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DOES BAPTISM SAVE US ?
Whenever there is controversy in the church concerning church doctrine I believe there is always a solution were we can all come into the UNITY of faith so that we all will speak the same thing concerning the gospel and teaching of Jesus our Lord and savior.
I believe the solution to this age old controversy of whether or not a believer must be baptized to be saved is in the understanding of the SINGLE purpose of the different forms of BAPTISM that are taught in the Bible. But wait! Did I say different? I thought there was only ONE kind of baptism. The answer is yes, but it is also no. I will explain what I mean by this as you continue reading.
So then, let us begin this study in God's word by reading Ephesians 4:1-6, which teaches us that there is but ONE baptism.
4. There is ONE body (or ONE church), and ONE Spirit (the Holy Spirit of Almighty God, the Father), even as you are called in ONE hope of your calling (to take part in the hope or promise of the first resurrection and obtain eternal life in order to live and reign with Jesus);
I want you to notice that this verses speaks of ONE baptism and yet many of us know without a doubt that the Bible speaks of MORE than just ONE baptism. So then, is the word of God contradicting itself ? Absolutely not! For you see, there is just ONE PURPOSE in all the baptisms and that is to SAVE the BELIEVER! And there is just ONE true form or MANNER of a TRUE BIBLICAL baptism, which is complete SUBMERSION in WATER.
Now again, please be patient with me and here the WHOLE matter before you make judgment. Please notice that I said that the PURPOSE of baptism, ALL of them, is to try and ultimately SAVE the BELIEVER. In other words, you MUST be a BELIEVER in order for ANY of these baptisms to be of any BENEFIT to you.
Please keep in mind that BAPTISM ALONE does NOT save us, NOR does FAITH ALONE save us. The TRUTH of the matter is there is NOTHING being ALONE that saves us. God's GRACE being ALONE does not save us for God's grace has appeared to ALL of mankind, but yet many of us know that all mankind is not going to be saved. FAITH being ALONE does not save us, because as may of us know there are people that can be and who are being deceived into believing something that is NOT the TRUTH, and we know that FALSE doctrine will NOT save those that TRUST in the FALSE teaching of man made doctrines no matter how sincere their FAITH may be. For it is ONLY the TRUTH that ultimately makes us free, and it is our CONTINUING in this TRUTH unto the END that saves us. But even TRUTH being ALONE cannot save us, because the word of TRUTH itself clearly teaches us that there are some who REJECT the TRUTH and who do NOT BELIEVE the TRUTH.
Again baptism being ALONE does not save us, because there are some that have been baptized in water and who go on living in sin which we are clearly taught in the word of God brings death, the wages of sin is DEATH. Even the shed blood of Jesus being ALONE does not save us, because Jesus died for ALL of mankind and yet many will not accept his atoning sacrifice and resurrection in order to receive forgiveness of their PAST sins so that they may be reconciled back to God and placed back into right relationship with God.
But rather The TRUTH of the matter is IN the COMBINING of all these things TOGETHER which is what SAVES us and it is NOTHING being ALONE and apart from these things that will save us. So when someone teaches it is by GRACE ALONE or that it is by FAITH ALONE that saves us and NOT of WORKS lest any man should BOAST, then be WARNED that this teaching is NOT the WHOLE word of Almighty God.
So before we go any further you must realize that I am not teaching that baptism ALONE saves us. It is NOT in the baptism of John the baptist, it is NOT in the baptism of repentance in water that is for the BELIEVER only, it is NOT in the baptism into the body of Christ, it is NOT in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it is NOT in the baptism into the death of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, and it is NOT in the baptism with fire being ALONE that SAVES the BELIEVER.
However, it is IN the PURPOSE of each and every one of these baptisms that SAVES a BELIEVER! Or more precisely it is in the purpose of these various forms or stages of baptism that KEEPS a BELIEVER unto the END in his or her FAITH abiding IN the saving GRACE of Almighty God UNTO the OBTAINING of ETERNAL LIFE in the world to COME.
Now because I am speaking to a wide audience and I do not know how much you know about the word of God I always try to make these studies in God's word as in-depth as I possibly can without writing and entire book on the subject. So for those who are more knowledgeable in the word of God please bear with me if I back track from time to time and give the scriptures to show that what I am teaching is from the word of God for those who are just learning. With that being said let us take a look at some of the scriptures that speak of these different forms of baptism beginning with the first baptism, the baptism of John the baptist. Please read Acts 1:22, which teaches us that the GOSPEL of Jesus BEGAN with the BAPTISM of John the baptist to the resurrection of Jesus and the last words that Jesus spoke to us at his ascension into heaven.
"BEGINNING from the baptism of John, UNTO that same day that he was taken up from us (or to the day when Jesus ascended up into heaven), must one be ordained to be a WITNESS with us of his resurrection."
So from this verse of scripture we can see that the preaching of the GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus the Christ BEGAN with John the baptist. Please read Mark 1:1-5 which clearly states that the GOSPEL of Jesus BEGAN with John the baptist.
In verse 1 we clearly see that this is the BEGINNING of the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ, which we are all called to OBEY.
Then in verse 4 we can see that the BAPTISM of REPENTANCE was PREACHED for the PURPOSE of the REMISSION of SINS.
Then is verse 5 we see the method of the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, which was IN the RIVER of Jordan CONFESSING their SINS.
So then, does this mean that in order to be baptized in a Biblical manner that we must therefore all be baptized IN the RIVER Jordan over in Israel WHILE we are CONFESSING our sins?
No, Absolutely not! For you see my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, this particular passage of scripture is NOT the WHOLE word of God and it is NOT the ONLY passage of scripture that has something to teach us about baptism.
However, there is a truth from each passage of scripture that we can learn and this TRUTH is that we all should learn from this passage of scripture is that this baptism was IN water and that there is a CONNECTION to this baptism IN WATER to the CONFESSION of our SINS. One must also understand that PREACHING or TEACHING PRECEDED this baptism IN water. And NOT ONLY preaching and teaching preceded this baptism IN water, but ALSO the BELIEF or FAITH of those that HEARD the preaching of the GOSPEL to REPENT of their SINS preceded this baptism of repentance IN water.
