Would I ever need to be rebaptized or can I be rebaptized?
This is often a dilemma in the hearts of believers who feel that they have failed God in their walk or that they did not fully understand why they were being baptized when they were baptized.
To first answer this question we need to see if it is even possible to be rebaptized, Indeed it is!!! We find that the apostle Paul rebaptized believers in Acts chapter 19 verses 1 through 6. He did not do this because these believers had actually failed, but rather that they were baptized by John the baptist. John was a powerful prophet who baptized Jesus to fulfill the law of the priesthood.
Importantly, John's baptism was supernatural.
Look at Mark 1:4
“John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.”
The word remission here literally means release from bondage. John's baptism had the supernatural power to set any person free from whatever sin had them bound. For example, a alcoholic or a philanderer or compulsive gambler or liar would literally be set free from those addictions if they truly repented. God still is a supernatural God, especially when it comes to the things that are destroying us!
So, Paul rebaptized these believers not because of their sin as they were already set free from sin. He did not rebaptize them because they were not believers. it was John who introduced Jesus as the lamb of God.
He rebaptized them because new testament baptism, which started the day the church began on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2, not only washes away from sin but also appropriates the name Jesus to us as would be done in adoption or in wedding with the bride taking her husbands name. To better understand this concept please listen to both versions of "To Take on the Name" under sermons and archives.
Importantly, the same apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:5 that "There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism". Unfortunately many have mis-interpreted this verse as meaning one can not be rebaptized. Since the author of this verse rebaptized disciples in Acts 19, it certainly CAN NOT mean that. It does mean that there is only one form of baptism that is for the new testament church, and that is by faith, repentance, immersion and in the name of Jesus.
How then do we know if we need to be rebaptized?
This very important question actually brings a few questions in and of itself......
1. When you were baptized did you understand what you were doing? Infants should not be baptized as it is an response of a good conscience towards God.
1 Peter 3:20-21
Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
Indeed, in Acts 8 a man asked what keeps me from being baptized and Philip told him that he had to believe with all of his heart first. Further, just prior to that, Philip baptized men and woman, no infants. Jesus said "he that believes and is baptized" (Mark 16), not he that is baptized and later believes. Peter preached we must repent before baptism (Acts 2:38). In all actuality, a infant has nothing to repent for, is innocent before God and Christ himself said little children are of the kingdom of God (Mark 10:14)
Please Note also, baptism is not just an outward profession of inward faith or identifying with Christ's burial.
Baptism saves us! It is part of salvation, that is the only way to read these verses with an honest heart.
So, when you were baptized were you old enough to understand what you were doing?
2. When you were baptized, were you baptized according to traditions men invented or were you baptized according to the way the the new testament church baptized?
You see, today there are a plethora of ways to be baptized, from sprinkling with water, to dunking in water to saying In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost to in the Name of Jehova and all permutations in between.
In truth, there is only one form of baptism that saves. Paul declared this in Ephesians as we will see later.
Now, the truth is, if I was baptizing differently than the way the original church baptized I would say things like it is just an outward profession of inward faith, or just a symbol you are part of the church. I would definitely say it's not important for salvation, it's just an aftereffect. BUT, the scripture we read earlier declares it IS part of salvation, and I will show you why.
The very 1st time someone ever asked, "what must we do" to be saved, God recorded it so you could read the answer for yourself. It is found in the history book of the church, the book of "The Acts of the Apostles", commonly referred to as Acts.
It is in chapter 2, the day the church actually started. The church didn't start with Jesus physically. Indeed he said "I will (future tense) build my church". It started when Jesus came spiritually as the Holy Ghost, fulfilling Matthew 28:20, "and lo I am with you alway even unto the end of the world". This happened in Acts chapter 2 verses 1-4.
Upon being filled with Christ's Spirit Peter had the anointing to convince 1000's of Jews they had killed the Messiah. When they realized this, they were stricken to their soul, basically... "My God, we are lost!". This is where they asked, again for the very 1st time in church history, "what do we need to do?"
