Friday, December 16, 2016

Hope for the Apostate

I think I'm an apostate. Can I be saved if I come back to God through Jesus?

Although you did not go into detail about WHY you think that you are an apostate, I do really appreciate your attempt to be honest about your condition before God, even if it is a negative condition. It is that type of honesty and contrition that God desires in a man.

Isaiah 57:15
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. 

You mentioned coming “back to God,” which I assume that you had what you believe was some type of “relationship” with God in the past, but have subsequently severed that relationship. Not knowing your entire history spiritually speaking, I will just fast-forward to today, and the question that you posed.

As far as whether or not you can be saved, if you, as you say above, “come back to God through Jesus?”...WELL ABSOLUTELY!

It is clear from our Apostle Paul, that God’s will is that ALL men be SAVED…(and to come unto a knowledge of the Truth. [1 Tim 2:4]).

And that salvation is, as you say, “through Jesus.”

Rom 3:23-26
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

By placing your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, no works of your own, God will save your soul from hell, and declare you righteous forever!

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

You have eternal security! And peace with God.

Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Once you are saved from hell, you are saved from hell forever! Nothing that you do, or don’t do, will ever affect your salvation! You become a member of the Body of Christ…bone of His bone, and flesh of His flesh. (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 5:30 KJB).

2 Timothy 2:13
If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

Lastly, begin/continue to grow with us in our Apostle Paul’s doctrine, and God’s rightly divided Word. That is what this blog, and the ministry of Nor Cal Grace is here to help you with.

Praying for you.

Grace and peace. Ron Knight.

Hopefully this helps!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Water Baptism in the Earthly Kingdom

Bro Ron, you previously mentioned that water baptism is an ordinance for the Nation of Israel "and will be until the earthly kingdom.” Can you clarify that?  Does it mean that it was for the Jews and will be again for them and Gentiles after rapture? Or is it from then until the earthly kingdom? Is water baptism an ordnance for us today. ? I thought it was on pause until after the rapture. The way I'm understanding it, is we don't need to be water baptized  Are your members baptized in your congregation?

To the first part of your 2nd question:  as I previously expounded on in my first answer [Water Baptism In The Old Testament] to your 1st question, the original intent of water baptism was to cleanse the Nation of Israel to be a kingdom of priest of God in order to minister to the Gentile nations in the kingdom.

That was what the Old Testament testified to, as do the so-called New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (as well as early Acts). (I use the words “so-called” because although the books of the bible that come after Old Testament book of Malachi are commonly called the “New Testament,” scripturally, we know that the economy/program that the Lord Jesus Christ and the people of Israel operated under during the “four gospels” was still that Old Testament Law economy: Luke 1:5-6; Matthew 19:16-17; Galatians 4:4).

As far as water baptism being an ordinance for the nation of Israel exclusively “until the earthly kingdom” is concerned, the scriptures make it is clear that that is the case! Scripture says in the book of Matthew that the water baptism associated with the gospel of the kingdom will go out unto the Gentiles after the Lord returns…

Matthew 28:19-20
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 10:23
But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

Acts 1:8
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

You also asked: Does it mean that it was for the Jews and will be again for them & Gentiles after the rapture? Or is it from then until the early by kingdom?  Yes, after the Rapture, however not immediately after the rapture, but after the Rapture once the kingdom is set up (in my studies/opinion/speculation around 17 years after the Rapture). So not right after the Rapture, but early on in the kingdom.

All this will happen after the Lord actually returns.

Matthew 10:23
But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

Isaiah 2:2-3
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Once the earthly kingdom begins, our Lord Jesus Christ will be calling out people from among the Gentile nations for the glory of His name…

Psalm 2:8
Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

Isaiah 19:24-25
In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance

Acts 15:14-17
Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,  After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:  That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.

James’ quote is from Amos 9:11-12  In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:  That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this.

So, one day, during his earthly kingdom, our Lord will call out a people from among the Gentile nations through the gospel of the kingdom for His name sake! This will happen during the first 1,000 years (commonly called the Millennium) of His Eternal kingdom.

In order to cleanse these Gentiles, water baptism will be instituted during the earthly kingdom (Matthew 28).

But like during the Lord’s earthly ministry, just because someone is initially water baptized does not mean that they will continue to believe our Lord.

Many of our Lord’s Jewish disciples who were baptized, refused to endure suffering for Him, and fell away.

John 6:66
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

(Notice it is John 666…the number of the Beast/Anti-Christ in Rev. 13:7-8).

Acts 8:13
Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. (Simon then was rebuked by Peter, and his baptism and initial belief was made null and void…v. 18-24).

