"As they pass through the valley of Baca [as we spread the gospel of Jesus to all nations], they make a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion." Psalm84,7
This Psalm is fulfilled by us Christians: "Whoever believes in me, as scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive." John7,38-39
"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [and thereby salvation is revealed to humankind], a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.' " Romans1,16-17 NIV
(The NJBC, Fitzmyer, captures the pilgrim's progress aspect of "faith from first to last": "God's economy of salvation is shared more and more by a human being as faith grows." 834)
"I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of the water and the Spirit." John3,5
"For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." 1Peter1,23 NIV
Seeds are meant to grow! And bear fruit! By fully following the living and enduring word of God.
"Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off- for all whom the Lord God will call." Acts2,38-39 NIV
"Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21 Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Matthew7,19-21
"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith [the WORD based gospel] and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teaching comes through hypocritical liars whose conscience has been seared as with a hot iron." 1Timothy4,1-2
1. We teach the whole God empowered gospel at ZPM.
We are "saved" as soon as we personally repent for our sins and believe in Jesus, faith on, trust on Jesus, for forgiveness and for salvation. This personal faith plants a supernatural seed of faith, of rebirth, in our soul. 1Peter1,23. Something happens this we know! Our hearts, our souls are changed by the Spirit of God in response to our personal faith. Yet and still, seeds are meant to break out of their shell, grow, and also bear fruit.
The disciples in Acts 19 believed in Jesus. So the supernatural seed of faith had been planted in them. Then they demonstrated more personal faith in that they were keen to receive more of the fruitful salvation blessings that the gospel promised.
Their seed form faith hadn't been watered by an adult water baptism, a believer's baptism. They also had not born the fruit of baptism in the Holy Spirit which is linked to adult water baptism by the promises of Acts2,38-39.
When Paul asked them if they received the Holy Spirit, ie been baptized in the Holy Ghost when they believed, they said at Acts 19,2 "We have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." So they resumed their personal faith progression at the very salvation spot where they left off, at the rebirth of a supernatural seed faith, and got adult water baptized. And then, also with personal faith, now having heard and agreed about the Holy Spirit by personal faith, they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the infilling, by that very same personal faith.
Thereupon, the seed of rebirth, of salvation, broke out of its seed shell and became the very fruitful fullnes of rebirth of first faith and both baptisms (Hebrews6,1 speaks of baptisms plural).
Similarly, there is also Cornelius in Acts 10, a Roman citizen, a gentile, not yet a believer in Jesus. He was a God fearer- He did believe in God. There's a certain grace to that, not a born again seed yet, but the pull of grace was on him if not in him. So he readily agreed to go to the next step of grace and personal faith, to welcome Peter into his house at Caesarea. He did this in faith after being visited by an Angel who told him to do so and also to hear the gospel (v.22). So when Peter preached, Cornelius believed.
Would that all people would have the same simple supernatural God fearing interest in salvation and let God's angels and gospel ministers interrupt us and visit us so the supernatural seed of faith would be planted in all such God fearers and all humanity.
And we notice that this seed bore immediate fruit right away in Cornelius' Holy Spirit baptism, and then in his willingness to get his adult covenantal water baptism. Born of Water and the Spirit, and the order doesn't much matter!
Within four days Cornelius got visited by an angel and three days later got born again by the supernatural seed of faith after hearing the gospel, then Holy Ghost baptized by that same word based faith, then made his adult water baptism covenant with the Lord God of Israel by that same personal faith that was part of this amazing four days.
What a great gospel story to tell!
And what a great gospel story Cornelius heard- and by personal faith accepted- it planted a supernatural seed of faith that gave him rebirth unto a great and fruitful faith all in one day!
2. This supernatural faith seed is to be promptly (3000 immediately joined the Jesus gospel movement by adult water baptism on Pentecost. Acts2,41) watered by adult baptism Matthew28,19
In the example of Pentecost, and per the whole of NT scriptures, belief, profession, and the two baptisms (Hebrews6,1) and healing and deliverance- and all the rest of the early church gospel wonders were normative for everyone. They were all part of the one, compressed, intital salvation "event" even if every aspect of the faith didn't occur at exactly the same day and time
Oh this one fell swoop salvation would be so much easier to teach than the whittling away of our magnificent gospel by our easy-pleasy humanity, that doesn't feast on all the WORD but whittles too much of it away!
