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Drowning the Old Man

Scripture: Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Matthew 28:19
Jesus said, "I am the water of life." The Lord has provided a way for us to be washed and made new. It is called baptism. This was important to Jesus for our salvation. The Israelites passage through the Red Sea was a type of baptism. Jesus said to Nicodemus we must be born of water and the Spirit. His parting words to the disciples was to baptize people.
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Question and Answer: Karen Batchelor

KB—Question and Answer #1: Should I continue to go to church on Sunday after I learn of the Sabbath truth?

DB: Well, obviously, there gonna be many people in heaven who went to church on Sunday and they didn’t know better. Acts chapter 17 verse 30 says, “At the times of this ignorance God winks at,” (uh) “sin,” the Bible says, “is knowing to do good and not doing it.” I’ve had people come to the seminars before and half-way through they say, “You know I wish I never came.” (Audience laughs) A--and I say, “Why”? They say, “Well, because I were doing all kinds of things wrong and I didn’t know, now I know and I just can’t enjoy it anymore.” (Audience laughs)

And (uh) well, God doesn’t send these things to be a burden but to be what? A blessing! (KB: A blessing!) God sends the truth not to (uh) cause problems but to set you free, the truth will set you free. Let me answer that with a quick story—that question about the Sabbath. I heard a number of years ago in England there was a man who had a yardage shop and he would sell fabric to the people in his community. And then one day one of his customers came back a little bit irate and she says, “You sold me (uhm) four yards of fabric but I measured it when I got home and it was six inches short.” And he said, “That’s impossible (uh) I’ve always very careful but (uh) I’ll check it again.” He laid it out on his table and it was exactly right, he said, “As I told you.” She pulled out a tape measure, she measured it right there and she said, “Well, according to my tape measure your table is short (Audience laughs) and my fabric is short and I want my money back.” And he felt so bad cause he was an honest man.

Well, little research revealed that his father and grandfather who had owned the store before him and had the yardage table with the tape measure markings set right into the table. The measurements in England used to be changed from one monarch to the other based upon the size of the king’s foot. (Audience laughs) And I guess that his table was set up based on a different king with a shorter foot. (Audience laughs) Now he didn’t know that he had been selling customers short up until then. He was still an honest man because he didn’t know, but if he sells anymore fabric on that table without fixing it, is he still an honest man? (Audience answers “no”)

KB: No.

DB: There are many people who are keeping Sunday and God is blessing them because they don’t know any better. But when we learn the truth, if we continue to go back to error then is there a problem? There’s a problem. If you know these things, “Happy are ye if you do them,” Jesus said, amen?

KB—Question and Answer #2: Amen. I learned a lot from the Mark of the Beast presentation but am still unclear, what specifically is the mark?

DB: It--when I, a couple of people mentioned that and I thought I better make this very clear. First of all, we’ve learned the seal of God is the Holy Spirit, more specifically the law, “Seal my law among my disciples,” and then within the law which commandment has the element of the seal? (Audience answers “fourth”) The sa--the fourth commandment, the Sabbath commandment. The converse of that those who have the spirit of the beast and are obeying the laws of the beast, remember what we learned, in the hand and in the foreheads means in the thoughts, in the actions, they’re gonna receive the mark of the beast. And we have good reason to believe that the--let me just back up here.

Remember the first four commandments are different from the last six. Daniel chapter 3, the government of Babylon makes a law that you’ve got to break the commandment about idolatry and if you don’t you’re gonna be killed, that’s the second commandment. (Uh) They stand up and God blesses them. Daniel chapter 6, the government makes a law that you have to break the commandment about having other gods. Daniel stands up for the Lord and God blesses him. In the last days the devil is gonna make a law that we’ve got to break the fourth commandment and he’s so clever, he’s not gonna say break the commandments, he’s gonna say just do it a day other than I have said. But is that breaking the commandment? Does God mean what He says?

When God said to Joshua march around the city seven times and blow the trumpet, would he get the blessing if he did it after one time? God said to Naaman, wash seven times and you’ll be clean, what if he’d only washed once? Would have gone home a leper, am I right? God means what He says. This is gonna be the test in the last days. The laws of God, the laws of the beast, mark of the beast, seal of God, amen?

(Sound effects starts and ends before DB speaks)

Sermon Questions: Douglas Batchelor

Well, we’re so glad you’re here, friends. Tonight we have a very important study dealing with (uh) the subject of “Drowning the Old Man” and we have a lesson that corresponds with that and it’s called “Power in Purity.” But (uh) without anymore hesitation I’d like to get right into our study for tonight on the subject of “Drowning the Old Man.” I know that may sound a little bit ominous but (uh) it is actually, the thought is drawn from a passage we’ll get to a little later in the, in the (uhm) (uh) lesson tonight.

You know one of my favorite verses in the Bible is found in Revelation chapter 22 verse 1 where the prophet says, “He showed me a pure river of water of life clear as crystal.” You know it’s very hard to find a picture these days of a pure river, am I right? (Uh) Matter of fact, there are very, very few rivers in the world today especially the ones near populated areas that are not grossly polluted. And I’m looking forward to that day when you could actually drink from the river again. Garden of Eden, those pure rivers came from that garden of God and once again that pure water will be restored again.

You know I’ve got a few amazing facts on water. I’m gonna have to read some of these for you now because (uh) there is quite a few here. First of all, some of you know that about two-thirds of the human body weight is water. What a tremendous hidden amount! The liquid plasma found in blood is 90% water, while your bones are made up of 22% water. Human body will not survive more than five days withou--without water or less, depending on how hot or cold it is. One man in the Mexico earthquake a few years ago survived nine days without water cause he was (uh) trapped in a very damp spot.

(Uh) Some other interesting statistics: 75% of Americans are dehydrated, is this making you thirsty? (Audience laughs) Thirty seven percent of Americas, the thirst mechanism was so weak it’s often mistaken for hunger, you think you’re hungry and you really just thirsty and you could stave off eating if you drink some water. We’re going through a lot of water, bottled water backstage here. Even mild dehydration will slow down one’s metabolism as much as 3% this is why lack of water is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue. A lot of people think I’m so tired and they don’t know they’re really thirsty.

The Bible tells us we should hunger and thirst after righteousness. A University of Washington study revealed that one glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs from almost a hundred percent of those dieting in the study. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of those who suffer. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger a fuzzy short-term memory, a trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or the printed page. Your performance is enhanced because your mind is an electrochemical computer and water conducts electricity, it’s that simple. It won’t fire right if there’s no water. Drinking five glasses of water a day decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45% plus it will slash the risk of breast cancer by 79% and is 50%, a person doing that is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

It’s obvious from these facts that (uh) sufficient water can eliminate a whole host of common health problems and help us to perform better. Water is a natural cleanser in our body. It is a solvent that (uh) it helps to absorb and dissolve minerals, vitamin, bacteria, fungus, heavy metals, radioactive substances; water of course cleanses all the tissues in the body. And Jesus said, “I am the water of life.”

