BELIEF and FAITH
We present this tract to the public to answer the prayer and longing of the searcher after truth and light. Many are not satisfied with their present experience and wonder why they do not receive more spiritual assurance. They long for the Holy Spirit enjoyed by the saints in the New Testament times, but feel that something is lacking. Some are confused when they see others try to serve God, but soon give up and lose faith. Thus many are led to believe there is nothing to any of it. It has never dawned on them that something may be wrong with their belief, that they have not followed the true teachings of Christ.
To all such we present this little tract with the hope they will read it with a willing, honest heart, desirous of knowing and doing God's will.- The Board of Publication.
BELIEF and FAITH
These two words, BELIEF and FAITH, are inseparable. They are potent factors in the plan of salvation. They represent a principle through which the power of God is manifested in saving, redeeming, and creating.
"Through faith we understand the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
(Hebrews 11: 3)
God always has, and always will manifest His power through faith. He and His plans are unchangeable, His decrees unalterable.
"For I am the Lord, I change not " (Malachi 3:6)
As God used faith to perform His work, so does He require us to use the same power. For this reason God chose faith as one of the first principles of His doctrine. (Hebrews 6: 1) Jesus taught: Repent ye, and believe the Gospel. (Mark 1:15) "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:15, 16.) Yes; there is power enough in believing, if it induces to action, to save the vilest sinner if he believe from the heart: "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:10)
Dear reader, are you willing to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ just as the word of God declares it? Are you seeking for the true gospel of Christ that you may be established in His church?
"Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper." (2 Chronicles 20:20)
Do not merely believe that Jesus is the Christ. but believe the gospel He taught, His mission, suffering. death and resurrection that man might be redeemed, and by obedience become established in His gospel and church.
Many think they have obeyed the gospel but are still unsatisfied. When they find the full gospel and obey it spiritual assurance will come to them and they will then really be established in Christ in peace and quietude. They will then receive that which will enable them to stand the trials and tests of life. He who is truly born of the water and of the Spirit knows wherein he walks.
Many have asked. What is the gospel? It is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. (Romans1:16) But that power works through certain principles which we must obey in order to be saved. These principles are: Repentance, Faith, Baptisms. The Laying on of Hands, Resurrection of the Dead. and Eternal Judgment. (Hebrews 6:1, 2)
From the days of John the Baptist until the close of the Christian era that was the teaching of Christ and his ministry.
"John did baptize in the wilderness. and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." (Mark 1 :4)
"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." (Acts 2:38)
"And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Acts 22:16)
By these scriptures we see that baptism was for the remission of sins.
Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believeth with an thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him." (Acts 8:35-38)
Notice, they both went down into the water, a baptism by immersion. We are buried with him by baptism into death. (Romans 6:3)
"Buried with him in baptism." (Colossians 2:12)
There are no less than five different modes of baptism practiced by professing Christians today. Surely all cannot be right. If you had five watches and each of them gave a different time you would not say that all of them were right. You would know that at least four of them must be wrong. Baptism is administered by immersion, sprinkling, pouring, kneeling in the water and dipping forward, and triune immersion: first, in the name of the Father; second, in the name of the Son; third, in the name of the Holy Ghost.
Not more than one of these call be right. What does the word of God say? "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant." (Isaiah 24:5)
Notice this: man has transgressed God's law by changing the ordinance and thereby has broken the everlasting covenant between God and man. They have changed the ordinance of baptism from immersion to four other modes, and have done away with the ordinance of the laying on of hands for the gift of God's Holy Spirit. They have made baptism ineffective by changing its mode and purpose; and have sinned still more by doing away with the ordinance placed in the church for bestowing of the Holy Ghost, thus obstructing the channel of communication between God and man. Jesus said, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5)
When baptism means so much, even being born again and having our sins remitted, let us examine further the method of its administration. I here quote from "Light at Evening Time," pp. 16, 17.
"And were all baptized of him in the river Jordan." (Mark 1 :5)
"And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salem, because there was much water there." (John 3:23)
"And they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him." (Acts 2:38)
And when they were come up out of the water. (Acts 8:39)
"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water." (Matthew 3:16)
"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism." (Romans 6:4)
"Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him." (Colossians 2:12)
Gleaned from the foregoing field of scriptures the following facts are submitted:
1. That Bible baptism requires water.
2. That it takes much water.
3. That it necessitates a going down into the water.
4. That the candidate must be "buried in baptism."
5. That succeeding the burial be is risen again.
6. That there is a coming up out of the water.
Now take this baptismal measuring rod and apply it to the modern methods of baptism and we may easily discover any change in the holy writ.
