Thursday, December 29, 2011

Things under the earth

What is meant by "things under the earth" in Philippians 2?  Do they speak to the fact there is a governmental structure even in Hell? 

Here is what I see from scripture.

Philippians 2:9-11
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Most of the time, when our Apostle Paul uses the term "things" in heaven and/or earth, he is speaking of governmental structure.

Colossians 1:16
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

As usual, because Colossians and Ephesians are "sister books," they each give light and understanding about the other—Colossians focuses on Christ as the head, and Ephesians on the church, as his body. We can gain even more light about Colossians 1:16, by looking at a similar passage written by Paul in Ephesians; we see clearly that government structure is the issue.

Ephesians 1:20-22
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

So although I do agree that in these two passages Paul is dealing with Christ's authority as having the preeminence over all governmental positions both in heaven and one the earth, I also believe that Paul is focusing in on their operation. That is, these positions of rank and authority will not only be subject unto him and under his supreme rulership, but he will also use them to serve him throughout all eternity—redeemed believing Israel in the earth, and the church, the body of Christ in the heavenly places.

I do not see that as what Paul is saying in Philippians 2. Paul is dealing with how the Lord will use these government positions to serve him in Ephesians and Colossians, but Paul does not however, mention "things under the earth," like he does in Philippians 2.

And I believe that Paul does not use the phrase "things under the earth" in Ephesians and Colossians, because in those two passages, the all "things" will be serving him, and that's not true for the “things’ referred to in the second chapter of Philippians.

Philippians 2:9-11
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

This passage is a quote from Isaiah 45...

Isaiah 45:23-24
I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.  Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.  In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

Notice here that in prophecy, at Messiah's return, everyone (in the earth, because this is the focus before Paul's revelation) will both bow before him and confess him as Lord! Notice also that some will do it willingly, but others will do it by force...but either way, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess.

Here in Isaiah, God is not focusing on any governmental offices in the context, per se. The focus is simply all things that have knees and tongues (mankind here...and the angelic/spiritual beings in the heavens and in hell as Paul now tells us) will bow and confess before our Lord!

So what I see in Philippians 2 is that Paul is simply dealing with the subjugation of all things or everything (men and angels and any other creatures that God created) to the Lordship of our Lord.

The things in earth and under the earth will bow and confess at his return to set up his kingdom and at the great white throne (both lost men and fallen angels). And the things in heaven at the Judgment Seat and any other council that take place among the elect angels of God up there.

Paul, here in Philippians 2, is not dealing with how Christ will use these different positions to serve him throughout eternity, like Paul is explaining in Colossians 1 and Ephesians 1. In Philippians 2, Paul is dealing with the subjection of "all things" under his dominion. He is dealing with the fact that through humbling Himself by coming to the earth and going to the cross, the Lord has the exalted, God-given authority over all things, and therefore subdue them under his feet!

I do not believe that there is governmental order in hell, that is, that there is a structure set up by God whereby the people who go to hell are or will be "serving" him.  They will be in 'torments' and then thrown into the Lake of Fire at the great white throne judgment.

So no, there are no verses that I see in all of scripture that say that there is a governmental hierarchy in hell serving God. It is the holding cell of torment for the lost of all the ages until they stand before the Judge.

Hopefully this helps!

Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

P.S. Here is the only verse that I see from scripture that even comes close to some structure in hell, but hell is still a place of torment and confusion for the lost...

Isaiah 14:9
Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations

Here God is mocking the "king of Babylon," who also represents both the future antichrist and his father, Satan.

Notice that although Isaiah uses terms like "chief ones" and "thrones,” he uses those words in context of "the earth,” and "the nations,” i.e., before they died and went to hell.

He is mocking the antichrist , saying that when he finally goes to hell, he'll get all the worship and claim that he desires from all the chief men who rejected God and followed him. God is mocking that once he gets to hell he'll get his much sought after "glory" in the flames.

So although there are levels in hell, i.e., lowest hell, depths, nether parts of the earth, heart of the earth, etc...based on the punishment doled out until the great white throne judgment, I see no governmental structure serving God (outside of maybe some elect angels who keep/guard the gates).

