"Apostolic Corner"
Questions and Answers for Our Friends in the
Apostolic, UPC & Oneness Denominations

Due to the number of emails we receive from folks who consider themselves to be part of the "Apostolic faith", we thought it might be useful to devote an entire section of our site answering the questions and comments we generally receive from these precious brothers and sisters in the Lord. Visit us again soon as we will continually be updating this portion of the site.

Pastor John's responses are in blue, and we have divided the content into topical sections for organized study.

We want to thank our Apostolic brothers and sisters who have written us with positive comments concerning Pastor John's new book, Speaking in Tongues at Spirit Baptism". For those of you who have not yet seen it, you can read the book on line at:

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QUESTIONS/COMMENTS ON WATER BAPTISM

August 21, 2010

Mr. Clark,

With all due respect and admiration, I must confess that after reading your belief system concerning water baptism I was more than surprised. Simply put, John came first and completed his job and in doing so our Lord went to the water as an example not because he had to.

Did John not say he needed to be baptized of the baptism that Jesus had, why, for an example unto us to do so, because John had the holy ghost since his mothers womb? No other man can claim these same attributes. So would it be fair to say that according to scriptures, whether Jew or Gentile they were led to the water before or immediately after recieving the Holy Ghost.

For Peter surely held the keys to the kingdom, keys being plural, and as soon as the oppurtunity arose to use those keys he did so in Acts2:38. We must repent (Godly sorrow, change of mind (life),be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins, and ye shall recieve the gift of the Holy ghost). Sounds like three keys are to be used and if one key is left out, then how can the door be opened? If it was good enough for Jesus and Paul and Cornelius household then it has proven itself to be an act of faith that mustbe fulfilled.

Also, addressing my earlier question about stammering lips. I have seen all to much, people telling others that stammering lips is the recieving of the Holy Ghost, but it is not so. I personally remember in several of my many times of tarrying for that power from upon high that I felt the power of the stammering lips and the Lord spoke to my heart and then through scriptures in Isaiah that this also is a forerunner not a completion. For when I recieved the Holy Ghost on December 6th 2003 then I knew that that tongue came from heaven and spoke boldly of its acceptance of myself to become an heir to the throne.

Though I know not where you stand on this exactly, I hope to shed light on what the Lord has so gracously showed me. I would like to hear from you again and I have said nothing from an ill heart only one who is willing to agree to diasagree. When light shines in our life and we are made partakers of the Holy gifts then we must use them with the same compassion that Christ had for mankind as they efficiently butchered him instead of the thief. Would you agree that many churches still invite the thief in instead of the Saviour, Im sure you would and I confidently look forward to your message. With love and hope from those who are in the fight until the end here in east Tn.

W.B.

Dear Brother B.,

Thank you for your reply. It is important for God's people to communicate, and I look forward to hearing from you again in the future.

First, I agree with you, that the Son of God did not need water baptism. At the same time, you will hopefully agree with me, that just as the Son did not need water baptism, he also did not need physical circumcision, animal sacrifice, the Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles, or any of the other works of the law. Nor, you will no doubt agree, did he need the cross. The Son of God did all that he did for us, including coming from heaven to earth to live as one of us.

Secondly, we should answer the question, "Why did Jesus do those things?" If he did all those things, as you said, so that we would follow his example and also do those works, then I must ask, have you followed the Lord in being physically circumcised on the eighth day, observing the ritual of animal sacrifice for those cleansed from leprosy (Mt. 8:3-4), the dietary laws, or in keeping the Sabbath day, Passover, etc? I doubt that you have done those things, even though Jesus did them, and it is good that you have not.

I am sure you understand that the reason Jesus submitted to the works of the law was to liberate men from them, just as he suffered on the cross so that we would not have to die for our sins.

John the Baptist explained that his purpose for baptizing in water was to introduce the Messiah to God's people, the Jews (Jn. 1:31). This, according to Paul, was the very purpose of the entire law -- to point Israel to the Messiah. he said, "The law was our schoolmaster, to bring us to Christ" (Gal. 3:24). But then, he goes on to also tell the saints in Galatia, "But after faith has come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster" (Gal. 3:25).

So, you see, my friend, after the Messiah came and fulfilled the law, we had no need of the works that pointed to his coming. Instead, we have the holy Spirit, which confesses Christ and creates us as "new creatures in Christ Jesus", creatures who do not live under the law but live in grace. There is no argument that "the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, and just, and good" (Rom. 7:12), but "the end of the commandment is love that comes out of a pure heart, and from a good conscience, and unfeigned faith" (1Tim. 1:5).

So, if we are of faith and love, we are the children of Abraham, and are blessed with him who was justified with God without being circumcised (Rom. 4), and without ever being baptized with water.

Beyond that, please take the time to read my short article on "The Keys of the Kingdom". You have been badly taught concerning what those keys were. You will find it here: http://www.goingtojesus.com/topic_kingdom.html

There are other significant matters in your letter that could be touched upon, but these are two of the most important. Please feel welcome to respond to my answer to your comments. You will always be welcome to do that.

Your servant in Christ,
Pastor John

Dear Mr. Clark,

In response to your comments I would have to ask you, what do you think the schoolmaster is? Of course it is the old law and commandments in which Jesus followed as he must in the time in which he dwelt among us. But Jesus himself spoke of him being the beginning of a new testament for he was the new testator himself.

Water baptism was still performed after the pouring out of the Holy Ghost but all the other things you mentioned were changed thru Christs own word and of his Apostles also. Paul struggled with the multitudes in trying to show them this. He spoke to them that fleshly circumcision no longer had any effect on mans standing with God, but friend he himself went to the water after Ananias came to see him and he received the Holy Ghost. He did not do this to please man but rather to fulfill all things required after the pouring out of Gods spirit. I hardly doubt that the baptism was only for the Jews to partake and to be drawed to the Lord, if that was the case why mention it or instruct Gentiles also to be baptized?

I see that we have came to a place where we must both trust in Gods instruction through wisdom and knowledge which comes through the Holy Ghost and have faith that it will guide in the right directon, for it has never given two answers to the same question. We should never lay more on Gods people than is required and on the flip side we can not leave anything out. Without a doubt we stand before a just Father and he is the author and finisher of everyones faith.

With that said, I stand firmly on what the Lord has given me, not mens learning, and find it far easier to disagree with one than to compromise what I've been taught by the one who has perfect knowledge from the beginning. The book of Acts is exactly that, what the apostles done according to what their Father taught them to do thru the instruction of the Comforter. Peter never said anything about keeping old tradition or of following after the schoolmaster but he spoke the words of life on the day of Pentecost and if he would have said Repent, sacrifice, and keep the Feast of the Passover then we would be held liable for those words. What makes us think we can do less when we should be doing more. I only speak those words which concern the edification of the church not the praises of men. I can only pray that many of us dont show up at the gate with two keys for it will surely not be opened unto us. Open rebuke is better than secret love and with that I feel that I should hold my tongue concerning any other matters.

What you consider bad teaching I see as revelation, well never the matter we both know who will have the last word. Wishing you the best but disagreeing to the upmost. Thank you for your time and may the Heavenly Father sort out all matters on both sides. All praises go to Jesus Christ and his coming in all his glory.

W.B.

Dear Brother B.,

It is disappointing that we have come to an impasse. But, God knows the hearts. So, I will accept that, and pray that Jesus will make us and all his people one, some day.

Not that I think it will change this situation, but just in case you ever want to consider again what I have told you, and revisit these emails I would like to point out that your biblical facts are not entirely accurate.

Paul preached his gospel only among the Gentiles, not the Jews. It would have been sin for him to preach his gospel in Jerusalem. He had no authority from God to tell Jews to cease from the works of God's OT law. In fact, Paul joined with Jewish believers in a Nazarite Vow ceremony when he went to Jerusalem the last time (Acts 21), which ceremony would have included the making of a sacrifice (Num. 6). Please consider the fact that Paul also told his Gentile converts that if they submitted to circumcision, they, too, would be required by God to keep the whole law (Gal. 5:3). Why would Paul say that if, as you say, he believed that all people, including circumcised people, should cease from performing the works of the law?

As for Peter and John, they continued going to the temple (Acts 5), as good Jews should have done at the time. Indeed, all godly Jews who believed were devoted to the law decades after Pentecost (Acts 21), as were Jesus' the apostles (who, you say, ceased from observing the law and taught others to do so).

Paul called Peter's gospel, which included the works of the law, "the gospel of the circumcision", and his own gospel for the Gentiles "the gospel of the uncircumcision" (Gal. 2:7). When referring to John the Baptist's baptism with water, Paul said, "Christ sent me not to baptize" (1Cor. 1), but when speaking of Christ's baptism of the holy ghost, Paul said, "There is one baptism" (Eph. 4).

Paul was baptized with water by Ananias because the "gospel of the circumcision" was the only gospel God had given to His people at that time. The Gentiles had hardly begun to come into the kingdom at that time. And even when they did, at Cornelius' house, there was no gospel given that could explain why God baptized those Gentiles with His holy Spirit before Peter had the chance to baptize them with water (Acts 10). What God did to the Gentiles at Cornelius' house was contrary to the gospel Peter preached on the day of Pentecost to the Jews. What God did was contrary to the gospel that any of the apostles at that time preached. That is why the Jews who were there when the Gentiles received the holy ghost were "astonished". They could not understand how it was possible that uncircumcised, unbaptized men could receive the Spirit. If any man had told them that God would do that, they would have condemned him.

God did not require Cornelius to be circumcised, offer sacrifice, be baptized with John's baptism, or sub,it to any other work of the law in order to receive His Spirit. He required only what Cornelius did, which was to repent and believe the gospel of Jesus. And that simple requirement surprised and confused Peter and the six Jewish brothers who came with him. Moreover, that is all that God requires today. This "simplicity of the gospel" still confuses those who refuse to acknowledge the sufficiency of Christ. We can trust Jesus, alone, is sufficient to save us, to circumcise us all that we need to be circumcised, to give us all the communion with God that we need, and to baptize us all that we need to be baptized.

Thank you, brother, for the opportunity you have given me to discuss with you the way of our master, Christ Jesus. May God richly bless you and the saints there with you.

Your servant,
Pastor John


May 21, 2009

Hi Pastor John.

Let me start by saying I love your booklet on Speaking in Tongues at Spirit Baptisim. The approuch was so exciting that I went to your web site to find out more about your ministry,

Thank you, Maria. We love and serve all our brothers and sisters in Christ, and we very much enjoy hearing from you and responding to you.

I was saddened to read some of the explanations on water baptisim just as you wre of Oral Roberts opinion on the Holy Ghost.There are more of us out here that believe in the born again experience of water immersion in the Name of Jesus Christ and the Infilling of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives the ability to do so than just the UPC there are over 181 organiations,20,200 ministers and 5.2million beleivers in the AWCF Apostolic World Fellowship alone,

Thanks for the information. At the same time, please know that numbers are irrelvant to God. Men say there are about one billion Catholics in the world. You and I both know that number means nothing to God. It only impresses men.

as one that has done such a tremendious job in one area can rule out that there is no need for a water baptisim or that it was just for the jews and that the first Gentiles Cornelius was baptized in johns baptisim is totaly in error in Acts chpt 10 yes they received the Holy Ghost while Peter yet spake he did'nt finsh his reason for coming he was preaching Jesus to him and his household when the Holy Ghost fell on them all

God was showing Peter and his Jewish friends a new thing that they did not understand. Peter later saiud he had just begun to speak when God did this. What God was telling Peter was that he didn't need to finish his sermon. He was revealing to Peter that what he had told Cornelius at that point was all that the Gentiles would need to hear in order to be washed from sins and born of the Spiirt into the family of God.

note also in verse 47 Can any man forbid water,that these should not be baptized,which have received the Holy Ghost a well as we? verse 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord....