You know the Lord designed a way for us to be washed and get a new beginning. In the prophecies of the Bible it talks about God sitting upon the throne and His promise in Revelation 21 verse 5 is, He said, “I will make all things new.” Have you ever wished you could live a day over? Retract some words that you spoken? You ever wished you could be born again knowing what you know now and do a few things differently? You ever wished you could have a new beginning? Be born again? I’ve got good news for you, the Lord has devised a plan where we can experience a new birth it’s called “baptism.”

You know Revelation chapter 18 verse 4 talks about God calling His people out of spiritual Babylon in the last days. But you realize when He calls them out of something He’s calling them into something. And there is a service that the Lord has devised whereby we transition into a new life and that’s gonna be our subject and you’ll see that it does tie in to the themes of prophecy. You might be thinking, “Pastor Doug, why you’re trying to pull a fast one on us I just came cause I wanted to hear about prophecy and you’re trying to baptize us, you bet.” (Audience laughs)

Because what good is it if I share all these biblical information without inviting you to respond? Haven’t I told you that the devil knows a lot more than I do and you about prophecy? It’s not gonna save him. It’s a commitment to Jesus. And I’m convinced that as we commit ourselves to Christ if you walk in the light He gives you more light. So as you commit yourselves to the truth you’ll know more, you’ll understand more, He will reveal more to you. So this is part and parcel of understanding these themes.

We’re gonna go through our questions as we typically do and I’ve got a lot to cover so I may not get through all of the questions but (uh) don’t forget you can go to the prophecy code website and download a lot of the references and verses if you don’t have them available and (uh) they’ll be up hopefully on the website by tonight.

DB—Sermon Question #1: Number one. Is baptism really essential?

Let’s find out what Jesus said. Mark chapter 16 verse 16, He said, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved,” does that sound important to you? Now you notice He says believing first, baptism doesn’t make you start believing, you must believe first, “but he that believeth not shall be damned.” And again Jesus said John chapter 3 verse 5, He’s talking to Nicodemus, He said, “Most assuredly I say to you unless one is born of the water and the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” Now we need both births. Some churches emphasize the spirit birth and others emphasize water birth, Jesus says we need both births.

The experience of the children of Israel is a good example of the salvation process. When they begin their journey out of Egypt, God gave them first of all, you kill a lamb first. We first accept Jesus as our sacrifice then we begin our journey to the Promise Land, right? As they’re on their way out of Egypt they’re gonna go through the Red Sea. The Bible tells us in I Corinthians chapter 10 that Red Sea is a symbol of baptism. Paul says they were baptized in the sea. And it’s almost, Red Sea is almo—like a sea of blood, it’s a symbol of being washed in the water and the blood. And don’t forget when Christ’s side was pierced after He died, two streams came out: water and blood, am I right?

And on their way to the Red Sea a pillar of fire appeared from God to protect them from the Egyptians and followed them for 40 years, that’s a symbol of the Holy Spirit. They went through the Red Sea, they were baptized in the water, as they went through the wilderness everyday they had this pillar of fire that illuminated the camp at night, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, and during the day it gave them shade. They were baptized in the cloud, Paul said, and in the sea, in the water and in the spirit. We need both baptisms, isn’t that what the Bible teaches?

Just a little added knowledge, someday God’s gonna make a new heaven and a new earth but even this world before it is born again must be baptized in water and baptized in fire. The water--world was baptized in water back in the days of Noah, it’ll be baptized in fire, II Peter chapter 3 when Jesus comes again and then He’ll create a new world. Everything in that new world needs both baptisms, including you and me, amen? Gonna be born again.

Is baptism important? Jesus said, Matthew 28:19, His parting words, now in our day of modern communication we don’t think of parting words the same way because we’re constantly in touch with everybody. But (uh) until about 50 years or 80 years ago that wasn’t the case and if you left someone you knew you weren’t gonna talk to them for a while you think carefully about your parting words. You’d want to encourage, admonish, the parting words of Jesus for His disciples, here they are, “Go, ye, therefore, teach all nations, baptizing them.” You would think that the last words of Jesus should be a first priority for Christians, does that make sense? Was it important, yes or no? (Audience answers “yes”) Yes it is! It is an important thing to teach.

DB—Sermon Question #2: Number two. Some are thinking, “Well Doug, it’s not that big a deal because you can get to heaven without baptism, what about all those people in the Old Testament, what about the thief on the cross? The thief on the cross wasn’t baptized, why should I be? You remember the story in Luke tells us about Jesus being crucified between two thieves? Jesus told one of the thieves, “I’m telling you, today, you’re going to be with me in Paradise.” He will be saved. He didn’t come down from the cross and get baptized, (uh) so maybe it’s not important.

Well, if he could have, he would have. (Uh) God doesn’t expect us to do what we can’t do; our problem is we don’t wanna do what we can do. And furthermore, the Lord will never ask you to do something without making a way. Now--and our verse that we’d like to share is James 4:17, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it’s a sin,” he couldn’t do it.

Every now and then I’ll visit somebody in the hospital who’s on their death bed and maybe they would like to accept Jesus. My brother died of cystic fibrosis, I was holding his hand when he stopped breathing and (uh) he asked me to pray for him, which is really something because my brother used to tease me about my religion most of the time. During meals I’d offer to ask the blessing and he’d make fun of me. But when he was dying he asked me to pray for him. But because of his sickness it was absolutely impossible for him to be baptized. I’m hoping I see him in the kingdom.

But I thought baptism was important. Think about this, why was Jesus baptized, for His sin? Or was He baptized as an example for you and me so we’ll know what to expect? But here’s one more thing to think about, Christ did not die for His sin, He died and gives us credit for His holiness, is that right? (Audience says “amen”) Perhaps Jesus’ baptism is also something that those who are unable to be baptized they can take credit for His baptism. People who might be in a prison, on death row, and the prison won’t accommodate a baptism and they want to accept Jesus, is that gonna be an obstacle for their salvation? I don’t think so. I think that they can lay claim on Christ’s baptism, baptism is important. My question would be why would a Bible-believing, Jesus-following Christian not want to be baptized, really? Isn’t that the question?

DB—Sermon Question #3: Number three. There are many ordinances called “baptism,” isn’t any one of these acceptable?

