Your Doctrinal Questions and ABCOG's Answers

  1. Purpose of life
  2. If God is love, why does He allow pain and suffering?
  3. Did God create evil?
  4. Will evil will eventually be destroyed?
  5. Will faith always be faith?
  6. What part of Jesus went to the center of the earth?
  7. Shouldn't you live "apart from the Law"?
  8. What is a Christian, according to the New Testament?
  9. Sabbath observance by the OT patriarchs?
  10. What foods are permissible to eat?
  11. Please explain the New Covenant and Old Covenant.
  12. When did the change to Sunday observance happen?
  13. Please explain "under the law" and "righteousness without works"
  14. How does Jesus's authority compare to Darwin's?
  15. Are you absolutely sure that your own position is solid?
  16. What New Testament verses "repeal" specific OT laws?
  17. Does God exist?
  18. Does Colossians 2:16-17 show that the Sabbath is not in effect?
  19. Is Jesus "Lord of the Sabbath" because he fulfilled the Law?
  20. What is the order of symbols during the Lord's Supper ceremony?
  21. What's wrong with the word Easter?
  22. Can't we worship any day?
  23. Will the be pets in Heaven?
  24. Is baptism necessary for salvation?
  25. Do I need to be baptized again?
  26. Should I be baptized for the dead?
  27. Could Noah eat anything that moves?
  28. Questions on other topics

Question: What do you think the purpose of life is?
Reply: "bringing many sons to glory" (Hebrews 2:10)
Question: Can you answer this question (the shorter, the better): yes/no/don't know... Did God create evil?
Reply: Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness I make peace, and create evil I the Lord do all these things."
Yes! "Evil" here is the opposite of "Peace", so means "Destruction, war, calamity". An example is God's destruction of Sodom. Or God hardening the heart of Pharoah in order to bring deliverance to Israel and destruction upon him.
No! In the sense of "Sin", i.e., disobedience to God's own will.
God created a world which allowed for free choice, and therefore the possibility of evil, in the sense of sin. The first being to make the wrong choice was Satan (Isa. 14, Ezekiel 28) along with one-third of the angels (the fallen angels - demons). The first human to sin, i.e., knowingly to choose to disobey God, according to Genesis, was Adam. [Eve was deceived, so did not knowingly disobey God at that instant.] God knew this would happen (it's like predicting that a child learning to walk will fall over), so he already had a plan in place to remedy it: "Jesus Christ, slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8)
Question: Will evil will eventually be destroyed?
Reply: The New Testament teaches the destruction (burning up) of the incorrigibly wicked in hell-fire (Gehenna) (Matthew 10:28). Later, this got changed to "burning for ever in hell fire". I prefer the NT teaching. A much-debated question is the ultimate fate of Satan and the fallen angels. Satan, the Devil, will be destroyed (Heb. 2:14). The "wandering stars" (demons) will be consigned to the "blackness of darkness for ever" (Jude 1:13). This may mean eternal non-existence. Eph. 1:10, Col. 1:20, Rev. 21:4 all seem incompatible with the continuing existence of evil.
Question: Will faith always be faith?
Reply: Faith is the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Once seen, faith is no longer required. Hebrews 11 is about people who have not yet received the promises, but live in faith.
Question: After His crucifixion, what part of Jesus was going to be in the center of the earth? His body? His spirit? Both, His body and soul? The answer should be only His spirit. Why? The miracle of the Resurrection is for the spirit to come together with the body exactly (3 days and 3 nights =) 72 hours later. This time started at the time that Jesus gave up the "ghost" (spirit). This happened at the ninth hour (3:00 p.m. mid-afternoon). So in consequence, the spirit got back together with the body at His resurrection, exactly 72 hours later at 3:00 p.m.
Reply: The phrase "heart of" meant "inside" in the Greek of the time. The Bible does not tell exactly at what moment Jesus entered "the heart of the earth." In Matt. 12:40, "the heart of the earth" could have a symbolic or spiritual meaning as you suggest. But this was a sign to a wicked generation who would understand the term literally, as a physical place. So it is more likely that the "heart of the earth" means "interred". We know that Jesus was interred very shortly before sunset. Consequently shortly before sunset is the most likely time of His resurrection.
Question: If you live according to the New Testament, shouldn't you live "apart from the Law"? Why do you advocate keeping the "Jewish" law?
Reply: The term "Law" is very broad. Let me clarify our position:
  1. We definitely believe in the 10 commandments (as do most Christians - I often see them posted on the walls of Church buildings.)
  2. We definitely believe that the Law (which includes the 10 Commandments) defines sin. ("Sin is the transgression of the law", I John 3:4).
  3. We definitely believe that the penalty for committing sin is death. ("The wages of sin is death", Romans 6:23).
  4. We definitely believe that Jesus took the penalty of our sin on himself at the Crucifixion and has obtained forgiveness and eternal life for us ("The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ", Romans 6:23).
  5. We definitely believe that, since we are forgiven of sin, we should no longer commit sin, i.e., transgress the law. ("Shall we continue in sin ... ? Not at all. How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer sinfully?" Romans 6:1-2).
  6. We definitely struggle to avoid sin, i.e., not to transgress the Law. This includes, for instance, keeping the 4th Commandment, "Remember the Sabbath Day", which everywhere in both Old and New Testament refers to the 7th day of the week (Saturday) or one of the annual Holy Days, defined in Lev. 23 (which include the "Feast of Weeks" = Pentecost).
  7. We definitely believe that when God commands everyone, everywhere, (Jew or Gentile) to repent (Acts 17:30), He is also commanding everyone, everywhere, to keep the Law.