Peter couldn't have done anything else. Paul's gospel for the Gentiles had not yet been revealed.

also Acts chpt 19 yes they needed the baptisim of the Holy Ghost but lets not leave out the fact that verse 5 after the conversation of how they were baptized when they heard whay Paul said they were baptized in the name of the LordJesus then Paul laid hands on them and they also received the Holy Ghost.

Paul not only baptized Jewish believers when he met them, he circumcised them, as well, as in Timothy's case. At the same time, Paul told the Gentile believers who submitted to circumcision that they had "fallen from grace". The Galatians are one example. Even then, he regretted baptizing the Corinthian Jews in water, saying that Christ did not send him to baptize. Any time ceremonies are added to the faith, strife follows, as happened in Corinth.

This goes along with Matthew 28:19;Mark 16:15-17;Luke 24:47;Acts 2:38;8:16;10-44-48;19:1-6Romans 6:3-4;Colossians 2:12.

Not every time that baptism is mentioned should you think "water". You have missed the point of these verses by doing that. The holy Ghost baptism is the one that saves us (Mk. 16:15-16). The holy Ghost baptism baptizes us into Christ (Rom. 6:3-4). We are buried with Christ in the holy Ghost baptism (Col. 2:12). Eartyhly water cannot do those things. Surely, you can see that.

Jesus is God 1 John 3:16 a Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:

Jesus is God to everyone except to the One who created him. Paul said that was obvious, and that in the end, the Son will present us to the Father, and will himself bow down, with us, before Him (1Cor. 15). It is true that we saw the love of the Father for us in that the Son died for us, but that does not make the Son the same person as the Father.

My point is not to bash you . . . my intention is for you to hopefully take another look at what your view is on water baptisim since you so wonderfully did the Holy Ghost research don't fall short on the complete born again experience

This is the part of "Apostolic" doctrine that is not apostolic at all. It shows great disrespect for Christ. The baptism of the holy Ghost, by itself, is the "complete born again experience", and it needs no water. Your leaders are guilty of adding to the doctrine of Christ. For them to teach that without receiving their form of water baptism, those whom Christ has cleansed with his baptism will not be saved in the end, is the same as to teach that without physical circumcision, those Christ had cleansed with His baptism will not be saved (as taught by foolish men in Acts 15). That is a great error.

what is the fear or upsetness of it when Acts chpt 19 alone lets us know along with the other scritures.

What Acts 19 reveals is that Paul understood that God still required the Jews to submit to works (ceremonies) of the Law, which included water baptism in Jesus' name (John's baptism). Paul said "I become all things to all people, that I maight save some." To the Jews, he became as a Jew, but when among the Gentiles, he strictly forbade them to perform those ceremonial rites.

Please dont alow satan a foot hold in your ministry and it's not just a UPC view thanks for youe time reading this I will pray for you and your work in the Lord.We need men and women that are willing to step up for full truth.

M ----

Rock Church
Illinois

Thank you for writing, Maria. I hope you can see what I am telling you and that you will escape the darkness of what is falsely called the "Apostolic" faith. It is not apostolic at all, as far as Paul was concerned. It is a gross misunderstanding of the Scriptures.

Pastor John


(In response to Gary's questions concerning how the denomination this man is a part of reconciles practicing 2 baptisms (in Spirit AND in water) in light of Paul saying there was just one (in Eph.4); and concerning what they teach concerning a person who is baptized in water by them, but is NOT baptized with the holy Ghost.)

February 1, 2009

Dear Gary,

Praise the Lord!

I must say that I am pleasantly surprised by the love and humbleness of mind with which you responded to my letter. It shows me that there is indeed the light of life and love of God in you, which is actually quite refreshing, and not at all what I am used to in the work God has given me.

In answer to your two questions (which are both good questions), I would be inclined by the Lord to respond thusly:

1) The one baptism that Paul referred to in Ephesians is that the church is "baptized into Jesus Christ"(Romans 6:3). This baptism is one baptism of WATER and SPIRIT. Neither is complete without the other. There are examples in the NT of people receiving the Holy Ghost both before and after water baptism. But the circumcision of Christ (Colossians 2:11,12) is made by the accomplishing of both burial and resurrection, which are effectual upon the born again believer upon genuine repentance and the NT birth of water and spirit. Baptism in Jesus' name IS for the remission of sins.

2) Being baptized in water alone is not enough. (See Hebrews 10:14-17, for example) The scripture bears witness that the Holy Ghost is given to those who believe (Mark 16:17) and obey (Acts 5:32). The passage referenced here in Hebrews states that the Holy Ghost is the proof that we have believed when we were baptized. Some come to that faith later after their baptism...but in answer to your question, no---remission of sins is not obtained by the water baptism alone, without the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It is the water and the spirit together that circumcise the heart, and make a new creature in Christ, cleansed from past sin. As it is written, "And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one." And what do these three bear witness of? "...that God hath given unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son."

I hope these will help you in better understanding the principles which I have expressed to you from the scripture. Thank you again for your meekness and humbleness of mind, which in contradistinction show true strength and virtue. May God bless you as you seek and serve him with all your heart.

Most sincerely in the royal service of his Majesty the King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ,
C----- A----

Dear C-------:

Thank you for your reply. I appreciate you clarifying your belief. I just wanted to be sure I understood your position on water baptism rightly, and I believe I did.

I am glad that you recognized the love and humility of Christ in my letter to you. I hope that you sincerely felt that from me, because it's there for you, and for every other child of God. I also hope you feel the same love and humility from me should I refute your doctrinal errors, and that you were not just "flattering" me.

When I was an Assembly of God minister decades ago, I met some people who were alive in the Spirit, and started to get to know them. Before too long, I was confronted with the fact that there was no trinity. It was something I had believed and been taught all my life since coming to Christ. In fact, I had been taught that if any man said there was NO trinity, that it was a sure sign they were NOT from God. To say that one did not believe in the trinity, provoked the response "I will have nothing to do with you."

By the mercies of God, I stayed open. In time, the love and humility I felt from the men who loved the holy Ghost and did not believe in the trinity, proved to be greater than the men I knew who taught the trinity. Their love conquered my wrong doctrine. They did not accept my wrong doctrine in the least, but they loved me in the Spirit, and it could be felt. Of course, in time, I found out that I had been wrong all along. What a wonderful relief it was to say "I was wrong". That there was no trinity... all along it was just something men had taught me. And because I remained open and reasonable, I believe God allowed me to see it.

Your "water baptism in Jesus name" doctrine is my "trinity".

Brother Clinton, the Spirit has made us one. What God has joined together man must not put asunder. Wrong doctrine has divided us. Jesus did not do that. He prayed that his followers (those he baptized with his holy Ghost) would be one. Which will we allow to be greater? That which comes from heaven, or that which man has taught us? The errors of "water baptism in Jesus name" are easily seen when pointed out. My question is, are you willing to dispose of it, as I did my wrong trinitarian doctrine, should the reasonableness of truth in the love of God be shown to you?

In the love of God and His Son,
Gary Savelli


August 31, 2007

I was reading John David's away message tonight. It was a passage from John 3, about being born again. As far as angels being born again, or any other creature in heaven, I found this to be interesting. I don't know if I am thinking about this backwards or no, so here is what I am thinking:

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."

So, I guess we are "born of water" when we come from our physical mother? That's what it first looks like. Based on that assumption, I thought, "Well, angels never were born like that." So, I am wondering if angels and other creatures in heave have been born of spirit, but not of flesh; and, hence, are not of the kingdom of God. That seems a little backwards from the way I have always thought of this...

But wait... I have another question. "Except a man be born of water." He wouldn't already be a man if he was born of water? So... is Jesus description here only applying to Nicodemus (and other Jews of his time), since he is referring to water baptism? Or! was I born with both water and spirit when I received the holy ghost?

...that ended up being more interrogative than expected. Thanks,

Elijah

Hmmm.... Let me think about this.

I don't think that Jesus was telling Nicodmeus that his baptism in the Jordan River by John the baptist was a birth. There is no indication that anyone in the Bible ever thought of John's baptism as a "birth by water". If so, then Jesus would have told Nicodemus -- if Nicodemus had not already been baptized by John -- that he needed to be born two more times. The natural birth was Nicodemus' first birth ("born of water"), and the baptism of the holy ghost would be his second birth. No one receives both at one time; the second is for those who have experienced the first.

As far as angels go, we cannot say that because they are not born again, or even born the first time, that they are not in God's kingdom. God can create beings, and has done so, that are in His kingdom without being born at all. Being born again in order to enter into the kingdom of God is required only of humans, those fallen creatures who have been born on earth and in sin.

Dad (JDC)


May 25, 2007

In John 3:5, What is being "born of water"?

jd

Jesus explained what being "born of water" is in the next verse (Jn. 3:6). It is one's natural, fleshly birth. Nicodemus already had that birth; that is why Jesus told him simply, "You must be born again." If "born of water" referred to water baptism, Jesus would probably have told Nicodemus, "You must be born two more times"; that is, born of water and then of spirit.

Pastor John


April 4, 2007

Thank you pastor John for being of so much blessing to our lives; to all of you, thank you very much. There are no words to express our gratitude. May the Lord Jesus continues to bless your lives richly.

It was so sweet and good to get to know you all and to have fellowship with the saints. What a wonderful opportunity for us! We are in debt, to our Lord and to all of you.

May I ask an apostolic question? I was reading in 1Corinthians 6:11. It says, "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."

How can you respond to an apostolic that says that "the name" in the baptism in water is the one thing that cleans your sins?

Manny Jimenez

Hi Manuel:

It was a pleasure meeting you and Christina. The grace of God is with you both, and we were blessed to have been able to meet you and spend time with you. I love God's people; they are the best people on earth.

The United Pentecostal Church (UPC) doctrine you mentioned comes from a misunderstanding of such scriptures as Acts 2:38, which, as you know, is a favorite UPC scripture. In it, Peter says, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins . . . "

The UPC folk see "for the remission of sins" attached only to being baptized in Jesus' name, but it went with both repentance and being baptized in water. Peter was telling those Jews to repent for the remission of sins and to be baptized in Jesus' name for the remission of sins. The remission of sins is what Peter said would come after those Jews repented and were baptized in Jesus' name for the remission of sins: the holy Ghost baptism. The consistent truth that we find in the Bible is that the holy Ghost baptism washes away a person's sins, and nothing else. Paul was convicted of his sins on the road to Damascus, but his sins were washed away only when Ananias laid hands on him three days later and he received the Spirit. Paul later taught the Gentiles that all God required of them was to repent for the remission of sins. Paul's gospel for us Gentiles did not include all that Peter preached to the Jews, namely, baptism in Jesus' name (John the baptist's baptism) for the remission of sins, and the other works of the Law.

