Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Did the Apostles disobey Jesus?

Matthew 28:19 King James Version (KJV)

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Acts 2:38 King James Version (KJV)

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.

Here's the question: Did the Apostles disobey Jesus here? If they did, why didn't Matthew stand up and say: "Wait a minute Peter. You heard what the master said." He didn't! And that day they baptized 3000 people in the name of Jesus FOR THE (in order to get) forgiveness of sins.
Did they change to the "triune formula" after the day of Pentecost? NO!
Read Acts 8, Acts 10, Acts 19, etc. In EVERY case they baptized in Jesus name! So should we throw out the book of Acts? NO!
The fact is that there is NOT ONE reference from Acts to Revelations where baptism is ever done or referred to in the "triune formula."
Jesus said in John 17: 12-20 (about the Apostles:
12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

So, Jesus said that folks are to believe on him through the Apostles word, and prayed for the Apostles and all of us who would believe on him THROUGH them.
So, why the discrepancy between Matthew 28 and the rest of the NT?

There's NOT one. Matthew 28:19 says "IN THE NAME (singular) of the Father, the son, and the HG." So, there is ONE NAME that encompasses Father, son and HG. What name does that? JESUS!
 Colossians 2:8-10King James Version (KJV)

8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
The Godhead IS IN JESUS- NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND! Look at Isaiah 9:6. Who is Jesus?
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

So the baby born on "the first Christmas" as some call it, was The "wonderful Counsellor". What is a Counsellor? One that COMFORTS AND GUIDES?Who is the Counsellor in the New testament that Comforts and guides the people of God? THE HOLY GHOST. So, this baby was THE HOLY GHOST in HUMAN FLESH. (John 14: 16-18) Read further, "THE MIGHTY GOD." This baby was GOD IN HUMAN FLESH. (1 Timothy 3:16) Read more: THE  EVERLASTING FATHER. So this baby was THE FATHER in human flesh! (John 14:7-9)
So, since Jesus IS the Father and Jesus IS the son (who disputes this?) and Jesus IS the HG. Then the ONE NAME of Matthew 28:19 of the Father, son, and HG) IS JESUS!
Therefore, the Apostles didn't disobey Jesus! They actually OBEYED him and used his NAME!
Father, Son, and HG, are not 3 gods that operate in a "Godheadquarters" (as I've heard it taught). Rather, they are TITLES or ROLES that the ONE God of the universe has taken on.
I'm a Father, a son, and a preacher. Yet, if I sign a check using those titles that describe who I am, what bank will cash it? No-one! My name is Michael Winskie. If I write you a check with my name on it, then it is legal for you to cash!
God is Father in creation, son in redemption, and HG in his people now, but his saving name is JESUS!
So, in order to obey Matthew 28:19, we MUST be baptized in JESUS name! If we do not, then we are not using his name and are disobeying the commandment he gave is Matthew 28:19!
Further, Jesus said in John 3:3-5, that we must be born again. When asked to explain further he said, we must be "born of water and of the spirit."
Acts 2:38 obeys this command also!
We must be baptized in Jesus name (born of water) AND filled with the HG (born of the spirit).
The apostles followed Jesus for 3 1/2 years. They were believers. They had been baptized. Yet, Jesus told Peter:
Luke 22:32King James Version (KJV)

32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

WOW! Peter was a believer. Peter had been baptized, but he STILL WASN'T born again! When was his new birth completed?
Acts 2:1-4

2 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Then, after being born again on the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up and told the masses of people who asked " Men and brethren, WHAT SHALL WE DO?" (Acts 2:37) to "Repent, and be baptized EVERY ONE OF YOU for the remission of sins, AND ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
This is the ONLY plan of salvation that ANY of the Apostles EVER taught.
This agrees with EVERYTHING Jesus taught in his earthly ministry.
If you have not obeyed Acts 2:38 in it's entirety, you ARE NOT scripturally born again. It's that simple.
I do not say this to be mean. I say it in the hopes that MANY will complete the born again experience.
If you have repented and been baptized in Jesus name, but have not received the baptism of the HG, then you are still in the spiritual womb and are  not born again. If you have repented, but not done the other 2 steps, you are in the spiritual womb, but are not born again. If you have repented and received the baptism of the HG, but have not been baptized in Jesus name, then you are in the womb, but have not been born again.
PLEASE, Obey Acts 2:38 before it is too late!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Slow and steady wins the race.

Most of us know the story of the tortoise and the hare.