I mean let’s face it a lot of churches have a whole spectrum of different methods of baptism, does it really matter? What does the Bible say in Ephesians 4:5? Paul tells us there; say it with me, “There is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism.” (Audience reads with him) And it’s safe to assume there’s one biblical method of baptism. (Uh) The meaning of it, the symbolism is very important. Matter of fact, the very word “baptized,” the method is in the word. It comes from the Greek word “baptizo” which means to dip, to immerse, to plunge under water. And so when a person gets baptized by anything other than immersion it’s not really Bible baptism.

You can find this same word used in ancient Greek literature when the dying industry, they would dye cloth, they had these big vats of purple or some color and they, in their ancient Greek instructions, they would say, “You baptizo the cloth,” you push it under, if you sprinkled it you get polka dots, right?, you don’t not really dye it.

Here’s just a small sampling of some of the different methods of baptism that are practiced by a variety of churches. You’ve got trying the (uhm) immersion, some churches baptize a person three times, once for the Father, once for the Son, once for the Holy Spirit, sometimes face down, some have been baptized with rose petals, I don’t know where that comes from, some oil, (uh) others sprinkle water, effusion, they pour, (uh) then there’s those who just speak words, I gu—that’s the dry cleaning method, (Audience laughs) I guess, when no water, wine th--they of course sprinkle, some do it through the mail, they say only Holy Spirit baptism is all that matters, (uh) and salt, and the--there’s all these different methods that are used and called baptism.

You might be thinking, “Doug, you’re being fanatical saying it really makes a big difference how you are baptized,” but it does make a difference. Let me illustrate. The Lord only gave the church two sacred (uh) services: the Lord’s Supper communion and baptism. We know that that bread during the communion service is a symbol of the body of Christ; isn’t that right? And the grape juice is a symbol of the blood of Jesus. Some pastors are saying, “Ah it’s just a symbol it doesn’t matter.”

And I’ve heard of youth pastors that get their young people together they say, “We’re gonna have a communion service but since it’s just a symbol we’re gonna go to McDonald’s, we’re gonna have hamburgers and coca-cola and we’re just gonna pray over it and that will be our communion service.” Is it just me or is that sacrilegious? Yeah, I think that’s-- that’s blasphemous. You lose the symbolism and the meaning that Jesus wanted to teach; I mean you’re not gonna compare a Big Mac to the body of Jesus. A matter of fact, the more you eat those, the less like Jesus you look (Audience laughs) (Laughs) so…

DB—Sermon Question #4: Number four. How was Jesus baptized?

He’s our example right? A Christian is a follower of Christ. So let’s look at the example of Christ and then we know we’re safe. Mark number, chapter 1 verse 9 and 10, “Jesus came to John the Baptist and was baptized of John in the Jordan River and straightway coming up out of the water He saw the heavens opened.” So, obviously, He went to the river and came up out of the water; is it safe to assume in order to come up out of the water, you must go down into the water? (Audience answers “yes”) Christ went down, it was immersion. He was baptized where the water completely folded over Him.

(Uh) And again in those days Matthew chapter 3 verse 1 and verse 5 and 6, “John the Baptist went preaching in the wilderness of Judea and then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan confessing their sins.” Now if it’s true as some churches teach that sprinkling little water constitutes baptism, did John need a river? Couldn’t you use any of the springs or wells, or canteen? You can sprinkle with a canteen. The very fact that they needed a river indicates that, a matter of fact, next answer fills this in, John chapter 3 verse 23, “And John the Baptist also was baptizing in Anon near Salem,” why? “Because there was much water there and the people came and were baptized.”

(Uh) It’s very obvious from the examples in the Bible that the method of baptism was to immerse and to bring them back up again. You know I’ll share something with you that I’ve observed in my 25 years of pastoring, some people are afraid of water. And (uh) I’ve--I--I did a baptism in India a few years ago and a lot of the people there don’t swim where I was because the rivers were so polluted. And we had them get into a YMCA swimming pool and even though you--they could stand, many of them struggle and thrashed around when it came time for baptism and they confessed they were a little frightened about somebody putting them under the--it’s like I’m gonna drown them. And some people are a little ner--I wanna have a show of hands but it makes--gives them the heebie-jeebies the idea of someone else pushing them under.

You know I’m always very careful when I baptize people I say the water is fold over, tip your nose, bring you back up again I won’t hold you under. I did, I did hear one time about a baptism in Northern California where this Spanish gentleman was gonna get baptized in--in a lake. And just before the baptism he told the pastor he said, “You know I’ve been thinking, and pastor, I want--I’ve lived a bad life and when I get baptized,” he said, “I want you to just hold me under for a minute I wanna have a prayer while I’m under the water.” (Audience laughs) He says, “No problem,” he says, “I’m a great swimmer this won’t be a problem, don’t worry about me.”

And the pastor felt a little uneasy, he’d failed to tell the whole family that was watching this (Audience laughs) you know, the whole church gathered on the shore, the Pastor said, “Okay,” said “when I’m done praying I’ll just pinch your finger, your hand, and that you can pull me back up again.” So the pastor said, “In the name of the Father, Son, the Holy Spirit,” and he put him under and he’s goin wait a sec—all the family are going (Laughs) (Audience laughs) and then they were ready to charge the pastor they thought he was drowning him and finally brought him back up again and everyone took a breath. (Audience laughs)

But (uh) it--the idea is it represents a death and a burial. You know when you’re under water you typically hold your breath, right? Unless you’re scuba diving; and that’s when you’re born what’s the first thing a baby does when it comes out of the water? It breathes you know and if it’s not breathing you start to worry. And so it’s a symbol of you hold your breath, breath in the Bible is a symbol for life, God breathed into Adam the breath of life he became a living soul and then you come up again a new breath, new life, water represents cleansing and that’s why when it’s not done that way you lose the significance.

DB—Sermon Question #5: Number five. But didn’t the disciples or the apostles change the method of baptism?

Some say, “Well, it must have changed after the time of Jesus and John the Baptist.” You don’t find that in the Bible. For instance in Acts chapter 8 verse 38 and 39, you remember when (uh) Philip was baptizing the treasurer of Ethiopia, worked under Candice the Queen. It says they went found water, he accepted the truth, he wanted to get baptized, they went down both into the water both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him and when they were come up out of the water the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip. Philip was actually beamed by the Lord somewhere else for other work as soon as he finished baptizing him. So that’s something else to think about. God’s Spirit directed Philip down to the desert of Gaza to baptize one man and then as soon as he was done He actually transported him somewhere else. Only time to--how important was baptism? He said there’s someone who needs to get baptized down here, and I’m gonna do something supernatural to get you there and get you back.