Let us first take a look at some scriptures that clearly teach us that TRUE BIBLICAL baptism occurs with the WASHING AWAY of ALL of our PAST sins by BELIEVING the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ. And then our FAITH in the WORD of God or our BELIEVING the GOSPEL that ALL of our PAST sins are FORGIVEN and that our sins are BURIED with Christ forever is then FOLLOWED UP by our OBEDIENCE to the GOSPEL to be baptized IN WATER for the PROVING of our FAITH to God and others that we TRULY BELIEVE and are not ashamed of the gospel.
It is our new found FAITH in the WILLINGNESS and LOVE to OBEY the WORDS of Jesus that compels us to follow on to DO the COMMANDMENTS of Almighty God, and ONE of these COMMANDMENTS is to be BAPTIZED IN WATER.
Now some of you may be concerned and thinking, "If I have not been baptized in water, then am I still saved?". While some others may be arguing, "What about the thief on the cross he was NOT baptized and Jesus said to him, today you shall be with me in paradise?"
Let me answer these concerned questions as well as the arguments against the need to be baptized by saying, the thief on the cross was on his DEATH BED, so to speak, and he did NOT have the OPPORTUNITY to be baptized IN water AFTER he came to the knowledge of the TRUTH that Jesus was a RIGHTEOUS man who was NOT worthy to be put to death and that he himself was worthy to be put to death, because he himself had SINNED being a thief.
Now had the circumstances been different and the thief on the cross was set free from his crime by the Romans who were crucifying him for being a thief and he was pardoned and allowed to live, and he was further TAUGHT about the baptism IN water, like as you are being taught right now, then if this thief would have hardened his heart and refused to OBEY the GOSPEL of Jesus, then I personally do not believe the thief on the cross would have gone to paradise to hear the preaching of the GOSPEL in order to be saved. Now for those of you who want to go deeper into this study and learn what and where "paradise" was that Jesus was referring to and WHAT Jesus did while he was in this "paradise" before he arose from the grave and ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of Almighty God the Father, then please read the study entitled "WHAT and WHERE is PARADISE?". But for now let us continue this study in God's word to learn the true purpose of baptism and HOW baptism SAVES the BELIEVER!
I keep emphasizing that baptism saves the BELIEVER, because there are some that teach the baptizing of infants by the sprinkling of water or the pouring of water over the babies head, and that THIS baptism of an infant SAVES the baby, even if the baby grows up to be an adult and sins.
However, the Bible does NOT speak of baptizing infants in any manner, but rather ONLY teaches of baptizing those who BELIEVE and have REPENTED of their PAST sins and who desire to FOLLOW the teachings of Jesus.
Also there are some, who for what ever reason, use sprinkling and or the pouring of water over they head as their manner of baptism of adult mature BELIEVERS who have REPENTED of their sins and desire to OBEY the WORD of God and be baptized.
However, I find nothing in the word of God the teaches us that sprinkling or the pouring of water over the head of believers is HOW the early disciples were BAPTIZED IN WATER. But rather it should be BLATANTLY CLEAR from the word of God that TRUE BIBLICAL baptism IN water means the SUBMERSION of the BELIEVER IN or UNDER the water to symbolized their being BURIED with Jesus Christ and their being DEAD to SIN. And then they are taken up OUT of the water to signify their being RAISED to a NEW LIFE in Christ to LIVE this new life in RIGHTEOUSNESS.
With that being said let us go to the word of God to show that baptism IN water means the complete SUBMERSION of the BELIEVER in or UNDER the water to show their being BURIED with Jesus in his death and are therefore DEAD to sin, and then they are brought up OUT of the water to signify their being raised to a new life IN Christ Jesus. Please read John 3:23 where we clearly see that John purposed to BAPTIZE in a place where there was MUCH water.
Now the only reason for there to be a need for MUCH water to be present when BAPTIZING believers is for the NEED of the believer to be SUBMERSED under the water to represent the BELIEVER being BURIED with Jesus Christ in his DEATH to show the BELIEVER'S FAITH in his or her DEATH to SIN, which is true Biblical REPENTANCE. Thus the calling of the baptism in water the baptism of REPENTANCE. For a deeper understanding of true Biblical repentance please read the study entitled "TRUE BIBLICAL REPENTANCE". But for now I want you to take a CLOSER look at John 3:23, which we just read, but this time I want you to see this verse IN the ENTIRE CONTEXT of where it is found. Please read John 3:1-26, which reads as follows,
2. The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that you do, except God be with him. (Jesus then RESPONDS to this statement by Nicodemus to show his HOW that God can be WITH him as well)
3. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, (or Truly, truly) I say unto you, Except a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot SEE the kingdom of God.(I will explain this at the end of this passage of scripture)
4. Nicodemus said unto him, HOW can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born ? (of course not, because Jesus was not referring to being born again as a natural birth of the flesh, but rather of the rebirth of the spirit of man)
5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be BORN of WATER AND of the Spirit, he cannot ENTER into the kingdom of God. (Again I will explain these verses at the end of reading this passage of scripture)
6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.(this speaks of two different kinds of birth, our natural birth being born of a woman as a human being and being BORN AGAIN of the Spirit of God in order to both SEE the kingdom of God and then ultimately ENTER the kingdom of God, without which NEITHER can be achieved. This is why Jesus goes on to say,)
8. The wind blows where it lists, and you hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence (or from where) it comes, and whither (or where) it goes: so is every one that is BORN of the Spirit (or so is everyone that is BORN AGAIN).
9. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, HOW can these things be ? (please notice that the conversation is still going on and Jesus is trying to get Nicodemus to UNDERSTAND what being BORN AGAIN truly means)
12. If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?(keep in mind that BELIEVING requires seeing, as in, understanding and then accepting this understanding as being the truth, which also requires the acting upon what we have come to understand and now confess that we believe. In other words, Nicodemus has not yet UNDERSTOOD what being BORN AGAIN truly means, so Jesus keeps on teaching us)
15. That (or so that) WHOSOEVER BELIEVES in him should not perish, but have eternal life.(that is the whole purpose of Jesus being lifted up on the cross and dying for the sin of the whole world so that WHOSOEVER would BELIEVE the word of TRUTH to the OBEYING of the word of God unto the END would NOT perish, but rather would inherit ETERNAL LIFE. But WHY?)
