by Pastor Mark DowneyBenjamin Franklin said, "A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is the region of ignorance that tyranny begins." We know by now from this series that ignoring the Word of God is to be in darkness. We also know from several scriptures that "ye sometimes were in darkness… with the deeds of darkness… but ye have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light… ye have been delivered from the power of darkness, ye are no more darkness… cast off the works of darkness… therefore, walk in the light of Him in whom there is no darkness… walk as children of light'." To reject the Word is to reveal one's true nature as not being of God's flock. Christ said, "My sheep hear My voice and obey Me." "Men prefer darkness, rather than light, because their deeds are evil" (John 3:19).
The saying is true that 'the truth sometimes hurts'; if the light hurts your eyes, you've been in the dark too long. We were not created to be nocturnal creatures. Literal light deprivation can affect our health and especially our vision. When we read in the Bible about those who have eyes to see, it's talking about not being in the dark. Multitudes of mixed peoples, racially and religiously, have tried to enter the true church by force of speech, doctrines, legislation, emotional guilt trips, mental confusion, physical effort etc, and the modern church has become the great whore of Babylon through the process. We are commanded to test the spirits and discern whether a person is allowed into the congregation. God commanded Israel to be separated from both non-Israelites as well as Israel's own sinful brethren.
Words which describe Old Testament Israel as being White (or fair) are #6703 and #3302, which literally mean 'to be bright, sunny, dazzling and glowing. How fitting for those who were predestined to be the children of light, whose life is the true light. The Spirit of God not only gives us life, it causes us to shine. As Eccl. 8:1 puts it, "a man's wisdom maketh his face to shine". There's something about the strength of our countenance that is changed. Mt.6:22 relates that "the light of the body is the eye. Then when your eye is pure, your whole body will be full of light". And in verse 23, "But if thine eye be evil (if the way you see things is good for nothing and spoils) thy whole body shall be full of darkness." I think this works on the level of a body politic as well as the individual. Eph. 5:11 says, "and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
I'm going to give you some bold reproof and correction. This may shake some of your beliefs up, but hopefully we can see the need for pruning a few dead doctrinal branches from the tree. For the past five messages, I've also been talking about baptism without using that word exclusively. I originally started this series several years ago to identify some problems we have in our Movement. Because there are some pastors who are telling our people that you cannot be a Christian until you have immersed yourself in water from head to foot. They call it "baptism" (for the remission of sins). But this is a misnomer as we will see shortly. Using common sense, don't you think it's rather shallow (if you'll pardon the pun) for some pastor to go off the deep end and say that it's a ritual that makes us Christians? I've actually heard proponents of immersion say that it's a matter of obedience to get wet, as if being wet makes a difference!
Well, light and water are mere metaphors for a greater spiritual import. What do you think is more important to God: that we get wet with Him or that we get right with Him? Today, most of churchianity is practicing pagan rites that have nothing to do with true Christianity. Did you know that the word Lucifer (which is only found in one place in the Bible… Isaiah 14:12) means 'morning star' or light bearer', albeit a false light, upon which myriads of false doctrines are built? Therefore, do we dare confuse Lucifer with the Shining Light of Glory? By the same token, if we are to believe Eph. 4:5, that there's only one baptism, do we dare confuse baptism with water, and thus dilute its true meaning? "For by one Spirit (meaning the Holy Spirit) are we all baptized into one body" (I Cor. 12:13). Which begs the question: is the Holy Spirit literally water? If that's the case, we might as well get into nature worship and start deifying rocks and trees.
The Bible does not teach water baptismal regeneration. Regeneration has to do with belief. "Let no man deceive you with vain words; for because of these things comes the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord, walk as children of light. For the fruit of the Spirit (the light within you) is in all goodness, righteousness and truth" (Eph. 5:6-9).