The reality of it is that men and denomination have changed the answer for their own political and financial purposes. BUT, God hasn't changed...
So here is the exchange
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Note verse 38. The essentials or the keys of salvation.
1st he said Repent.
That means to wholly, 100% turn your life to God. Included in that of course is asking for forgiveness, but further, and just as important it is promising God to get rid of what we are asking forgiveness for AND anything else God teaches us AS WELL AS committing to do God's perfect will in our lives.
THAT is a mighty tall order! And in my denominal life I did it MANY times with tears, promising I would stop drinking, smoking, cursing and telling dirty jokes. Oh yes, I accepted the Lord as my personal saviour, repented AND then came back a week later to do it all over again!
Accept the Lord as your personal saviour is not anywhere, not in one verse, in the whole bible! But the message of Acts 2:38 is from the beginning of the book to the end of the book!
Of course, if I had changed everything, and was living in sin but still wanted to make a lot of money, I would become a preacher entertainer and make people feel good by telling them what they want to hear. ALL entertainers make people feel good and the Lord knows ALL entertainers, if they are good, make a LOT of money. Can anyone say AMENhah! In seriousness, the Lord does know. Read about the narrow versus the broad path in Matthew chapter 7. If that doesn't stir one's soul nothing can....
So, back to the Repent. I as well as many others have truly repented in every denomination out there. We do feel great relief and forgiveness but forgiveness alone IS NOT salvation. Listen, if you are drowning in a lake and I save you, do I leave you in the water? Absolutely not! And salvation doesn't leave us still drowning in our sins.
The angel put it this way in Matthew 1:21, " And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people FROM their sins." Like, out of the water! Not at some distant time when we finally get to heaven. In fact Paul wrote multiple times, don't let people deceive you, if you keep sinning, you wont make it (just one example is 1 Corinthians 6:9-11), but he importantly concluded that God washes us, saves us from sin in this present world.
Jesus put it this way in John 8
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
FREE FROM SIN - Religion can't do that, denomination can't do that, a pastor/priest or pope can't do that, only Jesus can!
So, of a truth, repentance is merely inviting God to bring the life raft, and the life raft is in the rest of verse 38.
Peter declared that after repentance "be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins"
There are two essential things to understand here. 1st, baptism is in the name of Jesus, not in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Baptism was changed to the latter in 240 AD to make Polytheistic Greeks and Roman's feel like they were being baptized into a polytheistic (3 God) religion. This was when the 3 God doctrine of the Trinity was invented by a man named Tertullian. Convenient in that it brought money and power to the church, but totally destructive as it took all the power of deliverance out of baptism, which I will explain next but I need to further clarify something.
I can make the bible say anything I want if I take scripture out of context. A good example of that were the preachers years ago who twisted the scripture to justify slavery to their predominantly white congregations. for transparency sake, I am white, and I preach anybody with hatred in their heart, prejudice, ain't going to heaven, no matter what pew they sit on!
So, Tertullian took Matthew 28:19 out of context to justify changing baptism from the name of Jesus to in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Matthew 28:19 read in context it makes it abundantly clear why the same apostles who were with him in Matthew 28 baptized ONLY in the name of Jesus.
Jesus was worshipped as the Father in verse 17 as only the Father can be worshipped (Luke 4:8). Further, Jesus declared himself the Father many times, for example, "when you have seen me you have seen the Father." He also declared he is the Holy Ghost in vs 20, which we already read. Again, He said "lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world". Jesus said I - not another God or person, but I myself! Thus, Jesus is the Father in creation, He came as the Son in redemption and He is the comforter as the Holy Ghost. To baptize in His name the disciples used it, Jesus.
Lastly, note in verse 36 above, Peter declared to the Jews, who only believe in one Lord (Yahweh, Jehova or the Father) that he is both Lord (their God, the Father) and the Christ (anointed one, messiah). Not two Gods but God and man!
Why is this so essential? Because of the second essential in verse 38.