21. But he that DOES TRUTH
comes to the light, that his DEEDS may be made manifest (or
clearly shown and made known),
that they (speaking
of those who come to the light, or those who are BORN AGAIN that
their DEEDS or WORKS) are
wrought in God.(In other words, we are God's workmanship and all the glory goes to God.)
22. After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he (speaking of Jesus) tarried with them, and BAPTIZED (either referring to Jesus himself BAPTIZING, or through the teaching of Jesus that his disciples did the actual BAPTIZING those of WHOSOEVER BELIEVED upon the Son of God and that Jesus was sent by God to bare witness of God)
26. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, HE (speaking of Jesus) that was with you beyond Jordan, to whom you bare witness, behold, the SAME BAPTIZES, and all men come to HIM (referring to Jesus himself BAPTIZING, or again the disciples of Jesus who were following the teaching of Jesus were who were actually doing the BAPTIZING, and all men coming to FOLLOW the teaching of Jesus. Please refer to John 4:1,2 for the reason why I say Jesus himself baptized, OR his disciples did the baptizing for Jesus according to the teachings of Jesus)."
Either way it should be blatantly clear from the word of God that BAPTISM was TAUGHT by our Lord Jesus Christ as PART of the GOSPEL. So then, clearly from this passage of scripture we can see the IMPORTANCE of being baptized IN WATER, because not only did Jesus HIMSELF commission his disciples to baptize those who believed his words and followed him, but Jesus HIMSELF was also baptized by John IN WATER.
Let us go ahead and look at John 4:1,2 right now to see that there can be more than one interpretation.
This passage of scripture may be interpreted a couple of ways seeing that there were no parenthesis or commas used in the original text. One way of course is that Jesus himself did not baptize anyone by his own hand, but rather had his disciples do the baptizing for him. However, in light of the previous chapter and the comparison made between John's disciples and the disciples of Jesus one could take verse 2 as meaning that Jesus himself only baptized his own disciples, perhaps meaning just the original 12 disciples or just the disciples at the beginning of his ministry. "...Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, though Jesus himself baptized not but his disciples." As I said before it matters little to me which way one wishes to interpret this passage of scripture, because the WHOLE word of God definitely teaches that water baptism is an inseparable part of the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ.
Now from the context of John 3:23 we can see that what Jesus was teaching Nicodemus about being BORN AGAIN and being BORN of WATER and of the SPIRIT is speaking of the spiritual rebirth of our spirit in becoming a new creation in Christ Jesus and the following on in FAITH to the OBEYING the words of Jesus to be baptized IN WATER.
Yes, I realize that some interpret John 3:5,6 being BORN of WATER as the water in the womb of a woman when a child is born, but Nicodemus already has this understanding of being BORN the first time in the womb of a woman. For you see, Nicodemus is clearly asking Jesus HOW can a man be BORN AGAIN with his thinking or understanding being on that which is in the natural. Nicodemus asked Jesus HOW can a man enter into the womb of his mother a second time to be born again.
Because of this I believe Jesus relates being born again to the natural birth only as a BEGINNING of a life trying to show Nicodemus that a NEW BEGINNING must take place in order for a man or woman to even be able to SEE the kingdom of God, as in being able to UNDERSTAND the deeper things of the kingdom of God. Jesus calls this new beginning being BORN AGAIN.
Then when Nicodemus does NOT understand, Jesus goes on the teach Nicodemus and us that this BORN AGAIN EXPERIENCE is being BORN of WATER AND being BORN of the SPIRIT of God. In other words, Jesus is trying to teach Nicodemus and us that this born again experience is a TWO part process that BEGINS with our being BORN of the SPIRIT of God by the WORD of Almighty God, and then this spiritual new birth is followed up by being BORN of WATER, or more precisely the BAPTISM IN WATER as an OBEDIENT act of our FAITH showing God and others that we TRULY BELIEVE God's word and that we want to OBEY and please God by following the TEACHINGS of Jesus and his disciples.
Another thing that I want you to notice is that Jesus FIRST says that except a man be born again he cannot SEE the kingdom of God, in that except a man be born of the Spirit of God he or she cannot UNDERSTAND the deep things of the kingdom of God. Then the SECOND time when Jesus SEEMS to be repeating what he just said to Nicodemus Jesus changes the phrase "BORN AGAIN" to "BORN of WATER and of the SPIRIT" and ALSO changes the word "SEE" to the word "ENTER" and says, Except a man be BORN of WATER AND of the SPIRIT he cannot ENTER the kingdom of God.
Also it should be noted that this passage of scripture, he cannot SEE the kingdom of God, as being interpreted as one cannot enter into right relationship with Almighty God until he or she is BORN AGAIN as the FIRST STAGE of this REGENERATION PROCESS of the Holy Spirit which IF one CONTINUES in the faith unto the END, then the FINAL PART of our new birth will be completed by the actual giving of the believer a NEW and ETERNAL glorified body so that they may ENTER into the kingdom of God
Now I believe this speaks of the THREE steps of being BORN AGAIN. The FIRST step of being BORN AGAIN is what many of us as Christians have been taught and for most Christians this is all there is as far as they know, or as far as they have been TAUGHT. Let me explain to you what I mean by this. Up to the time that I did a study on being BORN AGAIN, I too believed that what I was taught was all there was to being born again. I was taught that when one heard and believed the gospel, the word of TRUTH, then this person became a BORN AGAIN BELIEVER, or more specifically a NEW CREATURE in Christ Jesus where the OLD man is passed away or the old man was considered to be DEAD to sin and a NEW MAN is now BORN to live a new life IN Christ Jesus. Please read 2 Corinthians 5:17, which says,
Ephesians 2:10 goes on to teach us that we are CREATED IN Christ Jesus to DO GOOD WORKS that we were ORDAINED or created to DO from the very beginning. So in other words, we are SAVED or more precisely we are brought back into right relationship with God for the purpose of DOING that which we were ORIGINALLY CREATED to DO in the first place, which is to walk in OBEDIENCE to our creator. Please read Ephesians 2:8-10, which some seem to use this passage of scripture to teach against WORKS, but rather to me this verse strengthens to importance of DOING GOOD WORKS.
