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Disgruntled Defectors/Grace Centered Magazine—Baptism: The Assault Upon Mark 16:16

December 9 2003 at 4:13 AM
Wayne Jackson  (no login)
from IP address

The Assault Upon Mark 16:16

by Wayne Jackson
Christian Courier: Penpoints
Monday, January 27, 2003

The denominational community has long assaulted Mark 16:16 due to the simplicity of the passage in including baptism as a preliminary condition of salvation. Now, such attacks are coming even from certain “change agents” within the body of Christ. This article highlights one such recent effort.


A group of disgruntled defectors from the faith has initiated a subversive electronic magazine mislabeled, Grace Centered Magazine. The names associated with this nefarious effort read like a “Who’s Who” of apostates within the “change agent” movement.

Recently, a writer, who chose to remain anonymous (cf. Gal. 2:4 – “false brothers secretly brought in” ESV), published an article in GCM titled, “Are Unbaptized Believers Lost?” The first line of the piece revealed the contemptuous disposition of its clandestine author: “Can salvation be found anywhere other than the bottom of a baptistery?” The article then proceeds to regurgitate numerous sectarian quibbles against the essentiality of immersion for the remission of sins.

It is not our intention to review this elementary effort in a comprehensive fashion. We do want to note this, however. In a footnote at the end of the treatise, the mystery writer attempts to argue the notion that Mark 16:16 does not establish the necessity of baptism as a requirement leading to salvation.

Inasmuch as we published an article relating to Mark 16:16 in the print version of the Christian Courier, some two years ago (January, 2001), we have decided to reproduce that discussion here (with minor editorial adjustments). It is longer than we normally desire our Penpoints articles to be, but we felt the importance of the issue outweighed the length factor. Please study this presentation carefully.


It is a fundamental fact of Bible interpretation that those passages that are most crucial to one’s salvation are the easiest to understand. That is why Mark’s account of the “great commission” is so incredibly simple. One of the great mysteries of modern “Christendom” is why certain clergymen have so obscured this wonderful text:

“He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he who disbelieves shall be condemned” (16:16).

The Authenticity of the Passage

Because Mark 16:9-20 is missing from two of the oldest Greek manuscripts, and from some of the early versions, and because of certain perceived problems in the continuity between 16:9ff and the preceding context, most textual critics today question the genuineness of this section. That is, they dispute that it was a part of Mark’s original Gospel (see Robertson, Metzger, etc.). It must be noted though, that some of these men concede that this disputed segment of the final chapter of Mark nonetheless reflects the inspired teaching of Jesus (Grassmick, 194). On the other hand, the genuineness of the text has been defended ably by some very respectable scholars (e.g., Scrivener, Burgon, McGarvey, Lenski.)

W.R. Farmer has argued that the evidence indicates that Mark was the author of 16:9-20, but that he likely penned it before the composition of the Gospel record. He feels that the disputed text was added to the end of the Gospel manuscript at a later time.

We will not consume space discussing this issue here, but we cannot resist pointing out that most of the commentators who repudiate the longer ending of Mark’s Gospel, nonetheless feel compelled to write their comments on the book all the way through verse 20!

Some just cannot figure out what to do with the text. In his debate with N.B. Hardeman (1938), Baptist protagonist Ben Bogard rejected the genuineness of Mark 16:9-20, and yet, in his encounter with Aimee McPherson (1934 – founder of the Foursquare Church), he appealed to it mightily!

The Conditions Mentioned

In Mark 16:16, two conditions of the divine plan of redemption are mentioned – belief and baptism. These are preliminary to the reception of salvation. Surely even the most amateur student can see that these items are but representative of the fuller complement of sacred requirements. There is, for example, no reference to repentance, though this change of disposition – which results in a reformation of life – clearly is requisite for redemption (Lk. 13:3,5; Acts 2:38; 17:30). Nor is the “good confession” included (cf. 1 Tim. 6:13), though it is combined with belief elsewhere (Rom. 10:9-10). It is common in the New Testament for a writer to emphasize occasionally certain conditions relating to salvation, without citing the entire catalog of requirements (cf. Jn. 3:16; Acts 17:30; 1 Pet. 3:21). How wonderful it would be if those who argue for “salvation by faith alone” could learn this simple principle.

The Order of Occurrence

It is quite important that the New Testament student recognize the order in which the divine conditions are listed in Mark 16:16 – the reason being, the biblical sequence is totally at variance with certain sectarian theories. For example:

1. Some insist that salvation comes first, having been predetermined by God before the foundation of the world. (This is the view of Calvinism.) Baptism, then, supposedly is next (in the scheme of those who practice infant baptism), while faith develops later.

2. Others (e.g., some of the Baptist persuasion) place the salvation after faith, yet before baptism. They allege that faith is the initial act of obedience that produces pardon. Subsequent to that, they suggest, baptism may be administered to those who choose the rite. They argue, however, that immersion is but a mere “outward sign of an inward grace,” and that the “grace” (i.e., salvation) is received at the point of faith.

3. Catholic theology contends that baptism is administered first (to infants), which thus procures salvation (from “original sin”); faith, then, comes eventually with mental maturation.

Each of these theories is hopelessly at odds with the facts. Any attempt to scramble the listed conditions, results only in manifold confusion. The Bible does not say: “He who has been saved, eventually will believe, and may be baptized.” It does not state that “he who believes is saved, and may be baptized.” It does affirm that, “he who believes, and is baptized shall be saved.” That is the sacred order. The elements of the passage may not, with impunity, be rearranged.

The Grammar

In the grammar of the Greek New Testament, there are rules by which the order of events sometimes may be determined. For example, both “believeth” and “is baptized” in the Greek Testament are what grammarians call “aorist tense participles.” (A participle is a word that has the characteristics of both an adjective and a verb.) The aorist tense has to do with a specific kind of action. Though there are exceptions, the aorist participle “ordinarily” expresses action that occurs prior to that of the leading verb in a sentence (Dana, 230).

In Mark 16:16, the leading verb is “shall be saved.” The full force of the affirmation, therefore, is this: “He who, having already believed and having already been immersed, is the one who shall be saved” [emp. WJ]. Note Lenski’s clear statement:

“Both acts [belief and baptism] would precede the future act sothesetai [shall be saved]” (766).

There simply is no question about the matter: both belief and immersion are requirements for salvation.

Sectarian Evasion

Due to the fact that some religionists are so saturated with the notion that salvation is by “faith alone” (a doctrine alien to the New Testament, and specifically repudiated therein – see Jas. 2:24), they resort to various interpretative contortions in an effort to evade the transparent instruction of this passage. Typical of this maneuver was prominent Baptist scholar, A.T. Robertson, who, in his massive Grammar of the Greek New Testament, asserted that sometimes grammar must yield to theology (389). The practical meaning of that statement is this. Sometimes it becomes necessary to ignore what the text actually says, and in its place substitute one’s opinion! The fact is, the grammar is inspired; one’s personal theology is not!

