the Baptist made a most interesting statement characterizing the
Jewish Messiah Whom he announced. He said, “… I indeed baptize
you with water; but one mightier than I cometh,the latchet of whose
shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy
Ghost and with fire:” Luke 3:16, Matt. 3:11.
Most all agree
that the baptism of the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit, occurred on the
day called Pentecost as recorded in Acts Chapter Two. But what about
the baptism of fire that John prophesied Jesus would administer?
There are two common misunderstandings of this prophecy and its
fulfillment. One is that the conjunction “Kai” in the Koine Greek
text should be translated “Even.” The other is that this was
accomplished by the cloven tongues of fire that sat upon the
disciples on that historic and monumental occasion. Let it be said
that if the conjunction should have been translated “even”
instead of “and” surely one of the many translations of the Bible
would employ it that way. None do! Additionally, the cloven tongues
that sat upon the disciples on Pentecost do not represent a baptism
which is in Greek “baptizo” to plunge or immerse. So both the
ideas are rejected as simple misunderstandings of what John the
Baptist was actually saying.
Closer examination of what
John said, and in correlation with other scriptures indicate a
baptism of judgment. Dr. A. T. Robertson in his work WORD PICTURES IN
THE NEW TESTAMENT sees and expresses this view as well. The completed
work of Christ Jesus, including both His cross work and His Holy Word
establishes the criteria by which men shall meet Him in judgment. For
this reason the church of His establishment is empowered with both
knowledge and dynamic ability to grow up in Him, and to exercise His
holy will in each generation. Such as are submissive to Him are
undergoing, here and now, that baptism spoken of as fire, a
consistent type of judgment. Consequently, the apostle Peter plainly
expresses this truth in I Peter 4:17, “For the time is come that
judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us,
what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
judgment through which modern day, submissive disciples pass is that
of being shaped by His Word (transformed rather than conformed to the
world). Sometimes this is indeed quite fiery, but it allows the
person so exercised to correct views, lifestyle, and beliefs to be in
accord with God’s Word. His judgment then producing in that person
highly rewardable works at His coming. Thus does the extended water
baptism of John through a New Testament Church afford one the
extended baptism of fire that refines him for God’s service both
now, and in the millennial reign to come.
MARCH 6 – Not just any worship will do.
Leviticus 10:1-3 – 1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.
2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
3 Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.
We as a people are innovative. We are problem solvers. We like new things. What we find is that for things to work they must be precise. Great companies that create machines know that precision is necessary for machinery to work and last.
Caterpillar and John Deere have a position called inspector. These men have the responsibility to measure every component that goes into a tractor or bulldozer. If the component is too large or too small, it is rejected. Only those parts that meet specifications were accepted.
Anyone that has read the Old Testament knows how precise God was in the building of the tabernacle and the temple. Who remembers that there was a specific way to carry the Ark? God was very clear about the priests and their clothing. God said that service in the Holy place they were to wear linen. Service in the courtyard they were to were cotton. Anything less was rejected.
Today we have been so self-centered instead of God-centered that we demand that God accept whatever we do and call it worship. We have decided that God has not set standards for us today. We believe that God changes to please our taste and our desires. We have incorporated worldly elements into what we call worship. We attempt to make worship appealing to people and are not concerned if it is acceptable to God.
May we make our worship acceptable to God and allow the Holy Spirit to draw men unto God.
Israel’s military spokespeople have labeled the current military operation in Gaza as “Operation Pillar of Defense” in English and other foreign languages. But in Hebrew, the operation is actually codenamed “Pillar of Cloud.”
The reason for the discrepancy may be that the IDF doesn’t think most foreigners will catch the biblical reference. But, of course, that is not true of Israel Today readers.
As nearly all are aware, Pillar of Cloud is a reference to the divine pillar of cloud that guided the Children of Israel during their exodus from Egypt, as described in the Book of Exodus.
It is the hope and prayer of many Israelis, and many of those supporting Israel from abroad, that our government and army will have similar guidance in waging an effective war against the enemy in Gaza, while avoiding as much as possible the inflicting of pain and suffering on the civilians of Gaza.
R. G. Lee
Torrey Talking Tremendously
“What we need more than anything else is a baptism with fire on the preachers, a baptism with fire on the deacons, a baptism with fire on the choir, a baptism with fire on the Sunday-school teachers, a baptism with fire upon young men and young women.”
“The doctrine of evolution is absolutely unproved. There is not a single proof of the hypothesis of evolution. Development of varieties there has been, but of evolution of a higher species from a lower not one single case. The hypothesis of the evolution of species, of the highest form of life from the lowest, is a guess pure and simple, without one scientifically observed fact to build upon.”
“If the Bible is not true, we have no proof that God is love.”
“There is an awful risk in delay.”
“Irrational and absurd are all the excuses that men make for not coming to Christ.”
Great events, we often find,
On little things depend,
And very small beginnings
Have oft a mighty end.
A single utterance may good
or evil thought inspire;
One little spark enkindled
May set a town on fire.
What volumes may be written
With little drops of ink!
How small a leak, unnoticed,
A mighty ship will sink!
Our life is made entirely
Of moments multiplied,
As little streamlets, joining
Form the ocean’s tide.
Our hours and days,
our months and years,
are in small moments given:
They constitute our time below –
Eternity in heaven
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