10. FOR (or because) we are his workmanship, CREATED IN Christ Jesus UNTO (or for the purpose of DOING) GOOD WORKS, which God has BEFORE ORDAINED that we should walk in THEM (speaking of the DOING of GOOD WORKS that we were originally CREATED to DO)."
THIS my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, IS the INITIAL or FIRST step of being BORN AGAIN. This first step of being born again is our being CREATED IN Christ Jesus as NEW CREATURES where the OLD man is CRUCIFIED and BURIED with Jesus and the NEW man ARISES to take authority over that OLD nature that is now considered to be DEAD to us and we PUT ON this NEW MAN that is created to DO GOOD WORKS of RIGHTEOUSNESS.
this FIRST step of being BORN AGAIN comes by the GRACE
of Almighty God as a FREE GIFT that is offered or extended to ALL of
mankind. BUT is ONLY RECEIVED by or THROUGH the FAITH or the
BELIEVING the word of TRUTH, the GOSPEL of our salvation WITHOUT any
WORKS of our OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS which we have done or THINK that we
must do in order to become BORN AGAIN. The Bible calls this being
BORN AGAIN of the incorruptible SEED, or more precisely the
uncorrupted WORD of Almighty God, which is HOW we are initially born
Please read 1 Peter 1:23 which says,
However, this BORN AGAIN experience does not STOP here, but rather is a CONTINUING PROCESS which is the LIFE of a BELIEVER, which MUST WITHOUT FAIL be comprised of the WORKS of a believer. This LIFE of the believer is step number TWO of the being BORN AGAIN PROCESS. And WHAT takes place in this step number two of being born again is equally if not more important than the INITIAL step of being BORN AGAIN, which is received as a FREE GIFT by the GRACE of God THROUGH FAITH and WITHOUT WORKS lest any man should boast.
However, the REMAINING walk of FAITH of the born again believer MUST WITHOUT FAIL be a WALK of RIGHTEOUSNESS and the KEEPING of the COMMANDMENTS of God and the DOING of GOOD WORKS in order to be found worthy to have the right to partake of the tree of life in the world to COME. For you see my dear brothers and sisters IF the WORKS we DO AFTER we are born again or AFTER we are placed back into right relationship with Almighty God do NOT MEET the REQUIREMENTS of Almighty God, then whether or not you were born again INITIALLY will not matter in the END when Jesus comes again at his second coming. Please read Revelation 22:11-14 which teaches us that we MUST KEEP the COMMANDMENTS of Almighty God in order to have RIGHT to obtain or receive ETERNAL LIFE.
"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
12. And, behold, I come quickly (or in a twinkling of an eye like a flash of lightning); and my REWARD is with me, to give every man ACCORDING as his WORK shall be.
13. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14. Blessed are THEY that DO his COMMANDMENTS, (WHY? Why are ONLY those that KEEP the COMMANDMENTS of God BLESSED?) THAT (or so that, or in order that) THEY (ONLY those that KEEP the COMMANDMENTS of God that THEY) may have RIGHT to the tree of life, and may ENTER in through the gates into the city."
In other words, the WORKS of a born again believer MUST without fail meet the REQUIREMENTS of Almighty God, OR this born again believer will NOT inherit the reward of ETERNAL LIFE that is PROMISED ONLY to every one that BELIEVES AND ENDURES unto the END and is found to be that GOOD and FAITHFUL servant that walk AFTER the Holy Spirit to DO GOOD WORKS of RIGHTEOUSNESS. For you see my brothers and sisters in the Lord, TRUE FAITH or TRUE BELIEVING is ACTING on what the word of God commands us to DO, in order to DEMONSTRATE by your LIFE that you LIVE that TRULY BELIEVE and that you are NOT just being a hearer of the word ONLY whereby some are being DECEIVED!
To put it in the simplest terms that I can:
A persons hears the word of God and BELIEVES and is BORN AGAIN. ALL their PAST sins are FORGIVEN and they are placed back into right relationship with God. And IF they were to DIE BEFORE they were to sin again, then they will be SAVED and shall RECEIVE eternal life in the world to come. HOWEVER, IF they are living in sin after they have become born again and should DIE in their sin WITHOUT REPENTING of their sin, then they shall NOT take part in the FIRST resurrection of the dead IN Christ and shall NOT inherit the eternal life that was PROMISED to them if they were to REMAIN FAITHFUL unto death. This brings us to---
Is where a BORN AGAIN BELIEVER who TRULY BELIEVES will CONTINUE to BELIEVE and follow the TEACHINGS of Jesus to the point of OBEYING the WORDS of Jesus, the word of TRUTH, the GOSPEL of our salvation, which is the POWER of God to KEEP us BY FAITH unto the RECEIVING the END of our salvation, which is ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come. In other words, part TWO of being BORN AGAIN is LIVING the life of RIGHTEOUSNESS, which we were CREATED in Christ Jesus to LIVE. And we live step two of being born again the very same way that we were born again initially, THROUGH FAITH, BY BELIEVING the word of TRUTH, the PROMISES of Almighty God that TEACH us to RESIST the devil and he WILL flee from us. By BELIEVING the very same word of TRUTH that TEACHES us that Almighty God will NOT ALLOW us to be tempted ABOVE that which we are ABLE to BARE. When the Bible teaches us that the JUST shall LIVE BY FAITH it means FAITH in the WHOLE word of God. And therefore if we do NOT LIVE by FAITH and RESIST the devil when he tempts us to sin unto the END of that temptation and OVERCOME the enemy by our FAITH in God's WORD of TRUTH, then we are saying by our WORKS when we give into temptation that we do NOT BELIEVE the word of TRUTH, the GOSPEL of our salvation. Therefore we MUST BELIEVE unto the END and be found to be that GOOD and FAITHFUL servant of God serving God in RIGHTEOUSNESS in order to be found worthy to have the right to partake of the tree of life. This brings us to---
Which is the final step of being BORN AGAIN in order to ENTER into the kingdom of God and this step is our physical bodies being BORN AGAIN where they are CHANGED into new incorruptible and IMMORTAL bodies that will live eternally, because the word of God teaches us that FLESH and BLOOD cannot ENTER into the kingdom of God.
