Restored Baptism

The pamphlet entitled Authoritative Baptism   by Frank W. Sandford


Peter stated that "the heaven must receive Jesus until the times of restoration of all things." "The restoration of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began" then, must precede the appearance of our King in the heavens.

This restoration is brought about by a certain character who precedes that coming as "the restorer" acting in the same capacity as the one who preceded His first coming: "the restorer of paths to dwell in."

The restoration effected by John was largely along the lines of spirituality and godliness. That effected by Elijah has to do not only with "spirituality and godliness," but with the restoration of the Sabbath; of the Church; of "the Kingdom under the whole heaven;" of the continents, oceans, isles, etc.; and in addition to these, the restoration of the Sacred Writings as a whole, and their application to two billions of people: in other words, the evangelization of the globe.

Each one of the billion or so of females and each one of the billion or so of males must settle the matter of conformity to the will of God along the line of baptism: hence this article.

I The Meaning of Baptism

The Greek word for baptize, baptizing, Baptist, etc., occurs one hundred and twenty times in the New Testament, and as the Diaglott states, "All lexicographers translate it by the word immerse, dip or plunge; not one by sprinkle or pour. No translator has ever ventured to render these words by sprinkle or pour in any version."

II The History of this Rite

"In various ancient religions the rite of baptism," or "purification of the soul by the use of water," has been known from time immemorial.

Another use of water for a religious purpose was that connected with Gentiles who sought the privileges of Israel's religion. They were termed "proselytes," and were washed from the falsities connected with their previous beliefs by immersion.

Still another "use of water for the purification of the soul" was seen in the case of the pious Israelite who wished to make emphatic the Law and the Holy Writings in his own life and practice. Such were washed from all that was unscriptural in a manner bordering on that of the pious Christian of later times.

Hence, when John rang out his clarion call to repentance, and offered his disciples the way of cleansing through a God given baptism, the multitudes were not rushing into a totally unknown practice.

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Later came the Master preaching repentance, even deeper, if possible, than that emphasized by His predecessor, and baptizing even "more disciples than John."

The radical difference between the two baptisms was this: while both emphasized repentance, John's called for a faith in the coming Messiah; while Jesus' baptism expressed faith in the present one and hence called for obedience as well as faith.

That baptism would have remained unsullied throughout the Gospel Age had there been no Dark Ages, but when men groped their way out of the blackness of the past towards the true light, they picked up the truth bit by bit.

For instance, Luther, while making his way painstakingly up the scala sancta, or "holy stairway" in Rome, saying prayers and counting beads for salvation, heard a voice saying, "The just shall live by faith." He sprang to his feet a free man and electrified Europe by his bold proclamation of the simple way of salvation.

The Wesleys experienced and taught men that they could be sanctified "by faith" as simply and as certainly as Luther had in this way been justified.

Fox preached a pure spirituality, honoring the Third Person of the trinity and abhorring formality.

John Calvin thundered out the sovereignty of God, and Benjamin Randall the freedom, of the human will; while each denomination in some such way accentuated special lines of truth.

Booth went to the submerged masses of the great cities, his converts either remaining unbaptized or adopting the form of whatever denominational body they might unite with.

Simpson proved a sort of Isaiah to the hungry souls in denominational circles, practising immersion himself but lifting up no voice against the errors connected with the baptismal rites in other bodies.

Moody, in his discourses, emphasized the use of the Word of God; Stephen Merrit on every occasion by word and pen, magnified the Holy Ghost; the writer was called to accentuate and obey ALL TRUTH, and ignoring difficulties like Himalayan heights, to offer the gospel to all men.

In doing this, he finds a mass of error concerning the subject under consideration.

The Bible declares, "'there is ... one baptism:" Eph. 4:4,5. There are today nearer one hundred baptisms than the original "one" which Paul emphasized.

One body of believers refuses the use of water utterly, believing baptismal services to be a mere form.

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Others believe that people should be sprinkled in childhood even before they have attained sufficient intelligence to act as believers.

Still others believe that only after conversion should believers be sprinkled.

Another body believes they should be immersed as was the Master; and yet others offer the candidate the choice of being sprinkled or immersed; and again other bodies may offer pouring and even accept those who refuse all methods: these, however, are but a few of the many variations.

Finally, the writer saw one man immerse candidates three times. The "still small voice" of Horeb, however, expressed divine displeasure, saying plainly, "not sealed."

It is very evident that God has an opinion as to what is real baptism, and inasmuch as He has commissioned the writer to "remove the covering'' or blindness of eyes ''cast over the face of all the
earth," he is qualified, at least in the eyes of the Great Being, who commissioned him, to "restore" this subject and plainly indicate exactly what baptism. is and what it is not.

III What Scriptural Baptism Is

It is the acceptation of the gospel on the part of a believer in Jesus Christ by reenacting its foundation scenes - the death, the burial and the resurrection of our Lord.

