Water Baptism as it Relates to Repentance and the Infilling of the Holy Spirit
By Time E. Landry
A clear perception of scriptural teaching concerning the purpose of water baptism is needed for a proper understanding of the new birth. While the oral invocation of the name of Jesus in water baptism is obviously a foundational doctrinal truth, water baptism’s purpose is perhaps even more fundamental. Certainly the Oneness movement should contend for the purpose of water baptism hand in hand with the scriptural baptismal formula.
For decades we have rightly defended and expounded the Jesus Name baptismal formula in sermon, personal testimony, and even public debate. But, with our emphasis on the correct formula, we may not have been as diligent in realizing that most religious groups using the Trinitarian baptismal formula disagree with us in a much more basic way than even the proper formula: they contend that water baptism is not a vital part of the new birth at all!
The Controversy Surrounding Water Baptism
One is baptized as an outward sign of an inward work of salvation accomplished prior to baptism and not “in order to obtain” remission of sins, according to most contemporary Pentecostal, neo-Pentecostal, and Baptistic theological positions. A prominent denominational scholar expresses his view:
As whosoever believeth hath “everlasting life”
(Acts 18:8) and as they must believe before they are baptized, then they must have everlasting life before they are baptized.
So, as no unsaved man is a proper subject of baptism, then the baptism of such is a nullity. 1
A. T. Robertson, the noted Greek scholar, is very direct in his opinion, given while commenting on Mark 16:16:
The omission of baptized with “disbelieveth” would seem to show that Jesus does not make baptism essential to salvation. Condemnation rests on disbelief, not on baptism…. Baptism is merely the picture of the new life, not the means of securing it. 2. 2
It should be noted that, in this particular passage, Robertson’s mastery of the Greek language does not come to his aid, since here he plays the role of commentator and not lexicographer.
Perhaps we can now conclude that, for the earnest seeker of scriptural water baptismal truth, the initial question to be answered is not “What is the proper oral baptismal formula?” but “Does water baptism have a vital place in the plan of salvation? Is it necessary to the new birth?”
Besides the controversy in the religious world as a whole, there is a second major reason for exploring this topic: the purpose of water baptism was a most difficult question in the formation of the United Pentecostal Church in 1945.
In the definitive historical account of the merger, Arthur Clanton writes:
The main problem to be worked out concerned the fundamental doctrine of the proposed new organization…. The vast majority of the ministers in the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ believed that water baptism in Jesus’ name remitted sins, and was the birth of the water…. Others, however, believed that the word “for” in Acts 2:38 meant “because of” and that one was baptized because his sins had been remitted at the time of repentance. 3
That the subject perplexed so many honest hearts during the U.P.C.’s formative years compounds the urgency to grasp Bible truth on it almost fifty years later.
The United Pentecostal Church seems to have reached a consensus on water baptism’s relationship to the new birth, since its fundamental doctrinal statement was later amended by the ministerial body to pointedly state that water baptism was “for the remission of sins.” 4 While it can be argued that “for” in Acts 2:38 means “because of,” the intent seemed to be to indicate that the U.P.C. took the definite doctrinal stance that water baptism was necessary to the new birth.
Water Baptism’s Relationship to the New Birth as a Whole
The purpose of this paper is not merely to recite the historical development of U.P.C. doctrine, but to explore water baptism’s relationship scripturally to other elements of the new birth.
Most Bible scholars and truth seekers agree that salvation is contingent on certain acts of both God and man. Just what exactly these conditions are is much debated. Guy Woods states well the age-old situation:
With but few exceptions, all agree that there are conditions to be performed by the alien sinner in order to obtain salvation, but what these conditions are, their nature and relation to each other and the plan of salvation, have long provided occasion for debate. 5
A thorough, scriptural study will show that water baptism is indeed a vital part of salvation’s plan. However, it does not stand alone but stands in relation to the two other essential parts of the new birth as a progressive step in the initial salvation experience.
Repentance is certainly necessary for salvation. Jesus said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). That Jesus repeated Himself certainly adds emphasis to repentance’s fundamental importance.
Holy Ghost baptism is another essential element of the new birth. Jesus said that without the birth of the Spirit, men “cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). These three steps are summarized succinctly by Peter in Acts 2:38, when, in answer to the question “What shall we do?” he replied, “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.”
Before exploring the specific scriptural purpose of water baptism, a summation of water baptism’s relationship to the new birth as a whole is in order. David Bernard does this well in The New Birth:
When did this death to sin (Romans 6:2) occur? An individual’s death to sin . . . occurs when he repents from sin…. The completion of the salvation process includes the burial of past sins that takes place at water baptism and the reception of power to remain victorious over sin through the Holy Ghost…. Whatever repentance, water baptism and the Spirit baptism accomplish individually, we must always remember that the total work of salvation is completed at the union of the three. We should never attach so much importance to one element that we deem the others to be unnecessary. 6
This position, which interprets the Scriptures to teach a threefold requirement in the new birth, including water baptism, has certainly been criticized. In a detailed look at Oneness Pentecostalism, David Reed says concerning the doctrine of what he calls the “sacramental” group of Oneness Pentecostals: Taking “born” to be synonymous with “baptize,” a highly exclusive theology of salvation is erected in which one is neither truly born again nor indwelled by the Spirit until the three steps of Acts 2:38 are completed. The roots of this theology are traced toHaywood. 7
It seems futile for Reed or anyone to subjectively criticize any doctrinal position apart from scrutiny of the doctrine’s adherence to or departure from the Bible. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Should a doctrine be scriptural, calling it “highly exclusive,” or any other such label, would be reproof of God’s judgment, not man’s. G. T. Haywood or any other Oneness preacher certainly cannot be called the “roots” of any Bible doctrine; if the position taken by Haywood or any man is scriptural, it will stand for eternity (Luke 21:33), the particular individuals who did or did not proclaim it being totally irrelevant to the issue.
Since the crucible of the Scriptures is only sure testing ground for any soteriological position, to the Bible we turn concerning the specific purpose of water baptism.