Please read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58, which teaches us that the STING of DEATH is NOT ACTUALLY and FULLY CONQUERED or FULLY OVERCOME, UNTIL we actually are made partakers in the FIRST resurrection of the dead IN Christ and are given our NEW IMMORTAL bodies of ETERNAL LIFE.
"Now this I say, brethren, that FLESH and BLOOD CANNOT inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit in-corruption. (or NEITHER does a corrupted SINFUL life inherit the promise of an incorruptible life.)
52. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead (speaking of ONLY the FAITHFUL dead IN Christ who have ENDURED unto the end and have been found BLAMELESS and without SIN when they died) shall be raised incorruptible, and we (referring to both the dead IN Christ and the FAITHFUL BELIEVERS who are living WITHOUT SIN when Jesus comes again) shall be CHANGED (or BORN AGAIN with a NEW IMMORTAL body of flesh and bone like Jesus had when he arose from the grave, ascended to the Father and descended back with a body of flesh and bone to show himself alive forever more for forty days before Jesus ascended into heaven to sit on his Father's throne.).
54. So WHEN this corruptible shall have put on in-corruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be BROUGHT TO PASS the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
56. The STING of death is SIN (so therefore SIN shall not be swallowed up in victory, UNTIL the time of the FIRST resurrection of the DEAD in Christ AT the time of the second coming of Jesus. Therefore we MUST fight the good fight of FAITH unto the END in order to be counted VICTORIOUS over SIN and be thereby be REWARDED ETERNAL LIFE in the world to COME); and the strength of sin is the law.
58. THEREFORE (or for this REASON that you have been set FREE from SIN and have been given VICTORY over the bondage of SIN where SIN shall NOT have any more DOMINION over YOU), my beloved brethren, be you steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the WORK of the Lord, for as much as you know that your LABOR is not in vain in the Lord."
And ONE of the WORKS of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ is to be BAPTIZED IN WATER for the REMISSION of our sins.
Please keep in mind that I did not write the BOOK, the Holy Bible, the word of TRUTH, the GOSPEL of our salvation. I am just a messenger teaching you what the GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us to DO in order to be saved and inherit the END of our salvation, which is ETERNAL LIFE. Jesus said, or more precisely WARNED us that we shall be JUDGED by the WORDS that he spoke to us through his disciples who wrote down what they were eye witnesses of both hearing and seeing. These WORDS of Jesus are the New Testament of the Bible. Be like the men of Berea and read the word of God daily to find out if what you are being TAUGHT is the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God.
So please my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, if you are trusting in the traditions and teachings of man and what you have been TAUGHT as the basis for your very salvation, then I beseech you to search the word of Almighty God for YOURSELF to see if what you were TAUGHT is the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God. With that being said let us continue this study in God's word to learn HOW baptism SAVES the BELIEVER!
We just learned that being BORN AGAIN comes from hearing the word of TRUTH and then BELIEVING what you heard or read to be in fact the TRUTH. And it is this initial FAITH in the word of God produces the NEW BIRTH, which is a FREE GIFT that is extended to ALL of mankind by the GRACE of Almighty God which CANNOT be EARNED by any GOOD WORKS of our own righteousness that we have done or THINK that we must do in order to receive this new birth. But rather this INITIAL born again experience of becoming a child of God is RECEIVED by or THROUGH FAITH in the word of TRUTH and is NOT of WORKS, because our own self righteous good works produce BOASTING, which is an abomination to God.
Now AFTER this BORN AGAIN experience we move on to our NEW LIFE in Christ Jesus, which we were CREATED to live right NOW in this PRESENT world. And this NEW LIFE IN Christ Jesus MUST WITHOUT FAIL be a life of OBEDIENCE to the word of TRUTH which will in the process of time produce a life that is WITHOUT SIN, IF SO BE that we LIVE this life BY FAITH, and NOT in our OWN STRENGTH.
For you see my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, you must FIRST BELIEVE that you can live your life WITHOUT SIN, before you will ever be able to OVERCOME any and ALL sin in your life. For a deeper understand on HOW to live your life free from sin please read my study, "HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE FREE FROM SIN". But for now let us continue with OBEYING the word of God concerning being baptized IN WATER by SUBMERSION.
Please read Acts 8:26-39 which teaches us that the early apostles PREACHED about being baptized IN WATER by SUBMERSION as part of the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ.
"And the angel of the Lord spoke unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goes down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.(just as a side note I want you to notice that the Holy Spirit gives pretty detail directions of where to go, but nothing about why? Please notice how Philip obeyed the Holy Spirit as far as he knew to do, and then the Holy Spirit gave him further directions after he obeyed the first instructions that he was given.)
27. And he arose and went (or Philip OBEY what the Holy Spirit was telling him to do): and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
31. And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. (Please notice how the Holy Spirit went before Philip and prepared the heart of this man to be receptive of instruction)
32. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
36. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain WATER (not just any water, but a CERTAIN water, which says to me that the water had to be DEEP enough to be baptized in): and the eunuch said, See, here is WATER; what does hinder me to be BAPTIZED ?
In verse 36 we can clearly see that Philip PREACHED about Jesus to this eunuch, which OBVIOUSLY INCLUDED the PREACHING or TEACHING about being BAPTIZED IN WATER for the remission of sins, because in verse 37 we see that when they came to a place were there was a certain WATER the eunuch asked Philip the question, is there anything that hinders him from being baptized? Then please notice Philips answer to this question. Philip simply responded that the only thing that is required for you or anyone to be baptized for the remission of their sins is to BELIEVE the GOSPEL. Then I want you to notice WHAT this eunuch stated that he BELIEVED. The eunuch answered Philip and said, I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is the SON of God. Then they both went down into the water and Philip baptized the eunuch and the eunuch after he was baptized and they came out of the water the eunuch went his way REJOICING.