In I Cor. 15:1,3,4, the apostle Paul plainly defined "'the gospel" in the following language: "how that Christ died for our sins ... and that He was buried, and that He rose again the, third day according to the Scriptures."

The above is a simple but inspired definition of "the glad tidings" - Christ took the sinner's place; died in his stead; was buried with all the sinner's sins upon Him; the Master rose again leaving all the sinner's sins behind Him in the grave; He rose, not for His own sake but for the "justification" of the sinner whose interests He has cared for from first to last.

Thus the acceptation of the gospel "by re-enacting its foundation scenes" was the first essential to salvation:  " Go ... preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: "Mark 16:15,16.

There is no promise in the Bible for any man, woman, or child to be saved from sin without bowing his or her body to the acceptation of the glad tidings by re-enacting the crucifixion, i.e., passively yielding to the hands of the "man of God," exactly as a dead man submits himself to be removed from the cross and buried; and also, is a buried man, submitting to be raised again by the power of another, even the representative of God.

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THAT is the gospel received and confessed before men and angels in God's appointed way, and anything less than that is not, and never will be the confession of the gospel of the Son of God "unto salvation."

IV What Scriptural Baptism Is Not

It is not immersion in the Spirit without the use of water.

There is a large and influential body of believers whose Christian life is often exemplary, who claim that baptism is a mere form; and again, there were many under the labors of General Booth who rejoiced in the simple salvation connected with their conversion and omitted the confession of that "salvation" in the divinely appointed way; and still again, there are many in Christian missions or scattered throughout the various religious bodies who, for a while, rejoice in the knowledge of sins forgiven, and then unwisely substitute their joy in the past for obedience in the present.

If ever there was a company of people who might be tempted to magnify their Christian experience above "obedience" it was the multitudes who thronged about the Master. Such power was perhaps never witnessed by man as that manifested in Galilee and throughout Judea. Yet the voice of that Teacher sent of God rang out clearly: "Go ... make disciples of all nations, baptizing them."

It mattered not in Samaria how great their "joy" was and the whole city was swept by it (Acts 8:8) - they must obey God in order to maintain that joy. Hence we read that "when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, they were baptized, both men and women."

Again, Peter went up to Caesarea and while preaching to the Gentiles, "the Holy Spirit fell on all them that heard the Word." The Jews present "were amazed ... because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit; for they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God."

Then spake the great apostle, to whom the very "keys of the kingdom" had been delivered: "Can any man forbid water that these should be baptized?"

Now all those who claim that baptism is a "mere form" would have responded to that question by saying, "Yes, we forbid them to be baptized; the very fact they have received the outpouring of the Spirit which the water pictures shows that they have experienced the reality, and hence water is utterly unnecessary."

Such people set themselves up against the Master Himself and His leading apostle, both of whom commanded baptism. It matters not what your father believes or what your mother teaches - the Son of God has spoken, and there is no religion - none whatever - outside of obedience: . "and he commanded them to be baptized: (Acts 10:44-48)

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Scriptural baptism is not sprinkling with water, since the inspired Word states, "we are buried with Him by baptism:" Rom. 6:4.
Now we know that the Master was buried from sight in the tomb. If we are to re-enact that gospel scene, in order to experience the power of the confession in "God's appointed way," we, as certainly as He, must be "buried."

Suppose a farmer should tell his fifteen year old son, "Take that dead hen away and bury it." Later appears the lad with the statement, "I have done as you directed." How would the father feel should he go out in the bushes to see if the work were properly done, and there find the hen lying on top of the ground with a handful of dirt on its head?

In the first place, the irate father would rightly consider his son was lazy, avoiding the necessary labor connected with burial; still again, that he was rankly disobedient, inasmuch as he knew very well the fowl had not been buried. But suppose the son in response to the remonstrance of his angry father should say, "The minister preached last Sunday that sprinkling was baptism, I have adopted his views and performed my duty. What the father actually does to that boy is a picture of what our Father in heaven will do to that minister.

The baptism which Jesus Christ authorized is not pouring with water, inasmuch as the Word of God reads, "In whom ye are ... buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God:" Col. 2:11,12.

Pouring a quart of water over a candidate is not "burial in baptism."

Some who would belittle the subject by stating it is a matter of opinion - "the amount of water is non essential" - fail to understand how great the Being is that gives the directions. Whatever God directs a man to do, that, and nothing else should be done.

Saul substituted something for exact obedience in I Sam. 15. It cost him his kingdom, his life, the lives of his three sons, the loss of the army of Israel, and probably the loss of his own soul.

You had better forget what your neighbor says and what your own brain thinks, and substitute in their stead exact obedience to what God plainly states. Nothing but "burial," absolute is the baptism authorized by Jesus Christ.

