by Brother Ruckman
In this study I am going to discuss a fundamental heresy called ultra-dispensationalism or hyper-dispensationalism. I say "heresy" among Fundamentalists because this is a heresy that is taught by Bible-believing people. People who believe their Bible have their heresies exactly like unsaved people have theirs. The thing I am about to talk about is as much a "heresy" as the teaching of John Calvin on sprinkling babies or as much a heresy as the teaching of the Seventh-day Adventists or the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Ultra-dispensationalism, or what we call "hyperdispensationalism," is built upon the idea that since the Bible tells us to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth," that the word of God has proper divisions which we must observe, and if we get things out of placement in these divisions, then we are teaching false doctrine. There is some truth in this statement. It is perfectly apparent that the Old and New Testaments are two different "dispensations," and it is perfectly apparent that the instructions for one do not match the instructions for the other. This is very manifest, of course, in such simple matters as the matter of diet. In Leviticus 11 we are told that certain meats are not to be eaten. In 1 Timothy 4:1-5 we are told that they certainly can be eaten if they are prayed about before they are eaten. This disparagement in accounts (or this difference in instructions) can only be accounted for dispensationally. When we read the Book of Acts we see the transition in Acts 10 where Simon Peter is taught that he should not call anything that God hath cleansed common or unclean.
This is very important because it shows that the Book of Acts is a transitional period that takes us from the Old Testament to the New Testament. For this reason some of the greatest heretics who ever lived base their teaching on the Book of Acts. For example, there is not a Church of Christ preacher in the United States who doesn't base his entire system on Acts 2:38. And Calvin can be found fooling around in the Book of Acts where we read in Acts 13:48, "...as many as were ordained to eternal life believed." That isn't all. Every Postmillennial preacher in the world can be found in Acts 2 where he will be found insisting that the Lord Jesus Christ is now on David's throne reigning over David's kingdom. The Book of Acts, then, is a dangerous place for anybody to rest doctrinally, and just as the Campbellite or Church of Christ preacher rests on his water baptism for salvation, so the ultra-dispensationalists get rid of water baptism altogether and make as much an issue of it as the Church of Christ preachers do.
I am going to talk about these things from personal experience, having dealt firsthand with several dozen of these people in several different states under all kinds of conditions. Let me, from the beginning, make some very simple statements which we will prove as we go on.
The first statement is that the man who subscribes to hyperdispensationalism is as hung up on non-baptism as any Campbellite preacher who ever lived is hung up on water baptism. As a matter of fact, the more you watch these people through the years the more you realize that they have a neutotic obsession with this phase of their Bible learning. The all-important thing to the hyper-dispensationalist is to get rid of Baptist churches. These people are obsessed with this to the point of fanaticism, and that won't be hard to prove as we go along. They get so obsessed with this non-water bit that it is all they can think about, eat, breathe, drink or sleep. And no matter where you find these people, in any state or under any condition, they are busy trying to get members to leave Baptist churches. I don't know of a single exception to the rule in the cases I have known through the years. Their ministry has revolved around convincing Baptists that they did the wrong thing when they got baptized in water. The problem comes up: How does this fit into the program of hyper-dispensationalism? Well, it is real simple, but let me make my second statement first.
My second statement is that the hyper-dispensationalist, exactly as the Campbellite, Seventh-day Adventist and Jehovah's Witness, has had to, from time to time, adjust his theology to meet the demands of scripture. And all these groups that suddenly charge out with this "great new thing" they have, this great new revelation, have one characteristic about them. As they come into conflict with real Bible-believing people who know the scriptures, they have to keep adjusting their position closer and closer to the scriptures without abandoning their position.
And so, when talking about "hyper-dispensationalism," at the very start I am going to tell you what these people believe. They will then deny everything I say they believe and produce the scriptures for their "circular reasoning." While they get through after six hours, you will find that they believe exactly what I told you they believe. All heretics have what we call "circular reasoning." It is a reasoning that begins with one verse and runs to another and runs to another and runs to another to complete a circle to get across something that is not true. You just try "cornering" one of these fellows one time on one verse and you will find that fellow will fly like the wind to the next verse. This is characteristic of all Campbellite preachers, all Jehovah's Witnesses, all Seventh-day Adventists, and it is very very true of hyper-Calvinists.
