Tag Archives: Baptism

The Judge Who Objected to Muddy Baptism

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The following story is recorded in Recollections of Men of Faith, by W.C. Rogers, in the chapter on John. T. Johnson.  This book will soon be available in the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary, as well as in print from Cobb Publishing.  But we thought this section was well worth sharing, and we hope you do too.  Enjoy!

In company with Elder R.C. Ricketts, a prominent preacher in Kentucky, John T. Johnson visited Little Rock, Ark., for the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel in its primitive purity and power.

After the meeting had advanced a number of days, and quite a number of persons had become obedient to the faith, an incident occurred of more than ordinary interest, and which I feel ought to be preserved. Judge Johnson, of the city of Little Rock, a brother of the evangelist, a prominent politician, had been attending the meeting nightly with his wife, but neither belonged to any religious body. Like many others, Judge Johnson had never given the subject of Christianity very much thought; perhaps owing to the fact that he was constantly engaged in the affairs of this life, and had no time, as he supposed; it may have been that he knew not what to do, because of the many sad divisions in Christendom. Through courtesy or curiosity, he and his amiable wife had been attending church and listening to the preaching of John T. Johnson and R.C. Ricketts. But sometimes it turns out that those who attend religious services through curiosity become deeply concerned for their souls’ salvation. This was the case with the Judge and his wife at the time of which we are speaking, although, I presume, neither would have acknowledged it.

One morning after breakfast, seated in the parlor with his brother, John T., Elder Ricketts, and his wife, the Judge filed several formidable objections to the course pursued by the preachers in the meeting they were then conducting. Of course he did this, be it understood, in the most polite manner possible; still, with honesty, and desiring, no doubt, that a change be made in the management of the meeting. When offering his advice, the Judge supposed he understood himself perfectly — knew precisely what he would do under given circumstances. But it is difficult to know one’s self. It is certainly not an easy task to divine what the strongest minded persons would do under heavy pressure of circumstances. “The best of men are men at best.” It would be well to remember this in all of our wise forecastings. The preachers had baptized several persons in the Arkansas River, and now the Judge had come to the conclusion that this ought to be stopped. And why? Because the waters were too muddy in which to administer this divine ordinance. “If I should ever be baptized,” he continued, “it will “never occur in the Arkansas River. I will never go down into that muddy stream of water — never. I would prefer to go to a beautiful clear pool of water near the city, should I ever consent to be baptized. Besides, I seriously object to your administering the ordinance of baptism, while the lawyers, doctors, and the reckless ones about the city, are lining the banks of the river, and some are engaged in talking and laughing and making unbecoming remarks. This is certainly not in good taste — is certainly not in harmony with my views of propriety or good order, under such circumstances I could not consent to be baptized. I must have pure, clear water, and only a few friends.”

“Very well,” said Bro. Ricketts, “we will go with you and a few chosen friends to some clear pool and baptize you whenever you are willing to make the good confession — whenever you are prepared to submit to this command of Christ.”

The Judge replied: “Understand me, I am not saying that I ever intend to become a member of the church. I do not know that I will ever join any church. I am only telling you that I do not think it proper to baptize in the Arkansas River, and that I never could, under the circumstances, consent to be, as others have been. Again, should I ever join the church — and I may or may not — I trust to be able to control my feelings a little better than some who have come forward during this meeting and confessed faith in Christ. They have shown great weakness in weeping like children — at least it seems so to me. Should I ever be induced to go forward and confess Christ, I hope I shall have manliness enough about me to do so without shedding a tear.” “Come forward, Judge, in your own way; if you are a believing penitent, and fully prepared to obey the Gospel from the heart, in order to the enjoyment of all the blessings promised, we care not as to the manner,” rejoined Bro. Ricketts. The following remarks were offered by the Judge in closing: “You and my brother may suppose from what I have said that I purpose becoming a member of the church. I confess that I understand the teaching of Christ and the Apostles as I never did before. I see a fitness, beauty, and adaptation in the plan of redemption which has been hid from me heretofore. But I have not at all determined to join the church. I am fully persuaded that it is the duty of all persons to attach themselves to the church of Jesus Christ, but I am not prepared to say I am ready to do so now. I trust you will not look upon what I have said to you as meddling; pursue your own course. Still, I am convinced that there is far too much feeling manifested by those who confess Christ and obey him in your meeting, and that you ought, if in your power, to suppress it.”