"I thank God I am guided by the law, because there are times when, as a human being, it is hard to know what to do." (quote from on a Judge in a TV drama.)

Question: What is a Christian, according to the New Testament?
Reply: The most fundamental answer is "someone in whom the Holy Spirit is." The Holy Spirit is obtained through repentance, baptism and the laying on of hands. These imply that the person has turned away from sin, has faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and love towards God. Of course, there is much more to Christianity than these.
Question: What scripture do you have giving details of Sabbath observation by those who lived from the time of the beginning up to the giving of the Ten Commandments when the Israelites entered the desert?
Reply: The Israelites were instructed about the Sabbath before the 10 Commandments were given, or there was any mention of a Covenant. It occurred when Manna was first given, Exodus 16:23. The 10 commandments happenned approximately two weeks later, Exodus 20.
We have little information about the religious observances of the patriarchs in Genesis. Some commentators see references to some of the Annual Sabbaths of Leviticus 23 in the activities of Genesis.
Question: Do you have rules regarding what foods are permissible to eat and those that are not? If so, do the Ten Commandments include this law?
Reply: We have information at Clean and Unclean Meats. These are rules of health, not rules of morality. They only enter the moral sphere (and the Ten Commandments), as the sin of rebellion against God (i.e., setting oneself up as a god in opposition to God), if one deliberately refuses to do them, knowing that God has ordained them.
Question: If you will, please explain the New Covenant and Old Covenant according to Jeremiah 3l:31 and Hebrews 8:5-13
Reply: Hebrews 8:8-10 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: {9} Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. {10} For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:"
The "Old" Covenant was an agreement between God and the Children of Israel as a nation. The Children of Israel failed to keep their part of the bargain. They were hard-hearted and stiff-necked. The problem was not the Old Covenant; it was the carnal Israelites. Now God is instituting a "New" Covenant with His people as individuals. A major difference in the "New" Covenant is that God is giving us his Holy Spirit, which gives us the spiritual ability to keep this New Covenant.
Question: Who changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday? Was it the Pope? Justin Martyr (150 A.D.) and Eusebius (324 A.D.) both give descriptions of Christians meeting on the first day of the week. Emperor Constantine issued his command to rest on Sunday in 321 A.D.
Reply: The introduction of Sunday-worship into the early church was a gradual process. It was motivated by the desire of early Christians to separate themselves (in the eyes of outsiders) from the Jews. Simultaneously, the Jews were introducing different changes to separate themselves from the Christians. There are many books explaining the shift from Saturday to Sunday, for example "From Sabbath to Sunday" by Samuele Bacchiocci.
When Christianity became the official Roman religion under Emperor Constantine in 325 A.D., then Sunday became the officially recognized day of Christian rest. But this was because influential bishops, including the Bishop of Rome (The Pope) supported Sunday. Sunday was called "The Lord's Day". Saturday was still called "the Sabbath." It was not until the Reformation that some people started calling Sunday, "the Sabbath."
One of the things that discredited Martin Luther's claim of "Scripture only", as far as the Catholic bishops were concerned, was that he did not return to Saturday-Sabbath observance.
Question: Please explain "under the law" and "righteousness without works"
Reply: In the NT we have the phrase, "under the law". We must be careful to see what is meant. Often the phrase means "under the penalty of the law for having broken it." So when "Christ came to redeem those under the law", He is ransoming back those sentenced to death for disobedience, not to arbitrary rules, but to essential moral commands, e.g., "thou shalt not kill", and it's spiritual equivalent, "thou shalt not hate".
No matter how hard we "work" (of any type) we cannot make ourselves righteous. So in order for us to become righteous, God must grant us righteousness without, or apart from, works. But that does not give us permission to live unrighteously. We must still live as righteously as we can, and certainly we must do Christian works.