(Some other words that describe hell in scripture are... "sorrow,”  "destruction,”  "pains," "the pit,” "their shame"). So again, I don't see Paul dealing with Government structure in hell in Philippians 2, like he does in Colossians and Ephesians.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The King reigns in excellency

I believe that the KJV is the only authorized English version to use but can't understand the use of the word "gods" in lieu of “God” in…

Genesis 3:5
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Can you elaborate on that for me?

Unlike the NKJV where “God” is incorrectly used, the term "gods" is perfectly preserved in the KJV because Satan is not trying to tempt them to be like "God" the Creator, as they were already like him!  That is, they had "god-likeness,” or godliness. Satan was tempting her with not being like "God," but like the "gods" or the angels. In the bible, angels are also known as "gods."

These passages are referring to and talking about angels!

Exodus 22:28
Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.
Psalm 82:1
God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

Psalm 138:1
I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee

Adam and Eve were already the son and daughter of God, and therefore like their Father.

Luke 3:38
Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

But as a "son," Adam (and Eve) was to depend on the word of their Father, like the Lord Jesus Christ did. It was a form of worship.

John 14:24
He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

Matthew 4:8-10
Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 

Satan wanted to keep them from depending on God, their Father, and to depend on "themselves" (but, which really amounted to listening to his word) like he and the fallen angels do. In essence, he tempted them to actually be less than they actually were—the same thing he does with us today in the church, the body of Christ!

Galatians 4:9
But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

So the reason that the KJV uses "gods," and not "God" like the NKJV, it is because God is not the issue in the temptation, the angels are.


Psalm 12:6-7
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Hopefully this helps!

Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Where's the thief!?

Is the thief that was on the cross with Jesus in heaven today? 

Yes, the thief on the cross is with the Lord Jesus in heaven today. When they were on the cross and died almost 2,000 years ago, both of their spirits went back to God in heaven, but both of their souls went into the comfort side of hell, also called Abraham's bosom and Paradise.

In the old tstament (before Christ's death, burial and resurrection for sins), the souls of believers could not go to heaven yet, until the Lord paid their sin debt with his own blood.  Rather, God had the angels escort them down into hell/Abraham's bosom/paradise

Luke 16:22-26
And it came to pass, that the beggar [Lazarus, a believer] died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man [an unnamed unbeliever] also died, and [his body] was buried;  And in hell he [the rich man] lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

Hell was in two compartments: one side the bible calls “torment” and the other is called “paradise.” So believers went to paradise side of hell and unbelievers went to the torment side of hell.

Even Jesus, himself, went to hell, i.e., the paradise side, and it was prophesied...

Psalm 16:10
For thou wilt not leave my soul [David] in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One [Jesus] to see corruption.

Peter tells Israel on the day of pentecost that that prophecy was about the Lord, who went to hell/paradise at his death.

Acts 2:25-27
For David speaketh concerning him [Jesus], I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

So before the Lord paid the price for sin with his blood, believers could NOT go to heaven yet. That is why the Lord and the thief both went into the heart of the earth [Matthew 12:40], to the paradise side of hell.

Luke 23:43, 46
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

So the Lord's spirit went to heaven with God, but his soul went into the comfort of hell/Abraham's bosom/paradise.  And, his body was put in a tomb.

Matthew 27:59-60
And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,  And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

Now, after the cross work is complete and redemption of mankind's sins is done, believers can now go to the paradise that God has moved into the third heaven, the place where God currently resides.

2 Corinthians 12:2-4
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

Revelation 2:7
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

So although the soul of the thief on the cross went into the paradise side of hell in the heart of the earth at his death, his soul is now up in the third heaven/paradise of God, where God himself lives.

The souls of all believers (including all of God's holy prophets) are now up there in the third heaven with God.

Hopefully this helps!


Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

When a person dies

When a Christian dies (falls asleep in Christ), does that person’s spirit go to heaven right then? I know when a person sleeps it is like timeless till you awake.  How many persons’ spirits are in heaven today?

When a Christian (someone who has made the choice to trust the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary for their sins) dies, God, the Holy Ghost (who comes to live in us at the moment of our salvation), takes both our soul and our spirit to heaven to be with God right away 

Every human being (both the saved and the lost) are made up of a spirit, a soul and a physical body.