So then, thus far we have learned that the baptism of REPENTANCE for the remission of sins began with the PREACHING of John the baptist who was pointing his disciples toward Jesus. Then we learned that Jesus PREACHED this SAME message of REPENTANCE that was accompanied with a baptism IN WATER for the remission of sins. Then we see Philip PREACHING this SAME message of Jesus being the Messiah and how BAPTISM was apart of the GOSPEL message, because the eunuch ASKED when he saw a certain water what prevented him from being baptized.
All through the New Testament we see this message of BAPTISM and how baptism represents our being BURIED with Jesus Christ in his death and how this makes us DEAD to sin by FAITH in that we are to consider our self as being DEAD to sin. And then our coming up out of the water symbolizes our being raised to a NEW LIFE IN Christ, where it is no longer we that live in our OWN strength resisting sin, but it is Christ or the ANOINTING of the Holy Spirit that lives within us that EMPOWERS us to live our lives WITHOUT SIN.
Now let us take a look at ANOTHER type of baptism that is taught in the word of God, which is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
In Acts 2:37-41 we see not ONLY the baptism IN WATER as being PART of the GOSPEL that teaches us what believers must DO in order to be saved, but we ALSO see that there is ANOTHER BAPTISM that is PROMISED to every believer as well, which is the RECEIVING the GIFT of the Holy Spirit, or being BAPTIZED with the Holy Spirit. Also called being FILLED with the Holy Spirit, which is PROMISED ONLY to the BELIEVER as well. In other words, anyone can be baptized in water whether they are a believer in Jesus Christ or not, but that baptism in water will ONLY benefit the one who BELIEVES before he or she is baptized in water. However, the baptism of the Holy Spirit can ONLY be received by a BELIEVER, who has been born again by being forgiven of all his of her past sins, because the Holy Spirit will not dwell in an unclean vessel.
"Now when they HEARD this (the message of the GOSPEL), they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, WHAT shall we DO (or WHAT shall we DO in order to be SAVED)?
41. Then they that GLADLY RECEIVED his WORD (or they gladly believed and received the GOSPEL to the point of OBEYING the word of TRUTH and) were BAPTIZED (referring to their being baptized IN WATER): and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."
To me it is as simple as IF they did not TRULY BELIEVE, then it would be certain that they would not have bothered to be baptized in water for the remission of their sins, because why do something you do NOT truly believe. However, BECAUSE they TRULY BELIEVED they OBEYED the GOSPEL and became DOERS of the word of God and NOT just hearers only whereby some are DECEIVED, because they do NOT OBEY the GOSPEL to be baptized.
Then in Act 8:1-17 we read again where there is MORE than just the baptism of repentance in water for the remission of sins and we learn that there were some believers who were baptized in water, but who had not yet RECEIVED the BAPTISM of the Holy Spirit.
"And Saul was consenting unto his death (the stoning of Stephen). And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
15. Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might RECEIVE the Holy Ghost:
So here again we see the PREACHING of the GOSPEL, which OBVIOUSLY INCLUDED being BAPTIZED IN WATER, because when those who HEARD the PREACHING of the GOSPEL and BELIEVED the word of TRUTH they then RESPONDED in FAITH which produced OBEDIENCE and they were BAPTIZED every one of them that BELIEVED and RECEIVED the PREACHING of the GOSPEL.
And once again we ALSO see ANOTHER BAPTISM, which is the BAPTISM of the Holy Spirit, which from this passage of scripture can PLAINLY be seen as a SEPARATE and DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT baptism than that of the baptism of REPENTANCE in water for the remission of sins.
Jesus himself TAUGHT of this BAPTISM of the Holy Spirit and in fact commanded his disciples to tarry or wait in Jerusalem to be baptized in the Holy Spirit or more precisely to be ENDUED with POWER from on high BEFORE they went out to be WITNESSES for him and the kingdom of God.
John the baptist first begins to teach us about the BAPTISM of the Holy Spirit, which he says that Jesus will baptize those that believe with the Holy Spirit of Almighty God.
Please read Mark 1:6-8 which says,
Then in John 1:33 we read,
"And I (John) knew him not (or John did not know Jesus was the Son of God until he saw the Holy Spirit of Almighty God descending like a dove upon Jesus): but he (speaking of Almighty God) that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom you shall see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him (speaking of Jesus), the SAME is he which BAPTIZES with the Holy Ghost."
John saw the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus when he BAPTIZED Jesus in the river Jordan. Please read Matthew 3:13-17 where we learn that it is the WILL of Almighty God to be baptized in order to fulfill all righteousness.
14. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of you, and come you to me? (here we see that John perceived that Jesus was the one that should be preferred before himself and felt unworthy to baptize Jesus)
Some of the last words of Jesus to his disciples are found in Mark 16:15,16 where Jesus commissions his disciples to go into all the world and PREACH the GOSPEL and BAPTIZE those who BELIEVE the GOSPEL.
"And he (Jesus) said unto them (his disciples), Go you into all the world, and PREACH the GOSPEL (which obviously INCLUDES the preaching to be BAPTIZED or why would any believer be baptized in responding to the preaching of the gospel by asking, see here is certain water what prevents me from being baptized? This GOSPEL was PREACHED) to every creature.
So to me, it simply comes down to, "DO YOU the reader, TRULY BELIEVE the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ or NOT?" Have YOU been baptized in water since you first believed? For I believe that IF you TRULY BELIEVE the GOSPEL, the word of TRUTH, the you will follow up your belief in the GOSPEL and be BAPTIZED IN WATER calling on the name of our Lord Jesus for the remission of your sins as an ACT of OBEDIENCE to the Lord, if you have not already done so.
Some other last words of Jesus are found in Acts 1:1-5,8,9 where Jesus gives his disciples commandment to wait in Jerusalem for the PROMISE of the Holy Spirit, which will be sent to abide within them to EMPOWER them to be witnesses for Jesus.