Bro. Ricketts added that he thought there was no improper excitement in the meeting. There had been no shouting, no clapping of hands, no swooning or fainting. No unjust means had been used to compel persons to become the disciples of Christ. The Gospel had been presented in its fullness, so far as the speakers were enabled to offer it to the people. “This glorious Gospel is God’s power to save those who believe and obey it, and, mark you, there is no power like it in this world. All persons are not alike in their make-up. Some, in renouncing sin, weep bitterly; others show but little feeling. This is owing to the difference in the emotional nature. And there is no need in our attempting to regulate these things; they must take their course. But few persons know themselves.”

The following night the Judge and his wife came to church and sat a little nearer the pulpit than usual, the wife placing herself on the end of the bench and next the aisle; the Judge occupying a place near the center of the house and directly in front of the pulpit. At the conclusion of the discourse, and while the invitation song was being sung, the Judge’s wife stepped forward and gave her hand to Bro. Ricketts. She took her seat on the front bench preparatory to making the good confession. The Judge, seeing this, could bear up no longer; so, stepping right over the benches, forward he came, and, weeping as a child, seated himself beside his wife, the great tears rolling down his furrowed cheeks. Making the good confession with much feeling, he remarked in the hearing of many, “I am now ready to go down into the muddy waters of the Arkansas and be baptized in the presence of the lawyers, doctors, and all who may be inclined to witness my obedience to the faith.” How few know themselves.

 

From Murderer to Missionary – The Life of the Apostle Paul (Part Three)

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Saul Sees the Light

Enthusiastically, Saul was tormenting the church.  He had been threatening and murdering Christians in Judea, and decided it was time to expand his area of destruction to the north.  So he went to the high priest and asked for official letters so that he could go to the synagogues of Damascus and arrest anyone he found there—man or woman—who followed Jesus.1

So Paul took a group of men with him, a posse if you will, to help with his operations.  These would have been men like Paul, men who were viciously opposed to Christianity, and men who took pride in destroying the doctrine and followers of Jesus of Nazareth.  These men are all traveling together on the road to Damascus, and it is almost noon,2 when the sun is at its brightest, when all of a sudden…

A light from heaven shined all around him, and he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”3

His mission forgotten for the moment, Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?”  Saul knew that this light was supernatural, for it was much brighter than even the noonday sun.  Therefore, he knew that this was a voice from heaven—a voice that spoke with the authority of God.  But Saul didn’t understand; he was confused—he had lived in all good conscience before God,4 and was dedicating his life to the extermination of a blasphemous religion.  Surely Saul wasn’t persecuting God Himself!  No, he was serving God…wasn’t he?

The voice from heaven replied in Hebrew, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.  It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”5

Saul was terrified at what he had just heard, and remained on the ground, trembling in fear.  If Jesus was speaking from heaven, then Saul had been fighting against God—had been murdering people who were righteous and obedient.  If Jesus was speaking from heaven, then Saul deserved the worst possible punishment that Deity could possibly conceive.  But Saul, trembling, said, “Lord, what do you wish for me to do?”  Certainly fearful of the worst, Saul had to have some measure of hope and relief when he heard the words, “Arise, and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”6

His companions—who were speechless and afraid after the incident, seeing the light and hearing a voice7—took Saul, who was unable to see, by the hand and led him into Damascus, where he stayed at the house of a man named Judas.8  We aren’t told what happened to Saul’s companions, but it is hard to believe that they were unaffected by this incident.  It is almost certain that Saul, shaking as they walked, would have told them what the voice said; and they would have had a hard time disbelieving it.

For the next three days, the worried persecutor abandoned all food and drink, fasting and dedicating himself to praying to God, whom he had unknowingly been fighting against.9  There is no doubt that he pleaded with God for forgiveness, for understanding of the Scriptures which he had misunderstood, and for mercy on him, whose entire world had just been turned upside-down, and who now viewed himself, not as the hero of Judaism and destroyer of heresy, but as the worst sinner in history.10  Yet through three days of praying, Saul was still not relieved of his sin nor his guilt.

