Acts 2

Acts 2 – Have we defaulted to a so-called modern day view of baptism(s)?

There is much debate per baptisms; water be it sprinkle or submersion, Holy Spirit (with evidence of tongues, ect.

  1. Water Baptism Matthew 3:5-6
  2. Baptism of Jesus Matthew 3:13-17
  3. Baptism of Fire Matthew 3:11
  4. Baptism of suffering Matthew 20:22
  5. Baptism with the Holy Spirit Acts 1:4-5
  6. Baptism of Moses (O.T.) I Corinthians 10:2
  7. Baptism in water commanded of all nations; the only one that is a stated COMMAND!
    1. *Matthew 28:19
      1. Interesting side note: If the tomb guards were sleeping, as recorded, then how would they know who it was that rolled the huge stone away and stole the body of Jesus? Sleeping?
    2. Acts 1:8; 8:36-38

A fascinating scripture per baptism(s) is found in Acts 19. The Apostle Paul is traveling by land to and comes through, Ephesus. There are disciples (*new believers/learners) there: And he said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit’” (ESV). The obvious question that few theologians wish to tackle is could they be saved without the “receiving the Holy Spirit?”

JIV NOTE: At this point theological preferences or prejudices will rule the day. What is said from this point on will be taken as either heresy or actuality. To seminarians it is a matter of which “Doctrine of Faith s/he signed at seminary.” I heard of one minister who stated: “if it is in the bible then it is functional or okay to be practiced today.” HMMMM? Under the Law not grace? Sacrifice alters? Stoning of a disobedient son? Even child sacrifices are discussed in the bible. Do these mean each should still be practiced today? Where is “let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18) come into play? The Old Testament only ends at the cross and all things are made new. If it is in the bible it is simply a discussion point from the bible! Such a statement can only be excused as ignorance or self-serving.

In Ephesians 4:3-6 Paul specifically states that there is but ONE BAPTISM. We need to keep this in context to understand it. Beginning with verse 3: (ESV)

Eph 4:3  …eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Eph 4:4  There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—
Eph 4:5  one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Eph 4:6  one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

So which baptism is the ONE BAPTISM… the baptism in water or the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Let’s look at I Peter 3:21; Colossians 2:9-14; Galatians 3:26-27 (God’s DNA?).

One Baptism?

The word baptize always means “to submerge or immerse.” So, when baptism is discussed, it involves a person being totally submerged into something else. Baptism implies being “all in.” (GotQuestions.org)

One commentator states: “there are two types of (one?)baptism: a physical (water)

baptism and a spiritual baptism. One is literal, done in water; the other is figurative, accomplished in the Spirit.” This however seems to skirt the “one baptism” as stated in Ephesian 4:5.

There are three basic opinions among theologians regarding the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

  1. The Holy Spirit baptism is to be baptized into Christ. That happens at the time of one’s initial prayer of belief and salvation.
  2. The Holy Spirit baptism occurs after salvation when one is filled with or immersed in the worship of God. This can be immediate or sometime later when one becomes an acting Be-Liver (believer); immersed in worship with his or her whole heart, mind and soul.
  3. The baptism of the Spirit is evidenced by signs (such as speaking in tongues), and others believe that such signs are unnecessary.

Let’s consider a 4th option. Might the speaking in tongues be, as stated in scripture, the connection of the Holy Spirit with our prayer life and worship of our Father in heaven; i.e. a prayer and praise that we did not have prior to our salvation prayer; a worship language (speaking) we cannot express in our human language?

We do know that immediately following Pentecost the disciples spoke and the many foreign visitors to Jerusalem heard their message in their own language. This is simple…they “heard” the gospel message in their own language!

However, there is another possibility. It is the word “evidenced.” What does evidenced as stated in Acts 2:28 And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

So, what is the Gift of the Holy Spirit? Tongues of witness and preaching; i.e. testimonies, prophesying, wisdom, knowledge; i.e. the ability to begin understanding scripture, respect of God…gifta

 

We could discuss this subject for a long time and still not bring understanding to all. Let the above be information for each to digest. We Teach – You Decide. Note the word or gift “fortitude.” This means one now has the courage to stand up for Jesus as a testimony from his or her own lips. Some will understand the intended message. Others will not.

