Is the Word of Faith movement biblical?

Thistle

Well-known member
Part II
Um...actually...there are several. There is the baptism of John.
Paul did not write Ephesians 4:5 during the time of John's baptism. There was only Christian baptism, and there is still only Christian baptism from God's perspective, which is the only perspective that counts.
There is the baptism of Jesus.
If you mean as in John 3 & 4, Paul didn't write in that time either. Paul wrote as an apostle of the Church to the Church.
There is the "...baptism by which I will be baptized..." of which Jesus spoke in his last days.
There are instances where the word baptism is used analogically. You've hit upon one of those. Analogical uses of the word baptism are not literally baptisms they are literally analogies.
And he spoke of this third baptism to those who had already been baptized with water as He had, and who were, in fifty short days, to be baptized with the Holy Spirit as He had been at the river with John...and there was a third baptism they were to face.
Yes, I call this baptism of the Holy Spirit which for clarity it abbreviate BHS. It's Holy Spirit power overwhelming the subject such that it's visible to the observer. As you can see it's literally a Holy Spirit miracle, and it's literally, and analogical use of the word baptism. What it's not is literally a baptism of any kind.
If you can, you need to re-read your scripture without your filter.
I read it about seven times in a good year from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. I don't think I'm filtering.
Luke makes a clear distinction between the two baptisms and mentions the third...but every one of the cessationist authors I've read ignores these distinctions.
I don't know what anybody but me knows, but the bible unambiguously teaches there is only one baptism [Ephesians 4:5]. It's performed in water [Acts 8:36-39]. Baptism is symbolic [Romans 6:1-7]. It's the moment God grants the gifts of grace the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit [ Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; John 3:3-5; Acts 2:38-39; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:26-27; Ephesians 5:25-27; Colossians 2:11-13; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 3:21]. And I know that a lot of people mistake analogical uses of the word baptism for literal baptisms, which is a mistake that no one who knows the definition of the word "analogy" should make.
(For the record, in seminary I read Dale Bruner, Anthony Hoekema, John MacArthur, Merrill Unger...and another whose name escapes me. Since seminary, I was taught in France by Jules-Marcel Nicole at l'Institut Biblique de Nogent...one of the greatest professors I've ever had, and an otherwise staunch cessationist...who allowed, with me as a witness in his class, that there was room to learn. He had been teaching Calvinism there as the first step to studying theology for sixty years. I've re-read MacArthur, because his egregious error keeps coming back, I published a refutation of Hanegraaff before he became Orthodox, and I've read and written extensively on Chantry. I'm not obsessed, btw.
Of course you are not, I understand complete. I write this without a hint of irony. It's easy to be misunderstood in this kind of a venue.
In seminary, I wrote a systematic theology on tongues as part of an assignment.
I'd like to read it.
Since, I have had many cessationist friends who have asked me my opinion in light of these writings.) I add my credentials not to boast...but because I want you to know that, like you, I have studied to reach the conclusions I've reached.
Not at all. It's important for me to know. It's clear to me you've thought this out.
He spoke out against an artificial sectarianism...where the sower is distinguished from the husbandman who waters. He was speaking to the vine. I don't want to belabor this, because I believe we agree here.
I love agreement.
I was in an Action Biblique church. The mandate is to them, be as one of them. That was my intent, and the effort I made in the congregation. I had not been told that the one group of evangelicals had rejected fellowship with the other.

For the record, and off to the side, the gift I've had and practiced since 1970 is used and practiced according to Paul's clear doctrine...Let me put it this way...You're having difficulty with my cryptic English. I'd never give you the French translation, hoping you'd get it better...unless you speak French. I do not speak in tongues publicly, unless told to do so...and that has only happened once, when missionaries were being ordained and commissioned to Haiti, and I was given a word to speak to them in French...I knew it was French, but the congregation mistook it for another tongue. But, unbeknownst to me, it was a word that was directly given in confirmation to prayers that the couple had been praying, and they received that word with confidence.

I have never uttered a word in a congregation that I myself did not understand. And I pray daily in tongues as I'm free to pray. I have too often to be discounted been in congregations where a word in a tongue was uttered...and the interpretation was in response to questions I had asked, and understanding I was seeking...and always this drove me back to the scriptures for more. This is actually the root of my own training.
God bless you for your sensitivity. But from this I'm assuming the systematic theology on tongues you wrote was in French?
There is room in the body for children...and sometimes children are in very old bodies...
Grin . . .
You're right about that...and Paul was also the one who had planted, and watered...we know of two visits to that neighborhood. He was their apostle. I'm not even a pastor or a teacher, I do not see my job as to correct you...but to supply the insights I've had for you to judge and respond to. I do not want to correct you here, but I enjoy the conversation.
Likewise. One of us may put a pebble in the others shoe.
And I'm not going to try to convince you...but I will say this: The seed has everything in it that the plant will become...when the seed is given its share of soil, water, warmth and light. The Word has never been apart from the Scripture...and He is only alive in us that has been planted...God bless the soil in which He dwells.
That is a beautiful analogy.
We agree. Thank you for your patience. I have such limited time to respond lately...
Thank you for giving enough context to help me understand your perspective. God bless.
 