Question: I am writing in response to your comparison in Bible Basics 4. What is Man? of Jesus' authority to that of Darwin's, "Origin of the Species." The two have no comparison, given the two systems of belief (scientific and religious) on which they are based.
Reply: In Lesson 4, the presentation of both Evolutionary Theory and the Book of Genesis are cursory. Of scientific theory in general, Larry Laudan, a widely respected philosopher of science, has written that there is no such thing as a scientific theory (Law, hypothesis, etc.) that we know to be true, and many that we know to be false. The criterion for success for a scientific theory is not "truth", but usefulness. Newton's Laws of Motion are not "true" (the Michelson-Morley light experiment disproved them), but they are very useful. Every car mechanic and golf player relies on them! Evolutionary Theory is useful in some respects and not helpful in others. Modern scientific theory, of any type, has little interest in, and almost nothing to say about, the truths underlying the meaning and purpose of life.
Jesus and his audience were in a certain culture with their shared myths. We are in a different culture with our shared myths: the "big bang", the "missile gap" of the 1960's (recently revealed to be a Russian hoax), "safe sex" (which studies funded by the Centers for Disease Control prove conclusively to be unsafe). To be persuasive we must talk from our myths. We can persuade no one today by saying the Earth is flat. We could persuade no one a thousand years ago by saying the Earth is shaped like a ball. If the Bible had been written exactly in accord with modern scientific theory, it would have been incomprehensible 100 years ago, and would be laughable in 100 years time (or maybe 10!).
An amazing feature of the Bible is how well it has stood the test of time. Compare it with the Egyptian "Book of the Dead" or the stories of Greek, Roman and Norse Gods. But slavish literalism in reading the Bible also has its weaknesses. For instance, Genesis chapter 1 is essentially a poem about God: poets are rarely praised for the scientific accuracy of their descriptions!
Question: Given that the people who support other religions include considerable numbers of intelligent people, it must surely occur to you that there is reason to be less than absolutely sure that your own position is solid.
Reply: I agree with you entirely on this. We never attain to the state of "absolutely" in this life. "We know in part...". A good starting point in the search for solidity, emphasized by many philosophers but also evangelists such as Dwight L. Moody, is that we must "do the truth". As long as religion (or science) is just a theoretical proposition, then one set of axioms is as good as another. We must act on our religion, evaluate the results, pursue what is good and see where that action leads. This requires us to take a stand - to stand solidly on a provisional truth. We are ever aware that our current version of truth is always in the process of revision, but "if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything!"
As John Wesley wrote,

8. But some may say, I have mistaken the way myself, although I take upon me to teach it to others. It is probable many will think this, and it is very possible that I have. But I trust, whereinsoever I have mistaken, my mind is open to conviction. I sincerely desire to be better informed. I say to God and man, "What I know not, teach thou me?"

9. Are you persuaded you see more clearly than me? It is not unlikely that you may. Then treat me as you would desire to be treated yourself upon a change of circumstances. Point me out a better way than I have yet known. Show me it is so, by plain proof of Scripture. And if I linger in the path I have been accustomed to tread, and am therefore unwilling to leave it, labour with me a little; take me by the hand, and lead me as I am able to bear. But be not displeased if I entreat you not to beat me down in order to quicken my pace: I can go but feebly and slowly at best; then, I should not be able to go at all. May I not request of you, farther, not to give me hard names in order to bring me into the right way. Suppose I were ever so much in the wrong, I doubt not this would not set me right. Rather, it would make me run so much the farther from you, and so get more and more out of the way.