Hebrews 6:4-6
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Hebrews 10:26-29
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Regarding your question: Is water baptism an ordnance for us today?  My answer is no.  Like I said in my previous answer, water baptism in not an ordinance/requirement for today in the dispensation of grace for the Body of Christ. 

I ended that email showing that our Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 4:5, that there is only one baptism for today! And he already wrote earlier his epistle of 1 Corinthians that that baptism was a spiritual one, not one done by man like water baptism!

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.

So, no, water baptism is not an ordinance for us today. And yes, it is ‘on pause’ until after the Rapture.

Lastly, you wrote: The way I'm understanding is we don't need to be water baptized.  Are your members baptized in your congregation?  Yes, your understanding is correct. Today, we members of the Body of Christ do not need to be water baptized because of the verses that I just cited, above.

And you also asked: Are the members of my congregation here at Norcalgrace baptized? Yes, all those here who have put their faith and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour and are saved, have been baptized…baptized by One Spirit into One Body. Even those who were never water baptized have been baptized. Every saved person has been baptized even if they never have gone through water baptism.

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.

Hopefully this helps!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Water Baptism In The Old Testament

The ordinance of baptism was for the Jews, how can I explain that? Is there a place in the Old Testament that they speak of that baptism?

Yes, Israel’s water baptism began in the Old Testament! They were created by God to be his kingdom of priests.

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.

One of the main ordinances for priests [in times past] was being washed with water to ceremonially cleanse them (water baptizein order to serve the Lord.

Exodus 29:4
And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.

One day [in the ages to come] it will be true for the entire nation [as the entire nation will then be a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9)].

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.

So, although our Lord Jesus Christ had no sin to be cleaned from, He submitted to John’s baptism because He was a member of the nation of Israel’s future Priesthood (as Israel’s High Priest (Hebrews 3:1; Hebrews 4:14)) to the Gentiles.

Luke 3:21
Now when all the people (of Israel) were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,

Matthew 3:14-15
But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness (what the Old Testament told them to do).  Then he suffered him.

Water Baptism was not for the Gentiles (until after the Kingdom comes: Matthew 28:19-20), it was only for Israel, who will be the Priest of God to the gentiles.

Acts 2:38
Then Peter said unto them (ye men of Judaea, all that dwell at Jerusalem, and Israel (Acts 2:14,22), Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 13:24
When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.

Acts 19:4
Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people (of Israel), that they (Israel) should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

Peter again tells Israel that they are a kingdom of Priests, and so does John.

1 Peter 2:5
Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

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 1:6
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

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

Revelation 20:6
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Lastly, our Apostle Paul says that there is only one baptism for today for the Body of Christ. And it is not water, it is of the Spirit.

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

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.

Hopefully this helps!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Jewish/Gentile Baptism

In Paul's ministry, (in the age of grace) if he only baptized Jews, would there be a group that would be baptized (Jews) and the other (Gentile) that weren't? Would part of the Body of Christ be baptized and the other not? 

Yes, during the infancy (early times) of the Body of Christ, and the dispensation of grace, God sent our Apostle Paul out to the entire world, beginning in territories that were filled with Jewish people. After the fall of the nation of Israel, God’s plan was to use Paul and the gentiles to provoke Israel to jealousy to get saved. Therefore, Paul did Jewish things in order to not be a stumblingblock to them coming to Christ. Among those Jewish things was to water baptize (and in some cases like with Timothy in Acts 16, to circumcise). He water baptized Jews because that was a Jewish sign of cleansing and washing away of their sins. So in the infancy/beginning of the Body of Christ/dispensation of grace, God had Paul do that to Jews as a sign and as to not cause them to stumble.

Acts 9:19-20
And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

Acts 13:5
And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.

Acts 13:13-14
Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.  But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.

Acts 13:46
Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 2:9
Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

Romans 2:10
But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

Romans 11:11, 14
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...If  by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.

1 Corinthians 9:19-20
For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.  And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

So yes, in the infancy of the dispensation of grace and the Body of Christ, there were members of the Body who were water baptized (saved Jews), and members who were not (saved gentiles). But as the gospel of the grace of God continued on into the gentile world, water baptism became less and less…even as our Apostle Paul alludes to in 1 Corinthians 1.

1 Corinthians 1:13-17
Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 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.

Now since 70AD and the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, God is no longer trying to provoke any Israelis to get saved by giving them signs. Now, all mankind has to come through the preaching of the cross of Christ as given by our Apostle Paul. And as the verse above states, that gospel of grace has nothing to do with water baptism, but the Spirit baptism.

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.

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

Hopefully this helps!