Thistle

Well-known member
And that seems to be your wisdom here. I'm hoping that my responses may be weighed with yours...because this isn't factionalism...but two believers seeking to give air to the hope that is in them. You hold your own with equity and tact. The enemy would seek to divide...
No surer way to end a productive discourse than to fail in tact.
No...and forgive me. I've lived in the Word/Faith movement despite the extremes since 1982...I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Don't need a video from a critic. I'm critic enough.

Paul spoke to Timothy of those who looked for gain from godliness...But he also said that in godliness there is great gain. Believe God for a Cadillac...you might get the Cadillac...a friend of mine actually had one given to him. He went on to become a pastor in Maine. But Cadillac faith is not saving faith. Paul makes that clear.
To my mind this seems to affirm to me that you believe the "faith force . . . operates independent of God's will." That is a bit of a hurdle for me to get over.
No reason to, unless you think that Jesus was speaking in hyperbole in Mark 11. I do not.
I do think he was speaking hyperbolically in Mark 11: 23. I don't think Jesus expects us to pluck out our eye, cut off our hands, or hate our mothers or fathers. Jews commonly used hyperbole this way in the first century. The meaning is true, but the figure of speech is hyperbole.
Paul was saying that faith to do miracles is not saving faith.
That seems to be vindicated by John 11:49-51.
(controversy alert) I do believe that witchcraft is a process of faith as well...and they are dangerously far from any form of saving faith. The signs and wonders promised in the Revelation will not happen apart from someone's misplaced faith.
Yeah...the problem is...if you abide in His Word, you end up thinking in parables. Sigh...
Reminds me of a conversation I had with a convert from the Yanomamö tribe of Venezuela. He said before the light of Christ came to his tribe they were so oppressed by evil spirits that they would never close their eyes at night during the entire course of their lives.
Thanks again.
God bless.
 

tbeachhead

New member
Okay, sometimes I just don't understand what you mean.
If I understand what you've said I mean the same thing you mean when you say truth.
We agree.
Okay, I'm not quite sure what's at stake in this comment but go ahead.
You own your error, and you teach it at your own risk.

Truth is truth...It's can be revealed, it can be rightly taught, and it can be discovered by your own desire and quest. It cannot be changed/altered/or reinterpreted without risk.

I'm assuming we both are.
Miracles are those things that God accomplishes in his per-positive will that are not accomplished by either general providence or special providence.
That can be accomplished by God by means of special providence.
OK...

This is new verbiage. In everything I've read, I haven't encountered someone who dismisses a prophecy that is clearly from God, because it is merely "by special providence." So...for you, the supernatural gifts are not supernatural, and are not the gifts Paul spoke of because they are merely "special providence?" Do you known what "charismata" means in the Greek? The root, charis, is grace...or...providence. The very definition of charismata is "special providence." If I'm reading your view rightly hear, the Charismatic church is not for today, because the church can only enjoy the gifts of special providence...and I'm fine with redefining the church that way.

Would you believe that I actually witnessed this in Ohio, coming into the church and being taught by God as He promised? Two "revivals" side by side in subsequent weeks. The first was a Pentecostal assembly, and the second was Nazarene. I went to both, and witnessed an amazing message...ONE amazing message to two churches by two preachers led by the Spirit to bring that message. So...the Pentecostal message was prophetic...and the Nazarene message was providential? Is that right? But you'd just say the Pentecostals were in error?
Ok...Good...

If I understood you, the Supernatural words of knowledge, and prophetic utterances I shared with the police officers who interrogated me were merely "providential"? Is that right?

And tell me again why your terminology is so important, when the end is the same, and the unlearned are hearing the Word of God in their own language, at the level that they've already been taught by a Holy Spirit who has been clearly active in their lives long before I arrived in Morocco?

Nothing in your story transgresses my understanding of cessationism.
Because this form of division and sectarianism is very important to maintain? I'm not sure I understand, when God is allowed to speak.

To the Charismatic/Pentecostal...when God makes an utterance, providential or charismatic, it's still His intent, His purpose based on His promise, and the baptism of His Spirit represented clearly in His Word. What could possibly be the problem?

. . . hence my request for clarification.
Do I understand you to say you teach Jesus but not the bible? Not an accusation, it's just a question.
I don't know? Do you? I don't know how you could, given what I said....Jesus is not Jesus apart from the Word, and the Word is all the revelation of Jesus. Your own understanding of what I say is going to be prejudiced by the doctrines you've accepted as " biblical". That is often the case. When traditions nullify the Word and render it impotent, it will also darken understanding.
I have little choice but to understand the world through that which I believe to be true.
I can see that, when you're doctrine has given you over to a walk limited by sight, then the invisible becomes an impossibility to you...and the promise become fixed in the past....and cannot instruct the present.
No. I don't think that is fair either.
You might be right...if you have actually admitted that God is still very active in working miracles, signs, wonders and words...providentially...then you might actually be prepared to receive more than most cessationists who have ever caused division and broken the church into factions as John MacArthur has.

