Here is Mark 16:14-18, and Acts 28:25-28, “AFTERWARD HE APPEARED UNTO THE ELEVEN AS THEY SAT AT MEAT, AND UPBRAIDED THEM FOR THEIR UNBELIEF AND HARDNESS OF HEART, BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED NOT THEM WHICH HAD SEEN HIM AFTER HE WAS RISEN. AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD, AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE. HE THAT BELIEVETH AND IS BAPTIZED SHALL BE SAVED; BUT HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT SHALL BE DAMNED. AND THESE SIGNS SHALL FOLLOW THEM THAT BELIEVE; IN MY NAME SHALL THEY CAST OUT DEVILS; THEY SHALL SPEAK WITH NEW TONGUES; THEY SHALL TAKE UP SERPENTS; AND IF THEY DRINK ANY DEADLY THING, IT SHALL NOT HURT THEM; THEY SHALL LAY HANDS ON THE SICK, AND THEY SHALL RECOVER.” Mark 16:14-18.
“AND THESE SIGNS SHALL FOLLOW THEM THAT BELIEVE: IN MY NAME SHALL THEY CAST OUT DEVILS; THEY SHALL SPEAK WITH NEW TONGUES; THEY SHALL TAKE UP SERPENTS; AND IF THEY DRINK ANY DEADLY THING, IT SHALL NOT HURT THEM; THEY SHALL LAY HANDS ON THE SICK, AND THEY SHALL RECOVER” Mark 16:17-18.
I remember a true man of God say, “if these signs following in these verses are the credentials of a Christian, then no Christians have lived on the earth since the first century.” It would be pretty funny, if it were not sad, to hear the explanations and twisting of Mark 16:14-18, by men of God who are leaders among aggressive evangelical Christians.
Many of these brethren corrupt and change the Scriptures to fit into their denominational or church creeds and programs. They do not preach, “he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved”, “with signs following”. Instead they preach “he that believeth and is saved shall be baptized”. Then they conveniently forget the signs. When one of these religious Pastors, or Preachers, in this way twist the Scriptures they publicly condemn him...BUT...they wink at their own twisting. It is clear that “Signs” followed believing and baptizing and what God hath joined together let no man put asunder, UNLESS we can show that God LATER ON separated them.
So, get out your Bible. Read CAREFULLY! Find one chapter where water baptism is mentioned without some sign, miracle, or Jewish symbol recorded in the same chapter. Then carefully compare Matthew 26:28 with Luke 3:3, and Acts 2:38:
“For this is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28.
“And He came into all the country about Jordan. Preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” Luke 3:3.
“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 2:38.
“FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS.” This is stated in very plain language, which no man has the right to alter.
We have been so hindered from being open, honest, sincere, unafraid students of Scripture, because of denominational loyalty, or obstinate wills, or preconceived opinions based upon traditions. Someone has said that the three most difficult words for a Pastor or Preacher to say are, “I was wrong”. Is Acts 2:38 our “Gospel of Grace” message? Here it is, read it:
“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.”
Now let us read carefully John 1:31,
“AND I KNEW HIM NOT: BUT THAT HE SHOULD BE MADE MANIFEST TO ISRAEL, THEREFORE AM I COME BAPTIZING WITH WATER.”
Why did John the Baptist baptize with water? “That Christ might be made manifest to Israel”; “for the remission of sins?” What was the significance of the water baptism received by Saul of Tarsus who was converted some months after Christ died on the cross? Hear his own testimony: “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins. calling on the name of the LORD.” Acts 22:16.
“BE BAPTIZED AND WASH AWAY THY SINS.” Very plain language is this. Paul was not “buried to witness to the world that he had been buried with Christ in baptism” as so many Children of God do today, because they feel, or have been told, that this is pleasing to God. W-a-s-h does not spell b-u-r-y.
Note the order in Acts 8:5-13: Philip presented the message of Mark 16:14-18 in Samaria. The people believed Philip and God’s Word. Then Peter and John came several days later and laid hands on those baptized believers and they received the Holy Spirit.
