Baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment are four areas we must lay to rest in our understanding of Jesus’ perfect work on the cross if we are to move forward in our walk with Him while here on earth.
Hebrews 6:2-3 “of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” 3 And this we will do if God permits”
I know I touched on verse 2 already, but want to go into these four basic principles for the sake of the new Christian studying this verses in case they have questions about each.
(1) The doctrine of baptisms (plural) is not indicating that there are different bodies of Christ that a new convert is baptized into, nor are there different types of baptisms into Christ. Ephesians 4:5 is clear “there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism”, this is the baptism into the body of Christ and not into a specific doctrine. Doctrines are “manmade”, not God ordained. Hence people are missing it when they say “I was baptized Catholic”, I was baptized Pentecostal”, I was baptized whatever”. There are however, different baptisms and water baptism into the body of Christ being the first and foremost. Without this baptism there is no receiving the second whish is baptism with the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that baptizes us into the body of Christ, 1 Corinthians 12:13 says “for by one spirit we are all baptized into one body”. The Greek BAPTIZO, translated as baptism actually means immersed. The water baptism, not the sprinkle as some “manmade doctrines use”, is a natural outward symbol of the spiritual immersion into Christ Jesus. It represents (re-presents) the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the spiritual we were alive with our sin nature, we died in Christ, and spiritually we have already risen in Christ and are in the presence of God, Ephesians 2:6 “…and raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. This is the water baptism is about that a new believer goes through. It is not the washing away of the sins; the blood of Jesus did that. Water baptism is different than the baptism of John the Baptist and Jesus spoke of and what we are being immersed into are different. As I just mentioned it is the Holy Spirit that baptizes us into Jesus, 1 Corinthians 12:3, and Ephesians 3:5. It is Jesus that baptizer with the Holy Spirit, Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, and John 1:33. I want to point out that being baptized into Jesus is to receive the God head trinity. Some Pentecostal beliefs are that if a person does not have the Holy Spirit they are not saved, that is just wrong. The Trinity is three persons in one, God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit; there is nothing partial with God. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the second purpose of Jesus Christ’s coming. First to die for our sins and second to restore man’s open communication “fellowship” with God through the Holy Spirit. I suggest reading the last chapter of Luke and the first two chapters of Acts for greater revelation. Baptism with the Holy Spirit is to be filled to the fullest with the Spirit of God, and He is our guarantee (2 Corinthians 1:22, 5:5, Ephesians 1:14), and gives us the same power on earth as Jesus did Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8 as spoken of by Jesus Himself. The “greater works shall you do” (John 14:12), also spoken by
Jesus is all of the Christian’s that are filled with the Holy Spirit and doing the same work Jesus did while He was here walking on earth as a Man. Matthew 10:7-8, Luke 9:2, & Luke 10:9.
(2) There are two types of laying on of hands. The laying on of hands for the purpose of impartation of spiritual gifts and anointing, Acts 8:18, 1 Timothy 4:14, 2 Timothy 1:6, and the twenty one verses in Matthew, Mark, and Luke where Jesus touched the sick to heal them. In Matthew 10:9, Luke 9:2, & Luke 10:9 Jesus tells us to heal the sick and in John 14:12 that greater works then these we shall do. Therefore the laying on of hands to heal the sick is just of the signs of the power of God flowing through the believer to validate the gospel of the blood of Jesus.
(3) The resurrection of the dead is an argument that goes back as far as the Pharisees and Sadducees. This is the hinge point of the faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. If a person does not truly believe that Jesus rose from the dead than there is nothing else to stand on nor any other reason to become a follower of Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 15:15-16, & 29 & 32. For all of man there will be a raising of the dead, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 which is the description of the rapture of the believers in Jesus Christ. The dead will rise first and then those of us who are alive will be caught up with them.
(4) The truth of eternal judgment is spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46 referencing when Jesus comes into His glory all the nations meaning all of mankind will be separated into Goats and Sheep; the sheep being the believers of Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior and the goats being the ones who deny Jesus as their Lord. Revelations 20:11-15 is a clear picture of the final judgment of man, where those in Christ will have eternal life in the presence of God and Jesus, and those who are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be cast into the Lake of Fire which is the second death. (Note: the first death of man is the death of the flesh, but the second death is the everlasting death of the spirit. But to get the full understanding of exactly what the judgment is over we must look back at what Jesus spoke in John 3:16-19. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
As you can clearly see the issue of sin between man and God was dealt with on the cross with the blood of Jesus, therefore sin is no longer the issue, but the condemnation is a result of not accepting the free gift of salvation by believing on Jesus as one’s Lord and savior. Also it is clear that on the foundation of these four principles the body of Christ which is what we call “the church”, truly leaves no level of discussion or re-establishment. Hence the writer of Hebrews was telling the Jews and consequently us today to no longer get hung up on these principles, but rather accept them by faith and then move on to a full life in Christ while here on earth.
Verse 3 is actually a redundant statement according to what Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:11-14, “11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,”.
It is obvious that God wants us to grow to the fullest in Christ and not be stuck at the beginning our entire lives.
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