And so, relative to Mark 16:16, Robertson, in his Word Pictures, wrote:

“The omission of baptized with “disbelieveth” [16:16b] would seem to show that Jesus does not make baptism essential to salvation. Condemnation rests on disbelief, not on baptism” (1.405).

Quite frankly, that is pathetic. After introducing the person who “believes not,” why in the name of common sense would it be necessary for the Lord to list additional items of rebellion, in order to emphasize the unbeliever’s state of condemnation? Besides, elsewhere in the divine record Jesus did warn of the consequences of rejecting baptism. Such rejection, according to Luke’s record, is the reflection of an attitude that repudiates the very “counsel of God” (see Lk. 7:29-30).

The Terms Defined

Since this text represents such a crucial matter (the salvation of one’s soul), it is imperative that due consideration be given to the specifics mentioned. Let us, therefore, examine the key items.


In many religious systems, what one believes is relatively irrelevant. For example, in Buddhism one need not even believe in a personal God! By way of vivid contrast, Christianity is a religion grounded in history. Its validity depends upon whether or not God is real, whether or not he sent his Son, and whether or not Jesus of Nazareth is that Son.

To be a Christian one must subscribe to these historical realities (cf. Heb. 11:6; in. 8:24). One cannot, for instance, merely believe that Jesus was “nothing more than a perfect man,” as the Watchtower cult alleges, and have a valid faith. And how could one possibly possess a “faith” which acknowledges Christ as an historical figure, but which repudiates the fact that he was virgin-born, or that he was resurrected from the dead? The “faith” of modernism is no faith at all.

It is very difficult to fathom how some in the church today can contend that one may become a Christian without even understanding the components of what it takes to undergo this process. How can one become a Christian, for example, without believing in the very conditions specified in this passage? Does it make any sense to contend: “He who believes [not in the necessity of faith and baptism] and is baptized shall be saved”? And yet, there is a growing number in the body of Christ who contend that it is not necessary to understand the purpose of baptism in order to be saved – or that the rite itself is even essential!


What is baptism? It is strange that there should be confusion in the religious community on this important theme.

First, the Greek word baptizo means to “dip” or “immerse.” The ancient Greeks used the term of a sinking ship (Liddell, 283). In the Greek Old Testament - LXX), baptizo is rendered “dip” – in contrast to “sprinkle” or “pour” (see Lev. 14:15-16). Baptism involves a burial in water and a resurrection therefrom (Rom. 6:34; Col. 2:12).

The first recorded change in the mode of baptism was around A.D. 251, when Novatus of Rome, being ill, had water poured upon him in his bed. Eusebius, an ancient historian who records the incident, questioned whether such was even “baptism” (V.XLIII).

Second, as Mark 16:16 indicates, baptism was authorized only for believers (infants thus being excluded) (cf. Acts 8:12; 18:8). There exists not a single passage in the entire New Testament that even remotely hints that babies were administered the ordinance of baptism.

Third, the focus of the rite was to bring a person out of the state of sin.

“And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

“And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name” (Acts 22:16).

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word,” (Eph. 5:25-26).

“which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even baptism, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ;” (1 Pet. 3:21).

And introduce him into a relationship with Jesus Christ

“Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him through baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:3-4).

“For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ” (Gal. 3:26-27).

This transition into Christ also affiliates one with the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:3-5), or the “body” of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13), which is the same as the church (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18, 24).


The term “saved” depicts the result of one’s sincere obedience to the gospel plan. It is the equivalent of “forgiven,” “redeemed,” “cleansed,” etc. It reflects the assurance of pardon from God for all past sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16), and embodies the hope of final deliverance at the conclusion of a faithful life (Rom. 13:11; 1 Thes. 5:8; 1 Pet. 1:9).

The notion that the Christian’s salvation is so secure that he can never be lost – no matter what he does – has no biblical basis (Gal. 5:4; Heb. 3:12; 2 Pet. 2:1). For further study, see our booklet, Eternal Security - Fact or Fiction?


Thus stands Mark 16:16 in all of its power. It cannot be dismissed by textual critics, nor rationalized by a sectarian clergy. It is profound, yet simple. It is demanding, yet refreshing. It must be practiced, and then proclaimed – so help us God.

SOURCES are available at the Christian Courier website.
Copyright © 1998-2003 by Christian Courier Publications

This message has been edited by ConcernedMembers from IP address on Dec 9, 2003 8:06 AM

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Dr. Bill Crump
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The Assault upon Mark 16:9-20 from a King James Study Bible

December 9 2003, 5:37 PM 

New Age Bible editors and liberal scholars have deposited their anti-baptism commentary in at least one King James study Bible, that published by Thomas Nelson (Burgundy). I thought it proper here to reproduce a portion of my review of this Bible concerning its treatment of Mark 16:9-20 (especially baptism), which appears on

"Even more disturbing as with New Age translations, which place allegedly spurious passages in brackets, reduce them to footnotes, or omit them entirely, the editors of this [King James] study Bible also appear to doubt the authenticity of certain key doctrinal passages. This could do much to dissuade undiscerning Christians from their belief in the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture. The prime example is Mark 16:9-20, about which the editors comment, 'Ancient manuscripts contain two different endings for Mark. While some suggest that Mark did indeed intend for his gospel to end at verse 8, it ends on a note of fear and lacks a clear Resurrection account. In light of the uncertainty attached to verses 9-20, it may be advised to take care in basing doctrine upon them (especially vv. 16-18).' This latter statement is unequivocally false. These editors are either completely ignorant of the important research of Dean John W. Burgon, a 19th-century English theologian, or they flatly deny his research. Burgon's book, 'The Last Twelve Verses of Mark,' provides overwhelming evidence that Mark 16:9-20 is genuine and its doctrine certain.

"In no other place is the Baptist perspective more evident than in the doctrinal footnotes. For every passage concerning baptism, for example, the editors, clinging to the traditional 'faith-only' tenet, provide lengthy comments emphatically denying that baptism is regenerative or efficacious for salvation. Regarding Mark 16:16 ('He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned'), the editors remark, 'Only faith, not baptism, is essential for salvation, as the omission of baptism from the last clause shows.' This liberal interpretation overrules Jesus and implies that we cannot take Him literally at His Word here. That Jesus ADDS baptism here makes it an equally essential act with belief. Jesus omits baptism from verse 16b simply because the subject is pointless with unbelievers. With similar passages like Acts 2:38 and Acts 22:16, the editors imply that the original phraseologies are misleading and reword them in footnotes to minimize baptism. Such doctrinal bias clearly flies in the face of Scripture and could even convince some people to reject baptism entirely, because they're 'saved' without it, so why bother. The editors further fail to acknowledge that, in addition to faith and baptism, the Scriptures equally require two other elements for salvation: repentance (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38) and public confession of Jesus as Lord (Matt. 10:32-33; Romans 10:9). Having faith is just the FIRST step.