1 Thessalonians 5:23
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So when a person dies physically, their body is buried (or cremated, lost at sea, etc.) and then returns back into dust, but their soul and spirit go elsewhere. For the lost person (the person who has not trusted Christ for their sins), their spirit goes back to God that gave it, but their soul (the real, conscience part of the person with all the feelings, etc.), goes to hell.

Ecclesiastes 12:7
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Every human spirit goes back to God, the Father of Spirits, because the human spirit is what gives a human life. So once that human life is over, the person no longer needs their spirit, so it goes back to God.

But the soul of that person, depending on the relationship that person has with God/Christ today, either goes to heaven or hell. The lost person goes to flames of hell to be tormented until the time of judgment before Christ.

Luke 16:23-24
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

That person's soul is held in the flames of hell until the Great White Throne judgment of Christ where their works are judged and then they are thrown into the lake of fire to burn for all eternity!

Revelation 20:12-15
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

But this is not true for the believer! When the believer in Christ dies, his or her spirit and soul both go into the heavenly throne room of God, and remains up there conscious, in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ!

2 Corinthians 5:1, 6-8
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

When a believer dies his soul goes directly to the Lord's throne room. That soul is there until they return with the Lord to come and get all the rest of the believers at the time of the resurrection/rapture of the church, the body of Christ!

1 Thessalonians 4:14-18
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Lastly, the human body is the only thing that the bible refers to as being "asleep." That is because the soul never sleeps in scripture, it is always conscious either in heaven or hell. The physical body is referred to as asleep because it looks just like it does when we sleep in our beds in the natural. But when we are asleep, we are still conscious because we have dreams, thoughts, etc. The same holds true for the physical body. It goes ‘asleep’ (so to speak) until the resurrection, but the soul stays alive in torment or in bliss.

Of those who have died, although the souls of all believers are in Heaven right now, and the souls of all unbelievers are in hell right now, the spirit of every dead person ever born into this world is now in Heaven with God. God is the God and Father of all spirits because when God created man, He gave man the spirit and the human spirit gives man life!

Genesis 2:7
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground [body], and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [spirit]; and man became a living soul.

When God breathed life into man, man's spirit was created. And as long as a person lives, their human spirit remains in him. But when a person dies, their spirit goes back to God, and their soul goes either to heaven or hell.

All spirits go back to God because God is life. And when your physical body dies the life leaves it.

Hebrew 12:9
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

Ecclesiastes 12:7
Then shall the dust [body] return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

So how many spirits are in heaven today? Every spirit of every person born from Adam and Eve to each person on earth dying today as we speak!

Hopefully this helps!

Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

God’s definition of prophecy

All the books of the bible outside of Paul's 13 epistles are considered books of "Prophecy" by God.  They all teach the nation of Israel to look forward to their long promised Messiah and his kingdom of Heaven on earth for them. [Paul's 13 epistles are referred to as "Mystery."]

Because of Paul's message—the present dispensation of grace to us gentiles, the Apostle Peter has to explain to Israel the delay in the coming of their kingdom.  And, Peter says that all those old testament books to Israel are called "prophecy."

2 Peter 1:21
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

One of these "holy men" that were moved by the Holy Ghost and wrote these prophecies is David, who wrote most of the Psalms.

Earlier in the book of Acts, Peter explains to the men of Israel that those things that were written in the old testament spoke of a future time to come (the kingdom), which is the definition of prophecy.

Acts 3:18-21
But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.  Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:  Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

In Acts, Peter says that what David wrote in Psalms is a passage that was being fulfilled, as Israel was about to enter into the prophesied Tribulation period/Day of the Lord:

Acts 4:24-28
And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?  The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.  For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

And one more passage...the Lord Jesus himself, during his earthly ministry to Israel says that what David wrote in Psalms was a prophetic look into the future Tribulation/kingdom:

Mark 12:36
For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.

This is a passage explaining the wrath of God being poured out during the Tribulation period (future from us) and the Lord Jesus Christ setting up his earthly kingdom in Israel in the future.

So yes, the book of Psalms (and all the "poetic" books of Job thru Song of Solomon) are not only historical books for Israel, but they are also prophetic books looking towards the future!