DB—Sermon Question #6: Number six. Since Jesus and the disciples baptized by immersion, who introduced all of these others so called baptisms that exist in the world today?

Well, the answer is in the Bible, Jesus said Matthew chapter 15 verse 9, “But in vain do they worship me teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” You know you will find that the devil has a counterfeit for every important truth of Jesus, do you believe that? (Audience answers “yes”) And if you were the devil you do the same thing, you would find the most important truths and you would want to somehow pervert or distort them.

The devil’s got a counterfeit for love, doesn’t he? A lot of people don’t know what love is, they watch so much of the media’s concept of love and there’s a confusion between love and lust, am I right? A lot of young people come to me and say, “Pastor, we wanna get married, we’re in love,” and I know they’re in heat, they’re not in love they’ve just been watching (Audience laughs) too many tv programs, they have no idea.

The devil’s got a counterfeit for the Holy Spirit, am I right? Some people think that the Holy Spirit, you know just gonna make you scream and yell and carry on in church and not live a holy life, and they put all the emphasis on this experiential worship service but as soon as they’re out of church they’re living like the devil again, is that the Holy Spirit? No, that’s not how the Holy Spirit—he’s got a counterfeit Sabbath, doesn’t he? He’s got a counterfeit baptism. Counterfeit for just about every truth that’s important you can think of.

Goes on Mark chapter 7 verse 8, “For laying aside the commandment of God you hold the tradition of men.” Jesus, did Jesus say the commandments of God are more important than traditions? It doesn’t matter if a church has been doing it 2000 years, if it’s not in the Bible it’s a tradition of men. And you know the bottom line is in the last days we’re gonna have to decide, would we rather obey God or man?

With Daniel, he said, “I’d rather obey God than man.” Shadrach, Meschack, and Abednego, “I’d rather obey God than man,” I could go right down the line for the Bible heroes and the reason they were heroes is they didn’t care what the world thought more than they’ve cared about what God thought. Christ began His ministry by saying to the religious leaders, “You pray to be seen of men, you fast to be seen of men, you give to be seen of men,” you care more about what people think of your religion than what God thinks of your religion. And that is I’ve just put my finger on one of the core issues in this seminar, God is wanting people who will not follow Him based on what everybody around them is doing but what does the Bible say (Audience says “amen”), “Thus sayeth the Lord,” following the word of Jesus, and that would mean in something as important as baptism, certainly.

You know I’ve traveled all over the world and (uh) for instance if you go to Philippi there is a first century church there and many of the churches were built around baptisteries, it was a central part of the whole church architecture. (Uhm) Again (uh) you could travel to (uh) Italy and this is I’ve been to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and across the courtyard is another church and that whole church is built over a baptistery. Here’s another one in Rome, some of the churches were built all around these baptisteries and y--you could find it almost everywhere.

A matter of fact, these modern methods of baptism didn’t come in quickly; they came in over a period of hundreds of years. You can read in history, it wasn’t until the Council of Ravenna in 1311 AD that sprinkling and pouring were officially accepted as equally valid as immersion in the rite of baptism. You know slowly what happened is for instance somebody would be sick and the priest would say, “Well, you know baptism is important and so we--we need to baptize and since they can’t get in the water let’s dip a sheet in the water, we’ll wrap them.” They started doing that. And then there was royalty that needed baptism and they said, “You know they’re wearing crowns and they got these expensive hairdos we don’t wanna mess it up and since it’s just a symbol, we’ll pour.”

And (uh) you know when I do baptisms at our church in Sacramento if a husband and wife get baptized together I always tell the man I said, “You’re first,” said, “a couple of reasons: one, you’re the priest of the family,” said, “the other reason is women don’t like to stand there with wet hair while their husbands are getting baptized.” (Audience laughs) Soon as they come up out of the water they wanna go for the hairdryer right away. (Audience laughs) (Laughs) So, but really that was a factor and they thought you know it just, it doesn’t look dignified. But I wanna ask you, it’s a symbol of death, burial, resurrection, birth, and I’ve seen all those things they never looked dignified, have you seen a dignified birth? (Audience laughs) Ahh I can see you seen some before, or a dignified death? (Uhm) Y--you know it’s, t--this is what it represents and so there might be (uh) an element of humility involved in it, amen?

Again, more history from the Bible scholar (uh) Dean Stanley in “Christian Institutions” page 21, “For the first 13 centuries the almost universal practice of baptism was that which we read in the New Testament only that which we read which is the very meaning of the word baptize. Those who were baptized were plunged, submerged, immersed into the water.”

You know what I think is interesting you’ll start noticing this is a painting and there’s thousand of paintings like this. This one appears at 1500 AD, this painting. Jesus is being baptized by John the Baptist with a little sea shell of water pouring on His head. You’d be amazed how much ignorance there was during the Middle Ages in Europe regarding the Promise Land. The Promise Land during that time was occupied by the Moslems and that’s why they had the Crusades and they knew almost nothing, they thought that the sea of Galilee had seashells and the Jordan River and the--it’s fresh water there’s no seashells there, and they have Him you see standing on the bank and getting this little sea shell of water poured on His head and you’ll see a lot of this in the artwork then it began to change. And all these myths developed around it but the symbolism of being born again, washed, married, and (uh) crucified, buried, all that was lost. The Lord wants us to return to His word, amen? We are to contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints.

DB—Sermon Question #7: Number seven. What must a person do to prepare for baptism?

Now this is very important. Answer? Several things I’m gonna give you.

Answer A. First of all you want to understand the teachings of Jesus. Jesus said, “Go, ye, therefore, teach all nations…” and there’s a teaching that should take place prior to baptism. You’re going to hear me frequent--frequently refer to baptism in the context of a marriage because there’s a lot of similarities, (uh) it’s something that’s often done publicly, it represents a commitment, a commitment that is based on love, and (uh) it is a commitment that gives privileges afterwards.

Two people might be dating each other and they might enjoy each other’s company and (uh) hold hands and stuff but do we all agree, if you’re old fashioned you do, that there’s some privileges and rights you don’t have before marriage that you do have afterward. Do you notice something different happening to Jesus’ ministry after baptism? That’s where it takes off He’s filled with the Spirit. You might have an element of God’s Spirit before baptism but He promises the Holy Spirit with your baptism. So there should be teaching, what’s required, what the--what’s expected.

You know people who get married right after they meet somebody you know these (uh) like you know, I forget who is it Dennis Rodman that got married one night and divorced two days later? You wake up and you say, “Who are you”? (Uh) “We got married last night.” (Audience laughs) Do those marriages last? You wanna get to know who you’re making the commitment to, so there’s teaching.

