…where translated baptism means to dip or immerse. And it must mean that because we are baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus. So then, sprinkling is not baptism; it’s sprinkling. Now, the point was made that those who believe receive, and if there isn’t enough faith then the miracles don’t happen. I can remember living in Zambia for a couple of years and all the time the posters for miracle crusades would say, “Come [to the meeting] expecting a miracle”. And if it didn’t happen, well you didn’t have faith. And I can’t see this at all, because some of those healed in the first century did not have faith. Do you remember the man who was lame. And they say to him after he’s healed, “Who’s the man (it was Jesus) who said take up your bed?” But he who was healed didn’t know who Jesus was. Later on, Jesus says to a blind man who’s been healed. He finds him afterwards and says, “Do you believe on the son of God?” and he says, “Well, who is he that I may believe on him?” The miracle was done but that man didn’t believe. The widow’s dead son, when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her…but the son didn’t believe, nor apparently did she. Or when Peter cuts off the ear of the high priest’s servant… and the Lord heals the servant. The servant didn’t believe and yet the miracle was still done. So all the focus on ‘You’ve got to believe, you’ve got to believe and then you’ll see a miracle’ is not quite so. That’s not how it was in the first century.
Now again, maybe I didn’t quite understand this right. But the point was made that we’re living in the last days and according to Joel the gifts are going to be poured on in the last days. I don’t deny that, that is indeed what Joel says. But let’s just see, in more detail, what he says. Israel is going to be invaded (I can see that happening any moment now) and the attacking army is going to be destroyed. And then they repent and they live in fellowship with God. Now that’s not so yet, Israel has not yet repented. “And it shall come to pass afterward (that is after these things), that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh”. Now that’s not been fulfilled now, and it’s pretty clear it hasn’t because the spirit isn’t poured out upon all flesh. Not upon flesh, but upon all flesh. Now it seems to me the context is specifically talking about all the nation of Israel. Now, the fact that one or two people may claim to possess the Holy Spirit does not mean that “all flesh” has received the Holy Spirit. So I really don’t think we can apply Joel 2 as being fulfilled now because it’s going to be fulfilled after certain things have happened.
Now, we’ve been referred to the Comforter, that this is in fact what’s possessed today. But the Comforter, as I’ve said, will enable you to do greater miracles, the Lord said, than what he had done. Now, the dead were raised, men without limbs were given limbs, and I really challenge anyone to say that those miracles are done today. The less visible, internal healings which are claimed, I’m not denying any of these things…I can’t deny them. But what we’re saying is that miracles done after the pattern of the first century by the miraculous gifts... Where are they? Because where are limbs being restored? Where are the dead being raised? It simply is not happening.
So are we saying that those wonderful words about the Comforter have absolutely no relevance to us at all, but it was all like a piece of Bible history? No, we’re not saying that. The Comforter did in it’s first instance refer to the miraculous gifts that were possessed in the first century. For example, “he shall bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I said to you.” And that, as we say, could only apply to those who had actually been with Jesus in his ministry. The Comforter, we’re told, will guide you into all truth. It will guide you to all truth. But how is it, therefore, that those who…
Two minutes, four minutes total.