacob was Abraham’s grandson.

So Israel writes the laws of God and teach their children God’s laws. Hundreds of years go by, thousands of years. Is God silent? No. God speaks to Israel through prophets and Nathan was King David’s prophet. We also read about Isaiah, Jeremiah, and many more prophets of God who tell Israel what to do in specific cases and they speak of coming events, including a coming Messiah.

The prophets spoke specifically about events and the Messiah. The scribes would write these down. And scripture prophecy is never wrong. Then along comes this Jew. When tracing his Jewish lineage he is discovered to come from King David’s lineage. And David came from the tribe of Judah.

Jews knew the priestly service was from the tribe of Levi, not Judah, so they dismissed Jesus / Yeshua. But they could not get around the prophecy that the Messiah would come from Judah not Levi. Jacob himself told his 12 sons Messiah would come from Judah in Genesis. Genesis 49:10 KJV
  :The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be .”

Yeshua would fulfill every prophecy in Israel’s records. But the religious leaders of Israel did not believe ( many leaders, not all). So they told their Roman captors to crucify Yeshua. The religious leaders did not understand that Yeshua was their final Passover Lamb, even though many of their scriptures taught that including Isaiah 53 and many others.

Israel’s religious leaders, for whatever reason, did not want to believe Yeshua. Even after all the miracles and signs and proof Yeshua gave them. But Gentiles did believe Yeshua. And even after raising people from the dead, Israel’s leaders still would not believe him. And after Yeshua rose from the dead, they still did not believe him. So God turned to allow Gentiles to be saved. Why?

Gentiles were considered to be like dogs to Jewish people. Why would God do that?   Romans 11:11 KJV  “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.”

Gentiles are grateful to Israel because it is through Israel Gentiles can know the one true God. Israel wrote and keeps the records of God’s word. The Jew Saul / Paul put it this way –

Romans 9:4-12 KJV. “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God , and the promises;
[5] Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came , who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
[6] Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
[7] Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
[8] That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
[9] For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
[10] And not only this ; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
[11] (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
[12] It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.”

And –

Romans 9:23-27 KJV  “And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
[24] Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
[25] As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
[26] And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
[27] Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:”

You see, Israel had been taught to obey the law. Do the works of the law. Everything was based on works and obeying rules and laws. Why did they do this? Why? So God would forgive their sin and count them as righteous. So their righteousness before God was all based on their obedience, their works, their doing specific things. It had nothing to do with faith. Another words, it was like – do this and get that. If you wanted “that” you needed to do “this”. There was no faith involved and no love in their heart required.  So they would establish their own righteousness by how many laws or rules they kept.

As Paul says, they have a zeal for God but not according to knowledge. Another words, they have a zeal for God but based on keeping laws and they have no knowledge of God, who he is, what he is like, if he laughs, if he cries. All they know is do this to get that.

Romans 10:1-4 KJV  “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
[2] For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
[3] For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
[4] For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”

The verses people use saying God is done with Israel is –

Romans 11:17-21 KJV  “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;
[18] Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
[19] Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
[20] Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
[21] For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.”

But these false teachers fail to mention the rest of the chapter.

Romans 11:25-27 KJV  “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.
[26] 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:
[27] For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”

And they fail to mention the church is made up of Jews and Gentiles – as scripture says, until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in. Then what? Psalm 22 and many other verses. God works with Israel again, not Gentiles.

True believers, Jews and Gentiles, know God is preparing the bride of Christ, the church. Once the bride is complete, God turns back to Israel. But as scripture says, a remnant will be saved. Jews have a choice right now. Continue trying to establish your own righteousness by keeping rules, laws and ordinances or believe Yeshua was who scripture says he is, God manifest in the flesh and your Passover Lamb, and believe on him and receive Yeshua as your Saviour and Lord. Until next time.

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This Is It

As a child, I was afraid of the dark. When I was a teenager, I would have a night light. Then when I would travel in the music industry, I would sleep with the bathroom light on at motels. My home had lights on in every room and still does. It is not that I thought a boogy man would get me, I just do not like the dark. There is always a contrast of darkness and light. But I never understood what darkness is before.

Darkness in scripture is tied to a lack of knowledge, ignorance or wrong thinking. By definition darkness is defined as the adsence of light. The state of intellectually clouded, can’t think straight. The state which renders anything difficult to be understood. And darkness is Satan’s Empire Colossians 1:13 KJV  “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”

When someone says the word darkness we often think night time or no lights but by definition the word means a lack of knowledge, ignorance, wrong thinking. And Satan lives in and dwells in that realm. So how does this work in our life?