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Kenneth Sublett
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Jesus affirms Mark 16.

December 10 2003, 2:35 PM 

While baptism is prophesied in several figures, the last DIRECT COMMAND of Jesus was to the ELEVEN. Not the 500 or the 120 were to use the KEYS to open the door to the kingdom on the day of Pentecost.

Then the eleven ELEVEN went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. Matt 28:16
..And when they saw him, they worshipped (Fell down, kissed his hand, fawn, crouch) him: but some doubted. Matt 28:17
..Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Matt 28:18

All of the Jews would understand proselyte or secular baptism: you disciple or apprentice by TWO things: You baptize them and then you teach them the secrets which NO UNBAPTIZED person will ever hear. Jesus commanded what Mark 16 also recorded:

"Go therefore and

MAKE DISCIPLES of all the nations, [Discipling involves two steps. Note the participles Baptizing and Teaching have equal power]

......BAPTIZING them in the name (singular) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matt 28:19NKJV
.......Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have COMMANDED you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matt 28:20

The gospel of Mark follows and shows that the ARCHE or most important thing for those who, in Paul's words "obey that FORM of doctrine" is Baptism begun by John and the disciples of Jesus to PREPARE the way by remitting the sins of people.

And in the end of Mark he commands exactly the common understanding of Jesus meeting with the apostles:

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15
....He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:16

Paul tells about His own baptism and connects it to the great Commission

And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. Acts 22:14
....For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. Acts 22:15
....And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Acts 22:16

Calling on the name of the Lord is what happens when one REQUESTS a clear conscience according to Peter in 1 Pet 3:21. This calling always involves baptism.

It is not possible to be a DISCIPLER without being a DISCIPLE.

Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe. Acts 14:20

And when they had
....preached the gospel to that city,
....and had taught (discipled) many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Ac.14:21
....After preaching the Good News there and MAKING many DISCIPLES, they returned again to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, Acts 14:21LIV

According to the command of Jesus MAKING DISCIPLES is parallel to BAPTIZING them. Again, so we keep the context:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name (singular) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matt 28:19NKJV

The ORIGINAL command, the first and only crucifixion and the one and only command was for ALL NATIONS and not just the Jews. Believer's baptism "officially" teaches that THIS crucifixio was not for the gentiles. However, Jesus used the word nations which means:

.....Ethnos (g1484) eth'-nos; prob. from 1486; a race (as of the same habit), i.e. a tribe; spec. a foreign (non-Jewish) one (usually by impl. pagan): - Gentile, heathen, nation, people.

Jesus Christ never leaves Himself without TWO OR THREE WITNESSES. Therefore, if those who are ready to remove Mark 16:15-6 they have SEVERAL OTHERS who will be the WITNESSES against them in the judgment:

It is a half truth when the DIVERTERS try to hide behind the fact that Jesus DOES NOT JUDGE. They have a point there and Jesus backs them up:

.....He that REJECTETH me, and RECEITH NOT my WORDS, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have SPOKEN, the same shall judge him in the last day. Jn.12:48

The parable image is that God is "father" of His Own Thought. The "son" is the WORD or ARM by which He Speaks. The "spirit" is the breath which propels God's THOUGHT, through WORDS out into the world.

And all the people that heard him, and the PUBLICANS, justified God, BEING BAPTIZED with the baptism of John. Luke 7:29
.....But the PHARISEES and LAWYERS rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being NOT BAPTIZED of him. Lu.7:30

REJECTED IS" Atheteo (g114) ath-et-eh'-o; from a compound of 1 (as a neg. particle) and a der. of 5087; to set aside, i.e. (by impl.) to disesteem, neutralize or violate: - cast off, despise, disannul, frustrate, bring to nought, reject.

He that believeth AND is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be DAMNED. Mark 16:16

Apisteo (g569) ap-is-teh'-o; from 571; to be unbelieving, i.e. (trans.) disbelieve, or (by impl.) DISOBEY: - believe not.

Apistos (g571) ap'-is-tos; from 1 (as a neg. particle) and 4103; (act.) disbelieving, i.e. without Chr. faith (spec. a HEATHEN); (pass.) UNTRUSTWORTHY (person), or incredible (thing): - that believeth not, FAITHLESS, incredible thing, INFIDEL, unbeliever (-ing).

Mark 16:15-16 remains in the versions we are aware of. Apparently the translators think that it belongs there. If you rip it out, the WITNESS of Jesus in Matthew 28 is watching you.


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Shelley Joyner
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December 9 2003, 9:36 PM 

I believe that the efforts you put in to trying to prove this point, and every other point your church goes on and on about should be directed into feeding the hungry, or going out into the streets to save souls...When you ask Jesus to come into your heart and the Bible says,"Receive and Believe..the Holy Spirit is what God sends into our being to Baptise us...the mere dunking a person into water is not going to save some one...your church does not believe that the Holy Spirit is alive and well in the world today, and directing and comforting God's children...this, I believe is why your church and your views are not are the False Preachers...your hearts are HARDENED! May Jesus, on judgement day have mercy on your souls and perhaps he will not judge you quite as harshly as you have judged others...I can't begin to tell you of the people I know that have turned from God because of the doctrine of the church of is very sad. You need to come down off of your self appointed "Throne" and do what Jesus would do..strive to be Christ like...forgiving...take out the log in your own eye, before plucking my splinter....
In His Love...
Shelley Joyner

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Dr. Bill Crump
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RE: "Baptisim"

December 10 2003, 9:33 AM 

First of all, the word is "Baptism." When a specific biblical issue is raised, it is of great benefit if people can approach the discussion with a reasonable degree of discernment. Too often, as in the case of "baptisim's" response, they sidestep the issue and use filibuster tactics, which include weary, nonspecific criticisms such as, "You don't show love," "You should be more tolerant/accepting," and "You're just causing trouble." Those moves just won't wash.

Yes, we should show love by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick and those in prison, as Jesus commanded. But we still shut our eyes and close our ears to the "hard Gospel," just because it doesn't fit in with our own doctrinal biases, unsubstantiated traditions, or political agenda. There are some hard truths about which Jesus is very emphatic, and one of them is that any person who believes AND is baptized shall be saved. This "point" that Jesus makes is all too clear. There's no way anyone can be "soft" or politically correct about this, without denying the authority of Him who said it. Alas today, too many people do just that.