Answer B. We are to believe all the primary teachings. Now I’m not suggesting that anybody can know everything about the Bible. How many of you knew everything about your spouse before you got married? (Laughs) I saw one hand, (Laughs) he didn’t hear the question, (Laughs) (Audience laughs) he was just being supportive. (Laughs) (Audience laughs) But (uh) w--would we all agree that you learned a lot after? You—some of you are going yeahhh—(Audience laughs) (Laughs) There is still more to learn but you want to know who you’re making the commitment to, right? And so you should know these things, you should be believing the teachings of Jesus. It’s one thing to know, it’s another thing to believe all of the primary teachings.

Answer C. A sorrow for and a turning away from the sin. Some people think, this is a very common mistake that is made in many churches and I don’t think my church is immune, the idea that you get baptized in order to have some special power to overcome sin, that’s a myth. You are to love the Lord and commit your life to the Lord before baptism. John the Baptist said to those who came, “Bring you forth fruits mete for repentance,” he said, “repent and be baptized.” Repentance means a sorrow for sin and a turning away from it.

Let’s go back to the illustration of marriage, (uh) ladies, suppose that you are dating somebody that you were planning on marrying and he said to you, “You know I think I’d like to marry you and if we could just get married I’m almost positive I could stop dating these other girls.” (Audience laughs) How many of you would accept his proposal? No one put their hand at that time, (Audience laughs) they were listening. (Audience laughs) You would want to know those other relationships were gone, am I right?

Well, the sins that represent bondage to the devil, those chains must be broken. Christ sets you free before baptism. The idea that baptism is where you suddenly get deliverance, that’s not taught in the Bible, you commit your life to Jesus, you choose to love Him, you turn away from your life to sin, you make that decision and then you baptize. (Uh) The service doesn’t make you--it’s like you know some guys saying to a gal, “You know I think if we just got married then I’d love you.” That’s really what some people say to Jesus though, “You know if I could just get baptized…”

And I’ve had to labor with souls who say, “You know Doug, I’ve been struggling with heroin, if you just baptize me I think then I could break it,” I said cause what you end up with then is you’ve got people coming into the church of God and you know y--you going to visit them in jail, they’re telling everybody in jail they’re saying, “Yeah, I just got baptized, I’m a member of such and such a church,” and they got needle marks up and down their arm or their blowing smoke in your face, “yeah,” and it destroys the witness of Christ. It’s supposed to represent a new life, freedom.

And while I’m on the subject I remember going to the pastor before I got baptized. I got baptized twice I’ll tell you about that later, no, I’ll tell you about it now. (Audience laughs) This would be a good time. When I was up in the cave and (uh) I read the Bible and I was accepting Jesus, I really did not have the benefit of fellowship and I know about how important that is, I mean, I--probably not too many people in this room or who are watching, that can say that you’ve gone five days a week without seeing another human being, no telephone, no tv, no radio, no human contact whatsoever, I mean I lived like a hermit, long spells.

And so I accepted Jesus and I remember I was up in my cave, some hikers came by. And it was actually (uh) two members of (uh) I won’t tell what church it was, two Christians, very zealous, nice guys. And they sat down, they said, “Do you know are you Christian”? I thought, “Oh, that’s great that they would ask me that I--I’ve, for that first time I thought I can say “yes” cause I’d prayed in my cave and accepted Jesus, you accept Jesus just like you are, you don’t wait till you give up your sins before you come to Jesus, right? And they had accepted Jesus, I had accepted Jesus, but I hadn’t learned very much.

And they said, “Have you been baptized yet”? And you know it was a new thought for me I’d read about it a little bit in the Bible but I--it hadn’t really occurred to me he said, “Oh you got to be baptized,” and they gave me a real rapid fire Bible study on the importance of baptism and--and left me feeling a real sense of urgency and I said, “Well I guess—yeah, I guess I need to do this,” and they weren’t teaching me.

And right outside my cave I had a beautiful crystal clear pool of--of water, it actually came from melted snow on top of Mt. San Jacinto. And (uh) it was spring time so it was very cold and (uh) they said, “Well let’s get baptized,” so I stripped down and one of them got into the water with me and he baptized me and I’ll tell you I felt born again too after he put me under that cold water. (Audience laughs) I did feel different but (uh) I was so excited, now after they baptized me they left shortly after that and I thought man, I could go tell this is great, you know I’m gonna go to town.

I went to town and I bought some beer to celebrate my baptism. (Audience laughs) And I celebrated a little too much with a friend of mine and before the sun went down that day I was in jail. (Audience laughs) Do you think that (uh) and I was witnessing to people in jail absolutely sincere but I look back down and I shake my head go, aughhh. (Audience laughs)

You know and there I was a little later I found another church with a pastor who understood the Bible better and I said, “Pastor, I think I need rebaptism.” (Laughs) I said, “I didn’t understand things the first time,” and he said, “Well, Doug, some things you need to take care of.” I was still smoking, he says, “You need to give up your smoking,” I said (uh) “The Lord knows I love Him and I understand the Bible now,” he says, “I know you do,” he said, “but you know baptism represents a new birth and Jesus doesn’t want His baby smoking.” (Audience laughs) It doesn’t look right, (Audience laughs) and what do you gonna do, you’re gonna blow smoke rings on someone’s face and say, “Praise the Lord I just got baptized” (Audience laughs). Do you agree there’s something wrong with that picture? And he said, “God can give you deliverance for this just as easy before your baptism, matter of fact, easier before than after.” And you know I, by the grace of God, I threw away my cigarettes, two weeks later I was baptized, I’ve never had another one (Audience says “amen”) and He gave me the victory.

And I think that’s the way it’s supposed to work, friends, amen? You come to Jesus as you are but then you repent, turn away from your sins, what else is required? You wanna believe from your heart. You remember when Philip was studying with the--and this is in Acts chapter 8, Philip is studying with the Ethiopian treasurer and he says, “I wanna be baptized,” he says, “If you believe with all your heart you may,” and so it’s not only being taught, it’s believing with your heart.

(Uh) Every now and then somebody will come to me and they’ll say, “I need to get baptized,” I say, “Oh, that’s exciting,” I’ll start talking to them and they don’t seem very excited. And I’ll come to find out they’ll say, “Well, my girlfriend’s a member of the church she won’t marry me, be my wife unless I got baptized.” Should you baptize a person for those motives? As much as they love that person you need to marry the Lord cause you really loved Him, otherwise, it’s like being a gold digger marrying someone for ulterior motives, right? It should be love.