In this file we are talking about hyper-dispensationalists. What is a hyper-dispensationalist? Well, the original position was stated by a man named Ethelbert Bullinger, who lived back in the nineteenth century and wrote The Companion Bible. Bullinger taught this: (1) That only the prison epistles written by Paul after the close of the Book of Acts could be considered as doctrine for the Christian; (2) That the Body found in the Book of Acts is not the Body of Christ mentioned in Ephesians 2 and 3; and (3) That the "mystery Body" Paul mentions in Ephesians 2 and 3 did not show up until after the close of Acts 28. With this, Bullinger got fouled up on the prepositions in Ephesians 1 about "all things" being in Christ and finally wound up proposing universal salvation for everybody, including the devil. Strangely enough, Ephesians 1 contains the proof text for hyper-Calvinism. So, we can learn something. We can learn that Ephesians 1 is a very dangerous place to be fooling around in if you are unlearned and unstable. Both hyper-Calvinism and hyper-dispensationalism have their foundation in the Book of Ephesians and both of them use references to verses in the Book of Acts to prove their particular position.
The position changes a bit under J. C. O'Hare (the radio preacher out of Chicago). He backslid from Bullinger's position because of a number of things. First of all was the very embarrassing (and very obvious) thing which was pointed out to him by some Bible-believing Baptist that 1 Corinthians 12 is already dealing with the "mystery Body" and the members in the Body, and it says clearly "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body...." This epistle was written during the Acts period to converts of the Corinthian church. So, O'Hare backslid and decided that the Body of Christ began in Acts 18. Acts 18 was dealing with the Corinthian church and this "saved face" for the dispensationalists temporarily because they had the "Body of Christ" beginning in Acts 18 during the Acts period and yet they still could dump the water baptism. The last cases they found of water baptism in the Book of Acts were in Acts 18 and 19 and, by dispensationally treating the passage in Acts 19 that dealt with the baptism of Apollos' converts (vv. 1-7), they could say that water baptism ended in Acts 18; therefore, the Body of Chist began in Acts 18.
This is typical of the heretic who doesn't know what he is talking about. He makes his direct statement and then has to adjust and readjust and readjust to meet the demands of the scripture. And, of course, the deliberate choice of Acts 18 as the starting place shows exactly what we are dealing with. We are dealing with a bunch of people who are devoted to getting rid of water baptism in any form. Because of this, the fundamental, Bible-believing Baptist churches have as their worst theological opponents in this age the dispensationalists who follow the teaching of J. C. O'Hare, Baker, Cornelius Stam and Bullinger. Furthermore, when these men write of Independent Baptist churches, they write of them as churches that are "in bondage to tradition," churches that feel unfree to follow the teaching of scripture, and churches that are afraid to "tell the truth" to their people. These "dry cleaners" who follow this particular movement will come to your church and get in your church and draw away your young people into "Bible studies" (that is what Judge Rutherford and Pastor Russell called their students--Bible students) and then teach them that water baptism is not for them.
Continuing with the history of the matter, it was called to the attention of J.C. O'Hare the remarkable verse (which is perfectly apparent to anybody) in Acts 16 which states that the apostle Paul baptized converts after he knew about the "gospel of the grace of God." As a matter of fact, it is perfectly clear from Acts 15 that the "gospel of the grace of God" was known to all the apostles, for Simon Peter in Acts 15 says in verse 11, "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they." And plainly when the Philippian jailer asked, "...What must I do to be saved?" in Acts 16, Paul does not tell him to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. But rather he tells him, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved...." This is the teaching of Ephesians and Romans. So, it is perfectly apparent that in Acts 16, even though Paul knew the "gospel of the grace of God," he still baptized the convert after getting him saved by grace through faith. After this was called to J. C. O'Hare's attention, Cornelius Stam and Baker took a step back further to Acts 9.
Now this group is teaching that the "Body" began with Paul. This makes the Body of Christ from Acts 2 to Acts 9 one Body and the Body of Christ from Acts 9 on a different Body. But, again, this got very embarrassing, for it was then called to their attention (and that is all I'm going to do with this booklet, just call it constantly to your attention so that you will wind up a Bible-believer instead of a hyper-dispensationalist) that some of Paul's kinfolk were "in Christ" before Acts 9. Notice the clearest statement of Paul about these matters in Romans 16. In Romans 16:7 he says, "Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me." This drove the dispensationalists up a tree so they finally came to the conclusion that you could be "in Christ" without being in Christ's Body (which is a very unique position to say the least).
The expression "in Christ" is a Pauline expression that deals with the "mystery" of the Body. Yet these people could not allow anybody to be "in Christ" before Paul (Acts 9) even though Paul says, "...who also were in Christ before me." So, because of this, the last adjustment these hypocrites have made has been to say that the Body of Christ was in the mind of God before Acts 9 but was not in reality until after it was revealed to Paul. By doing this, they have switched back to Bullinger's old position and have gotten away with it by saying that the Body did not actually begin with Paul but that sometime in the Book of Acts there was a gradual transition to the Body as the mystery was revealed. This is the baloney you are going to get from the followers today and, for this reason, we are going to make "short shrift" of them and pin the thing right down. We are going to get our hand right on the issue.