While he is agonizing over his sins, the Lord appears in a vision to a Christian in Damascus—one of the very people who Paul was coming to brutally arrest and perhaps even kill.  This disciple of Jesus, a man named Ananias, heard Jesus say:

Get up, and travel on11 the avenue12 which is called “Straight,” and at the house of Judas, ask for the one called “Saul of Tarsus,” because behold, he is praying.  And he has seen, in a vision, a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hands on him so that he might see.13

Ananias puts up an argument, showing just how far Saul’s reputation had spread.  Ananias hadn’t just heard one person talk about Saul’s actions.  He said, “Lord, I’ve heard from many about this man, how much evil he’s done against your saints in Jerusalem, and he possesses authority from the ruling priests to tie up all that call on your name here.”14  Saul was greatly feared because of the wide swath of destruction that he had enacted against the church, and it was common knowledge in Damascus that he was on his way there to do the same thing.

But Jesus reiterates the message in such a way that it calms some of Ananias’ fears (though it isn’t a stretch to think that Ananias was still incredibly nervous):

Travel [Ananias], because he is a chosen tool for me, to carry my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.  For I will show him how many things he must suffer for the sake of my name.15

So Ananias traveled on Straight Street, found the house, and went inside to where Saul was.  Saul, unable to see who entered into the room, felt hands being put on him, and heard the words “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me so that you might receive your sight, and [that you] might be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Receive your sight.”16 And immediately, it was as though something like scales had fallen from his eyes, and he looked up at Ananias, who was standing in the room by him.17  Then Ananias gave him a message—the most important message that Saul had ever heard, the answer to his prayers: what he needed to do to receive forgiveness.

The God of our fathers has chosen you so that you should know His will, and see the Righteous One, and should hear the voice of His mouth.  Because you shall be His witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.  And now, why are you waiting?  Get up and be immersed, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.18

Then Saul arose, no doubt overjoyed by the message of forgiveness that was given to him by Ananias, and he obeyed the gospel.19

-Bradley S. Cobb

1 Acts 9:1-2.

2 Acts 22:6.

3 Acts 9:4.

4 Acts 23:1

5 Acts 9:5, 26:14-15.  The goads are sharp, pointed sticks (sometimes metal) that are used to push goats or oxen in a certain direction.  There are different views as to what Jesus means by the “goads.”  Some say it is speaking of Saul’s conscience, which would make him a liar in Acts 23:1, where he says that he had lived in all good conscience before God.  Some have suggested that perhaps he was fighting against Gamaliel’s advice in Acts 5.  Others have suggested, based on Romans 16:7, that Paul was fighting against family.  While these may have some level of validity, it seems more likely that the “goads” that Saul was kicking against are the Law and the Prophets—the inspired Scriptures which pointed the way to Christ.  Some translations omit “it is hard for you to kick against the goads” in 9:5, but the words are present in 26:14 in those same versions.

6 Acts 9:6.

7 Acts 9:7-8, 22:9-11.  The men heard the sound of the voice, but they did not comprehend the words spoken.  There is little doubt that Saul relayed to them what was said.

8 Acts 9:11.

9 Acts 9:9-11.

10 1 Timothy 1:12-16

11 The KJV says “go into,” but both words are not as accurately translated as they could be.  The word “go” is actually a word that means “travel,” “transfer,” or “journey (somewhere).”  It is used again in verse 15.  The word “into” (KJV) is the word epi which means “on” or “upon.”

12 The word translated “avenue” (“street” in most translations) is only used here in the New Testament, and refers to a very busy avenue, crowded with people, and lined on either side with buildings.

13 Acts 9:11-12.  The KJV says “that he might receive his sight.”  However, the Greek is literally “look up,” and is in the active voice, not the passive as the KJV and most other modern translations render it.  By implication, the idea is regaining one’s sight, but since it is spoken in the active voice—as something done by Saul, it is best rendered as we have it (and so agrees Hugo McCord’s translation), “he might see.”  Verse 17 shows that it was Jesus speaking to Ananias.

14 Acts 9:13-14. “Tie up” (“bind” in many translations) can refer to being bound in chains, or tied with ropes.  One can imagine Saul’s posse traveling towards Damascus with ropes or chains in their hands.

15 Acts 9:15-16.  The word “tool” (“vessel,” KJV) is translated as “instrument” in the ESV.  The Greek word was often used to describe the sails and tackle equipment on a fishing boat.