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Kenneth Sublett
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December 10 2003, 12:01 AM 

Paul Woodhouse of Grace Centered Magazine asks?

Do GRACE-CENTERED Christians believe works are necessary to be saved?

Paul Woodhouse: "Man's salvation is based on God's grace. PERIOD. Man's salvation is not a work of man in any way, shape, or form. We may extend our hand to RECEIVE salvation by BELIEVING in Christ and turning from our lives of sin to live lives for God and THEN being immersed, but this, in no way, PUTS GOD in our DEBT.
Ken: Paul Woodhouse is going to accuse the TRADITIONALISTS (non-instrumentalists) churches of Christ of teaching that we DO THE WORK and DEMAND that God gives us a WAGE for OUR works.

Paul Woodhouse: Salvation is God's work from beginning to end. Ephesians 2:8-9 puts this in a way that is difficult to misunderstand. We are saved by grace through faith and this is not of ourselves; it is God's gift to us. Not of works.

Now, I don't know whether there IS ENOUGH grace to excuse jumping from Ephesians 2:1 all of the way down to verse 8. Do you suppose Paul has something to HIDE? NO ONE has ever suggested or hinted or pursed their lips AS IF to say that non-instrumentalists BELIEVE that they can PUT God under their obligation. In fact, from reviewing Grace-Centered stuff it appears that they CONFESS that some things are SINS but because of GRACE "it just don't matter." Now, doesen't THAT put God under obligation to give unlimited sin to cover deliberate sin?

Grace means Powe: "The power to be conformed to the image of Christ." If we do not conform it is PROOF that we are devoid of God's Grace.

Our Biblical Paul said:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Eph 2:8
....Not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph 2:9

But that is like reading the book of Revelation to explain that CREATION never took place!

Now we old GRACELESS, Bible-centered and therefore LEGALISTIC people cannot keep our eyes off verse 1.

AND you hath he QUICKENED, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Eph 2:1

.....QUICKEN is the Greek: Suzoopoieo (g4806) sood-zo-op-oy- eh'-o; from 4862 and 2227; to reanimate conjointly with (fig.): - quicken together with.


[........And ye are COMPLETE in him, which is the head of all principality and power: Col. 2:10
[........In whom also ye are CIRCUMCISED with the circumcision made WITHOUT hands, in PUTTING OFF the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Col. 2:11


[........BURIED with him in BAPTISM, wherein also ye are RISEN with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. Col. 2:12


[........And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he QUICKENED together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Col.2:13


Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world,
....according to the prince of the power of the AIR,
.......the spirit (An unholy spirit) that now worketh in the children of DISOBEDIENCE: Eph 2:2

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Eph 2: 3

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Eph 2: 4


Even when we were dead in sins, hath QUICKENED (regenerated) us together WITH Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Ephesians 2:5

....And hath RAISED us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places IN Christ Jesus: Ephesians 2:6


[......Buried with him in BAPTISM, wherein also ye are RISEN with him
[......through the faith of the OPERATION of God, who hath raised him from the dead. Col.2:12
[......And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Col 2:13

[....And in Romans 6
[God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Rom 6:2

[....Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Rom 6:3
[....Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:
[....that like as Christ was RAISED up from the dead by the glory of the Father,
[....even so we also should walk in newness of life. Rom 6:4

[....For if we have been planted together in the likeness (Form) of his death,
[......we shall be also (RISEN) in the likeness of his resurrection: Rom 6:5

[Knowing this, that our old man is CRUCIFIED with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Rom 6:6 [not be in BONDAGE]

The Romans obeyed a FORM of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

[But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have OBEYED from the heart that FORM of doctrine which was delivered you. Ro.6:17
[.....Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. Rom 6:18

Baptism IS PURE GRACE. The FORM or ANTI-TYPE means INSTEAD OF. We are baptized INSTEAD of drowing in the flood. We are baptized INSTEAD OF drowning in the Red Sea and we are baptized INSTEAD OF dying on the cross for our own sins like the Thief on the Cross.


Therefore, baptism as the ONLY ACT which would demonstrate Christ to the world THROUGH Christ Jesusdown through the ages: until Christ returns

That in the ages to come he might SHEW (indicate by an act) the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness toward us, through Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:7

The assembly glorifies Christ through the Lord's Supper where we show forth His DEATH.

The assembly glorifies Christ by focusing on baptism as the only showing act of grace in His resurrection. If it does not it simply denies that salvation is by Grace through faith where faith obeys:

NOW AFTER PLUGGING IN THE LOST BAPTISM PASSAGE we will note that the death, burial and resurrection Paul has just described is THE WAY Christ gave us GRACE by dying on the cross INSTEAD OF us.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God: Ephesians 2:8

Note the parallelism between not of yourselves and not of works.

Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:9

Paul says that faith comes by hearing the Word. The Word is a gift of God preached to produce faith. While the gift is GRACE and not FAITH, it is a fact that no one could believe without a message from God. Again, God is the Fuller who clothes us in Christ only at baptism:

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph 2:10


he that Believes AND is batized SHALL BE saved

The BELIEVETH NOTS he defines by a word meaning TREACHEROUS or an INFIDEL.

Do we accept God Incarnate and TRUST Him or do we trust OUR OWN HUMAN CONCEPTION to shift the emphasis from baptism (what we are commanded to do) over to grace (which only God can do)?

Jesus said that without CONVERSION or being born of Water and Spirit we CANNOT, we SHALL NOT enter the kingdom. Grace Centered has collected a stable of men who play LOOSE with the Word of God and seem to deny the VERY ACTION where Christ gives us A holy spirit.

There are more than a dozen spiritual qualities which come AS A RESULT of Baptism because God in Christ put them there. He is God and we are not: those who questioned Christ's direct command about baptism were identified as calling God a liar. Until someone makes their eyeballs make the words just evaporate (making fun of Shelly: the expert on the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle) Baptism is one of those acts WITHOUT WHICH one CANNOT, SHALL NOT enter the kingdom. So, that makes baptism the very ACT OF GRACE.


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Donnie Cruz
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GCM Again: The Assault upon Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38

December 10 2003, 6:55 AM 

NOTE: The following article is presented here for your review. Neither the church of Christ nor the Holy Scripture endorses this doctrinal error that the Grace Centered Magazine, the publisher, apparently teaches. Please read and study the exchange below very carefully. Note the statements in the exchange with the author, Paul Woodhouse, and the misinterpreted scriptures used to discredit the significance of the purpose of baptism. We welcome your comments of approval or disapproval, and let’s discuss.


An Exchange on the Subject of Baptism

by Paul Woodhouse

I received an e-mail the other day from the wife of a Pentecostal preacher in Canada. Here is the text of the letter and my answer.

