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Bible Definition Chart



BIBLE-DEFINITION-CHART

WATER BAPTISM and PURIFICATION (Part 2 of 2)

A question that came to us:

“If we are still to practice water baptism today, what scripture teaches that it is no longer a purification (Jn. 3:25) and washing (Acts 22:16) by sprinkling or pouring but burial in water to symbolize death, burial, and resurrection?”

(This is the second part to the question’s answer. You can read Part 1 here.

My short answer:
Water baptism is not a sacrament, or means of obtaining salvation. Baptism of a believer is a personal decision that identifies (by a picture or visual representation) the believer with the gospel he professes to believe.

The gospel in this Church age is that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again for our justification under the New Testament. This gospel does not symbolize a future remission of sins under the New Covenant God promised to Israel, such as John’s and Peter’s baptism (Jeremiah 31:31; Luke 3:3, 24:47; Acts 2:38; Joel 2:28-29).

Water baptism in the Church age looks back on the finished and complete work of Christ, which was applied effectually by the Holy Spirit, at the moment the believer trusted Christ. It is important to note that water baptism does not look directly back to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ—it looks back to the work of the Holy Spirit when the believer was baptized into Christ—which in itself, indeed, is based on the past Person and Work of Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. (Romans 6:3-4). The believer’s salvation and justification is “no more of works” “not of works” and “not by works of righteousness” (Romans 11:6; Ephesians 2:9; Titus 3:5).

At the same time, when the believer trusted Christ alone, the Holy Spirit baptized him into the body of Christ, of which Christ is the Head (1 Corinthians 12:13-27). Therefore, water baptism is by immersion (going down into a ‘watery grave’, and coming up out of it): and the only mode that can picture the gospel of grace: identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

Water baptism may be public or private but the intent is always to identify the believer with the gospel revealed to Paul for this age, and to mark his fellowship with all other believers in Christ.
It is a vivid illustration that can be done anywhere, anytime, in any culture. When the gospel of grace (salvation without any work by man–all is dependent upon Christ) is preached, water baptism renounces all other ‘gospels’ and proclaims that any other means of salvation are false.

The biblical meaning of water baptism has been so perverted, ignored and neglected by so many for so long, water baptism is no longer an offence to false gospels and religious systems in the USA and other parts of the world.

The detailed answer:

PREVIOUS STUDY ON PURIFICATION AND BAPTISM

In our first study we covered the general process of purification, its elements, and the fact that baptism and purification were not synonymous. In this final study we look at the second part of the question: Do we have any scriptural justification to baptize converts that is a burial to symbolize death, burial, and resurrection?

I attempt to cover a large body of material here without needless jargon or long technical terms with the intent to not only answer the question above but to also use it as part of our Bible school curriculum. My focus is on the average Bible student and is intended to be an introduction to the voluminous and complex subject of translation and interpretation from a source language (Greek) to a target language (English). At the same time I hope to give a reasonable, logical, and scriptural answer to the question. It is of utmost importance to know what constitutes “baptism”. Is baptism an act or a condition that results from a particular action? In other words, when one is ‘baptized’ does that mean the candidate was dipped, submerged, immersed, or simply overwhelmed? When one is baptized, must water be the element used? “He was baptized by John in the river of Jordan.” Does that mean he was “dipped in water and brought up” “sprinkled with water, or had water poured over him so profusely, that he was entirely wet?” “The disciples were baptized with the Holy Ghost”—must that mean the baptism was with water? When a person is “baptized” does it mean the baptism was ‘because of’ a prior event or looking forward ‘for’ a future benefit?

“Baptism” and “Baptized” (verbal forms and adjective) have been miserably ill defined by many so-called ‘scholars.’ This is the result of a flawed definition of baptism; one that never met the demands of normal literal interpretation of scripture. First error: To discover what the word “baptism” meant, ‘scholars’ searched Classical Greek for how the terms, baptism and baptized were used in the writings of ancient secular Greek authors. Second error: Depending on the particular religious view of the researcher, the definition of baptism was determined from select accounts, while any opposing account was simply left unreported. The majority of accounts that agreed with the researcher’s predetermined ‘correct definition’ overruled any account of disagreement.