Think back to what you were taught about life, about God and about heaven when you were a child. These first teachings are like first truths to you. Another words, these teachings were first taught to you as a child and you believed them as truths. So if you grow up in a family that teaches certain religious teachings, these teachings are your first truths. And these first truths are the most difficult to get rid of if they are not based in scripture.

If the religious teaching is not in scripture, but you believe the religious teaching, you are in darkness according to God’s word, on that issue. Another words, for that issue you lack knowledge, or you are ignorant, or you have the wrong information. Remember when Paul said 1 Timothy 1:13 KJV
” Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” Paul was saying he was in darkness when he was persecuting believers. So yes, ignorance is darkness. That means if ignorant about something your understanding is clouded and you don’t see the matter or issue God’s way. And when you are in darkness on a matter, you are in Satan’s empire on that matter because you lack the knowledge of God on that matter. Scripture says, Hosea 4:6 KJV
  “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”

So when God is trying to tell you something and you turn God off or don’t listen, you are rejecting a clear understanding and knowledge about the matter. And when you do not listen, you start to deteriorate in that area. Need an example? You listen to God about faith, about prayer, about good business practices but when the pastor teaches on finances, you turn him off. You do not look up the scriptures on money and you dismiss the teaching of God. You later find your life okay, you are a great person, you are a forgiving person, you have faith and a prayer life but you are broke.

Whatever area you refuse to listen to God in will start to die because of your lack of knowledge in God’s word and God’s teachings. And God’s people are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge.

Darkness don’t forget is defined as a lack of knowledge. It is not understanding or being able to understand a matter. And remember, Satan rebelled against God and one third of the angels went with Satan. That means Satan was able to get one third of the angels in heaven to think like Satan thinks. So Jude 1:6 KJV
  “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” Notice they are under darkness?

And notice where believers battles are in Ephesians? Ephesians 6:12 KJV
  “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places .”

These powers and rulers are over the darkness of this world. What is darkness again? Intellectually clouded state, they can not think straight. The state which renders anything hard to be understood. Plainly, the rulers of wickedness, including Satan, deliberately cloud your thinking. They make things difficult to understand and their kingdom is darkness, confusion, lack of understanding, lack of true knowledge.

So Satan trafficks in what you do not know and what you do not understand. And he tries to confuse you. Remember,  1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV  “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

So if Satan trafficks in what you do not know, what you do not understand or what you have wrongly learned, then as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7 KJV  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”

The enemy can not overcome you, he can not hurt you and he can not have dominion over you if you are a truly saved believer. All the enemy can do is try to convince you to agree with the way he thinks, keeping you in darkness on that issue.

You overcome the enemy with the truth, with light. You see Jesus is Light.
John 1:4-9 KJV  “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
[5] And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
[6] There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
[7] The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
[8] He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
[9] That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

And God tells us, John 1:1 KJV
  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

And what lights our path and gives us light so we are not in ignorance, in darkness? Psalm 119:105 KJV
  “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

When you have a question about something in life or about death, you have to go to God’s word and speak God’s word because that is truth. Satan will try to confuse you and keep you in darkness over the matter but fight back with God’s word and faith and you will see God deliver you from the darkness on that issue into his marvellous light. It may take a day, a week, a year but keep fighting back with God’s word. What do you think “battle” means? It is a fight.  And friends, we have to hide the word of God in our heart.

Proverbs 2:1-6 KJV  “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
[2] So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
[3] Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
[4] If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
[5] Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord , and find the knowledge of God.
[6] For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”

This is it, your answer to all your problems in life. Look the matter up in God’s word using a concordance. Write the verses down on paper. Pray over the matter and start quoting out loud God’s word, every day, believing deep in your heart what God says. And watch God help you. It may take a day, a week, a year but fight the good fight of faith.

Until next time.

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Fake Roads

Did you ever look back to your childhood and think about what you thought was real or fake? Children usually believe everything you tell them. Children do not try to reason things out they just believe you. And sadly, some parents lead their children down fake roads.

Many grow up thinking our earthly father is Superman and our earthly mother, Wonder Woman. Then life throws us some curves and we realize there are some things mom just can not do. And dad, he left and abandoned us. And what we thought was true love turns out to be fake.

Or we may study and work hard in a field where we have high expectations of achieving success and climbing the corporate ladder. And after years of our life given to a company we find out 20 years later the company sold out to foreigners and our job is leaving our country. Or worse, our company is bringing in foreign workers to replace us because the foreigners are cheaper. And we are told we have to train our replacements or loose our separation pay – Hello H1b visas. And after 10, 20 or 30 years of our life we learn we traveled a fake road with that company. Welcome to Disney.