The baptism authorized by the Son of God was not immersion three times in water. The Scripture nowhere states that God the Father died and rose again, or that the Holy Ghost died and rose again. The man Christ Jesus did die and rise again, hence, one immersion in water correctly represents that event. If the three Persons of the Trinity died, then plainly Satan, the god of this world, was the only god while the true One was in the grave.

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This is a lie of the devil, and every person who teaches or preaches it is teaching falsity, magnifying Satan's power, belittling the true God and administering a baptism "not sealed" as the voice of God has declared.

The American Revised Version has correctly punctuated Matt. 28:19, "baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."  These are not three names but the one name of the Trinity, hence, no commas should be used.

What the Master said was, baptizing them into the name," not into the names of three persons, but into "the name," the one name, of the Father Son and Holy Ghost, hence, one baptism properly represents the One Holy Name.

V  Who is Divinely Authorized to Perform this Rite?

First of all, the Master, of whom it is written, "Jesus was making and baptizing ... disciples:" (John 4:1).

When the priests and Levites sent from Jerusalem and inquired of the first forerunner as to his authority for this special baptism, they expressed themselves thus" "Why ... baptizest thou, if thou art not the Christ, neither Elijah, neither the prophet?"

They admitted that the Messiah had authority from on high to baptize.  Had they known that He was to appear on earth twice, they would have admitted that three people had authority to baptize, the Messiah, and His two forerunners: or in other words, Jesus Christ, John the Baptist, and Elijah the prophet.

The Master must have baptized his twelve apostles, and then authorized them to baptize all other believers.  We say "must" because John's disciples were baptized twice.

"Paul ... came to Ephesus, and found certain disciples," of whom he asked, "Into what ... were ye baptized?  And they said, Into John's baptism."   The apostle then explained to them that the Messiah had appeared, and hence, they should be baptized in His name: "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people that they should believe on Him that should come after him, that is, on Jesus.

"And when they heard this, they were baptized into the name of Lord Jesus:" hence, as previously stated, they were baptized "twice."

In Acts 18:24-28 we have the record of a future apostle who, like the disciples at Ephesus, knew "only the baptism of John."  Aquila and his wife took him home with them "and explained unto him the way of God more accurately."

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Probably Aquila baptized Apollos in the name of the Lord. And the enlargement of soul as a result is noted when he passed over into Achaia where he "helped" the disciples "much ..., for he powerfully confuted the Jews and that publicly, showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. "

Now all the disciples of John the Baptist must likewise have been immersed a second time, else there would have been spiritual confusion in the church - one party "knowing only the baptism of John," and the others knowing, not only that of the forerunner but also that of the Christ.

The word "only" indicates but a meager experience of truth, and the fact that this was supplemented at at Ephesus by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ proves that both baptisms were administered to the early church, i.e., that portion that had known John's baptism.

Hence, the apostles themselves must have been baptized by the Messiah, He being the one and only Person on earth, with authority from God to baptize them into the church which He was founding.

John had authority to baptize them "unto repentance" for all that was wrong in their lives, and also unto faith, i.e., faith in the coming Messiah.

Jesus Christ, however, baptized them into the kingdom of God a privilege so radically different from that conferred by John's baptism that the very "least in the kingdom" were declared by the Master to be "greater'' than the greatest under the Law.

The startling difference between the two baptisms was still further accentuated by John himself, who cried, "I indeed baptize you with water ...: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire."

In the light of these burning words, one can readily understand the tremendous importance of supplementing the baptism of John with that of Jesus - a baptism which was to "throughly purge" each believer's "floor," gathering the wheat "into the garner," but "burning up" all "chaff with unquenchable fire."

"After these things came Jesus and His disciples into the land of Judea; and there He tarried with them, and baptized:" John 3:22.

"And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, lie that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to Him:" John 3:26.

Such baptismal scenes continued throughout the Holy Land to the close of the Master's ministry.

After His resurrection He appeared unto the eleven disciples in Galilee, upon the appointed "mountain," where probably were gathered also the "five hundred," and where authority for baptism was finally given.

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''Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the consummation of the age:" Matt. 28:18 20.

This Authority from the Head of the church extends from the First to the Second Coming.

Second, John the Baptist was also authorized to baptize.

On the banks of the Jordan, he cried, "He ... sent me to baptize with water." "There was a man sent of God," and He "as the One who authorized His servant to baptize. "I knew ... that He should be made manifest to Israel, for this cause came I baptizing with water. I knew Him not, but He that sent me to baptize with water, He said unto me, Upon whomsoever you see the Spirit descending, and abiding upon him, the same is He that baptizeth with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen, and borne witness that this is the Son of God."

"The baptism of John, whence was it?" Matt. 21:25.

"The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me!" Mark 11:30.

Those important questions were demanded of the generation visited by the Master and His forerunner. Failure to answer correctly meant the eternal disfavor of God. On the other hand, a correct answer meant "life eternal.''

"And all the people that heard Him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of Him:" Luke 7:29,30.