Therefore, to put it in plain speech, when the researcher was Presbyterian, ‘baptism’ was determined to be sprinkling or pouring. When the researcher was a Baptist, ‘baptism’ was determined to be immersion or dipping. Both ignored the context where baptism was used in the Bible, and both believed the interpretive authority lay in the secular Classical Greek usage, instead of context and usage of the term in the Bible itself. Both approaches concluded that “baptism” was an ACTION (sprinkling or pouring or dipping or immersion) rather than a CONDITION. The misconception lingers today and has affected Bible interpretation by many.

The definition of baptism must include several key elements, all determined by the context and usage found in the King James Bible (KJB). The KJB is an accurate translation of the koine (common) Greek text into the English language and thus reflects the divine definition. A consistent definition and meaning of “baptism” must consider “where” “when” “how” and to “whom” the term is used in the word of God. Proper definition of baptism embodies the message it accompanies, the method employed, the mode of action, as well as the messenger or the “baptizer”.

The Greek of the New Testament was not written in Classical Greek; the NT Greek is what is called ‘koine’ (common) Greek and was not the Greek of the secular Greek authors such as Homer, Sophocles, Euripides, Hippocrates, etc. God set His own definitions and interpretations apart from man by usage and context in the KJB.

NT Greek was the language of the common man and not the language of the ‘scholars’. Not only that, NT Greek has properties that go beyond the normal speech and usage of the koine Greek. The KJB is based on what is called “Biblical Greek”. Even the English of the KJB has certain elements not used or spoken in the English language by anyone from 900-2015 a.d.; therefore, the KJB is Biblical English and one only finds the definitive meanings of terms in their usage and context in the KJB.

For several reasons, I believe the error of substituting or transliterating baptismois as “baptisms” instead of the translation of “washings” in Hebrews 9:10 is a glaring example of ignoring Bible usage and context. It is simply the result of ‘uniform translation’ (the assumption that all Greek words that are the same, must have the same meaning.) In following this assumption, all ‘modern translations’ such as the NIV, have perverted the meaning of critical Bible words.

The KJB employs context and usage to define critical Bible words. Methods God uses are: common translation, which is dependent upon words between Greek and English context and usage that are necessary for proper grammar and syntax. For example: common words such as a, an, the, is, am, to be, go, to, for, in, at, body, people, etc. This not to say that gender, verb tenses, adverbs, prepositions, adjectives, etc., are not important and that translation does not necessitate Greek/English grammar rules. The most unusual feature of proper communicative translation between Greek and English is transliteration of certain words in specific contexts. Whether a word is to be translated or transliterated is determined by its import of a doctrinal matter as well as near or far context. Transliteration in effect creates a new term by putting the English equivalent of the Greek letters such as βαπτισμοῖς= baptisms. It is a divine marker to indicate the need for biblical context and usage alone to define it. Typical Greek vocabulary and grammar reference books are of no help in discovering what it means. (The Greek vocabulary tools on such words have been manipulated by Classical Greek usage rather than how the Bible uses the term).
The word baptism (along with all its various grammar forms) is not found in the Hebrew or English Old Testament. There are “divers washings” involving water just as the KJB says, but there is no usage of “baptisms”. The KJB recognizes the problem of transliterating baptismois as “baptisms” in Hebrews 9:10 and employs the translation, “washings” which is defined on the rule of biblical context.
Here is the reason: if the OT “washings” is synonymous with NT baptisms, a doctrinal error of extreme importance is introduced. The various ‘water baptisms’ of tents, pots, pans, cups, toes, and animal guts would be on the par with not only the baptism of NT believers, but also John’s baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ!

God reveals seven baptisms in the NT with a variety of recipients, messengers, modes, and meanings—not a single one is named a baptism in the OT text.

Baptism from the beginning (Exodus; 1 Corinthians 10) was identification with Moses as God’s spokesman and professed agreement with his message from God. The waters of the Red Sea never cleansed or even touched those under Moses leadership—they all went through on “dry ground”. Remember, this “baptism” at the Red Sea was never called that in the OT. Paul brought it into the Corinthian letter because of their misuse of the purpose and meaning of water baptism. A single baptism (Red Sea) existed before the Law and God never confused baptism with “a purification rite” under the Law. This baptism preceded the Law dispensation and involved a “mixed multitude” that included Jews and Gentiles, some truly dedicated to Moses leadership and some mere professors, as was proven later when times got hard and they rebelled. The rule of first mention establishes the basic meaning.

