House Church Talk - Re: Baptisms and Administrations

Ross J Purdy rossjpurdy at
Wed Mar 31 21:32:10 EST 2004

Hi Bruce,

Sorry I have not been timely, I have had to take a hiatus since my offline
life has demanded all my attention lately.

Regarding Job, I understand him to have been contemporary with Abraham or
later patriarchs.

Regarding the wise men, they came from Persia where Israel had been in
captivity and where there was still a substantial Jewish population who
never left. So their information would have come from the Hebrew population
in their homeland and/or copies of Israel's sacred writings and literature.

Have I read "The Coming Prince"? I have skimmed through parts but have not
read it through. Do I think that Anderson is true to his own stated
principles or do I believe that he has intentionally "pulled the wool over"
the eyes of most of his "unsuspecting readers"? I can not believe he
intentionally bamboozled his readers. I put checking it out on my list of
things to do! ;^) I would be disappointed if I found out he was trying to
pull the wool over his readers' eyes!

I have intended to establish the fact that there is a special relationship
with the elect nation through which God intends to work out His purpose. A
relationship exhibited through the promises and covenants God made with
Israel. You wrote, "I certainly agree with you that Israel had many
advantages over other nations", and, "I also agree with you that Israel had
a unique covenant relationship with God by the covenant (The ten
commandments) made with them at Sinai."

You also wrote, "But the Lord Jesus' command to his disciples to make
disciples of all nations and to baptize those disciples was made AFTER the
old covenant had come to an end at the death of Christ and the rending of
the veil of the temple from the top to the bottom! His command for them to
baptize the disciples they would make of all nations had to do, NOT with the
old covenant which was dedicated with the sprinkling of animal blood (Ex.24)
but rather with the new covenant that was dedicated with the shedding of the
precious blood of Christ, Himself! (Heb.9:13-28)"

I think we can connect their mission with the promises made to Abraham to
bless the nations through Israel. The covenants were in line with this
purpose of God. Granted that the New Covenant was going to make possible
what was impossible under the Old Covenant, but I don't think that made any
difference in God's purpose. The one thing that needed to be done but could
not under the Old Covenant would get done under the New Covenant. They are
not two totally unrelated programs. They both were continuing developments
in God's relationship with Israel. John's ministry was not one intended to
cause Israel to focus on the Old Covenant. He was the "FORE-runner" of the
Messiah and his ministry was one of focus on the Messiah and a right
relationship with God. Since the Messiah was come to establish the New
Covenant, how can we relegate John's ministry purely to the Old? As
fore-runner of the New Covenant making Messiah, his ministry was really a
New Covenant one or at the least, a forward-looking-towards-the-New-Covenant
ministry. Despite the noted differences in the contexts of before and after
the cross, there are no explicit statements proving any change in Israel's
roll and ministry are there? So what if the Lord's commission to the 12 to
make disciples and baptize was after the inauguration of the New Covenant,
what explicit statement differentiates the ministry of the 12 from John's.
The explicit statements of Scripture identify their ministries as that of a
baptism for repentance and I think the typical reader will see it that way.
Also, John's baptism was not distinguished from that of the 12's, rather it
looked forward to the baptism of the Spirit which would come when the New
Covenant was made possible. When the 12 water baptized, then the HS was
"poured" out. So likewise, their baptism was also in anticipation of the HS
just like John's was. (Since the HS was poured out and the rites that Israel
was familiar with were pourings/sprinklings, would it be a surprize if their
water baptisms were by pouring/sprinkling?) The wider scope of the 12's
ministry was expected with the empowerment of the HS. John's ministry also
anticipated a wider scope (Messiah was going to save the world, not just
Israel!) but had a focus on the priority of Israel's relationship with God.
Even the 12 were supposed to start at home first, they were just picking up
where John left off.