16 Acts 9:17; 22:13.

17 Acts 9:18; 22:13.

18 Acts 22:14-16.  On the translation “Righteous One,” see MLV, ESV, ASV.

19 Acts 9:18.

Don’t Miss the “Must”

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We went to Lowe’s recently, and on the receipt, there was a website listed where you can be entered for a $300 Lowe’s gift card, just by filling out a survey.  The survey took about four minutes, but there was one part that really stuck out: you have to enter in your name, address, and phone number in order to be entered into the drawing.  It said you must fill out all the information requested in order to be entered.

That word “must” is pretty clear.  It means that if you don’t fill out all the information, you lose out on the potential reward.  If you fill out some, you aren’t entered.  If you fill it out incorrectly, you aren’t entered.  There is no wiggle room when they use the word “must.”  Pretty much everyone understands that when you use the word “must,” you are saying that it is a requirement, that it is mandatory, that you cannot be or receive what is offered without meeting the conditions stipulated by the word “must.”

The Bible uses this word as well, and it is very important that when God uses the word “must,” His followers pay attention!

Old Testament – Circumcision

The first time the Bible uses the word “must” is in Genesis 17:13.  He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.  This is God speaking to Abraham, making a covenant with him that he would be the father of many nations (Genesis 17:5).  Notice what God says:

 Genesis 17:10-14 – This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.  And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.  And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.  He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.  And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.

In order to be part of the covenant with God, the descendants of Abraham must needs have been circumcised.  The ones who were not circumcised were cut off from the people.  In order to be part of this covenant, circumcision was an absolute requirement; it was mandatory; there was no wiggle room or loophole.  Being a physical descendant of Abraham wasn’t enough to be in this covenant—circumcision was required—and it was non-negotiable!

Don’t miss the “must” here!  People could claim to be in this covenant with God, but if they were not circumcised, they were claiming a falsehood—they were lying!  By claiming to be in the covenant with God without circumcision, they were calling God a liar—saying that His requirements weren’t really requirements at all.

Old Testament – The Passover

In Leviticus 23, God gives commands regarding the various feast days that the Israelites are to observe.  One of those is the Passover.  You’ll remember that God instituted the Passover back in the book of Exodus, to commemorate His passing over the Israelites when He brought the tenth plague on the land of Egypt.  But here in Leviticus, God uses the word “must.”

Leviticus 23:4-8 – These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.  In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have a holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is a holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.

When God issues this command to Moses to pass on to the Israelites, He doesn’t give every detail—He doesn’t mention the Passover Lamb, the time in which it is to be killed, the casting out of all leavening from the house—but He does make one thing abundantly clear: they must eat unleavened bread for seven days in order to keep this holy feast.

Don’t miss the “must” here!  If they ate leavened bread, they weren’t keeping the holy feast.  If they had unleavened bread in the house, but they didn’t eat it, they weren’t keeping the holy feast.  People could claim to be keeping the Passover, but if they didn’t eat unleavened bread for seven days, then they were claiming a falsehood; they were profaning God’s divinely-instituted feast.

Somewhere along the way, after this command was passed on from God to Moses to the Israelites, the people had left the proper observance of the Passover—some believe they had forgotten the Passover completely!  But after the book of the Law was rediscovered in the days of Josiah, it was observed properly again.

2 Kings 23:21-23 – And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the Passover unto the LORD your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant.  Surely there was not holden such a Passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah; but in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, wherein this Passover was holden to the LORD in Jerusalem.

Other Old Testament Examples

We could also mention how the ones who took the Nazarite vow were told that they “must” keep the vow in a certain way (Numbers 6:1-21, especially verse 21).  We could show that Moses had been shown by God that he “must” die without being able to cross into the Promised Land because of his sin (Deuteronomy 4:21-22, 31:14)—which means that if Moses made it across the Jordan River, God was a liar. We could show that the Angel of the LORD told Manoah, “If thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD” (Judges 13:16)—which means that God would not accept any burnt offering that was offered to anyone else.  We could look at the reaction of the Israelites when Ezra told them they had to make confession to God and put away their strange wives—they said, “As thou hast said, so must we do” (Ezra 10:11-12).  They understood that to be right with God, they were required to confess their sin and show their repentance through action—any other response would have been inadequate; they could claim to be following God, but without the confession and repentance, they would have been lying.

