Daily Archives: August 21, 2014

Bible Commentary: What Is the Baptism of/by/with Fire?

 

John the Baptist came preaching repentance and baptizing in the wilderness of Judea, and he was sent as a herald to announce the arrival of Jesus, the Son of God (Matthew 3:1–12). He announced, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11).

After Jesus had risen from the dead, He instructed His apostles to “… wait for the Promise of the Father which you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:4–5). This promise was first fulfilled on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–4), and the baptism of the Spirit joins every believer to the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). But what about the baptism with fire?

Some interpret the baptism of fire as referring to the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was sent from heaven. “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them” (Acts 2:2–3). It is important to note that these were tongues as of fire, not literal fire.

Some believe that the baptism with fire refers to the Holy Spirit’s office as the energizer of the believer’s service, and the purifier of evil within, because of the exhortation “Do not quench the Spirit” found in 1 Thessalonians 5:19. The command to the believer is to not put out the Spirit’s fire by suppressing His ministry.

A third and more likely interpretation is that the baptism of fire refers to judgment. In all four Gospel passages mentioned above, Mark and John speak of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but only Matthew and Luke mention the baptism with fire. The immediate context of Matthew and Luke is judgment (Matthew 3:7–12; Luke 3:7–17). The context of Mark and John is not (Mark 1:1–8; John 1:29–34). We know that the Lord Jesus is coming in flaming fire to judge those who do not know God (2 Thessalonians 1:3–10; John 5:21–23; Revelation 20:11–15), but praise be to God that He will save all that will come and put their trust in Him (John 3:16)![1]

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Bible Translations: What Is the Douay-Rheims Version (DRV)?

 

Douay-Rheims Version—History The Douay-Rheims Version, which contains the Apocrypha, is the foundation on which nearly all English Catholic versions are still based. It was translated by Gregory Martin, an Oxford-trained scholar, working in the circle of English Catholic exiles on the Continent, under the sponsorship of William (later Cardinal) Allen. The NT appeared at Rheims in 1582; the OT at Douay in 1609. The whole Douay-Rheims Bible was revised and diligently compared with the Latin Vulgate by Bishop Richard Challoner in A.D. 1749–1752. The notes included in the text were written by Challoner. The DR Bible was photographically reproduced from the 1899 edition of the John Murphy Company, Baltimore, Maryland, by Tan Books in 1971.

Douay-Rheims Version—Translation method The Douay-Rheims Bible is a translation into English of the Latin Vulgate Bible which St. Jerome (342–420) translated into Latin from the original languages. The Vulgate quickly became the Bible universally used in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. In their preface, the translators of the 1582 DRV New Testament gave 10 reasons for using the Vulgate as their primary text, rather than the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, stating that the Latin Vulgate “is not only better than all other Latin translations, but than the Greek text itself, in those places where they disagree.”

Douay-Rheims Version—Pro’s and Con’s The Douay-Rheims Version is not a poor translation, but the problem is that it is a translation of the Latin Vulgate, not a translation of the original Hebrew and Greek. Meaning and clarity are always lost in translation from one language to another. The Douay-Rheims takes this a step further, being a translation of a translation. In addition to this fault, the Douay-Rheims translators, on occasion, allowed their Catholic theology to influence their translation choices. >br />Douay-Rheims Version—Sample Verses John 1:1, 14—“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

John 3:16—“For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.”

John 8:58—“Jesus said to them: ‘Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am.’ ”

Ephesians 2:8–9—“For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God; Not of works, that no man may glory.”

Titus 2:13—“Looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ,”[1]

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Jesus Christ: What Does ‘Christ’ Mean?

 

To the surprise of some, “Christ” is not Jesus’ last name (surname). “Christ” comes from the Greek word Christos, meaning “anointed one” or “chosen one.” This is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Mashiach, or “Messiah.” “Jesus” is the Lord’s human name given to Mary by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:31). “Christ” is His title, signifying Jesus was sent from God to be a King and Deliverer (see Daniel 9:25; Isaiah 32:1). “Jesus Christ” means “Jesus the Messiah” or “Jesus the Anointed One.”

In ancient Israel, when someone was given a position of authority, oil was poured on his head to signify his being set apart for God’s service (e.g., 1 Samuel 10:1). Kings, priests, and prophets were anointed in such fashion. Anointing was a symbolic act to indicate God’s choosing (e.g., 1 Samuel 24:6). Although the literal meaning of anointed refers to the application of oil, it can also refer to one’s consecration by God, even if literal oil is not used (Hebrews 1:9).

There are hundreds of prophetic passages in the Old Testament that refer to a coming Messiah who would deliver His people (e.g., Isaiah 61:1; Daniel 9:26). Ancient Israel thought their Messiah would come with military might to deliver them from decades of captivity to earthly kings and pagan nations. But the New Testament reveals a much better deliverance provided by Jesus the Messiah—a deliverance from the power and penalty of sin (Luke 4:18; Romans 6:23).

The Bible says Jesus was anointed with oil on two separate occasions by two different women (Matthew 26:6–7; Luke 7:37–38), but the most significant anointing came by way of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38). Jesus’ title of “Christ” means He is God’s Anointed One, the One who fulfills the Old Testament prophecies, the Chosen Savior who came to rescue sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), and the King of kings who is coming back again to set up His Kingdom on earth (Zechariah 14:9).[1]

 

[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

The Islamic State (IS) vs the United States and what American Christians should be doing

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Unless one has had their head in the sand in 2014, no one can deny this year has been a perilous year and the horizon isn’t looking any brighter. With all that has happened in recent months, there is no greater threat to peace and no greater manifestation of evil than the establishment and spread of the Islamic State. One commentator identified IS as the “antichrist of terrorist organizations.” I agree.

With no regard for the sanctity of life, IS savages employ barbaric tactics as they abuse, mar, enslave, rape, gun down, and behead image-bearers of God. The spirit of antichrist controls these brutal beasts, who will stop at nothing to bring the globe under their black flag of terror.

Americans are outraged at the beheading of American journalist James Foley. But the heinous murder of Foley is only the latest of war crimes committed by the Islamic State. Thousands…

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When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, (Ephesians 6:14 ESV)

Temporal focus is deadly for Christians. We know that God’s will for us is our sanctification, (1 Thessalonians 4:3) but we tend to let our focus drop from God to self. Our flesh is insidious in its desire to drive us to partake of the world and its ways for self-gratification. Our enemy knows this; therefore his temptations are often rooted there. No one is immune or exempt from this. In fact, God uses this battle to test His saints.

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