The use of water in such Law matters as the priests, etc., was a dedication and identification to their office and duties. Water took no sins away nor did it immediately remit any sins; water if used, was a part of several elements and actions: a process.

God “sent John to baptize” and he followed no OT Law instruction or traditions of the Jews. (John 1:33).

WATER BAPTISM TODAY

“If we are still to practice water baptism today, what scripture teaches… (it is)… a burial in water to symbolize death, burial, and resurrection?”

There is no scripture that ‘teaches’ water baptism is essential to salvation or successful Christian living today. When ‘baptism’ is seen to be immersion in every instance in the NT, the interpreter has accepted the wrong conclusion that baptism is an ACT, rather than a condition that is the result of an action. This false assumption is based on Classical Greek usage in secular writings and not the Bible Greek (koine) usage and context. Therefore, when we read, “they were baptized…” the meaning is that the people were put into a place and a particular action of pouring, immersion or submersion occurred, which resulted in the condition of them being described as “baptized”.


Baptism is defined in its most basic definition by the rule of first mention. (See 1 Corinthians 10:1 with Exodus, “baptized unto Moses”). Baptism, by whatever mode, (sprinkling, pouring, immersion, etc.) is identification with the messenger and his message. And, the mode may be in a figurative sense such as when Jesus spoke of His coming substitutionary death, (“I have a baptism to be baptized with.” Matthew 20:22-23) refers to a submersion into a certain situation. When we say, “He was baptized by fire in the first battle…” we mean he was placed in a situation he had never been in before and experienced things he had never experienced prior to that situation. We do not mean he was literally in fire. But when the context of a baptism contains such words as “baptized in Jordan” “in and out of water” “baptized by John”, context demands it is a literal event.

“Baptized unto Moses,” means those who followed him through the Red Sea accepted Moses as God’s leader, His spokesman, and agreed with Moses’ message. That baptism was literal but the mode and meaning were certainly unusual! No one got wet. The ground was “dry”; at least dry enough so that the Israelites were not impeded by mud and sinkholes, the waters of the sea itself were “divided”. Exodus 14:21-22 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 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.

They were not encompassed or touched by water on every side, unless one wishes to insist that the atmosphere had water in the form of vapor above them. The “cloud” was not above them but before and behind: “…and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them:” (v.19). The whole experience is described as being “baptized unto Moses.”

Baptism, as used in the context of Paul’s ministry, is certainly important for us today. God selected him as the “apostle to the Gentiles” and revealed to him God’s program for the Church. His ministry was not just a continuation of the same message and ministry of Peter and the twelve apostles before him. Certain aspects of his ministry are the same as previous periods of time but there are several that are unique to the present doctrine and practice. God’s program for all eternity is consistent throughout and in total harmony. And in our Bible study, we must never ‘split’ up the Bible so that certain portions of scripture are of less value than others, but neither should we insist that everything in the Bible is to be followed by everybody during all periods of time.

WHAT DOES PAUL TEACH REGARDING BAPTISM?

Paul never commands or denies water baptism in all his epistles (13 in total: Romans-Philemon) although he did baptize converts. Paul never changed his message of salvation by grace, without works. This can produce nothing but one of two conclusions: (a.) Paul was ignorant for a period of time in his ministry, or (b.) that water baptism is not essential to salvation and carries some other meaning than that found in Luke 3:3 and Acts 2:38 ‘for the remission of sins’.

Paul connects water baptism with the testimony or profession of a Christian and never with salvation. In his letter to the Corinthians, he deals with their carnality and poor spiritual practice but never questions their position in Christ. To understand this, we must look at the context of 1 Corinthians 1.