ALL the 12 had a responsibility to baptize, but do we? Where is it
explicitly stated that WE are to go and water baptize? The command was to a
specific group who also were instructed to do other things and of which
specific signs would follow. We are not seeing those signs today! Paul the
apostle to the nations (since Israel would not serve God), UNLIKE the 12,
was NOT sent to baptize, so why should we? There are no explicit statements
that everyone should baptize, only those immediate disciples of Christ's
earthly ministry were instructed to do so. The water baptisms anticipated
the Spirit baptism and the explicit statement of Ephesians is that there is
now only ONE baptism in the context of the HS sealing us. We have no
responsibility under the New Covenant, it was not made with the nations, it
was made with Israel. Since Israel has not properly accepted Messiah, there
is yet to be an actual (legal?) implementation of the New Covenant. Neither
Israel nor the nations are under the New Covenant now. There is no New
Covenant responsibility today. But there will be when Israel is restored in
the future. The blessings that the nations enjoy today are based on Christ's
work even as the New Covenant is, but we receive them purely by GRACE and
not by Covenant; the only responsibility that entails is righteousness and
conformity to Christ, not ANY typical shadows now past and yet to be

I wrote: "If individuals wanted a relationship with God, they formerly had
to come through the covenant nation of Israel. Are there not instructions in
the Law for how those of other nations are to approach and worship God? Were
they not required to come and conduct themselves in respect of the covenant

You asked, "Where in scripture do you find this idea taught? What sort of
instructions, subjects or contexts come to your mind relative to these

These actually apply to those foreigners joining or travelling with the
congregation of God and not to outside nations. While I don't want to
exclude a relationship to the God of Israel outside of Israel, such seems to
be rare and atypical. Any relationship with God back then seems to find a
connection to Israel one way or the other. But with respect to other nations
relationship to Israel, they had to respect Israel as God's elect nation, as
well as, their destiny as God's people. Israel as a nation is the context of
John the baptist's ministry, and where he leaves off, Christ's disciples
pick up and are supposed to run with it to the next level.

According to some scholars, it seems that the OT shows Israel not interested
in proselytizing or seeking to make everyone into a convert. The goal was to
preserve the sanctity of Israel since God had plans for her. Those strangers
who were with Israel were compelled to maintain Israel's sanctity according
to the Law. Israel was not to be evangelistic until after their restoration
and ministry to the nations via the New Covenant.

Exodus 12:43-49 WEB

(43) Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the ordinance of the Passover.
There shall no foreigner eat of it,

(44) but every man's servant who is bought for money, when you have
circumcised him, then shall he eat of it.

(45) A foreigner and a hired servant shall not eat of it.

(46) In one house shall it be eaten; you shall not carry forth anything of
the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall you break a bone of it.

(47) All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.

(48) When a stranger shall live as a foreigner with you, and will keep the
Passover to Yahweh, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come
near and keep it; and he shall be as one who is born in the land: but no
uncircumcised person shall eat of it.

(49) One law shall be to him who is born at home, and to the stranger who
lives as a foreigner among you."

Leviticus 17:7-16 WEB

(7) They shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to the goat idols, after
which they play the prostitute. This shall be a statute forever to them
throughout their generations.'

(8) "You shall say to them, 'Any man there is of the house of Israel, or of
the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who offers a burnt offering
or sacrifice,

(9) and doesn't bring it to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to sacrifice it
to Yahweh; that man shall be cut off from his people.

(10) "'Any man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who live as
foreigners among them, who eats any kind of blood, I will set my face
against that soul who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his

(11) For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you
on the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that
makes atonement by reason of the life.

(12) Therefore I have said to the children of Israel, "No person among you
shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who lives as a foreigner among
you eat blood."

(13) "'Whatever man there is of the children of Israel, or of the strangers
who live as foreigners among them, who takes in hunting any animal or bird
that may be eaten; he shall pour out its blood, and cover it with dust.

(14) For as to the life of all flesh, its blood is with its life: therefore
I said to the children of Israel, "You shall not eat the blood of any kind
of flesh; for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be
cut off."

(15) "'Every person that eats what dies of itself, or that which is torn by
animals, whether he is native-born or a foreigner, he shall wash his
clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening: then
he shall be clean.