Let us apply it to sprinkling. How will it measure up?
1. Does it require Water? Yes
2. Does it require much water? ______
3. Does the candidate go down into the water? ______
4. Is the candidate buried by baptism? ______
5 Is the candidate risen again? ______
6. Does the candidate come up out of the water? ______
Thus by actual measurement the ceremony of sprinkling is found to be right in only one point.
How can one expect a birth or the forgiveness of sins from an ordinance that does not measure up to the Bible standard for baptism?
Now let us measure immersion:
1. Does it require water? Yes
2. Does it require much water? Yes
3. Does the candidate go down into the water? Yes
4. Is the candidate buried in baptism? Yes
5. Is the candidate risen again? Yes
6. Does the candidate come up out of the water? Yes
Paul urged Timothy to "preach the word," for, said he, "the time will come when they win not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (II Timothy 4:3-4)
Dear reader, on such an essential question as salvation, can you afford to speculate by adopting a tradition of men foreign to the plan set forth in the word of God? When forgiveness of sins and the new birth of water and Spirit bring us into the kingdom of God, let us be careful to follow the unalterable plan found in the gospel of Christ.
THE LAYING ON OF HANDS
Following the performance of Baptism we have the ordinance of the Laying on of Hands by the ministry for the gift of the Holy Ghost, or the birth of the Spirit, that ever abiding Comforter; thus bringing Gods plan to fulfillment, without which no man may enter the church or kingdom of God. This ordinance is equally as important in the Church of Christ as is baptism by immersion for the remission of sins.
One may enter some church, kingdom, creed, or society of man without the birth of the Spirit, but by no means may one enter the kingdom of God without it. If the birth of the water requires obedience to an ordinance of God, why should not the birth of the Spirit necessitate obedience to an ordinance in compliance with the written word of God? To suppose the birth of the Spirit may be obtained in any haphazard way is just as ridiculous as to suppose one may be baptized in any way he chooses.
The kingdom of God is a kingdom of order and the law of the kingdom is the gospel. God gave that law that man might be saved through obedience to it.
Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money. (Acts 8:17, 18)
And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:6)
By these scriptures you see that the laying on of hands was practiced by the servants of Christ for the bestowal of the Holy Ghost. Nowhere do we find a command for any other methods for the giving of the gift of the Holy Ghost.
It is one of the principles of the gospel and surely one cannot do without the very principle things of salvation.
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptism, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead and of eternal judgment. (Hebrews 6:1, 2)
Baptism and the laying on of hands are here placed by Paul as the very central pillars in the gospel of Christ. On the one side stand repentance and faith; and on the other, the resurrection and the judgment. If the center pillars are unnecessary so also are the ones that support them on either hand.
The ordinance of the Laying on of Hands is also practiced in The Church of Christ for the blessing of little children, for the healing of the sick, and for the ordination of those called of God to the ministry.
Ananias was sent to Saul: 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)
FOR THE BLESSING OF LITTLE CHILDREN
And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them and blessed them. (Mark 10:16)
Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence. (Matthew 19:14, 15)
Christ laid His hands on little children and blessed them, but never did He or his disciples baptize them.
God never authorized such a practice. Baptism is for those who believe. (Mark 16:16)
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:20)
Let us see that our belief and teaching are in accord with the Word of God.
FOR THE SICK
They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. (Mark 16:18)
And He laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. (Luke 4:40)
And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people. (Acts 5:12)
To whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. (Acts 28:8)
Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up. (James 5:14, 15)
The Laying on of Hands is just as sacred an ordinance as any other given by God. Then why not believe and obey it?
This sacred ordinance was also used in The Church of Christ for ordination of His ministry, as the following scripture shows: As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed they laid their hands on them, and sent them away. (Acts 13:2, 3)
A ministry called by the Holy Ghost and ordained by the power of God through the ordinance he has instituted and placed in his church, is not only pleasing to God but profitable to us in obtaining salvation; for he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God. (John 3:34)
May God bless the reader of this tract with Belief and Faith to obey the gentle call.
The Midnight Cry is sounding. The Second Coming of Christ is near. He has sent His Messenger, John, to prepare the way.
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
THE CHURCH WITH THE ELIJAH MESSAGE
221 W. LEXINGTON ST. # 260
P.O. Box 1134
INDEPENDENCE MO 64051 U.S.A.
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Web Site: www.elijahmessage.com