Brief Overview of Scriptural Mode and Formula for Water Baptism
Water baptism’s scriptural mode is immersion in water: this by definition of the Greek word baptizo itself. Rubel Shelly, defending the immersion-mode position in a public debate with James Moore, who advocated sprinkling, points out crucial information concerning baptizo’s translation into English:
Our word “baptize” is really not an English word except by long usage and adoption. It is a transliteration of the Greek word baptize…. The word is very specific. The translators did not, in fact, translate baptizo, they anglicized it. If the word is translated, it will always be rendered by some word equivalent to immerse or overwhelm. That is the meaning of the very term itself in whatever passage you find jt.8
Webster’s Dictionary states that the root word of “baptize” is the Greek word baptize, meaning “to dip under water.” 9
Bullinger’s lexicon defines baptize as “to immerse.” 10 Bullinger’s further commentary reveals the Greek word’s association with water baptism’s scriptural purpose: “For a religious purpose, [it] may be traced back to the Levitical washings (see Leviticus 8 and 9�out of which arose the baptism of proselytes) which were connected with the purification which followed on and completed expiation of sin.” 11
Bullinger has shown that the washing of animal sacrifices (Leviticus 8:21), from which Jewish baptism arose and therefore was probably the original “type” of New Testament water baptism, was an integral part of the sacrificial ritual. That water baptism’s necessity is deeply rooted in Old Testament typology will be further demonstrated later.
The lexicon of Arndt and Gingrich, perhaps the most widely used contemporary Greek lexicon and acceptable evidence in a court of law,’2 defines baptize as follows: “dip or immerse” and used in non-Christian literature as “plunge, sink, drench, overwhelm.” 13
Clearly, semantics and Scripture (Acts 8:3-638) jointly teach and demonstrate that water baptism’s correct mode is immersion.
Concerning the baptismal formula, Arndt and Gingrich point out that the phrase “in the name of” (en to onomati) used with “God or Jesus means in the great majority of cases with mention of the name, while naming or calling on the name.” 14 Thus, in James 5:14, the elders are to anoint the sick “while calling on the name of the Lord” (en to onomati tou kuriou). The same phrase “in the name of” occurs in Acts 2:38, which the lexicon says connotes to “be baptized or have oneself baptized while calling on the name of the Lord.” 15
Arndt and Gingrich’s definition of the Greek verb epikaleo emphasizes further the oral calling of Jesus’ name in baptism. It is translated as “called” in Acts 15:17: “That the residue of men may seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called.” The word carries the following meaning: “someone’s name is called over someone to designate the latter as property of the former.” 16 The same verb is used in James 2:7 to designate the calling of the “worthy name” over believers. The Amplified Bible’s commentary says this name is “the name of Christ invoked at baptism.” 17
Essentially of Water Baptism Precludes “Water Salvation” or “Baptismal Regeneration”
The earlier quoted position of Moody and Robertson, who feel water baptism has no part in the new birth (and are representative of most contemporary neo-Pentecostal theology), is not the only one at
variance with a sound scriptural exegesis of water baptism’s necessity. A Dark Age mentality among the older schools of religious thought makes baptism a ritual, leaving out faith in the Savior who commanded the act. A logical example of this mentality is pedobaptism, or water baptism of infants and children not capable of conscious faith. The pedobaptism approach is as follows:
Salvation . . . is a work of God. It is an objective thing begun, enacted and finished solely by God Himself. It does not depend on the subjective response of man in faith, for that response, though necessary, is itself part of the work of God.
Adult baptism tends to emphasize the subjective response of the convert rather than the objective fact of God’s grace. Pedobaptism, . . . being performed on those who cannot exercise conscious faith, more
aptly portrays the objective nature of salvation and the necessity for the sovereignty of God in its execution.
It is often urged that in pedobaptism the preventive grace of God is displayed. That is to say, God comes to us before we turn to him, as Jesus said to his disciples, “You did not choose me, but I chose you” (John 15:16). 18
Mark 16:16 will be analyzed grammatically later. It is sufficient for now that one must realize Jesus gave two conditions for salvation: belief and baptism. Taking water baptism out of the new birth adds to God’s Word, making Mark 16:16 read: “He that believeth and is (not) baptized shall be saved.” It is equally dangerous, despite rhetoric about the preventive grace of God, to remove the essential belief in Christ from the act of water baptism. This would also pervert Mark 16:16, making it read: “He that believeth (not) and is baptized shall be saved.” Both fallacies are equally fatal, inviting the judgment of Revelation 22:18 and of Proverbs 30:6: “Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” The logical and sensible reading of Mark 16:16 is that faith must accompany baptism during the act itself. 19
Therefore, Mark 16:16 makes invalid the baptism of infants and others who cannot believe and also of adults capable of believing but who will not. Water baptism is not a dead ritual with the efficacy being in the water, but belief is absolutely necessary to baptism’s validity.
The United Pentecostal Church seems to have found the balance between the aforementioned two extremes. J. L. Hall writes: “The UPC holds that water baptism by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ is a command, not an option, and that it has to do with remission of sins. It does not believe, however, in baptismal regeneration.” 20
Hall and other Oneness apologists have seemingly articulated the Oneness position on baptism’s purpose well. David A. Reed, an observer outside the Oneness camp, states accurately the U.P.C. position on water baptism. He recognizes the “middle ground” taken by the U.P.C. in rejecting both water baptism as a lifeless sacrament and the “new birth without baptism” position:
To be born of water and Spirit (John 3:5) [includes being] baptized in the name of Jesus…. [The U.P.C.’s interpretation! equates baptism with New Covenant circumcision; the identification with Christ and cleansing from sin occur through baptism. The insistence that baptism is “for the remission of sins” draws the charge of baptismal regeneration. It is countered, however, with the qualification that to be efficacious the water must be accompanied by an active faith. 21
The charge against water baptism’s necessity that “water cannot literally wash away sin” is answered easily enough. Christians are washed in the blood of Jesus according to Revelation 1:5, but they certainly do not literally take a bath in Jesus’ blood. Sound exegesis concludes that the cleansing power of Jesus’ blood is applied through obedience to God’s commands. Therefore the water does not literally remit sin in baptism, but an active faith in willingly obeying God’s command “washes” the candidate. This principle is repeated throughout Scripture. Joshua was given Jericho by God in Joshua 6:2, but what God had given him was not really, literally his until he obeyed God’s command and had Israel march around the city.