Ever since infant baptism efficiently enrolled infants into both the church and the Roman state empire from the fourth century onward, actual belief, and profession, and the baptisms, and salvation doctrine got all separated into sacramental bits and pieces, and then several of the aspects of the blessings of the one initial fell swoop of salvation tended to be minimized and marginalized and forgotten, and or dismissed, and explained away or reduced and redefined by many churches over in the history of almost two thousand years of Christianity.
What ever happened to Holy Ghost baptism after the early church of the bible? It seems to have never made it out of bible times? And then suddenly its biblical reality re-appeared in the early twentieth century. What's up with that? Was it excised from official church history because the gifts (1Corinthians12) and church offices (Ephesians4,10), that totally depend on Holy Ghost Baptism would change the business and governmental models of hierarchy and or denominational efficiency?
Did holy Ghost baptism get surpressed historically (or over simplified and thus explained away) because it died out from lack of faith, or lack of teaching, and thus it wasn't a welcome topic anymore? Was it not welcome because it suggests leaders who had not received it are less capable? Or unfit for service?
Is it getting surpressed now, and minimized, put on the back burner, and rendered unnecessary for salvation, even by some in the Pentecostal movement?
There are many more questions and much still to learn about the baptisms in relation to church history. But surely most of us Christians can now agree that infant baptism for hundreds and hundreds of years and up to the present day has led the entire church away from New Testament salvational practices and doctrines. And thus these practices are are no longer part of the intial swoop of salvation but atomized and isolated and seemingly disconnected bit and pieces of salvation doctrine, often separated by many years, and given various importance when originally- per the bible- they were all important aspects of the one initial salvation event
As that happened, the question of when and how and by what biblcal doctrines are we saved has been the keenest questions and still is today!
When we talk about Christian salvation doctrine it is helpful to have a bit more historical context as we attempt to piece together the broken up bits and pieces of biblical salvation doctrine and get closer to the one fell swoop of the faith empowered and Holy Ghost based, ie the God and grace based, not church based salvation event as per our NT bible.
For example, the almost exclusive norm of Christian religious teaching from the 4th century through the 14th centuries was monastic and clerical and hierarchical. This confused salvation doctrine with obeying Roman church-empire teachings- that clearly were added to biblical doctrine- such as infant baptism- by church decree.
The true and streamlined salvation doctrine can only be found in the bible- which up until the modern age very very few common people had access to. Nor could ordinary folks read in the arcane or very few languages into which it was hand copied. The printing press was not invented until 1436. Up until that time it was as if the Roman Empire state church acted as if they owned the bible and could make doctrine with it, or without it, according to their institutional and political needs.
But knowing the God of the bible as we do now there was always the Holy Spirit of God trying to get the Roman church and all the nations and peoples, and all those individuals, and visionaries, and reformers and God fearers, and all who hungered to worship God in Spirit and truth, back to the Word of God. It took hundreds and hundreds of years, almost a thousand years of the Dark Ages for the gospel light of the bible to come back into view and change the Christian religion, back toward its New Testament doctrinal basis.
But as the Word says "for the Lord a thousand years is as one day." 2Peter3,8
This Reformation back to the word began to percolate in 12th century with the Waldensians in Europe and slowly slowly slowly God's people, and her chosen and anointed reformers were able to learn about scripture, and eventually to read it for themselves, and teach it to whoever had the faith courage to listen.
This is the mircale of the Reformation- the bible, the one inerrant document that contains our salvation doctrine, actually got into the hands of Protestant leaders breaking from Rome. Thus the whole church was changed and all its doctrines including its salvation doctrine were expected by God- and His people- to be more in keeping with the Word itself.
This Reformation changed Europe and changed salvation doctrine.
Who among the bible copy writers would have ever have thought back in the Dark Ages that a mass printed bible in any language of the world could be mass printed and bought at a "dollar" store?
However, one of the non blessings of the Reformation has been that adult water baptism has been waning in importance and practice up to and into our present day. We see this as an understandable over-reaction among some reformers to the non salvation event and clerical control of infant baptism, but this reaction needs not throw out the whole practice of water baptism, but to reconcile with Jesus' command for adult baptism at Matthew28,19 and Acts2,36-38, which is clearly the practice of the early non institutional locally based churches.