Don’t miss the “must”!  In each of these examples from the Old Testament, if the person didn’t follow the “must,” they weren’t truly followers of God.  They could claim it all they wanted, but they would have been doing nothing more than usurping the title of “children of God,” profaning the commands of God, and implying that God is a liar.

Certainly, the word “must” is important!

But let’s now look at some “musts” from the New Testament.

New Testament – The Sufferings of the Messiah

The Jews, for the most part, had a much different view of the Messiah, the Christ, than God did.  They expected a military marvel, a sequel to the victorious David, leading their armies to prominence and their nation to freedom from the Roman Empire.  But that’s not how God had it planned.

After hearing the confession of Peter, that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, and foretelling that He would build His church, the Scriptures say this:

Matthew 16:21 – From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Mark’s account says that Jesus told them the “Son of man” must suffer those things (Mark 8:31).

After the transfiguration, Jesus answered their question about the Elijah that must come first, and said again that the Son of man must suffer many things and be set at naught (Mark 9:11-13).

The night of Jesus’ betrayal, Peter took out his sword and attempted to protect his Master.  But Jesus told him to put away the sword, and said:

 Matthew 26:53-54 – Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?  But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

There are other passages that make this same point, but these should suffice.  Jesus said unequivocally that He must suffer; He was required to suffer and die.

Don’t miss the “must”!  If Jesus did not suffer and die, then He was not the Messiah.  If Jesus did not suffer and die (and rise up again on the third day), then He was a usurper of the name “Christ,” He was a liar, He was a blasphemer, and He is someone who should not be followed.  However, the evidence shows conclusively that Jesus did suffer, that He did die, and that He was raised from the dead.  He said that it must happen, and it did!

New Testament – Born Again

When Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, in John 3, Jesus said to him (starting in verse 3),

“Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus saith unto him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”  Jesus answered, “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.   That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

Notice what is said there—without being born again, you can’t see the kingdom of God; and Jesus equates being born again to being “born of water and spirit” (the word “the” isn’t in the Greek there). Then to make it abundantly clear, the Lord says “You must be born again.”

Don’t miss the “must”!  There are people today who claim to be Christians, but who have never been born of water and spirit—they have never been born again!  They have simply taken the divinely-given name, claimed it for themselves, all the while never doing that which makes the name valid: being born again.  My friends, these people are not Christians!  No amount of claiming the name will make it so!  They are not part of the kingdom of God, because they haven’t done the thing which Jesus said must be done to be part of it!

The Scriptures define what being “born again” is.  Romans 6:3-5 describes the process which culminates in “rising to walk in newness of life”—a new life, a new birth out of the water (John 3:5 literally says “born out of water”) to be free from sin.

Conclusion

When God says “must,” you’d better pay attention!  If someone wasn’t circumcised, they were not part of the covenant—no matter what they claimed.  If someone didn’t eat unleavened bread, they were not observing the Passover—no matter what they claimed.  If Jesus didn’t suffer, die, and rise again, then He wasn’t the Christ—no matter what He might claim.  If we are not baptized for the remission of sins, then we are not Christians—no matter what we claim.

The New Birth, or How and When is One Born Again?

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Perry Cotham was a great gospel preacher who passed away back in 2013.  He wrote several tracts during his lifetime, and this is one of his best.  He wrote clearly, biblically, and convincingly.

Today’s addition to the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary is called “The New Birth, or How and When is One Born Again?”  It is a discussion of the most important question for any and every person on earth: “What must I do to be saved?”

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Chapters

  1. The New Birth
    1. The Man Nicodemus
    2. The Kingdom of God
    3. Born of Water and the Spirit
    4. A New Life Begins
  2. The Voice of Scholars
  3. Parallel Scriptures
    1. Statements of Jesus Regarding Entrance into the Kingdom
    2. The New Birth Explained by the Great Commission
    3. Comparison of the Language of Jesus and Paul Regarding Entrance into the Kingdom
  4. The New Birth Demonstrated
    1. The Three Thousand on Pentecost
    2. The Samaritans
    3. The Eunuch
    4. Saul of Tarsus
    5. Conclusion
  5. General summary and Conclusion

To read this completely reformatted and corrected work, just click the link below.  You’ll be benefited by it!