I hope that helps make things clearer for you, Manuel. Thanks for writing.

Pastor John


July 2, 2006

Hello Pastor John,

In Acts 22:16, which baptism is it that Paul is referring to when he was speaking of what Ananias had said to him: "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptised, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Looking back in chapter 9:17-18, we see that Ananias originally said that the Lord had sent him (Ananias) to Paul so that he might see again and "be filled with the holy Ghost." Then Paul's sight returned and "was baptized"...with the holy Ghost? Or with water? Or both? Is there any way of knowing?

Thanks,

Sarah

Hi Sarah:

Good question. Paul was referring to John's baptism with water when he referred to Ananias baptizing him. The gospel for the Gemtiles did not yet exist, except in the mind of God. But even if God had already revealed that gospel to someone, Paul was a Jew and, therefore, would have been required to be baptized with John's baptism. After that, Paul received the holy Ghost.

Pastor John


October 26, 2005

My Friend,

Water Baptism In The Name Of Jesus Christ is just as important as the baptism of the Holy Ghost, speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance. Being born of water and of the Spirit is the born-again experince in full. All throughout the book of Acts water baptism and the Spirit baptism were done together by the Apostles. One without the other was not an option for the Apostles.

Kent A. Williams

Several of the folks who meet at Pastor John's house responded to these comments from Mr. Williams. Their responses are as follows . . .

Dear Kent

I, too, have received your email from Bro Gary regarding your belief that water baptism is as important as the Holy Spirit baptism. I know you have received a number of other responses so I will try not cover the ground that they have already been over.

You wrote that "All throughout the book of Acts water baptism and the Spirit baptism were done together by the Apostles."

Firstly, I must point out that no man has ever baptized another man with the Holy Spirit, even though Jesus may have used men to lay hands on another who then received the Spirit from Him. John the Baptist was quite explicit when he said, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." Jesus is the only one who can baptize with the Holy Spirit, and He is always right when He does so.

Secondly, if, as you say, "one without the other was not an option for the Apostles", then what are we to make of the Apostle Paul's statement to the Corinthians that "Christ sent me not to baptize"?

Dear Kent, the question I would like to ask you is: Do you really think that a baptism performed by men with a physical substance is in any way comparable (let alone just as important) with the baptism that Jesus performs from heaven? Surely what Jesus does is of far greater significance. In fact, isn't what Jesus does for a man the only thing that matters at all?

Water baptism was important when, and only when, it was ordained by God. John the Baptist only baptized with water because, he said, there was one "that sent me to baptize with water". John preached to Jews only. Jesus also, sent the first apostles to the Jews only, and yes, they were to baptize repentant believers in water with the promise of the Spirit baptism, but Paul He sent to the Gentiles, and Paul's own testimony is that "He sent me not to baptize." The only baptism Paul could perform was water baptism. Therefore, Jesus did not send him to water baptize anyone. If Paul did so early on, it was through ignorance or misunderstanding.

If water baptism was not required for Gentiles, then it cannot be important at all. Even when Jesus used Peter to first reach Gentiles, God clearly showed that they did not require water baptism in order to receive the Spirit. Peter's preaching to that time was, "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." But God clearly contradicted this in the case of Cornelius and his household by by-passing the water baptism. Actually, He didn't even let Peter mention it. Peter's subsequent actions were done out of a complete lack of understanding of what God had done. It was only later through the apostle Paul that God gave the understanding.

Water baptism was a part of the gospel message preached to the Jews, but never was it a part of the gospel preached to the Gentiles. Water baptism, like other ceremonial precepts of the Law, was a point of obedience to God for a Jew. A repentant Jew would therefore be water baptized. The common ground between what Peter and the other apostles preached to the Jews and Paul's preaching to the Gentiles was the Holy Spirit baptism. The fact that Jews (including Paul) were required to observe ritual requirements of the Law (read Acts carefully and you will see that this was the case) is particular to them. The Gentiles had no such requirement from God. The Holy Spirit baptism, however, was essential for all. It is the only baptism that counts with God. That is why there is, according to Paul, just "one baptism".

I hope this will be of some help to you.

Damien Callaghan
Queensland, Australia

Excellent, Damien!

I am thankful for the wise men and women that God has added to my life. Your letter to Kent made me think about how few humans there are on the planet who are able (1) to even tell the truth about such things and (2) to express the truth with genuine love for the ignorant. I am so grateful.

Pastor John

and . . .

Dear Brother Kent,

I am 52 years old,and I was baptized 2 years ago with the HOLY GHOST! PRAISE GOD! I lived my whole life trying to fit in this world in sin, never feeling loved. I started praying and asking GOD to please show me why I was here. At 46, GOD gave me a job where 3 HOLY GHOST FILLED saints worked. One of those blessed souls told me her testimony of GOD'S mercy in her life. It sounded wonderful, but I was still trying to find peace in the world.

For four years, I still tried it my way, going to different churches, wanting to feel something! I never did,a nd I never was water baptized. I told the three saints that I wanted to go to one of their meetings. The first meeting I went to, I felt something! It was the love of GOD in every person there. Their testimonies and the songs they sung that night was just for me from GOD! I finally felt something real, deep in my heart and soul!

I kept going to the meetings, and praying for the HOLY GHOST, and living clean, and GOD baptized me! These two years have been the most wonderful, joy-filled time of my life! How PRECIOUS it is to hear GOD'S SPIRIT speak to me. How AMAZING that GOD'S SPIRIT PRAYS IN TONGUES through us, FOR us, TO OUR SAVIOR!

Brother Kent, I walk in the SPIRIT daily, for that is my strength against the world and the flesh. Ask GOD with a sincere heart for truth in any matter, and pray in the SPIRIT! HE WILL ANSWER! I pray you will hear and know GOD'S VOICE! The TRUTH OF GOD IS PRECIOUS! GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS! AND CHANGES LIVES!

a humble and blessed sister in THE LORD,

wanda

and . . .

Hello Kent,

My name is Jerry. I wanted to share with you my experience of baptism. It was 1995.

I had lived a miserable life up until that point. I was unhappy and sin was all that I knew about. I never had thought too much about God. More unbelief than anything at that point. I used to see Christian shows on television while I was flipping through stations and wonder how anyone could follow or believe what they were saying on them. It just looked phony and I wasn't interested.

My actions landed me in jail. I was tired inside and out. And I was hopeless.

I started reading these books about criminals who found a life with God. It took many books, but my defenses finally weakened and I picked up a Bible voluntarily, for the first time. I started reading from the begining. On the outside I looked rugged, while on the inside I was pleading for the God in this book to be real. I needed Him; He was my last hope.

I kept reading; I understood little; but it made me feel better all the while. After about thirty days, they released me from jail. It was late at night and I looked up at the stars and thought "it's gonna be okay." For the first time that I could remember, I had hope. I believed that night that God would make things okay. I was in Florida at the time. I went back to Ky, my home, and I immedietely looked up an old friend who had dropped out from the crowd I ran with. I had heard that he had changed his ways, and I wanted to know more. He soon took me to a prayer meeting that he attended. I knew nothing about God. I only knew that I felt better when I behaved myself and that reading the Bible felt good, and I knew the feeling of hope.

I walked in the door of that prayer meeting for the first time with my friend. I was overwhelmed with the same feeling that I had been feeling that month or two prior to that day. That feeling of sweet peace, of goodness, of God. Everyone there spoke with tongues and praised God freely; it was a wonderful feeling. People sang and danced under the power of the holy Ghost. "I am home at last," my heart was screaming! I was told that the holy Ghost baptism, evidenced by speaking in tongues, was the new birth. I was told that every man that repented before God and believed could have this experience. I wanted it, and I put it into action. I prayed, and I continued repenting of my old ways. God kept meeting my faith and effort with power to put an end to the deeds that had, until then, ruined my life.

We met for a Bible study one Wednesday evening. I remember I was at the edge of my seat waiting for people to start praying. I had faith that night, the kind of faith that when you put your hand into a fire on a stove that it would burn you. I believed that my time had come, and when the elders amongst God's children started praying, i dashed to the front where they were, hands held high, squinting my eyes as I approached them. I knew that when they laid hands upon me that night, i was going to get "burned" by that stovetop. And indeed I did, my feet kicked clean out from under me, and I landed flat on my back speaking in toungues. I lept up and grabbed my friend and danced around the room under the power of my new holy Ghost. I was baptized with the holy Ghost and fire. Amen.

God did that for me because I repented, and it has never ever left me. I had never been water baptized, still haven't. I wasn't even a Christian. But, I was born again, and the Scriptures say that I was made complete in Him. i later learned that you can be a christian without being born again. So I am glad that I never was one. I then was able to start learning the Bible, and my new holy Ghost.

I read in your e-mail that we were made complete by two baptisms, but Paul said to the Ephesians in chapter 4 verse5 that there is only one. I would have to trade my testimony from God for that other baptism. According to Paul, I couldn't have both. Now, of course, I was "born of water" when my momma gave birth to me. I certainly had to have that one.

I can't imagine what water baptism would add to my testimony. How can being dunked in water in the name of Jesus be as important as the Spirit of God entering my body and making me a temple of God? If God ever wanted me to do it, I'd do it twice. But it seems like I would be saying that He wasn't enough. That doesn't feel right.

I looked in Acts before I wrote you. There sure is a fight in there amongst the elders about people keeping all the ceremonial laws after they were baptized with the holy Ghost. It seems though, that Paul was struggling to keep those yokes (physical circumcision, animal sacrifices, and other ceremonies) off of the Gentiles. It seems that every ceremonial work under the old law, before the new covenant began, was just for Jews only. It was never for a Gentile. I believe that means that I am as free from water baptism as I am circumcision.

Write back if you get time.

Sincerely, Jerry

and . . .

Dear Kent,

I received your question from Gary, and thought I may try to give you some insight on this subject.

You said in your email: "All throughout the book of Acts water baptism and the Spirit baptism were done together by the Apostles. One without the other was not an option for the Apostles". Remember when Cornelius was baptized with the holy Ghost and spoke in tongues? He was never water baptized. Yet he had this blessed experience and was born again. Jesus himself said that the Holy Ghost baptism is the New Birth experience. In the old testament under the Law, Jews were required to be baptized in water. Jesus came to do away with the ceremonial works of the laws, and writes God's law in our heart's, by the holy Ghost. We now live by the Spirit of God inside of us.

My friend, I know many of people who have been Spirit baptized, without being water baptized. I received the holy Ghost outside of Christianity, and it's ceremonies! So, in my heart that tells me, that Jesus holy Ghost baptism is all I need. Before I received the holy Ghost nothing ever changed me. His Spirit was the only thing that could set me free. No water or any other ceremony ever changed me, because God changes the heart.

In Eph 4 it says that there is one baptism (Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism). Therefore we must know, that there must now only be one. So we have to ask ourselves the question, which one would be more significant: Baptized is water, or God's Spirit? Just ask Jesus. He will really show you who He is, if you really want to know, and keep your heart open for whatever He may tell you. I hope you can find this information useful.

Your Friend,

Margo Ellis

Very good, Margo. Thank you for doing that.

One comment on a specific point you made, however. We cannot say that Cornelius never was water baptized because Peter baptized him with water after Cornelius received the holy Ghost. We should say instead that Cornelius he had never been baptized in water before receiving the holy Ghost. I hope he did not miss your main point, however. It was well made. Good job.

