Archive for tradition

The Last Days: When Are They?

Posted in Bible, Christianity, Christianity, Bible, Truth, End Times, Religion, Salvation, Truth with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2011 by willnotbesilent

In this era of political upheaval all over the world, of constant wars, of famine, disease, earthquakes, storms, and more widespread abandonment of God’s principles, many people are proclaiming our era as “the Last Days”. There is a great deal of debate over this. The return of Jesus Christ has been predicted for countless dates for a thousand years or more. In the case of each prediction, people thought their society had reached a moral and spiritual zenith, and that surely Jesus would come to take His kingdom back. Indeed, even during the days of the apostles, people were waiting for Christ’s return, as illustrated in Paul’s Second Epistle to the Thessalonians.

The question is, WHEN ARE THE LAST DAYS?

Some hold that the “Last Days” will begin once the “Rapture” has taken place, but as pointed out in my previous posts, the “Rapture” is a fallacy and a fraud. Some look for signs of the Antichrist, some mysterious individual possessed by the devil himself (We’ll go into the topic of the Antichrist in a following post). The most recent “prediction” for Christ’s return is May 21, 2011.

These folks who try to give an exact date are wasting their time. Jesus Himself said,

 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. — Mat 24:36
 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. — Mat 24:42
 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. — Mat 24:44

This is important to remember: ONLY GOD HIMSELF KNOWS WHEN JESUS WILL RETURN! Men cannot predict it through any means, whether theological, mathematical, or otherwise. God is the one and only being who knows when the Second Coming will take place. If anyone tells you Jesus is returning on a specific date, ignore them. They are mistaken, and arrogant to think they can discover what God has specifically kept secret.

But can we at least know when the Last Days are?

YES! In fact, we don’t need to speculate or wonder, because the Bible is very, very specific about exactly when the Last Days begin.

In Acts 2, when the apostles are baptized by the Holy Spirit (verses 1-4), they begin preaching to the crowds that have filled Jerusalem for the Day of Pentacost. When the people hear these uneducated Galileans preaching in various languages, they are skeptical, suggesting the apostles are drunk (verse 13). At this point, Peter speaks for all the apostles:

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, “Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ ” — Acts 2:14-21

STOP! In quoting Joel, Peter says that all THIS which the people are seeing, only days after Jesus has ascended to sit at God’s right hand, is a sign of the Last Days!

The Last Days began roughly 2000 years ago, when the Holy Spirit was poured out and the Kingdom of Christ was established through the apostles. A sign of the Last Days is the opportunity for salvation through Jesus Christ.

So why are we wondering if we are in the Last Days when the they have been in full swing for millennia? Because false prophets have been preaching lies, telling us to expect a Rapture and support a political state of Israel, to watch for a mystical Antichrist and wait for a spaceship-esque New Jerusalem to descend from the sky. In actuality, THE LAST DAYS ARE NOW, which is why we are told to be vigilant and faithful. This is why we can expect Jesus to return when we least expect it.

So with this in mind, let’s focus on spreading the truth of the Gospel and preparing ourselves as a bride prepares herself for the groom. We don’t know when He’ll knock. But when He does, let’s make sure we’re ready, rather than simply wondering when He will return.

PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD!

The Biblical Mode Of Baptism

Posted in Baptism, Bible, Christianity, Christianity, Bible, Truth, Religion, Salvation with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2010 by willnotbesilent

Among the various denominations today, there are four different modes of baptism.

  • Sprinkling: The baptizer dips his fingers in water and flicks it onto the baptizee.
  • Pouring: The baptizer fills a cup with water and pours it over the head of the baptizee, who usually is standing in the baptismal.
  • Dipping: The baptizee is partially submerged in the water, often leaving the head or face emerged.
  • Immersion: The baptizee is completely submerged in the water.

Which of these modes is the Biblical one, the one employed by John the Baptizer and by Jesus and his apostles?

The first place to turn would be the word itself: Baptize. It is derived from the Greek word baptizo, the word used throughout the Bible in reference to baptism. According to Strong’s Concordance, baptizo is defined as “to immerse, submerge; to make whelmed (i.e. fully wet)”. This seems clearly to indicate that baptism, in the true sense of the word, requires the baptizee to be lowered completely into the water.

Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about this.

In Matthew 3:16, after Jesus was baptized, He “came up immediately from the water”. When Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:38, Philip and the eunuch “both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.” It becomes apparent through these passages that the Biblical mode of baptism involves both the baptizer and the baptizee stepping into the water — the former to perform his task in baptizing the convert, the latter to submit to the process.

Having established this so far, we move on to the actual act of baptism. Paul, in Romans 6:3-7, has this to say:

Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.

When we are baptized, we are buried into Christ’s death. We are buried with Him. The entire baptismal process is a picture, or representation, of us dying as Christ died, being buried, shedding the old sinful man, and rising up a new creature, freed from sin. We are following in the footsteps of Jesus, who first set the example for us in being baptized by John, then underwent His own, horrible baptism of true death and burial as He mentions in Luke 12:50.

But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!

Paul also mentions this in Colossians 2:12 while telling the Colossians that their body of sinful flesh had been removed through Christ,

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.

Notice that the theme here is burial. When we are baptized, we are buried with Christ into His death, the death from which He rose.

It therefore follows that baptism in the true Biblical sense does not involve sprinkling, pouring, or partial submersion, but a complete immersion. The baptizee is buried in water to simulate Jesus’ own burial in the earth, then raised up again a new man, just as God raised Jesus to reign forever as King. Baptism in any other form is a fabrication of man — a mere tradition — not recognized by God.

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