The New Birth (Perry Cotham)

-Bradley S. Cobb

Is Baptism Necessary?

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Another day, another FREE, completely reformatted and corrected eBook!

Today’s entry into the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary is a 23-page tract by someone who calls himself “Aquila.”  This was originally published in the late 1800s or early 1900s, but is still very relevant today.

Contents

  1. Is Baptism Necessary?
  2. Peter Agrees with Ananias
  3. By Authority of Jesus
  4. Paul’s Comparison
  5. Peter’s Comparison
  6. The Tabernacle
  7. The Twelve Re-Baptized
  8. A Heart-To-Heart Talk

We invite you to read this short work, or download it for later perusal by simply clicking the link below:

Is Baptism Necessary? (Aquilla)

-Bradley S. Cobb

Tracts on Conversion

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Today’s addition to the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary is a small booklet comprised of four tracts on the topic of conversion.  Like yesterday’s entry into the eLibrary, this one was also written by John Anderson.  But there was no date on this one.  We can only guess that it was put our sometime in the 1940’s or 50’s.

Contents

  1. The Best Life Here and Hereafter
  2. The Demands of the Gospel in Conversion
  3. To Anxious Enquirers: What Must We Do?
  4. The Kingdom of Heaven

To download this book for later use, or to read it online today, just click the link below!!!!

Tracts on Conversion (John Anderson)

-Bradley S. Cobb

Baptism: The Purposes it Fulfills and Changes it Effects

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As we continue our anniversary celebration (The Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary is one year old this month!), we are proud to announce yet another addition to the FREE eBooks available exclusively from our website.

Today’s new offering was originally published in 1949 as a tract.  It is called “Baptism: The Purposes it Fulfills and Changes it Effects” and was written by John Anderson, a preacher in Australia.

We think you will find it interesting, as he approaches the topic of baptism in a slightly different way than you usually hear in sermons.

As always, we’ve reformatted and corrected this book so that you can enjoy it on your digital devices.  Just click the link below to add it to your collection!

Baptism: The Purposes it Fulfills and Changes it Effects (John Anderson)

-Bradley S. Cobb

Baptism, Our Lord’s Command

It’s been just a little bit, but we’re happy to announce that we are posting more new books on the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary.  And today’s is one we think you’ll really like.

This book was originally published in Australia, 1913, by the Austral Publishing Company of Melbourne.  We have not changed any content from the original, but we have made some changes that we believe you will find worthwhile: (1) We have Americanized the spelling of words [for example, baptise is now baptize], (2) We have corrected incorrect Scripture references [usually, this was simply a reference to the wrong chapter in a book], (3) We have also corrected punctuation mistakes when we came across them.

Also, just like with every other book that we have published, we have completely reformatted it to give it a more pleasing look.  We have changed the font size, increased the size of the headings, and just overall tried to give it a facelift.

We are happy to present “Baptism: Our Lord’s Command (Containing a Reply to ‘The Question of Baptism’ by Mr. A. Madsen, a Methodist Minister)” by A.R. Main.