At some point in our life we all travel fake roads. We are told or sold a bill of goods based on promises or expectations and declarations of others just to find out, down the road, they lied to us. It is a part of life in this world.

The new car that really was a lemon. Or the new plumbing material splits after two years. Do companies really build things now so they break or fall apart in a few years just so we have to buy more?

At some point in our life’s journey, we discover we have been travelling a fake road. The question is – if you knew in advance the road was fake, would you travel the road anyway?

The word fake is not in the scriptures but the definition of the word fake is in scripture. Please define the word fake.  To make something seem or appear to be real by any sort of deception . To counterfeit, to deceive. To practice deception by tampering with something.

Employers use deception when they hire you for one task and expect you to do that task plus fifty other tasks. Women and men use deception against each other. All of the world’s deception is for this world while living in this world. But what about when you die? What about when your body quits?

There are a lot of people travelling a fake road thinking that road will get them to heaven. And sadly, there are many “religious” leaders who lead people down fake roads. The fake roads are called, Works Road, Say A Prayer Street, Baptism Lane, Golden Rule Avenue, 10 Commandments Pass, Giving Trail.

The people travelling the “religious” fake roads think that road will lead them to heaven. And we see what will really greet these people when they get to the end of their road.

Luke 13:24-28 KJV  “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
[25] When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
[26] Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
[27] But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
[28] There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.”

And sadly, once a person dies in their body, they can no longer change their road.  Luke 16:19-31 KJV  “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
[20] And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
[21] And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
[22] And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
[23] And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
[24] And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
[25] But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
[26] And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
[27] Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
[28] For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
[29] Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
[30] And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
[31] And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

Tired of fake roads? The one true road is Jesus Way. John 6:35-40 KJV  “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
[36] But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
[37] All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
[38] For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
[39] And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
[40] And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Friends, isn’t it time you stop taking fake roads and get on the real road, Jesus Way? It is time to pray and ask God the Father to forgive you of all your sin and believe Jesus, as God in the flesh, died on the cross to pay your sin debt with his own blood. And believe God raised him from the dead conquering death, hell, and the grave. And invite the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart to save you. Put all your faith and confidence in Jesus Christ. Then live for him.

Until next time.

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Baptism – Jewish or Gentile Conclusion

We have seen there are 3 elements of baptism: Water Baptism, Baptism with the Holy Ghost and Baptism with fire.

Water baptism has its roots in the ordinances and rites from the law given to Moses. The use of water as God laid out in Leviticus 15 was an element of purification. The Jewish priests would cleanse themselves with water to purify themselves and then offer blood as atonement or payment for their sins.

Because Jesus was a Jew under the law, Jesus came to fulfill the law. John the Baptist, also a Jew, came to prepare the way of the Lord. As John was baptizing people with water, people were confessing their sins, Matthew 3:6 KJV  “And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.”

John even told the people what his water baptism was for,  Matthew 3:11 KJV  “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:”

And now, we learn of two other baptisms / immersions,  with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Jesus never baptized/immersed  any one in water. And John says Jesus will baptize people, immerse people with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Water baptism was a Jewish practice to cleanse people from sins and the blood atonement paid the debt for their sins.

Now we know it is the blood of Jesus shed on the cross that cleanses us from all our sin and paid our sin debt in full. And it is by faith we believe and receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour and his payment and his righteousness, not our own works. So now, water baptism is an ordinance the church practices because when Jesus rose from the dead, he sent out his disciples and told them to baptize in Matthew 28:18-20 KJV
  “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
[19] Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
[20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Notice water is not mentioned? Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost. Water baptism was continued but not for washing away sin any more but now for an open profession to all that one was a true believer and that is what we see with Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40. And we read where Paul did baptize but not many people, 1 Corinthians 1:12-18.

Baptizing / immersion with the Holy Ghost Jesus did and we see this in John 1:29-34; Mark 1:8; Matthew 3:11,12. And Paul the apostle was not preaching John the Baptist’s message but the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. When we read in Ephesians 4 there is one baptism some say the scriptures contradict.