"Hello...I have a question with one of your sermons and what you believe. You have a sermon on Rev 2:18-29 and at the end of your sermon you say, "declaring Jesus as Son of God and Lord of your life and then be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins."

"Do you believe that in order to be forgiven of your sins by God you have to be baptized. I thought baptism was a picture of what happens on the inside when a person gets saved. If you could explain to me what you meant that would be great."

Here was my answer:

Baptism is, as you say, a picture of what happens on the inside of a person. Baptism is a passive act where we stand while someone immerses us. Trusting faith in Christ is a passive act, allowing God to save us.

Must a person be baptized to be forgiven of sins? The thief on the cross wasn't. The woman caught in adultery wasn't. However, on Pentecost Peter commanded it (Acts 2:38) in fulfillment of the Great Commission that Christ gave Peter and the rest of the apostles in Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15-16.

God chooses whom He will forgive. Baptism is not a work that puts God in our debt and in no way obligates God to do anything, except that He has promised that those who repent (surrender our wills to His will) and are baptized in Jesus' name, will have their sins forgiven. But baptism is not a work of righteousness designed to procure forgiveness. Baptism is an act of trusting faith, gratitude, which is an outward expression of an inner reality.

Exactly when sins are forgiven is God's business.

For our part, baptism in Jesus' name is commanded. I have done it. I teach others to do it. I'll leave it at that.

Then I received this note from her husband the Pentecostal minister:

I want to say "thank you" for responding so quickly to my question on Baptism for forgiveness of sins. I am a pastor as well in Canada. I pastor a Pentecostal church of about 100 and things are going well. I understand where you are coming from with
your answer but need some clarification on something.

You said "God chooses whom He will forgive" Doesn't God forgive all people who ask for forgiveness and when we ask for forgiveness and submit our lives to Him, we are forgiven right at that moment.

That's all I have to say, I am glad that we can have this discussion and learn from each other, and maybe I am just not understanding where you are coming from.

Here was my reply:

I agree that God will forgive all people who seek forgiveness and come to Him with a penitent spirit trusting Christ to save them. "A broken and contrite heart, You, Lord, will not despise."

Your question, however, addresses a subject that I do not believe the Bible specifically and directly addresses--the *exact moment* when sins are forgiven.

Peter commanded water baptism on Pentecost along with repentance. One was not separated from the other. It was a dual command and one was no more or less important than the other. I think our debates begin when we begin to try to subdivide the command that Peter enunciated in Acts 2:38. It was one command: repent and be baptized. Saul of Tarsus was told to get up and be baptized and wash away his sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (Acts 22:16) Saul's teacher and the Lord's prophet Ananias commanded Paul to connect his penitence to baptism.

It seems to me that all of the arguments Christians have about the "exact moment of salvation" are the upshot of an effort to divide penitence and baptism from one another. In the book of Acts when people came to faith they were baptized immediately.

Paul Woodhouse
Grace Church of Christ
Fayetteville, AR

• We welcome your comments to agree or disagree with Mr. Woodhouse, and let’s discuss.

Donnie Cruz

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Kenneth Sublett
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But, how about THIEVES on the PULPIT?

December 10 2003, 12:38 PM 

Paul Woodhouse from Grace-Centered: Must a person be baptized to be forgiven of sins? The THIEF on the CROSS wasn't. The woman caught in adultery wasn't. However, on Pentecost Peter commanded it (Acts 2:38) in fulfillment of the Great Commission that Christ gave Peter and the rest of the apostles in Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15-16.

God CHOOSES whom He will forgive. Baptism is not a work that puts God in our debt and in no way obligates God to do anything, except that He has promised that those who repent (surrender our wills to His will) and are baptized in Jesus' name, will have their sins forgiven. But baptism is not a work of righteousness designed to procure forgiveness. Baptism is an act of trusting faith, gratitude, which is an OUTWARD EXPRESSION of an inner REALITY.

Wooly weasel words. Note: "An OUTWARD expression of an inner reality." That means we are baptized as a SYMBOL of what is already an INWARD REALITY." That is what Zwingli taught when he INVENTED "believer's baptism" which is an ancient pagan baptism. Even more, God CHOOSES whom He will forgive. But, the word CHOOSE and ELECT means "INVITED." Many are CALLLED but few are the ELECT.

The old Thief on the Cross TRUMPS Jesus who said that without baptism you CANNOT, SHALL NOT enter the kingdom. God's Grace potentially forgives all sins and sinners: past, present and future. And through honest evangelists HE CALLS many. However, FEW are chosen because the MAJORITY are not "of the truth" because they have SIGNED ON with Satan who invites everyone to do "worship" of Him by EXTERNAL rituals which stroke every PLEASURE CENTER in the body. The are in the GRIP OF HIS GRUDGE. Remember, that like at Mount Sinai, Satan exposed themto all of these pleasure kingdoms, Satan's goal was to PREVENT the CRUCIFIXION which would disarm HIS kingdom. Having failed, his CHANGE AGENTS use cunning craftiness to get you to call Jesus a liar by claiming that what HE promised about Baptism IS NOT TRUE.

I am not as worried about THIEVES on the cross but THIEVES on the pulpit. Any literate reader able to plow through even one chapter of Max Lucado know that he cunningly spews forth truly bad feelings for those who won't subscribe to the SPIRITISTS dogma which subscribes to Rubel Shelly's CORE GOSPEL which rejects inspiration. Notice that this is a STING on those who supported him and provided him a church to divert. Even so, Max has had little effect with only 5 out of 13,000 following him into the Baptist church. That is why he is using the Lynn Anderson or Promise Keepers or Crossroads Shepherding approved by Rubel Shelly.

Max Lucado: Once a person admits his sin and turns to Christ for salvation, some step must be taken to PROCLAIM to heaven and earth that he is a follower of Christ. Baptism is that step.

"Baptism is the initial and immediate step of OBEDIENCE by one who has declared his faith to others. So important was this step that, as far as we know, every single convert in the New Testament was baptized.

"With the exception of the thief on the cross, there is no example of an unbaptized believer. The thief on the cross, however, is a crucial exception. His CONVERSION drives DOGMATISTS crazy.

"It is no accident that the first one to accept the INVITATION of the crucified Christ has no creed, confirmation, christening, or catechism.

....[ Bible readers will not find Christ's invitation in the Bible. But, not to worry]

"How DISTURBING to theologians to ASCEND the mountain of DOCTRINE only to be greeted by an uneducated thief who cast his lot with Christ. Here is a man who never went to church, never gave an offering, never was baptized, and said only one prayer.

....[That applies to Elijah, too]

"But that PRAYER was ENOUGH. He has a crucial role in the gospel drama. The thief reminds us that though our DOGMA may be airtight and our doctrine dead-center, in the end it is Jesus who saves.
SOME will note that the THIEF lived before Pentecost and Christ would not offer him SALVATION.