10. Nay, perhaps, if you are angry, so shall I be too; and then there will be small hopes of finding the truth. If once anger arise, "like the smoke", (as Homer somewhere expresses it, [Iliad, XVIII, 110]), this smoke will so dim the eyes of my soul, that I shall be able to see nothing clearly. For God's sake, if it be possible to avoid it, let us not provoke one another to wrath. Let us not kindle, in each other this fire of hell; much less blow it up into a flame. If we could discern truth by that dreadful light, would it not be loss, rather than gain? For, how far is love, even with many wrong opinions, to be preferred before truth itself without love! We may die without the knowledge of many truths, and yet be carried into Abraham's bosom. But if we die without love, what will knowledge avail? Just as much as it avails the devil and his angels!

The God of love forbid we should ever make the trial! May he prepare us for the knowledge of all truth, by filling our hearts with all his love, and with all joy and peace in believing!

From John Wesley's (1746) Preface to his Sermons

Question: I am interested in your interpretation of how Christians relate to the "Law". I wish to examine the 613 laws found in the Old Testament and compare it to New Testament scripture. Specifically I am looking for the verse numbers of the laws and the New Testament "repeal" verses which set aside specific laws.
Reply: You may have misunderstood us. We believe that the OT laws are still in effect, but have been amended to address modern conditions. None have been "repealed". For more explanation, see Bible Lesson #5: The Law and the Christian. In each case, it is the principle behind the law that is maintained, though its particular implementation may have changed. For instance, circumcision, the sign that you belong to God, is now of the heart, not the flesh. It would indeed be interesting to investigate the 613 principles and their modern implementation. They provide rich instruction into how to live according to "the love of God" (Joshua 22:5) and the "love of neighbor". "O how love I thy law - it makes me wiser than my enemies" (Psalms 119:98). "The 613 mitsvot are divided into 365 negative commandments and 248 positive ones. Abstaining from transgression [of the negative commandments] helps us maintain our spiritual level by diminishing our attachment to the physical world and sensitizing us to the damage caused by sin. The 248 positive commandments imbue our souls with holiness" (Simcha H. Benyosef, Living the Kabbalah, New York, 1999).
Question: Does God Exist?
Reply: There are lots of reasons for supposing He does. But they don't amount to much if they don't involve you. Two reasons really convinced me:
(1) Biblical predictions that have come true. This requires some research into history and the Bible, so postpone it for the moment.
(2) Answered prayer. Why not try an experiment? Think of something good that you would like to happen for someone else, and then pray for it to occur. Choose something small and reasonable, but which looks just about impossible. Simply say something like "Father God, please show yourself to me by doing ...... for ..... Then I'll know that you truly love me and want me to come to know you better."
Question: Does Colossians 2:16-17 show that the Sabbath is not in effect?"
Reply: Who were the Colossians? A bunch of pagan converts to Christianity.
What was their problem? Pagan (not Jewish) teachings and philosophies.
Who was judging them? Pagans (not Jews).
Read Col. 2:8-23, but omit verses 16 & 17 for the moment.
It's all about how Christ has overcome the demonic forces and their human agents who propagate pagan religions, particularly the pagan philosophy of asceticsm (i.e., Stoicsm). Asceticsm might look good, but, in fact, has no spiritual value.
Now we see that vs. 16 & 17 are an encouragement to the Colossians to ignore the judgment of the pagans against the observances of the Christians. The Christian observances are a shadow of what is to come (i.e., have a future). That future, the "substance", belongs of course to Christ. Pagan observances have no future. Their substance does not belong to Christ.
The RSV says "only a shadow" - which is true in the sense that our observances are never the substance, but I cannot find support for the word "only" in the Greek.
Question: Is Jesus "Lord of the Sabbath" because he fulfilled the Law?
Reply: What does "fulfil" mean?
Let's try some ideas:
a) The Greek original means "fill to the full". This could be what He did in the Sermon on the Mount, when he said that not just the action of murder is against the Law, but even murderous intent is.
b) "Fulfill" could mean Jesus kept the Law so well that we don't have to keep it at all. In that case, I can murder as much as I like.
c) "Fulfill" could mean "showed us how to do it". There are many Scriptures indicating that "we should walk as He walked", etc.
But none of these would make Jesus, the "Lord of the Sabbath" (or of anything else). No matter how well anyone keeps a law (e.g., the speed limit), that does not give them authority over it. Authority comes by election, appointment, ownership or force. Jesus was "Lord of the Sabbath", because, according to John 1:1-3, he participated in making the Sabbath. Consequently he has the right of ownership. But, in claiming to be "Lord",
(i) Jesus never formally abolished the Sabbath;
(ii) Jesus never formally instituted any other day.
Question: Regarding the order of the symbols during the Lord's Supper ceremony:
Why is the footwashing first before the bread and the wine? Should it not be the last of the 3 symbols?