The iss ue is: When did the "Body" start? That is the issue and there is no ducking it. It is true that these hypocrites will run to some other verses to prove the "mystery of the revelation" in order to sidetrack you from locating when the Body started. But the issue has always been when did the Body start. And these people do not want you to know that because (1) they don't know it themselves, (2) they move it to whatever position is convenient for them, (3) they want it anywhere that excludes water baptism. That is the teaching. The people who propagate this now are Cornelius Stam and Baker, who publish the Berean Searchlight and several commentaries. Although these people have some sound thoughts about the difference between the Petrine ministry and Pauline ministry, when it comes to dispensational truth none of them could tell you when this dispensation started if their life depended upon it. I'll give you a sample of the conversation I have had with eight of them on eight different occasions through a period of twenty years. The conversations run like this:
"Brother Ruckman, can you show me one verse in the Bible that commands us to be baptized in water?"
Yes, I can.
Matthew 28:19, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
"Brother Ruckman, doctrinally that refers to the Tribulation."
Well sure, it may refer dispensationally to the Tribulation, but some things that refer to the Tribulation can refer to the church age.
"For example, what?"
I'll give you a good example. Revelation 12 says, "They overcame" the devil "by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." That's as good a "church age doctrine" as you ever found in all your life.
"Yes, but you know this can't be dispensationally true here because in the Book of Acts they didn't baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. They baptized in the name of Jesus."
No, you missed a statement in Acts 10 where they were baptized in the name of the Lord.
"Well, that was the name of Jesus."
No, you missed it again. Matthew 28 says to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Cornelius in Acts 10 was a Gentile.
"Well, Brother Ruckman, can you give a verse in the Pauline epistles that commands water baptism?"
First Corinthians 11:1, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."
"Now, Brother Ruckman, you know that Paul's baptism in the Book of Acts was a Jewish proselyte baptism of Ananias and you shouldn't follow that."
No, you're wrong. I'm not told to follow the guy that baptized Paul. I'm told to follow Paul. We should follow Paul's practice. Paul was baptized.
"But under a different dispensation in Acts 9."
Oh, I don't know about that. He is baptizing his converts in Acts 16. Someone is in trouble.
So, when these fellows come in, they always come in like that. And finally they will come out and say, "Well, Brother Ruckman, we just don't believe water baptism is for the church age." And when they say that, you ask them when this age started and I'll bet you a dollar to a doughnut that fellow will talk fifteen minutes without saying anything after you ask him that question. He will quote Ephesians 2. He will quote Ephesians 3. He will run around in the Book of Acts. He will run over to Romans. He will spend that time demonstrating his great proficiency in the scriptures, but there is something he will not tell you. He will not tell you when the church age started. I said to one of these fellows one time, "When did this age start?" After forty minutes he admitted that he didn't know. And I said, "Well, you crazy fool, what are you doing telling my people that water baptism is not for this age when you don't even know when this age started?" That is like a man saying the animals couldn't get in the ark because the ark was too small and you ask the man how big the ark was and the fool doesn't even know. That is the kind of thing you are dealing with when you are dealing with a hyper-dispensationalist. And if you want to pin the man right down, you pin him down with where did the Body of Christ start.
The next problem we have with these track runners is that if you ever convince them that the "Body" starts in Acts 2, they will say, "Then we have to have tongues like Acts 2. We have to share our property like Acts 2. Why don't we follow Acts 2 practice?" The answer to that is very simple. We don't follow Acts 2 practice because in Acts 2 when the events took place we had not had the full revelation and Simon Peter, who speaks, doesn't know what is going on doctrinally. That is the answer to that. There is no indication that Simon Peter knows all the truths of the New Testament in Acts 2 when he preaches. He is going by the light he has and with the light he has he is pointing to the truth. He is speaking just to Israel. He is preaching that you have to be baptized in water to receive the Holy Ghost. And, of course, in that case it is true. Later it is not true. You say, "How do you know that later it is not?" Because we are plainly told in Acts 10 that while Simon Peter was preaching "...the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word." They didn't have to get baptized to get the Holy Ghost. They got the Holy Ghost before they were baptized. That is why the Church of Christ preacher will never read the Book of Acts. You will find him stopped in Acts 2 every time and subjecting the whole Bible to Acts 2, because in Acts 10 they didn't have to be baptized in water to receive the Holy Ghost.