Let’s look at one other scripture using the Greek words in the scripture itself. Acts 19:6 says… “And when Paul had laid hands upon them, the Holy Ghost (KJV) came on them; and they spake (laleō) with tongues (glōssa) and prophesied.”

Laleo means to utter, speak out, use the tongue to articulate a sound…

Glossa means a language enunciated by the tongue, an organ of speech…

Basically it means to speak out using the tongue to pronounce words. Words of what? If not a known language then probably a testimony of one’s new life in Christ with boldness; something that only some will understand; evidence of one’s new life in Christ.

We Teach – You Decide

Acts 2 “You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit”: The idea of being baptized is to be immersed or covered over in something; even as John baptized people in water, so these disciples would 10 days later be “immersed” in the Holy Spirit.

JIV: The baptism of the Holy Spirit is more of a condition of living than it is an experience. Our “experience” comes from re-conditioned living.

This was a time of Pentecost in Jerusalem. Men (those of Judaism) from many other lands who had long forgotten the Hebrew language were in town; see verse 9 – 11. Most spoke the Aramaic as it was the common language used in business. Pentecost is only one of three different names; all are Jewish festivals:

  1. Feast of Harvest
  2. Feast of Weeks
  3. Feast of Pentecost

Why didn’t the Holy Spirit baptism happened immediately instead of waiting ten days for it “came upon those who witnessed the ascension of Jesus on the Mount of Olives?”

JIV: It is a test of time and the genuineness of one’s faith and belief. Many who claim salvation are “here today; gone tomorrow. “ That is called RELIGION. Their waiting ten days was a test of genuineness. Sometimes a new believer must wait to become a true Be – Liver of their salvation and growth in Christ.

James 4:3 “We ask forgiveness with the wrong motives.” Similar to Fake News, one gets Fake repentance. Once the crisis is over, many return to their old ways. There was a confession but not a baptism of or indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Gain: Fake Commitment.

Yes there is one baptism and that is the indwelling and fulfillment of the Holy Spirit in one’s life. Water baptism is symbolic of one’s baptism and commitment to God through Jesus Christ by now living a life guided by the Holy Spirit

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Ecclesiastes Chapter Two

Copy right to the author-Posted with his permission Gene Whittum

Copy right to the author-Posted with his permission
Gene Whittum

Solomon ends chapter one with a confession: Verses 12-18 “I, Koheleth, was king in Jerusalem over Israel. (13) I set my mind to study and to probe with wisdom all that happens under the sun.—an unhappy business, that, which God gave men to be concerned with! (14) I observed all the happenings beneath the sun, and I found that all is futile and pursuit of wind: (15) A twisted thing that cannot be made straight, a lack that cannot be made good. (16) I said to myself: “Here I have grown richer and wiser than any that ruled before me over Jerusalem, and my mind has zealously absorbed wisdom and learning.” (17) And so I set my mind to appraise wisdom and to appraise madness and folly. And I learned—that this too was pursuit of wind: (18) For as wisdom grows, vexation grows; To increase learning is to increase heartache. (from Jewish Publication Society 1982 Kethubim, The Writings)

underthesunSolomon again acknowledges that in spite of his having great wisdom and immense wealth and authority, life “under the sun” is futile and vain. The past cannot be changed and nothing can be added to life already lived. We cannot manipulate history or the mistakes of life.

Chapter two continues his pursuit of the meaning of life and the substance that makes it worth living. His experiments toward that goal begins with thoughts of merriment and pleasures (which includes wine and all that goes with it. Verse 3 NIV).
His conclusion comes quickly in the passage. “Laughter”, I said, “is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?” He apparently did not take these indulgences to extremes but was still able to note that he “wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven (the sun) during the few days of their lives.” (verse 3 NIV)

His testimony continues with further examples of his attempt to find satisfaction in life “under the sun”, without reference to the God Who is above the sun. However, he will later interpret every aspect of his life theologically, acknowledging that there is a God, and that we cannot take liberties with Him. There are many inherent implications with reference to God and His sovereignty over His creation. The world has an obstinate resistance to the meaning of life apart from God.