Pastor John

and . . .

Hello, dear Kent.

I received your e-mail from Brother Gary and thought I would respond by sharing my experiences with baptism: baptism with water and baptism with the holy Ghost. I mention the water baptism I received as a child of age six while attending Christian services only to say this: all it was good for was getting me soaking wet. :) I did it because I was told to and because everyone else was doing it, not because it meant anything special to me, and it did not touch me where it counts; in my heart. It did not change me on the inside. However, I do know this; at that early age, I was already searching for something from God. Sometimes I would be the only person from my large family walking along on Sunday mornings to attend worship services, because I was very curious about God. I wondered about Him and talked to Him on these walks, always hoping that He was real, but never knowing for sure. I remember getting a white bible, with my name embossed on it in gold letters, as a gift for attending Sunday School for a whole year with no missed Sundays. Later we moved from that neighborhood and I visited other places during the next forty years, always knowing something was missing.

For many years following that water-baptism experience, I tried to find the truth about the new birth, knowing that life was too empty and meaningless without a real relationship with God. I attended services sporadically and kept changing or transferring my "membership" from this religious group to another, over and over. I would search the scriptures, but could not make a lot of sense with them. There were times I would sit and look through the telephone book, and I would call ministers, pastors, priests, and nuns on the phone and ask about their beliefs, hoping I could find some relief that way. It was always clear in my mind and heart that something was missing; I was an incomplete person, and the main chamber of my heart felt empty and nothing could fill it. As the years passed, and after becoming a wife, mother, and grandmother, I felt the emptiness even more. I knew there just had to be more about God that I didn't know about, thinking that if He were alive, He was not showing me much about Himself. I searched for answers, and did not receive them, but know now that the people I asked did not have the answers; the answers need to come from God himself. I know now that God answers our questions and our hunger for Him, our thirst for Him in His time, not ours. I started to believe that nothing on this Earth could help me, that I was destined to remain hopeless, without a touch from our dear Savior.

When my troubled teenaged son began attending home prayer meetings with his friend, I became very curious and questioned him about these meetings. Just another part of my long search...well, my mind would think...maybe I can find something about God HERE, something my soul needs to just survive this world. Let me search this new place out and see what is going on. After questioning my son about those meetings he was attending, he told me about the new birth, or receiving the holy Ghost, as described in Acts, and which is accompanied by stammering lips, or speaking in tongues, which is a sign for the unbeliever. I wasn't sure what to think, except that my son did believe this. As I watched him change into a new person as he learned about God and grew to know and love those people who have the holy Ghost and were led by and obeyed God, I saw a miracle in the making. My heart began to feel as if maybe, just maybe I had another chance to find out something, to feel complete at last. My son asked me to attend a meeting with him and I went. What awesome power filled that little room as people there began to pray and speak in tongues, worshipping God and loving Him and each other as I had never seen or heard of before, in fact had never dreamed of before. After attending just a few meetings, I was led to ask for prayer for myself, and as those dear Saints touched me for the first time, I sunk to the floor and began to speak with stammering lips speaking in tongues, as the Spirit gave utterance. God performed another miracle that day, just for me.

It will soon be the twelfth anniversary of that day, when I finally felt complete in the Lord, and knew that Jesus and God were real and loved me, and that the baptism of the holy Ghost was all I needed to feel complete. It changed me into a new creature, erased all my sins, gave me a new heart, and made me able to love Him as I had always wanted to. I received on that day a great love for the people of God also, because we are bonded together into a family who loves God and wants to do His will, learn about Him and be able to love Him and His Son continually. This is the only baptism which actually means anything, which changes a person from a miserable, hopeless sinner into a person who is clean inside and outside, who is so very humble and thankful each day for this wonderful holy Ghost-filled life, and for the opportunity to be with Jesus.

I did not mean to write such a long e-mail, but to share my experiences with you, that is what was required. May you seek God and search for the truth about His baptism. He will show those with a hungry heart what is truth and what is not.

Love, Sister Ruth

and . . .

Dear Bro Kent,

My name is Tony. I read your email this week and was excited to respond to your question on baptism.

I remember having questions once, just like you. Always wondering what was the right way to follow God. I am 36 years old, and I have had the Holy Ghost since September 2001. Before Jesus touched me, I lived pretty wildly. Always in trouble, and always thinking thoughts like "I wish I were not doing these wrong things." I had been in and out of Christianity since I was 19. I would always get tired of doing wrong and start thinking of God during these times. Then I found myself going to church. Through many experiences, such as being sprinkled in a catholic church, or repeating a prayer after a man who told me if I accept Jesus in my heart, then I was saved. The last time I got under conviction, during one of those times when I would fall away and start living wildly again, I kept wondering in my thoughts to God when I would pray, "What is real, what is right, and what is truth?"

So in June 2001, I went to a Billy Graham crusade, and thought I would rededicate my life to Jesus. At least, that is what they told me I was doing. There was something different I went through this night. All who were present at the crusade were invited to an "altar call." At least 600 to 700 people in a football stadium standing all around me, each had a prayer partner with them. They handed each one of us a prayer package, and they started explaining to each and every one of us how to pray, step by step, but I could hardly concentrate on what the man who was my partner was saying to me. Because I started looking around at all these people, and I saw so many sincere hearts crying very hard. I know I will never forget what I saw that night on these faces. I saw real emotion, and all those prayer partners had to offer them was a prayer kit and a "repeat after me" prayer. So from there I started going to a Baptist church, where they taught water baptism, being totally submersed under water.

I remember thinking, right before the minister dunked me under and said "I baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and holy Spirit". My heart was racing a hundred miles per hour. I thought "All right! This is what I have been praying for." I have been sprinkled, and I have said "the sinner's prayer", and was told that I am saved. I even followed instruction from Billy Graham, but I never really changed. I always went back to what I hated more that anything: Sin! So the minister dunked me, and when he brought me up, I remember thinking, "I'll feel different. Really alive for the first time." But my heart broke when I didn't feel anything.

Two months later after being baptized, I went through a very hurtful event. I went to the Baptist place wanting to play a song for other people getting baptized. So the minister asked if any one wanted to share anything with the ones being baptized. I went up to him and whispered in his ear, that God had put it on my heart to play a song for the one's baptized. He politely whispered back, "Maybe next week." It broke my heart for him to make me feel like he was in charge and he decides who has something from God. So I left another church, but this time I didn't want to go back to the world or my wild living ways. I remember getting a thought, a still small voice said, " Leave it all behind and seek me! Leave everything you thought was right about Me (God), and just seek Me."

The Bible says, "Seek and you shall find, knock and I'll answer." God was telling me just seek Him, and He would show me His Truth. God had been convicting my heart of sin ever since I was 19, but man's outward ceremonies were getting in the way. So when I listened to the still small voice, things changed. All those ceremonies never changed who I was, just a broken sinner who needed to know God.

In August 2001, I met a man named Gary. I remember him telling me about these prayer meetings he used to go to. I heard him speak in tongues, and I had never heard such a sound before. One day I needed a job, so Gary told me about a man named Billy, and said I should go see him for a job, so I did. I went to see Billy, filed out the application, had an interview, but didn't get the job. As I was leaving, Billy followed me out to my car, and we started talking. Out of the Blue, Billy says, "I feel a lot of hurt from you." I had never met this man before. I thought, how did he know I am hurting inside? He then said that God has something for me, if I had a willing heart.

After our conversation, we met somewhere to talk more. He told me about the same prayer meetings that Gary used to go to, but Gary had fallen away. God used a backslidden brother; to get me to a Holy Ghost filled Saint! We talked about Acts 2, where the men who followed Jesus received the holy Ghost baptism. Billy invited me to the next prayer meeting. Everything in me was coming alive. It was now September 2001. I went to the prayer meeting, and it wasn't long until they started singing, dancing, shouting, and speaking in tongues! I was so excited at what I was feeling, because for so long all I wanted was to know Jesus, but all those ceremonies were in they way, until now.

It was my third prayer meeting when I got the Holy Ghost and was born again. I had gone up for prayer, and I fell back on the floor and laid there. I remember feeling more peace than I have ever felt in my life. It occured to me that not one single person in the room told me come and get prayed for, and no one told me what to pray for. It seems that all I was doing was going by what I was feeling. So while I was still on the floor, I remember I heard a voice, just like the one before that told me to leave it all behind and seek Me. The voice said "Stand Up!" With no delay, I stood up, and something hit me from my head all the way to my feet. It was very warm feeling, and then I started running all over that floor, shouting and dancing, and I heard speaking in tongues. I suddenly stopped, my eyes popped open, and I froze. Someone said, "Don't stop there! You show them you got the Holy Ghost." Then that same power from God hit me again, and it was even warmer and tingly than the first time. I didn't realize the person I heard speaking in tongues was I. I spoke in tongues for a long time after the second touch from Jesus.

So you see Kent, all of those other things I mentioned earlier never changed me. I always went back to doing those sinful things. It took God's Spirit on the inside to help me keep God's commandments. Ephesians 4 talks about one body, one spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism. I followed many examples of baptism, but only one changed me, a broken-hearted sinner, into a new creature in Christ. That one baptism is the New Birth, the Holy Ghost baptism with a witness when you receive it from Jesus, and that is speaking in tongues as God's Spirit speaks through you saying, "Abba Father", by which we know we have received the Spirit of adoption, which says we are the sons of God. No man on earth can give you such a baptism.

With Love in Christ,

Bro Tony


August 3, 2005

John Clark Sr.,

Jesus Christ is the author of eternal salvation to them that obey him. When the Jews who were under the law, when they committed sin, they had to pay for their sins with the things that they possessed for atonement for those sins to get them removed. So that was a work they had to do to get rid of Sin. Now that was under the Law and the Children of Israel got under the Law by Moses because they were baptized unto Moses that's how they got under the law by baptism. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ and to be in or under the grace of Jesus Christ you must first be baptized into Jesus Christ. Because when you were born you came through the water in Adam you were born in a sinful and defiled state. You must be born again of the water and of the spirit. The water with the name of Jesus Christ summons the grace, which is the Blood atonement for your sins that is the price for our redemption. You get That Blood by obedience of the Gospel, which puts you under Grace. Because there is now nothing a man can give for the removal of his sins he cannot pay for his sins. The only thing he can do is believe the gospel, repent, confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the removal of his sins. If you don't you still have your sins and your are still in Adam and the Sin of Garden is still on you.

When judgment comes God is going to see the sin because the blood is not upon your body. Now the baptism of water is for the body but the Holy ghost is for the spirit of the Man. The spirit is what supposed to control the body but since sin came in, the body controls the spirit but Jesus Christ sent back a remedy for that called the Holy Ghost with fire, which go against the will of the flesh. The first evidence of the Spirit Baptism is speaking in other tongues as the spirit gives utterance and clean and holy life which shows that Christ is in you the hope of glory. Jesus Christ made himself known to me some years ago in the same way he did other believers that were written in the bible.

Bro. Marvin

Dear Brother Marvin:

The baptism that saves is the one that is not for the body but the one that came "by the resurrection of Jesus Christ"; that is, the holy Ghost baptism (1Pet. 3:21). The water of Noah's flood was a figure of that baptism, just as John's baptism in the Jordan River was a figure of it. It is as impossible to practice John's baptism as it is to re-enter Noah's ark. Neither of those two figures exists any longer. God has moved on. I am glad you obeyed God and were baptized by His Spirit into Christ. Keep obeying Him and He will keep you from trying to return to things that do not exist in Christ, in whom is hidden all the wisdom and power and goodness of God.