The THIEF "prayed" that Christ would remember Him when He came into His kingdom.

Jesus didn't ANSWER this prayer and He often simply ignores those who have no CONCEPTION of a spiritual kingdom.

The THIEF was not FORGIVEN becaue he was CRUCIFIED on the CROSS for his OWN SINS.

Jesus had a DIFFERENT answer:

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in PARADISE. Luke 23:43

This was the realm of the consious dead including those who were DROWNED by the same WATER which saved 8 souls. If we understand Peter, Jesus went into this realm while out of the body to PREACH to the DEAD.

However, ONLY those who are baptized as the point of GRAC are added to the ASSEMBLY or church, and only they have their spirits translated into a HEAVENLY KINGDOM.

Jesus went into the side of Paradise containing all of the wicked who lived BEFORE the flood. Undoubtedly some of them--and the thief on the cross--would respond favorably to the gospel. If you are a thief and STEAL church houses of widows then you may TAKE ONE GIANT STEP and let them nail you to YOUR cross.

Peter confirms this (FOR THE DEAD) and commands baptism (FOR THE LIVING):

...By which also he went and PREACHED unto the SPIRITS in PRISON; 1 Pet 3:19
.......Which sometime were DISOBEDIENT, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ARK was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were SAVED by WATER. 1 Pet 3:20

"Baptism, which corresponds (A PATTERN) to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an APPEAL to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1 Pet 3:21RSV

"A" clear conscience means the same thing as "A" holy spirit.

The THIEF did not ask Jesus to give him A clear conscience or consiousness meaning "A" co-perception. A spirit or mind swept clean ONLY at baptism allows God to enter HIS OWN HOLY TEMPLE where He dwells by faith. The only WORSHIP is to GIVE HEED to the truth in OUR OWN spirit. This is the PLACE to replace Mount Gerezim where the woman at the well's FATHERS worshipped. Jesus didn't SAVE the woman at the well. He just told her to quit sinning by being a SERIAL ADULTERESS.

The MIND is the SPIRIT. In 1 Cor 2 Paul drew a Parallel:

The Holy Spirit
.....Is to God
What our spirit
......Is to us.

Paul then said that WE have the MIND of Christ. Jesus Christ promised ANOTHER (fuller) Comforter at Pentecost. He said that "I" will come to you. The Spirit Lord who commanded Paul to be baptized while calling on the NAME (singular) of the Lord identified Himself as JESUS OF NAZARETH.

Paul identified the CHARISMATIC state of ECSTASY or "prophesying" including singing and music as MAINOMAI. In the Greek world this was aroused by the "prophesiers" who were FLUTE-GIRLS and by males who did "not indite in prophesy" unless DRUNK or perverted. That is why Paul used the word METHUSKO which is the end time PROSTITUTE WORSHIP LEADER'S "wine of fornication."

The thief was not promised this. NOW LISTEN UP SLEEPERS:

The THIEF on the CROSS was crucified for HIS OWN SINS.

If YOU use the THIEF to call Lord Jesus Christ a liar as a "believeth not" then YOU will have to DIE for YOUR OWN SINS and that won't get you any closer to heaven than the THIEF when he was in "paradise" or the GARDEN of the tombs of the dead and among the DISOBEDIENT who lived before the flood.

See more on Max Lucado and the Thief on the Cross. Max-Lucado-Thief-on-Cross.html

The wacko theology is that "If God saved One person without baptism then BAPTISM is not important." The same people will fellowship those who by their teaching against baptism call Jesus a Liar, will steal your church house and turn it into a "theater for holy entertainment" because they are ILLITERATE and despise anyone who knows more than they.


This message has been edited by Ken.Sublett from IP address on Jul 8, 2015 11:11 AM

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Gary W. Summers
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Grace Centered Magazine—The Unbaptized (Part 1)

January 11 2004, 3:41 AM 



Among the millions of websites one may run into on the internet is this one: . They call it Grace Centered Magazine, which is a misnomer. It would be better named Grace Over and Beyond the Emphasis Given to it in the New Testament Magazine (GOBEG, for short). The title page of the article from this magazine that we wish to review proclaims: "All Rights Reserved. No reproduction by any means without written permission from Grace Centered Magazine." This admonition may be a means of preventing quotations from being cited so that the material cannot be adequately reviewed. Such may not be the intention, but we will be careful to avoid direct citations whenever possible, resorting to paraphrasing.

Yet another peculiarity is that the author of "Are Unbaptized Believers Lost?" remains unidentified. Where one would expect to see his name, one only finds the words: "A STUDENT OF THE WORD," with footnote number 1 attached. The anonymous writer says that he does not want any ensuing discussion to center on him--but on the subject. He could have saved himself the trouble. Any discerning reader can tell immediately that the anonymous author 1) is a liberal; 2) mishandles the Scriptures; 3) desires to exalt grace above the emphasis provided in the Scriptures; and 4) has no respect for the Word of God. Had he attached the name of Rubel Shelly to it (or someone else of his ilk), it would have made no difference whatsoever. Most of us judge what someone writes on the basis of its content--not its author, and it is the content of this 34 pages that is flawed--no matter who wrote it. The document begins with a one-page introduction.

The writer reveals that he was once a faithful member of the church who believed the truth regarding salvation (but he no longer does). He once believed that a person's sins were removed at the point of baptism, but he has given it up. Why? He eventually decided that what happens to one who believes but has not been baptized is "an abiblical question," by which Anonymous means that the Bible does not directly deal with that question.

Really? Then why does he write a 34-page article on this subject? Here is the first false assumption of this treatise--that the Bible must address a subject directly in order for us to have knowledge on a Biblical topic. In effect, this approach does away with implication, which is a valid means that God has chosen to teach His principles. One might just as well argue that the question, "Can someone from the tribe of Judah be a priest?" is an abiblical question. Is there authority for Levites to be priests? Yes. There are explicit commands. But does any passage in the Law say that other Israelites could not be priests? No.

The fact that something is not directly addressed does not mean we have no information. Hebrews 7:14 makes it clear that a practice must be authorized, and that if it is not, it is wrong. God gave us the intelligence to figure out the implications of verses of Scriptures, and the fact that some infer what is not actually implied by God does not change that; it simply means that we must be careful. How could a question relating to salvation be abiblical? Of course the Bible addresses vital spiritual questions--either directly or indirectly.

Every student of the Word knows that Jeroboam sinned in his worship changes. Forging the golden calves was a direct violation of the 2nd commandment. Setting them up in Dan and Bethel, however, was merely unauthorized. Changing the priesthood was also unauthorized and clearly a violation of the law (Heb. 7:14); moving the feast from the seventh to the eighth month also lacked God's approval. Only one of these was a direct violation of the law; the other three, according to the faulty reasoning of Anonymous, were abiblical. According to him, in the absence of a direct command, we could not draw a conclusion as to the sinfulness of such matters. Baloney!