We have already seen there are three different elements of baptism, water, the Holy Ghost and fire. So how can Paul say there is only one baptism in Ephesians? Simple. Who was Paul speaking to? Ephesians 1:1 make it clear Paul was speaking to believers –
Ephesians 1:1 KJV  “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:”

We know Paul was not doing much in water baptism and the baptism with fire is for unbelievers according to Matthew 3:11,12. So Paul had to be talking about the Holy Ghost as the one baptism for believers. And we can confirm this with scripture in Acts 19 where Paul says –

Acts 19:1-7 KJV  “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
[2] He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
[3] And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
[4] Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
[5] When they heard this , they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
[6] And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
[7] And all the men were about twelve.”

Notice the location? Ephesus. And not everyone speaks with tongues and prophesy when the Holy Ghost comes upon people as Paul pointed out in 1 Corinthians 12:27-31.

Baptism / immersion with the Holy Spirit is for believers only. And baptism with fire is for unbelievers only. The proof? Matthew 3:11-12 KJV  “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:
[12] Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

When I hear “preachers” request to be baptized with fire I ask, what is wrong with these so called preachers? Clearly the verses tell us the baptism / immersion with the Holy Ghost is represented by the wheat. And the baptism / immersion of fire is represented by the chaff. And this is not the only area where the baptism of fire is represented by the chaff.

Psalm 1:4 KJV  “The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.”

Isaiah 5:24 KJV  “Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”

And look at the account from Matthew 3 as recorded by Luke in Luke 3:16-17 KJV  “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
[17] Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.”

Anyone telling you to seek the “baptism with fire” is teaching false doctrine. Any so-called preacher praying for the baptism of fire is praying for eternal destruction in fire and you need to get away from them as soon as possible. Like now because they are leading you down a fake road.

Friends, let God explain his word with his word. You can look at all the baptisms but you have to conclude from God’s word, there are basically three baptisms or immersions – water, the Holy Ghost (for believers) and fire ( for unbelievers ).  Believers are baptized / immersed with the Holy Ghost and water baptized as a church ordinance because Jesus sent his disciples out to baptize in the name of the Father, and if the Son, and of the Holy Ghost like Matthew 28:18-20. And because after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus water baptism was practiced as an outward testimony that you were now a believer in Christ. That is what Philip told the Ethiopian eunuch.

No where in scripture is infant water  baptism taught, no where. Infant water baptism was an invention of certain religious denominations as their teaching, not God’s teaching.

One of the saddest things is people will listen to “religious leaders” or so called scholars but will not look things up for themselves in God’s word. Then when they die in their flesh they can not change and have already sealed their fate. Wouldn’t it be wiser to take the time, no, make the time to learn what God tells us? Let God speak to us through his word and the Holy Spirit?

Until next time.

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Baptism – Jewish or Gentile Part 3

Question – were Old Testament Jews baptized?

When people speak about baptism most people think water. However, water would be the wrong answer and here is why. As we said in Baptism – Jewish or Gentile Part 1, baptize means bathe or immerse. You could be baptized in jello or in cow manure or in marshmallows. The word baptize means immersed. So when you read scripture and see the word baptize, you know God is speaking about immersion in something. People need to reprogram their mind to when they read or hear baptize, they think immersion. But immersion in what?

If I were to ask you, what are the elements of a house. You might say a house has 3 elements – a roof, walls and a floor. So what are the elements of baptism / immersion God talks about? Most people only know water immersion.  If God tells believers and unbelievers about being immersed in “something” wouldn’t you want to know?

Some say there are 7 baptisms / immersions mentioned in scripture. This post is not an exhaustive study on immersion or baptisms mentioned in scripture, this post is to help you see baptism or immersion was something taught to Jews and later, the church, believers. And baptism / immersion is not just about water.

A good picture of this is when Jesus, a Jew, told Nicodemus, a Jewish priest, how to be born again in John 3:5 KJV
  “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.”

Some people read that verse and automatically think baptize them in water. But that is not what the verse says. Actually, to understand what the water is Jesus was speaking about we find Paul explains it in Ephesians 5:26-27 KJV  “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
[27] That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

It is the word of God. People are born again by the Spirit ( Holy Spirit ) and the word of God. Why? Because faith saves people’s soul and faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God, Romans 10:17. People learn and hear the word of God.

So when we look at baptism / immersion we learn God describes 3 elements of baptism.  Another words, people are baptized with 3 things. Two of the three are for believers only. One is for unbelievers. The three elements of baptism / immersion:
Water
Holy Ghost
Fire

An interesting point is when people are baptized, they appear to be baptized in to a new location. When Jesus told Nicodemus about being born again the goal was entering the kingdom of God. I started this post asking if Old Testament Jews were baptized? The answer is yes. But what were they baptized / immersed in to and what were they baptized with? The answer, they were baptized unto Moses and with what? The cloud and in the sea.

