Tag Archive | J. Mark Jordan

But, What Does The Bible Say?

But, What Does The Bible Say?
By J. Mark Jordan

We who believe in Jesus’ name baptism and the infilling of the Holy Ghost as evidenced by speaking in other tongues often find ourselves challenged by those who dismiss these doctrines. I have to say that I am always amazed by such arguments. To me, the glorious name of Jesus, taken in water baptism, is its own best advertisement. The glow on a person’s face as he or she comes up out of the water says it all. And anyone who has experienced the baptism of the Holy Ghost has personal knowledge of the power and glory it brings.

But these subjective experiences do not comprise the main reasons we enthusiastically preach Acts 2:38. A number of solid, strong principles form the basis for what we believe and teach. Take a look:

Clear and Simple Bible Commands.

Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost ” How could it be stated more simply? Also, Acts 10:48. “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord ”

An Easy-to~follow Scriptural Pattern.

As recorded in John 3:5, Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God ” The water and spirit pattern recurs time and again in the scripture.

Many Supporting Scriptures.

While we cannot list them all, many scriptures refer to the importance of Jesus’ name, water baptism, spirit baptism, tongues and so on. For example, look at Acts 8:1516. “Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) ”

Convincing Old Testament Typology.

Our doctrine is not based upon the Old Testament, but it is foreshadowed there. Check out the-references to the Red Sea crossing as a type of baptism. (I Corinthians 10:1-4) In the brazen altar, we see repentance; in the lever of water we see baptism; in the Holy Place, we see the Holy Ghost baptism prefigured. All of these elements of typology point us toward the substance of the New Testament.

Strong Biblical Exegesis.

When it comes down to actual meanings contained in scriptural passages and contexts, one cannot get around the truth. Apostolic doctrine derives from the preaching and example of the original Apostles, as seen both from common sense and context standpoints. For example, to “call upon” the name of Jesus in baptism means to “invoke,” (Acts 22:16) thus explaining why we insist on the name of Jesus Christ being spoken over the baptismal candidate.

The Original Language Supports It.

No where is this better illustrated than in the case of baptism’s purpose. Baptism for the remission of sins as mentioned in Acts 2:38 means for the purpose of or in order to. Every credible translation, along with Greek lexicons is unshakable on this. Apostolic doctrine enjoys rock solid support in the original language.

Are we making too much of scripture? Shouldn’t we soften our position to avoid being narrow or judgmental? Such characterizations of our beliefs expose the values of the critics own belief system. Once
one gets started rationalizing away the Scripture in order to accommodate beliefs held by those he is not willing to offend, he enters the murky water of “nothing matters”. Does the Bible contain other truths? Yes, but not contradictory truths. Let us be careful not to negate the Acts of the Apostles because we prefer something less demanding.

“But, what does the Bible say?” This question will continue to be the right question to ask. We believe the Apostolic doctrine, not because we are judgmental, not because we think ourselves superior, end not because we’re locked in a time warp. We believe it because it is what the Bible teaches. We have no better definition of truth.

The Above Material Was Published By The Challenger, Page 10, November 1998. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.

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The Doctrine Of The Baptism Of The Holy Ghost

The Doctrine Of The Baptism Of The Holy Ghost
By J. Mark Jordan

Few topics are as exciting as the baptism of the Holy Ghost. What a dynamic personal experience it is! Many lives have been totally changed by its transforming power. But the personal nature of this baptism is not the sole reason that it should command our attention. We must also consider it from a scriptural perspective. When we do, it is clear that it is a profoundly important part of the Scriptures.

The Holy Ghost baptism represents a quantum leap from the Age of Law to the Age of the Spirit. In Old Testament times, most people perceived God as an awesome and remote being. While some men, notably King David, seemed to break through this barrier to enjoy a personal relationship with God, the majority of Israelites reached God only through the mediatorship of the priesthood. Yet men wanted to know God for themselves.