There is only one Christian baptism [Ephesians 4:5], and it's none other than Luke that tells us it's performed in water [Acts 8:36-39]. It's there in Acts 8 we see a detailed description of the temporal aspect of baptism, but the spiritual power is described in Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; John 3:3-5; Acts 2:38-39; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3-4, 7; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:26-27; Ephesians 5:25-27; Colossians 2:11-13; Titus 3:5; and 1 Peter 3:21.
You are confused...and you missed my point. Please don't ignore what I said. John spoke of two. Jesus made reference to a third...that was not water, and he was about to be baptized with that one...a third for him, because he was baptized in water, and with the Spirit...and finally with fire. We can start separate threads on this, because conversing with you might be useful for anyone who is curious. You are lucid, and well taught.
Right verse 39 referring to verse 41. If that's what you mean I'm in total agreement.

Wait a minute. If we are talking about the same thing it has to be for "even as many as the Lord our God may call." There can be zero exceptions from that moment until the Lord returns. Obviously, there can be no exceptions. That may be a slight overstatement, but I don't what to derail the conversation.
Yeah...Well....you do seem to be missing that pesky faith issue...How can you receive what you will not believe...what you have actually been taught to be wary of and to reject outright? It's not a haphazard thing. The baptism of Jesus Luke and John the Baptist spoke of so clearly is received, like salvation, by faith...and ignored on the same basis....what you've been taught is going to be your greatest hindrance until you grasp what Peter said, and decide to ask God for clarification. The Spirit is a far better teacher, extremely active in His church today, to clarify where MacArthur etal have been teaching falsehood.
You don't think I'm capable of reading Acts 18 and 19 and seeing what the Holy Spirit inspired? There is inspired scripture, not interpretations.
I don't know....It doesn't matter what I think. I do know and can quote the error in MacArthur etal's doctrine, because, like rabbis they quote each other on each error, seeming to believe that if enough "scholars" promote the same error, it's sacred and therefore truth. That's how traditions robbed the Catholic church as well.
He was a disciple of Jesus in as much as he believe all the light about Jesus that he had. He simply didn't have all the available light.
Correct...He knew nothing of the baptism of the Spirit. That's why Paul had to come water what he had planted...twelve disciples who had not been baptized in the spirit until they had "heard that there even was a Holy Spirit."
I don't know that to be a fact, but I can tell you certainly that John does [John 3, 4].
Different author...different context....John is still alive.
 

tbeachhead

New member
Paul did not write Ephesians 4:5 during the time of John's baptism. There was only Christian baptism, and there is still only Christian baptism from God's perspective, which is the only perspective that counts.
I don't want to prolong this, because the debate is not Paul's context here...the unity of the church, into which it is vital we be baptized. Paul, having ascertained that the disciples in Ephesus had only been baptized with John's baptism of water, because of their teacher's limited doctrine concerning the baptism of Jesus, baptized them again...by the laying on of hands, and not by the dunking into a river....to receive the promise that was made at Pentecost to "all who come to believe..." Paul operated both baptisms in Corinth as well...if you want me to cite his discussion with them, and they were likewise baptized with the same baptism of Pentecost...

If you mean as in John 3 & 4, Paul didn't write in that time either. Paul wrote as an apostle of the Church to the Church.
No...I mean as in the context of John saying, "He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit." The baptism of Jesus, which John himself differentiated....Water and the spirit...two clearly separate events throughout the biblical narrative.
There are instances where the word baptism is used analogically. You've hit upon one of those. Analogical uses of the word baptism are not literally baptisms they are literally analogies.
So....Not a baptism? Hmm? Look...maybe this helps: baptism means immersion. We're talking three immersions. In water....flesh goes underwater. In the Spirit...flesh is put under again...and the living waters come out, not in, from the womb/heart, in rivers according to Jesus. And by fire where faith goes under and is tried. I do not see this as analogy, but as defining immersion.
Yes, I call this baptism of the Holy Spirit which for clarity is abbreviate BHS. It's Holy Spirit power overwhelming the subject such that it's visible to the observer. As you can see it's literally a Holy Spirit miracle, and it's literally, and analogical use of the word baptism. What it's not is literally a baptism of any kind.
"Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" "We did not know so much that there was a Holy Spirit." "By what then were you baptized?" "By John's baptism." Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Two noteworthy points. Paul, who wrote the letter you're quoting to the Ephesians, spoke to these first disciples of two baptisms, and differentiated them. Luke recounted the methodology and the resulting miraculous manifestation.
They prophesied... Did you notice? They prophesied. They spoke inspired words of prophecy, and we do not have a single record of what they spoke. It was inspired and not written down for us today. This can be another thread, but it does highlight other errors in the cessationist presumption of "inspired".
I read it about seven times in a good year from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. I don't think I'm filtering.
We're competing then. Additionally, I read Acts and proverbs once a month. My favorite youversion reading plan is professor Horner's, but I also do their 90 day plan, about ten to fifteen chapters a day, imagine twenty chapters of Job in one sitting, to get me through an additional four times. And here's the funny part...I don't think I'm filtering either....so...let's continue to compare filters!