James 2:17 says, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” This verse does not say we make ourselves worthy to be saved by doing good works but that true, biblical faith will cause one to take action to obey God’s commands. Coupling Mark 16:16 and James 2:7, we see that “He that believeth (faith) and is baptized (works) shall be saved.” Without the work, faith is dead. Following are more scriptural examples demonstrating that faith, in order to bless, must be followed by an overt act or it is dead:
1. By faith Abel offered and obtained witness (Hebrews 11:4).
2. By faith Noah prepared and saved his house (Hebrews 11:7).
3. By faith Abraham obeyed and receive heritance (Hebrews 11:8)
4. By faith Rahab received spies and per (Hebrews 11:31)
5. He that believeth and is baptized shall (Mark 16:16)
Old Testament Types
The word type is translated from the Greek word tupos and is also translated in the New Testament as “print, figure, pattern fashion, manner, form and example.” 22 Hebrews 9:9 declares that the Tabernacle was a “figure (tupos) for the time then present of the New Testament grace dispensation.
Studying diligently the typology of water baptism will reveal that its necessity to salvation is taught even in Old Testament foreshadowing. Gary Erickson’s excellent definition of typology should preface this section: “Types give color and profile to abstract concepts, enhancing understanding and aiding in the communication of biblical truth, but are not in themselves the primary source of
Since tupos is a biblical word, the Bible itself is the source of doctrinal topology for water baptism or any other subject. Therefore it is imperative to avoid speculative and subjective interpretations concerning baptismal typology. Another scholar stated well:
Concerning typical interpretation, it must be understood that all typology is based on direct scriptural authority. If the Bible itself does not directly view something as a type, it is certainly not the prerogative of fallible humans to attempt to inject meaning into the Scripture. A violation of this principle has led To an alarming array of doctrinal conjecture and unsupported theology. 24
Without entering into unsupported conjecture, one finds the necessity of water baptism typified in the Old Testament and concretely fulfilled in the New Testament.
As already noted, the Tabernacle in the wilderness was a pattern of the church dispensation. Figuring prominently in the Tabernacle’s typology is the New Testament plan of salvation.
Exodus 30:17-21 relates God’s commandment for the laver of water to be placed between the altar and the Tabernacle proper: the priests were commanded to wash “that they die not.” Surely they could not bypass their washing at the laver and enter into the Holy Place, which represents an overcoming child of God’s witness (golden candlesticks), prayer and worship (altar of incense), and devotional life (table of showbread).
Water baptism is identified as a washing in Ephesians 5:26 and Acts 22:16. Just as the Old Testament washing was scheduled after the initial approach and sacrifice at the brazen altar and before entering the Holy Place, so Acts 2:38, the linchpin Scripture of New Testament salvation, places baptism after repentance and before obtaining the power to overcome sin at the completion of the new birth by receiving the Holy Ghost.
Clinching the matter is that the priests, who would die unless they washed, are typical not only of the New Testament ministry but of the rank and file of born-again believers in the church age (I Peter 2:9). The consequence of forsaking water baptism is spiritual death for the church, the New Testament priesthood.
Another obvious scriptural type of water baptism is Israel’s circumcision. God required this act of every male child in Israel (Genesis 17:10-11). It was a command, not an option. Disobedience caused one to be separated from the nation. “And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant” (Genesis 17:14).
Colossians 2:11-12 reveals the New Testament fulfillment. Circumcision conforms to the law of typology and is a perfect type of water baptism. “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God” (Colossians 2:11-12).
Obviously, water baptism is the “circumcision of Christ” Paul spoke of. A. T. Robertson, despite his theological stance that baptism is only a symbol, also affirms this. 25
The hermeneutical law of analogy may be applied to this typelantitype relationship. This law says “that if two or more things agree with one another in some respects, they will probably agree in others, if not all.” 26 Since circumcision was a command, not an option, and essential for one to be part of God’s people under the old covenant, it strongly confirms that its antitype, water baptism, is just as vital in the new covenant. The New Testament circumcision is for the purpose of “putting off the body of the sins” (Colossians 2:11).
In this illustration of baptismal type, the necessity of active faith is again seen. Paul states that the saving power does not come from the water itself, but “through the faith of the operation of God” (Colossians 2:12).
New Testament Evidence
In any study of water baptism’s purpose, Mark 16:16 is a pivotal verse of Scripture. While Matthew 28:19-20 is the Scripture most think of as the great commission, that commission also encompasses the other Gospels’ account of Jesus’ last words before He ascended into heaven, including Mark 16:15-18.
Mark 16:16 is a clear statement by Jesus: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Since, in the face of Mark 16:16, controversy exists as to baptism’s purpose, a grammatical analysis of the passage would be in order.
While grammatical parsing may seem overly technical and tedious, doing so may be likened to a lawyer writing a contract in highly technical, legal prose to make sure all loopholes are closed.
Guy Woods analyzes Mark 16:16 as follows:
This is a complex declarative sentence, of which “he that believeth and is baptized” is the complex subject. “He” is the simple subject, modified by a limiting or restrictive clause, “that believeth and is baptized,” a simple element of the third class.
“That believeth and is baptized” is a partial, compound, subordinate, declarative sentence of which “that” is the simple subject, unmodified, of which subordinate sentence also “believeth and is baptized” is the compound predicate; of which principal sentence “shall be saved” is the simple predicate, unmodified. “And” is a copulative conjunction. 27
Were the simple subject of Mark 16:16 unmodified, then universal, unconditional salvation would be the result. As noted, however, the grammatical device known as a “restrictive clause” modifies the subject, limiting those who shall be saved to those who believe and are baptized.