So, these dispensationalists cannot tell you where the church age starts, but if you ever convince him that it starts at a certain place he will get rid of it by saying, "Why don't we then practice what they practiced back then?" The answer is because we have an advanced revelation. Now, once you say that (I mean, these fellows are all alike. A toad frog has more sense. You can't predict which way a toad frog will jump, but you can predict which way these fellows will jump every time.) they will say, "Well, Ephesians 4 is an advanced revelation about 'one Spirit' that Paul didn't have when he baptized his converts and so, therefore, we shouldn't do it anymore." That is their answer. Of course, all this is simply nonsense. If Paul knew perfectly well that he had done wrong in baptizing people with water, don't you know there would have been a whole chapter devoted to it? For example, did you notice the difference in Simon Peter in Acts 11 when he found out that he had been wrong in telling the people they had to be baptized in water to get the Holy Ghost? Why, when Peter rehearses the matter he says in Acts 11:15-18, "And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." When Simon Peter found out that a man didn't have to be baptized in water to receive the Holy Ghost, he explained it, made a speech on it, rehearsed it, gave it to the brethren, and then made a final declarative statement on it in Acts 15:11, "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they."
What makes you think Paul would have done any differently if he had found out that it was wrong to baptize converts in water? And when you do that these track runners run around the track to 1 Corinthians and say, "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel," which is not in the Bible. You say, "Yes, it is." No, it is not.
I only quoted half the verse and I also left out the context.
You see, these people are all alike.
The man who will stand up and say, "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel," if he were a Campbellite would say, "Baptism doth also now save us." These people are all the same people and the same crowd. The context of 1 Corinthians 1:17, "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel," has nothing at all to do with the doing away of water baptism because of any advanced revelation at all. The context, verses 14, 15, 16, 17, is plainly dealing with arguments of people about who baptized them, and Paul was thanking God that he hadn't been responsible for that lest they claim him against the rest. Look at verse 13. And that isn't all. Right in the context it says that he baptized Crispus and Gaius and the household of Stephanas and some more whose names he had forgotten.
This is very typical of the heretic, taking the text out of the context. From these verses the great superstructure that Cornelius Stam has put up has been erected. It is a superstructure that says that the eleven apostles of Matthew 28 were sent just to baptize (which is not the truth) and that Paul is not sent to baptize at all (which is not the truth either). The truth of the matter is that even though Paul was not sent primarily to baptize, he did baptize his converts. Why would he be sent primarily to baptize anyway when he wasn't a pastor and didn't have a local congregation? He was a traveling evangelist.
It is not true that the apostles were sent just to baptize. They were sent to baptize, to preach the remission of sins, to teach all nations and to be witnesses unto Jesus Christ (Acts 1). So, this is how you get people into trouble. You just give them part of the truth and you don't give them all the truth.
Now we're right back at the question again. Where did the Body of Christ begin? If the Body begins in Acts 28, you couldn't find a verse to prove anybody ought to be baptized in water. Of course, you would still have a problem because the mystery was given to Paul, and Paul was baptized in water. If the Body of Christ didn't begin until Acts 28, then Paul wasn't in the Body which was revealed to him for nearly thirty years of his lifetime. Now that's a "stroke," isn't it? That isn't all! If the Body doesn't begin until Acts 18, Paul wasn't in the Body for about ten years of his lifetime. When did he get in the Body? He said, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body...." When did the Spirit baptize Paul into the Body of Christ? You see, the thing is nebulous and goes on and on and on.
I am going to take you through Ephesians 2 and 3 and show you the foundation texts for hyper-dispensationalism, and then we will see if they have any validity or bearing upon the truth. In Ephesians 3 I am going to read this thing exactly as Cornelius Stam and Bullinger read it. They read it that a "thing cannot be revealed until it is present" and that if a thing is not revealed it is not there. They all vehemently deny this and yet, having dealt with these fellows through a period of years, I can tell you that there is not one of them who believes a thing can be there unless it is revealed. That will not be hard to prove in a minute.
Now I am going to read it like Stam reads it. "For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the age of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward" (Eph. 3:1, 2). So, they make one age the "Dispensation of Grace," you see? And, of course, that isn't the sentence at all. He is talking about God dispensing grace to Paul. Do you see "If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward." He is not talking about a period of time where grace is operative. Why, the Bible says that "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." Noah is in a dispensation of grace, if you go to divide them up. "How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed (when it took place) unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given to me..." (Eph. 3:3-7). See how that matches verse 2? "...Given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given..." (vv. 7, 8). There it goes again. See?