Did you know that there are four baptisms as Heb. 6:2 speaks of the teaching of baptisms (plural)? They are the baptism of water (which is the most popular and the most corrupted; this is the one baptism that Eph. 4:5 refers to), the baptism of fire, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of death. Water baptism is really the baptism of repentance. It is the confession, admission and acknowledgement that we are sinners and we ask God to be forgiven. It is a change of mind that causes a person to turn away from sin. It is the intellectual realization of our need to move from darkness to light. John was baptizing with water, but the baptism by water was a baptism of repentance, not water. The use of physical water was an act accepting the sovereignty of Jesus Christ.
Even a thorough etymological history of the word 'baptizo' does not suffice an understanding for some people who do not grasp the significance of the ways and means to cause and effect. Take the word eat, for example, which suggests a desired objective, but it doesn't point to a mode of doing it. One could chew, swallow, suck, gulp, drink, or even take in food intravenously. A serious problem arises when you're told the only way to eat something is by drinking it. You would be forced to puree solids in order to eat. In the same manner, the word 'baptism' does not provide us with an unequivocal means to a desired effect. Every stripe of priests then takes it upon themselves to tell us the who, what, why, when and where of which way we are to baptize ourselves. An open invitation for chaos then ensues religiosity. Here's the thing I want to get to: the church, the body of believers, is a spiritual oasis in the middle of a parched desert. We are called to offer the refreshing water of life to people who are dying of thirst. More often than not, they cannot drink this very water that would revive them, and thus a roadblock to revival.
Want more metaphors? "For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light" (Ps. 36:9). Here we have a scripture with water and light together in the same verse. "And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday" (Ps. 37:6). "For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water" (Jer. 2:13). This strongly suggests that water is God's Word which flows from the 'fountain of living waters'. A cistern would appear to be man's vain attempt to reinvent God's Word, i.e. the new improved versions of the Bible.
Do you really think that God wants us to immerse our entire body into water (as if that proves anything), as was the common mode of initiation into some of the ancient pagan mystery cults, something the priests of Israel or the disciples of Christ never engaged in, OR do you think God wants us to immerse ourselves in His Word? We are called to be the light bearers in a dark cave to lead our lost kinsmen out. Unfortunately, the apostate church has confused the literal and figurative Word of God to such an extant that judaized Christians will say, 'I just don't feel lead to get involved', when actually it's another kind of lead… in the seat of their pants. Ever hear the admonition… 'get the lead out'? We need to get this kind of lead out of our leaders, because it's poisoning our people. They think that just because they've been dunked in the church pool or went down to the river that they are saved and can now just bask in their self righteousness, standing under their fancy chandeliers of their denominationalism, waiting to be raptured off to heaven or winning the big prize behind door number three.
Kinsman Redeemer Ministries might be a humble little nightlight, compared to the grandiose lights of the extravaganza churches, but a little nightlight may be more help to a person fumbling around in the dark late at night. The point I'm making between the Shining Light of Glory and baptism has everything to do with our racial destiny. Are we going to figure out how deliverance from our enemies works or not? The words purge, cleanse, wash, purify, sanctify or set apart are used interchangeably in the Bible, meaning baptism or separation. Light also separates from darkness. "What communion hath light with darkness?" (II Cor. 6:14). Immersion does nothing and is good for nothing.