1Cor. 1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
1Cor. 1:5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
1Cor. 1:6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
1Cor. 1:7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
1Cor. 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Cor. 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

(There is no question here as to whether Paul is writing to confirmed, lost professors or to those who are saved. He thanked God for them, they are “enriched by Him (Christ)”, Their “testimony” of Christ was confirmed—not necessarily perfect—in that they had many gifts, and they were “waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”)

1Cor. 1:10 ¶ Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
1Cor. 1:11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
1Cor. 1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
1Cor. 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

(However, they had some problems of carnal divisions and contentions. The Corinthians had divided themselves into various ‘denominations’: “I am of Paul”—those that separate Paul’s ministry apart from Peter’s ministry to the extreme, ’Neo-Bereans’??—“I of Apollos’, ‘scholarly crowd’??—“of Cephas”, RCC??—“I of Christ”, so-called Church of Christ?? It is this problem he addresses. Their carnality was marring their testimony.)

1Cor. 1:14 ¶ I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
1Cor. 1:15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.
1Cor. 1:16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.

(Paul is not confessing his problem with understanding baptism here—as the Neo-Bereans of today claim—Paul is not trying to figure out what he believes, he is correcting the Corinthian’s problem! Since water baptism pictures the union of the believer with Christ and his fellowship with other believers in Christ, the practice of division among the Corinthians was not consistent with their position in Christ. Paul, by inspiration here, also strongly indicates that water baptism is not commanded, nor is it of such importance that records of who is baptized by who must be maintained; Paul did not. Baptism is a picture that professes relationship and fellowship. The Corinthians were not ‘living up to’ their profession.)

1Cor. 1:17 ¶ For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

(Again, Paul is not finally coming to the realization that he should never baptize—another ridiculous interpretation by those who oppose water baptism in this age. Water baptism is not a part of the gospel he preached. The gospel of the grace of God does not require that you cover water baptism or any work by man. John the Baptist was “sent to baptize” and his baptism proclaimed that Israel would receive “remission of sins” in the future. Peter preached the same message and his baptism was “for the remission of sins” in the future. Both John and Peter demanded that those who believed their message must be baptized. That baptism looked forward to the future day when the nation would be “born again” and their sins remitted—final dealing with their apostasy under the New Covenant.)

John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
John 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
John 3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

(Nicodemus was a ‘master of Israel’—teacher, and a prominent leader of the nation. Jesus’ question was a rebuke to Nicodemus, had he never read and believed all the OT promises of the future New Covenant?)

Jer. 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Jer. 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
Jer. 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Jer. 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Joel 2:28 ¶ And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
Joel 2:29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Acts 2:37 ¶ Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:39 For the 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.

(John the Baptist and Peter, while not understanding the full meaning of the suffering of Christ, they knew the OT promises of the coming New Covenant and the ‘pouring’ out of God’s Spirit, along with the OT’s many references to water being a symbol of the word of God: cleansing, refreshing, growing, and even judging.)

1Cor. 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

(Paul mentions “the cross” several times in his letters. In 1 Corinthians 1:17 “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” With v. 18, “the preaching of the cross” connects “the gospel” and “the cross”. Whereas, John and Peter did not mention “preaching of the cross”; John was puzzled regarding the death of Christ on the cross; Peter, knowing that Christ was crucified, mentions the death of Christ—not as a blessing to anyone—but as a sin of Israel’s leaders, who with “wicked hands” killed the “Prince of life” Acts 3:15.)
Today, those who do not see the primacy of the “cross” in the gospel of the grace of God are apt to add other things or requirements to the “preaching of the cross.” Men add baptism, church membership, good works, even understanding ‘mysteries’, giving, and even some level of refraining from practices such as gambling, sports, entertainment, etc., and call these things “preaching the gospel”. One can stand on a street corner all day long with biblical terminology signs: “Repent or Perish” “Go to Church or the Devil Will Get You” “Get Saved”, “Pray For America” “Get Baptized” or political statements such as: “Abolish the Supreme Court” “Elect Hillary” “Arrest Hillary” “Impeach Obama”–none of them have anything to do with “preaching the gospel”. We are not saying it is wrong to stand on the street with a sign, or that all of the above imperatives are good or bad; none of them are the gospel.

There is nothing sinful or ungodly about being baptized, praying, giving, going to church, or being concerned over political and social issues. Every preacher should have such concerns, but God did not ‘send us’ to baptize, pray, give, or dedicate all our efforts to a thousand other worthy matters. If I “send” my son to the store to buy a gallon of milk, he may drive the car, say ‘hello’ to several on the way, look at the store’s candy display and even buy a “KitKat”—but if he forgets the milk—he did not do what I sent him to do.