.......8. "But you shall RECEIVE POWER, AFTER that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
And if you remember earlier we read in Acts 2:38 that this SAME PROMISE of being BAPTIZED or being FILLED with the Holy Spirit is to EVERY BELIEVER in Jesus Christ who has REPENTED of their sins.
39. For the PROMISE is unto YOU (yes this PROMISE of the GIFT of the Holy Spirit is unto YOU, the reader, IF SO BE you are a born again believer in Jesus Christ and the GOSPEL. This PROMISE is unto YOU), and to your children, and to ALL that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." (which is ALL of mankind, because the call of the GOSPEL is extended to ALL the world, and WHOSOEVER BELIEVES the GOSPEL and REPENTS of their sins and are BAPTIZED in water as an act of their OBEDIENCE shall RECEIVE the PROMISE of the Holy Spirit, IF SO BE that they BELIEVE. For all that we receive from God is THROUGH FAITH.)
Now for certain it is evident that not every believer in the Bible was baptized in water BEFORE they RECEIVED the Holy Spirit, but it should be noted that this pattern is not the norm. Please read Acts 10:44-48, which clearly teaches us that it is not dogmatic that a believer must without fail be baptized in water BEFORE they actually RECEIVE the BAPTISM of the Holy Spirit or the infilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. However, please note that these believers were then COMMANDED to be baptized IN WATER in the name of the Lord after they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.
46. FOR (or BECAUSE) they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. (this is HOW Peter and the other believers knew that they had actually RECEIVED the infilling of the Holy Spirit, BECAUSE they HEARD them SPEAK with TONGUES) Then answered Peter,
For a deeper understanding on RECEIVING the BAPTISM or the INFILLING of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Holy Spirit gives you the utterance or words to speak please see the study entitled "THE POWER and AUTHORITY of the BELIEVER", and the study called "STIR UP the GIFT that is WITHING YOU". But for now I want to look at two more types of baptism, the baptism into the death of Jesus and the baptism of fire.
Please read Romans chapter 6 which teaches us that our VERY LIFE that we NOW LIVE IN or THROUGH Christ Jesus IS the BAPTISM that now SAVES us as BELIEVERS!
13. Neither YIELD you your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but YIELD yourselves unto God, as those that are ALIVE from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
19. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as you have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
The Bible teaches us that we are a NEW CREATION IN
Christ Jesus and that the OLD man is passed away or our old way of
living should be considered as being DEAD. In other words, our very LIFE MUST be a LIVING BAPTISM where we DAILY consider ourselves to be DEAD to SIN and ALIVE unto God to SERVE God in RIGHTEOUSNESS by living our lives WITHOUT SIN. This is HOW baptism SAVES the BELIEVER!
Colossians 3:1-10 says,
"If you then be RISEN with Christ (referring to considering yourself DEAD to SIN and RISEN with Christ to a NEW LIFE IN Christ, then), seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.
3. For you are DEAD, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
5. MORTIFY THEREFORE (or for this very REASON therefore MORTIFY or CRUCIFY) your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
It is up to US to DO the PUTTING OFF the old man with his DEEDS and the PUTTING ON the new man with GOOD WORKS of RIGHTEOUSNESS. For you see, the baptism that I speak of that SAVES the BELIEVER is the baptism of our being BURIED with Jesus Christ in his death and then risen again to a NEW LIFE of SERVING Almighty God by WALKING in OBEDIENCE to the WORDS of Jesus our Lord and savior. And one of those words or teachings of Jesus is to be BAPTIZED IN WATER for the remission of our sins.
In closing this part of this study on HOW baptism SAVES the BELIEVER! I would like to say to those of my readers who have NOT yet been baptized in water for the remission of your sins,
This verse is found in Acts 22:16.
As for the FINAL baptism, the baptism in FIRE as spoken of by John the baptist that Jesus would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and FIRE as found in Matthew 3:11,12 which says,
I believe that this FINAL baptism takes place WHEN Jesus comes again and it is a baptism that for sure you must not fail to cast away your FAITH.
Now some interpret this passage of scripture of being baptized with FIRE as part of being baptized with the Holy Spirit, perhaps because of the like cloven tongues of fire that sat upon each believer on the day of Pentecost, or perhaps because of the power that we receive when we are filled with the Holy Spirit.
However, by the CONTEXT of the verse that immediately follows being baptized with FIRE we read,
"Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable FIRE."
Now I believe this verse is speaking of the second coming of Jesus when he comes in a FLAMING FIRE to execute the vengeance of Almighty God. It also refers to the HARVEST of the wheat, which also takes place at the second coming of Jesus.
Something that is not a very popular teaching is that the church will go THROUGH the ENTIRE period of GREAT TRIBULATION.
For a deeper understanding on this subject please read the study called "GREAT TRIBULATION". But for now let us continue to look at the verses of scripture that I believe point to the baptism of FIRE at the second coming of Jesus. Let's begin by reading
2 Thessalonians 1:3-10 where we see Jesus coming in FLAMING FIRE to execute the vengeance of Almighty God on those that have persecuted the church and those who DISOBEYED the GOSPEL at the SAME time that Jesus is coming to be GLORIFIED in his brethren, his church.
10. WHEN he shall come to be glorified in his SAINTS (or AT the SAME time WHEN Jesus comes to be GLORIFIED in or with his CHURCH, his saints or FAITHFUL BELIEVERS), and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in THAT DAY (speaking of the DAY of the Lord or the WRATH of God)."
Jesus teaches us in Luke 18:7,8 that Almighty God will AVENGE his elect, his saints, his persecuted church, and WHEN this vengeance is executed Jesus says, shall I find FAITH on the Earth at this time???? Please keep in mind that this event of Jesus coming in FLAMING FIRE to execute the WRATH of Almighty God begins IMMEDIATELY AFTER the time of GREAT TRIBULATION, which we are told are times so devastating that there has never been a time like this before on the Earth or ever shall be again. So no wonder he makes the statement as to whether or not he shall find FAITH on the Earth at this time of his coming in FLAMING FIRE to execute the WRATH of God.