Psalm111,4 speaks of the fact that God gave Israel a memorial system of festivals, (Exodus23,14) as part of keeping the covenant:
"He gives us a memorial of his great deeds; Yahweh is mercy and tenderness." (NJB)
Adult water baptism is a living personal faith based memorial of our new covenant salvation (Romans6,1-11). It was given to us by Jesus- both man and God- as a key initial faith event by which all remember what he did for us on Calvary and by personal faith get our sins washed away, and formally enter into a lifelong personal faith covenant with him.
By our personal and saving faith Jesus gives our eternal body and eternal soul a blessed eternal life with him. The personal faith act of adult full immersion baptism lines up with what Paul's faith challenge to the the fledgling Roman church (in the heart of Greco Roman religious profligacy) at Romans12,1-2: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God- this is your true and proper worship." NIV
So any bit of modern evangelical rapprochement to a bible based adult water baptism would go a long way toward unifying Christian church practice and doctrine, and one day, likely bear fruit- by knitting the whole body together once again the one fell swoop of the biblical salvation event.
Some of the most gung ho reformers, the Anabaptists, the Re-baptizers, by the 16th century also had copies of the Word and were on fire for an adult believer's baptism.
But at that time neither the Protestant state or Roman state infant baptizers had seen the light on biblical baptism. So in 16th century Europe it was illegal to get adult baptized after being infant baptized in either a Protestant state territorial church or a Catholic state territorial church. Pious anabaptists died and were banished or imprisoned over their God given right to get adult baptized as the bible says! Michael Sattler was one such martyr. He was firstly a German Roman Catholic monk and finally a separtist Christian Anabaptist obedient to the Word of God. He later married, praise God, a pious woman who was a bible believer as he was.
He gave his life in 1527 in witness to God- one year after he exercised his biblical and God given right to get adult baptized. In honor of his pioneering Reformational bible faith, a great group of Christians in 2018 founded Satter College in Boston MA USA where Christians from all over the country and world are welcomed to now receive a faithful, biblical, and Jesus first, and well rounded, and a top notch scholarly college education.
Among modern descendants of the anabaptists, and among some Pentecostals, adult full immersion water baptism is still enthusiastically practiced up to this day- and for some it is still a requirement for salvation as the New Testament teaches.
My sense is that something is out of order, something disobedient is going on (regardless of whether one thinks it is part and parcel of salvation or merely symbolic) in our church and in our doctrine when any Chrisian leaves off teaching and practicing full immersion adult baptism when it is undisputably the most prominant initial biblical faith practice in the entire New Testament.
Moreover, it defined by very name of the first herald of the kingdom and the gospel faith, John the Baptist! It also was part of the the practice of Judah's Temple and religious reformers at Qumran for hundreds of years before Jesus appeared.
Yet too many folks in the modern comfortdom of Christendom and evangelical living room small groups don't give it a second thought, let alone are willing to bother with it!
In fairness to evangelical reformers who spurn it today, many Christians now sincerely believe they are saved and also baptized in the Spirit at first faith.
And even many Pentecostals now believe they are eternally saved (eternal security) at first faith. And while Pentecostals have usually believed that baptism in the Spirit is a separate and subequent salvational blessing from first faith, some of their leaders seem not to be teaching either adult water baptism or Holy Ghost baptism to their flocks. Perhaps, I am slightly overstating the case but what's up in the Pentecostal movemant when more and more Christians (ie anointed followers of Jesus) therein sort of just breezily and happily agree or assume that everybody in their church is baptized in the Spirit and has eternal security from the moment of first faith?
Is this "Pentecostalism" any different than mainstream evangelicalism?
Yet and still the main biblical point here is how can any Christian just overlook the profound and clear link spelled out at Acts2,38-39 between obedient adult water baptism and the promise of Holy Ghost baptism for all?
As a start up mission church, we certainly do not want to further muddle up or reduce Christian salvation doctrine.
Instead, we at Zion Pentecost Mission are joyful to offer in good faith our bible based salvation doctrine. And by so doing we endeavor to re-capture some bit of the great enthusiasm and fervor of the early Christians who were rightly swept up into the one miraculous and compressed event and swoop of Christian salvation- before it became broken down into pick and choose a la carte bits and pieces of our later disparate church business practices, and ever reduced topical preaching nuggets.
I have been praying and seeking the Lord's guidance so as to give a good answer of our salvation doctrine, that it would be both biblically sound and do justice to the whole New Testament gospel. The Lord is further inspiring me that it might also need a good and healthy bit of God's revealed Holy Spirit based wisdom. I also pray that it lines up with the comprehensive, compelling and descriptive nature of our saving New Testament scriptures which always both teach us more about salvation doctrine and salvation itself, and answer our questions too.
