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 Vol. 6, No. 1 

January 2004

Since You Asked

~ Page 20 ~

Image Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld. Please check our Archive for the answer to your question before submitting it; there are over 1,000 articles in the Archive addressing numerous biblical topics. Submit a Question to GGO.

typewriter Is Baptism
Necessary
for Salvation?

By Louis Rushmore

Baptism is not necessary for salvation. Cornelius was saved before he was baptized. ~ Marc Taylor

While it is admirable that one makes an attempt to logically support his conclusions from the Bible, such efforts that have as their purpose to dispel clear biblical teaching are doomed to failure. If the veracity of the two sentences quoted above runs counter to biblical fact, all the remaining sentences expended (not here noted) are irrelevant and useless.

Who should be believed today regarding religious instruction, especially respecting salvation and baptism's relationship to salvation, if any? Should mankind trust in his fellow, uninspired man, or should he rely on the writings of the inspired writers of the New Testament? For instance, many claim today, "Baptism is not necessary for salvation." However, the apostle Peter penned by inspiration just the opposite, "...baptism doth also now save us..." (1 Peter 3:21 KJV); the ASV, NKJV, NIV, NASB and the RSV all teach in 1 Peter 3:21 that baptism saves us (i.e., is the point at which one's sins are removed). Therefore, the inspired Luke recorded the "must do" (Acts 9:6) relative to the salvation of Saul of Tarsus (later the apostle Paul) as "...arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).

Was Cornelius saved before he was baptized? Peter baptized him (Acts 10:48). However, the apostle Peter taught before and after his acquaintance with Cornelius that baptism saves (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21). Please don't think badly of me if I opt to take Peter's inspired word on the matter of the relationship of baptism to salvation, as well as understand the events relating to Cornelius, baptism and his salvation based on what the inspired apostle Peter wrote about baptism and salvation.Image

Miraculously Endowed
Prophets Today?

Image A prophet is a refined vessel that is created from birth to be a prophet. ... Prophets receive direct revelation from GOD when ever GOD wants to give that revelation... there are 5 offices, apostle, prophet, preacher, evanglist and deacon, and that is the order of the church offices.... The problem in americas churches in this hour is disobidence to the order of the Church. ... GOD alone teaches the prophets. Preachers are taught for the most part by folks in college in these times. ~ Joe Andrews

This excerpt demonstrates from beginning to end biblical inaccuracies. For instance, it is not the case that every prophet in Bible times was a prophet from birth. Amos was not a prophet of God from birth, but he was called later in life to be a prophet (Amos 7:14). Further, Samuel began a school of the prophets that was later continued by others, including Elijah and Elisha (See http://www.gospelgazette.com/gazette/2002/jul/page2.htm).

In the same context (Ephesians 4:11-14) to which reference occurs regarding "5 offices," Scripture teaches that miraculously assisted offices would conclude when the completed Word of God replaced the partial, piecemeal revelations characteristic of the first century church. Compare 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 respecting the prophesied cessation of miracles when the completed Word of God replaced partial, miraculously assisted revelation. No one receives "direct revelation from God" today! Anyone who neither is taught God's Word by others nor studies the Word of God for himself knows anything about God's plan for man.

Any revelation received today that is different from what was presented in the first century by the inspired apostles and others must be rejected as not God's Word (Galatians 1:6-9; Jude 3; Revelation 22:18-19). Any revelation received today that is additional to what was received by the time the last book of the New Testament was penned must be rejected because it is not miraculously inspired (1 Corinthians 13:8-13; Ephesians 4:11-14).

There are no miraculously endowed prophets today! There are no apostles today! Though there are 'evangelists, pastors (elders) and teachers' today, they are not miraculously endowed.Image

The Bible, a Dead Letter?

By Louis Rushmore

Image Image I dare you. Show me one verse in the Bible that says Jesus wanted his followers to write anything down. Show me a verse where Jesus said the Bible is your sole source of his Truths. ~ Jeff Vaughn

The apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation because Jesus Christ told him to write it (Revelation 1:1). Notice these examples: "Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea" (Revelation 1:11). "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter" (Revelation 1:19). "Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write..." (Revelation 2:1). "And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write..." (Revelation 2:8). "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write..." (Revelation 2:12). "And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write..." (Revelation 2:18). "And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write..." (Revelation 3:1). "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write..." (Revelation 3:7). "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write..." (Revelation 3:14). Anyone who may have difficulty discerning otherwise can open a red-letter edition of the Bible and see thereby that these are the words of Jesus.

Specifically regarding the Book of Revelation, generally true (in principle) regarding the whole Bible, Jesus does not permit any alteration of it. "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" (Revelation 22:18-19). Similar prohibitions from altering God's Word appear interspersed throughout the Bible. "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you" (Deuteronomy 4:2). "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar" (Proverbs 30:6).

Not just the words of Jesus himself, but the words of every inspired person, prophet and apostle carry the same weight as the words of Jesus, because it is the Spirit of God speaking through them (2 Peter 1:20-21; Matthew 10:18-21). The apostles of Christ received delegated authority from Jesus Christ himself whereby they could speak and write authoritatively (Matthew 18:18). Miraculous endowments concluded around the end of the first century, as was prophesied (1 Corinthians 13:8-13; Ephesians 4:11-14). The apostles possess the same authority today as they did when they walked on the earth (Matthew 19:28). Therefore, the inspired Bible continues to be the guide God intended for humanity to follow, instead of uninspired men who have lived and live after the conclusion of the miraculous age.

Jesus indicated the significance of his words (which are recorded in the Bible, John 20:30-31) regarding human redemption when he said: "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:48). The words of Jesus are unavailable outside of the Bible today. It doesn't take a rocket scientist (only an honest, truth-seeking heart) to appreciate the place of the Bible in God's plan for man.Image

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