The acceptation or rejection of this rite at the hand of a God sent man then is a solemn and decisive act.

Third, the prophet Elijah, "before the dreadful day of Jehovah," has this God given authority.

The Jews recognized his divine right to a special baptism in John 1:25, and nineteen centuries later Jehovah Himself conferred that authority by word of mouth.

During the first year of the twentieth century a voice was heard saying "The mantle of Elijah is fallen upon thee"  - a little later in the year - "Wash My lambs" - and September 30th in the evening, ''Be ready against tomorrow," a message indicating that the time for a "special baptism" had come and that it was to be held on the date signified - October 1, 1901.

The number being very great, baptismal services continued for two days. Before the October 2nd service God said, "Wash them thoroughly," indicating the necessity of an absolute faith for an absolute cleansing.

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Thus in the case of each forerunner, the Great I Am conferred the authority for a "special baptism:" a strikingly significant fact.

John's was the formal introduction of his disciples (the commencement of Christendom) to the Christ.

Elijah's is the washing of Christendom from its denominational schisms and errors to prepare His people for the One "coming in power and great glory'' in a word, it is the restoration of the Master's baptism which has been perverted through the Dark Ages and which is now restored by a prophet sent of God "to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

VI Burning Words for Baptismal Waters

"And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins:" Acts 22: 16 also 9: 17, 18. These words were spoken by Ananias to the convert Paul. Straightway he was baptized, and thus he washed away life's stains every sin he had ever committed.

You can never accomplish this in any other way. It is right to "repent;" it is proper to spend "three days" in prayer; and there is a tremendous significance in "fasting" as well; but nothing can wash away your sins but scriptural and authoritative baptism.

God Himself is behind the act. He has ordained that you may thus wipe out every sin of the horrible past. It is foolish to think such a thing, yet it is ten thousand times more foolish not to do so, in
as much as this is God's own pla n plainl y recorded in the Book.

By your own act you may here and now wash away every stain upon your soul. If you fail to do this, the fault is your own.

No man ever walked this globe with stains more hideous, or more deeply dyed with devilish cruelty, than the man to whom these words were uttered. When he came up from the water, there isn't an iota of evidence against him had he then and there been summoned to God's Groat Law Court. The wild beast had become a lamb and he stood as pure in the sight of his Maker as upon the day he was born.

Oh wonderful grace! Oh wonderful act of our God! "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow."

Baptism then is essential to the removal of sin.

2. Baptism is essential as an act of obedience to God.

"Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins:" Acts 2:38.

"And he commanded them to be baptized:" Acts 10:48.

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These are positive, binding commands given by a man full of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost and flooded by the Spirit of God at a second Pentecost seven years later at Caesarea.

These commands are just as binding on men as "Thou shalt not kill" or "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart." No man can disobey them or ignore them and properly claim to be a follower of the Lord.

The fact that your Christian friends do not practise this rite; that your father and mother do not believe in it; that you yourself are prejudiced against it; has nothing to do with the subject - nothing whatever.

'When you finally stand before God you will be judged for your deeds done in the flesh.

The fact that your father or mother or Christian friends favored this or did not favor that will have nothing whatever to do with your case as you stand before the Judge.

You must stand or fall by your acts of obedience or disobedience while on earth.

You had better read Matthew 7:21. Not everyone that claims to be religious "BUT - he that doeth the will of My Father - shall enter into the kingdom of heaven."

3. Baptism is essential to a conscientious state of mind.

In connection with "the ark" we read Peter's statement, "eight souls were saved through water; which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even baptism The Diaglott translates this, "eight persons were carried safely through the water, and immersion, a representation of this now saves us; (not a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but a seeking of a good conscience towards God,) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ:" I Pet. 3:20,21.

"Baptism doth now save us," states the apostle, exactly as "'the ark" saved them in olden time. There is no more hope of being saved outside of that rite now, then there was in Noah's day outside of the vessel of deliverance.

He, however, shows that it is not the outward act - "not the putting away of the filth of the flesh" - but the preservation of "a good conscience," through obedience.

It is the "resurrection" which really saves a man, and when the believer makes confession of the resurrection in baptismal waters he makes that salvation his own.

These words, however, do not apply to a person who really cannot be baptized. A dying man might believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pass away before the outward act of confession was possible.

The thief would have been baptized, had he had the opportunity.

A child, before he has arrived at an age suitable for intelligent belief, would be another exemption.

These words, however, do apply to each and every Christian on this planet, who commanded by God to be baptized, makes excuses for not obeying that command.

You must preserve your conscience inviolate by the practice of this rite, or receive a reprimand at the hand of the Judge.

4. It is essential to the putting on of Christ, "for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ:" Gal.3:27.

No one can claim to have done this until he has followed the Lord in the God appointed way, namely, scriptural baptism.

5. This baptism is the public test of loyalty to the coming King.

The Master had made the statement, "there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist." The multitudes were swept by this declaration as a forest by a mighty wind "all the people that heard him    and the publicans, justified God."