Pastor John


February 20, 2003

Thought for Today.

Fundamentals of the New Testament, No. 4

"John's Baptism"

There are some facts that are so basic to one's understanding of the New Testament books that without being aware of them, one cannot possibly understand what the apostles wrote. This is the fourth of the essential truths with which every student of the New Testament ought to begin his study. Before opening for the first time any of the books written by the apostles, one ought to already know these things. Mothers, teach these truths to your children; pastors, teach these things to your congregations. These are the foundations upon which all right knowledge of the truth is laid.

Fundamental #4

John's Baptism

Early in each one of the gospels we are told of John the Baptizer, a man so great in the sight of God that even his coming was foretold by other, more ancient prophets (Isa. 40:1-8; Mal. 3:1). Jesus called John "much more than a prophet" (Lk. 7:26), and told the multitude, "Among those that are born of women, there is not a greater than John the Baptizer" (Lk. 7:28).

John was the first man ordained by God to wash others with water since Moses, who lived about thirteen hundred years earlier. This is one reason that so many in John's day "mused in their hearts of John, he were the Christ or not." He certainly was a prophet somewhat "like unto Moses", whom the ancient prophets foretold would come to Israel.

"And they asked him, 'Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ . . .. .?'"

"And he confessed, and denied not, but confessed 'I am not the Christ.'"

Not surprisingly, John and his holy work were misunderstood in his own time, even though John did his part to make himself and his work clear to Israel. The real tragedy is that John and his work are still a mystery to most of God's people. The absence of this foundation in the hearts of God's people today has resulted in a world of conflict and confusion for the children of God. Being ignorant of the truth, they are so often like "sitting ducks" for those ministers of Satan who hunt the souls of men.

We cannot understand Jesus before we understand John. That is why God sent John ahead of Jesus: "to prepare the way of the Lord." Understanding Jesus, of course, is far more important than understanding John; but that is not the issue. The building is always of more importance than the foundation. The point is that we must have the foundation of John and his baptism properly laid in our hearts before we can fully appreciate the greater one, Jesus, and his greater baptism.

From John's own words, then, and from Biblical record of the things John did, here are a few elemental truths about John and what God sent him to do:

A. Like Jesus, John was sent only to the house of Israel (Jn. 1:29-31). No Samaritans or Gentiles ever came to John to be baptized, and if they had, they would have been rejected. What John had was not for them.

B. John's baptism was not for all Jews, but only for those Jews who truly repented (Mt.3:5-9). There were many Jews who came to John to be baptized and were sternly rejected because they had not repented. John was so close to God that he knew who were prepared for his "baptism of repentance" and who were not. No one fooled John because no one could fool his God.

C. John's baptism was from heaven (Lk.7: 24-30; 20:1-8). John did not invent his baptism. He was sent by God to do what he did and to say what he said when he did it.

D. John's baptism always was accompanied by a specifically worded message (Acts 19:1-5). If John's exact message did not attend his water baptism, it was not John's baptism, as Paul taught those twelve Ephesian disciples whom he met. They thought they had received John's baptism, but they had not heard about the holy Ghost baptism. Learning this, Paul explained to them that they had not really received John's baptism because "John came saying". And since, being Jews, they were required by God to receive to John's baptism (even though John himself was dead by then), Paul re-baptized them, this time using John's words. Then, those twelve humble men received the holy Ghost baptism from Jesus and spoke with other tongues, just as John had said they should.

Mere water baptism is not John's baptism. The various forms of water baptism that Christians practice and teach are strange baptisms that Christians have invented without any ordination of God whatsoever. There are only two baptisms that God has ever ordained, John's and Jesus', and only one of them was intended to be permanent. The time for John's baptism is passed, and every other form of water baptism has been worthless to start with. For this reason, Paul proclaimed that there is but one baptism that matters at all to God (Eph 4:5).

E. John's baptism was a prophetic symbol of Jesus' baptism, the baptism of the holy Spirit and fire (Mt. 3:11; etc.). When Jesus suffered and died, bringing to men the baptism of their spirits, the purpose for John's baptism began to fade away. As John himself confessed, "He must increase, and I must decrease."

F. The holy Ghost baptism is greater (Mt. 3:13-15) and was destined to completely replace John's baptism (Jn. 3:28-30; Eph. 4:5; 1Cor. 1:10-17). John's baptism was but one of the many ceremonial symbols that God gave to Israel to point them to their Messiah. When the Messiah came and accomplished his work in Israel, there was no more need for John's baptism than there was for animal sacrifices or holy days. These things were the "shadow" of Christ, and the shadows all passed away when the light came to us.

G. John's baptism prepared Jews to receive the holy Ghost baptism.

This is the last element of confusion that needs to cleared up for this generation concerning the purpose of John's baptism. On several occasions, John's baptism is called a baptism "unto repentance for the remission of sins". On this basis, many have wrongly concluded that John's baptism remitted, or washed away, sins. But no amount of earthly water can wash away sins. Sin is a matter of the heart (Mt. 15:19-20); water baptism, being a natural, fleshly thing, cannot cleanse that part of man. Jesus' baptism of man's spirit is the only baptism that can cleanse man's heart from sin.

John's baptism was a divine seal, a testimony from John that a person had repented and was prepared for the baptism of the holy Ghost that Jesus would make available after he ascended to the Father to offer himself as a sacrifice for our sins. John's was a "baptism or repentance" because it was given only to those Jews who repented. It was for "the remission of sins" because it prepared those whom John baptized to receive the remission of sins that Jesus' baptism would give. John's baptism was "for remission of sins" not because it remitted sins but because it qualified the Jews who received it to receive remission of sins. In your Bible, you will never find one Jew who received the holy Ghost from God unless he had been prepared for the remission of sins by John's baptism.

No reasonable person can believe that earthly water can remit sins. But wrong ideas about God make us unreasonable. Plato once said that "whatever deceives, bewitches." In other words, when we relieve a lie into our souls, we are brought under a spell. Every lie comes from some unclean spirit, and we are brought under the power of that spirit when we believe it's lie. But Jesus promised that the truth would set us free. God's children need to know the foundational truth about John the Baptizer so that they can to escape the dark power of Christianity and its lies about God.

This is the fourth stone that I have used to lay out for you for a sure foundation, upon which you may safely build your faith as you grow in the light of God.


QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM APOSTOLIC/UPCI PASTORS

August 21, 2010

Dear pastor,

I've been reading some of your I guess articles of questions and answers. I would like to encourage you to just walk humbly before god, be honest and keep and open mind before the Spirit of God. You are walking in all the light you have right now. Please do not even take time to respond to the questions asked by the UPCI, or Oneness people. It is not good for either of you. You will only end up at an impasse. This is not the will of god for his children to be attacking each other in ways that are not productive. This is a trick of the devil and our flesh to get us more at odds with each other. You grow from where you are in God. Apparently you are teaching love and the word. That is the work of the holy Ghost to bring revelation and draw men unto him. But you must never be afraid to embrace new truths that the holy Ghost is willing to show you. I'm third generation Apostolic pastor. Personally brother, I'm against this type of questioning and answering. Those babies that are reading this are even more confused because y'all are showing them two options. This cannot be. Please just do not respond to them. Make some declaration on your website that you are not taking questions regarding this matter. You know brother, the word must be revealed and 1Cor. 2:10 says the deep things of God can only be revealed by the holy Ghost. Those who are not Spirit-filled cannot receive this deeper dimension of who Jesus is. It must be taught in the right setting and with the right spirit and then the holy Ghost can illuminate the mind. I thank you for what I see here. The rest I will leave to you and God, but I plead with you to not entertain their questioning, especially in a public venue. I truly feel it does more harm than good. The bible is right. Man is wrong. But as ministers we must teach that word so man will have an opportunity to know the real truth of God's word. Stay encouraged in Jesus Love in Jesus' name Pastor John Riddle ================================== Dear Brother Riddle, I am perplexed as to why you see questions and answers as a threat to the spiritual well-being of the saints. God invited His people repeatedly to seek his face, to ask for wisdom, and to desire to know the things pertaining to the kingdom. As long as the answers are true, and from the spirit, there can be no danger to the body of Christ in them. There are teachers in the body; that is the third of the offices, or functions, mentioned by Paul in 1Corinthians 12:29. Surely, if there are teachers, there will be students with questions. The disciples asked Jesus many questions, and he never expressed an opinion of them as you seem to be expressing to me. It may be that I have misunderstood your meaning. If so, please help me understand better what you are saying. Your servant in Christ Jesus the Lord, Pastor John ===================== Dear Pastor John, I'm so very sorry if I made you misunderstand my intent for writing you. It was just that I was doing some research on a site and ran across an article you had written about the pagan god yahweh of the Christians. John 14:6 says no man can come to God in anyway except the Spirit draw them. When the Spirit of God is working in the heart of a man so that the Spirit is drawing him to come closer to God in understanding of his word, then God will bring the two individuals together in a meeting so that they can openly discuss the word of God with an open heart, not coming with their mind made up for the purpose of proving the other wrong. That is in no way the right spirit to receive anything of God. In fact neither one will be able to receive any new revelation from the Spirit of God by the word. But it will only bring forth contention and eventually a bad spirit. Especially when you are discussing a subject as controversial as the "oneness of God" or "baptism in jesus' name", especially if one is an apostolic believer and the other is a trinitarian believer. They should never come together in that forum. I'm third generation apostolic and have been pastoring longer I'm sure than you are old, by your picture. Going on 49 years. Pastor I know how strongly apostolic people feel about those two subjects and I just don't like to see it discussed in an open forum like I said, a blog, f/b, tweeter, or chatroom. It may start off peacefully but before you know it the flesh in pride has taken over and humility, peace, longsuffering has gone out the window and an open debate has ensued - and men debating the word of God is a sin. Especially when men and women all over this world are dying and going to hell every three minutes and we may could be used to win them to God. But no - we are engaged in a prideful act of trying to prove the other person wrong. Now if you are in your church bible study and some ask you what you think the bible says about it, because someone had approached them then you may be able to discuss it peacefully with them. But if the person has been enlightened to the subject, then more than likely, even in your own congregation, it will not end pleasantly. What you are speaking of in 1Cor.12:28-29 is a mixture of the gifts of the spirit and the five fold ministry found in Eph.4:8-13. Pastor what you are missing in what I'm saying is this: You can't stand beside me and teach the triune doctrine of the godhead and teach the biblical mode of baptism for the n.t. new covenant church in Mat.28:19. We could not stand side by side brother and teach one audience. Because on those specific doctrinal points we are nowhere near to ever agree. And the word of God is the truth. John 17:17. But if you declare it says one thing because you were raised in a trinitarian environment, even though you have gone out and studied and learned and accepted things of understanding for yourself and I have done the same (and I was, and I have), it would be totally improper for you and I to stand and confuse that class of innocent people, because as the teacher, pastor, elder, bishop, overseer Acts 20:28, Jude 3, Eph.4:13....we are to be teaching the same thing and if we are not, then somebody is wrong. You cannot have two different opinions on one topic. The only way you could have a question and answer class is if you taught the class according to your belief in that subject, and if everyone in their belief the same thing only was attending because they needed further clarification. So that is why I said to make a declaration on your web site\t for one God people to not come in and disturb the peace of your teaching, blog or class. It is not Christ-like or ethical. I have been in the apostolic faith for 64 years this month and I know how strongly some of them view and feel about the two topics. And I just do not like to see them debated. They can never be answered by you to them, or them to you. You at this point are not ready to even embrace, I'm taking a big step there, to even entertain that thought of studying with me because you are truly interested in the fact that there might be more to this than what you have ever given thought to. From what I saw of you and your congregation, I saw a very loving caring pastor. Who appears to be very satisfied with what you believe, although I have to admit you did a very splendid job explaining about yahweh. The reason I followed on with it, printed it out and studied, is because it was right in line with what we as apostolics teach. Pastor I just don't feel that as true holy Ghost filled people we should be debating this. The bible is true, you and I one are wrong. And yes, I will call you brother. As long as you are spirit-filled and justified by faith and living as holy and righteous a life as you see and are obedient totally to the scripture, I feel that I must call you brother. I know most apostolics would not, and would crucify me for doing so, but there are many differences in our beliefs, as you have in yours. I pray that this came out better this time. I am in no way attacking you or criticizing. I just would ask you not to engage in a debate with any one-god person. Just tell them please that Pastor Riddle asked them to be at peace with all men. Pastor I want everyone to be born again. This is the will of God. But we know the way of holiness is narrow and the way to hell is broad and getting broader. This breaks my heart. We can be doing much more with our time that arguing over this. If there is a true desire and you or anyone wants to know anything about the apostolic faith, I would be happy to do my best to help. But if the question asked is just for the sake of trying to prove the other wrong, you have ask the wrong Pastor. I won't engage you. Love in christ Stay encouraged in Jesus till he comes Pastor Riddle =========== Thank you for writing back. It is an honor to hear from any of God's children. I pray that you and the saints there with you will be found acceptable in every way to both Jesus and the Father. Take care, and God bless. Your servant, jdc PS Just so you will know, I am not a Trinitarian. Thanks for the kind remarks regarding the family of God, we thank you, and ditto. Sorry no offense intended regarding being trinitarians. Another error from the way the blog, I guess that's you call them, you appeared to be defending the triune doctrine to the apostolic believer. So since you were seemingly in defense of the trinity, I assumed that was your position. Please forgive. I just us all to seek peace love and harmony thru spirit of truth. Blessings Pastor Riddle