As to such wisdom, the Lord led me to see the parallel between Hosea's prediction of certain judgement on the Northern Kingdom by Assyria and the certain judgement that the church (where judgement begins) will face. I was helped here by Bible scholar John Tullock in his textbook The Old Testament Story (6th Ed. 204). He lists about ten to fifteen reasons for the coming judgement on the Northern Kingdom, yet Tullock duly notes the prophet closes his prophecy with a gentle, hopeful and even joyful challenge to the wisdom of knowing and accepting that the covenantal ways and words of the Lord are always right.
Oh my and O glory there is joy in accepting that the ways of the Lord are always right:
"Those who are wise understand these things; those who are discerning know them. For the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright will walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them." Hosea14,9
So as I set out on this task I want to avoid both extremes of salvation doctrine- the biblical faith slackery of cheap grace beliefs of those who may, or may not, have believed 'back in the day', and may have lived by faith for a season, and the legalisms of hyper doctrine that both fences in and fences out so many dearly beloved, blood bought eternal souls, who truly love God, and the Word, who are simply seeking to worship Him in Spirit and truth with all their hearts and minds and souls.
And I also, like Hosea want to stay hopeful, and loving and also challenge those of us Christians who might also discern that over time our salvation doctrines may have become so institutionally easy-pleasy and pre-packaged and routine and now so doctrinally sacrosanct and fixed that they lack any covenantal, first to last, personal faith aspect at all. It's just a short list of beliefs on the church web site.
And instead of covenantal doctrine given by God and His Word our salvation doctrine often reflects man made Protestant and Roman dogmas. These seem more about church doctrine as written and explained in church manuals than what is written in the bible and still too often put Sunday leaders who make these dogmas on pedestals, who still keep out the inspired prophets, Apostles and evangelists that get us back to the gospel priorities and fundamantals of our biblical salvation. This rigidity of never tweaking or expanding our salvation doctrine (hundreds of years on from the polemics of the Reformation) also leaves too many people still ignorant and passive in the pews, and settling for salvationa(!) doctrines that on their face blithely explain away baptismal commands and their salvational effects, or still rest on infant baptism, or avoid the subject by expounding again and again and again this little bit or that little bit of modern doctrinal practice, to the detriment of any sense of the whole gospel is supernatural in its essence, doctrine and experience.
And could we all agree that our modern church salvation doctrines often lack much sense of the pilgrims progress salvation path? Why so few personal faith milestones and memorials? Why so little understanding of the whole good news story that we are heirs to the Jews and that our Hebrew scriptural roots help us understand New Testament gospel salvation doctrine?
As we said above, we teach that salvation comes by way of the rebirth of a personally repentant initial saving faith in Jesus as our only Savior and our only Lord. And we also teach that one must keep moving from first faith to last faith (Romans1,16-17), from initial personal belief faith, to personal public profession faith, to personal adult water baptism faith which is linked and complemented by personal faith for Holy Spirit Baptism, to the personal faith of being fed real food and drink spiritual food and drink at the table of the Lord (1Corinrhians10,3-4, John6,53) and to the personal faith of persevering unto death.
This is not a complicated salvation doctrine at all, nor is it legalistic, or sacramentally based, or hierarchically-clarically based. It's simply WORD based.
The Apostle Paul got it very right as he began the Book of Romans. Our righteousness and our salvation comes from living by faith, living by a personally repentant faith per the new covenant Word based gospel that Jesus and His Apostles and prophets and evangelists and local pastors and teachers passed on to us.
We find joy in the the apostle Peter's imperative and exuberant call to our promised new life and the fullness of blessings of adult full immersion water baptism and Holy Ghost baptism, according to Acts2,36-39. The two baptisms (Hebrews6,1) may come out of order, or even simultanously, but they are both vital and distinct and complementary and supernaturally fruitful and faithful realities that are sought and then gladly and supernaturally received just like our intial faith was-by way of personal faith;
3. Why do we need adult water baptism if we are already saved by intial faith?
Because just as in agriculture- the supernatural seed of faith can die off in our soul. If our soul is poor and shallow soil, ie rocky ground, or thorny, or getting scorched unto the death of our reborn faith seedling (Mark4,3-9; Matthew13,1-20).