Dr. Robert Cook, professor of English at Tulane University, confirms the following rule of grammar: “When two or more things are joined by the coordinating conjunction and something is predicated of them, they stand related to that predicated of them in precisely the same sense.” 28
Belief and baptism are joined by this conjunction, and being related to the predicate “shall be saved” in “precisely the same sense,” both belief and baptism are essential to salvation.
Grammar rules can be used to show that belief and baptism are of equally important significance to salvation in the plain structure of Mark 16:16. A grammar book states: “The coordinating conjunctions including ‘and’ are the connectives most frequently used to show that two ideas are equal or parallel. Note in the following illustration) that the two ideas connected are parallel: The Director AND the Assistant Director will attend.” 29
Can the parallel be more obvious? “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” means that belief and baptism are equally necessary for one to obey the plan of salvation.
There seem to be only two possible attempts to counter the plain wording of Mark 16:16 and prove water baptism unnecessary to salvation. First, there is a supposed anomaly. Since Jesus said only he that “believeth not” shall be lost, and the verse mentions no negative consequences to one not baptized, then baptism must be unessential. Second, many apologists for the no-baptism position attempt to prove that Mark 16:9-20 is not inspired Scripture. These positions must be examined.
First, let us examine the supposed anomaly. This grammatical sophistry can best be illustrated by quoting one who subscribes to the position. The author of the following quote is highly respected as an editorial consultant for Christian Research Institute, the research center founded by the late Walter Martin. So this is not the assertion of a novice, but of one eminently qualified to defend this position:
Let’s assume for the sake of discussion the authenticity of Mark 16:16. What it says is, “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; he that does not believe shall be damned.” Now, the simple truth is that Jesus did not say, “He that believeth and is not baptized shall not be saved.” If He had said that you . . . would be right on this point and we would have to admit that baptism is absolutely necessary for salvation. But Jesus did not say that, so I am not obligated to believe it. Consider the following statement: “Whoever is married and has children is eligible for this tax deduction; whoever is not married is not eligible.” Does this mean that whoever is married but does not have children is not eligible for the tax deduction? No; all we know for sure from this statement is that unmarried people are ineligible, while married people with children are eligible. We are not told about people who are married but have no children. Similarly, Mark 16:16 does not address the question of unbaptized believers. 30
Two glaring deficiencies are apparent in this comparison of who is eligible for a tax deduction to Mark 16:16. First, as the above author points out, Jesus did not separately address the question of unbaptized believers. This omission, rather than strengthening the no-baptism position, means that Jesus meant for Mark 16:16 to be a universal statement applicable to all mankind. Taking the parallel, “He that is married and has children is eligible for a tax deduction,” and standing it alone requires both conditions to receive the tax deduction according to basic rules of grammar already explored. Likewise, Mark 16:16 stands alone; obviously Jesus had not intended to add any qualifying statements.
The second major deficiency is that this view makes a foundational statement by the Lord misleading and even deceptive. Surely no tax adviser who meant to tell a client that he could receive a tax deduction by being married, with or without children, would tell him, “You must be married and have children.” He would deceive the client and possibly be in danger of legal repercussions by using such deceptive language. Basic, commonsense English would not say, “You must be married and have children” if both conditions were not absolutely necessary.
Likewise, Jesus would not have plainly stated that belief and baptism were prerequisites of salvation if both were not necessary. To state such, if only belief were required, would be deception from the mouth of Jesus Himself! Surely on such a fundamental issue as conditions to obtain salvation, Jesus spoke plainly and clearly. The case against Mark 16:9-20’s genuineness rests upon its exclusion from the two oldest extant Greek manuscripts–the Vatican and Sinaitic. These manuscripts date back to the fourth century A.D. 31
While these two manuscripts that omit Mark 16:9-20 are certainly the oldest in existence, the case can be made that older is not necessarily better. A textual scholar comments:
The exceptional age of [the Vatican and Sinaitic manuscripts! are proof not of their goodness but of their badness. If they had been good manuscripts, they would have been read to pieces long ago.
We suspect that these two manuscripts are indebted for their preservation solely to their ascertained evil character, which has occasioned that one eventually founds its way, four centuries ago, to a forgotten shelf in the Vatican Library: while the other . . . eventually got deposited in the wastepaper basket of the Convent at the foot of Mount Sinai. Had [they] been copies of average purity, they must have long since shared the inevitable fate of books which are freely used and highly prized: namely, they would have fallen into decadence and disappeared from sight. 32
This, coupled with the passage’s inclusion in five hundred other ancient manuscripts, makes a strong case for Mark 16:16’s genuineness as inspired Scripture. Philip Schaft says of Mark 16:9-20:
The section is found in most of the uncial and in all the cursive Manuscripts and in most of the ancient versions, in all existing Greek and Syriac lectionaries as far as examined; and Irenaeus, who is a much older witness than any of our existing Manuscripts, quotes verse 19 as a part of the Gospel of Mark. A strong intrinsic argument for the genuineness is also derived from the extreme improbability that the evangelist should have intentionally closed his Gospel with “for they were afraid” verse 8. 33
Two points Schaff makes should be expanded upon. First, Mark 16:19 is quoted by Irenaeus in the second century, predating the Vatican and Sinaitic manuscripts. Irenaeus was a student of Polycarp, who was a student of the apostle John. 34
Also, all of the ancient versions contain the passage. (For purposes of definition a manuscript is a handwritten copy, and a version is a translation into any language other than the original–Greek, in the New Testament.)
Versions such as the Peshitto Syriac, Old Italic, Sahidic, and Coptic all contain Mark 16:9-20 and predate the two manuscripts that omit it. This strongly indicates that the earliest manuscripts, from which these versions were translated, and which were much closer to the original autographs, contained Mark 16:16.
Also of note is that most schools of theological Thought which deny Mark 16:9-20 are premillennial in eschatological doctrine, with Revelation 20 being foundation Scripture. Schaff points out that the Vatican and Sinaitic manuscripts also omit the account of the thousand years of peace in Revelation 20.35 Revelation 20 is only one significant passage among others that have never been called into question for their omission from the two aforementioned manuscripts. Should not deniers of Mark 16:16 deny Revelation 20 for the same reason?
