If I was Satan I would not allow my church to understand the difference between Christian baptism and John’s baptism, which is in reality the difference between light and darkness in this life, and life and death in the next life.
I would have my people learn and believe only a small part of the Holy Bible–the “headlines.” I would make them avoid the other 99% of it and, should they accidentally read or hear any part of God’s “fine print,” I would cause them to reject it.
One of the many passages that I would have them reject would be Acts 19:1-5 where the Apostle Paul has found 12 “DISCIPLES” who “BELIEVED IN” Jesus Christ. Paul, ever the stickler for correctness, wanted to know if they were obedient disciples or merely forgiven disciples. One sure method of determining this was to asked them by what baptism were they baptized. To understand why I would not want my people to be confronted with that question we will turn to Matthew 2.
Here we find a 29-year-old man named Jesus from the city of Nazareth coming to a man named John to be baptized by him. In chapter 3 learn that the Prophet Isaiah prophesied about him, saying that he would be “… one crying out in the wilderness of Judea, saying: ‘Repent and be baptized …. Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.'”
Among those coming for baptism was a contingent of Pharisees and Sadducees. Upon seeing them John told them that water baptism (removal of past sins) would do them no good for they would simply return to their sinning ways, that they would not “… bring forth fruit (works) worthy (as proof) of repentance.” If I was Satan I would NOT REQUIRE PROOF OF THEIR REPENTANCE, that His only requirement for salvation was periodic repentance, Sunday being the most appropriate day to unload their sins on Jesus. Another acceptable time would be bedtime following a day of doing life’s important things.
In Acts 19:1-5 Paul has asked the 12 “disciples” who “believed in” Jesus if they had “… received the Holy Spirit since you BELIEVED?” They replied that they had not so much as heard about a Holy Spirit. Paul asked them unto what had they been baptized? They replied that they had been baptized “… unto John’s baptism.” Note that these men believed in Jesus–Who He was, what He had done. They believed that He was God’s Son sent to earth to save them, etc. Upon hearing about their baptism, Paul said to them, “John indeed baptized the baptism of repentance and told the people that they must BELIEVE (on) in the One who would come after him (John)–Christ Jesus.” When the 12 men heard Paul’s words, “they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus and received the Holy Spirit.” Let us understand exactly what baptism means in the spiritual sense. To do this we need to know the secular meaning of the word.
I once preached a baptismal service at the Jordan River near near Jericho. I explained that the word “Bautizo” (baptize) was a word used in the dying of wool. The word meant to totally, permanently, internally and externally change the wool. Wool is constructed in such a way that the dye saturates it through and through, making it totally different from its pre-died condition. It is a “new creation.” True Christian baptism has the same effect on the believer, only in the spiritual sense. By receiving the Lord’s Holy Spirit the baptizee is empowered to obey God as he is led by the Spirit. Only those who are led by the Lord’s Spirit are true son’s of God (Rom. 8:14). Those who, following baptism, believe that they can sin and get away with it are modern day Pharisees and Sadducees. Put another way, the truly converted has put to death the “old man” which allows God, through the Holy Spirit, to create a “new man.” “Old things must pass away, behold, ALL things are made NEW” (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:24). Sin is part of the old, unconverted man. If any part of the “old man” is brought forth into one’s new life, one’s “new man” is a counterfeit. He/she is a “whitewashed wall.” He is a beautifully decorated casket filled with rotting flesh. The true convert has obeyed God by putting sin out of his life permanently by the power of the Holy Spirit. If he continues to sin his repentance is false, as is his conversion. He has added hypocrisy to his spiritual rap sheet.
If I was Satan I would not allow my people to believe the above-written statements. I would hide from them what Jesus told the prostitute and the man at the Bethesda pool. Following His forgiveness and removal of their past sins, He commanded them to “Sin no more.” He did not tell them that they had to sin due to Adam’s sin gene within their spiritual dna. He did not tell them that, now that they were “saved,” they only needed to repent following their inevitable sins. I would tell my people that they do not need to “… bring forth fruit (works) worthy (as proof) of (true) repentance” which would make them spiritually like died wool–totally and permanently changed to the “color” (character) of Christ (1 Jn. 2:6) which would enable them to overcome Satan’s temptations to sin as did Jesus (Rev. 3:21). This is possible only by being filled with and led by God’s Holy Spirit. Only those who are so filled and led will one day rule and reign over the earth, and eventually, the universe. If I was Satan I would not allow my victims to know this.
In summary, if I was Satan I would not allow my people to read the “If I Was Satan” series. Nor would I allow them to read anything else written on this website. Instead, I would send them to church on Sunday and allow them to hear only what I have to say to them. Then I would give them warm fuzzies to convince them that they are children of the Biblical God, that they were saved, born again and rapture-ready. I would have them listen to my false prophets who preach my perverted gospel throughout the world. I would keep them on my path to death while making them believe that they are on God’s road to glory. In other words, I would make them Catholics and Protestants. L.J.