I don't know what anybody but me knows, but the bible unambiguously teaches there is only one baptism [Ephesians 4:5]. It's performed in water [Acts 8:36-39]. Baptism is symbolic [Romans 6:1-7]. It's the moment God grants the gifts of grace the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit [ Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; John 3:3-5; Acts 2:38-39; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:26-27; Ephesians 5:25-27; Colossians 2:11-13; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 3:21]. And I know that a lot of people mistake analogical uses of the word baptism for literal baptisms, which is a mistake that no one who knows the definition of the word "analogy" should make.
You've made it "symbolic" and "analogical"....Not me. I've just seen three forms of immersion. Same word, same teachers using the word...three different manifestations.
Of course you are not, I understand complete. I write this without a hint of irony. It's easy to be misunderstood in this kind of a venue. I'd like to read it.
So would I....Of course those days were pre-word processor. The file is stashed away on a forty year hiatus from my sight. I touched my first computer...all in ascii, an apple the next year: 1984.

Not at all. It's important for me to know. It's clear to me you've thought this out.
This is kindness. Thank you.
I love agreement.
It is essential...above doctrine...as all obedience must be.
God bless you for your sensitivity. But from this I'm assuming the systematic theology on tongues you wrote was in French?
Haahahaha....No...but it is prehistory. Stone knives. Bear skins....a typewriter, and a bucket of white out.

Grin . . .
Likewise. One of us may put a pebble in the others shoe.
Is that what that was. I was wondering.
That is a beautiful analogy.
I call it a word of wisdom. It's how I understand all this.
Thank you for giving enough context to help me understand your perspective. God bless.
Thanks for you patience. I almost feel guilty, being retired, sitting down to compose my thoughts like this...too much retirement to do.
 
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tbeachhead

New member
No surer way to end a productive discourse than to fail in tact.
Great point. And you succeed.
To my mind this seems to affirm to me that you believe the "faith force . . . operates independent of God's will." That is a bit of a hurdle for me to get over.
I didn't put that thought in your mind. That accusation is often leveled at the Word of Faith paradigm to put a hurdle between those who want to understand and those who just want to be taught so they can go back to watching TV. What do you know that operates independent of God's will?

However...we've already said that I do not believe Paul was speaking in hyperbole in the first verses of 1 Cor 13....Mountains move by faith, and it is not saving faith. Jesus spoke of miracle workers whom he never knew. He was not speaking in hyperbole, but of the essential nature of His working. I can work anything apart from God's will, and when I work that work apart from Love...I have not worked the work of God. He makes that clear. I want to know Him...Yes....but I want Him to know me, too! This is and always has been the longing of my heart. And again, I'm only talking about moving God's providential hand....if I'm going to confine myself to your vocabulary, and i don't see a problem in that.

I do think he was speaking hyperbolically in Mark 11: 23. I don't think Jesus expects us to pluck out our eye, cut off our hands, or hate our mothers or fathers. Jews commonly used hyperbole this way in the first century. The meaning is true, but the figure of speech is hyperbole.
I'd love to see you tell Jesus that to his face....I have to tell you, with the porn on a spigot we're subjugated to today, there are a lot of pastors who are thinking that Jesus is not speaking hyperbolically.

That seems to be vindicated by John 11:49-51.
Well done. Exactly! They prophesied according to the office they held...and the faith by which they spoke was not saving faith....and let me add this as well: This passage, and Anna and Simon put to death the false doctrine of 400 hundred silent years. God is never silent to the one whose heart is perfect toward him. Anna prophesied in the temple for almost eighty years...and was never put out of the temple? And we do not have a single record of a single prophecy she spoke for eighty years? ....because, didn't she know these were silent years, and prophecy was not for today? No....there are ages where "the word of the Lord is rare." But it is rare due to a rare expectation. He will always meet us at the level of our faith...and our hope in His promise....

Reminds me of a conversation I had with a convert from the Yanomamö tribe of Venezuela. He said before the light of Christ came to his tribe they were so oppressed by evil spirits that they would never close their eyes at night during the entire course of their lives.
So...you agree, then, that casting out demons at least, is still for today?

God bless.
And you back with a double portion! Thank you for this exchange. I thrive on thinking through issues that really matter.
 

