1. Students fail to understand the nature of Church Age salvation because he or she is unsaved, or fails to understand the command to"rightly divide the word of truth" (found only in the KJV). The unsaved (natural man) cannot understand these things, because they are spiritually discerned. The new birth, along with a careful study of God's word is essential to a proper understanding of the Holy Scripture:

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

Any interpreter of the Holy Scripture must be certain he or she is truly born again. This statement is not designed to challenge the students relationship with God, but is designed to cause all students of Scripture to be absolutely certain they are saved. It is clearly possible to be deceived (Rev. 12:9).

2 Corinthians 11:4  For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Unless the student realizes the parenthetical nature of the Church Age in doctrine, he or she will have difficulty separating the commands given for the preaching of the Kingdom gospel and the gospel of the grace of God committed unto Paul. When Christ gave what is commonly called the "great commission", salvation was not by grace through faith. They were commanded to teach all nations to observe (do) the things he had commanded them before his crucifixion. If one chooses to rely on baptism as part of the plan of salvation, he must also include all the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ while he taught on earth. During that period of time a man inherited eternal life. 

Mark 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 

Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 

Luke 18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

In each case above, Christ answered with a set of works to be performed. (look them up!) A Jew then could inherit eternal life. You cannot inherit eternal life. Paul makes it clear that for the Church Age saint eternal life is a free gift! 

Romans 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 

Romans 5:16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 

Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 

Among the commandments Christ taught them to observe (other than baptism) were:

1. Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 

Is lending, without expecting the money or item to be returned, a part of the gospel Paul preached? Wouldn't it be in opposition to a gospel that clearly is by grace alone without works?

2. Matthew 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. (Do not defend yourself, rather reward the enemy!) Again, in the Kingdom gospel, the requirements for becoming children of God were more than simple faith. While this sounds like heresy to multitudes of fundamental people, they cannot deal with the scriptures under discussion, but will always twist the scriptures to make them fit their own theology.

These are only a smattering of the things Christ taught as part of the doctrine for the coming Kingdom. Read the gospels for a full accounting. 

3. Student fails to see the progressive nature of Bible revelation. Isaiah 28:9, 10 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 

4. Students lack an understanding of the nature of the two Kingdoms predominant in the four gospels. By confusing the Kingdom of Heaven with the Kingdom of God, he fails to see the outward sign of Baptism which is associated in the gospels with ones position in the Kingdom of Heaven, and grace, which alone qualifies a sinner to enter the Kingdom of God. The following brief, scriptural synopsis of the two Kingdoms should help clear this up.

God and Heaven are not the same. Things different are not the same! God is the creator of heaven. It was not simply a difference of word usage among the writers, but rather that two separate kingdoms were being offered to Israel when Christ showed up. 

A. The Kingdom of Heaven: 

Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent : for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 

Heaven is a real physical place. Likewise, the Kingdom of Heaven speaks of a real physical kingdom with a real physical, literal King, Jesus Christ. God is a Spirit. (John 4:24) Likewise the Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom.

Matthew 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down (literally!) with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven

Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 

Notice in the first verse that folks come from all over and literally sit down with the patriarchs in the Kingdom. Also notice that it can suffer violence and force. To be brief, Bible Believing Christians refer to this coming kingdom as the Millennium, a 1000 year period of peace with Christ on the throne. (Rev 20:2-6) This Kingdom was "at hand" when Jesus preached, but was postponed when Israel said "We have no king but Caesar." (John 19:15).

Paul tells us in reverse what the Kingdom of God is not, and what it is:

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
The Kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom. Of this kingdom Jesus said:

Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. 

Peter, who was the apostle to the circumcision (Galatians 2:7) spoke (Acts 2) to a forgiven people (Luke 23:34) and re-invited them to receive their King. 

Acts 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; Someone who sits on a throne is a KING!

Failure to understand the kingdom nature of the early Acts message (until chapter 7) results in the student attempting to weld together two irreconcilable messages. Paul NEVER attaches baptism to salvation as a requirement, only as an ordinance. In ANY of his presentations of the gospel of the grace of God Baptism is NEVER mentioned until the transaction is completed. Paul was saved when God arrested him on the road to Damascus. Acts 9:17

Notice that Ananias calls him Brother Saul in both verses.

And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. Acts 9:17

Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. Acts 22:13

Ananias' instruction to Saul later in Acts 22:16, was simply as far as Annanias had come in understanding the nature of the gospel he had heard. Strange as it may seem, it was his disciple, Saul of Tarsus, who would later be given the revelation of the gospel of grace, a distinctive Church Age gospel which put men and women directly into Jesus Christ rather than into the Kingdom of Heaven. The gospel of grace preached by Paul was a mystery which he was chosen to unveil. 

Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, (as opposed to Peter's gospel) and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 

Ephesians 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 

Colossians 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: 

What is so mysterious then? Colossians 1:27 gives it for us. It is Christ in you. The mystery is that one could be called, saved, justified, made righteous, and even glorified by an act of faith without works. Baptism was required for salvation while the gospel of the Kingdom was being preached. Because the King and Kingdom were rejected by Israel (Acts 7) the gospel of the Kingdom was put "on hold" until after the Church Age, and the mystery of the grace of God revealed to Paul, is now preached. After the Rapture of the Church, the Kingdom gospel will once again be preached, and Acts 2:38 will be the proper message. We must rightly divide the word.

5. Students fail to understand the doctrinal writings of Paul as relates to baptism.
Paul makes it clear there is only one baptism which saves. A study of the New Testament will reveal seven different baptisms. Which one is the saving baptism?

A. John's Baptism. Water, unto repentance with confession of sins. Matthew 3:6
B. Christ Holy Ghost: Matthew 3:11 Fire: Matthew 3:11 The cross: Matthew 20:22.
C. Paul, water as an ordinance: NT Church Age
D. Moses cloud and in the sea: 1 Cor 10:2
E. The Holy Spirit into Christ: 1 Cor 12:13.

It will have to be 1 Corinthians 12:13

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. How can one be certain which baptism it is that does the job?

Ephesians 4:5,6 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 

There is now only one baptism that puts you into Christ, and it is not water. Salvation in this age is by grace through faith - period! The fact that folks are baptized in water following salvation in Paul's ministry no more teaches baptismal regeneration anymore than the fact that he admonished them to be faithful in gathering (Heb. 10:25) makes church attendance a requirement. Baptism in Church Age doctrine is an ordinance. There are two ordinances. 1. The Lords supper, a memorial supper designed by the Lord to show HIS death till he comes. Baptism is an ordinance designed to show YOUR death to sin and your resurrection life in him. It is understandable that one who relys on a simple proof text method of study without taking into account the dispensational nature of the Scripture would fail to understand the place of baptism in Kingdom doctrine as well as Pauline doctrine. One should remember the admonition of Paul in Galatians in light of his declaration of the gospel in I Corinthians 15:1-5.

1 Corinthians 15:1-5 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 

Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 

Galatians 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 

By the way, an indication of the dispensational nature of the Scripture can be seen in an angel preaching another gospel uncursed!

Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 

In conclusion, Paul makes it clear that baptism is not important in his preaching of the gospel.

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 

1 Corinthians 1:14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 

This would be a rather irresponsible thing to say if baptismal regeneration is anything more than a heresy.

If you are counting on your baptism to get you to heaven, infant or otherwise, pay careful attention to the words of Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost: 

Galatians 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.



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