It is the lack of authority for the use of musical instruments in the New Testament that keeps us from using them. No verse says: "Thou shalt not use mechanical instruments of music in worship to Me." Is this another abiblical question? Apparently, it does not matter that only singing is authorized. With the kind of rationale that Anonymous provides, we could not discuss dancing in worship, the use of prayer beads, or selling raffle tickets as a means of fund-raising, for they would all be abiblical questions.

The Bible and Baptism

What does the Bible say about the essentiality of baptism with respect to salvation? When Peter convinced many of the Jews that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, and that He had been raised from the dead and made both Lord and Christ, they wanted to know what they should do. Peter answered, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins..." (Acts 2:38). The reason for being baptized in this passage is to receive forgiveness of sins. So what happened to those who did not choose to be baptized that day? This is not a question that one must have advanced degrees in theology to answer. If a person needs to be baptized to have sins forgiven, then it stands to reason that, if he is not baptized, his sins are not forgiven. The only way this conclusion would not be true is if God had arranged more than one way to be saved.

Yet one's sins are not removed by believing only. Otherwise, Saul of Tarsus would have been saved on the road to Damascus, for he certainly believed after Jesus appeared to him. One cannot be saved as a result of fasting, because Saul did so for three days (Acts 9:9). One cannot be saved by praying, for Saul prayed, also (Acts 9:11). A person cannot be saved as a result of believing, fasting, and praying, because, when Ananias came to Saul, his sins had not yet been removed. Ananias then asked Saul, "And now, why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16). If people could be saved by believing alone, why were they told to be baptized to have their sins removed?

The same apostle who preached to the Jews on Pentecost that they should be baptized for the remission of their sins later wrote: "There is also an antitype which now saves us: baptism..." (1 Peter 3:21). If baptism is not part of salvation, then the Holy Spirit went to a considerable amount of trouble to make it look as if it is. These are just a few passages. Much more attention could be given to show that it is through baptism that we enter into the death of Christ, are buried with Him, and then are raised up with Him (Rom. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12).

How can all of these things be accomplished by baptism but at the same time occur without and apart from baptism? Elisha told Naaman to go dip in the Jordan River seven times if he wanted to get rid of his leprosy (2 Kings 5). The Assyrian commander was irate over this seemingly nonsensical solution to his problem and was not going to do it. Fortunately, for Naaman, he had a faithful servant at his side instead of Anonymous. He encouraged him to do what the prophet had bid him to do. Anonymous probably would have said, "Your leprosy will disappear if you just believe. After all, the prophet did not say, 'He who does not dip in the Jordan River seven times will not be cleansed of his leprosy.' That's an abiblical question!"

No one takes issue with Elisha. Is the reason that this concerns a physical disease such as leprosy instead of the spiritual problem of sin? Can we only view dispassionately and logically subjects unrelated to salvation? Does emotion cloud our judgment when Jesus, Peter, and Paul include baptism as part of salvation? Who wants to affirm that the leprosy of Naaman would have been removed if he had not dipped in the Jordan River at all, only once, or six times? Everyone knows full well that the only way Naaman's skin would be made whole was by doing precisely what the prophet said.

Yet Anonymous refuses to believe that Peter or Paul mean what they say. He specifically takes issue with Jesus regarding Mark 16:16. He thinks that Jesus should have taken advantage of the opportunity in that verse to say, "He who is not baptized will be lost." The Lord gave people credit for having more sense than Anonymous seems to possess. Those who refuse to believe are lost (Mark 16:16-16; John 8:24). Those who believe but refuse to repent are lost (Luke 13:3). Those who believe but refuse to confess Jesus are lost (Matt. 10:32-33; John 12:42-43). Now why would someone who does not believe, refuses to repent, or balks at confessing the name of Jesus desire to be baptized? Anonymous has a problem both with the Scriptures and common sense. Since the Gospel must be obeyed from the heart (Rom. 6:17-18), baptism cannot be a mechanical act or the result of a decision made by someone else. It is a sequential decision that would be meaningless unless one first believed, repented of his sins, and confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

If anything is missing from the first part of the sequence, everything afterward becomes invalidated. Suppose someone has a locker combination involving the numbers 36, 15, 28, and 4. If the 36 is not entered first (if someone does not believe), the lock will not be opened. If the 36 is entered, but the other two numbers are forgotten, the lock will not open by just going to the last number--4. One cannot believe, but skip repentance because it is too painful, and then be baptized; his sins will remain with him. Similarly, if only the first three numbers are entered, will the lock open? Everyone knows that it will not. If we are progressing toward salvation, but stop short of doing what God said, then we do not get the promise.

Anonymous insists that there are two "fatal flaws" in this "logic" (aha! he is aware of the word). Whatever definition he has of the word logic, however, he soon abandons when he says we are wrong to assume that faith could ever be of equal weight with anything else, such as baptism (32). Yet he offers no proof for such an assertion. Faith, hope, and love are lumped together in 1 Corinthians 13:13, and the greatest of those is love. A case for obedience being an equivalent of faith can be made. Consider Matthew 7:21; Jesus taught: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."

Someone might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God; they might even acknowledge Him as Lord. But if they refuse to do His will (whatever that might be--baptism, correct worship, righteous living), they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. The writer of Hebrews says that Jesus is the author of eternal salvation "to all who obey Him" (5:9). One wonders how some of these liberals can sing songs common to us all. Can they bring themselves to sing, "Trust and Obey"? Or do they change the words to "Trust and Trust Some More"?

We do not have any trouble equating, as Jesus did, belief and baptism because faith begins the process of salvation and baptism (in which the blood of Christ actually washes away sins--Revelation 1:5) completes it. Furthermore, baptism is an act of obedience, and obedience has always been necessary to please God.

His second objection to Mark 16 is that Romans 4 disproves that both faith and baptism are required. He imagines a similar formula for Abraham: "If Abraham believes and is circumcised, he will be declared righteous, but if he doesn't believe, he will not be declared righteous." His point is that Abraham was declared righteous before circumcision. First, God did not put it that way; Anonymous did. Jesus did say what is recorded in Mark 16:15-16. Second, what if, having been declared righteous, Abraham had refused to practice circumcision? Genesis 17:14 answers that.

Baptism and Heresy

Anonymous says that the idea that God grants salvation at the point of baptism is heresy (1). How sad that one who once knew the truth could wander so far away from it as to denounce it entirely. The word heresy should not be used lightly. The role of baptism in salvation is amply supported throughout the New Testament--especially in the book of Acts. The writer of "Are Unbaptized Believers Lost?" demonstrates how one who knows the Truth can be blinded by Satan and then wrest the Scriptures to make them appear to have the very opposite meaning.