Thistle

Well-known member
I don't want to prolong this, because the debate is not Paul's context here...
It won't take long, because when Paul or any writer of scripture makes any larger point the supporting points are all true as well. In particular the point that there is only one baptism it true. This has to be the case, because only an argument with true premises yield a true conclusion.
the unity of the church, into which it is vital we be baptized.
That is his larger point but his supporting point are also true. There are not two or three baptisms there is only one. We know it's a ceremony performed in water [Acts 8:36-39].
Paul, having ascertained that the disciples in Ephesus had only been baptized with John's baptism of water, because of their teacher's limited doctrine concerning the baptism of Jesus, baptized them again...by the laying on of hands, and not by the dunking into a river....
Laying on of hands is part and parcel of baptism, but it's not baptism. Baptism is a ceremony preformed in water [Acts 8:36-39].
to receive the promise that was made at Pentecost to "all who come to believe..." Paul operated both baptisms in Corinth as well...if you want me to cite his discussion with them, and they were likewise baptized with the same baptism of Pentecost...
There can be no both respecting baptism because there is only one Christian baptism.
No...I mean as in the context of John saying, "He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit." The baptism of Jesus, which John himself differentiated....Water and the spirit...two clearly separate events throughout the biblical narrative.
They are different events because John's baptism was not Christian baptism, and the promise of the Holy Spirit did not attach to it. That doesn't mean that they were not both baptism ceremonies performed in water. Christian baptism did not overlap John's baptism.
So....Not a baptism? Hmm? Look...maybe this helps: baptism means immersion. We're talking three immersions. In water....flesh goes underwater.
I understand this argument perfectly. It's been around for 500 years when Huldrych Zwingli dreamt it up out of thin air. He literally bragged about making this doctrine up out of whole cloth. “In this matter of baptism — if I may be pardoned for saying it — I can only conclude that all the doctors have been in error from the time of the apostles. . . . All the doctors have ascribed to the water a power which it does not have and the holy apostles did not teach.” First of all, no body ascribed power to water. Secondly, he is claiming to be the first guy since the apostles to understand baptism? That is a time span of 1,523 years!
In the Spirit...flesh is put under again...and the living waters come out, not in, from the womb/heart, in rivers according to Jesus. And by fire where faith goes under and is tried. I do not see this as analogy, but as defining immersion.
Because you are forgetting what we already know. A) there is only one baptism and B) it's a ceremony performed in water. The proof that it is analogy can be seen by the fact that it creates a picture in the minds eye.
"Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" "We did not know so much that there was a Holy Spirit." "By what then were you baptized?" "By John's baptism." Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Two noteworthy points. Paul, who wrote the letter you're quoting to the Ephesians, spoke to these first disciples of two baptisms, and differentiated them. Luke recounted the methodology and the resulting miraculous manifestation.
They prophesied... Did you notice? They prophesied. They spoke inspired words of prophecy, and we do not have a single record of what they spoke. It was inspired and not written down for us today. This can be another thread, but it does highlight other errors in the cessationist presumption of "inspired".
We're competing then. Additionally, I read Acts and proverbs once a month. My favorite youversion reading plan is professor Horner's, but I also do their 90 day plan, about ten to fifteen chapters a day, imagine twenty chapters of Job in one sitting, to get me through an additional four times. And here's the funny part...I don't think I'm filtering either....so...let's continue to compare filters!
Okay, we both care about getting this right.
You've made it "symbolic" and "analogical"....Not me.
No. Paul is describing the symbolic element in the baptism ceremony in Romans 6. You are buried in the water and rise up out of it. If you are physically doing something [like a ceremony] that points to something else [like Jesus rising from the grave] you have made that thing [the baptism ceremony] symbolic. This would still be true even if no one ever coined the term symbolic. We would just have to invent a word that means symbolic to discuss it. Paul made it symbolic, I just pointed out what he did.

The reverse of symbolism is analogy. If we use a real ceremony [baptism] and use it to create a picture in our minds eye. The thing this picture elucidates in our minds eye is real, but it's not a real baptism. It's a real miracle, the application of the word baptism simply helps us understand the miracle. Therefore we still only have one baptism. Recognizing what an analogy is, is not making anything analogical.
I've just seen three forms of immersion.
Only one of which can be baptism, because there is only one baptism [Ephesians 4:5].
Same word, same teachers using the word...three different manifestations.
I wrote a book on baptism, and before I went to print I remember that Jack Cottrell had written a book on the subject to. I had read his three volume Theology of God, so I had a lot of respect for him, hence I ordered his book on the subject, and having read it I threw my book in the trash. The great insight that he had was that there are only 12 passages that deal with the meaning and purpose of Christian baptism in the New Testament. Understand those 12 passages and the 500 years of controversy can be thrown in the trash too. It's a lot simpler than I had made it. My book about baptism was thick, his was thin, his was worth reading, mine was not. Although is Theology of God was about 1500 pages, that is a much bigger subject.
So would I....Of course those days were pre-word processor. The file is stashed away on a forty year hiatus from my sight. I touched my first computer...all in ascii, an apple the next year: 1984.
I have a few of those old computers sitting around too. I was using edix, wordix, spellix in those days.
This is kindness. Thank you.
It is essential...above doctrine...as all obedience must be.
Haahahaha....No...but it is prehistory. Stone knives. Bear skins....a typewriter, and a bucket of white out.

Is that what that was. I was wondering.
I call it a word of wisdom. It's how I understand all this.

Thanks for you patience. I almost feel guilty, being retired, sitting down to compose my thoughts like this...too much retirement to do.
God bless.
 

tbeachhead

New member
It won't take long, because when Paul or any writer of scripture makes any larger point the supporting points are all true as well. In particular the point that there is only one baptism it true. This has to be the case, because only an argument with true premises yield a true conclusion.

That is his larger point but his supporting point are also true. There are not two or three baptisms there is only one. We know it's a ceremony performed in water [Acts 8:36-39].

Laying on of hands is part and parcel of baptism, but it's not baptism. Baptism is a ceremony preformed in water [Acts 8:36-39].

There can be no both respecting baptism because there is only one Christian baptism.
OK...You claim that there is a single baptism, and it's a "ceremony"...Is that right? Jesus said you would receive power, Luke manifested power and you say...not power. Form only? Paul warned us about that. You know that right? Aren't you a little hesitant to embrace the baptism of power as a ceremony? That would make me uncomfortable.