–Dave Reese August, 2015

WATER BAPTISM and PURIFICATION (Part 1 of 2)

WATER BAPTISM and PURIFICATION (1)

(Part 1 of 2 Parts)

A question that came to us:

If we are still to practice water baptism today, what scripture teaches that it is no longer a purification (Jn. 3:25) and washing (Acts 22:16) by sprinkling or pouring but burial in water to symbolize death, burial, and resurrection?

PURIFICATION

The error of equating or relating OT ‘purification’ to NT water baptism has caused much confusion. The terms are neither synonymous nor are they related in any way. In other words, water baptism was never Bible purification and never a part of the process of purification. Over the centuries after God gave the Law to Moses, the Jews’ religion became a mixture of rabbinical interpretations and traditions that added to the Law of Moses hundreds of non-scriptural requirements and perversion. By the time Jesus came to earth, the religious leaders of the nation of Israel had added to, subtracted from, and changed so much of the Law of Moses that His sternest rebukes: “hypocrites”, “blind leaders of the blind” “whited sepulchres” “vipers” etc., were reserved for the religious leaders of Israel. The Law feasts were no longer “feasts of the LORD” but designated by a term never found one time in the OT: “feast of the Jews” (John 5:1; 6:4; 7:2). By inspiration, Paul called his past religious life as a leading Pharisee, Hebrew of the Hebrews—the “Jews’ religion” (Galatians 1:13-14).

There is no justification to make all First Century doctrines and practices of the Jews a valid argument against plain, direct, inspired statements of the Bible. Those who use Jewish practice to vilify the Bible practice of water baptism are either ignorant of scripture or they are religious crooks.

Inspired Bible purification was a process involving various definitive actions, elements, over a period of time. One passage of several illustrates the process:

Num. 19:16 And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.

(Notice purification cannot be done by even a single act of ‘washing’—it took 7 days)

Num. 19:17 And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel:

(The ashes had been prepared much earlier from a burnt heifer)

Num. 19:18 And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave:

(Hyssop is dipped, sprinkled, not only on all the persons but on the tent and all the vessels—a long process)

Num. 19:19 And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even.

(Purification never took place in one moment or 1, 2 or 3 days. It took 7 days, previous dipping and sprinkling of water, washing clothes, taking a bath, and one could only be pronounced clean on the even of the 7th day. Any future reoccurrences had to begin the process all over again. How, by any stretch of the imagination, could this be equated with NT baptism?!?)

We only need go to the OT and note “the feasts of the LORD” and compare those with the “feasts of the Jews” in the NT (John 5:1; 6:4; 7:2) to realize that the Jews had perverted the Law of Moses to such a degree that none of the feasts in the NT are called “feasts of the LORD” anymore.  Temple worship had also been degraded to a “den of thieves” (Luke 19:46). The gospel accounts are replete with the Lord’s rebuke to leaders of Israel and their apostasy from the Law of Moses. It is no wonder then to find the Jews questioning “some of John’s disciples” about purification.

John 3:25 Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying

BAPTISM

Heb. 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

The correct and basic rule of Bible interpretation is usage and context in the King James Bible (KJB). All skepticism of the justification and meaning of a believer’s water baptism in this present age stems from two corrupt sources: (1) the very questionable Greek translation (LXX) of the Hebrew Old Testament in which the Egyptian based ‘translators’ put “baptism” in every Hebrew text for “washing”. Gullible and careless handlers of the word of God say, “See, there is proof washings are baptisms.” (2) The second source, founded on the first error, replaced the KJB’s translation of ‘baptizo’ (and its various forms) with a Greek definition from secular Classical Greek. The Greek of the New Testament was not written in Classical Greek; the NT Greek is what is called ‘koine’ (common) Greek and was not the Greek of the secular Greek authors such as Homer, Sophocles, Euripides, Hippocrates, etc. God, in the Bible, set His own definitions and interpretations apart from man.

NT Greek was the language of the common man and not the language of the ‘scholars’. Not only that, NT Greek has properties that go beyond the normal speech and usage of the koine Greek. The KJB is based on what is called “Biblical Greek”. Even the English of the KJB has certain elements not used or spoken in the English language by anyone from 900-2015 a.d.; therefore, the KJB is Biblical English and one only finds the definitive meanings of terms in their usage and context in the KJB.