James also uses the book of Job (and calls him a prophet) for that very purpose! Job is the oldest book of the bible, but James tells Israel…

James 5:10-11
Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

As Israel in the future reads the book of Job, they can endure the persecution of the Antichrist by seeing how God was faithful to deliver Job from Satan's attack as well!   

Hopefully this helps!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jailor gets wet

If baptism isn't something a believer is to do today, in this dispensation of grace, why did Paul baptize the Philippian Jailor?

The jailor chose to be baptized in Acts 16 because at that time in history water baptism was the proof or evidence that a person believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Water baptism was solely a Jewish earthly kingdom ordinance, and because the book of Acts was written by God to and for the nation of Israel, all the believers were water baptized as a sign.

1 Corinthians 1:22
For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

The nation of Israel was created by God to be his kingdom of priests and holy nation in the earth.

Exodus 19:6
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

1 Peter 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

Revelation 5:10
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

God created the body of Christ to one day run and rule his government in the heavenly places, just like he created Israel to rule his government down here on the earth.

Ephesians 2:6
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Philippians 3:20
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

1 Thessalonians 4:17
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

In your bible, we are told to rightly divide the Word of truth. What that means is to make the divisions in God's word that he makes himself. The books of Genesis thru Acts are written to Israel to explain how God dealt with them in the past. The book of the Acts of the Apostles, which shows the actions of all God's apostles, explains to Jewish people the fall of the nation of Israel and God's salvation in Christ going to us gentiles.

Romans 11:11
I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Today, God's instructions to us gentiles and about us gentiles are only found in Paul's 13 letters Romans to Philemon, which come right after Acts. Paul is our Apostle sent by the Lord Jesus Christ to us today.

Acts 9:15
But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

Romans 11:13
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

1 Corinthians 14:37
If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

That is important to know because Paul learned later from the Lord that he was not sent to water baptize.

1 Corinthians 1:14-17  
I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

Then the books of Hebrews thru Revelation are written again to the Hebrew nation of Israel, and those books are for the future remnant of Jews who will go thru the Tribulation period and deal with the Anti -Christ after the body of Christ is taken home to Heaven in the rapture. The book of Hebrews explains the cross work of the Lord and his fulfilling of Israel's new covenant [Jeremiah 31:31-34].

So when that gentile Philippian jailor trusted Paul's preaching of Christ in Acts 16, Paul water baptized him to show the Jewish readers that he was a true believer on the Lord Jesus. It is my understanding (and it can be implied) that Paul probably mentioned the baptism in verse 32. God, by this time in the book of Acts, has already taught the reader the issue of water baptism. So it was really no need to show Paul actually saying it. In fact, I find it interesting that God did not record Paul actually saying that the jailor must be water baptized because of what Paul says later.

1 Corinthians 1:17
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

So yes, it is obvious to everybody in that day and time that water baptism was required for a believer.

Immersion was not the chosen method of water baptism in the bible though. In the bible, Israel was baptized by being sprinkled with water, not immersed.

Numbers 8:7; 19:18
And thus shalt thou do unto them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them, and let them shave all their flesh, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean.

And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave:

Ezekiel 36:25
Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

John the Baptist himself knew this and used an object called a "reed," which is a long leafy plant like thing that he dipped in the water and sprinkled the people with. The Lord Jesus Christ mentions this himself when talking about John.

Matthew 11:7
And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

Luke 7:24
And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

1 Kings 14:15
For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger.

Just imagine how long it would have taken, and how exhausted it would have been if John had to physically grab a hold of and immerse every single believer? It was much easier for him to just dip the reed in the Jordan River and sprinkle the people as they came close.

Today, water baptism is not a part of God's grace program for us gentiles! There is only one baptism today in the dispensation of God's grace.

Ephesians 4:5
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

That baptism is not a physical water one, but an unseen spiritual one, because the body of Christ is a spiritual entity.

1 Corinthians 12:13
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Colossians 2:12
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Remember there are about 12 different baptisms in the bible! Three different ones alone in one single verse.

Matthew 3:11
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

In fact Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:2, that the children of Israel were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the Red Sea coming out of Egypt, and we all know that they went over on dry ground. The only ones who got wet were the Egyptians that died in the water! Most people have been taught and trained to automatically think water when they see the word baptism, but in the bible, baptism is simply the issue of "total identification" with something or someone else.