John the baptizer’s ministry was two-fold: 1) to bring God seekers to repentance for and removal of their PAST sins (justification) by God’s grace and 2) to introduce justified believers to Jesus Christ. His water baptism symbolized the removal of all of the penitent’s PAST sins. GOD’S REMOVAL OF PAST SINS HAS NO EFFECT ON FUTURE SINS. Having been introduced to Jesus Christ ends John’s ministry in the life of the salvation seeker. From that point on he/she deals directly with Jesus. In Christ’s eyes, the past never existed. Now freed from guilt of their past sins, this is where salvation seekers unknowingly board the wrong ship which is made to appear exactly like God’s ship. It is only by examining the directional navigation system of the fake vessel that the passengers could learn that they are on the wrong boat headed in the wrong direction. However, the ship’s captain (Satan) and his crew (false prophets) are so persuasive that those aboard never bother to do so. Having been lured onto Satan’s ship, they are headed in the wrong direction all the while “knowing” beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are on God’s vessel sailing toward eternal life. Pardon the symbolic references.
This trick was first pulled off by the Serpent in the Garden of Eden when he convinced Adam and Eve that they could follow his much easier and more self-serving path and, contrary to God’s Words, they would “… not surely die.” As did their original parents, future generations left God’s ship propelled by the Holy Spirit (wind) and boarded Satan’s ship propelled by the spirit of antichrist. Both ships were reportedly headed toward the same destination–paradise–where travelers would spend eternity. One of those promises was true, the other was false. Adam, Eve and their descendants have chosen the latter. The Introduction to this website lists some of the false teachings Satan has deceived those aboard his ship into believing and practicing. Having convinced them that they are “saved, sealed, sanctified, born again and rapture-ready,” his parishioners are convinced that they are headed toward heaven with the Biblical God at the helm. My job is to tell them that they are wrong.
Having been introduced to Jesus Christ, the salvation seeker must now be baptized in the Holy Spirit and thereby receive the Spirit’s power whereby he/she can overcome Satan’s call to sin. This is true Christian baptism. John’s baptism was to remove past sins; Christian baptism by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ fills the believer with the Holy Spirit BY WHICH ONE CAN RESIST SATAN AS DID JESUS OF NAZARETH, THEREBY EARNING THE RIGHT TO JOIN HIM IN PARADISE FOREVER.
John confessed that he had finished his course and done his job. Now the believer would deal directly with Jesus Christ. We will pick up the narrative at that point. It is at this point that believers are like the men from Ephesus who had received John’s baptism for justification, but were lacking Christian baptism for receiving the Holy Spirit. This the same point at which Adam and Eve chose to obey Satan who told them that the forbidden tree (tree of sin) would open their eyes and make them gods who could determine good and evil (Gen. 3:5). He promised that they could disobey God and still be rewarded with eternal life (vs 4). And what did they find when they reached the forbidden tree? They found that the fruit of the forbidden tree “was good for food, pleasant to the eyes and would make them wise” (Gen. 3:6). The choice was clear: follow the demanding God and avoid the attractive tree and live forever in paradise, or follow the easy-to-please Serpent, eat of the attractive tree AND LIVE FOREVER IN PARADISE. The men of Ephesus followed God’s path, received Christian baptism and were filled with the Holy Spirit. They underwent the second baptism and took a totally different path. This is where Jesus comes on the scene. Here His apostle led them to the Lord’s path which, if stayed on to the end, would result in salvation, rebirth and entrance into the Kingdom of God upon Christ’s return.
The church, however, has refused Christian baptism. Satan has convinced her that John’s baptism is Christian baptism during which she receives salvation, is reborn, etc. She has been told that receiving the Holy Spirit is not necessary because, thanks to Adam, sin is inherited, natural and permanent, and that Jesus obeyed God in her stead, that the Law is no longer in effect, etc. Therefore, there is no need for the Holy Spirit’s power to obey God’s Law.
Some 25 years after the founding of the New Covenant Church, Paul was telling the men from Ephesus that all of the above was a Satanic lie, that there was a baptism they had not received. The needed that baptism and the infilling of the Holy Spirit in order to obey God’s Law, therefore refraining from sinning. Read 1 John 3:4. Because this website is dedicated to pointing people to those Truths, I will not repeat what I have written many times. In short, to walk on Christ’s path one must “walk as He walked” (1 Jn. 2:6) and thereby “… overcome as I (He) overcame (Satan) ….” (Rev. 3:21). The Word of God is the path, the way, the Truth which, if walked, will lead to eternal life. Satan, “like a roaring lion, goes about seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8). For this reason Jesus warned us to “watch” (Mat. 26:41) lest we be lured into temptation and be devoured by him. Let us watch with vigilance, for when we least expect it, the “thief” of our holiness will attack (Mat. 24:43). We are told that this is not necessary. Question: If Jesus was holy in our stead, why did He repeatedly warn us about Satan’s temptations? If all we need to do is repent after sinning, why did He command us to “Sin no more?” To resist sin we must have the power of the Holy Spirit within us. We must hunger and thirst for righteousness, holiness and godliness. God has promised to fill us with such in the form of His Holy Spirit (Mat. 5:6). We must hunger and thirst for God to fill us with His righteousness. Who does this? I keep hearing that people need to repent of their sins. No, people need to stop sinning. But who preaches that? Church people ridicule me for making such a statement when I am simply repeating what Jesus said (Jn. 5:14; 8:11). Recall that the rich man lost out on salvation because of “one thing”–one sin (Mk. 10:21). The rich man was wiser than his modern day counterparts. He believed Jesus, they don’t. They believe that no amount of sin will keep them from receiving eternal life. Personal holiness, we are told, is neither required nor possible. Repenting, we are told, is all that is required. As Moses told our ancestors: “Choose you this day whom you will serve.” As Jesus Himself pointed out many times, there is only one way to serve His Father–OBEY HIS LAW. L.J.