For several reasons, I believe the error of substituting or transliterating baptismois as “baptisms” instead of the translation of “washings” in Hebrews 9:10 is a glaring example of ignoring Bible usage and context. It is simply the result of ‘uniform translation’ (the assumption that all Greek words that are the same, must have the same meaning.) In following this assumption, all ‘modern translations’ such as the NIV, have perverted the meaning of critical Bible words.

The word baptism (along with all its various grammar forms) is not found in the Hebrew or English Old Testament. There are “divers washings” involving water just as the KJB says, but there is no usage of “baptisms”. The KJB recognizes the problem of transliterating baptismois as “baptisms” in Hebrews 9:10 and employs the translation, “washings” which is defined on the rule of biblical context.

Here is the reason: if the OT “washings” is synonymous with NT baptisms, a doctrinal error of extreme importance is introduced. The various ‘water baptisms’ of tents, pots, pans, cups, toes, and animal guts would be on the par with not only the baptism of NT believers, but also John’s baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ!

God reveals seven baptisms in the NT with a variety of recipients, messengers, modes, and meanings—not a single one is named a baptism in the OT text.

Baptism from the beginning (Exodus; 1 Corinthians 10) was identification with Moses as God’s spokesman and professed agreement with his message from God. The waters of the Red Sea never cleansed or even touched those under Moses leadership—they all went through on “dry ground”. Remember, this “baptism” at the Red Sea was never called that in the OT. Paul brought it into the Corinthian letter because of their misuse of the purpose and meaning of water baptism. A single baptism (Red Sea) existed before the Law and God never confused baptism with “a purification rite” under the Law. Baptism superseded the Law dispensation and involved a “mixed multitude” that included Jews and Gentiles, some truly dedicated to Moses leadership and some mere professors, as was proven later when times got hard and they rebelled. The rule of first mention establishes the meaning.

The use of water in such Law matters as the priests, etc., was a dedication and identification to their office and duties. Water took no sins away nor did it immediately remit any sins; water if used, was a part of several elements and actions: a process.

God “sent John to baptize” and he followed no OT Law instruction or traditions of the Jews. (John 1:33).

WHAT ABOUT ANANIAS?

Ananias remarks about baptism came from his previous religious training and not from God. God never told Ananias to ‘wash away Paul’s sins’ by baptism. Here is what God said:

Acts 9:10 ¶ And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

Acts 9:11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

Acts 9:12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

Acts 9:13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

Acts 9:14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

Acts 9:16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

You will notice that Ananias ADDED baptism to the word of God. Paul, in Acts 22:16, simply gave accurate testimony of what Ananias said, and by no means should be assumed to be Paul’s present agreement with the Jews religion or Kingdom doctrine. In addition, Paul was ALREADY A CHOSEN VESSEL (Acts 9:15) before Ananias ever met him or imposed the washing! Had Ananias never showed up, Paul would still bear the Lord’s name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.

(There are two more parts to the question: John’s mode of baptism and what justification we have to make water baptism a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. We will deal with those in the remaining installment that follows next week.) —August 16, 2015.

The Bible Doctrine of Inspiration

(This is the intro to our Bible Doctrines 1 Bibliology for our Philippine Bible schools. I want to share the message on our website with hopes it will encourage a Bible student somewhere.)

The Bible Doctrine of Inspiration.

This is the most important section of the entire course of Bible Doctrines 1. Get this right and you will have the very heart of teaching and preaching with absolute authority. The remainder of this course has been revised (2013) from the original transcription of 1977 audio tapes. This was done in order to reflect the author’s own growth (hopefully) in Bible understanding and to correct as well what I see as inconsistencies of the modern “KJV Bible Believers” movement.

The student will notice some clarification and extended comments on the term “inspiration” and its relationship to “preservation”. God’s word never changes, but if we do not continually learn and have spiritual growth in the things of God, we become as clouds with little water. As a whole, all of us have allowed the idea of inspiration to be confined to the original manuscripts only, while using preservation to remain in the nebulous area of various manuscripts, propped up entirely by the immense number and the usage of them. Perhaps we used this, wishfully, to “prove” we had the very words of God; it is not essential.