We also know Satan is a liar and destroyer and thief, so it is no surprise that Satan endeavors to steal the Word of salvation, ie stealing the intial supernatural word based reborn seed of faith upon belief (cf Luke8,12).
Seeds of salvation, and souls with seeds that don't produce any fruit- ie keep living by faith- are going to wither and die.
4. Mark 16,16 says "whoever believes and is [adult] baptized will be saved."
When was the last time you heard this verse preached in church?
Adult water baptism epitomizes and represents Jesus' new covenantal teaching. His command for it comprises some of the last words He spoke to his disciples before he ascended (Matthew28,19). Jesus himself sought and received this baptism. It is dismissed by some as symbolic even though the Word of God takes pains to describe that the the Holy Spirit of God, ie more of the Spirit, actually came down on Jesus and into Jesus at his own baptism! (John3,22) More Spirit coming onto and into someone by faithful obedience to God's Word for adult baptism is not symbolic. It is a SPIRITUAL reality in the faith realm. The human Jesus got more Spirit strength at His baptism. He went from strength to strength by water baptism- cf Psalm84,7, and from faith to more faith, and from being rooted in his saving mission to more rooted in it, from knowing he was God's son in human flesh to hearing God the Father speak it out clearly at His baptism.
Why do we Christians seem to sometimes lack clarity and focus? Perhaps because we look in the mirror and then immediatly forget- or don't yet possess- the adult baptismal identity given to us supernaturally by God's Spirit Himself at our very own adult water baptism (and in Holy Ghost baptism too).
So at adult water baptism- just like Jesus- we go from the strength of initial faith to the strength of an adult water baptized faith (and so on as we live by faith all our lives), and from a somewhat superficially rooted gospel servant identity, and new creature identity, to more rooted gospel servant identity who now knows his or her faith authority from his or her personally faith covenantal adult water baptism;
5. "All who call on the name will be saved." (Joel2,32, including the gentile nations, Acts2,21 and Romans 10,13)
We don't just call on the name of Jesus at profession. We also call on it at our adult water baptism, Acts22,16: "And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name."
Genesis 12,8 tells us Abram built an altar and called on the Name of the Lord, ie summoned God's presence for the sacrifice. Then at Genesis 15,1 God addressed Abram by name: "Do not be afraid Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." Abram responded using the Lord's Name, 'O Sovereign Lord.'
This name interchange of mutual presence and relationship (as it was for Moses and likewise Jacob begged to know God's Name after God proved Himself stronger) set up the Israel eternal land covenant, protection and favor covenant between Abraham and God and His God's chosen faith people, Israel.
Just like in secular contract law, so our covenants with God- there is no contract-covenant until there are clearly at least two named parties, before they know and speak to each other- and then each "walks" between the two cut up sides of the bloody covenant, and thereby God in His Spiritual goodness demonstrates his supernatural presence by His supernatural confirmation of the covenant. (Genesis15,12-21, Acts2,39)
In our personal faith covenant-contract to follow and serve Jesus, he also calls us by name:
"To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." John10,3 NIV
Jesus entered into a blood bought redemption covenant with each of us, that is defined by ongoing faith, by living by faith, by walking throughout our lives by faith through the middle of the everflowing blood covenant sacrifice of Calvary (John19,34), by living and obeying our side of the lifelong faith deal which reaps an eternal reward.
Jesus gracefully calls us to this salvation covenant and we answer by calling on his name- (not just at first faith- and profession of seed form faith). We call on his Name at adult water baptism and therefater again and again because we are still in need more supernatural strength and more covenantal favor, ie the better and deeper soil and faith and the further identity rootedness and faith authority of our adult water baptism, which is also supernaturally ratified by God's Spirit.
See David S. Norris for further teaching about 'The Man With the Saving Name.' in "I am:..." 143 and more about Abraham's covenantal call 197, WAP Academic.
We cite Dr. Norris specifically and solely here for the important and inspiring covenantal aspect of adult water baptism. In our assessment this covenantal teaching, calling on the Name, helps restore the personal faith memorial of adult full immersion water baptism back to its rightful biblical place in church practice. It is the kind of teaching which could benefit all Christians even regardless of their salvation doctrine, or other doctrines.
NB. Any of Zion Pentecost Mission teaching above and herein doesn't mean we believe baptism in the Name of the Father Son and Holy Ghost per Matthew28,19 is in any way lesser than Acts2,36-39 baptism in Jesus Name.