Clearly, Anonymous wants to eradicate "faithful obedience" as necessary to salvation. Just think, brethren, what that does to every doctrinal and moral issue in the Bible. They become irrelevant. I can believe in nearly any false doctrine (premillennialism, Calvinism, Pentecostalism) yet still be saved! I can practice any kind of immorality I choose (adultery, fornication, incest, homosexuality, theft, murder) yet still be saved because I believe (at least in my mind) that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Never mind that all such people are denied an inheritance in the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor. 6:9-11). I can lie to my heart's content, and even though the apostle John says all liars have their place in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:8), Anonymous assures me I can be saved anyway because we are saved "by grace through faith" (1).

Did Anonymous actually say these things? No; he would argue that engaging in such actions disproves the idea of a living faith. But he argues that God makes us righteous "before our act of obedience" (23). If we are saved initially before obedience, then why should obedience be required after we are saved? If we do not need to obey anything to become saved, then how could anyone argue that we need obedience to remain saved?

The fact is that genuine faith, like genuine love, moves people to obey God. Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15). Faith is always expressed in terms of obedience. Hebrews 11 is usually referred to as the "faith" chapter. In every instance, those with faith demonstrated it in some way. No one is listed as faithful who simply sat around and twiddled his thumbs, chanting "I believe, I believe, I believe."

How amazing it is that those who believe in "faith only" will travel land and sea to win one proselyte--in order to make him twice as much a son of hell as themselves (Matt. 23:15). Imagine, writing 34 pages to try to convince people (in this case, brethren) that obedience has nothing to do with their salvation! How absolutely ludicrous! We could only wish that Anonymous (with his GOBEG doctrine) had remained in the shadows and that this work had never seen the light of day. But the light of the Gospel reveals its hideous features.

*Send comments or questions concerning this article to Gary Summers. Please refer to this article as: "GRACE CENTERED MAGAZINE--THE UNBAPTIZED (PART 1)" (01/26/03)."


This message has been edited by ConcernedMembers from IP address on Jan 11, 2004 10:47 AM

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Wilksbar Baptist
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It's worse at Grace Centered Magazine and Forum Now

July 7 2015, 8:22 PM 

There's an ongoing thread in the forum concerning when someone receives the holy spirit and/or is saved. Baptism is absolute.
I'm a new member there but there is currently a lock out that stops new arrivals posting more than five posts at a time. Maybe God is intervening though the longer serving members are unaffected.

Why do you think it is that there is so much of the love of Christ being proclaimed from churches, people, even television, but the world instead of growing in that love seems to be eroding toward the darkness of God's nemesis.

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Ken Sublett
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Re: It's worse at Grace Centered Magazine and Forum Now

July 7 2015, 9:29 PM 

Grace Centered is a feminist touchy-feely forum and they love to "blackball" you if you quote the Bible and especially if you refute Johnb. If they lock you out you must have quoted some Bible Text!

Thy do not understand that GRACE and the MUSES in the pagan world were blue-eyed blond prostitutes.

Grace is personified as "the Grace of God hath appeared teaching us to reject" the sorry state of morality now obvious when Bible-based churches teach the Word and are attacked by people who think that they have "a" holy spirit person telling them that their opinions now replace the Word as the basis of most historic churches.

Newcomers are not locked out of CM even if they are opposed to its views.

This message has been edited by Ken.Sublett from IP address on Jul 7, 2015 9:41 PM

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Ken Sublett
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Re: It's worse at Grace Centered Magazine and Forum Now

July 8 2015, 11:08 AM 

I have done a few reviews of Grace Centered Magazine here.

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Ken Sublett
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Re: It's worse at Grace Centered Magazine and Forum Now

July 28 2015, 11:44 AM 

Dave, Is Grace Centered Forum dead?

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(no login)

Re: It's worse at Grace Centered Magazine and Forum Now

July 28 2015, 8:40 PM 

How long has it been like that? It is the first time I have been there in years....

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Ken Sublett
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Re: It's worse at Grace Centered Magazine and Forum Now

July 28 2015, 8:48 PM 

I think a very short time: I check in every few days and there was little new at the time. If you search topics you can still find faithsite and ibelieve stuff but no access. I will search for some of my stuff which got me booted three times. This Johnb is maybe in control.

They probably heard that you were on your way??

Joe Beam and his son in law tried to make it a money maker and they probably still promote their own books

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Ken Sublett
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Re: It's worse at Grace Centered Magazine and Forum Now

July 28 2015, 9:00 PM 

had to get a twitter account to see it

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Re: It's worse at Grace Centered Magazine and Forum Now

July 29 2015, 6:16 PM 

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Some never will know! This book is for them as well.

Madison Church of Christ was a 60 year old church. At one time it was one of the largest churches in the US, and the largest Church of Christ.

It thrived for many years on the vision of it's elders and those of it's ministers. Those visions undoubtably came from the the inspired word of Jesus Christ.

At sometime in the last 10 years there was a deliberate plan by a majority of the elders to take the Madison Church of Christ into a more worldly realm.

They used secrecy, covert planning, and outside sources to scheme and to change the format and direction of the Madison Church of Christ.

The Elders knew that the membership would never approve such a plan. Using the tools of the "Community Church Movement"(consultants, books, seminars, meetings,planters,seeders) they slowly started initiating change so it was never noticed by the members until it was too late.....

At the heart of the plan was the fact that old members were going to be driven off so new techniques could be used to go out and reach the unchurched through new "Contemporary Holy Entertainment" methods developed by the "Community Church Movement"

Old members had to be kept on board long enough to get their plans ready, or the funds would not be there to pay for the new building. So by the plans very nature, it had to be secret.

The church had no plan in effect to renew or approve elders. There was never any need. The elders had always been "as approved by God". 10 of the last 15 elders would begin to shed some doubt on that.

The Elders did not even need a majority at first, because some of the elders went along unwittingly.

This edition starts shortly after some of the members begin to smell something strange in January 2001. Later editions may go back and fill in some of the timeline.

To even start to understand whats happening here, you must read the background materials in the first of the book.

This is only the first edition, and not the end. New editions will be printed as needed. To keep abreast of current changes, please visit our web site;

Here is the list of players;

5 Godly Elders
10 Not so Godly Elders
120 "Deacons" (allegiance unknown)
2,800 - 4,000 church "members"
2 "teners" (people who have publicly confessed to have broken all ten commandments)
Unknown number of "sinners" (This is what the 10 elders call us.)
Unknown number of "demons" (Flying everywhere, to many to count)

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