We all know that a race was ran between the two. But, the hare, obviously the faster one, lost the race. Why? Because of his pride and lack of work ethic. He new he was faster than the tortoise. Therefore, he took naps and got sidetracked exploring things. He new he had plenty of time because the tortoise was so slow.

The Tortoise, on the other hand, set his mind and body to the task at hand. He ignored his desire to nap, He didn't turn to the side to explore the wonders around him. His goal was simple: to follow the path of the race and finish his race. He wasn't concerned about what the hare was doing. He had no control over that. All he had control over was his own actions. He didn't let his environment influence him. He didn't let his lack of talent influence him. He didn't let his opponents obvious advantage hinder him. He just set about his task and finished the race.

When the terrain became rough, he kept going. When the path led up a steep hill, he didn't stop. When the path was wet and slippery, he slowed and made his steps sure- but he continued. Everybody was amazed that the tortoise won the race: except the tortoise.

The Bible is replete with people who imitated the hare. They were flashy. People were in awe of them. But their end was not like the beginning.

Samson's strength didn't win him a prize. Sure he defeated thousands of Israels enemies, but he still ignored God's instructions for his life (Num. 6:1-8, Judges 13:4-5). He lost his hair, his strength, his family, and ultimately, his life. Many say he died right with God because God gave him back his strength. Yet, his prayer to God was anything but repentant. He wanted his strength back to kill his enemies and take vengeance. There was no reaching out to God.

Solomon started out extremely well. He asked for wisdom from God, instead of riches and power. He built the great temple of God in Jerusalem. His wisdom became world renowned. He even expanded Israels territory all the way to the border of Egypt. He knew peace all his early days. But, he failed to follow the instructions for Kings that God had given to Moses (Dt 17:14-20, 1 Kings 10:14- 11:43). And when God judged him and pointed out his replacement (for 10 of the tribes, at least), rather than repent, he tried to kill his replacement. No repentance there.

Judas started out as a devout and chosen disciple of Jesus, but he ended up being a thief and a betrayer. He hung himself and died. No repentance there.

There were others, though, that were more like the tortoise. They may have come from humble beginnings, but they finished well.

Abraham was 75 years old before he began to follow the Lord. Though he stumbled some along the way, he still remained faithful to God and finished his life still looking for a city who's builder and maker was God. God called him the father of faith. He finished well.

Paul was at first called Saul. He persecuted the fledgling church and was responsible for the torture and death of many, many Christians. But, when the Lord got ahold of him, he left behind his former life and titles and became the greatest evangelist of all time and was used by God to write 2/3 of the New Testament. He finished well.

John Mark started well, but buckled under the pressure. It was a dispute over him that caused Paul and Barnabus to stop traveling and preaching together. Yet, he must have changed his attitude. For Paul, in a later letter, asks that he be sent to him as a help in the ministry: And the Lord used him to write the book of Mark in the New Testament. He finished well.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of seeing flash in the pan Christians go by the wayside. "The next hot young preacher" more often than not, fails and disappears in the long run.

I'm also tired of knowing that I have failed God too many times. I used to be one of those "next hot young preachers" in some folks eyes. But, I faltered and went chasing down too many rabbit (hare) holes.

However, God tells me I don't have to end my life that way. Like John Mark, I can change my attitude (and I have). I can become like the tortoise and simply follow the path the Lord has lain out before me. It's not a matter of being well known. It's about finishing the race. It's not about seeing the Lord move large crowds through "my ministry." That would be nice, but I've learned something simple and profound:

IT'S NOT MY MINISTRY. IT'S HIS MINISTRY. I'm just a vessel for him to use at his will.

My job is to continue the race, at the pace that's needed, and just be an available vessel for his use.
I may never again preach to a large crowd. That's ok. I may never again sing and see people moved in the Holy Ghost. That's alright, too. I may never write another word. It's not up to me. Because I learned that he's in charge and slow and steady wins the race. Hard times are here and will get worse, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. I want to finish well.

As long as I am available for God to use, he will use me for whatever purpose he chooses, when he chooses and how he chooses. He's the potter and I'm the clay. I have no right to demand anything of him. My job is to walk on, to fight on, to pray on, to speak when he says, and shut up when he doesn't- until he calls me home and tells me "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

When my days are over, I want to be able to say:

2 Timothy 4:6-8King James Version (KJV)

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Or, in other words: Slow and steady wins the race.

So, here I go. Wanna race?

On your mark.
Get set.