In Ezekiel 36:26-27, God promised that one day His people would have a close individual relationship with Him. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes. ” This prophecy inched toward reality with the prediction of Joel 2:28: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh. ” The day was soon to come when God would be more than an overshadowing deity, and even more than an incarnate God who dwelt with men; He would be an indwelling Spirit who deposited His very nature into human vessels.

A Unique Experience

What is the baptism of the Holy Ghost? As we answer this question, we must keep in mind that God is a Spirit (John 4:24). This is the manner in which He exists. Since a spirit has no physical form, and therefore no bodily limitations, God can place Himself within a person’s soul, or heart, as it pleases Him. In its purest definition then, the Holy Ghost baptism is the act whereby God’s Spirit comes to dwell within a person’s heart.

Acts 2:1-4 records in detail the first time this happened. While several signs accompanied this event the end result was that the people present were “filled with the Holy Ghost” Of course, God, being omnipresent, fills all space. But the baptism of the Holy Ghost goes beyond this attribute of God. It is a unique experience that occurs within the soul of the believer. Jesus described it by saying, “Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). This baptism is a singular experience that remains in a class by itself. As such, it is separate from any other event in a person’s relationship to God and not to be confused with other spiritual experiences.

It is not belief, although it is received by faith. Paul asked the Ephesian disciples, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” (Acts 19:2). Belief paves the way for the subsequent reception of the Holy Ghost.

It is not commitment to Christ. Paul made a commitment to Christ immediately after he knew that Jesus was speaking to him from heaven on the road to Damascus. This was before he had received the gift of the
Holy Ghost. (See Acts 9:17.)

It is not water baptism. At the revival in Samaria the people were baptized in water before they received the Holy Ghost. (See Acts 8:16.)

It is not devotion, generosity, visions, or angelic visitations. Cornelius possessed all of these things, but he did not receive the Holy Ghost baptism until Peter came and preached to him. (See Acts 10:1-4.) No, the Holy Ghost as a gift is not to be confused with any other spiritual quality, manifestation, or act.

Tongues is the Initial Evidence

There is a single, common element present every time a person receives the Holy Ghost: speaking in tongues. Tongues is the initial evidence that the Spirit has come in. Isaiah’s prohesied of this: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people” (Isaiah 28:11). Tongues appears in the first account of the Holy Ghost outpouring. “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4). Acts 10:45-46 states very clearly that tongues is the initial evidence: “And they. . .were astonished. . .because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues. ” Acts 19:6 is a further example that tongues accompanies the Holy Ghost baptism.

Tongues as the sign of receiving the Holy Ghost are not to be confused with the “gift of tongues” used for public messages in church services (I Corinthians 12:10). The phenomenon is the same in both cases, but there are major differences between the two uses. First, the “gift of tongues” is only for some, while the gift of the Holy Ghost is for everyone. Second, the “gift of tongues” is regulated in public
worship as to frequency, necessity of interpretation, and purpose. No such regulations apply to the gift of the Holy Ghost. A study of Acts 2:1-13 shows that the restrictions of I Corinthians 14:22-28 are not applicable to receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

The Father’s Promise

Jesus specifically promised the Holy Ghost baptism to all believers. “And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be bapsized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:5). On the Day of Pentecost, Peter confirmed that the upper room experience was the very event Jesus had foretold. “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear” (Acts 2:32-33).

Then Peter informed his awestruck listeners that they too could receive this marvelous gift. “And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:38-39). The early church expected everyone to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. This explains why Paul asked the Ephesian disciples in Acts
19:2: “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” The promise of the Holy Ghost is a definite experience that every believer can and should have.

A Personal Miracle

The Holy Ghost baptism is not merely a general transfer of authority that the church received on its inaugural day. It is a personal experience for each individual believer. Each person received tongues of fire (Acts 2:3). All were filled (Acts 2:4). In Samaria, hands were laid on them (Acts 8:17). All the Gentiles present received the Spirit (Acts 10:44). All the Ephesian disciples received the Spirit (Acts 19:6-7). Jesus said, “Except a man be born. . . of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).

