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.” [2 Corinthians 6:14-16, NWT]So while fellowship with Jewish and Gentile believers was encouraged, fellowship with unbelievers was not.There is no harmony between Christ and demonic influences.We do not mistreat them and may try to help them but do not get yoked with them.Instead we can explain such matters to them and as they obviously need assistance.Membership to an organized church is not required for salvation.Truth is not to be cast aside for pagan philosophy in the name of “fellowship.”17 “`Therefore get out from among them, and separate yourselves,' says Jehovah, `and quit touching the unclean thing'”; “`and I will take YOU in.'” 18 “`And I shall be a father to YOU, and YOU will be sons and daughters to me,' says Jehovah the Almighty.” [2 Corinthians 6:17-18, NWT]This is what the apostle Paul taught us with regard to interfaith as we understand the situation today.We should at least get the point made and leave them.Our Lord taught us that the faithful slave would be found feeding (not eating) and most certainly would not be found eating and drinking with confirmed drunkards.Regardless of which identity we place on such drunkards and we should be able to identify them, there are limits with restrictions that we must consider in our conduct and association if we are to be found faithful and not evil at such a time.[Matthew 24:45-51] We should not take verses that deal with love and tolerance out of context and use them in a way that permits drunkards to associate with us.NOTESThe roots of the problems discussed above is the failure by many to understand the meaning of Baptism and the responsibilities transmitted to us by means of or as a consequence of such baptism.Baptism would succeed in ways that the Law did not.This is why we should take a more careful look at it.BAPTISM AN OVERVIEWMatt 11:12  NWT But from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of the heavens is the goal toward which men press, and those pressing forward are seizing it.13 For all, the Prophets and the Law, prophesied until John; 14 and if YOU want to accept it, He himself is `Elíjah who is destined to come.' 15 Let him that has ears listen.The days of John the Baptist were a violent time for the Kingdom of God and the Law.For thousands of years it's provisions for the forgiveness of sin assured access into this promised Kingdom of God for millions of people.It gave them the assurance that Martha had when she stated: Joh 11:24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.But the days of John were a violent turning point for this Law as a means of access into this Kingdom.Now Old Testament prophecies were in fulfillment to the very letter since Elijah had now come.The same is true later in Matthew when we look at both verses here: Matt.5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.And it was fulfilled as promised during the time of Elijah shown by Jesus to be John.Entry into this Kingdom would no longer be dependent upon this Law anymore.Baptism was fighting for this position and would soon take over this task for all that had Faith in it.Not that baptism violated the Law at the time but it would replace it shortly and started to serve this purpose even before the Law ended.This is a truth that answers our Lord's question when he said: Mr 11:30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.It could only be from heaven as its provision to forgive sin is another way of saying we qualify to enter the Kingdom of God.Even the human Jesus needed this life saving provision.So things that do not seem to apply are actually what is really meant in a hidden way.This is why Peter could now say: 1Pe 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:Baptism would now be the new way to enter the Kingdom as heirs.There are other ways for the Nations but not for the Faith.The days of John marked this turning point for the Faith.Not that baptism is an instant cure-all.It is a requirement for Christians but it is also a pickling process that includes other ingredients that take time to mature.This is true even for the Apostles [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]

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