Answer E. Agree to turn from your life of sin. I already covered this when I talked about repentance. Now in light of the criteria for baptism, do you find the Bible teaching that it’s appropriate to baptize babies? Can a baby repent of its sins? Can a baby be taught? Does a baby believe? All the things the Bible says should precede baptism a baby can’t do any of those. Now I know what some of you are thinking, “Pastor Doug, I was baptized as a baby, are you telling me my baptism isn’t worth anything”? Not really. First of all, the Lord accepts you where you are.

There’s a great misunderstanding among a lot of churches. When Jesus was a baby, His parents brought Him to the temple and dedicated Him, it was a dedication. Even Jesus didn’t know about it, did He? Eight days old, you think He remembered? No. He was baptized at 30. There’s a big difference between the two. Many of you may have been baptized as babies and your parents meant well but you shouldn’t call it baptism, it’s really a dedication.

Baptism must be your choice and if you’ve not been baptized biblically or if you we’re baptized as a baby, I told you I’ve got a convoluted religious background; father was Baptist, mother was Jewish, both sort of agnostic. I was born in Saint Joseph’s Catholic Hospital and someone told me that the nuns there back then would baptize Jewish babies hoping to save them, so who knows I might have been baptized as a baby, I don’t remember. But if you don’t remember when you made your commitment to Jesus, ladies do you like it when your husband doesn’t remember you anniversary? No. (Laughs) Well, in the same way you should be able to say this is the day I made my commitment to dedicate my life to Jesus, amen? And so it’s a--a decision you should make so baby baptism isn’t biblical.

Galatians chapter 1 verse 8 Paul says, “But even though we or an angel from heaven should preach any other gospel than that which we have preached unto you let him be accursed.” God’s word pronounces a curse on those who try to distort, to pervert the pure teachings of the gospel. We want to be Bible Christians, amen?

You know as Jesus left the church was full of the Spirit and very close to Christ. It drifted for a thousand years, the church is coming back to the Bible before Jesus comes back (Audience says “amen”) that’s why these meetings are happening, it’s calling people from all different backgrounds back to Bible truth, amen?

DB—Sermon Question #8: Number eight. What is the meaning of baptism? What is the symbolism of baptism all about?

Answer? Second (uh) Colossians chapter 2 verse 12, it says, “We are buried with Him in baptism where in also you are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God who has raised Him from the dead.” It’s--talks about a burial and a resurrection. Some people think that you know we keep Sunday to remember the resurrection. It doesn’t say that in the Bible, it says that in honor of the resurrection what we’re supposed to do is be baptized, that’s the memorial of the resurrection.

And again Romans chapter 6 verse 4, “Therefore, we are buried with Him by baptism into death that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in,” what kind? “A newness of life,” it’s a new life, a new ministry, and this is God’s plan for you. And it goes on here, “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death we shall also be raised in the likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this that our,” here’s the word that was in our title, “our old man is crucified with Him, the old man is drowned.”

You know we all have two natures at war: the Bible calls it the spirit and the flesh, the carnal nature and the spiritual nature. They’re at war with each other, part of us wants to follow the Lord and part of us wants to follow the things of the world and the flesh, and we must choose; baptism is a choice to crucify and bury and drown the old man that you can come out born again and a new creature. And it’s something you can even renew mentally, everyday. Paul says, “I die daily,” meaning I say I’m crucified with Christ, I bury, I repeat that baptism experience in my mind everyday.

So baptism represents a burial, baptism represents a birth, and you know it’s interesting that even as a baby is developing it’s in an envelope of water that constantly purifies. It’s an amazing thing how babies develop, it can actually, i--it’s fed through the blood of the mothe--mother but it has a different blood type, as that blood goes through the placenta it transforms, it purifies, that is an incredible thing that the Lord has devised. Who was it, Solomon who said, “What a wonder it is who does know how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child,” it’s (uh) amazing thing, so it represents a new birth.

And some have read the verse where Jesus said, “Unless you’re born of the water and born of the spirit,” and they think born of the water means physical birth. But why would He say that? It means unless you’re born of the water baptism born of the Spirit, Holy Spirit. Baptism is water birth, it’s a choice you may make; Holy Spirit is a choice God makes, right? Why would Paul say—I’m sorry, why would Jesus say, “Unless you’re born of a woman,” how many here are born of a woman? (Audience laughs) Why would you even say that? See? So it represents the water birth and the spiritual birth.

And it also represents not only a new birth where you breathe new life it represents cleansing, let’s face it, water does represent a cleansing from sin, and it represents a marriage, a commitment to Christ. Galatians chapter 3 verse 27, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” He then clothes you with His robe and it’s--it’s sort of symbolic of those in Revelation that are clothed with those pure white robes.

DB—Sermon Question #9: Number nine. But a person should not be baptized until he is certain he will never slip and fall, should he?

It’s posed us a question. If a person waits until they have an assurance that they’re never gonna slip and fall, will they ever get baptized? (Audience says “no”) No, you need--there’s an element of faith involved. After Peter, James, and John were baptized they started following Jesus, did they slip and fall? Yeah. But did they make the wrong decision to get baptized? No, it was the right decision.

II Corinthians chapter 8 verse 12, “If there first be a willing mind it is accepted according to what a man hath and not according to what he doesn’t have.” God wants you to come to Him with a willing heart and say, “Lord, I’m doing all I can and I’m gonna make the commitment.” As I said again with marriage, (uhm) do you have any guarantees you never gonna have an argument with you future spouse when you get married? Or are you counting on it? Yeah, that-- the (Laughs) (Audience laughs) thanks for the support dear, you expect there’s gonna be disagreement, there’s gonna be growth and (uh) but you--you’re ready to make the commitment, there needs to be commitment.

Alright, let’s move on here and it says, “Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it.” There must be love before baptism. You need to love Jesus when you see how much He loved you. The Bible says we love Him because He first loved us. When we see how much He suffered and died that we might be forgiven, it should engender, inspire within us a mutual love for Him, a reciprocal love for Him.

DB—Sermon Question #10: Number ten. Why is baptism an urgent matter for a converted sinner?

The Bible says in Acts chapter 22 verse 16, After Paul went through that dramatic conversion there Ananias said to him, “Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins,” see it’s a symbol of washing too, isn’t it? “Wash away thy sins calling on the name of the Lord,” and so it’s something we do where we call on God and we ask Him to wash away our sins. And then again, Matthew 28 verse 19, Jesus said, “Go, ye, therefore, teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” And so there’s to be that desire.

