Archive for November, 2018

Is The Phrase “One Baptism” In Eph 4:5 Meant To Rule Out Holy Spirit Baptism?

November 15, 2018

In exhorting Christians to keep the “unity of the Spirit,” Ephesians 4:4-6 lists seven ones, including the subject of this article “one baptism.” Some teach this declaration rules out “Holy Spirit baptism” as being in operation any longer, but I am thinking this is a false argument for the truth.

Paul’s argument in this section is that Christians should and can have unity because there is only “one body” and “one Lord” and “one hope” and so forth, the point being they are part of the same body (church) and serve the same Lord (Jesus) and have the same hope (salvation in heaven). Similarly, Paul’s point on “one baptism” is not to contrast water baptism with other types of baptisms, but to say that every Christian’s water baptism was the same. Even though they were baptized at different times and perhaps at different places by different people, John Doe’s baptism is the same as Jane Doe’s baptism – it was “in the name of the Lord” (Acts 19:5) “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38) and it placed one “into Christ” (Gal 3:27). Every Christian’s baptism is the same as every other Christians’ baptism and therefore Christians are united in their baptism. Christians can be one because all their baptisms are one and the same.

The point of Eph 4:5 is not to disallow other types of legitimate immersions – like Holy Spirit baptism, the baptism of suffering, or even taking a bath or going swimming. Furthermore, understanding Holy Spirit baptism to refer to the direct miraculous measure of the Holy Spirit, then I Cor 13:8ff teaches Holy Spirit baptism does not happen anymore.

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Preaching For The Money

November 7, 2018

The Bible speaks of those who “do the Lord’s work” for the money. Micah 3:11 reads “The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us.” Rom 16:18 also describes such when it says “For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”

How do we tell who is preaching for the money or for other carnal reasons? Those preaching for the money won’t warn their audiences of what they (their audiences) are doing wrong Gal 4:16, Ezek 3:18, Acts 20:31. Instead they will consistently choose subjects that their audiences already agree with, are already practicing, etc. – in short, they avoid stepping on toes. We do need to encourage, motivate, and review with our audiences, but none of that will matter if audience members are in sin, and because we don’t warn them, they are eternally lost. Encouraging them serves little purpose in that case.

Furthermore, Christian audiences tend to dislike those who teach the truths needed by the audience at hand. We see this from a passage like II Tim 4:3-4 – “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth ….” Limestone Prison Chaplain James Williams said on 11-3-2018 “They pay me so they can control me.” No doubt some congregations likewise pay their regular preacher so they can control him.

I King 22:8 describes a man (Micaiah) who would not allow himself to be controlled in such a way – “And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the Lord: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.” Luke 6:26 teaches such men will generally not be well received by the churches – “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”

Subjective Interpretations Of Feelings And Experiences by Dennis Abernathy

November 1, 2018

II Tim 3:16-17 shows the Bible should be our complete guide in religion. Gen 37:32-35 illustrates how our feelings are not reliable. Read the following article with that in mind. Pat

Did you hear the story of a farmer who decided to quit farming and become a preacher? When asked why he made such a decision, the farmer said: “God called me to preach.” When asked how God called him to preach, he said he saw clouds in the sky one day that looked like the letters G, P and C. He interpreted the clouds to mean “Go Preach Christ.” When asked how he knew those letters didn’t stand for “Go Plow Corn,” the farmer was speechless. This illustrates the problem of basing religious beliefs on subjective interpretations of feelings and experiences. You still have to assume what the feelings mean.

A young Mormon elder once told me to pray and ask if the Book of Mormon was from God. When asked how I should expect God to answer, he said: “I asked God if the Book of Mormon was true and I got a warm feeling.” He had no answer when I asked him how he knew a warm feeling meant “Yes it is,” instead of “No it isn’t?”

Concerning religion and the salvation of our souls, we need something more definite than subjective interpretations of vague feelings of clouds in the sky. Thank God, we have that in the Scriptures. When we read the Scriptures we can understand and know precisely what God is telling us to do. So, my friend, don’t look to vague feelings or mysteriously interpreted experiences to know God’s will. Look to the Scriptures! Think on these things.