The facts mentioned in Mark’s disputed passage are mentioned elsewhere in other Gospels. Luke 8:2 and John 20:1-8 are examples. Surely a strong case is made for Mark 16:16’s inspiration and consequently the truth of water baptism’s necessity.
Another pivotal passage of Scripture in the study of water baptism’s purpose is Acts 2:38. Here, Peter told the multitude to “be baptized every one of you . . . for the remission of sins.” The Greek phrase beginning at “for” is eis aphesin ton hamartion. A. T. Robertson rightly notes that “this phrase is the subject of endless controversy as men look at it from the standpoint of sacramental or evangelical theology.” 36
At the heart of the controversy is the precise meaning and usage of the Greek preposition eis. As expressed in Acts 2:38, does it mean “in order to obtain” or “because of” remission of sins?
Surely language scholars such as Thayer and Arndt and Gingrich are reliable sources for guidance on this point. Thayer defines eis as follows: “a preposition governing the accusative, and denoting entrance into, or direction and limit, into, towards, for, among.” 37
Arndt and Gingrich’s general definition of the preposition is almost identical: “of place–into, in, toward, to.” 3B This lexicon also specifically refers to the use of eis in Acts 2:38: “to denote purpose, in order to . . . for forgiveness of sins, so that sins might be forgiven-Matthew 26:28, Acts 2:38.” 39
An abundance of scriptural examples can be found in which the preoposition eis “looks forward” to obtaining the blessing of God mentioned. In the examples, eis will be in brackets following its English translation:
“For with the heart man believeth unto [eis] righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto (eis) salvation” (Romans 10:10).
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that [eis] your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to [eis] the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39).
“When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto [eis] life” (Acts 11:18).
“For godly sorrow worketh repentance to [eis] salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” (II Corinthians 7:10).
Perhaps the most convincing parallel to the use of eis in Acts 2:38 is found in Matthew 26:28. In instituting the Lord’s Supper Jesus said, “This is my blood . . . which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” This verse of Scripture contains the exact Greek (and English) wording of Acts 2:38 in the crucial phrase concerning remission of sins (eis aphesin hamartion). 40 One can readily deduce
eis’s meaning: Jesus obviously did not shed his blood because our sins were already remitted, but “in order to obtain” remission of sins for us. Only unsubstantiated, illogical hermeneutics could conclude that eis in Acts 2:38 means anything other than “in order to obtain” remission of sins.
D. A. Penck, professor of classical languages at the University of Texas wrote, “Normally, eis looks forward and I know of no case in the New Testament where it looks back.” 41
To lay to rest any controversy that eis sometimes “looks back,” it is well to note the Greek preposition dia. which is used retrospectively. Arndt and Gingrich give one usage of die: “the reason why something happens, results, exists: because of, for the sake of “42 Thayer concurs: “of the ground or reason why anything is or is not done; by reason of: because of.” 43 Some examples of dia’s usage are as follows:
“And ye shall be hated of all men for [die] my name’s sake” (Matthew 10:22).
“The sabbath was made for [die] man, and not man for [die] the sabbath” (Mark 2:27).
George Ricker Berry, in his prominent interlinear New Testament, translates die as “on account of” in each of these places. 44
The King James Version translates both eis in Acts 2:38 and die in Matthew 10:22 as “for.” This is grammatically correct in both places, as “for” can either look forward or be retrospective. However, the crucial doctrinal truth of baptism hinges on understanding the differences in the respective usages of the two Greek prepositions.
So not every sentence using “for” is automatically a parallel to Acts 2:38. Some, in attempting to show water baptism looking backward, give this sentence as illustration: “A worker is paid for his labor.” That is, he is paid “on account of” or “because of” his labor. But this sentence would not be analogous to Acts 2:38, because the Greek preposition would be dia. not eis.
Turning the sentence around would make it a proper parallel to Acts 2:38: “The laborer works for his wages.” That is, the worker labors “in order to obtain” his wages. This would be the correct correspondence to eis’s definition as used in Acts 2:38.
The grammatical rules already discussed in relation to Mark 16:16 also apply to Acts 2:38. “Repent” and “be baptized” are joined by the copulative conjunction “and.” Both are modified by the restrictive clause “for the remission of sins” and both act on the subject “ye” (the understood subject in Acts 2:38, since the verb is second person plural) in precisely the same manner.
Were it even possible for eis to sometimes mean “because of” (as already amply demonstrated, it cannot), it cannot express two different relationships simultaneously. Therefore, an adherent of the position that one is baptized “because of” remission of sins is saddled with the untenable position that repentance is also “because of” sins already remitted!
For a thorough job on the meaning and usage of eis as applied to Acts 2:38 and water baptism, an examination of the most commonly thought exception to eis’s looking forward is in order.
In John the Baptist’s classic statement about the Lord’s first coming, he said: “I indeed baptize you with water unto [eis] repentance” (Matthew 3:11). It is asserted that John baptized his converts “because of” their repentance. A close perusal of the pertinent verses of Scripture and the grammar will show that John baptized his converts into the benefits of repentance.
A logical interpretation here is that repentance is used broadly in the sense of the whole conversion experience. This is certainly not without scriptural precedent, for in Acts 11:18 the Jewish elders at Jerusalem declared that God also to the Gentiles granted “repentance unto life.” That repentance here stands for the entire new-birth experience is clear by a comparison of Acts 11:18 to Acts 15:3. Speaking of the exact same occurrence of Gentile Spirit baptism, Paul and Barnabas declared the “conversion of the Gentiles” (Acts 15:3).
Therefore eis in Matthew 3:11 looks forward. John’s converts were baptized “into” the benefits of conversion in the same way Christian converts are baptized “into his death” (eis ton thanaton) or into the benefits of Jesus’ death (Romans 6:34). So, in Matthew 3:11, again eis looks forward, not backward.