QUESTIONS/COMMENTS ON THE FATHER, THE SON, AND "ONENESS"

August 1, 2006

Pastor John:

What is it that Paul was trying to say in Colossians 2:9? I just want to learn the new way. (I have an old concept.)

Thanks.

Manuel

Hi Manuel:

Here is that verse, and the following one (Col. 2:9-10): "for in him dwells all the fullness of deity bodily, and you are made full in him who is the head of every ruler and authority."

Christ Jesus is the very image of his Father. He was sent by his Father to show us what the Father is like, and he did that perfectly because he is perfectly like Him. This is what Jesus meant when he told his disciples, "If you have seen me, you have seen the father." Many have taught that by this statement , Jesus was claiming to be the Father Himself, but that is not the case. We ought to see the Father in one another every day, and by the power of the Spirit, we will live so that others do see Him. To an apostolic group that taught this, my father said one evening in a sermon deep in the hills of Tennessee long ago, "Has anybody seen God in you lately?"

Paul's phrase in Colossians 2:9, "The fullness of deity", refers to Jesus' spiritual life, not his physical body. But where did Jesus get that life? He said the Father gave it to him (Jn. 5:26), and God does not give that life "by measure" (Jn. 3:34). In other words, the Father "fills" us with it, just as Paul said in Colossians 2:10. Look at those two verses again: (Col. 2:9-10): "for in him dwells all the fullness of deity bodily, and you are made full in him who is the head of every ruler and authority."

God fills us all if we will submit to Him completely. Through the holy Ghost, we, like Jesus, become "partakers of the divine nature" (2Pet. 1:4). Through the holy Ghost, we, like Jesus, become "sons of God" (1Jn. 3:1), "and because you are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father!" (Gal. 4:6).

With your apostolic background, Manuel, I know what you must have been taught about such verses as Colossians 2:9. I hope, now Jesus has liberated you from that darkness, that you will help us spread the good news about the Father AND the Son.

Pastor John


September 13, 2004

Dear Pastor John,

I was just wondering something from reading on your website that stirred me. The new testament talks about the Holy Ghost overshadowing Mary, wouldn't this make Jesus the son of the Holy Ghost, and not of God.

Yes, it would, if the Spirit is a person. But it is not. It is God's life that He gave to His Son Jesus and that Jesus gives to us.

Also in revelation the first chapter John writes the words that Jesus speaks Rev. 1:9 "I am Alpha and Omega the beginning and the ending..."

Yes, and in chapter 3, Jesus explains what he is the beginning and end of, when he calls himself "the beginning of the creation of God". He is the "first and the last" that the Father created. After he came into existence, the Son created everything, as His Father willed it. This is why we read in Genesis 1, "Let us make man in our image." That was the Father speaking to the Son.

also in revelation it speaks of one throne and one that sat on the throne, not two and surely not three,

Maybe you misunderstood something about the thrones in heaven. I have read of at least twenty five of them in that book.

are you going to tell me this is wrong or just pacify me by agreeing with me.

I guess, my friend, I will just tell you that it is wrong.

I am one of the arrogant and hateful "Jesus only" people you talk about and if that is how you are going to label that is fine but you got it wrong is not "Jesus only" it's "JESUS everything."

It's ok. And if you have any other comments you would like to share, please feel free to send them. And don't give up. Jesus loves you, and that means that you do not have to stay forever in the spiritual condition that you are in. We love you, too. And that means we are willing to do whatever we can to help.

Take care and stay in touch.

Your servant,

Pastor John


October 18, 2002

Until recently I believed in the same thing you discussed on Questions for your soul. That Jesus and God are two seperate entities. But after I started attending a Pentecostal church they showed me numerous scriptures showing that Jesus and God where the same person. One of the most confusing scriptures was John 14:7-10. Other scriptures dealing with this are; Colossians 2:8-9, 1 Timothy 3:16, Isaih 9:6, John 14:16-18, Romans 8:9, Deuteronomy 6:4, Acts 9:3-5

Please refer to these scriptures and help me to understand if they are 2 complete seperate people then what are these scriptures saying.

Thank You,

Jammie

Jammie:

The apostolic doctrine you are being taught is among the worst of all errors. I hope you escape.

Concerning John 14:7-10, the fact that Jesus is IN the Father does not mean that he IS the Father. Paul said that we are IN Christ. Does that mean that we ARE Christ? Jesus also said in those verses that "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." Let me ask you, has anybody seen God in you lately? Seeing God in Jesus or in us does not make us God.

This is not complicated, Jammie. Don't become foolish by letting those men to whom you are listening puff you up by thinking that you are becoming more spiritual. Jesus is not his own Father. Concerning the doctrine you are being taught, Jammie, I tell you as Paul told a congregation that had been misled in his time, "This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you."

Concerning Colossians 2:8-9: Jesus said "All power in heaven and earth is given to me." (Who gave it to him, I wonder?) And "No man cometh to the Father but by me." If that is true, then is it any wonder that Paul says that in Christ dwells "all the fullness of the godhead [God's divine nature] bodily." We, too, you may remember, have been made "partakers of the divine nature" (2Pet. 1:4). The word "godhead" is a weird word, invented by trinitarians but used by apostolics now (they both have the same spirit). It means simply "God's divine nature". And yes, Jesus' was filled with God's divine nature. Praise God for that.

The apostolic philosophy you are being taught now, that Jesus is his own Father, will spoil you if you continue to trust it. It is an evil thing.

Concerning 1Tim. 3:16, God is still manifested in the flesh, every time one of His children is moved by His Spirit to do or say anything. In Christ, He was manifested in the ways Paul mentions in that verse. In you, He will be manifested in other ways, if you obey Him as Jesus obeyed Him. Jesus had his work, and you have yours.

Concerning Isaiah 9:6, Jesus is called "God" by the Father on a number of occasions (e.g. Heb. 1:8), and rightly so. If the Father sends a man to a people to do a certain work, He makes that man god over those people to do that work, as He made Moses god over Pharaoh (Ex. 7:1), and as He made the judges and rulers in Israel gods over the Israelites (Ex. 22:28). All those to whom the Word of God comes are re-created by God into beings that He himself calls gods (Ps. 82:6; with Jn. 10:34-35).

Jesus was the first and the last thing that the Father ever created. He called himself "the beginning of the creation of God" (Rev. 3:14). Jesus also called himself the beginning and the end, the "alpha and omega." All things were created by the Son, by the will of the Father, who had created him and anointed him with power to create everything else, and gave him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow--every knee, that is, except the Father's. He is the lone exception (1Cor 15:24-28). For this reason, Jesus is God over all creation, things in heaven and things in earth, visible and invisible. He created all those things, as his Father desired him to do, and surely he who created all things is God (Heb. 3:4).

Further, from Isaiah 9:6, concerning Jesus being a father, the prophets said he would be one. The Spirit of Christ spoke through Isaiah and said, "Behold, I and the children that God has given to me!" (Isa. 8:18). The Spirit of God moved Isaiah in another place to lament Jesus' early death and to declare that he would have no children ("generation") that men of earth could see and describe (Isa. 53:8), but the Psalmist proclaimed that he would have children, a "generation", who would serve him and whom God would consider to be Jesus' offspring.

Concerning John 14:16-18, I hope you have not been taught that when someone receives the holy Ghost baptism, the person of Jesus and the person of the Father come into that person.

Jammie, surely you know that when we receive the Spirit of God, what we receive is God's Spirit, don't you? Jesus is in heaven with the Father. Neither of them is here, except in spirit, much as Paul was with the Corinthian saints in spirit when they were in trouble (1Cor 5:4). When we receive the holy Spirit, we receive the same Spirit of life that Jesus received from the Father (Jn. 5:26). Jesus was also anointed by God with power to give life to others (Jn. 17:2).

Concerning Romans 8:9, the Spirit of God is the same as the Spirit of Christ because Christ receive his spirit from God. The Spirit of God is the same as the holy Ghost, the same as the Spirit of life, the same as the Spirit, the Comforter, the Spirit of grace, and a hundred other titles. There is only one holy Spirit (Eph. 4), although it is called by many different names.

Moses told the truth in Dt. 6:4: There is only one God. And when a certain young man called Jesus "good Master" Jesus rebuked him, saying "There is only one who is good, that is God" (Mt. 19:16-17). There is only one God, who delegates His complete authority to others whom he anoints, and He sometimes then calls them gods. Where is there a problem with that? Jesus never had one. He knew that his life was in God's hands, and his prayers were heard because he feared God (Heb 5:7). Furthermore, he learned obedience to God through his suffering (Heb. 5:8).

Sorry, Jammie, I don't see the relevance of Acts 9:3-5 to the apostolic heresy. Did you write down the wrong Scripture?

Jammie, for your own good, get away from those people who are teaching you this foolishness about the Father and the Son being the same person. Make your escape before you are turned over to it.