In fact, the personal aspect of a person’s relationship to God is a central theme of the New Testament. I Corinthians 12 sounds this theme emphatically in its discussion of the body of Christ. We are called “members in particular” (I Corinthians 12:27). Even though we are members of the general body, we each have an individual relationship to God. Moreover, we know God is really in us because of the gift of the Spirit. “And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us” (I John 3:24; see also 4:13). The Holy Ghost baptism becomes our personal miracle. Once a person has received it, he can stand against skeptics with confidence, and he is sustained through the darkest of trials. A critic cannot easily set aside a bona fide experience with God.

Since the baptism of the Holy Ghost is a personal experience, there are personal manifestations when someone receives it. Tongues, as we have seen, is the unique, universal sign. Other manifestations may be unusual behavior that reminded the hostile crowd at Pentecost of drunkenness (Acts 2:13), witnessing of God’s wonderful works (Acts 2:11), perhaps other outward evidences that impressed Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:17-20), personal healings or deliverances as a simultaneous blessing (Acts 9:17-18), worship that magnifies God (Acts 10:46), and prophecies (Acts 19:6). These are not acts of a corporate body or a general fellowship. Rather, they indicate individual and personal experiences.

God’s Power at Work

But while the Holy Ghost baptism is a glorious experience, it is far more meaningful than that. The Holy Spirit is God’s power at work in the believer’s life, and this power enables the believer to witness. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:” (Acts 1:8). Acts 4:31 reinforces this truth: “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. ” Power over Satan also comes through the Spirit: “Because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world ” (I John 4:4).

Actually, the whole concept of the Christian walk is necessarily spiritual. The theme of the entire eighth chapter of Romans is life in the Spirit. It is the Holy Ghost baptism that thrusts the believer into this new and fascinating realm.

Birth of the Spirit

Jesus made it clear that the baptism of the Holy Ghost is a new spiritual birth. “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God ” (John 3:5). Three verses later, he used an analogy strikingly similar to the dramatic event on the Day of Pentecost. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it
goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). A baptized believer knows he is born again when he receives the Holy Ghost.

We often hear the expression today, “accept Christ” or “receive Christ.” How may someone do this? By receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost! “For he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16-18). Whenever the Bible speaks of Christ dwelling in the believer, it has reference to the Spirit baptism (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 3:16-17).

If a person has not yet received his personal baptism of the Spirit, he should continue to seek until he does. This requires, above all, faith in Christ (John 7:38-39). It means diligent seeking until he is rewarded (Hebrews 11:6). It comes through worship, prayer, and supplication to God (Acts 1:14). It is a result of obedience to the Word of God (Acts 5:32). None of these requirements are difficult. When a person bursts into this new realm, he will be amazed at the ease with which it happens.

We can rest assured that God wants each person to receive His Spirit. Receiving the Spirit will be the most glorious day the seeker has ever known. No one should let anything stand in his way until this day dawns in beautiful splendor into his life!


About The Author

J. Mark Jordan, raised in Jackson, Michigan attended Texas Bible College Later he received a B.S. in Human Relations from the University of Toledo. He and his wife Sandy evangelized several years before he became Associate Pastor to First Apostolic Church, Toledo, OH. In 1978 he founded Apostolic Christian Academy. He served the Ohio District as Youth President, UPCI, from 1977 to 1983. Since 1983 he has pastored First Apostolic Church, Toledo, OH. He has written numerous articles for Pentecostal publications. He now resides with his wife Sandy and three children in suburban Toledo.

The Above Material Was Taken From Measures Of Our Faith, And Published By Word Aflame Press, 1987, Pages 47-54. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.

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The Doctrine of Water Baptism

The Doctrine of Water Baptism
By J. Mark Jordan

Anyone who begins a serious study of the New Testament soon faces the prominence of water baptism, both as a practice and as a doctrine in the apostolic community. John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter, Philip, Paul and other major New Testament preachers proclaimed baptism as an integral part of their mission. The strong emphasis in the New Testament church, along with foreshadowing in the Old Testament, makes a powerful case for water baptism’s importance. This chapter will discuss Old Testament types pointing to baptism, the meaning of baptism, early church practice, and baptism as a factor in salvation.