Now before I go any further I get a lot of questions on this so I’ve included it in--in the lesson, in what name should we be baptized? Have you heard churches dispute this before? What is the utterance, what proclamation do you make when people are baptized? You know I’ve done a study in the Bible first of all, Jesus says in Matthew 28:19, “Baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” and I figured the words of Jesus are the safest, amen? (Audience says “amen”)

But there’s certainly nothing wrong with the other examples in the Bible, Acts chapter 2 verse 38, “Baptize in the name of Jesus Christ, in the name of the Lord Jesus,” is Acts 8:16 and, “in the name of the Lord.” Matter of fact, you’ll find 4 or 5 different ways that it’s said in the Bible. So I don’t see that God is making the exact utterance, the priority, and some churches build a whole doctrine over this, don’t get distracted by that.

When I do a wedding, occasionally, I do weddings, I do very few you’d be surprised, because a lot of people, especially the women are maybe superstitious about having someone named Batchelor sign their marriage certificate. (Audience laughs) That’s my--that’ my guess, but when I do a wedding I will meet with the groom and the bride ahead of time and I’ll say, “Now how would you like to do the vows”? And I give them several options in the vows and one thing I’ve done is, I’ve noticed this, that almost always they strike out the word, “to obey,” I that’s--that’s it seems like it’s gone by the wayside.

But sometimes they’ll want it a little more informal, where informal--where I’ll say, “Do you John take Betty”? And sometimes they’ll want me to say, “Do you John Jones III or whatever take Betty, Elizabeth McPhersen,” and then (uh) you know they--they come up--they want the whole thing. But you know what, there is not a state in the country that would have a problem recognizing that marriage as authentic when they make those vows in front of witnesses and they sign the certificate the utterance is never the issue.

So people get all twitterpated about exactly how the preacher says it when the people get baptized, that’s not good theology. I don’t know if I should tell you this but I know one pastor, he was an Am--American Pastor and he was baptizing a Hispanic member whose primary language was Spanish and he wanted to accommodate him and say the utterance in his own language and so he was gonna say, “El enombre dela padre espiritu e iho espiritu santo,” right? Something like that, and when it came time I guess he get a little flustered and he said, “El enombre dela papa,” (Audience laughs) and so he baptized him in the name of the Pope. (Audience laughs) And then, or the potato, the word for potato is also papa. (Laughs) (Audience laughs)

So, but you know I think that the angels probably laughed just like you’re laughing, was his baptism valid? Did everybody witnessing including God know who He was committing His life to? That’s what makes the contract valid in any court in the land and so churches sometimes get distracted with these things.

Now an important question to address also is rebaptism, is rebaptism ever appropriate? You’ve got one example in the Bible where 12 individuals were re-baptized, Acts chapter 19, you can start with the first verse but verse 2 begins where (uh) Paul meets these 12 Ephesian believers who are baptized by John the Baptist, biblical baptism by immersion, same baptism as Jesus and the apostles, but they then left and went back to Ephesus before Christ began His ministry and they missed everything about Jesus.

And so when Paul met ‘em, he asked them you know, “How were you baptized did you receive the Holy Spirit? And they said we have not heard as whether there even be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them unto what then were you baptized? And they said, unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him that is, on Jesus Christ. When they heard this they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus,” they were re-baptized and the Bible goes on to say, “then they were filled with the spirit.

Now they were not re-baptized cause they had wandered but there are probably three reasons and you might listen carefully here, three reasons for rebaptism, biblically. One would be if you are baptized biblically but you’ve wandered from the Lord basically, you’ve divorced yourself from the Lord (uh) rebaptism might be appropriate. Talk to your pastor about that. Another reason like these 12 Ephesian believers, you’ve come into a whole knowledge of the truth that you did not know. Matter of fact, I know one Baptist pastor, he was baptized by immersion and he learned the truth about the Sabbath and he said, “I want rebaptism.” He’d been a godly man he said, “I’ve been baptized into nine commandments but now I wanna be baptized into all ten.” And he was re-baptized and he never regretted it. And then the third reason is if you were baptized but it was not biblical baptism then you should be re-baptized. And as I mentioned I was baptized twice cause the first ti--first time I had no idea what I was doing and the second time I understood the commitment, and that was twenty-six, seven years ago, I forget.

BB—Sermon Question #11: Number 11. Does a person receive the Holy Spirit when they’re baptized?

There’s a wonderful promise in Acts chapter 2 verse 38, Peter said unto them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you,” might receive, you could, you may? What does it say? “You shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” You know I think a lot of people have gotten baptized and they didn’t know that they were to claim that promise.

God has said--how do you know you’re forgiven when you’re baptized? Cause the Lord promises you that if you confess your sins that He’ll cleanse you from all unrighteousness, right? And in the same way when He says if you’re baptized I’ll give you the gift of the Holy Spirit, He promises it, you can believe it, amen?

Now the order in which the Holy Spirit comes varies in the Bible. With the baptism of Jesus the Holy Spirit came down when He was baptized, right? Sometimes it happens afterward, the apostles were baptized by John the Baptist but the outpouring of the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost three and a half years later. If you read in the Bible Acts chapter 10, the story of Cornelius, a Roman centurion and his household, they were baptized in the Holy Spirit and Peter said wait you’re getting things backwards and then he baptized them in water, they got baptized in the Spirit first.

So sometimes the Spirit happens first, sometimes it happens at the same time as baptism, sometimes the baptism of the Holy Spirit happens after the baptism. But (uh) it’s supposed to go with your baptism, why? It’s impossible for you to live the Christian life without the Christian spirit. When Christ was baptized, did He begin a ministry? See, baptism isn’t just for you, baptism is God’s way of enlisting you in His army, He has a work for you to do, He has an office for you, and baptism will represent that time.

DB—Sermon Question #12: Number 12. How does God feel about the baptism of a converted person? What is His attitude?

Answer? “And it came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and He was baptized of John in Jordan, and there came a voice from heaven saying, thou art my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” Now I want you to turn in your Bibles, this is probably one of the important verses for us to consider, turn in your Bible to the book of Matthew and I want you to read in Matthew chapter 3 and I’m gonna read verse 16.

Christ was not baptized for His sin, do we all agree? He is baptized in behalf of those who could not be. And it says here, “When Jesus was baptized He came up immediately from the water and behold the heavens were opened to Him.” When you’re baptized the heavens are opened for you, a new access to heaven. And it goes on to say, “The heavens were opened to Him and He saw,” you will see more clearly when you’re baptized, “the Spirit of God,” Spirit of God came into your, came into His life, it will come into your life, “coming in the form of a dove,” what does that mean? What does a dove represent? Holy Spirit and what k--what attribute? Peace!

God will bring peace into your life; you’ll know that you’re one with God. If you know that you’re doing what God wants, should anything else bother you? If you’re aware God wants you, if you know you’ve got everlasting life, doesn’t that bring peace? Absolutely! “The Spirit descending like a dove and lighting upon Him, and then a voice from heaven came saying this is my beloved son,” you’ll hear that voice from heaven speaking to you and guiding you and it says, “You’re my beloved son, my daughter, you’re adopted, you’re now part of my family.”