Pastor John

On October 14, 2003...

I have now come to realize that the idea that Jesus is his father is incorrect, it has been some time and I had read this letter when you first sent it but was not convinced. Recently I have moved out of town and away from the church I had been attending. After clearing my head of their teachings, I found this e-mail in my saved mail boxes and have found your scripture very helpful in making my decision. I thank you very much for responding, It is nice to be able to look to someone for spiritual advice. I finally feel clear on my decision.

Thank You very much

Jammie


Pastor Clark,

I have read your tracts and have found really nothing to argue with you about. I am an Apostolic Pentecostal. I uphold the teachings of the Word Of God. I believe that you must obey every word of Jesus Christ. I believe that salvation consists of Repentance, Baptism By Immersion in the Name of Jesus Christ, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of Speaking in Other Tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance.

I do not, neither does our faith believe in the heresy called the "trinity." We believe that God is a Spirit and that he is one Spirit, not two or three as claimed by the trinity adherents. We believe that Jesus birth was the beginning of his PHYSICAL life, but that his Spirit was God, the Holy Spirit which created all things. In other words, we believe that God is a Spirit that is only seen in the body of Jesus Christ.

This is what is commonly called Oneness Theology or Absolute Monotheism. Please tell me if these views conflict with yours, because I am fascinated with your tracts.

Jason, thank you for asking openly and frankly about where I stand on these matters. To be saved from the coming wrath of God is the hope of the body of Christ, and wise children of God will examine themselves, as Paul told the Corinthians to do, to see whether we are truly in "the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude). It is a good thing for you to ask me what I teach, so that not only can you discover what I am teaching but also so that I can again examine myself as I explain it to you.

Repentance from sin is, of course, required by God. Only the hardest of hearts would refuse to confess that truth (and those hearts exist, as you know). Also absolutely required, if we would receive the salvation that Jesus will bring with him when he returns. is the baptism that he purchased for us with his death and resurrection. It is not the baptism that washes dirt off the body, but the baptism that cleanses the conscience of men that will save us in the end, the baptism that was given to men after Jesus was raised from the dead (1Pet. 3:20-21).

The only other baptism that God ever ordained was John's baptism, which baptism always included the message of the baptism of Christ that would soon follow. When Paul met some disciples who claimed to have received John's baptism in Acts 19, he disagreed, pointing out that John's baptism always carried with it a message. Therefore, how could they have received John's baptism? The truth is, they had only been dunked in water by a confused man (Apollos) who only thought he was performing John's baptism. Paul then did it right.

It is clear from Paul's action that the disciples whom he baptized were Jews. He also baptized with John's baptism a few Jews in Corinth, even though he later regretted doing that (1Cor. 1). Paul explains in that same chapter that he was not sent by Christ to baptize (that is, he was not sent to minister John's baptism). This was because Paul was sent to the Gentiles instead of to the Jews. John's baptism was for Israel, to prepare them for their Messiah (Jn. 1). It was not given to John for any other people. John could have said, just as Jesus did when a non-Jew begged for her daughter's healing, "I am sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." For this reason, Paul's doctrine concerning baptism for us Gentiles was that there is only one (Eph. 4).

No water baptism has ever been ordained by God for us Gentiles who trust in Christ. The only form of water baptism that could possibly have ever been intended to be passed on to us was John's because that is the only form of water baptism that came from God. But Paul's "gospel of the uncircumcision" (Gal 2) excluded that ceremony, as well as all the other ceremonies that God required of the Jews under the Law.

But enough on that. There is more to be found on that issue in my on-line tracts, especially #16 "Have Ye Received the Holy Ghost Since Ye Believed?" and #66 "Baptism". The Tract titled "Seven Pillars" also deals with this and related issues succinctly.

As for your other doctrinal statement, the matter of the trinity, we can agree that the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is nonsense. It doesn't merit much consideration.

The same can also be truly said, however, concerning the doctrine you have been taught concerning the Father and the Son. They are two beings, not one, as everything I can read in the Bible plainly affirms. The Father is greater in every way than is Jesus, His Son, and the attempt to explain this in terms of Jesus's flesh being one person (the Son) and his Spirit another (the Father) simply does not hold up. If you would like to pursue this, you can check out my on-line tracts, "The Father and the Son" and "Is Jesus God?"

I hope this answers your initial questions. You will understand, I know, that I have replied to similar questions on numerous occasions. In fact, so often have I replied to such queries that I have even contemplated having a special place on my web site for Apostolic visitors. That being the case, Jason, I would only ask you to be aware that I have limited time to respond to email that is non-specific. I would like to continue this correspondence with you, but if you would, please read the on-line articles on the subjects that concern you and then write me with specific questions that I may not have dealt with in those articles. That would be the best way to start.

Your servant,

John David Clark, Sr.

One viewer's comments concerning the emails above are as follows...

John,

It is so amazing to me that people can actually believe that Jesus is really just God, and not himself, a separate being. I hope he sees the truth in what you explained to him.

Jackie B

I do, too, Jackie. He's my brother in the Lord. We all need to preach the same gospel to this lost world. May God help us, and heal us all, and make us one as Jesus and the Father are one.

jdc

QUESTIONS/COMMENTS ON THE NEW BIRTH & SPIRIT BAPTISM

November 6, 2013

(In response to literature sent by a pentecostal minister to Pastor John.)

Dear Brother Prince,

I received the four booklets you sent me, and I reviewed them last night. Thank you for sending them. My hope is that Jesus will have his joy fulfilled by our being made one as he and the Father are one.

Your booklet titled, "New Birth Bible Study" was the first that I read, and I noticed, on just the first few pages, several statements with which it was impossible to agree. I suppose a more optimistic way of saying it is that I noticed several places which presented Jesus with opportunities to make us one. I will make mention of just a couple of them. The first was this:

"Clearly, being "born again" is the same thing as being "saved".

The use of the word "saved" as a synonym for the new birth is a tradition which began in earnest only about a hundred years ago. You never hear the apostles, or anyone else in Christian history for that matter, speak of "the day I got saved". That is a thoroughly modern, and misguided testimony. You can read more on what I teach about salvation here:

http://www.goingtojesus.com/site/php/whatissalvation.html

Lest I make this too long, I will mention but one more of the great opportunities you gave Jesus to make us one, again from the first page:

"Simply stated, the birth of water is 'water baptism' and the birth of the Spirit is 'Holy Spirit Baptism'".

If that were the case, brother Prince, then men would have to be born three times: (1) naturally, (2) in water baptism, and (3) in Spirit baptism. Jesus told Nicodemus (and all the Jews, since that "you" is plural in Greek) that he only needed to be born again, not that he needed to be born twice more. Remember, Jesus added, "What is born of flesh is flesh". Nicodemus and the rest of the Jews, believers or not, had already gone through the first birth, the birth of water. Their possession of fleshly bodies proved that. What everybody who is born the first time needs is to be born again; that is, to be baptized by the Spirit into the family of God, the body of Christ (1Cor. 12:13). If you want, you can read more about what I teach about baptism here:

http://www.goingtojesus.com/site/php/baptism.html

My hope is in Christ, that he will make us and all his people one, as he and the Father are one. I know that he has the power and knowledge sufficient for the task, if we will humble ourselves to co-operate with him.

Thank you again for the books. Until I hear from you again, I remain

Your servant in Christ,
John Clark, Sr.


August 22, 2009

Good Morning Pastor John,

My wife and I have a question for you concerning Acts 2:38. "When Peter said unto them Repent, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost."

When reading it sounds like 3 things: Repent, baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Was Peter still referring to baptism in water??? In Acts 1:5 It is very clear baptized with the Holy Ghost

Thank you and we appreciate everything you do and all your help in understanding the scriptures.

Tim and Brooke

Hi Tim:

Yes, Peter was referring to John the Baptist's baptism in water. Of course, Peter was preaching only to Jews (Acts 2:5) who were required to submit to John the Baptist's baptism, even after John died, just as they were required to submit to Moses' law after Moses died. Paul's gospel to the uncircumcised Gentiles, which excluded water baptism and every other ceremonial religious work, was a few years away from being revealed.

Pastor John


March 16, 2006

Hi John,

I was reading the TFM on One Way. I know that some, if not many, Pentecostal preachers and pastors believe and teach that the New Birth is when you receive the Holy Ghost. They preach this in their churches. Does this mean they are hearing from God and are close to coming out of Xty?

Thanks,

Jackie

Hi Jackie:

There are also many non-Pentecostal ministers who can see that the Bible clearly states that when we receive the Spirit is when we are born again. They have not received the holy Ghost; they have only been taught to believe that they have it, but they can see that the Bible teaches that those who believe do receive it.

If a man is speaking of the real holy Ghost when he says that receiving it is the New Birth, then yes, he is close to finding his way out of Xty. For many of them, however, Satan has a few final snares that can hold them inside his white-washed city. In the case of Apostolics, it is the doctrine that Jesus does not wash away sins with his holy Ghost baptism but that their ministers wash sins away with water -- if those ministers use the proper verbal formula as they dunk people in the water.

Sounds silly, doesn't it? That is because it is silly; Jesus is the only one who can wash away sins, and he does it by the power of the Spirit, not with superstitious ceremony and H2O. Nevertheless, that doctrine seems to grips men's minds like iron once it gets in there. Keep yourself free from that error.

Pastor John


March 27, 2003

Hi,

I saw your site and I think it's great that you are taking the truth of the Holy Ghost with evidence of speaking in tongues to the world but you have erred in some of your information. I am Pentecostal and in reading some of your material, you state that "...Pentecostals -- teach you can be born again without it..." this is not true. He have always preached in the UPCI that you must be baptized in JESUS NAME by being immersed in the water according to Acts 2:38, 8:16,19:5. That is how sins are washed away. Although you can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost before being baptized the plan of salvation is not fulfilled until you follow ALL 3 steps: Repentance, Baptism in Jesus Name, and being filled with the Holy Ghost with evidence of speaking in tongues. So, as for the United Pentecostal Church International goes we DO NOT preach that you can be born again prior to the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

Crystal Gilson

Dear Crystal.

Thank you for taking the time to e-mail me. There is no such thing in the bible (or in spiritual experience) as the "three steps of the salvation plan", as you have said. That is the "denominational line" one must tow to remain in the UPCI, but it is not the truth. Conversion is an experience, and the fulfillment of it requires only ONE step - Spirit baptism. Once Jesus has done that, we are as much in the body of Christ as we can ever be. No other ceremony is required after that, although Jesus requires us to obey and be led by the Spirit we have received.

There is ONE experience which puts people into the body of Christ - and that is Spirit baptism (1Cor. 12:13, Isa. 28:11-12). In this dispensation, the new birth experience excludes ALL ceremony (such as water baptism, circumcision, etc.). There is nothing "men" can do to other men to help God convert them. Jesus must baptize men with His Spirit to make them "new creatures" in Christ Jesus. And that is ALL that must happen to make us "new creatures", and part of the body of Christ: Spirit baptism.

We have with us people who have received the baptism of the holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues, and who have NEVER been water baptized. To do anything else to them would be to take away the glory that belongs to Jesus alone. They are happy in God, and free in the Spirit - so what can I tell them? That the UPCI requires that they "get wet" to prove something has happened to them that Jesus already did?

