Cephas Files: Prophecy

Artist Pat M. Smith (with permission)

What Must I Do to be Saved?
The Best Kept Secret

So, what shall we do? That is the very question that a multitude of people asked Peter and the apostles on the day of Pentecost. On that day thousands of people had gathered to listen to Peter. On that day, the people finally understood who Jesus was, they understood that they had crucified their Savior, and they believed that he was raised up from the dead!

They asked Peter and the apostles, "What shall we do?"

Brace yourself, because his answer is not what you have heard a million times before. In fact, you would think that Peter's answer was the best kept secret in the bible!

Acts 2: 38-39 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and
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. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.

So, in response, what did the people do? Did they act on Peter's answer?

verse 41 And they that gladly received his word [FIRST] were baptized.

  • Peter did NOT say, "Repeat this sinner's prayer."
  • Peter did NOT say, "Invite Jesus into your heart."
  • Peter did NOT say, "Just be a good person."
  • Peter did NOT say, "Believe. Have faith."
  • Peter did NOT say, "Call on the name of the Lord."

Calling on the name of the Lord:   If you look in your bible at verse 21 of Acts chapter 2,, Peter said, "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." But, he continued to preach. So, listen to what he said next. There was more! That was not the end of the lesson! In verses 22-36, the people continued to listen to him preach, Then, when they were convinced, they believed, and his words cut to their hearts, and then they asked the question, "What shall we do?"
His answer was,
"Repent and be baptized for forgiveness of your sins!"

Why didn't he simply say, "Call on the name of the Lord?"
The answer is demonstrated in Acts 22 with Saul's conversion. Jesus appeared to Saul, verse 8,
"I am Jesus" and Jesus told him, "Go to Damascus and there you will be told what to do!" You see, there was something that he needed to do. So, Saul went. What was he told to do?

Acts 22: 16 And now, why tarrist thou? (Why do you wait?)
Arise, and be baptized and wash away thy sins,
calling on the name of the Lord.

You see, it is in the act of baptism that we call on the name of the Lord.

What is baptism and why is it important?

Baptism comes from the Greek word "baptizo" which means to make fully wet or immerse.

It comes from the root word "bapto" which means to
cover wholly, to dip, to stain (as with dye) or to wash.

KJV AMG Study Bible explains the verse Acts 2:38: The main verb in this verse is metanoesate (3340), meaning "repent." This refers to that initial repentance of a sinner unto salvation. The verb translated "be baptized" is in the indirect pasive imperative of baptizo (907) which means that it does not have the same force as the direct command of "repent." The preposition "for" in the phrase "for the remission of sins" in Greek is eis (1519), "unto." Literally, it means "for the purpose of identifying you with the remission of sins." This same preposition is used in themselves with the work and ministry of Moses. Repentance is something that concerns an individual and God, while baptism is intended to be a testimony to other people. That is why baptistheto, "to be baptized," is in the passive voice indicating that one does not baptize himself, but he is baptized by another usually in the presence of others.

1) Baptism is a new birth.

Have you ever heard that we must be born again?
John 3: 3-7
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

We have all experienced the physical birth. But now we must be born again of water and Spirit.

2) Baptism puts you inside Christ.

Romans 6: 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? ... Galatians 3: 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ...

KJV AMG Bible note: "in Romans 6:3, the word pabtizo (907), means "to be identified with."

3) Baptism buries you with Christ so that you can share in his
   death and resurrection.

Romans 6: 3-5   Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: 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. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.

Colossian 2: 12 12  
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

4) Baptism saves us...

1 Peter 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.

After Jesus died and rose after three days reappeared "..unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

KJV AMG "baptistheis (907), translated "is baptized," is an aorist participle but in the passive voice. This form refers to an act of outward obedience, in this case baptism... Baptism is a distinct act of obedience apart from salvation If baptism were necessary for salvation, Ephesians 2:8 and many other verses should have been translated "ye are saved through faith and baptism."

5) Baptism washes away your sins... Acts 22: 16 Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins. and Acts 2: 38 ...be baptized for the remission of sins.

How Urgent is Baptism?

The book of Acts is the book of conversions. There we find examples of people being converted to Christ. The following people responded to the Gospel by being baptized.

Example #1    The Ethiopian Eunuch was baptized immediately upon hearing the gospel, Acts 8: 26-39 ...they came to a certain water: and the Eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest... and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the Eunuch; and he baptized him.

Example #2    The Jailer and his whole family were baptized the same hour that they heard the gospel. Acts 16: 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

Example #4    Saul was blinded for three days, but as soon as his eyesight was restored, he got baptized immediately. Acts 9: 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

Example #5    Cornelius received the Holy Spirit FIRST, but he still got baptized immediately! Acts 10: 47-48 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.

Never once did Peter or any apostle tell anyone at any time to say a sinner's prayer. Never once did they tell anyone to invite Jesus into their heart.
What did Peter say? Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Peter's answer is the gospel of your salvation! ... the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit... Ephesians 1:13. It was the first gospel message after the death and resurrection of Jesus. On the day of Pentecost as recorded in the book of Acts, Christ's church was established. Those who were baptized were added to the church and they received the Holy Spirit.

You may be asking yourself, "Why should I care
what Peter said?"
The answer is in Matthew 16:18-19. Jesus said...

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven...

There you have it! Jesus gave the keys of the kingdom to Peter. He gave the keys to one person, not anyone else: not the pope, not Billy Graham, not your preacher, and not you. Jesus gave them to Peter and that is why I listened to Peter's gospel of salvation.

Peter holds the keys! Peter said it, so it is bound on earth and in heaven. If you want to be sealed by the Holy Spirit, then you should listen to his answer and then be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins.

Key #1... Believe

Key #2... Repent

Key #3... Be Baptized for forgiveness

Key # 4... You will receive the Holy Spirit!

Peter's answer and the answer for every believer was always the same: "And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, "Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Acts 22: 16.

Truth Will Set You Free


Our Enemy Is Ignorance!
KJV: "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
(2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

"Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:" (Ephesians 4:18-21)

"And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;"
(Acts 3:17-19)

"But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness."
(1 Thessalonians 5:1-5)

"Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. "(1 Thessalonians 5:6)

"For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,"
(1 Thessalonians 5:9)

"For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."
(Romans 10:3)

"For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:" (2 Peter 3:5)

"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in." (Romans 11:25)

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."
(Acts 4:13)

  "So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee." (Psalms 73:22)

"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" (Acts 17:30)

"Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter." (Acts 17:31,32)

"As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
1 Peter 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:"
(1 Peter 1:14)

"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

"Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

"So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

"I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Rev 3:7-20 KJV)

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