The litany of accomplishments given in verses four to nine would stagger most of us. Solomon admits that in this pursuit, his wisdom stayed with him. His conscience is apparently becoming seared while he includes huge gardens, trees, parks, slaves, herds, flocks, gold and silver, entertainers and a harem. His conclusion, again, is that it was all “meaningless, a chasing after the wind; and nothing was gained under the sun.” Vs 11)

He turns next to “consider wisdom, and also madness and folly”. Solomon’s book of Proverbs provides a great deal of information regarding madness, folly and wisdom. He seems to clamor after these ideas in a way that only Solomon could. It is a severe attempt to investigate these seemingly opposite pursuits and everything in between. Folly and wisdom are far apart; there are several words to describe a fool in the book of Proverbs, the most serious being ‘nabal’,a total fool, described in I Sam 25. He was the man whom David encountered and who later died. David then married his widow, Abigail.

(The first chapter of Proverbs describes wisdom, what it is, and how to attain it—an important chapter to begin one’s understanding of wisdom. Verse seven states that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” The “beginning” means the “chief part”, and without a “fear of the Lord” wisdom will not be forthcoming. For instance, the chief part of music is notes; the chief part of math is numbers and the chief part of writing is the alphabet. Without these, there would be no music, math or writing).

Solomon delved into madness, folly and wisdom in the manner in which he approached every other venture to define and decipher life and its meaning. He apparently became some sort of “fool” in order to limit and interpret madness and its connection to life “under the sun”. The results were that “wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness”. (verse 13) This contrast will be seen later as he continues his probe of life.

In verses 14-16, he recognizes another truth regarding wisdom and folly, namely, that both the wise man and the fool, while walking in their separate and distinct values of life, have the same fate. The outcome for both is death, which is something that he talks about in future considerations of ones journey “under the sun”. Note the number of times he uses the phrase “under the sun” in chapter two.

He ponders a further question when he asks: “What then do I gain by being wise?” Is there any advantage to being wise? (vs 15c). He says to himself, “This too is meaningless”. Is there any advantage to being wise when one considers the ultimate end of life? Is it worth it?

His next reflection involves being remembered beyond death and a concern with respect to all of the toil he put into the accumulation of “stuff”. Who will he leave it too? What kind of a person will inherit it? Will he be a wise man or a fool? He undoubtedly assumes that the one who assumes ownership will also face the same problems but without the wisdom and wealth that he had. It turned out that the one who did inherit the throne from him did turn out to be a fool (I Kings 12). His lament was that he hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was, “grievous to me.” (vs 17. “All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.” (vs 23).

Kohelet’s conclusion comes in verses 24 and 25. Remember that “God” is mentioned some forty times in the book. Ecclesiastes is the journal of one man’s journey through life in a most honest and brutal way. He is living “under the sun” but his goal is to see the God of eternity who is “above the sun”. There is, to the fool, a canopy above the earth and to him he is living in a closed universe, without any reference to the God Who is above the sun. Solomon, in the next verses, begins to poke holes in the canopy above the sun so as to reveal the Deity who alone has the answers to the challenges of life.

He writes: “A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work”, as opposed to the prior “chasing after wind” in one’s toil. He continues: “This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness . . .”

The message to us today is the same. Rather than hating life and toil and the work of our hands, we are given the hope, through Christ, of a relationship with the God Who is above the sun; above the circumstances that tend to discourage and defeat us. We do have hope. He is answering the question of the book which is: “Is there any meaning to the time that I spend in this world?” which we mentioned earlier. He has begun to show that by the eternal, discernible fixed course of all earthly things, and the experience of the empty and unsatisfactory striving of earthly wisdom and selfish gratifications, there can be a God-fearing enjoyment of life. We can gladly accept the blessings and present good of life because the results of our striving are not of our own making, it is a gift of God.

As one progresses though Ecclesiastes, it will become more apparent that it is not a discourse of despair and gloom. The treatise begins with very dark colors but begins to brighten as one progresses through the teaching. Chapter three begins to put the debate of life on a different plane and introduces more encouraging truths about life.