Why did they so rejoice? Because they had been baptized with the baptism of the mighty man referred to.

On the other hand were "the Pharisees and lawyers," who by their failure to accept the baptism, had "rejected the counsel of God."

What does this teach? That the people who accept the God-sent messengers and their baptism are the people who will accept the Son of God when He later appears.

Without the acceptation of this rite, there is no loyalty to the coming King - none whatever.

The opposers of the Christ, at His first coming, were those that had rejected the baptism of His forerunner. In a similar way, all such will be on the "left hand" side in the day the living stand before His throne for judgment.

I do not mean by this that all religious circles will have the light as to whether this is a God sent man and a God given baptism before the Master's return, but I do teach and know that no person can receive God's light upon this subject, and then through cowardice turn it down, without receiving a reprimand for eternity.

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If you are loyal to the Master show yourself; step right out to the front; let everybody know just where you stand. A very few years from now and we are to see His face.

This is the final chance to swing away from the diluted Christianity which you have long loathed. This is your opportunity to win a "well done" from the Master when His face is seen.

No cowardly desire to please your father, your mother, your circle of Christian friends, or anybody else on God's earth will ever receive His simile.

The battle has been fierce; it is going to take the life blood out of some of us. I advise you to show yourself if you would win Divine Approval.

Elijah heard, to his amazement, that there were "seven thousand" that "had not bowed the knee to Baal." Doubtless he thought, "I wish they would have courage enough to show themselves as I have had to do - to show themselves on the side of Jehovah for life or for death!"

The "hundred and forty four thousand" of Rev. 7:4 - the finest type of Christianity the earth has ever seen, as is evidenced by the words of the "new song" and the statement that "no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand" (Rev. 14:3) each and all show themselves in the open as did the Master.

6. This baptism is not only a "test of loyalty to the coming King," it is a test of loyalty to His Kingdom.

While passing through the Grecian isles years ago, a voice was heard saying, " Renew the kingdom."

This was done a few weeks later in Jerusalem, October 2nd 1902.

The kingdom is small at first "a mustard seed" "the least of all" - yet eventually, "when it is grown," it will become "a tree" - "the greatest" of all: Matt. 13:31,32.

The Master seemed "the least of all" the day He hung upon the cross in quivering agony, yet He was laying the foundation for His precious, priceless, peerless kingdom.

If you are willing to be "the least," you may some day see His face and find yourself in "the greatest" assemblage of human beings which ever trod this planet.

This baptism is the doorway into that kingdom: "the kingdom of heaven."

The millennium just ahead is not to be a Methodist millennium; it is not to be a Baptist millennium; it is not to be a Presbyterian millennium; it is not to be an Episcopalian millennium; all the partial truth of the various denominations must be washed away from them if

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they are to know "the power of the coming age" - if they are to enter into the answer to His prayer "that we all may be one."

The more the denominational bodies pray, and the more they believe and labor for the prosperity of their own association of believers, the more they are making it impossible for the millennium to reach this earth.

The millennium will never be a motley assembly composed of every brand of sheep that the ingenuity of man can devise.

All partial truth must be washed away; and thus, through the open doorway into His kingdom, which is baptism by the God sent herald, you are passed on into the power end experience of the age to come.

You may not understand all of my speech; but you will find my words are words of truth. They are based upon the Scripture, "and the Scripture," as the King Himself declared, "cannot be broken:'' John 10:35.

Which would you prefer to be the first man who "tore himself loose" from his earthly environment and founded the kingdom of God or the last man who comes in when the kingdom is a worldwide and irresistible success? Dan. 2:34,35,44,45.

The first man is a heroic soul. The last man may be a sort of cur a man well nigh devoid of either courage or character.

I do not say that such people will over attain to the kinpdom of God but they may easily sweep in when alleluias are vibrating throughout each and every continent and sounding upon each and every sea.

I would advise you, my friend, to "press" your way "into the kingdom" now when it is small instead of waiting till it is a worldwide and glorious success.

The "Well done" of Jesus will be principally for those who have breasted the storm for nearly a third of a century, rather than for the millions who will flow in when the waves of popularity run high.

''See here is water! What doth hinder me to be baptized?"

You, like "the eunuch of Ethiopia," may be on your way to another continent. Yet this is your opportunity. Be loyal to the kingdom of God in its formative period. Join that which is based upon the Word of God, with the authority of the ME behind it; in its days of weakness rather than in its day of strength, in its days of humiliation rather than in its day of worldwide and glorious triumph.

I would advise every honest soul who desires the real thing on this earth to "Press" forward here and now into these waters - these waters of the greatest opportunity man ever knew or ever will know.