Not everybody’s part of God’s family, Jesus said to the religious leaders, “You’re of your father, the devil; you’re not children of Abraham.” But you are adopted into the family, “in whom I am well pleased.” The same way God the father was pleased with Jesus, He will look upon you and He will see you as perfect and pure as His own Son, isn’t that a wonderful truth, friends? That’s so exciting it thrills me even to share it with you.

Rejecting this truth, how does the Lord feel? It says in Luke 7:30, “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves being not baptized of Him.” It’s a serious thing to reject the truth.

DB—Sermon Question #13: Number 13. Can a person experience true baptism without becoming a member of God’s church?

Well, I always worry when I hear people say, “You know, Doug, I want you to baptize me but I don’t wanna join any specific church. I just wanna be baptized into Jesus.” (Uh) Ladies, I wanna ga--again pose a question, what would you think would you be suspicious if a gentleman proposed to you and he said, “You know I love you and I’d like to marry you but is it really necessary for us to live together”? (Audience laughs) Would you say something is wrong?

You see when you’re baptized you’re a new baby. Does a baby need a family? Are some families difficult? But do babies still need families? Are some churches they have cranky strange people, right? Every church have a few of those, right? But you know why God puts you in those situations? Because we need to learn to love and the only way you learn to love people is by being around challenging people that challenge your love muscles, you need to be in the family.

You represent, it’s like a little lamb, if the lamb is wandering around without being part of a flock and a shepherd, is it at risk of wolves? So these folks that want to be maverick Christians without being part of the church, that’s dangerous, it’s not biblical. The Bible says in Acts 2:41, “Then they gladly received His word and they were baptized and the same day there were added unto them about 3,000 souls.” They were added to the church when they were baptized.

The Bible says (uh) Acts 2:47, “Praising God and having favor with all the people and the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Those were baptized were added to the church and it linked salvation being part of the church, why? Cause what is the church? It’s called the body of Christ. So those who say, “I wanna be baptized into Christ but not be part of a church,” their theology is just mixed up.

You cannot be baptized into the body of Christ without being part of the body. It would be like if I said looking at you, “Oh, look, a nose,” you think there’s something wrong with me if I point at your face and say look a nose because that’s where it supposed to be, but if I pointed down here and said, “Oh, look, a nose,” you get really nervous, wouldn’t you? (Audience laughs) Because it’s supposed to be part of the body and we’re all part of the body of Christ and we’re supposed to be attached. When any part of your body is detached, do you start to worry? (Audience answers “yes”) Yes. And so this doesn’t make sense. Does a finger on the ground by itself live very long? No, you’ve got to be part of the body.

(Uh) Colossians chapter 3 verse, I’m sorry, Colossians chapter 1 verse 18, “He is the head of the body, the church,” and again, I Corinthians 12:13, “For by one spirit we are all baptized into one body, the church of Christ.” Jesus said “Destroy this temple and I’ll make one without hands.”

DB—Sermon Question #14: Number 14. Notice four things that baptism doesn’t do,

I don’t wanna give you any misconceptions.

First of all, baptism itself does not change the heart of man, it is H20. I was at the Jordan River, been there a couple times, collected some water, still have some left, and as a sentimental thing I used to put a little bit in the baptistery at my church when I baptize people. I discovered some people wanted to get baptized the day I put the Jordan water in there, they thought there were some mmm--magical properties to it, it’s just a symbol, and if you’re expecting that to change you, that’s a misconception, you need a changed heart before baptism.

Secondly, baptism does not necessarily make one different, you want to love a person but I mean just think about a marriage ceremony, does a marriage ceremony suddenly inspire you with love? No, there’s--a matter of fact, the ceremony can be a strain (laughs) sometimes. It’s (uh) it’s expensive too, i--it’s (uh) you’re supposed to have the love before, sometimes the ceremony tests the love. (Laughs)

Third, I didn’t say that, (Audience laughs) thou has said, (Laughs) (Audience laughs) baptism does not remove temptation, does it? If I could just get baptized then I won’t have temptation anymore. Jesus got baptized and what happened after He got baptized? Went in the wilderness and the devil came at Him full force, you’ll find--the Pharaohs, soon as the children of Israel started heading for the Red Sea, he chased after them, and when you make decisions for baptism you are a threat to the devil.

Fourth, baptism does not guarantee salvation. Was Judas baptized? Does a marriage ceremony guarantee faithfulness?—men and women? No, it doesn’t!

DB—Sermon Question #15: Number 15. Jesus is asking you to be baptized as a symbol that your sins have been washed away. Have you been baptized biblically?

Would you like to plan for this sacred ordinance? You know I’d like to close this part of the service by asking this question, Ananias says I said, said to Paul, “And now why do you tarry, arise and be baptized and wash away your sins calling on the Lord.” You know the Holy Spirit I believe has spoken to some of you, you’ve learned some truth and God is asking you to make a commitment. We’re gonna learn more, Jesus said in Matthew 28, “Go, ye, therefore, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I’ve commanded you.” Teaching before baptism and there’s more teaching afterward, amen? And so there--it’s a growing process.

But had you experienced this wonderful (uhm) ceremony this is--this commitment that God wants you to have to hear Him say, you’re His beloved son, His beloved daughter.

(Background music starts)

Are forced wedding successful? It’s a decision you must make because you love Jesus, is that your desire, friends? I believe there are some who might even be struggling, you’ve maybe come to the banks of Jordan several times before but you’ve never followed Jesus all the way in. He’s inviting you to respond tonight. I’ve never known anybody that was sorry that they made a decision to commit their lives to Jesus through baptism. Why would you not want to hear Jesus say you’re His beloved son or daughter, to be filled His Spirit and to have the heavens opened, to hear His voice, to receive that peace, you come out of the water and all your sins are gone, the old man is drowned, all things are made new and God’ll wash you in that river of life, would you like that experience?

Before I close with a prayer and I hope we’re all praying around the world together for those who are making decisions, amen? When is our next meeting? Tomorrow morning, we hope you’ll join us for this Sabbath presentation, gonna talk about deadly delusions, a study from prophecy, and again tomorrow evening, Revelation’s Lake of Fire, you’ll find its good news.

Now let’s pray as we say goodbye to our friends around the world, loving Lord, thank you for your presence tonight. Thank you for the good news that Jesus can wash us and can make us whiter than snow. And I pray for those who will make decisions to follow Christ that you’ll pour out your Spirit upon them. Bless these meetings be with us here in DC and everywhere we ask in Christ’s name, amen.

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