Of course, John’s baptism was before the new convenant became effective by Jesus’ death. His baptism was not complete in itself. While the interval between John’s baptism and his candidates receiving what his baptism looked toward was one to three years or more, his baptism was nonetheless effective. (See Acts 19:1-5.)
Hebrews 9:16 states that “where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator,” explaining the delayed basis of John’s baptism. Jesus had to die before the new covenant became effective. But John’s baptism looked forward to Jesus’ death and the subsequent new covenant, hence the use of eis in Matthew 3:11.
Incidentally, Hebrews 9:16 takes away the argument that water baptism is not necessary because the repentant thief was saved without baptism (Luke 23:3943). The answer is that the thief was saved before the will or testament of Jesus (including the new birth of Acts 2:38) became effective by His death.
Water Baptism’s Relation to New Birth:
Having seen through Old Testament typology and New Testament teaching that water baptism is a vital part of salvation, further points about water baptism’s relationship to the other elements of the new birth can be made.
In I Corinthians 15:1, 3-4 it is clear that the gospel of Jesus Christ consists of three steps. (Gospel is from the Greek term euangelion, 45 which means “good news.”) “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you…. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
Jesus’ literal death, burial, and resurrection are beautifully connected with the three-step plan of salvation preached by Peter in Acts 2:38 and illustrated by Paul in Romans 6:2-4. Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection are represented in the gospel plan of salvation by repentance, water baptism, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost. Any theology which omits one of these three steps cuts at the very heart of the gospel and the great cost Jesus paid to put it into effect.
An examination of Romans 6:2-4 illustrates water baptism’s relationship to the new birth as a whole. “How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? [repentance] Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into [here again is the Greek preposition eis, meaning we are baptized “in order to obtain” Jesus Christ) Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (This portion must be read carefully. Water baptism itself is not a “death” its specific significance will be mentioned in the next verse. A candidate is, however, baptized into the benefits of Jesus’ death, as already explained. Compare with Matthew 3:11.] Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death [water baptism!: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Holy Ghost baptism–for further scriptural proof that the baptism of the Holy Ghost is a resurrection, see Romans 8:11.]
In conclusion, here water baptism stands related to repentance and Holy Ghost infilling as one of the foundational pillars in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Water baptism also seems to be related to repentance and Holy Ghost baptism as an essential element of the new birth of John 3:5, in the same sense that the elements sodium and chlorine are both necessary for the compound sodium chloride, or common table salt.
In John 3:5, Jesus introduced the new birth doctrine, 46 declaring, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Two observations can be made: (1) Jesus was speaking of an essential spiritual experience, and (2) He spoke of only one spiritual birth, so whatever the elements water and Spirit consist of, they are two essential parts of one birth.
Oneness theologians have satisfactorily proven that the “birth of the water” refers to water baptism. For further analysis of this point, see David Bernard, The New Birth, pages 86-93. Sufficient here is to mention that this is a “straightforward, literal reading of the text,” 47 and there is scriptural precedent for the word water used in relationship to water baptism: “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized?” (Acts 10:47).
Concerning the birth of the Spirit, a straightforward, literal interpretation here would conclude that if the birth of water is water baptism, then the birth of the Spirit must be Spirit baptism.
If water and Spirit are essential elements of one birth, they must also be integral parts constituting the one baptism of Ephesians 4:5.
That there is only one baptism which puts one into the body of Christ is emphasized by I Corinthians 12:13: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.” Here, the “one Spirit” is the general work of the Holy Ghost in salvation (John 6:44 is a parallel here), “one body” refers to the church, and remembering Ephesians 4:5, there is only one work of baptism that puts one into the body. (“Into one body” eis en soma–here we see eis again used as “with a view to obtain.”)
So rather than err like those who say that Ephesians 4:5 means the Holy Ghost baptism has ceased or like those who would do away with water baptism and make the new birth a nebulous happening limited to perhaps signing a membership card, one must realize that the “one baptism” of Ephesians 4:5 is synonymous with the one new birth of John 3:5, with water and Spirit as essential elements.
A look at actual instances of the new-birth experience in the Book of Acts will reveal that sometimes seekers were baptized in water before they were filled with the Holy Ghost. The Samaritan revival is an example of this (Acts 8:14-16).
On the other hand, the apparent order of burial/resurrection seems violated in the case of Cornelius’s household who received the Holy Ghost before they were commanded to be baptized in water (Acts 10:44-48). Rather than damaging the credibility of this three-step new-birth message, this seeming contradiction in order reinforces the truth that both water and Spirit are absolutely necessary. To contend for some inconsistency in Cornelius’s case is tantamount to arguing withGod, since it is His Word that gives concrete examples of both orders. It is obviously acceptable to Him whichever element comes first. In both cases, the scriptural passages imply strongly or definitely state that both water and Spirit baptism are absolutely necessary.
Repentance (death) must come before either of the burial/resurrection steps, however. It is parallel to “belief” in Mark 16:16 and is of course mentioned first in Acts 2:38.
Scripture and logic go hand in hand to prove that (1) water baptism is essential to salvation and (2) water baptism stands related to repentance and Holy Ghost infillng as vital parts of the new-birth
experience–they stand or fall together.
We conclude this paper with a beautiful verse of Scripture that illustrates the compound unity among the three elements of blood, water, and Spirit. Trinitarians have wrongly concluded that I John 5:7 is an example of compound unity, or unity of purpose. But John means here that the Godhead is an absolute, numerical one. (See Deuteronomy 6:4; the Hebrew word for “one” Ached-is an absolute unity every time it is used in Deuteronomy.) Yet a true example of separate elements having a unity of purpose is illustrated in I John 5:8; the elements that bear witness on the earth are the Spirit (Holy Ghost baptism), the water (water baptism), and the blood (repentance). John rightly said, “These three agree in one.” They all work together to bring sinful man into his initial salvation experience with a holy and righteous God.
May Oneness people ever recognize and proclaim water baptism as a vital factor in the salvation equation.