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7. This rite is not only essential to the ','removal of sin;" to "obedience," without which there can be no religion; to a "conscientious state of mind;" to the "putting on of Christ," and to the manifestation of "loyalty to the coming King," as well as "loyalty," to the coming "kingdom;" but also in view of these truths, it is a demonstration of one's real attitude to the "Only Potentate dwelling in light unapproachable."

When "God sent forth His Son" as the first Missionary to this planet, He watched from afar man's acceptation or rejection of the Divine Representative.

The eternal state of each person is to be determined by that attitude.

He is absolutely the only "door" to the pastures of Divine Favor.

Before His advent, however, God sent a messenger to prepare His way - the herald of the Kingly Missionary.

Their attitude to John the Baptist was their attitude to Jesus the Christ and to the Great Being watching from afar.

Having finished His missionary labors, He retired to the presence of the Father that He might spend nineteen centuries in supplication for His little band of followers on earth.

Now He is about to return, and this time not as a humble evangelist riding an ass, but as the Crown Prince of eternity riding the white charger.

Just before doing so, however, another herald is raised up "to make ready a people prepared for the Lord," not in the Holy Land as in the former visit, but this time in all lands - in a word, to prepare the globe for His advent.

Your attitude to that herald is your attitude to the Messiah and to the Great Being up yonder watching you while you make the decision.

"He that receiveth you (i.e., those sent forth by the Master) receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth HIM that sent Me."

If you would have "a prophet's reward," receive the prophet's God given baptism.

If you would receive the Messiah's smile, receive the Messiah's herald.

If you would win divine approval up yonder, welcome the "herald" and thus prepare yourself to properly welcome the Messiah to His thousand years' reign, and then finally "'to see His Face" - the face of "the Only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, dwelling, in light unapproachable, whom no man hath seen nor can see: to whom, be honor and power eternal. Amen."

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That privilege, my brother; that privilege, my sister; that privilege, young man; that privilege, young lady; that privilege, little one, is worth more than all the possessions of the wealthiest man the sun looks upon.

"See, here is water! What doth hinder me to be baptized?"

VII Baptismal Scenes that Stir the Soul

Caesar stated: "All Gaul is divided into three parts."

A scientist might properly claim that All Time is likewise divided into the Past, the Present and the Future.

Baptismal Scenes in the Past

Who was the first person baptized by John?

The only answer is this:

"Then went out unto him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about the Jordan; and they were baptized of him in the river ... confessing their sins."

Until we see John a few years hence, we may never be able to answer the question as to the first repentant soul plunged into the sacred river.

We can solve the question put in another way, namely, who was the most important personage to receive this rite at the hand of the first forerunner?

"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee unto the Jordan to be baptized of him." Awestruck at the presence of the Messiah, the eagle eyed prophet said, "I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me? ?"

With kingly dignity the Candidate declared, "it becometh us" words to be remembered by every loyal soul to that King, "it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness."

''And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway from the water; and lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him; and lo, a voice out of the heavens, ... This is My beloved Son, in whom I an well pleased."

Who was the first man baptized by the Son of God?

We do not know; it may have been Peter; it may have been the beloved disciple. That He baptized "the twelve apostles of the Lamb" seems certain.

Who was the first man from Africa to be baptized into Christendom to be baptized into the ''one body" by the "one Spirit?"

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We do not know his name, but we know his nationality and his high office under an African queen: "and behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was over all her treasure, who" having "come to Jerusalem to worship was returning . . in his chariot ... reading the prophet Isaiah."

The lesson I learn from the subsequent events in Acts 8:29 40 is this: wherever there is an honest soul earnestly desiring scriptural and authoritative baptism, God has an agent, a way, and a tine for that service.

In the first place, "an angel of the Lord" had spoken to the evangelist, Philip, in the midst of a most remarkable revival at Samaria saying,    towards The south!" Leaving a city swept with revival enthusiasm and power, he obeyed.

As the splendid equipage drew nigh "the Spirit said ... Go near and join thyself to this chariot." The result - Philip "preached unto him Jesus."

As they rode along, "they came onto a certain water," and the keen minded official sprang to meet his opportunity, exclaiming, "Behold, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?"

In response to such stirring words from the candidate as, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God," the evangelist acquiesced; the command was given to the driver that the chariot should "stand still" then the equipage, which represented royal wealth, drew aside "and they both want down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him,''

The evangelist was a busy man; he had other cities to evangelize. "When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip;" his work was done, and he was needed elsewhere.

"The eunuch saw him no more," but we read, "he went on his way rejoicing."

This shows that the finest limousine, rolling along in glittering splendor, may have within a hungry heart longing for God and reality. Such souls, all of them, i.e., in view of the divine statement, "neither shall there be any lacking," are certain of the inevitable result - a plunge into baptismal waters and a rejoicing future over every stain left behind.

