Archive

Posts Tagged ‘John the Baptist’

The Wednesday Word: A Much Misunderstood Scripture

February 10, 2016 Leave a comment

“Verily I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he Matthew 11:11″

In my early years as a Christian, I was taught that this verse demonstrated that the weakest believer in the New Covenant was greater than John the Baptist. I was told that wee Betty Murphy, a woman who at times neither knew if she was saved or lost was greater than the final prophet of the Old Covenant. Poor little Betty didn’t know the difference between predestination and a bar of soap but, according to the prevalent theory, Betty was greater than the One who faithfully prepared the way of the Lord. I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t get my head around that.

Then one day, I believe God opened my eyes. Who was the least in the Kingdom when this was spoken? Think about it. The least in the Kingdom was none other than the Lord Jesus. To this point, He had, with success, spent His earthly life making Himself the least and the last.

Consider this:

He made Himself the least when He was born to an unwed Jewish teenager.

He made Himself the least when He allowed His first bed to be a feeding trough for cattle.

He made Himself the least when He lived in obscurity for 30 years avoiding recognition.

He made Himself the least as He worked quietly at the carpenter’s bench.

He made Himself the least when, for that entire time, He refused to vaunt His divine attributes.

No one could have guessed that He was God in human flesh appearing for he made himself the least. As we read in Philippians; “….Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:5-8).

He made Himself the least.

Consider the absolutely stunning truth of the Incarnation. God came here Himself! Does this not amaze you? In Heaven, He had been enthroned in majesty and surrounded by at least 100 million worshiping angels (Revelation 5:11). Yet He made Himself the least. Thunder, lightning and voices proceed from His throne (Revelation 4:5)…yet He made Himself the least. He was the absolute sovereign and ruler of all things…yet He made Himself the least.

As we abide in Him, we will find a growing desire to also become the least. It should, therefore, be a foreign thing for the believer to join in conspiracies against the Pastor. How can a person who sees themselves as the least do that? Likewise, it should be an alien practice for the believer to jockey for political power within the Church assembly. After all, we are called to be followers of the One who didn’t try to promote Himself but made Himself the least.

Jesus was the least, yet He was greater than John the Baptist and the Old Covenant. He brought in better promises (Hebrews 8:6) a better hope (Hebrews 7:19), a better covenant (Hebrews 8:6) and a better sacrifice (Hebrews 9:23). To do this, He became the least. He was patient, kind and without envy. He did not seek his own way and was not easily provoked. He took the servant’s place and washed the disciple’s feet and did so because He was the least.

What Matthew 11:11 is telling us is that Jesus, not some stumbling weak saint, is greater than John the Baptist. The New Covenant is greater than the Old. In Christ Jesus we see that the greatest became the least and has now again taken His place as the greatest of all.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

Advertisements

Mopping Up the Trail of Blood: Part 3

By Eric Ayala

For the past two weeks we have been examining “The Trail of Blood” by J.M. Carroll. You can view those posts here: Mopping Up the Trail of Blood: Part 1 and Mopping Up the Trail of Blood: Part 2

Last time we looked at the beliefs of the various groups that J.M. Carroll places in his “Trail of Blood.” Mostly, it was simply a collection of heretics. It would seem that Carroll’s only real criteria of if someone was Baptist or not is that the church in general did not accept them. I know that some who may be adherents of the book may claim that the heretical beliefs mentioned of these groups were mere slander against them from the Papists. The problem however, is that Carroll offers no defense of them or explanation; he never interacts with these groups or their beliefs. Carroll merely mentions their name and then moves on without even linking any of his own marks of Baptist practice or distinctives to them. Not only does Carroll not excuse these groups, he doesn’t even acknowledge there is a problem with them, slanderous or otherwise. They are mere names on a list. There are many other points that we could talk about, but in the end, his thesis is disproven.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Mopping Up the Trail of Blood: Part 2

September 30, 2015 Leave a comment

By Eric Ayala

Last week we examined the problems of J.M. Carroll’s anachronistic understanding of history. That post can be read here Mopping Up the Trail of Blood: Part 1 Because Carroll claims that the Baptist line can be traced through various historical groups; we will thus examine them in this post, as it is central to his thesis. Carroll actually does little to establish these groups with any factual link to Baptists, but nonetheless he does list them in support of his claim.

So what groups comprise this Trail of Blood from his title?