The word of God does not allow preservation of its words to be totally dependent upon godly men or the vast number of manuscripts, which are in the same family, or generally alike. As I see it, that idea has been simply an attempt to meet the so-called “scholars” halfway in order to retain “verbal-plenary” inspiration of the Book in our hand, and not look as though we were ignorant and unlearned men. The number of manuscripts that agree are some confirmation of preservation—but that is not the critical factor. The following comments will surely raise the hackles on many AV1611 backs, but so be it.

I hasten to say these things were not learned overnight and that I remain a student who seeks the approval of God alone. I am closer to the Judgment Seat of Christ than many of my readers—this makes me “cut the bull” and do my best to speak the truth in love. A reluctant and rebellious boy and made to go to church by my mother, baptized at twelve, I was well on my way to hell at eighteen believing in God just like the devil believes. By the grace of God I married a good saved woman and through her prayers and Bible living, stopped looking for peace in the beer joints and hell-holes. I accepted Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior. I saw I was a sinner and that Christ died for my sins. For the first time I knew why He hung on that tree and that salvation was not in any church or system but that salvation is ONE PERSON, JESUS. Saved in 1963, at this writing I am 75 years old with 51 years behind me in what men call “the ministry”. I did not want to be a “preacher”, seek it, and was fearful of it when I read the same Book in 1963 that I have today. God would not leave me alone! I was like Amos: “I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son…” (Amos 7:14). Every place I read in the Book it seemed God said to me “Go tell them what I’ve done.” Over fifty years later, I am assured I did the right thing.

Let’s be clear: I do not say a person should not read books, study, and get the best preparation you can. This is a Bible school course! I am certainly not opposed to the right kind of education. I went to schools and got a string of degrees behind my name. (But like a man said: “More curls in a pig’s tail doesn’t make the pork any better.”) God kept me on the main track. When a professor or preacher corrected the word of God, I let the Bible in my hand with its words correct him. I fell for some tricks along the way (we all do) but I believe the grace of God got me out of them before any real lasting damage was done.

Another thing is important: do not despise the days of small things. You may be an ex-Roman Catholic that is now saved. Your mother may have carried you to Mass, a Mosque, or to a church like my mother did. There’s some truth in many things. You wont go to heaven based on looking at a bug in a microscope but there is the truth of God in its design. You won’t become a Christian by sitting on a church pew anymore than you could be a car by sitting in a garage but there is some truth in many places and things. When I was a boy, I saw a picture of Christ on the cross in church that stuck in my memory and as I played music in the nightclubs, that picture would flash across my mind. It was a constant prick in my conscience. You may have been raised in Buddhism but even in that religion there is a witness, one thing is sure, it shows that God has put the desire to worship in all men; the difference lies in Whom you trust and not the label around your neck.

You may have graduated from one of the colleges, universities, seminaries, or Bible schools that professed to believe the Bible or that freely corrected it, or didn’t allow the Bible at all, but that is no reason to trash the school. If you are honest, you learned something that you needed. If you got absolutely nothing—you are hopelessly immune to ministering to a lost world and doomed to an isolated sinkhole of self-centered love.

The point I make is don’t become negative, sour, a person down on everybody and everything who does not agree with what you think you know now. The best of us are all students in God’s world and word. Love your mother and father and your fellow man for the good in them; that does not mean you agree with everything they have ever done or are doing. Spitting on a man or kicking him in the gut because he is not doing what you think he should, will not make him respect or listen to you.

This is a personal illustration. (After 50 years in the work, a man should have personal illustrations and not have to read all of them out of a book.) My father was unsaved when I accepted Christ. He came from middle Tennessee and had made it on his own since he was an orphan baby. He was rough, tough and ready. He was respectful to preachers but laughed at two great “soul-winners” who tried to win him. (The men were pastors at that time of the largest Baptist churches in the world.) They were sincere and did the best they could, but that didn’t get him. What got him was something else, 30 years later. He had thrown up a prayer to God in 1971 to heal our baby boy (Micah) who had a heart problem. He said “God, if you will spare the baby’s life, I’ll get right.” I didn’t know it at the time, but he was watching me to see if what I professed in 1963 had really changed “the wild side of me.” Early in those years, while I was following the “standards” set forth by my school, I made the mistake one day of criticizing his cigar smoking. He left our house and didn’t come back for 6 months.