1. J. B. Moody, The Twelve W’s of Baptism (Nashville: Marshall and Bruce Co., 1906), 53.
2. A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville: Broadman, 1930), 1:405.
3. Arthur L. Clanton, United We Stand (Hazelwood, Mo.: Word Aflame Press, 1970), 120.
4. J. L. Hall, “United Pentecostal Church International,” in Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, ed. Stanley Burgess and Gary McGee (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988), 864.
5. Guy N. Woods, “Shall We Know One Another in Heaven?” and Other Sermons (Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1988), 202.
6. David K. Bernard, The New Birth (Hazelwood, Mo.: Word Aflame Press, 1984), 68, 96.
7. David Reed, “Oneness Pentecostalism,” in Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, 651.
8. Rubel Shelly and James Moore, Shelly-Moore Debate: Four Propositions Discussing Immersion, Sprinkling, Baptism of Infants and Baptism of Penitent Believers (Shreveport, La.: Lambert BookHouse,
1975), 3, 11.
9. Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, unable ed. Jean L. McKechnie et al. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979), 148.
10. Ethelbert Bullinger, A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975), 80.
11. Ibid., 80.
12. Guy N. Woods, taped statement in a debate with Marvin A. Hicks, Kennett, Mo., May 1975.
13. William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979).
14. Arndt and Gingrich, 572.
17 The Amplified Bible, ed. Francis E. Siewert et al. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1965), 360.
18. Donald Bridge and David Phypers, The Water That Divides: The Baptism Debate (Downer’s Grove, III.: InterVarsity Press. 1977),40.
19. Woods, 21.
20. Hall, Dictionary, 863.
21. Reed, Dictionary, 651.
22. Edwin D. Hartill, Principles of Biblical Hermeneutics (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1947), 48.
23. Gary Erickson, The Conversion Experience (Harlewood, Mo.: Word Aflame Press, 1987), 13.
24. Daniel J. Lewis, “Bible Introduction and Interpretation” (privately printed class notes), 9.
25. Robertson, Word Pictures, 4:493.
26. Lewis, 7.
27 Woods, 207.
28. Robert Cook, Tulane University, New Orleans, La., telephone conversation.
29. Edward C. Gruber, English Grammar: 1000 Steps, (New York: Arco, 1970), 50.
30. Robert M. Bowman, Jr., associate editor, Christian Research Institute. Private correspondence with Tim E. Landry, December 18, 197, page 9.
31. Neil R. Lightfoot, How We Got the Bible (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965), 30-32.
32. Edward F. Hills, quoted in John W. Burgon, The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel According to Mark. (Ann Arbor: Sovereign Grace Book Club, 1959), 23.
33. Philip Schaff, Companion to the Greek New Testament, 190.
34. Thomas B. Warren and L. S. Ballard, The Warren-Ballard Debate on the Plan of Salvation (Jonesboro, Ark.: National Christian Press, 1953), 12a
35. Schaff, 116.
36. Robertson, Word Pictures, 3:35.
37. Joseph H. Thayer, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 4th ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1977).
38. Arndt and Gingrich, 228.
39. Ibid., 229.
40. George Ricker Berry, The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan), 77, 317
41. D. A. Penick, quoted in Warren and Ballard, 187.
42. Arndt and Gingrich, 180.
43. Thayer, 134.
44. Berry, 25, 94.
45. Arndt and Gingrich, 317
46. Bernard, 85.
47 Ibid., 90.
By Daniel L. Segraves
The author has provided an interesting and lively defense of the doctrine that water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ actually effects the remission of sins. His discussion of the Greek preposition eis is informative and, in my opinion, accurate.
There are some related topics one could have hoped to have seen treated in this paper. Perhaps they could be addressed separately by the author.
While the author recognizes and briefly discusses the differing opinions on this subject as they related to the 1945 merger of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ and the Pentecostal Church, Incorporated, and he notes that the statement “for the remission of sins” was later appended to the Fundamental Doctrine, he does not recognize what seems to some an inconsistency this amendment produced.
The Articles of Faith of the United Pentecostal Church International, under the heading “Repentance and Conversion,” presently reads: “Pardon and forigveness of sins is obtained by genuine repentance, a confessing and forsaking of sins.”‘ The context concerns conversion, not the obtaining of forgiveness by a born-again believer, says nothing about water baptism, and would lead one to believe that repentance alone is sufficient to produce forgiveness of sins. 2
A study of the Greek text would indicate that “forgiveness” and “remission” are synonyms, since in the King James Version both words are translated from the same Greek word, aphesis. 3
Does the assertion that, on the one hand, forgiveness is obtained by repentance alone and, on the other hand, remission of sins is obtained by baptism in water by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ present a contradiction in the Articles of Faith of the U.P.C.I.? Should there be an examination of the somewhat popular teaching that sins are forgiven at repentance but are not remitted until water baptism? The Articles of Faith offer no Scripture to support the statement that “pardon and forgiveness of sins is obtained by genuine repentance.”
While the author thoroughly examined the relationship of both repentance and water baptism as they relate to remission of sins in the text of Acts 2:38, he did not discuss the fact that the Fundamental Doctrine of the U.P.C.I. does not necessarily endorse this idea. The Fundamental Doctrine reads, “The basic and fundamental doctrine of this organization shall be the Bible standard of full salvation, which is repentance, baptism in water by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins….”4 The grammatical construction of the Fundamental Doctrine would indicate that the remission of sins is effected by the water baptism alone, rather than by repentance and water baptism coupled together, since repentance and water baptism are not joined by the conjunction “and” but are instead separated by a comma.
Neither did the author discuss the significance of the word “full” in the Fundamental Doctrine. (“The basic and fundamental doctrine of this organization shall be the Bible standard of full salvation….”) At the merging conference, “a motion was made to take the word ‘full’ out of the Fundamental Doctrine, but was defeated.” 5 The significance of this is obvious. Without this word, the Fundamental Doctrine would have read, “The basic and fundamental doctrine of this organization shall be the Bible standard of salvation….” The word full is an adjective which modifies the noun salvation. While it may be difficult for those who were not present to understand or appreciate the importance of this word to those involved in the merger, it obviously suggests that the majority present and voting viewed “full salvation” as one thing and “salvation” as another. A discussion of this element of U.P.C.I. history would be a worthy subject for a subsequent symposium.