(16) But if he doesn't wash them, or bathe his flesh, then he shall bear his

Leviticus 24:15-22 WEB

(15) You shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'Whoever curses his
God shall bear his sin.

(16) He who blasphemes the name of Yahweh, he shall surely be put to death;
all the congregation shall certainly stone him: the foreigner as well as the
native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.

(17) "'He who strikes any man mortally shall surely be put to death.

(18) He who strikes a animal mortally shall make it good, life for life.

(19) If anyone injures his neighbor; as he has done, so shall it be done to

(20) fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has injured
someone, so shall it be done to him.

(21) He who kills an animal shall make it good; and he who kills a man shall
be put to death.

(22) You shall have one kind of law, for the foreigner as well as the
native-born: for I am Yahweh your God.'"

Leviticus 25:47-54 WEB

(47) "'If a stranger or sojourner with you becomes rich, and your brother
beside him has grown poor, and sells himself to the stranger or foreigner
living among you, or to a member of the stranger's family;

(48) after he is sold he may be redeemed. One of his brothers may redeem

(49) or his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any who is a close
relative to him of his family may redeem him; or if he has grown rich, he
may redeem himself.

(50) He shall reckon with him who bought him from the year that he sold
himself to him to the Year of Jubilee: and the price of his sale shall be
according to the number of years; according to the time of a hired servant
shall he be with him.

(51) If there are yet many years, according to them he shall give back the
price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for.

(52) If there remain but a few years to the year of jubilee, then he shall
reckon with him; according to his years of service he shall give back the
price of his redemption.

(53) As a servant hired year by year shall he be with him: he shall not rule
 with harshness over him in your sight.

(54) "'If he isn't redeemed by these means, then he shall be released in the
Year of Jubilee, he, and his children with him.

Leviticus 18:24-30 WEB

(24) "'Don't defile yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the
nations which I am casting out before you were defiled.

(25) The land was defiled: therefore I punished its iniquity, and the land
vomitted out her inhabitants.

(26) You therefore shall keep my statutes and my ordinances, and shall not
do any of these abominations; neither the native-born, nor the stranger who
lives as a foreigner among you;

(27) (for all these abominations have the men of the land done, that were
before you, and the land became defiled);

(28) that the land not vomit you out also, when you defile it, as it vomited
out the nation that was before you.

(29) "'For whoever shall do any of these abominations, even the souls that
do them shall be cut off from among their people.

(30) Therefore you shall keep my charge, that you do not practice any of
these abominable customs, which were practiced before you, and that you do
not defile yourselves with them: I am Yahweh your God.'"

Leviticus 20:2-3 WEB

(2) "Moreover, you shall tell the children of Israel, 'Anyone of the
children of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners in Israel,
who gives any of his seed to Molech; he shall surely be put to death. The
people of the land shall stone him with stones.

(3) I also will set my face against that person, and will cut him off from
among his people because he has given of his seed to Molech, to defile my
sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.

Exodus 20:10 WEB

(10) but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your God. You shall not do
any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your man-servant, nor
your maid-servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your

Exodus 23:12 WEB

(12) "Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall
rest, that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your
handmaid, and the alien may be refreshed.

Leviticus 16:29 WEB

(29) "It shall be a statute to you forever: in the seventh month, on the
tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and shall do no manner
of work, the native-born, or the stranger who lives as a foreigner among

Deuteronomy 16:11 WEB

(11) and you shall rejoice before Yahweh your God, you, and your son, and
your daughter, and your man-servant, and your maid-servant, and the Levite
who is within your gates, and the foreigner, and the fatherless, and the
widow, who are in the midst of you, in the place which Yahweh your God shall
choose, to cause his name to dwell there.

Deuteronomy 16:14 WEB

(14) and you shall rejoice in your feast, you, and your son, and your
daughter, and your man-servant, and your maid-servant, and the Levite, and
the foreigner, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your gates.

Exodus 12:19 WEB

(19) Seven days shall there be no yeast found in your houses, for whoever
eats that which is leavened, that soul shall be cut off from the
congregation of Israel, whether he be a foreigner, or one who is born in the

In Christ,

Ross Purdy

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