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A Study of Dispensationalism
by Arthur Pink

"But there is further reason, and a pressing one today, why we should write upon our present subject, and that is to expose the modern and pernicious error of Dispensationalism. This is a device of the Enemy, designed to rob the children of no small part of that bread which their heavenly Father has provided for their souls; a device wherein the wily serpent appears as an angel of light, feigning to "make the Bible a new book" by simplifying much in it which perplexes the spiritually unlearned. It is sad to see how widely successful the devil has been by means of this subtle innovation."

Ecclesiology
Baptism by sprinkling
Rick Martin | God's Old Testament promise symbolized

God’s original Old Testament promise to His people that He would save them was symbolized by His promise to purify them through sprinkling.

Ezekiel 36:24-29
24 "For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.
25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.
29 I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses.”

We are saved through washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit which is poured out on us by Jesus.

Titus 3:4-7
4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Thus, the sign of cleansing in the Old Testament was sprinkling.

Numbers 19:20
20 But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself, that person shall be cut off from among the assembly, because he has defiled the sanctuary of the LORD. The water of purification has not been sprinkled on him; he is unclean.

This is reiterated again in the New Testament.

Hebrews 10:15-22
15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,"
17 then He adds, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."
18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,
21 and having a High Priest over the house of God,
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

1 Corinthians 10:2 tells us that the nation of Israel was baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.

1 Corinthians 10:1-2
1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,
2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

From clouds come rain, and from God’s Glory Cloud comes his special baptismal rain. Psalm 77:14-20 tells us that as Israel walked through the Red Sea dryshod, between the walls of water, it was raining on them.

Psalm 77:14-20
14 You are the God who does wonders; you have declared Your strength among the peoples.
15 You have with Your arm redeemed Your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
16 The waters saw You, O God; the waters saw You, they were afraid; the depths also trembled.
17 The clouds poured out water; the skies sent out a sound; your arrows also flashed about.
18 The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightnings lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was in the sea, your path in the great waters, and Your footsteps were not known.
20 You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Thus, Paul can write that Israel was baptized in the cloud and in the sea (1 Corinthians 10:2 above), just as Peter can write that the descending water of rain at the flood baptized Noah.

1 Peter 3:18-21
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,
19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,
20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
21 There is also an antitype (symbol) which now saves us--baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

The waters from below were for the wicked, while the waters from above were for the righteous. When Noah was in the ark, who went under the water and who was sprinkled? When Moses marched through the Red Sea, who went under the water and who was sprinkled?

The mode of baptism is not critical, except that we should understand what it means to us.

I believe that Jesus’ baptism was a high priestly baptism. There were three requirements of a high priest under the Law of God: They must have been thirty years old or above, they must have been sprinkled to cleanse them, and they must have been called of God.

Numbers 4:1-4
1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying:
2 “Take a census of the sons of Kohath from among the children of Levi, by their families, by their fathers' house,
3 from thirty years old and above, even to fifty years old, all who enter the service to do the work in the tabernacle of meeting.
4 This is the service of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle of meeting, relating to the most holy things:”

Numbers 8:5-7
5 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying:
6 “Take the Levites from among the children of Israel and cleanse them ceremonially.
7 Thus you shall do to them to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purification on them, and let them shave all their body, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean.

Hebrews 5:1-6
1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.
2 He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also beset by weakness.
3 Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins.
4 And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.
5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.”
6 As He also says in another place: “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”;

The chief priests, scribes and elders didn’t like Jesus teaching in the temple. They asked Him by what authority He taught, because only the priests could teach in the temple. Therefore they wanted to know who had made Him a priest. Jesus answered them by asking them if His baptism was from God or men, for His baptism completed the requirements of His priesthood.

Luke 19:45-20:8
45 Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it,
46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”
47 And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him,
48 and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.
1 Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him
2 and spoke to Him, saying, “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?”
3 But He answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me:
4 The baptism of John-- was it from heaven or from men?”
5 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’
6 But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”
7 So they answered that they did not know where it was from.
8 And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

So you see, Jesus’ baptism was not a baptism of repentance (how could it be, since Jesus is perfect), it was a high priestly baptism which would complete the requirements of the Law, and thus give Him authority as a priest, and thus to teach in the temple.

Matthew 3:14-15
14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.

How did the Ethiopian eunuch know he needed to be baptized? He was reading Isaiah.

Acts 8:26-39
26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert.
27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship,
28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet.
29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”
30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so He opened not His mouth.
33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away, and who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.”
34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?”
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.
36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”
37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.

The baptism spoken of in Isaiah is sprinkling.

Isaiah 52:13-15
13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; he shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.
14 Just as many were astonished at you, so His visage was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men;
15 So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; for what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider.

This is also spoken of in Ezekiel 36:24-27, previously cited.

If we are to be baptized as Jesus was, we must be sprinkled, as the priests were sprinkled, since we are now all priests.

1 Peter 2:9
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Many who espouse baptism by emersion cite Romans 6:1-5, saying that we should be put under water as though dying, thus being buried with Christ.

Romans 6:1-5
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,

However, the baptism of Christ spoken of here in Romans has nothing whatsoever to do with water. The baptism of Christ was a persecution and agonizing death as referred to in the tenth and fourteenth chapter of Mark below (can you drink the cup).

Mark 10:37-39
37 They said to Him, "Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory."
38 But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you ask. Can you drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"
39 They said to Him, "We are able." So Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized;”

Mark 14:33-36
33 And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.
34 Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch."
35 He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.
36 And He said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will."

Therefore we must die to self to be raised in newness of life. Our old self is buried. Since when does going under water have anything to do with burial?

All except John did, in fact, suffer agonizing persecution and violent death. They did drink the same cup that Christ drank.

Rick Martin

 

 

ALWAYS BEING READY TO MAKE A DEFENSE

In the first century the axiom of the church was: "Contend for the Faith" (Jude 3), but regrettably that has changed. The Apostle Paul tells the church to: "Refute those who oppose sound doctrine" (Titus 1:9). If Christians do not speak out against false teachings that confuse as well as deny definitive Christian theology; the false teachings will be construed as truth. To be sure, essential substantive Christian doctrine is not the popular message that is pervaded in most mega-Christian revivals. The doctrines that fill the pages of Scripture, however, are: the Tri-Unity of God, the full Deity of Jesus Christ, and Justification through faith alone.
 
CONTRIBUTORS
Rev. Paul Alexander
Rev. Greg Bahnsen
Nat Carswell
Gordon H. Clark
Edward Dalcour
Rev. William Einwechter
J. C. Evans
Kenneth Gentry
Perry A. Hess
Michael S. Horton
Ronald Kirk
Amanda Krystaponis
Rick Martin
Charles A. McIlhenny
Larry J. Michael, PhD.
Wil Pounds
Eunice V. Ray
Colonel Ronald D. Ray
Ernest Reisinger
P.Andrew Sandlin
Steve M. Schlissel
Geoff Thomas
Sarah Thomas
K. Cody Vest
Peter J. Wallace
 
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