The author’s assertion that the laver of the Old Testament Tabernacle was without question a type of water baptism in the church age has been popular among Oneness Pentecostals, but it is my opinion that it is an unjustified assumption. 6
The author recognizes that “the Bible itself is the source of doctrinal typology” and that “it is imperative to avoid speculative and subjective interpretations concerning baptismal topology.” He seems, however, not to have heeded his own advice on this matter. While the Tabernacle of old was definitely a figure (Greek parable) (Hebrews 9:9), no New Testament verse seeks to interpret the meaning of each item associated with Tabernacle worship. By necessity, then, much of the interpretation regarding the Tabernacle is speculative at best. What the New Testament does clearly indicate is that the essential purpose of the Tabernacle worship, as a whole, was to prefigure the coming Christ and His role as the final and only efficacious sacrifice (Hebrews 9:814, 23-26; 10:1-21; Colossians 2:16-17; Galatians 3:24).
There are several reasons why the laver seems not to be an adequate type of water baptism:
1. Contrary to the author’s assumption that the laver was “scheduled after the initial approach and sacrifice at the brazen altar and before entering the Holy Place,” the laver was the first destination of the priest, even before approaching the brazen altar (Exodus 30:20; 40:12, 3032). If the brazen altar represents repentance and the laver water baptism, this would place baptism before repentance in typology.
2. While the New Testament does assign specific topological meaning to certain Old Testament events and practices, it nowhere specifies the laver as a type of water baptism.
3. The laver was not a place of immersion, but mere washing.
4. The priests had to wash at the laver repeatedly each time they planned to minister. Water baptism is a one-time event.
If the laver is typical of any New Testament truth, it would seem more appropriate to consider it to be typical of the daily washing of believers by the Word of God, as seen in Ephesians 5:26: “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.”
The laver would seem an appropriate symbol of this for the following reasons:
1. It was covered with mirrors, reflecting the approaching priest’s image. The New Testament compares the Word of God to a mirror in which men behold themselves (James 1:23).
2. The washing at the laver was a continual thing; the washing of water by the Word is a continuing process.
The author’s discussion of circumcision as a type of water baptism was more satisfying and biblically based.
One could have hoped, however, that he would have included a discussion of the two other divinely appointed types of water baptism: the flood of Noah (I Peter 3:2021) and the crossing of the Red Sea (I Corinthians 10:12).
It would be useful in any current discussion of the relationship between water baptism and the remission of sins to recognize and respond to an objection that is current among some scholars of our day. It is perhaps best expressed in The Bible Knowledge Commentary and suggests that the clause “and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ” is parenthetical, based on the following factors: “(a) The verb makes a distinction between singular and plural verbs and nouns. The verb ‘repent’ is plural and so is the pronoun ‘your’ in the clause so that your sins may be forgiven (lit., ‘unto the remission of your sins,’ eis aphesin ton hamartion hymon). Therefore the verb ‘repent’ must go with the purpose and forgiveness of sins. On the other hand the imperative ‘be baptized’ is singular, setting it off from the rest of the sentence. (b) This concept fits with Peter’s proclamation in Acts 10:43 in which the same expression ‘sins may be forgiven’ (aphesin harmation) occurs. There it is granted on the basis of faith alone. (c) In Luke 24:47 and Acts 5:31 the same writer, Luke, indicates that repentance results in remission of sins.” 7
The author is to be commended for his interest in this vital subject, and I would encourage him to further explore the considerations offered in this response.
1. Manual of the United Pentecostal Church Intemational (Hazelwood, Mo., 1988), 21.
2. The influence of the Pentecostal Church, Incorporated, on this statement is obvious. The P.C.I. constitution read, “Conversion or forgiveness of sins comes by repentance toward God through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, by confessing and forsaking our sins.” The section on “Baptism in Water” made no reference to remission or forgiveness of sins but said, “Immersion in water is for converted believers, who have turned from their sins and the love of the world, and should be administered by a duly authorized minister of the Gospel by authority, and in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, according to the Acts of the Apostles.” Discipline, The Pentecostal Church, Incorporated (Dallas, Tex.: n.d.), 3-4.
3. Aphesis is translated “remission” in the following references: Matthew 26:28; Mark 1:4; Luke 1:77; 3:3; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 10:43; Hebrews 9:22; 10:18. It is translated “forgiveness” in the following references: Mark 3:29; Acts 5:31; 13:38; 26:18; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14.
4. Manual, U.P.C.I., 22.
5. Arthur L. Clanton, United We Stand (Hazelwood, Mo.:
Pentecostal Publishing House, 1970), 124.
6. It may be that the view that the laver represented water baptism originated with or was at least popularized by G. T. Haywood, who suggested this interpretation in an article entitled “Is the Water Baptism Essential?” which appeared on pages 6 and 7 in the 89th edition (November 1927; Volume Ten) of The Witness of God, published by A. D. Urshan.
7 John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, eds. The Bible Knowledge Commentary New Testament Edition (Wheaton, II.: Victor Books, 1983), 359. This commentary is based on the New International Version.
Daniel Segraves is executive vice president of Christian Life College in Stockton, California, and author of a number of books.
Tim Landry is pastor of Camp Eight United Pentecostal Church in Otis, Louisiana. He presently serves as regional Harvestime representative and regional foreign missions representative for sections 6, 7, and 8 of the Louisiana District. He is a graduate of Jackson College of Ministries and was a full-time evangelist for over eight years. He is the author of several articles, and he has participated in several debates on Oneness Pentecostal doctrine. He is also the speaker on a weekly radio program, “Fifteen Gospel Minutes.”
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM THE SYMPOSIUM ON ONENESS PENTECOSTALISM 1988 AND 1990, AND PUBLISHED BY WORD AFLAME FRESS, 1990, PAGES 309-349. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.