Lastly, you said, "Although you can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost before being baptized..." Listen to your words. You are saying that a person can receive the holy Ghost prior to conversion (which is part of the salvation steps you mention)??!!! You are saying that a person can receive the holy Ghost (God bearing witness to their faith in his Son, by the evidence of speaking in tongues), and if they are not baptized in water after that, then they will be lost??!!!! That is crazy Crystal. This may be another reason that those in the UPCI are sometimes among the hardest people we know of to reach with the gospel (the real one). If they are teaching what you are telling me, they have been spiritually blinded. I cannot make sense out of what you are telling me, because it makes no sense if you stop and think about it! Hopefully you will see that, and "come out" to where Jesus is.

There is a special section on the pastorjohnshouse.com website, just for people who have been taught UPCI doctrine. You might want to check it out.

Sincerely,

Gary Savelli


QUESTIONS/COMMENTS ON DENOMINATIONS, CHRISTIANITY, AND MORE & OTHER GENERAL INTERNET RESPONSES...

February 19, 2009

Praise the Lord John ,

I just received your book 'Speaking in Tongues at Spirit Baptism" where you talked about your false doctrine. Paul talks in 2 Corinthians 4:3-7 "But if the gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost". Paul speaks again in Galatians 1:6-12 in vs. "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you let him be accursed". And again in verse 9 Paul speaks again in 2Timothy 3:1-7 vs. "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof from such turn away". vs. " Ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth".

I would advise all your followers turn away from You and follow the [Apostles Doctrine] we can talk about the Holy Ghost some other time but first we need to have your sins washed away. St. Mark 16:15-18 vs16, "He that believith and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth NOT shall be DAMNED!" Paul speaks in Ephesians 4:1-6 vs.5 "One Lord, One faith, One baptism," when Peter preached on the day of Pentecost to all the house of Israel how they crucifed, both Lord and Christ they asked a question that is being asked all around the world today. "Men and brethren , what shall we do"? The problem is that false prophets have arised like God spoke of in St.Matthew 24:23-26 and cannot give the people the truth Peter clearly gave them the answer how to get rid of there sins in Acts 2:38-47 save your self and your congregation from this untoward generation and OBEY ACTS 2:38!!!

Please write me back soon we will be praying for you and your congregation.

Rev. M--- M-----

Hi M----:

I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord of all, except his Father, to whom he himself will bow, with all whom he saves in the end (1Cor. 15:27-28).

You speak much too boldly for the degree of knowledge that you possess. Solomon said that "sweetness of the lips increases knowledge." If that is true, it is unlikely that you will learn much more than you know now, unless you repent and change your caustic tone to one that more accurately reflects the nature and wisdom of Christ.

You and all God's people everywhere need very much to know that there is nothing that can wash sins away except the holy Ghost baptism. It is vain superstition to think otherwise. I know that your sect teaches that water baptism washes sins away, but your sect is badly mistaken. No earthly water can reach the heart, where, according to Jesus, all sin lies.

I hope you will visit my web site, www.pastorjohnshouse.com (lower right-hand column), and that you will prayerfully read my messages that relate to the errors that you have been taught, and that God will bless you with understanding when you read it.

Your servant
Pastor John

I thought this was a very good response to Rev. M--- John. Thank you... I really learned from it.

I have at times wondered what it was about apostolic people that made their doctrine fill them so full of such "wrath" against everyone and everything that does not include their "water baptism."

Here's a thought: The essence of their doctrine is, "what Jesus does, but what WE do too." (i.e., Jesus' Spirit baptism, and our water baptism.) Isn't that what Satan wanted? For men to worship God, but to include him too? Since the Son cleared the heavens of Satan (the devil), and since he (the devil) is here ("Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time"), it would make sense that those resisting truth would take on his "attitude." We KNOW that this wrathful spirit our brothers and sisters display is not the one our God teaches us to have. It's from somewhere else.

It makes me ashamed for every time I have reacted with any "wrath" or disdain against anyone who didn't believe what I did (and I know there have been times). I don't want to have this spirit towards any of God's children anywhere.

As you said recently, "God is so humble he even gives the holy Ghost to people who don't even know Him", as long as they honor his Son. He is that humble and good. What I felt in your letter to brother M--- was the balance of humility and correction. And it felt sweet to my soul.

Gary


(A NEW response from the same man)

Praise the Lord John,

I just read your comments. Where did you learn this man made doctrine?

Paul speaks in Romans 1:20-32 vs.20. "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" vs.25 Paul says, "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."

Show me in the scriptures where it says the holy ghost forgives sins. Remember Paul speaks in 2Corinthians 13:1. "This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." Does not Jesus give him self for an example in St.Matthew 3:13-17 vs. 16 "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the WATER: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lightning upon him."

Now if he who had no sin was baptized, what makes us think that we do not need the water? Paul speaks in Colossians 2:8-15 vs.8 "Beware lest any MAN spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of MEN, after the rudiments of the world, and not after CHRIST". In first Peter 2:21-25 vs.21 he speaks, "For even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:" Peter speaks again in 3:17-22 vs. 20 and 21, "Which sometime were disobedient,when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few," that is, eight souls were SAVED by WATER vs. 21 The like figure whereunto even BAPTISM doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

Does not the conscience deal with the heart.

John we will continue praying for you and your congregation. God Bless you all.

Rev. M.M.

 
Well, that's a little bit better spirit, M---. Keep it up, and let the Lord show you how to come down low, where he is.

Now, as for your questions:

Your question #1: "Show me in the scriptures where it says the holy ghost forgives sins."

Answer: The holy Ghost IS the blood of Christ. You can learn that by reading this article: http://www.isaiah58.com/tracts/bloodofchrist.html

Your question #2: "Now if he who had no sin was baptized, what makes us think that we do not need the water?"

Answer: So, Brother M---, if Jesus was circumcised in the flesh, we should be, too? In that case, Paul was a heretic, for he taught in Galatians 5:2-4, "Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be worthless to you. I testify again to every man who is circumcised that he is obligated to keep the entire Law. You are severed from Christ, you who are justified by the Law; you have fallen from grace."

Here is a short excerpt from my book, Spiritual Light, that you should read:

Lived For Us - It is rightly proclaimed that Jesus died for us. But how few understand that he also lived for us! Born under the Law for us, he was circumcised the eighth day for us, was baptized in water for us, kept the holy days and feast days for us, and fulfilled every other work of the Law for us. And once we are baptized by the Spirit into Christ, God not only considers us to have been crucified with him (Rom. 6:6), buried with him (Rom. 6:4), and risen with him (Col. 2:12), He also considers us to have been circumcised with him (Col. 2:11), and to have fulfilled the Law in every other respect.

Because of Jesus, we do not observe feast days, do not circumcise in the flesh, baptize in water, or perform any other work of the Law. Jesus did all that for us. His doing those things means we need not do them, just as his dying for us means we need not die for our own sins. He is our righteousness. And he is sufficient.

To refuse Christ is to imply that his work was not godly. To come to Christ and then partake of carnal religious symbols is to imply that his work was not godly enough.

Finally, Brother M---, concerning the Scriptures you quoted from 1Peter 3:20-21. It is difficult to understand how you could think to use those verses to show people they need to be baptized in water. Peter plainly states in the verses that YOU quoted that the baptism which saves us is NOT the one that washes filth from the body but the one that produces the answer (speaking in tongues) of a clear conscience toward God. And lastly, Peter mentions Noah and the ark. Pay close attention to that, Brother Mark. In Noah's story, you will remember, it was the people who stayed OUT of the water who were saved. Every person who was water baptized that day died in sin.

Please consider these things, and let me know what you think.

Pastor John


March 19, 2007

Hi John,

Yesterday, I had an experience that I have not had before. The lady that I asked everyone to pray for last week died this past Monday. Her name was Beverly Smith, a black lady that I worked with for 20 years. I attended her funeral and wow, what an experience. She attended a large apostolic church. The building was full of people, most of whom were very lively and full of excitement for the Lord.

The music was loud but good. The minister that was probably second in command seemed to be full of the holy Ghost. I really liked the way he handled himself. He started off the service by saying that they would follow the program that was developed, specifically for this funeral, unless the holy Ghost wanted to do something else. The service lasted two hours. They did stick with the program but it wasn't like they performed ceremonies. I could feel the Spirit the first part of the service. The people seemed to sing and clap their hands more freely. Once the program was followed a different feeling came over the place. The people looked different. The sense of excitement disappeared. The people looked bored as if they couldn't wait for things to end.

Later that afternoon, while I was cutting my grass, I could not get those people off my mind. I felt a love for those people I didn't even know. But yet, I felt a deep sadness because I would probably never get to know them. I felt a desire to hear their testimonies. I wanted to tell them mine. I wanted to worship with them but we are divided.

I have heard you talk about this sort of thing many times in the past but I can't say that I have ever felt it like I did yesterday.

I am so thankful for the simplicity of the gospel that we have. I long to have fellowship with all of God's people.

Tom

Tom:

The pain you feel is the pain of Jesus for his people. You can't feel it without the Spirit, and without the truth, you still don't really understand what it is that you are feeling. Christianity is killing God's people; it makes them feel obiligated to perform Christian ceremonies even if they would rather just be filled with the Spirit. Why, oh why, do they cling to that death? There is nothing that hurts the heart quite the way that loving God's precious people hurts--when they refuse His call to come out of Babylon and really be free.

jdc


Hey Bro. John,

I don't know if you remember a good while ago when you had sent out a video of Apostolic singers to some people and asked what they thought. When I saw the responses, I asked how that particular sect of Xty made people so mean since I'd had negative experiences with all kinds of Christians.

Well, last year I added a sister on Facebook, Sis. xxx. I'm pretty sure her husband is a preacher. I first added her because she was in a group where people were sharing how they received the holy spirit. Hers was something along the lines of receiving it while a man was holding her dad at gunpoint as he locked up after a revival meeting. She was young at the time.

Anyway, lately I've seen more things than usual from her on my news feed about "modesty" and long hair and long skirts, and about the government. I feel what you were saying now. On one hand, there's this sweet sister, and on the other hand there's religious pride. I make edifying comments where I see an opening, but it would be nice to not have that religion there between us.

Thanks for saying what you said, so I feel more certain about the feelings I have about all that.

Brittanie

The Oneness faith ("Jesus only"), which in our area is mainly the Apostolic brand, certainly has a strange power over people, to make them hateful, especially the men. I have yet to meet anyone of any Christian sect more hateful than the men I have met from the Apostolic faith.

Remember this, Brittanie. Being right does not give us the right to be cruel toward those whom we think are wrong. If God were like that, He would be cruel to everyone because He alone is right and good. Our corrupt fleshly nature would lead us to think that it is excusable to hate and treat cruelly those who are not as good and wise as we think we are. Playing on that corrupt nature is how Hitler persuaded the Germanic people (and some others) to abuse, plunder, and murder more than 11 million of their fellow citizens. Hitler persuaded his Aryan countrymen that it was a good thing to hurt and kill those lesser beings, the ones who were not of their breed or lifestyle. And many of God's own people think that way. They seem to believe that they have a license from God to be hateful and cruel toward those whom they think are wrong. But the nature of Christ, which is in us by the Spirit, will lead us to be like Jesus and be loving and patient with those who have not yet found the right way.

Pastor John