Peter declared baptism in the name of Jesus is for the remission of sins. The word remission in the Greek is Aphesis. It DOES NOT mean an outward profession of inward faith. It DOES mean "the release from the bondage" of sin. Baptism is where God supernaturally sets us free from the bondage of sin. I KNOW this personally. Accepting the Lord as my personal savior 1000's of times NEVER set me free from my alcohol and tobacco addiction. NEVER! Two packs a day smoking and a 12 pack of beer a night drinking (if my wife wasn't home, 4 if she was....). All my good works could not set me free. We are saved by grace, not by works!!!
I was baptized Sunday night before midterms at Duke in my doctoral program and came up out of the water not even smelling like smoke. I have never desired to smoke or drink since that day 27 years ago! NOW that's getting taken out of the water, that's salvation from sin!
Importantly, the name that heals, that casts out devils, that does miracles and brings the supernatural is the name of Jesus. SO, if one were the devil, and wanted people to just get wet and not get delivered, he would take out the name of Jesus, which he used Tertullian to do, and Constantine to enforce in 325 AD. Further, he would convince denominational preachers and teachers, when confronted with the truth, to tell their congregations it is just semantics, or baptism isn't part of salvation or baptism is how we identify with Christ or profess our faith. Pretty slick, huh?
Lastly, he said we would receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Jesus declared this is power (Acts 1:8). In a nutshell, baptism breaks the chains of sins on our life, cleanses and gives us a new heart and finally gives us a new name (listen to the two versions of "To Take on the Name" to understand that). The Holy Ghost gives us the power to keep the devil from EVER putting those chains back on again....
In summary, this leads us then to review the main questions only you can answer:
1) When you were baptized did you fully understand what you were doing?
2) When you were baptized did you fully repent of everything, giving God yourself completely.
3) When you were baptized were you fully immersed. Baptism is for washing away of sins, Acts 22:16, and we don't wash our clothes by just sprinkling them... indeed baptize means to immerse completely.
4) When you were baptized, were you baptized solely in the name of Jesus, without any form of the false tradition started by Tertullian (in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost) used.
If you have answered no to any of these questions you need to be rebaptized. Not because you have failed God, but because your baptism wasn't God's way and thus had no power.
If you answered yes to all of these questions, there is no need at all to be rebaptized. You were covered by His blood when you were baptized in His name and the blood is still there. When you come to him and sincerely repent you will walk away feeling just like you did when you were baptized at first.
THEN you MUST be filled with His Spirit. Paul declared it will always be a battle between the flesh and the Spirit, and without the Spirit we don't even have a chance.
I hope this clarifies rebaptism and if you have any other questions please feel free to call me at 813.358.8588.
Why are there so many forms of Christianity?
This is a great question and a confusing one for many. In
fact the plethora of Christian “faiths” indeed causes some to doubt
Christianity in the first place. First, a myriad of denominations was never the
Lord’s intent. In fact He declared in Matthew 16:18 that upon this rock I will
build My Church, not fragmented denominations. And therein lays the essence to
your answer. Many have started their own traditions to make it “their” church
and these traditions are what form denominational walls or barriers. This is
not new. There were major Jewish “denominations” when Christ came. He did not
approve of it though as he clearly stated in in Matthew 15:19 “But in vain they
do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
We are not interested in being a denomination, we desire to
be the true church initiated by the Lord Jesus Christ when he poured out His
Spirit on the day of Pentecost. No man made traditions, no man made spiritual
ladders, no big I’s and little you’s, no one getting rich off of others – just a
pure desire to serve the Lord and our community. Now that’s true Christianity!
Please explain Titus?
To effectively answer this question we need to understand if you are speaking of the book in the bible Titus or the historical figure who ransacked Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
Dialogue from verse 1 John 4:3...
“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
Without doubt, the spirit of the antichrist, or satan, is a deceitful spirit. He is the father of lies (John 8:44). He will deny Jesus Christ is come in the flesh in a deceitful and tricking way. And indeed he did with his doctrine of the trinity born through Tertullian's teachings.
Below is my part of a discussion with a dear friend in Guyana. Please pray with us as we seek to do His will.
