What The Bible Says

What The Bible Says

“What The Bible Says - Vol. 1 / No. 30”

What The Bible Says

Vol. I - No. 30 / May 19, 2019


    Why was John called "the Baptist"?, Mt. 3:1-3. He preached that "the Kingdom of heaven is at hand." Mt. 3:2. "At hand" means "come nigh." Isa.13:6; Deut. 32:35; Joel 1:15; 2 Tim. 4:6. It was still future when Jesus began to preach. Mt. 4:17; Mk. 1:15. It was still future and only "at hand" when the apostles were sent out under the limited commission. Mt. 10:7. Also, it had only "come nigh" when Jesus sent out the seventy. Lk.10:9-11. After John's death, Jesus said, "I will build my church." Mt.16:18. The kingdom was to come with power. Mk. 9:1. The power was to come with the Holy Spirit. Lk. 24:49; Acts 1:8. The power and the Spirit came on Pentecost. Acts 2:1-4. This is called "the beginning." Acts 11:15. After Pentecost, Christians were said to have received the kingdom. Heb.12:28. They were in the kingdom. Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:9. John the Baptist died in Mt. 14 before Christ promised to build His church in Mt. 16:18. John died during the personal ministry of Christ before the kingdom came on Pentecost and before the church of Christ was built. Therefore, John was not called "Baptist" because of being a member of the New Testament church. The least in the kingdom was greater than he. Mt. 11:11. Therefore, he was not in the kingdom, or church of Christ.

    The church belongs to Christ and not to John the Baptist. Mt. 16:18. Christ purchased the church with His blood, and it belongs to him. Acts 20:28. Paul speaks of "churches of Christ". Rom. 16:16. They had no denominations in the days of the apostles. The disciples then were simply "Christians". Acts 11:26; 1 Pet. 4:16.

    The name "Baptist" was never applied to but one man in the Bible, and he died before Christ established His church. Mt. 14:1-12; 16:18. His name was simply "John" at his birth. Lk. 1:13, 60-63. When he began to baptize he became a baptizer or "Baptist". Necessarily, this name was to decrease when other men by the name of "John" would begin to baptize, else confusion would prevail. The surname "Baptist" ceased with John the Baptist and was never afterward applied to anyone else in the New Testament. John was never called "a" Baptist, as though he were one Baptist among many, but he was rather called "the" Baptist. Though he baptized many people, none of them were ever call Baptists, even though some of them also baptized.

    In giving the primary meaning of the word "Baptist", Webster says it means, "One who administers baptism; specifically applied to John, the fore-runner of Christ." Having given the primary and scriptural meaning of the word, he then gives the modern meaning and applies it to a "denomination". The modern meaning of words is not always the Bible meaning. The modern meaning of baptism is sprinkling and pouring. But the New Testament meaning involves the idea of a burial and resurrection. Rom. 6:3,4; Col. 2:12; Acts 8:38,39. The word "Baptist" is from the Greek word Baptestes and means "A baptizer; one who administers the rite of baptism; the surname of John, the fore-runner of Christ." Thayer's Greek English Lexicon. Liddell and Scott's Greek English Lexicon says this Greek word means "One that dips; a baptizer the baptist". Bagster's Greek English Lexicon defines the word as "One who baptizes, a baptist, Mt. 3:1;11:11,12." The name is the "surname"of John, the fore-runner of Christ. Thayer. Instead of being a denominational name, the word Baptist was only a "surname". In a letter to C.W. Landers, W.H. Davis, associate professor of New Testament interpretation, in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Louisville, Kentucky, says: "My dear sir: The term can be correctly translated John the Immerser." So the word Baptist only means an "Immerser". In Bible times, it did not refer to disciples generally. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, the Baptist denomination made a new translation of the New Testament which does not contain the word "Baptist". This translation says: "In those days came John the Immerser" etc. Mt. 3:1. Bible Union Translation. Anderson's translation also translates it, "John the Immerser". Mt. 3:1. So do Macknight's and Wilson's translations.

    It is a matter of common fairness when using the words of another to use them in the same sense in which the speaker used them. To use the name Baptist as a denominational name is to misapply the word of God. The word had no such meaning in the New Testament, and the Bible means exactly now what it did when it was first written by inspired men. Its meaning was then as unchangeably fixed as the text itself. Denominationalism is wrong.

    Religious division is contrary to the Lord's prayer for unity. All should simply obey the gospel, live and worship as Christians only, with no denominational membership. Each Christian should determine in his heart to be a member of a congregation which is scriptural in origin, name, faith, doctrine and practice.



        The Devil uses every means available to bewitch and deceive people. He has imitated everything pertaining to God and has been quite effective at passing around the counterfeit as being the real thing. The degree of his effectiveness can be seen in that there are many people who believe anything and everything is OK in religion. If this is the case, why did Jesus warn that we could worship Him in vain (Matthew 15:9)? We need to watch out for the counterfeits of Satan. What are some of his counterfeits?

FALSE GODS. Idolatry is one of the oldest counterfeits that mankind has fell for. It constantly plagued the children of Israel throughout their history. Today, the devil has a very well disguised god: covetousness (Colossians 3:5). It is sometimes referred to as "the almighty dollar" and the unsatisfiable appetite for the things money can buy. We live in a society where a person is measured by the things he has. The qualities of "godliness with contentment" mentioned in 1 Timothy 6:6 are given nothing more than lip-service. Many people are worshiping the god of covetousness for Satan has counterfeited it to appear as a way of life.

FALSE TEACHERS. Where are the false teachers? They aren't any! People no longer respect God's Word enough to use it to prove the message preachers preach anymore. Everybody's got the right to their own belief and practice. With this attitude prevailing, false teachers are a thing of the past. Isaiah's day was much like today: "...Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophecy deceits:" (Isaiah 30:10). The truth in the matter is there are many false prophets! "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1). Satan has many ministers who preach almost all of the truth.

FALSE DOCTRINES. It only follows that if Satan has counterfeit preachers he would also have counterfeited the things they teach. Doctrine which is genuine is the doctrine of Christ. That is, it originated with Christ. This is the doctrine that we must "abide in" (3 John 9,10). There is not another gospel but there are gospels that are perverted (Galatians 1:6,7). These "gospels" sound a lot like the real thing; just like a counterfeit twenty dollar bill looks like the real thing. Yet, regardless of our honesty or sincerity, we are holding a worthless piece of paper in our hand. So it is in religious matters. Regardless of our sincerity, if we believe and practice a doctrine that originated with man, our religion and worship is vain. (Matthew 15:9). No matter how long we have practiced a certain belief or been recognized as a member of some religious organization, that does not make it right any more than the possibility that a counterfeit twenty dollar bill will become worth $20 if we continue to carry it around in our billfold or pocketbook.

WATCH OUT for Satan's counterfeits! They look and sound mighty convincing.
—E.R. Hall, Jr.


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For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
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Albertville, AL 35950
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