And you're prepared to correct Luke's account, and Peter's testimony...I'm guessing? Because Peter clearly got it wrong. Let me show you.

Or maybe you can explain this to me: Acts 10, Peter is testifying to Cornelius, and in a decent-and-in-order way, the Holy Spirit comes down on the gathering, and Cornelius and company are filled with the Holy Spirit, speak in tongues ("...as on us at the beginning...") and prophesying. Peter stops his sermon, and proceeds to baptize them with water...which is the baptism of John.

Acts 11, Peter has to explain his doing to his colleagues the gathered Council of Jerusalem, and destroys the argument of the cessationists with a single testimony: "...And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?”

So...It happened as he began to speak...the Holy Spirit interrupted the sermon, and "fell on them as He fell on [the 120] at the beginning." Then Peter remembered what the Lord Himself reiterated what John had previously announced, "John indeed baptized...but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit." This is Luke's clearest testimony of the baptism of the Holy Spirit...clearer even that that which happened post conversion at Samaria, because tongues and prophecy are included in the testimony as these gifts were manifested on the day of Pentecost...and then he ascribes this baptism to Jesus' baptism of which Jesus and John both spoke. What's puzzling to me is the next statement...I'm assuming you're thinking that this baptism of the Holy Spirit of which Jesus and John both spoke is the one and only baptism. Why, then, did Peter then proceed to the ceremonial baptism, as we see in Chapter 10: 47“Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days." That sure looks like two baptisms to me. Peter recognized the baptism not done with hands...and proceeded to the ceremony that is done with hands and H2O. And notice as well: They were baptized with the Holy Spirit prior to even publicly acknowledging their own faith!

And this is, to me, one of the biggest problem theologians have who want to control God's gift: There is no formula as to which comes first, only the clear testimony that BOTH must occur. One without the other is never accepted with a pass in Luke's testimony.

They are different events because John's baptism was not Christian baptism, and the promise of the Holy Spirit did not attach to it.
Not a "Christian" event because, even thought Jesus not only participated in it, but his disciples also carried it out with John and after John's death? When did it become "Christian?" Were they all rebaptized after the ceremony became "Christian" in your opinion...though there is no testimony to a single rebaptism? Or is the "non-Christian" event sufficient, proving my point?

You see...the promise of the Holy Spirit is only attached to "...I baptize with water, but HE..." Water. And "But HE." Both John and Jesus mentioned both. I don't think it's a good thing to deny the power, just because you have been taught to deny it. What you heard, that is clearly false, can be unheard...once you have heard what Jesus Himself said, and confirmed through His scripture.

That doesn't mean that they were not both baptism ceremonies performed in water. Christian baptism did not overlap John's baptism.
You have to define "Christian baptism." That concept is foreign to scripture. It is clear that Jesus was baptizing as many as John, though it was Jesus' disciples that did it and not Jesus. Was Jesus doing a baptism that was not Christian?

I understand this argument perfectly. It's been around for 500 years when Huldrych Zwingli dreamt it up out of thin air. He literally bragged about making this doctrine up out of whole cloth. “In this matter of baptism — if I may be pardoned for saying it — I can only conclude that all the doctors have been in error from the time of the apostles. . . . All the doctors have ascribed to the water a power which it does not have and the holy apostles did not teach.” First of all, no body ascribed power to water. Secondly, he is claiming to be the first guy since the apostles to understand baptism? That is a time span of 1,523 years!
Now I'm baffled....Zwingli and the reformers took on 500 years of encrusted papal error. "Made up out of whole cloth?" Seriously? The pope was teaching infallibly that Water saved. For hundreds of years. Are you, like MacArthur, claiming inspiration in the history of the church..."If it didn't happen for a thousand years...it's not any more." He made that doctrine up out of whole cloth in 1976, when he wrote The Charismatics. The false doctrine of cessationism is as old as some of the ECF...and it came about when the doctors had to explain that their flaccid prayers ceased producing any tangible results, so they cauterized their prayers into a liturgy and proclaimed the end of the "Age of Miracles." That's not a new doctrine...It's merely a doctrine of prescribed unbelief and failure so the "clergy" (another unbiblical term) can save face.

Because you are forgetting what we already know. A) there is only one baptism and B) it's a ceremony performed in water. The proof that it is analogy can be seen by the fact that it creates a picture in the minds eye.
Peter disagrees. You apparently disagree with Peter and the Council of Jerusalem.
Okay, we both care about getting this right.

No. Paul is describing the symbolic element in the baptism ceremony in Romans 6. You are buried in the water and rise up out of it. If you are physically doing something [like a ceremony] that points to something else [like Jesus rising from the grave] you have made that thing [the baptism ceremony] symbolic. This would still be true even if no one ever coined the term symbolic. We would just have to invent a word that means symbolic to discuss it. Paul made it symbolic, I just pointed out what he did.
We agree that Paul is talking about the water baptism in Romans. He covers the Holy Spirit baptism in 1 Corinthians. Romans had not yet been visited by Paul...he longed to come and impart gifts.