Some Bible teachers, Pastors, and Preachers, teach that the Jews, including the twelve apostles, who were converted while Ya-hweh Yahuwshua, The LORD Jesus Christ, was on earth, received “kingdom” water baptism. THEY say ““Christian” baptism began on the day of Pentecost when the Body of Christ began.” Then they claim that the twelve apostles, with the one hundred and twenty, were the first believers to be baptized into the Body of Christ. However, this then runs them into trouble, because they admit that the Twelve were not RE-baptized. And, Of course, then they have more trouble with the message of Peter on the day of Pentecost and the sale of their houses and lots. Acts 2:41-43; Acts 4:34.
These men, then, twist Acts 2:38 as they do Mark 16:14-16. They preach “repent and receive the Holy Spirit and be baptized with water” not even quoting the words “for the remission of sins” Then, of course,They forget about “the sale of their property” They say, “Well, that was a kingdom program”. But, they then preach “he that believeth and is saved shall be baptized”, but “no signs”!
You can ask any intelligent spiritual preacher, “Does water baptism help to save a sinner?” “Will water baptism help get any one into the true Body of Christ Church?” “Does water baptism have any merit or value to help the believer’s standing in Christ?” Does the believer have to prove to God or to man that he is saved by receiving water baptism?” To every question there will be a prompt, dogmatic, unmistakable “NO”. If there had been any value whatever to water baptism in connection with the Pauline Gospel of Grace, by which we are saved during this Age of Grace, that greatest of all soul winners, the Apostle Paul, instead of saying “I thank God I baptized only a few of you” would have baptized every believer he saw and he would have boasted about it!
Pay Attention, there is something radically wrong with all of the different water ceremonies practiced by Christians. It is high time that some of the Bible teachers in the groups of Fundamentalists, who are not afraid of men, should rescue their fellow Fundamentalists from their inconsistencies, and learn why Christians are wholly disregarding Ephesians 4:3-6.
Now and then we will hear some fundamental Pastor call upon members of the assembly to follow Christ in baptism. Now, the LORD Jesus was circumcised thirty years before He was baptized. Luke 2:17-27. Right after He was baptized He went on the Jewish Sabbath into the Jewish synagogue, as had been His custom. Luke 4:16. He told the Jews to whom He ministered to obey the law and find the priest and present a gift, Matthew 8:1-4, Matthew 23:1-3.
While Christ was on earth He was a Minister of the Circumcision, under The Law, sent only to Israel, preaching “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”, healing the sick. Romans 15:8; Matthew 15:24; Galatians 4:4; Luke 19:9; Matthew 10:5-8. While Jesus of Nazareth was being approved by God in the midst of Israel with signs and miracles, (Acts 2:22), so far as the Holy Scriptures are concerned, only ONE Gentile man received a blessing from Him, and that man loved the Jews and built them a synagogue. Luke 7:1-8. So tell me, should we tell believers to follow Christ to the Jewish synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath, OR, because it conveniently fits our “church creed”, JUST in the matter of baptism?
Note Matthew 10:5 “go not to Gentiles”. If we are to go back to The LORD Jesus Christ on earth for our program today in this Dispensation of Grace, we will certainly run into an Old Testament religious Jewish program. Going the other side of the death and resurrection of the LORD Jesus we shall find the priests, offerings, sacrifices, the Scribes and Pharisees in Moses’ seat. We will not find the Dispensation of Grace for Gentiles, or membership in the Body of Christ. Let’s not join with those whose slogan is “back to Jesus”, because we are, NOW, as members of His Body, seated WITH Him in the heavenlies where He is far above. Let’s not go back to the land of the Jews under The Law. I mean, should we go back to where Jesus called the Gentiles “dogs”?!? Matthew 15:25-27.
Some years after Christ was resurrected and ascended up into Heaven, God opened a door to the Gentiles. Acts 14:27. Paul was “the apostle to the Gentiles”. And the Apostle Paul said, “Christ sent me not to baptize”. Paul never once intimated that water baptism was a witness to the world that a member of Christ’s Body had been baptized into the death of Christ, buried and raised with Him. The baptism of Romans 6:3-4 is both meritorious and efficacious and IF there is any water there (which there is NOT), then it is water baptism that made saints out of sinners. To which we say, “God Forbid”!