Reply: It is true that when you compare the Gospel accounts, there is some variation in the order of the elements (foot-washing, bread, wine).
In our experience, there are practical concerns. The foot-washing involves moving around, perhaps even some conversation among participants. Newer people sometimes find it embarassing and awkward. They may worry about it until it is done. Consequently, we have found that doing the foot-washing first of the symbols enables participants to focus better on it, and then to concentrate, without distracting thoughts, on the other symbols as they come.
We also see footwashing-bread-wine as a gradually more "spiritual" (or abstract) symbolism, though, of course, all three symbols are vital to Christianity.
If your experience of the symbolism and ceremony is different, please let us know!
Question: I am a new member of the Church of Christ. They decided to have their first ever Sunrise Service at a members home. I was asked to make a sign and I put Easter Sunrise Service on it. Well now, they say I should not have put Easter on it because we do not worship. Easter can you explain this to me.
Reply: Perhaps their objection was to the word "Easter". This word is generally thought to have as its origin in the name of the pagan goddess "Eastre". Easter is also pronounced the same way as the ancient Babylonian goddess "Ishtar". Ishtar also had sunrise services.
Unfortunately there are many pagan customs that have become connected with the Christian observance of Christ's resurrection. If your Church objects to "Easter", do they also object to Easter "Bunnies" and Easter "Eggs"? These have their origin in pagan sex rituals.
The Bible encourages us to worship God "in spirit and in truth", and not to learn the way of the heathen. If your Church is trying to do this, then we congratulate you all.
Question: Can't we worship out of faith regardless of the day?
Do not all days belong to God?