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Mopping Up the Trail of Blood: Part 1

September 23, 2015 Leave a comment

By Eric Ayala

For those who, like me, grew up in an independent, fundamental Baptist church you may be familiar with a little book by J.M. Carroll entitled, “The Trail of Blood: Following the Christians Down through the Centuries or, The History of Baptist Churches from the Time of Christ, Their Founder, to the Present Day.” While that is quite a mouthful to say, this book published in 1931 is commonly referred to as simply, “The Trail of Blood.”

The main thesis of this booklet is that Baptists are not protestants, were thus never part of the Roman Catholic Church and can trace their continued denominational line all the way back to John the Baptist (which Carroll on more than one occasion implies may be a proper denominational name given to John by Christ himself). This post, and the next two that will follow, will examine the claims of the book and show them to be without any historical warrant.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The purification theory about baptism

August 16, 2013 2 comments

broadusChapter 7-2: Baptizo – Classical and Biblical.

But another class of persons endeavor to go deeper, not relying upon the opinions of others. They say, grant that the classical use of baptizo is as the lexicons mentioned teach, that it always means immerse, and kindred ideas; yet the Biblical use is very different, for in the Bible it certainly sometimes means sprinkle or pour. The attempt is made to show this from various passages; really, it seems that so many are tried because it is felt that none of them are exactly conclusive. I should be glad to go over all that have been thus appealed to, but time does not allow that, and I can only mention those which are most frequently relied on, or which seem most plausible.

2. There is the purification theory, put forward by Dr. Edward Beecher and others. In John 3:22-25, we are told that Jesus was baptizing (through his disciples); next, that John also was baptizing, for he was not yet cast into prison; and then it is added: “Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying.” From this it is argued that the word baptize is synonymous with purify. Now baptizing was certainly a very striking form of purification. The fact that baptism was going on might very naturally lead to a discussion between some of John’s disciples and “a Jew” (the correct text) about the general subject of purification and the relation of this to other purifications. Being a peculiar, remarkable, and novel purification, it was perfectly natural that baptism should lead to discussion of the general subject. But why in the world are we to say that the terms baptism and purification are synonymous, that baptism means nothing more definite than purification, and that any form of purification might be called a baptism? Suppose a murder has occurred, and leads some persons into discussion concerning death, are we to conclude that the terms murder and death are synonymous and that any form of death may be called a murder? Yet because the occurrence of baptism led to a discussion concerning purification, we are told that these terms are synonymous and that any form of purification is a baptism. Now upon this assumption rests Dr. Beecher’s theory – a huge inverted pyramid resting upon a single point, and that point a mere assumption and one in itself unwarrantable and unreasonable.

John A. Broadus-Immersion Essential to Christian Baptism

What scripture means when it states “Walk with God”

TEXT: And Enoch walked with God and he was not, for God took him. -Genesis 5:24.

I think it is quite probable that to supply the ellipsis this should read, “and he was not found, for God took him.” To show the reasonableness of thus supplying the ellipsis, we have only to read the collateral passage describing the translation of Elijah in 2 Kings 2:5-18. Now, applying that narrative, I will read over again: “And Enoch walked with God, and he was not, (i.e., he was not found) for God took him to himself.”

The subject which I have selected tonight is one to me of very great interest. “Walking” in the sense used in this text never applies to doctrine; it applies to conduct, to life; as when it is said of Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, that he and his wife, Elizabeth, walked in the commandments of God. In both the Old and the New Testament the word has that signification. For instance, when God said to Solomon, “If thou wilt walk in my ways as thy father David didst walk in my ways,” evidently referring to the life, to the conduct.

Before one’s life can be such as is expressed by this text, there is something implied, something pre-supposed. The prophet Amos asks a question in the 3rd chapter and 3rd verse of the book attributed to him: “How can two walk together except they be agreed?” So that if it be affirmed that two walk together, it is implied that the two are at agreement. And it also follows from the nature of the case that one of the two had been at enmity with the other, and that there has been a reconciliation. So that when we say of any man that he walks with God, it implies that he has been reconciled to God.

It does not mean that God has conformed to him, but that he has conformed to God. It does not mean that the Lord has lowered His standard to suit the man, but that the man’s way has been subordinated to God’s way, and his life to God’s rules. It never implies any kind of a change on the part of God, but always upon the part of man.

B. H. Carroll—Walking with God