Please read Luke 18:7,8, which says,
Jesus also said that in a day when we THINK NOT that he is coming he will come again. To me this speaks of a time when the HOPE for many believers will grow cold and they will be MOCKING those of us who still are holding fast to the PROMISE of his coming by saying things like "where is the promise of his coming?"
I believe the FAITH of many born again Christians will grow cold and Jesus says many will be deceived by the deceitfulness of sin as sin abounds and WARNS us that ONLY THOSE FAITHFUL believers who ENDURE unto the END shall be SAVED and inherit eternal life.
Let's read Matthew 24:43,44 where Jesus teaches us that he is coming in an hour that we THINK NOT or perhaps at a time that appears hopeless and some no longer think that Jesus is going to come again.
Many Christians today are being deceived by the FALSE teaching of a PRE-tribulation rapture, where Jesus is coming BEFORE the time of GREAT TRIBULATION for his church in order that they may ESCAPE this time of great tribulation, so when some of these believers find themselves in these troubled times they may be the very ones that mock their fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord by saying "where is the promise of his coming". Please read 2 Peter 3:3-14 where we learn that when Jesus comes again the heavens and the Earth shall be on FIRE.
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days SCOFFERS (or false teachers who mock the word of truth), walking after their own lusts (or those who have been DECEIVED by the deceitfulness of SIN),
8. But, beloved, be NOT ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (in other words, this DAY of God's WRATH will BEGIN at the time of the second coming of Jesus, but God will show his mercy and his wrath will be lifted for a time only to be completed at the END of the 1000 year reign of Jesus when Satan once again deceives the nations to rebel against God)
10. But the DAY of the Lord will come as a THIEF in the night; IN the which (or AT which time that Jesus comes again) the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be BURNED UP (or IMMERSED in FIRE) .
Consider the words of Jesus found in Luke 21:25-28 which says,
"And there shall be SIGNS in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (these SIGNS will appear IMMEDIATELY AFTER the time of GREAT TRIBULATION and right BEFORE the WRATH of God is poured out. In other words, these SIGNS will USHER in the WRATH of God)
26. Men's hearts failing them for fear (I believe this refers to BOTH the physical heart where people are having heart attacks and die, and I believe this is speaking of the heart or spirit of man that loses all HOPE of Jesus coming again), and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
28. And WHEN these things BEGIN to come to pass (or WHEN you BEGIN to see these SIGN start to take place), THEN look up, and lift up your heads (or lift up your heads that are hanging low because you were losing your FAITH and were THINKING NOT that Jesus was not coming to avenge his people); for YOUR REDEMPTION draws nigh (or your Messiah and savior is coming to rescue you and bring you THROUGH this FIERY TRAIL of your faith)."
I want you to now consider what the word of God says in 1 Peter 4:12,13.
"Beloved, think it NOT STRANGE concerning the FIERY TRIAL which is to try you (speaking of some future FIERY TRIAL being a single trial that will definitely take place in the future), as though some strange thing happened unto you:
This BAPTISM of FIRE that Jesus speaks about, to me seems to be connected with his COMING again in FLAMING FIRE in an hour when we THINK NOT that Jesus is still coming and at a time when even Jesus himself wonders if there will be FAITH on the Earth when he COMES again and we are told to think it NOT STRANGE when we find that we are present here on the Earth when it is being CONSUMED in FIRE and all hope seems to be lost.
But HOLD FAST to the confidence of your FAITH that the word of God teaches us that he will BRING us THROUGH this baptism of FIRE. Please read Zechariah 13:8,9 which teaches us that in the last days two thirds of the population will be cut off and destroyed by FIRE and the remaining one third God will bring THROUGH the FIRE into his kingdom.
9. And I will bring the third part THROUGH the FIRE, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God."
Here is what Isaiah the prophet has to say about God's people coming THROUGH the FIRE. Please read Isaiah 43:1,2 which says,
2. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk THROUGH the FIRE, you shall NOT be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you."
The parting of water of the Red Sea was a LITERAL bringing of God's people THROUGH the waters. The hold back of the river so God's people could cross over was a LITERAL going THROUGH the rivers. So then why do some try to SPIRITUALIZE the bringing of God's people THROUGH the FIRE as being just a representation on some trial the God's people will go through? Was not the FIRE in the furnace of Nebuchadnezzar a REAL LITERAL FIRE?
So then, just like the three Hebrew men who were NOT hurt by the raging FLAME of FIRE of the fiery furnace and not even the smell of smoke was upon them, and so shall God's FAITHFUL believers who endure unto the end and hold fast the confidence of their FAITH shall be brought THROUGH this BAPTISM of FIRE in the last day at the time of the HARVEST of the WHEAT or the GATHERING together of God's FAITHFUL BELIEVERS.
Please read Luke 3:16,17 where John the baptist tells us that Jesus will BAPTIZE us with the Holy Spirit AND with FIRE.
"John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes, the latch of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall BAPTIZE (or totally SUBMERSE or cover) you with the Holy Ghost and WITH FIRE:
17. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the WHEAT into his garner (speaking of the harvest or gathering together of the FAITHFUL believers who are KEEPING the COMMANDMENTS of God and who are found to be blameless and without sin when Jesus comes again); but the CHAFF he will burn with FIRE unquenchable (referring to all the UNRIGHTEOUS and UNFAITHFUL and DISOBEDIENT children of God who OBEYED NOT the GOSPEL to keep sin out of their lives)."
So again I ask you my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord who have NOT followed on in the FAITH to OBEY the GOSPEL and be baptized IN WATER for the remission of their sins,
Now if so be that you have not been baptized in water,
because of some physical hindrance that is preventing you to be
baptized and it is your desire to obey God and be baptized if you
could, then KNOW and be at PEACE with your self and God, because God sees your HEART and in
God's eyes you have already OBEYED just like Abraham obeyed God when he offer is only son Isaac even though the actual ACT was NOT carried out unto the end of ACTUALLY taking his son's life God still SAW the OBEDIENCE of Abraham through the intent of Abraham's heart.
May God bless you richly as you CONTINUE in the word of TRUTH to OBEY all that we are commanded to DO.
Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,
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