Types Pointing to Baptism

Many Bible students see a foreshadowing of baptism as early as Genesis 1:2: “Darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. ” Perhaps God ordained a baptism to bring order and life to a chaotic earth. An even clearer indication can be seen a few chapters later when God indeed “baptized” the earth in Noah’s day. (See Genesis 7:11.) In fact, the New Testament uses the flood as a type of baptism. “The like figure [type] whereunto even baptism cloth also now save us” (I Peter 3:21).

Later events in Hebrew history serve as outstanding types of water baptism. According to I Corinthians 10:1-4, the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt through the Red Sea passage is a beautiful portrayal of water baptism. As the water separated God’s children from Egypt, so baptism separates from sin. As the Red Sea became the path to life for Israel, so water baptism becomes the path to life for the believer. As the Egyptians were covered with the same water that saved the Israelites, so the baptismal flow covers our sins.

The laver of water outside the Tabernacle also points to water baptism. (See Exodus 30:17-21.) This truth is accentuated by the very placement of the laver directly between the brazen altar (a type of repentance) and the holy place (a type of the Holy Ghost baptism). These are only a few of the foreshadowing of water baptism in the Old Testament.

The Meaning of Baptism
Baptism signifies two powerful spiritual ideas. First, the act of cleansing or washing is historically linked with baptism. Passages such as Exodus 19:10 – “Let them wash their clothes,”–and Isaiah 1:16 – “Wash you, make you clean”–seem to foreshadow water baptism, as do the various ceremonial washings in the law of Moses. Naaman’s dip into the Jordan River to rid himself of leprosy (a type of sin) is another Old Testament type of baptism. (See II Kings 5:14.) John the Baptist preached “the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4). Baptism was not an exotic or unheard of concept to the Jews. They readily accepted it because they understood its connotations. “Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins” (Matthew 3:5). The idea of washing away or remitting sins is intrinsically bound up in the act of baptism.

Second, baptism is a spiritual burial. In the natural realm all dead flesh is to be properly buried, and spiritually speaking, the repentant man is dead and must be buried. By this he partakes of the crucifixion and burial of Christ. Burial, in this case, takes place by baptism. “Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death” (Romans 6:4). “Buried with him in baptism” (Colossians 2:12).

Baptism in Acts
While the case for baptism is strengthened by studying Old Testament typology and its New Testament significance, by far the strongest evidence is found in the simple record of the Book of Acts. First of all, we should note with great care that the apostles preached baptism. Peter placed it within the initial instructions for salvation after his convicting message, the first gospel sermon, stirred his audience to the point of action. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you…” (Acts 2:38). At the household of Cornelius, Peter “commanded them to be baptized” (Acts 10:48). Paul showed his accord with this message at his encounter with certain Ephesians disciples. He questioned them about baptism, explained it, and finally applied it. “When they heard this, they were baptized ” (Acts 19:5). Baptism certainly occupied a central place in apostolic sermons.

Baptism is by Immersion
Having established baptism’s obvious importance to the early church, the next step is to examine how it was practiced. Both scriptural evidence and logic point to full immersion in water as the mode for baptism. The very word baptism signifies this. It is actually an untranslated word carried over from the Greek word baptizo, which means to dip or immerse.

Immersion requires much water. This explains why John the Baptist “was baptizing in Aenon. . .because there was much water there” (John 3:23). It explains why “Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water” (Matthew 3:16). It also explains why Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch “went down both into the water,” and came “up out of the water” performing the act of baptism (Acts 8:38-39). The mode of baptism also reminds us of the significance of baptism as a burial. Sprinkling or partial immersion do not fulfill the symbolism of complete burial.

