Saturday, May 31, 2014


Matthew 3 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
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?
Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
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."

   When I was preaching this text many years ago for my bible college preaching course, I notticed an odd phrase,  That we would be baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire.  I think many charismatics would have agreed with my assumption that the baptism of Fire would have been simply an aspect of spiritual baptism.  Yet a few years later I would here a interpretation that was more frighteningly different.
An Old Baptist preacher stated that the baptism of fire was judgement.  When looking at the context this appears to be correct.  The pharisees and Sadducees approached John to be baptized only to get this warning.   They were advised to repent prior to their baptism.  Now I hold to a view of soteriology known as free grace, meaning that a person is justified before God by the good works of Jesus Christ alone and therefore saved by grace upon there faith in christ without any good works of their own.
Yet Baptism is not salvation, it is entrance into the New Testament religion, One must repent of their sins to be baptized, not necessarily become perfectly righteous but to turn from their wicked ways.  Because our religion expresses the Lordship of christ and our faith without works is a dead religion.
james 1: 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
2: 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
      Now with reference to the Fire we see fire being used prior ( matt. 3: 10) and afterwards (matt 3:12) in terms of judgement and probably damnation.  So Baptism brings a blessing and a curse. We know the blessing for believers but are we aware of the curse for unbelievers?

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
  The curse of damnation is upon the unbelieving baptized.    We can not loose ourselves from that curse.  The only way to heaven is through Jesus christ.  Even mimicking christianity will not let us be saved.

10 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;
And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
     Here we see that The exodus was a "type" or symbol for Christians today.  Showing us an "example".  Israel escaping the onslaught through the baptism in the cloud through the red sea.  Now passing through the red sea did not guarantee them the promised land as their faith was tested and many proved to be unfaithful.  which is an example for us to remain faithful.  Not assuming that one act of faith guarantees that we are truly believing God.  But there is a nother aspect I only recently picked up on.

exodus 14:22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,
25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.
26 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.

 Nottice that the egyptians have entered the baptism.  They have assumed that the sea was miraculously standing for them as well.  But they were obviously not coming through faith.
As a result the egyptians corpses would later wash up on shore.  This is symbolic of their damnation. Even though some tried to escape it was to late.   Remember the egyptians believed that God must have performed those miracles.  They had to believe or they would not have walked between two walls of water.  But they did not believe in their hearts as their pharoah had led them with a hardened heart.

Now as I stated earlier salvation is 100% free.  So Why does baptism require repentance?  Because we are to believe with our hearts. romans 10:That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

  Anybody can believe as a command, But believing in the heart is entirely different.
james 2: 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Demons believe that their are certain facts.   But they don't believe in Jesus in their hearts. The good works (baptism) are required for us to establish New testament churches. But the works are not making the salvation.  Otherwise, there would not have been a sea of Egyptians carcasses that morning. But the faith that became regenerated for Christians was simple belief that had planted the gospel in our hearts, Romans 1:16.
 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

If we do not place that belief in our hearts and assume that the gospel can be replaced and that the pearl is not of such great a price. then we can fall short of the grace of God.  So this is why we ware to ask christ in our hearts.

John 7:37-39

37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
ephesians 3: 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

In Christ, Matt