Hi friend. This is critical and without doubt Satan is subtle. Through Tertullian he introduced a teaching that Jesus did not come in the flesh but rather a second minor deity or second person did. This came in the form of the doctrine of the trinity.
The scriptures declares that God is a Spirit (John 4:24) and that God himself was manifest in the flesh. Not a separate person or God, but God (Theos in the Greek), all of God, or most commonly translated as God the Father, was manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). This fulfils Isaiah 9:6 in that the son born is the mighty God and the everlasting Father.
1 Timothy 4 opens up telling us that some shall depart from the faith of 1 Timothy 3:16 and that they would forbid to marry and command to abstain from meat. This is the Catholic Church which is the author of the trinity (officially adopted under Constantine in 325ad). Fulfilling further then the prophetic utterance of Jesus Himself "if you believe not that I Am (the I Am that spoke to Moses, i.e. the Father) you will die in your sin." John 8:24
It is those who taught that Jesus was not God the Father manifest in the flesh but rather a second person who changed baptism from its original form In the Name of Jesus (Acts 2:38, 8:12 and 8:16, 19:1-6) to in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.
They misappropriated Matthew 28:19 which does not declare the formula but rather the Name... the Name of the Father (omnipotent Spirit) and the Son (manifestation of the Father in the flesh), and the Holy Ghost (Spirit of the departed, or Christ, whish is the Spirit of God IN the believer producing true holiness) is indeed Jesus. This is clearly seen when we rightly divide the word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15) taking Matthew 28:19 in context AND with the verses in Acts mentioned prior.
In context, Matthew 28:16-17 declared Jesus is the Father because they worshipped Him and only the Father is to be worshipped (Matthew4:10) and Matthew 28:20 clearly tells us Jesus is the Holy Ghost for it is the Holy Ghost who is with us unto the end of the world.
The only name that has saving power is Jesus (Acts 4:12) and when that name is taken out of baptism there is NO remission (Aphesis in the Greek, or release from the bondage of) of sin. There is no power, there is no release, there is no washing without the Name. Thus men die IN their sin being baptized in the titles Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
The sole reason he came was to destroy sin and its work (1 John 3:8) and save men FROM their sin (Matthew 1:21). Delivered from sin.
Multitudes baptized in the titles and still in bondage....
But I KNOW the difference as when I was rebaptized in the name of Jesus I was set free immediately from a decade of smoking (2 packs a day) and drinking (up to a 12 pack a night).
Friend, you know that there is power in the Name of Jesus. Every prayer you make as a Spirit filled believer you make in the Name of Jesus! Now think for a moment then... If you were the devil and wanted to take all the power out of baptism you would have to take out the name of................?
To answer your question... [do I believe in the trinity] I believe what most people believe, that there is only one God and Jesus is the one God come in human form, Emmanuel or God with us. I suspect that is what you believe.
That is NOT the doctrine of the trinity. Tertullian, the Greek philosopher and inventor of the trinity, literally wrote three God's then eventually persons. He did this, by the way, to attract his polytheistic brethren in Greece to Christianity. BUT - the first commandment of all is hear oh Israel the Lord our God is one Lord (Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 12:29). The trinity denies that, as it should, as it came from the deceiver and that's the first commandment he would go after...
Look at what you wrote, all one God, not three persons. Friend, you are not trinitarian....
There is One God and His Name is Jesus!
Search it yourself, there are NO verses declaring trinitarian teaching. NOT ONE which uses the term
God the Son
God the Holy Ghost
The term ONE is all over the book.
The best way to start is read the book of acts and baptism. Friend, you have great faith and I believe a pure heart. Everyone in the new testament was baptized in Jesus name! If need be I will come personally to rebaptize you like I was rebabtized. This does not deny our faith but rather affirms it!
Just one last verse, Paul prophesied of the philosopher tertullian. Read it for yourself - Colossians 2:8-10 - don't be spoiled by philosophy. Jesus is not part of the Godhead, all of the Godhead is in Him!