Three times you are told that the dispensation was the handing out of grace to Paul. It had nothing to do with any period of time. "...That I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God." The trouble with this reading is that somebody is confounding when the thing took place with the time it was revealed. That isn't all. Paul was writing this to the Ephesians and he was dealing with the Ephesians back in the Book of Acts in chapter 19 and chapter 20, and at this time he already knows the mystery. That isn't the worst of it. The worst of it is that 1 Corinthians (written about this time) also speaks of the "mystery" in 1 Corinthians 12. Paul knew about the mystery before Acts 18. Therefore we should never confound the revelation of the mystery with when the thing took place.
Of course, that is the basic error in all the writings of Cornelius Stam and Baker and O'Hare and the men who follow them. There are many of these followers now in every city who take the Berean Searchlight. I know many of these men by name. They all have the same operation. They will travel hundreds of miles to meet together and tear up Baptist doctrine and they like to slip into Baptist churches as "Bible teachers" or "students" to take people out and form new groups and then they begin to fight among themselves and break up and start other groups. That is the history of this movement. This movement is an apostate movement exactly like Seventh-day Adventism or any cult or heresy.
I was talking to one of these men the night before last (a young fellow who had just got saved and who is in a Nazarene church and plays the piano and organ). He was in a position where God could use him. He could have been a great blessing,b ut he got hung up on some of Stam's books and "he ain't worth shootin'" any more and never will be. They never recover. I've talked to scores of them. They never recover. Once they get hung they are hung up. All they can see is "water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink." I talked to the young man about these things we are talking about right here and I asked him about fifteen times when the Body began and he never could tell me. Finally I said to him, "Well, what have I got in my pocket?" He said, "I don't know what you have got in your pocket." I said, "Then does that mean it's not there?" He said, "Oh, yes, Stam tells us the Body was in the mind of God." I said, "I'm talking about something being there." He said, "Oh, yes, Stam says it was in the mind of God." I said, "I don't give a flip whether it was in the mind or out of the mind of God. What I want to know is when did it start." He didn't know when it started.
We Bible-believing Baptists have taught two things for many years. We have taught that the local church did not begin at Pentecost. This is perfectly clear in the passage in Matthew 16 and 18, the calling out of the twelve, and in the commissioning of this local church in Matthew 28 and Acts 1. This group has a roll of 120 names on it n Acts 1. It had a treasurer who died and was replaced in Acts 1 and Matthew 26. It had a leader who was spokesman for the group, Simon Peter, Acts 1 and 2. It was a local, called out assembly, called out and chosen by the Lord. As such, it was a Jewish church. It certainly had Jews and Gentiles in it after Pentecost. This local church became an organism. It became more than an organization at Pentecost. It became a living organism, and its members were placed in Christ by a baptism of the Holy Spirit. When Paul says, "...one Spirit...one Lord, one faith, one baptism," he can only refer to the same Holy Spirit and to the same baptism that put the Pentecostal disciples, Cornelius' family, the apostle Paul himself and the Ephesians into the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13).
At this point the roar goes up from the bleachers and these poor deluded fools pipe up with, "This can't be because the same phenomena didn't happen." The answer to that is ppphhhuuuutt! That is the answer to that. The Lord has all kinds of phenomena. He can do it any way He wants to. Throughout the Book of Acts He changes a dozen times. In the Book of Acts one bunch of people have to be baptized to get the Holy Ghost, Acts 2; another group gets the Holy Ghost before they are baptized, Acts 10; another man is born again before he is baptized in water, Acts 9; another bunch of people believe and are saved and are baptized without receiving the Holy Ghost, Acts 8; another bunch of people get saved and get baptized and don't talk in tongues until hands are laid on them, Acts 19. For you to say that the Body of Christ couldn't "be there" because the "phenomena" varies is the utmost of something or other when Paul said that there is one baptism, one body and one Spirit. You can't get a Body other than Christ's Body from Acts 2 to Acts 9. That would make two bodies.
This brings up a point now that is going to blow the whole system to pieces. The point is this. Were Peter, James and John in "the Body"? Now that is the crux. If you want to mess up Stam, Baker and O'Hare to where they will never get back on their feet again, you ask them if Peter, James and John were in the Body of Christ and, if so, when did they get in.
I will show you why I say this. Take your Bible and turn to John 17. Look at the words. John 17:6, "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world...." There's Peter, James and John. "...Thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word." There's Peter, James and John. Verse 9, "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me...." There's Peter, James and John. Verse 10, "And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them." There's Peter, James and John. Verse 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, same bunch. Now, watch it. Verse 21, "That they all may be one;..." Not two, one. "...As thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us...." How do you get two bodies and two spirits out of that? And how do you get Peter, James and John in Christ and yet not in His Body, you Campbellite? Verse 23, "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one...."