Contents

  1. PREFACE. 2
  2. Introduction to the 2016 Edition. 3
  3. Baptism: Our Lord’s Command. 5
    1. HOW MAY WE SETTLE THE QUESTION?. 7
  4. New Testament Example and Precept. 11
    1. SOME STRIKING ADMISSIONS. 14
    2. SCHOLARLY AUTHORITIES. 16
  5. The Commission. 20
  6. The Argument from Circumcision. 30
    1. THE PÆDOBAPTIST ARGUMENT STATED. 32
    2. REPLY. 33
    3. CHURCH CONTINUITY. 35
    4. DID CIRCUMCISION ADMIT INFANTS INTO THE CHURCH?. 37
    5. HAS BAPTISM TAKEN THE PLACE OF CIRCUMCISION?. 39
    6. COLOSSIANS 2:11-12. 42
  7. Jewish Baptism. 46
  8. Family Baptisms. 52
    1. CORNELIUS. 53
    2. CRISPUS. 54
    3. THE JAILER. 54
    4. STEPHANAS. 56
    5. LYDIA. 57
    6. OIKOS AND OIKIA. 58
    7. PÆDOBAPTIST ADMISSIONS. 63
    8. PLUMMER ON HOUSEHOLD BAPTISMS. 66
  9. Jesus and the Little Ones. 70
    1. “OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM.”. 71
    2. “BABES AND SUCKLINGS.”. 74
    3. “FEED MY LAMBS.”. 75
    4. TO YOUR CHILDREN (ACTS 2:39). 76
    5. ACTS 21:4-5. 79
    6. PAUL’S LETTERS. 80
    7. 2 JOHN. 81
    8. CHILDREN OF CHRISTIAN PARENTS HOLY (1 COR. 7:14). 82
    9. BABES IN HEAVEN. 86
  10. A Pædobaptist Miscellany. 88
    1. JOHN’S BAPTISM. 88
    2. THE EUNUCH. 89
    3. SIMON MAGUS. 90
    4. THE BAPTISM OF SAUL. 91
    5. THE LORD’S DAY. 92
  11. Post-Apostolic Practice. 94
    1. THE DIDACHE. 95
    2. JUSTIN MARTYR. 96
    3. IRENÆUS. 97
    4. ORIGEN. 97
    5. TERTULLIAN. 98
    6. CYPRIAN. 101
    7. “A HISTORICAL FACT.”. 103
  12. The Action of Baptism. 109
    1. LEXICONS. 110
    2. DICTIONARIES AND ENCYCLOPÆDIAS. 112
    3. CHURCH HISTORIANS, ETC. 113
    4. SECONDARY MEANING OF “BAPTIZO.”. 115
    5. LUTHER AND CALVIN. 118
    6. NEW TESTAMENT TEACHING. 120
      1. The Baptism of John. 120
      2. The Eunuch. 122
      3. Baptism a Burial. 123
      4. John 2:23. 127
      5. Baptism of Suffering. 128
      6. Baptism in the Holy Spirit. 128
      7. 1 Corinthians 10:1-2. 130
      8. 1 Peter 3:20-21. 131
      9. Baptism of Three Thousand. 132
      10. Baptism of the Samaritans. 133
      11. Ezekiel 36:25. 135
  13. The Evil of Infant Sprinkling. 137

To download this well-researched book, or read it online, simply click the link below:

Baptism: Our Lord’s Command (A.R. Main)

A Debate on Infant Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

Continuing our theme of new additions to the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary this week, we’re proud to offer you this:

WallaceStaufferCover

 

Where does the Bible authorize–or even mention–infant baptism?

It doesn’t.

This debate, held in 1937, is between G.K. Wallace (Christian) and E.E. Stauffer (Lutheran).  Wallace attacks the false doctrine of infant baptism from several different angles, and leaves Stauffer with nothing to say except for “let’s move on to the Lord’s Supper.”

Wallace then exposes the false idea that the Lord’s Supper literally turns into the physical skin and blood of Jesus.  Stauffer is unable to counter his arguments and calls the debate to a close.

Back in 2014, we took this debate and gave it the full Cobb Publishing treatment, correcting all the mistakes we could find, and refurbished the whole thing to give you the best possible reading experience.  We still have it available in print (just $5.99), but we’re also making it available as an eBook for free in the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary!

To read it online, or download for later enjoyment, just click the link below!

Wallace-Stauffer Debate on the Lord’s Supper and Infant Baptism

-Bradley S. Cobb

What Baptism is For (A Reply to a Baptist)

One day, several years ago, a preacher by the name of Moses E. Lard received a letter, which said:

Mr. Lard:
DEAR SIR:—Will you have the courtesy to state explicitly whether the body of the people with whom you stand connected hold that baptism is for, that is, in order to remission of sins? I have no motive in putting this question but to collect Information.
Very respectfully yours,
A BAPTIST.

Lard

This question was answered in a series of eight letters, appearing over the span of a year or more.

Lard goes into more detail and more depth in answering this question than anything I’ve ever read before, often using textual arguments that (while close to 200 years old) were new to me.

If you want a deep study of baptism and what it is for, according to the Scriptures, take a look at this relatively short book (just 36 pages), which is today’s addition to the Jimmie Beller Memorial eLibrary!

To read it online, or to download it to your device for later viewing, just click the link below.  And as always, we’ve gone through it, fixing any typos we found, and reformatting the whole thing to make for a pleasant reading experience.

What Baptism is For (Moses E. Lard)

-Bradley S. Cobb