One day, I realized God didn’t save clean, non-smoking, good living, outwardly religious clones—He died for sinners! I apologized to my father for my stupidity and realized how thankful I should be for his good qualities. He worked hard, paid his bills, and his word was gold. He taught me how to properly handle a gun, give a honest day’s work for your pay, work hard, keep your word, and tell the truth. But even if he had not done those things, he was still my father.
I’m so glad I grew up a little spiritually because over 30 years later, after God healed Micah, and after watching me for many years at 65 years of age, he accepted Christ and became a wonderful Christian man. He served the Lord faithfully until he went home at 83 years of age. “Honor thy father and thy mother…”

“For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7)

A haughty attitude will eventually catch up with you. There is a former student who knew almost nothing about rightly dividing the Bible when he began Bible school. He knew nothing about the real Bible translation issues. He learned a little, copied this and that from one man and another, floated a loan and published a couple of fancy books.
Impressive to some who don’t know the facts, yet his testimony among many is that of being a self-promoter and very egotistical. He gives no credit to anyone and constantly gives notice of where he has been on radio and TV, etc. All of it is smalltime showmanship and not a few openly laugh behind his back. He is a perfect example of one who glories as if he did not receive anything from another man. What this man does not know is that he benefits from giving honor to whom honor is due—those he plagiarized don’t really benefit from his honor, nor do they seek it.
God help us to give honor to whom honor is due! The man or woman that you honor does not receive the greatest benefit—it is for our own benefit. All of us receive what we have from other men. God’s revelation is complete. He does not reveal to me or to you what other men do not know or have known. We may think we originated it but it has been around a long time. Just because we “find” something in the Bible does not make you or me a “revelator”. It was there before we took our first breath. And, most likely, it was in a book or lesson by some man long ago.

I learned first from my mother and father. Three brothers, men and women, friends, pastors, —folks I’ve only met in a book—and some saved, some lost, teachers. All truth is in the Bible and not all truth is outside it. But where there is truth outside the Bible, it is still God’s truth. Recently, a friend of mine shared something on his heart as we drove around the Colorado hills. As I listened to him, I realized he was helping me learn a spiritual truth that I did not have before. I have three earned doctorates: he has none, but he was my Bible teacher for those four hours we rode together. I learned more about mission work in two months from a lady in the Venezuelan jungle than I learned in 20 years in the ministry! Lets keep an attitude of gratitude and realize we may know some things but we know nothing yet as we ought to know.

“And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” (1 Corinthians 8:2)

Apocalypse and Apocrypha Defined

An apocalypse (Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apocálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω meaning ‘un-covering’, translated literally from Greek, is a disclosure, a revealing, an opening.)

There is a set of books that came through the Roman church called “Apocryphal Books”. These books contain mystical, hidden, sayings that are religious literature but they are not scripture. They have some religious history use among academia but have never been accepted as canonical or authoritative by Bible believers. The writings were supposedly done during the period between the Testaments, 400 B.C. to the First Century, A.D.

They were seen as religious in nature but were not accepted as inspired. Literary education was quite advanced in the 1600’s compared to the 19th-21st centuries. This is why they were included in the 1611 King James Version but at the same time were plainly set apart in their own section from the “Scriptures” of the Old and New Testaments in the 1611 edition.

“Apocrypha” is the opposite of “Apocalypse”. Apocrypha means something that is concealed, not set forth, not authentic.

Apocalypse means something revealed, disclosed, manifested, shown. The verb αποχαλυπτω means to reveal, to make manifest, to uncover to view. The noun αποχάλυψις means a revelation, a disclosure, an appearing, a making manifest.
Sometimes one may see “Apocalypse” used in referring to the book of the Revelation.
1:1 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: (Revelation 1:1)

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ…”

The revealing of the Lord Jesus Christ as “the Lion of the Tribe of Judah” and “The Lamb that taketh away the sin of the world” (Revelation 5:5) is the subject of the Book. The opening of the Book of Revelation is not what is meant in this first phrase. The Revelation is all about the Lord Jesus Christ, Whom He is and what He does.

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