Baptism literally means the beginning of faith by true repentance observed ceremonially with water in the assembly of Christ. The writers of the New Testament were well aware that the words 'baptize' and 'purify' were synonymous. The Israelite law for purifying required sprinkling as Numbers 19:13 mentions that touching a dead body is reconciled by sprinkling the water of separation or washing himself. I've heard the Campbellite Church of Christ preachers sarcastically say that it was John the Baptist not John the Sprinkler, yet if they knew something about the laws of cleansing from physical defilement, they would know that he was not John the Dunker or Dipster. These pastors with their old baggage should know that no amount of water can cleanse a person, as if by magic. Are they still in the dark, having a mongrelized mentality? The proof is usually in the excuses they make for non-Israelites to be Christians just like us. However, a racial consciousness is a prerequisite to changing one's perspective in order to be in accord with God's will. It's the ethnic cleansing of repentance, separating ourselves from the stranger's gods. The consequence of which is being more like Christ, who was God in the flesh made perfect, whereby our sins are purged and we show forth the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
"This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" (I John 1:5-7). Did you hear it? Walking in the light for the remission of sins! Isn't that what it's talking about? Continuing in verse 9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Full body immersion is not a vicarious substitute for the remission of sins. Literal water is irrelevant. "Beware lest any man spoil you…" (Col. 2:8). Baptism is mentioned in verse 12 as the objective of this message: that we have faith in how God operates through the life, death and resurrection of His Son, not in the worldly wisdom of prideful man. "Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in Him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth" (I John 2:7-8).
The old and new command is to love one another and will work for you as it did with Christ and this mentality to get around obeying God's Laws will disappear and a whole new way of living begins. The occult has always been in competition with the supernatural power of God. One of the greatest miracles in life is the phenomenon of people's lives being healed, transformed and empowered. We aren't stuck with the character defects and emotional scars forever… we can change 180 degrees. From a lout, a bum, a fool, an idiot, a coward, a liar, a cheat to a dignified gentleman or lady, a scholar, humble yet courageous, a true and honest Christian… I ask you, can water rinse away the liabilities of our behavior, our sins? If that's what you think, then you're short changing God and yourself.
God looks at our heart as to whether or not we're worthy of forgiveness. He knows whether or not we are bringing every thought into subjection to His very mind. The word 'heart' conveys the meaning of personality and attitude. We are to be like Christ (not man deified), to have His personality in spirit and in truth. We go from the fallen nature of Adam to becoming the sons of God, heirs of the promise, by completely surrendering our intellect, our will and emotions to the care and leadership of Jesus Christ. Our maturing in Christ is an ongoing process where the other three baptisms reciprocate assimilation between us and God. We absorb the Father and He absorbs us. Everything He invested in us is returned to Him for His Glory.
Teachings that were never taught in the holy scriptures are just plain blasphemy. Our race perishes because of these perversions of the Word. Therefore, ponder these messages and battle for the truth in the Kingdom of heaven or more accurately the government of Christ here on earth and weigh things in the balance and see for yourself if these Bible symbols possess a far greater truth than what you previously supposed. Pray that our Lord will give you the mind to separate from the mongrel doctrines. "Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:2).
Light and water are but visible signs of something invisible. II Cor. 4:18 says, "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things are seen are temporal (temporary); but the things which are not seen are eternal." This ties into Romans 8:24, "we are saved by hope, but the hope that is seen is not hope. Why not? Hold your finger there and let's go to Heb. 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." And again turn back to Romans, continuing in the Ferrar Fenton Bible, "for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we see not, we shall receive it by patience" (vs. 25).
The Shining Light of Glory is more than a light bulb going off in your head and baptism is more than just getting wet. The divine manifestations of both shall make us free. Don't listen to the preacher that tells you, 'faith is when you don't know why'. Listen to the Word of God and "be ready always to give an answer… for the reason of the hope that is in you" (I Peter 3:15).
This is the conclusion of 'The Shining Light of Glory' and I am now compelled to bring you a forthcoming message to prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God; to prove that full body immersion styled baptisms are evil, unacceptable and contrary to the will of God, which is tentatively titled "The Church of the Slam Dunk." I've done my homework on this subject, so I welcome anybody to prove me wrong. I think you'll agree, after hearing the presentation of facts, that the immersionists are all wet. And I make no apology for the pun. Many people have heard about my researching the subject for many months and I pray for their patience and understanding that it takes time to get a message out from the pulpit to our website; in both audio and written text. We're just a little church ministry with the hopes that we're going to make some big waves. So get your tsunami surfboards out and ride along with us.