Now pay attention, in Luke 3 we see John preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In Luke 3:21-22 we read that Jesus was baptized with water. Surely it wasn't for the forgiveness of sins, as John was preaching, for we read in the first portion of 2 Cor. 5:21, "Him who knew no sin." Jesus, while on earth, was God in the flesh who NEVER sinned. He needed neither to repent (turn) from sin, nor to be forgiven of any sin.
Also, some have said that Matthew 3:15 implies that through water baptism Jesus was being identified with mankind. However, THAT was accomplished in Bethlehem. We read in Luke 2:41-52 that Jesus at age 12, under the Law of the Passover Feast, was at Jerusalem in His Father's House, listening and talking to the teachers. Wouldn't Jesus have had enough understanding at 12 years old to have been baptized, IF baptism was for a public testimony of His faith?
But Jesus Himself gave the reason He was being baptized in Matthew 3:15, when He told John the Baptist to "Permit it to be so now for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." So, in accordance with The Law given to Moses, Jesus was thirty years old at the time He was baptized, as we read in Luke 3:23, "And when He began His ministry Jesus Himself was about 30 years of age."
The Scriptures teach us that at His,(Jesus'), baptism we see Him coming as High Priest TO the Kingdom of Priests: the Nation of Israel, "And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel" (Exodus 19:6). "But you shall be named the priests of the LORD, They shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory you shall boast" (Isaiah 61:6). In the New Testament we read in the writings of the Apostle Peter, who in his own words was "an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the Pilgrims of the Dispersion" (1 Peter 1:1), "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles" (1 Peter 2:9, and 1 Peter 2:12).
PAY ATTENTION, when priests were ordained, The Law prescribed certain rituals to be followed, including the ritual of washing them with water, or baptism (Exodus 29:4). That ceremonial washing was performed at the baptism of Christ.
The following Scripture verses from Numbers 4 require all those who perform the service or the work in the tabernacle to be 30 years old: Numbers 4:3, Numbers 4:23, Numbers 4:30, Numbers 4:35, Numbers 4:39, Numbers 4:43, and Numbers 4:47. Hebrews 3-10. And then Psalm 110:4 tells how God the Father designated His own Son the Perfect High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
Jesus also had a second Baptism which He spoke of in Mark 10:38-39, "But Jesus said to them, You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They said to Him, We are able. So Jesus said to them, You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized".
The Lord Jesus Christ was approximately 33 years of age when according to 2 Cor. 5:21, "He who knew no sin, became sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (Hebrews 9:10-15, Hebrews 9:26; Hebrews 10:10-13). By His own death upon the Cross for mankind's sins, Christ was identified with death and died in our place, was buried in our place, and arose from the dead (Hebrews 9:11-12) to offer His OWN blood in God's Tabernacle in Heaven as a propitiation or satisfaction to God, and sat down at the right hand of God (Hebrews 10:12). You or I could never follow our LORD in this Baptism.
“KNOW YE NOT THAT SO MANY OF US AS WERE BAPTIZED INTO JESUS CHRIST WERE BAPTIZED INTO HIS DEATH? THEREFORE WE ARE BURIED WITH HIM BY BAPTISM INTO DEATH: THAT LIKE AS CHRIST WAS RAISED UP FROM THE DEAD BY THE GLORY OF THE FATHER, EVEN SO WE ALSO SHOULD WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE.” Romans 6:3-4
Now, with these verses read Colossians 2:11-12, “In Whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ. Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through The Faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.”
“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Galatians 3:27.
Then note Ephesians 4:5, “ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM”
All of these baptisms refer to one and the same Divine Baptism. In which a believer is baptized into Christ, into the death of Christ, into the resurrected Christ, into the Body of Christ. Colossians 2:11. Is God’s explanation of the baptism of Colossians 2:12, “without hands”? This Divine Baptism is what makes the believer a member of the true Body of Christ Church and makes him complete in Christ. Colossians 2:10.
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
LLM - Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)