The Name of Jesus in Baptism
Whereas the mode of baptism deals with the way it is physically administered, the formula for baptism involves the focus and confession of the candidate’s faith. It was at this point that John’s baptism became obsolete. While retaining the mode of immersion, the Apostolic Church had a newer, farther reaching, infinitely better formula. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). The name of the Lord Jesus Christ, now incorporated into the act of baptism, set forth the greatest legacy Christ could leave the infant church: His Name! “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

The apostles stressed the importance of the name of Jesus Christ in connection with baptism. The accounts of baptism in the Book of Acts, along with supporting references in the epistles, demonstrate without fail that baptism was in Jesus’ name (Acts 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12).

Paul asked two questions in I Corinthians 1:13 that serve as a good example of this point: “Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul ?” Had there been half a dozen different formulas, these questions would have been meaningless. The apostle was driving home an obvious point. Jesus Christ was crucified for the Corinthians and they were baptized in the name of Jesus. Paul himself testified to his own baptism. Annanias said to him, “Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). We should note here that the name of the Lord was called upon or invoked. The preponderance of evidence clearly demonstrates that the name of Jesus was used verbally in baptism.

The words “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19) were never reiterated verbatim as a baptismal formula in apostolic practice. A closer examination of this verse of Scripture reveals that the word name, used in the singular form, is actually a reference to the name Lord Jesus Christ. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not names, but titles. What, then, is the one proper name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? Chapter 6 will deal with this question since it involves the identity of Jesus Christ as the incarnation of the one God, who is Father and Holy Ghost. With regard to baptism, the apostles answered this question emphatically by baptizing their converts in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.The Necessity of Baptism

Our study of the typology, meaning, and apostolic practice of baptism reveals that baptism is a factor in our salvation. The following points draw us inescapably to this conclusion:

Baptism is a command to obey. Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). Peter showed his compliance with these words when “he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48).

Baptism is part of our entrance into the body of Christ. “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” (Romans 6:3). By contrast, the Scriptures never use the terminology of “believing” into Christ.

Baptism is an important doctrine of the church. “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). This statement places baptism in high company. Hebrews 6:1-2 classifies baptism as a foundational doctrine.

Baptism is the way to the remission of sins. Acts 2:38 spells out baptism’s purpose: “for the remission of sins. ” The Greek word translated as “for” in this verse of Scripture is eis. Here eis indicates “in order to,” or “for the purpose of.” In at least forty different translations of the Bible, the impact of Acts 2:38 is that baptism in Jesus’ name remits, cancels, or wipes away sins. The New Testament also uses the word wash in reference to baptism. Passages such as Acts 22:16, I Corinthians 6:11, Ephesians 5:26, and Titus 3:5 further substantiate that God grants remission of sins through baptism.

Baptism is the expected consequence of hearing the gospel. “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized ” (Acts 2:41). The response to the preached word on the Day of Pentecost was the baptism of new converts. The same thing was true in the Samaritan revival. “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women” (Acts 8:12).

Baptism is part of obedience to the gospel. We can ascribe no less meaning to the baptism of Jesus than what He Himself gave. “Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15). Although the sinless Christ was not one whit cleaner by baptism, sinful man, by following His example finds a total release from the record of sins. The gospel of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (I Corinthians 15:1-4) is partially fulfilled by baptism. As by repentance we par take of the crucifixion, so by baptism we partake of Christ’s burial.

The acceptance of baptism is the next step for a repentant person to take. If true faith resides in his heart, and if he has experienced real repentance, he will embrace such a step wholeheartedly. Following water baptism, he is then ready for another glorious experience, which our next chapter will discuss: the baptism of the Holy Ghost!


J. Mark Jordan, raised in Jackson, Michigan attended Texas Bible College. Later he received a B.S. in Human Relations from the University of Toledo. He and his wife Sandy evangelized several years before he became Associate Pastor to First Apostolic Church, Toledo, OH. In 1978 he founded Apostolic Christian Academy. He served the Ohio District as Youth President, UPCI, from 1977 to 1983. Since 1983 he has pastored First Apostolic Church, Toledo, OH. He has written numerous articles for Pentecostal publications. He now resides with his wife Sandy and three children in suburban Toledo.


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