When it comes to salvation doctrine I believe and occasionally even share the microphone because everyone's testimony is important. My testimony is this- the covenantal act of full immersion adult water baptism (fifteen years ago in a humble stock animal watering trough after being baptized in the Spirit for 12 years, and operating in offices and gifts for about that long) was the best faith decision, after first faith-profession, that I have ever made. (An infant and then an adult couple of sprinkling baptisms were not cutting it.)
Adult full immersion baptism is the way baptisms were done in the bible. By this baptism I signed and sealed and made explicit and affirmed by way of more personal faith the fully biblical the new faith covenant I had made with God by faith long ago. This was one of the major ways the good Lord got me more ready for the further preaching and prophetic faith path He has put me on.
I use a skating metaphor (I played hockey growing up) to testify about the strength and rootedness that adult water baptism supplies. I went from sliding about on the frozen ice in street shoes, trying to finish crossing a very wide frozen river, to being able to dig the edges of my skates into the ice, and move forward with a way more powerful and in depth and rooted faith.
By my full immersion adult water baptism Jesus became way more powerfully and concretely the Lord of my life. And similarly the ever living gospel became way more powerful and alive and freeing than ever before. And thus Jesus and His gospel faith spurred me on to greater and ever more spiritually sacrificial service to Him and our precious gospel of salvation.
Even though we teach that I was "saved" before this adult water baptism (ie the imperishable seed of faith is planted, something happened but seeds die in agriculture all the time), I still needed to keep growing in freely choosing bbiblical obedience to the Word and to keep moving-growing in the Spirit, and thereby stay away from any rocky ground that could make the saving faith die in my soul, or let Satan steal the gospel Word of salvation in my heart. So Jesus called me to the depths of adult baptism full immersion waters and inspired me to knowingly complete- unto the obedient fullness, the fruit bearing fullness- Jesus' covenantal call on my life according to his clear and biblical terms.
The very learned Paul humbled himself to be baptized after he was struck down and blinded by the Lord Jesus for three days. Paul was first healed of his blindness at the hands of Ananias, and then baptized by him too. Apparently, the Lord knew how much Paul would need a strong and rooted and persevering long suffering "for the Name" faith, a faith that included adult water baptism in the name of His savior Jesus for whom he would be suffering. (Acts9,15 and Acts9,18);
6. Is tongues required for salvation?
At 1Corinthians12,30 Paul asks rhetorically (amidst similarly asking about other gifts too): "Do all speak in tongues?" No! His point was that the various gifts of the Sprit will be well distributed throughout the living body of Christ, and it's best to seek the higher gifts but that no one will go without a gift. 1Corinthians12,7
Salvation doesn't depend on having a particular gift. Salvation depends on living by personal faith from first to last.
It is our biblical assessment that the body of Christ is not blessed by telling folks they don't have baptism in the Spirit, if they don't speak in tongues.
7. Dear universal and royal priesthood (1Peter2,5 and 9)- all who approach the table in covenantal faith and repentance- welcome to the Table Of The Lord and to the Lord's Supper!
It's a covenant table and a salvational table too. And we are commanded to be here as His universal and royal priesthood (1Peter2,5 and 9)
"Do this in memory of me." Luke22,19 and
"For I received from the Lord that which I also passed on to you...." 1Corinthians11,23-26.
"In truth, in very truth I tell you, unless you eat the [spiritual] flesh of the Son of man and drink his [risen] blood you can have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood possesses eternal life [the covenantal living memorial of raising the cup of salvation in victory of sin, death, and the world, praise God] and I will raise him up on the last day." John6,53-54. NEB
"The cup of blessing which we [all, like women too!] bless..." 1Corinthians10,16.
The Lord God Jesus gave us adult water baptism as a covenant memorial (per Matthew28,19 and Romans6,1-11 or rememberance, see Strongs 2143 Brown Driver Concordance 271) of his great deeds and his glorious and loving character. See N. 2 above.
Again we use Psalm111,4 as our springboard to see that the Lord's Supper is also a personal faith and communirty covenant memorial commanded of us per the scriptures immediately above: "He gives us a memorial [ie the principal Hebrew feasts. Exodus23,14] of his great deeds; Yahwweh is mercy and tenderness." NJB
Oh what a rich blessings we all enjoy by obeying Jesus' command to do "this" in memory of Him- ie as his one universal priesthood we bless the one cup of salvation and bless and break the bread, and then partake of this consecrated, ie real food and drink, remembering Jesus' great deed of Calvary- Him dying for our sins- and then rising on the third day.