The reverse of symbolism is analogy. If we use a real ceremony [baptism] and use it to create a picture in our minds eye. The thing this picture elucidates in our minds eye is real, but it's not a real baptism. It's a real miracle, the application of the word baptism simply helps us understand the miracle. Therefore we still only have one baptism. Recognizing what an analogy is, is not making anything analogical.

Only one of which can be baptism, because there is only one baptism [Ephesians 4:5].
So...miracles are for today. Real miracles...as long as they conform to your restrictions...
I wrote a book on baptism, and before I went to print I remember that Jack Cottrell had written a book on the subject to. I had read his three volume Theology of God, so I had a lot of respect for him, hence I ordered his book on the subject, and having read it I threw my book in the trash. The great insight that he had was that there are only 12 passages that deal with the meaning and purpose of Christian baptism in the New Testament. Understand those 12 passages and the 500 years of controversy can be thrown in the trash too. It's a lot simpler than I had made it. My book about baptism was thick, his was thin, his was worth reading, mine was not. Although is Theology of God was about 1500 pages, that is a much bigger subject.

I have a few of those old computers sitting around too. I was using edix, wordix, spellix in those days.

God bless.
Is there a link to that book? Look forward to your response.
 

Thistle

Well-known member
OK...You claim that there is a single baptism,
That is the meaning of the grammar and syntax of Paul in Ephesians 4:5. When we get to the correct interpretation it will agree with the grammar, syntax and context.
and it's a "ceremony"...Is that right?
When the word is used in connection to conversion, transformation, and so on, yes.
Jesus said you would receive power, Luke manifested power and you say...not power. Form only?
Quite the opposite. The gifts of grace forgiveness, and the Holy Spirit are granted in time, and that time is the moment of baptism [ Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; John 3:3-5; Acts 2:38-39; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3-4, 7; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:26-27; Ephesians 5:25-27; Colossians 2:11-13; Titus 3:5; and 1 Peter 3:21].
Paul warned us about that. You know that right? Aren't you a little hesitant to embrace the baptism of power as a ceremony? That would make me uncomfortable.
I'm not sure about the warning you are referring to. But Paul is very specific about the fact that we are saved "in baptism."

"having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead." - Colossians 2:12 NASB

And you're prepared to correct Luke's account, and Peter's testimony...I'm guessing? Because Peter clearly got it wrong. Let me show you.
Okay, the holy scriptures is not wrong. And Peter inspired sermon on Pentecost is not wrong. Jesus guarantees us that the scriptures will be absolutely perfect [read John 14-18].
Or maybe you can explain this to me: Acts 10,
Gladly.
Peter is testifying to Cornelius, and in a decent-and-in-order way, the Holy Spirit comes down on the gathering, and Cornelius and company are filled with the Holy Spirit, speak in tongues ("...as on us at the beginning...") and prophesying. Peter stops his sermon, and proceeds to baptize them with water...which is the baptism of John.
I have to unwind here a little bit. There are no legitimate grounds to call the baptism ceremony "John's baptism." Jesus was baptizing at Aenon near Salim just like John was, and for the same reason, "because there was much water there" [see John 3:22 ff]. If it requires "much water" its the ceremony. But let's continue to your point . . .
Acts 11, Peter has to explain his doing to his colleagues the gathered Council of Jerusalem, and destroys the argument of the cessationists with a single testimony: "...And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?”

So...It happened as he began to speak...the Holy Spirit interrupted the sermon, and "fell on them as He fell on [the 120] at the beginning." Then Peter remembered what the Lord Himself reiterated what John had previously announced, "John indeed baptized...but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit." This is Luke's clearest testimony of the baptism of the Holy Spirit...clearer even that that which happened post conversion at Samaria, because tongues and prophecy are included in the testimony as these gifts were manifested on the day of Pentecost...and then he ascribes this baptism to Jesus' baptism of which Jesus and John both spoke. What's puzzling to me is the next statement...I'm assuming you're thinking that this baptism of the Holy Spirit of which Jesus and John both spoke is the one and only baptism. Why, then, did Peter then proceed to the ceremonial baptism, as we see in Chapter 10: 47“Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days." That sure looks like two baptisms to me. Peter recognized the baptism not done with hands...and proceeded to the ceremony that is done with hands and H2O. And notice as well: They were baptized with the Holy Spirit prior to even publicly acknowledging their own faith!
I hope you agree that I'm saying there is only one literal Christian baptism? I hope the answer to that is yes, because I've tried to make that clear. Do you remember that I also said that analogical baptisms are real miracles, but not real baptism? I hope the answer to that is yes too, because I tried to make that clear as well. I also said that Baptism of the Holy Spirit which I designate for clarity as BHS is an analogical baptism, not literal baptism. In the temporal work BHS is a miracle not a baptism. It's only a baptism in the minds eye. That is the very definition of analogical. So what is being compared here in Acts 11? Peter is saying that events of 10:44-46 are like the events of 2:1-4. That makes perfect sense. He is comparing one analogical baptism to another. The power there in BHS is sign miracle power not redemptive or transformative power. No one was saved in Acts 2:1-4 or 10:44-46. People were saved in literal baptism 2:41 and 10:48.