Reply: There seem to be three positions on this in Christianity:
(a) all days are alike to God and Humans - so we can worship whenever we like.
In my experience, those who take this position are in danger of putting off worship to a more convenient time later - and ultimately don't worship at all. It seems that humans need the discipline of a set place and time to worship as a minimum.
(b) all days are not alike to Humans - though we should worship God every day, xxx day is the day Humans especially prefer us to worship because ...
(c) all days are not alike to God - though we should worship God every day, xxx day is the day God especially prefers us to worship because ...
Now we come down to (b) and (c). When expressed like this, it is clear that we would hope that our religion coincides with (c), i.e., what God prefers, rather than (b), i.e., what humans prefer. Nevertheless many people argue in terms of (b). For instance, "let's worship Saturday night, to leave Sunday free for family activities, golf, shopping, etc." But surely we don't want a man-made religion. We want a God-made one.
So we come to (c). Which day of the week is xxx day? The Bible says the Saturday "Sabbath". Christian tradition says the Sunday "Lord's Day". It was exactly this contrast that caused the Catholic Bishops to doubt Martin Luther's sincerity, when he said 'scripture sola' (only Scripture). It is church tradition that imposed Sunday on Christianity, not the Bible. To be true to his slogan, Luther should have rejected Sunday worship along with other additions to Biblical Christianity. See From Sabbath to Sunday - Sunday-keepers say when it happened and who commanded it.
Question: Do you believe that animals and other creatures go to Heaven?
Reply: This is a perplexing question. If God loves us, and wants the best for us, wouldn't He want us to have our favorite pets with us? But then, why does God want us to go to Heaven? What will we do there? Is Heaven just an eternal retirement plan? Once we start raising serious questions about "life in Heaven", and then start looking for answers in the Bible, we discover something shocking! The Bible does NOT say that we go to Heaven! If you want to know more, look at Is Heaven the Christian's Reward?
Question: Is baptism necessary for salvation?
Reply: An interesting question and one which the New Testament addresses in a number of ways. The fundamental question is: "What is necessary for salvation?"
Since salvation is a gift of God, God can give it to anyone He wants to. Human actions cannot control God. "God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy." But ....
The New Testament is very clear that God now commands us all to "repent, be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." So, if we refuse to follow God's command, if we refuse to be baptized, "how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation"?
Thus, it seems very unlikely that God will save someone who refuses to be baptized. But, if it is physically impossible for someone to be baptized (e.g., because of a medical condition), then God can, in His great mercy, still extend salvation to that person.
Question: Should I be baptized for the dead?
Reply: In the only verse about "baptism for the dead" (I Cor. 15:29), Paul asks: "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?" Read this carefully. Paul uses the word "they". Not "I", Paul, as in v. 31. Not, the Corinthian church, "you(r)", as in v. 31. Not "we" (Paul and his friends, or Paul and the Corinthian church) as in v. 30. But "they".
Some people think "They" means "Corinthian Christians who have already died" - but, unlike in I Thessalonians, this situation does not seem to have arisen yet in Corinth.
In I Cor., "they" typifies Paul's detractors. The people who've got it wrong. It seems here that Paul is pointing out the self-contradictory behavior of his opponents. It seems that those who are spreading the "no resurrection" idea, which Paul is attacking in I Cor. 15, are also spreading some peculiar idea about baptism - an idea that depends on the dead having a future of some sort. Of course, in Paul's theology, if there is no resurrection, the dead have no future.
In summary, Paul's general approach is "imitate me as I imitate Christ", and definitely not "imitate them, and their crazy notions!" (about the resurrection, baptism, or anything else.)
Question: Could Noah eat anything that moves?
Reply: Genesis 9:3 "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things."
In Genesis 9, God is giving Noah instructions about life, in much the same way as He gave them to Adam in Gen. 2:15-17.
Some speculate that, while in the Garden of Eden, Adam was a vegetarian, or that it was like a modern zoo in which there are no animals intended for human consumption.
In Gen. 9, it is explained to Noah that all edible foods and animals are now available to him. There is no longer any tree with "forbidden fruit." But obviously this does not mean that "everything that moves" and all "green herbs" are edible! There are plenty of obviously poisonous plants. And we would be very foolish to eat "everything that moves"! Even snakes can be poisoned by eating cane toads.
Common sense based on human experience, along with other parts of the Bible, make clear what is edible.
Question: If God is love, why does He allow pain and suffering?
Reply: The answer to this important question is also the answer to a more fundamental question: "Why are we here at all?" If the answer is "to have a life of ease and leisure", then God has certainly failed in His purpose.  But that is not the answer! This life is a training period in character development and spiritual growth.  God our Father wants us to become "conformed to the image of His Son, the Lord Jesus".  This requires us to learn through suffering, just as Jesus did.  God is not bringing up a bunch of spoiled brats who only know how to live the lifestyle of the rich and famous.  God is bringing up children who know how to live righteous, holy lives, no matter what the circumstances. When we think of this life as a "boot camp" for eternal life, we begin to see why pain, suffering and hardship are part of our program. This raises another question: "Why do we need character?" If, in the next life,  we just to laze around Heaven all day, doing nothing - then we don't. So, think about it: what is God's long-term purpose? Is there some greater purpose to eternal life?
Question: I was baptized in my former church, do I need to be baptized again by my new church?
Reply: In the Book of Acts we read that some people who were baptized by John the Baptist were instructed to be baptized again. This was because their first baptism did not involve the Holy Spirit.
Baptism is agreement to the New Covenant in the blood of Jesus Christ. It expresses your personal relationship with your Father in Heaven, through the Lord, Jesus Christ. It also signifies your entry into the "body of Christ'" on earth, the Church. Before baptism, we must "repent, be converted, and call on the name of the Lord". "Baptized" comes from the Greek word "bapto", which means "immerse", intensified to "baptizo". A good translation for "baptizo" is "submerge." As the Apostle Paul writes: When we are baptized, we are submerged under water, in the same way that Jesus was submerged under the earth into his tomb, after he was crucified.
The words spoken by the person doing the baptizing are something like "I baptize you into the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. I do this in and through the name of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins." We then arise out of the water, just as Jesus arose out of the earth at His resurrection. At baptism, we are begotten by God's Holy Spirit as His child. The Book of Acts shows that receiving the Holy Spirit is signified by the "laying on of hands."
Should you be baptized again? It depends on whether your previous baptism matches the Biblical specifications just outlined. Does it?

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