We remember too the salvation command and promise of John6,53-54, the promise of eternal life by our personally and faithfully partaking of his risen body and blood, his real food and drink, ie Spiritual food and drink, 1Corinthians10,3-4, blessed food and drink, eternal food and drink.
Please note: Br. Tobin has 43 teachings to date about our communal celebration of the Lord's Supper at the Lord's table. So if this briefest of teachings seems strange at the moment, please pray about it, and also know that there is much further teaching on this subject on this site. I would be happy to dicuss this teaching with you at length and further explain it, and answer all your questions, and perhaps preach about it at your church, so you can take it to the Lord in prayer and assess it scripturally too.
8. Lukewarm and Apostate Faith Is Not Salvation
"Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Not everyone who says 'Lord', 'Lord', will enter the kingdom of heaven but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Matthew7,19-21.
Again God's wise, generous, merciful, challenging and always supernatural salvation doctrine is about living from faith to faith, from first to last. This new covenantal life of faith is the bible's good and holy antidote to the present day impious, poisonous and Antichrist Spirit of apostasy that now visibly and obviously grips so many churches.
Millions of souls have already fallen away, their love has already turned cold, impervious to God's promptings to return to living by our bible based faith. Lawlessness inside and outside the churches is rampant (Matthew24,12). Much of worldly Christianity is lukewarm (Revelation3,16) which "disgusts" the Lord!
Many have stopped running the race of salvation in favor of the materialism rat race. But we don't live by bread alone but by every Word that comes from the mouth of the Lord! The Word says even the best of us, like the Apostle Paul, must finish the race of salvation to keep to receive salvation! 1Corinthians9,27 cf Matthew24,10-14; 2Thessalonians2,3; Revelation17,15.
Summation And Review
One is born again and "saved" by personal and repentant faith in Jesus (born again in seed form) unto further obedient personal faith in Jesus and HIS WORD which includes covenantal adult water baptism unto receiving the linked promises of Holy Ghost baptism (both baptisms are fruit form faith) for all unto being fed real Spiritual food and real Spiritual drink at the table (1Corinthians10,3-4), and unto persevering faith rootedness and strength to finish the race of salvation without succumbing to the apostasy ("perfected"-completed- fruit form faith unto the heaven-kingdom cf NJBC Romans1,17) that has gripped Christianity for many centuries and is now glaring in our modern age.
Our salvation, praise Jesus, is supernaturally empowered by God's grace. It is the "perfected" or finished fruit of the cross, of the immolated risen lamb, of the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. This precious salvation is brought to us by our only Lord and only savior, Jesus Christ. With his grace and guiding compassion our faith is always forward and onward by our faithful "Yes" and "Amen" to the fullness of his promises and the fullness of the salvational commands of His New Testament Word.
And so we live by faith- like Jesus- from first faith to last faith, from strength to strength, confident of our salvation by a personal and living faith that keeps moving forward and is healthy and enthusiastic and bible based from first to last.
Oh glory- Come back soon Lord Jesus! We seek not just salvation for each of us, but that a final Zion Pentecost would open the salvation gates of the the millennial Kingdom, where we would all be together with You, in One faith and One Spirit, living and reigning with You, unto your eternal kingdom, praising your Holy Name all the while.
In the meantime Jesus, abide with us in One Spirit, watch over us, teach us to find unity in you, as we we constantly thank you for your mercy and your salvation of each of us.
Point To Ponder
"The multitude who sleep in the dust will awake; some to everlasting life, others to everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever." Daniel12,2-3
Glory to your Name Jesus!
We pray that by this teaching Zion Pentecost Mission would lead many to righteousness, and to the one salvation that is ours in your Holy Name!
And may we all share your gospel with joy, and with everybody we meet, with your focus and your wisdom, and your love, and your faith, and so some fine day shine like the stars for ever and ever.
Br. Tobin Hitt
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Preaching Hour TV weekly on Cox PATV Channel 15 in Cheshire, Southington and Meriden CT and on VCAM Channel 15 10pm Fridays in Burlington VT.read more...
Tobin Hitt is the founder of the Zion Pentecost Mission. He is open to gospel partnership with all, and identifies with Paul's description of our mission as ambassadors for our king, Jesus, urging all to reconcile with God (2Cor.20-21). He resides in Cheshire, Connecticut.read more...