This is the difference between a Bible-believing Baptist and a Bible-rejecting ultra-dispensationalist. The Bible-believing Baptist believes that Jesus meant what He said and said what He meant; that He was in Peter, James and John; that Peter, James and John were in Him; that this high priestly prayer was answered and that the only place it could have been answered was at Pentecost. How could Christ have gotten into them before then? He had no "Body" for them to be in then and was sitting opposite them. He didn't come into them when He rose from the dead. He simply breathed upon them and said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost." There is only one place where "one Spirit" could have baptized Peter, James and John into "one body" and this one body that one Spirit baptizes into is the same one mentioned in Corinthians and Ephesians; one Spirit, one body, one baptism.
In Ephesians (when he is talking about one baptism) Paul is not talking about one baptism to the exclusion of all others as a form. He is talking about the baptism that saves. That is perfectly apparent from the context. The context of Ephesians 4 is not "break off fellowship with all the folks who get baptized in water." The context says, "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." There is nothing in Ephesians 4 about getting together and tearing up all the churches of folks who got baptized in water. The statement there is that there is one real baptism that saves a man and it is the baptism that puts him into Christ, the Holy Spirit. You can't beat that thing with a stick. The fact that Cornelius Stam and O'Hare and Baker were too dumb to think that God couldn't use multiple means or multiple methods in manifesting things throughout the Book of Acts with the same Spirit and the same baptism is just a testimony to their infidelity and their ignorance.
If Peter, James and John were not in Jesus Christ, you are not either, and neither was Paul. Do you think Christ's high priestly prayer was rejected? He prayed that prayer to the Father and said, "Father, I want to be in them and them in me and the same relationship that I am in you and you in me." That is the relationship of the "mystery Body" of Ephesians 1, 2 and 3, and don't you ever doubt it for a minute.
That is not all. Turn to Ephesians 2 and begin at verse 19-- speaking now to Gentile believers, Paul says, "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone."
Baker got in such a fit here that he invented eight new different apostles out of Paul's friends and tried to prove that it was those apostles referred to in Ephesians 2, but that didn't work because in Ephesians 4:11, where "e gave some, apostles," those things took place right after the ascension. Look at Ephesians 4:9-10. That won't work at all because there are "prophets in the Body of Christ" (Eph. 4:11-12) where the "mystery Body" is mentioned. You can't beat it. The apostles were in the Body. So were the prophets. And they were not the new apostles that came up after Paul. That won't work. Look at Ephesians 2:19-3:1, "...The apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. For this cause...." When faced with these scriptures, Stam, Baker, O'Hare, Moore, Bullinger and the rest of them did a flip-flop and insisted that 19 through 22 had nothing to do with the Body. Yet Ephesians 3:1 said "For this cause," and he goes right into the revelation about the Body.
But, that isn't the worst of it. Go back to Ephesians 2 and look at verse 11 and notice that when Paul is discussing the household of God and the habitation, the foundation of the building, he was making reference to the Body of Christ. Ephesians 2:11-15, "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at the time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by" What? "the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who..." (Past tense--not when he got the Body mystery. Not when the mystery was revealed in the late Acts period. Past tense) "having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments...." When did He do this? Verse 16, when He died on the cross, "And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross...." Now, there is the matter. And all this nonsense about "there weren't any Gentiles in Acts 1, 2 and 3 so there couldn't be any Body there because the Body is a joint Body" is just a lot of hot air. The fact the Gentiles didn't enter that Body until they got saved in Acts 10 and in Acts 8 (the Ethiopian eunuch) and the fact that pure Gentiles who weren't Jewish proselytes didn't get into that Body until Acts 13, 14, 15 and 16 does not amount to a hill of beans. The way was made for them to get in there when Jesus Christ died on the cross, verse 16. And it was preached "to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh." It got preached first at Jerusalem to a bunch of Jews and then to those afar off, the Gentiles, "For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father."
Paul told you that the one Spirit that gave the Ephesian Gentile mystery Body people access to the Father gave the Jewish Pentecostal apostles access to the Father following the crucifixion. And there it is. You can't get around that thing if you stay up all night with a Bullingerite.