The experience of the first African teaches us to despair of no man rolling along in wealth; to be wide awake to life's opportunities (in this case never repeated); to expect the angels of Jehovah to direct us on our missions even though we may see no sense whatever in leaving the grandest opportunity for doing good, to make our way down into a "desert;" and above all, to have faith in the living God that His Spirit will direct us in the critical moment just what to do; and also that the Executive of the God head is capable of transferring us quickly to scenes of further usefulness whenever, from the divine standpoint, such methods of transportation are necessary.

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Who was the first person baptized in the continent north of Africa?

The answer is found in Acts 16:13 15. "on the Sabbath day we (i. e., Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke) went forth without the gate by a river," (i.e., the Gangites, "a deep rapid stream") to "a place of prayer." Sitting down, they preached the simple gospel to the women there assembled.

Of those listening, there was a hungry soul as deadly in earnest for righteousness in Europe, as had been the Ethiopian from the great continent south of them.

"And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, one that worshipped God heard us: whose heart the Lord opened to give heed to the things spoken of by Paul."

Without any unnecessary delay, she expressed her belief in the words of the apostle, by washing away her sins then and there. "And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us."

Had we a moving picture of that first baptism of a representative of Africa in that pool fed by living springs from the desert; and of this, the first soul baptized in Europe - the apostle Paul leading Lydia out into the water as Philip had led out the eunuch - how priceless would be the value of such photographic slides

Philippi was founded by the father of Alexander the Great, and immortalized by the battle which ended the Roman Republic and ushered in the Empire..

The victory which Caesar's army won on yonder plain is not, however, to be compared with that of the Christ at the river; nor the defeat of Brutus with the overwhelming defeat here suffered by the arch enemy of man.

To leave thousands of corpses on the plain is not for a moment to be compared with the ability to remove the stains of a lifetime from a longing soul.

Alexander may be called "the great," and Caesar, "the august one," but Jesus Christ is "the Prince of the kings of the earth" in His matchless ability to save rather than to slay.

Who was the first soul in Asia to be baptized in the name of the Christ?

One of the "three thousand" plunged in baptismal waters at Jerusalem, May 6, 29 A. D.

There had come "from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, filling the house where they were sitting;" and lo, "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" and "clothed with power from on high."

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Peter preached a sermon that cut to the quick the heart of the great assembly. Seeing themselves damned and undone because of the murder of their Messiah at the previous Passover, they cried in anguish, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"

"Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ," was the reply. Never mind what your father or mother or religious friends will say "save yourselves from this crooked generation"

Then, they that received his word followed his directions and were baptized, and thus the stains arising from the murder of the Son of God were washed away.

We do not know the name of the first one, but we know he was a "devout man," who with unutterable anguish and deadly earnestness heard the apostles as they spake with irresistible power concerning "the mighty works of God."

Baptismal Scenes of the Present

By this we mean baptismal scenes since October 1, 1901 when the voice of God was heard in America saying "Wash My lambs.

The first person to be baptized was Charles E. Holland, one of the "two witnesses:" Zech. 4. The service was held, not at the Jordan, but at the Androscoggin, a river in the United States.

As the first "witness" led out the second one into the place of immersion, angelic hosts were stirred, while the great multitude on the shore "rejoiced with joy unspeakable."

The formation of the "golden candlestick" was taking place before their very eyes. The "two sons of oil" were out in the river together the one, like John, having a desire - a pathetic desire for baptism himself.

That cry, however, could not be granted in John's day, nor in the day of restoration. A special effusion of the Spirit prepared John to baptize others into privileges he himself might not experience. Likewise a special anointing of the Spirit had fitted the prophet in modern days to immerse his fellow, though the Master was not present to grant his soul's desires for himself.

And these two men in the river are relied upon by "the God of all the earth" as "the two prophets" who are to "stand by" Him through the great and terrible tribulation ahead; stand by their Sovereign till their mission is accomplished till "their testimony is finished:" Rev. 11:1 13. Never since the day that John baptized Jesus has there been so momentous an occasion.

When I broached the subject to the people, i.e., the message "'Wash My lambs" ministers and all rose up and availed themselves

of the privilege so glad that at last they were to be baptized into God and satisfaction.

It being a cold day, I was uncertain as to whether it would be best for me to be in the water very long, hence planned on baptizing about one hundred, but as I afterward wrote, "they pressed upon me, and I baptized two hundred and eighteen. All I could think of was, 'the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.' "

It is a significant fact that the first man to be baptized was, not only my fellow in the things of God, but the one appointed in the future to act as overseer of this - the great and important continent - North America.


Who is that woman coming forward for baptism at the pool in the grounds of the Highfield House, Liverpool , England, to be "buried" in the name of her Lord?

She has just arrived from Scotland and is the one who asked God to give her "the hardest place in all the world." And, wonderful to relate, she was found worthy to receive an answer to that most significant request - the wife of the restorer. Thou hast asked "a hard thing," yet thy petition is granted, 0 woman of God!

Let Oceanica rejoice inasmuch as among the seventy baptized in England, was such an apostolic soul - a shining example to womankind in all lands as well as throughout the myriads of isles in the great deep.