BHS only occurs in three places in scripture and history. the first is Jesus baptism where the Spirit descended like a dove. Each of these mark out the week of years describe in Daniel 9:27. Jesus baptism 3 1/2 years later Pentecost 3 1/2 years later the house of Cornelius. BHS is not to be confused with the Apostles distributing miraculous gifts as we see in Acts 8, 19, 1 Timothy 4:14, etc.
And this is, to me, one of the biggest problem theologians have who want to control God's gift: There is no formula as to which comes first, only the clear testimony that BOTH must occur. One without the other is never accepted with a pass in Luke's testimony.
I couldn't be more delighted with Luke's testimony. It's perfectly consistent with all the rest of scripture on these matters.
Not a "Christian" event because, even thought Jesus not only participated in it, but his disciples also carried it out with John and after John's death?
There in lies the problem of your insistence in calling the baptism ceremony itself "John's baptism" which I addressed above. It is not. It's just a baptism ceremony.
When did it become "Christian?"
On Pentecost.
Were they all rebaptized after the ceremony became "Christian" in your opinion...
Yes, if you call being baptized for different purposes re-baptism, which you shouldn't and I don't.
though there is no testimony to a single rebaptism?
You don't seem to understand that the Jews baptized people many times for many reasons. That is why Jews had mikvahs [baptisteries]. Every place you find Jews you find mikvahs. So being baptized into discipleship of John and his message of repentance, "for the remission of sins" has nothing to do with becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. For that you need to be baptized one time, not re-baptized. The two are not logically connected in any way.
Or is the "non-Christian" event sufficient, proving my point?
You are saying the apostles were not baptized on Pentecost? I disagree.
You see...the promise of the Holy Spirit is only attached to "...I baptize with water, but HE..." Water. And "But HE." Both John and Jesus mentioned both. I don't think it's a good thing to deny the power, just because you have been taught to deny it. What you heard, that is clearly false, can be unheard...once you have heard what Jesus Himself said, and confirmed through His scripture.
What power do you alleged I deny? A scripture reference will be fine.
You have to define "Christian baptism."
It's that ceremony where you go down into the water as a repentant sinner and come up as a child of God, regenerated and redeemed [Acts 8:36-39].
That concept is foreign to scripture.
Acts 8:36-39 is scripture.
 
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Thistle

Well-known member
It is clear that Jesus was baptizing as many as John, though it was Jesus' disciples that did it and not Jesus. Was Jesus doing a baptism that was not Christian?
Being a disciple of Jesus was one thing before Pentecost, and another after. We apply the word Christian after, but the functional difference was from Acts 2:42 on, the Holy Spirit changed his mailing address to your heart upon baptism. That never happened to anyone before Acts 2:42.
Now I'm baffled....Zwingli and the reformers took on 500 years of encrusted papal error. "Made up out of whole cloth?" Seriously?
I'm talking about the teaching that there is more than one baptism contra Ephesians 4:5.
The pope was teaching infallibly that Water saved. For hundreds of years. Are you, like MacArthur, claiming inspiration in the history of the church..."If it didn't happen for a thousand years...it's not any more." He made that doctrine up out of whole cloth in 1976, when he wrote The Charismatics.
No. I'm a cessationist because of my reading of 1 Corinthians 13:10.
The false doctrine of cessationism is as old as some of the ECF...and it came about when the doctors had to explain that their flaccid prayers ceased producing any tangible results, so they cauterized their prayers into a liturgy and proclaimed the end of the "Age of Miracles." That's not a new doctrine...It's merely a doctrine of prescribed unbelief and failure so the "clergy" (another unbiblical term) can save face.
We both have our bill of particulars with the Catholic Church.
Peter disagrees. You apparently disagree with Peter and the Council of Jerusalem.
I would address that if I understood it. Are you saying that baptism is a meritorious work of man striving toward God? Colossians 2:12 corrects that idea. It's "the working of God." So no Peter does not disagree with me.
We agree that Paul is talking about the water baptism in Romans. He covers the Holy Spirit baptism in 1 Corinthians. Romans had not yet been visited by Paul...he longed to come and impart gifts.
Right, but that is not BHS. That is simply imparting gifts.
So...miracles are for today. Real miracles...as long as they conform to your restrictions...
Is there a link to that book? Look forward to your response.
Sure, and what a bargain [link].
 

Thistle

Well-known member
So...miracles are for today. Real miracles...as long as they conform to your restrictions...
I missed this bit, sorry. I have a high bar for sign miracles. And to be clear by sign miracles I mean supernatural events that are so obviously supernatural that they rule out alternative explanations. For example, Jesus made lepers whole. Leprosy causes your fingers and toes to fall off. If in the morning you have no fingers or toes and by the evening you do there are no alternative explanations for that. If you took a bible time line and pushed a map pin in every place in that time line where a sign miracle occurred, you would be struck with how infrequently they happened even in the bible. I would expect them to be no less rare today.

Providential answers to prayer are supernatural, because they would not happen without God answering our prayer. If I had a notebook of all the prayers God has answer in my view, I don't think I could lift it. There are a lot of examples of this in the gospels [Matthew 8:13; John 4:50,51; Luke 8:50; etc.].
 
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