In closing, let me say this. These people are out to destroy every Bible-believing Baptist church in this country under the pretense of being able to teach you the "deeper things of the Bible." They are bloodsuckers and leeches and I don't know of a case (of all I've known in many years of the ministry) who ever got his own church going. Every one of their churches is made up of members of other churches. They infiltrate Baptist churches and try to teach the people that water baptism is not for this dispensation. And there is not a single one of them who knows when this dispensation even started. When Paul got knocked down on his face in Acts 9 he said, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" And anybody with any sense would immediately remember the words of a dying thief (who died without water baptism, who couldn't join a church, and who was saved by grace through faith pure and simple by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ). The fact that he believed on Jesus as the kingly Messiah instead of the exact manner later revealed in the Pauline epistles doesn't mean anything. When a man begins to tear up his Bible, he can wrongly divide the word of truth as well as rightly divide it. Cornelius Stam has gone so far as to say that the Ethiopian eunuch who got saved by reading Isaiah 53 was not trusting the shed blood and points out to the student that Isaiah 53 is talking about Christ dying for Israel, not Ethiopian eunuchs. To which may be answered an emphatic "ppphhhhhuuuutt!" There is nothing to that type of Bible exegesis. If you find these men fooling around your church and trying to proselyte your young people and holding Bible studies in the homes, then you had better be on your guard. Call your people in and have them read this book and have them check the references.
The truth of the matter is that the Body of Christ was formed with the death of Christ, exactly as Adam had his body formed when he slept the sleep of death and Eve was taken from his side. The fact that the Body did not begin to be built until Pentecost means absolutely nothing. The fact that that Body at first contained Jews only means absolutely nothing. It was destined to have Jews and Gentiles in it and this is the mystery that was revealed to Paul after Acts 9. The fact that it was revealed to Paul after Acts 8 has no bearing upon when it started at all. It was there years before Paul was saved. His kinsmen were "in Christ" before he was in Chist. He persecuted Christ in the person of the saints in Acts 7 and 8 because they were part of the Body of Christ. This Body is called the church of God in Galatians 1:13, and you are told in 1 Corinthians 10, 11 and 12 that the church of God is composed of Jew and Gentile (1 Cor. 12:13).
What has this got to do with water baptism? Just this. Even if John the Baptist's water baptism was to manifest Christ to Israel, which it was, even if Simon Peter's water baptism "for repentance" was so that God could give the Holy Spirit to Israel, even though the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch was after he was saved by grace through faith, and even though the baptism of Paul was for purification of sin, the salient fact remains that the Author and Finisher of our faith, the Lord Jesus Christ, was baptized in water, the eleven apostles who followed Him and wrote part of your New Testament were baptized in water, and Paul was baptized in water and baptized some of his converts in water. And there is no way out of these great palin truths. I don't care how swift and smooth and witty and adept you are in judging the scriptures and wresting the scriptures, you cannot beat those three great salient truths. The apostle who said, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ," submitted to water baptism. And when Paul told a man how to get saved by grace through faith in Acts 16, he let him follow the Lord in baptism. And although Paul was not sent primarily to baptize, he did baptize. And although he may not have given a clear commandment in the Pauline epistles on the relation of water baptism to the Body of Christ, he certainly left the matter open and certainly set the example himself and certainly never repented of his own baptism or told anybody to repent of theirs. "All unrighteousness is sin." And if it is not right to get baptized in water, water baptism is a sin and I don't recall one place in the Pauline epistles where Paul ever confessed that "sin." However, I can turn you to five other places where he confessed a dozen sins he committed before he was saved. In his reat statement after he was saved he said, "...Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief." In his great confession of sin as a Christian in Romans 7, Paul never mentioned water baptism one time. Paul followed the Lord in baptism and rested in it content. He only taught that there was one saving baptism, that was the Holy Spirit, and that the same Spirit that put people into the Body of Christ in Acts 2 put them into the Body of Christ in Acts 8, 9, 10, 16, 18, 28 and up until the rapture of the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ. We Bible-believing Baptists don't make too much of an issue out of it because we believe that a man is saved by grace through faith and that baptism is only a figure of salvation, 1 Peter 3:21. But people who follow Cornelius Stam and the ultra-dispensationalists will always make an issue out of it. The only theme song they have is "How dry I am, how dry I am," and their teaching and preaching is as dry as their baptism.
I trust that this will be a blessing to you and that you will search the scriptures to see if these things be so.
WHAT HYPER-DISPENSATIONALISTS TEACH
- There is a period of time called "THE GRACE OF GOD" which began in Acts 9 (Stam, Baker, Moore, Natkins) or in Acts 18 (O'Hare and others) or in Acts 28 (Bullinger, Ballinger, Greaterex).
- Water baptism is not for "THIS AGE" since "THIS AGE" began in Acts 9 or Acts 13 or Acts 18 or Acts 28.
- Bible-believing Baptists are heretics who do not follow "PAULINE" teaching (1 Tim. 1:16).
- Since Paul did not COMMAND anyone to be baptized, it is UNSCRIPTURAL.