Who was the first soul in Asia to be baptized by the restorer?

His son John, in his sixth year, at the river Jordan, May 18,1902.

Here, right off against ancient Jericho, at the spot where the waters ceased to flow while Israel's millions clambered up these banks and with ejaculations of unspeakable praise and appreciation found themselves at last in the Holy Land - here our little one followed the Saviour in this public act of confession.

This river has witnessed the impossible, for here "the iron did swim." Here Elijah swung his mantle, and the waters parted.

Here his successor repeated the mighty act, saying as he swung the mantle, "Where is the Lord God of    Elijah?"

This river is strewn with miracles like beads, and who standing here, can think of difficulties? Granite walls have crumbled in sight of this spot; and yonder, almost in view, can be seen the ruins of the castle where they say John the Baptist was beheaded. Both heralds suffer the penalty awaiting absolute loyalty to the King: however, when men fear nothing but God, difficulties crumble.

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If a million souls were plunged in these waters ere the, work of the restorer is finished, it will be no surprise whatever. In fact, a handmaiden of the Lord years ago saw in vision "the Jews by the thousands" rushing down to this sacred river to "fulfill all righteousness" in their day as did the Messiah in His day.


Who was the first one to receive baptism at the hand of the restorer in Africa?

I am not certain as to the "first one," but I know a sailor who had sailed in all parts of the world, who came into port at Alexandria and hard by "The Overcomer's Pillar," as we call it, was "buried," with his Lord. It was in the immediate vicinity of Pharos' lighthouse.

We shall not forget the triumphant wave of his hand, nor the holy smile which lighted up his face as he vanished over the bluff in haste to rejoin his ship which was about to sail. The Spirit here whispered to us as we were baptizing a soul - "Saint Mark's church."

May this representative of Sweden prove as reliable as the man who was here dragged to his death at the heels of a wild horse - martyred because he would follow God regardless of cost.


Who will be the first man or woman or child to be baptized into the kingdom of God in Australia? Time must answer that question.


Who the first in South America? God's eye sees, and God's hand will bring about what He foreknows in this respect.


Who will be the first one in Europe? The Great I Am will by His providences reply to our query some day.

Little Esther, while in England looked out of the Highfield House on a certain occasion and spoke words of wisdom from her point of view to a beautiful flock of sheep grazing hard by: "Sheep, you must each of one of you be baptized, because my papa says he is going to baptize all the sheep.

And that introduces the Future.

and if all that is not enough, these words are reprinted from The Everlasting Gospel


"Every baptism that has taken place since the beginning of the dark ages has been defective and in part because men have had only partial truth -- portions of the truth. No man has taught the people to "observe all things whatsoever Jesus commanded," therefore no man has had any authority from God to "go -- baptizing." The absurdity of such men, who are in "divisions" which God declares are "heresies," attempting to baptize people into the truth is apparent to all. God has however led me to stand uncompromisingly for the whole truth--for every part of His Word, and therefore I have a right to baptize, and more than that He has definitely commissioned me to baptize and prepare His people for Christ's second coming.

Now the meaning of being baptized is the same to you as it was to Jesus. It is a chance for you to take your sonhood. It is a glad day for you to be acknowledged by the Father before men and angels as His son. Before this has been only in part; you have been under the law, that is, you have been under a baptism which corresponded to the law, which was only partly right. "The law was until John"- the law was until October 1st, 1901. Since that time "the kingdom of God is preached," and men press into it. That which was "in part" is "done away." "That which is perfect is come." After centuries of working and waiting God has at last raised up a movement to be the great harbinger of the millennium, the "perfect day," the day which is to perfect humanity and present them thus before God." The plan of God is being so perfected, that through "apostles and prophets" you may now have the "perfection of the saints, " and come to the unity of the faith...unto a perfect man."

How marvelous and how wonderful it is that you have the privilege through a Scriptural and authoritative baptism of consigning into a watery grave all the sins and imperfections of the past and stepping into the glad era of the "manfestation of the sons of God"-to be one of the "many sons" coming into "glory'"--in fact to be what the Son of God Himself is !

I will now speak further of some of the things which this baptism means,

5. It means that you are saved from the wrath of God.

There is not the slightest chance for a human being to escape God's wrath, who after having the opportunity to accept this baptism, definitely and persistently refuses to do so.   Oh, but you say, "I have been baptized once." I care not if you have been baptized twenty times. You have never been baptized by the man whom God has sent to herald His coming, and you never can be prepared to enter into the presence of God unless you have had that baptism.

6. It saves you from the wrath of God in the "great tribulation ."

God is going to gather all His people into "one fold." The antichrist is going to gather all his followers into another. There will be just two movements on the face of the globe in the day of the great battle of God Almighty. In that awful time and in the awful days that are coming,--so awful that unless the days were shortened no flesh should be saved.

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