1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV  “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
[2] And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
[3] And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
[4] And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

And notice the account of Israel being baptized unto Moses happened after Passover was instituted. Then, as Israel passes through the Red Sea the Jews are immersed in the water but God separated the waters. Imagine walking through the Red Sea, surrounded by water, immersed in the water but walking on dry ground.

Exodus 14:26-31 KJV  “And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
[27] And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
[28] And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
[29] But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
[30] Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.
[31] And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord , and believed the Lord , and his servant Moses.”

Question: After Israel passed through the Red Sea, did their location change? They were on the other side of the Red Sea and their enemies could no longer get to them.

God spoke with Moses unlike today where Christ works through all believers and the Holy Ghost speaks to believers. So let us look at the three elements of baptism / immersion.

Water baptism is bathed or immersed in water.
Holy Ghost baptism is bathed or immersed in the Holy Ghost.
Fire baptism is bathed or immersed in fire.

Notice in Matthew 3:11,12 – when John the Baptist is speaking to Pharisees (religious Jews believed all of the Scripture)  and Sadducees (didn’t
believe all of Scripture – most of Sanhedrim were Sadducees ) we might call Sadducees “scholars” today. But when John saw the Pharisees and Sadducees  (Matt. 3:7) John brings up all three elements of baptism / immersion.

Matthew 3:7-12 KJV  “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
[8] Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
[9] And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
[10] And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
[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:
[12] Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

So according to God and his word, these three elements of immersion or baptism happen to people. Often, I have heard certain people ask, have you been baptized in the Holy Ghost. But scripture teaches us,  believers are baptized not in the Holy Ghost but with the Holy Ghost. This is important because believers are, according to scripture, baptized or immersed in to Jesus Christ. Into the body of believers with the Holy Ghost. Another words, it is the person of the Holy Ghost / Holy Spirit that immerses believers in to Jesus Christ and then seals believers. Paul explains this in Ephesians.

Ephesians 1:12-13 KJV. “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
[13] In whom ye also trusted , after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”

And we will pick it up next time. We will look at the 3 elements of baptism / immersion and what they mean. Don’t forget, our main mission here at HeavensRecord is to share to gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. Tell one person, every day, God loves them and Lord willing, he will open the door for you to share how people can get saved. Until next time.

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Baptism – Jewish or Gentile Part 2

We said in Baptism – Jewish or Gentile Part 1 By definition baptize is like a bath or to  bathe, not sprinkled. So baptizing with water was bathing / immersion in the water. And when we speak of baptism, people mostly think of water baptism. But scripture speaks of many different baptisms, not just water baptism.

So what do believers do with the other baptisms? Many ignore them. Why? I don’t know, maybe because they don’t understand them or maybe because they are not taught about the other baptisms. But scripture teaches us there are many different baptisms. Need an example?

In Matthew 3 Jesus comes to John the Baptist to be baptized, in water. John baptized Jesus. Three and a half years later, Jesus is getting ready to go to Jerusalem and be crucified. So Jesus takes his 12 disciples aside and tells them, Matthew 20:17-19 KJV  “And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them,
[18] Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,
[19] And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him : and the third day he shall rise again.”

Notice, Jesus knows exactly what is going to happen and he tells his disciples (not everyone, just his disciples). Along the way a woman comes up to Jesus and Jesus asks her what do you want. The women wants Jesus to grant her two sons the right to sit at his side when Jesus comes into his kingdom. And what was Jesus answer? Baptism? Jesus mentions baptism.

The woman that came to Jesus was the mother of two of his disciples, James and John, sons of Zebedee. The scripture confirms this below and Matthew 10:2 affirms it. But then notice how Jesus responds to James and John’s mother’s request.

Matthew 20:20-28 KJV  “Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him , and desiring a certain thing of him.
[21] And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.
[22] But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
[23] And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
[24] And when the ten heard it , they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.
[25] But Jesus called them unto him , and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
[26] But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
[27] And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
[28] Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

We know Jesus was baptized in water by John the Baptist back in Matthew 3 so the baptism Jesus was talking about here with James and John’s mother could not be water baptism.

And look at Luke, also where Jesus speaks of another baptism in Luke 12:49-53 KJV  “I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
[50] But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!
[51] Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
[52] For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.
[53] The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.”

So there must be more than just water baptism, right? There is and next time we will look at all the different baptisms, who the baptisms are for and why baptism is important. Until next time.

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