- Since Paul was not "SENT TO BAPTIZE," water baptism is PRE-PAULINE (1 Cor. 1).
- The "ONE BAPTISM" of Ephesians 4 automatically cancels water baptism (Moore, Stam, Sharpe, Baker).
THE BIBLE REBUKE OF THE "HYPERS"
- The "DISPENSATION" of Ephesians 3:2 was the grace which God gave to Paul to preach (Eph. 3:7, 1 Cor. 3:10, Col. 1:29). Grace was "DISPENSED" to him. The "GRACE OF GOD" is found in every period of time (Gen. 6:8, Exod. 33:13).
- The age of the ONE BODY and the "church of the ONE BODY" began in Matthew 27 (see Eph. 2:12, 16) with twelve apostles "IN CHRIST" (Rom. 16:7) before Paul was saved (John 17:21, 23).
- Paul was baptized in water (Acts 9:18) and baptized some of his converts (Acts 16:33; 18:8, 1 Cor. 1:14-16), even though he was an evangelist.
- Paul COMMANDED NO ONE to attend church, pass out tracts, proselyte Baptists who are already saved, or argue about water baptism.
- He DID baptize (1 Cor. 1:14-16) and only thanked God that people weren't baptized in his name (1 Cor. 1:14-18). Paul was not sent by Mark 16:16-18 but he is the only apostle who fulfilled that commission.
- The Corinthian converts who were baptized by ONE Spirit into ONE Body (1 Cor. 12:13) were baptized in water (Acts 18:8).
THE HYPER-DISPENSATIONALIST'S PERVERSION OF EPHESIANS 4:5
Stam, Baker, Bullinger, Ballinger and Moore all take Ephesians 4:4-5 out of the context in which it appears (as any Campbellite will also do) and pretend that it is talking about WATER BAPTISM being replaced by spirit baptism. This explains why 95 percent of any "Hyper" CONGREGATION are ex-Baptists.
2. The context of Ephesians 4:4-6 is the unity of the Body of Christ, not "DISUNITY" caused by carnal Christians who say: "I AM OF CHRIST" (1 Cor. 1:12).
3. The same baptism that put Paul into Christ ("WE," 1 Cor. 12:13) put Gentile believers (Corinth, Ephesus) into Christ.
4. The same baptism that put "THE TWELVE" into Christ (Acts 1:5) put the Roman converts into Christ (Rom. 6:1-3; 16:7).
Hypers teach two or three baptisms of the Spirit, although the context of ONE BAPTISM is ONE SPIRIT (Eph. 4:4, 5).
There are seven baptisms (Matt. 3:11; 28:11-20, Acts 2:38, Matt. 20:22, 1 Cor. 10:1-3, Eph. 4:4).
There are MANY lords and gods (1 Cor. 8:5) (note: Eph. 4:5- 6).
FALSE TEACHINGS OF HYPER-DISPENSATIONALISTS
- PETER AND PAUL PREACHED "DIFFERENT" GOSPELS. If they did then Peter was cursed (Gal. 1:8-9). God taught Peter the Gospel in Acts 10:43, which he publicly acknowledges in Acts 15:11, while ALL ARE PRACTICING WATER BAPTISM.
- REPENTANCE SHOULD NOT BE PREACHED IN THIS AGE. Paul preached it constantly (Acts 20:21) and asked exactly what John the Baptist asked for when he preached it (Acts 26:20). Paul did this after writing Romans 16:25-26.
- THE "BODY" COULD NOT HAVE BEEN AT PENTECOST BECAUSE NO ONE MENTIONED IT. Neither did any one mention the complete abolition of the Law (Levitical) or the fulfilling of the Law (Acts 13:38-40) though both (Col. 2:14-16) were accomplished FACTS (Gal. 3:13).
- MATTHEW 28:19-20 IS LIMITED TO THE TRIBULATION. Pure conjecture (see 1 Tim. 6:3, written to saints in "THE ONE BODY"). The "ALL THINGS" of Matthew 28:20 does not include all PRECRUCIFIXION instruction, which is apparent to anyone by comparing Matthew 10:1-10 with Matthew 28:19-20 and John 13-17.
The Tribulation had NOT begun in 33 A.D. Note: "UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD."
5. PAUL WAS DECEIVED ABOUT WATER BAPTISM AND THE "ONE BODY" UNTIL HE WROTE EPHESIANS 3-4 (after Acts 28).
Then he sinned against God in not confessing it.
He sinned against YOU in not telling you straight out in plain clear-cut commands (note: 1 Thess. 5 and Rom. 14) not to make the same mistake.
Every Christian leader in the New Testament was baptized in water: none of them "REPENTED" of such an action.