The Bible is the inspired Word of God, giving a true history of the creation of heaven, earth, and humanity and containing a correct prophecy of the ages to come regarding heaven, earth, and the destiny of humanity. Moreover, there is no salvation outside of what is taught in its pages.
Jesus Himself testified of His identity as God when He said, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:7-11) and "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30).
It took shedding of blood for the remission of the sins of the world (Hebrews 9:22), but God the Father was a Spirit and had no blood to shed. Thus He prepared a body of flesh and blood (Hebrews 10:5)and came to earth as a man in order to save us, for in Isaiah 43:11 He said, "Beside me there is no Saviour." When He came in flesh the angels sang, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11).
Sprinkling, pouring, or infant baptism of any kind cannot be substantiated by the Word of God, but are only human traditions.
The apostles understood that Jesus was the name to use at baptism, and from the day that the church of God was established (the Day of Pentecost) until the end of their ministry, they baptized all nations (Jews--Acts 8:16; Gentiles--Acts 19:5) in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In fact, Jesus is the only name given for our salvation. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
It was prophesied by Joel (Joel 2:28-29) and Isaiah (Isaiah 28:11), foretold by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:11), purchased by the blood of Jesus, and promised by Him to His disciples (John 14:26; 15:16). The Holy Ghost was first poured out on the Day of Pentecost upon the Jews (Acts 2:1-4), then upon the Samaritans (Acts 8:17), and later upon the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-46; 19:6). "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" (Acts 2:39).
It was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah as the rest and the refreshing (Isaiah 28:11-12), foretold by Jesus as a sign that would follow believers of the gospel (Mark 16:17), and experienced by Jews and Gentiles alike.
The gift of "divers kinds of tongues," mentioned by Paul in I Corinthians 12:1-12 and concerning which he gave regulations in I Corinthians 14:1-40, is given by both for self-edification (I Corinthians 14:4) and for the edification of the church (I Corinthians 14:27-28).
In church meetings the gift of tongues is used to give a public message, and it is to be interpreted. Since this gift can be misused in public, it needs proper regulation (I Corinthians 14:23-28). Not all believers exercise the gift of tongues, which is different in function from tongues given by God as the initial witness of the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Paul said, "Forbid not to speak with tongues" (I Corinthians 14:39) and "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all" (I Corinthians 14:8). Who dares to teach or preach to the contrary?
Speaking in tongues means speaking miraculously in a language unknown to the speaker, as the Spirit gives utterance. Tongues can be classified in two ways, according to function: (1)speaking in other tongues as the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost and (2)the gift of tongues as mentioned in I Corinthians.
The following references show plainly that speaking in tongues as the evidence of the Holy Ghost has been given by God to earnest, God-fearing people down through the years.
Scaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, vol. 3, page 2369, "Tongues, Gift of": "A phenomenon of the Apostolic age, technically known as the 'glossolalia.' In later time analogies have been found for it in the 'speaking in tongues' of the Camisards, Prophets of the Cevennes, Early Quakers and Methodists, 'Lasare' in Sweden (1841-1843), converts in the Irish revival of 1859, and particularly in the Catholic Apostolic (Irvingite) Church."
Scaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, vol. 2, page 1119, "Irving, Edward": "In 1830 the news was spread abroad of the strange speaking with tongues which occurred in widely separated parts of Scotland. In 1831 prophecy and tongues appeared in Irving's church and Irving fell in with the movement, heartily convinced of its spiritual basis and divine authority."
Scaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, vol. 1, page 422, "Catholic Apostolic Church": "Pious Presbyterian men and women believed that their organs of speech were used by the Holy Spirit for the utterance of His thoughts and attentions."
Encyclopaedia Britannica, New Werner Edition, vol. 4, page 749, "Camisards": "Speaking in tongues, accompanied by all kinds of miracles, was common among the Camisards and Cevennes of Southern France in the 18th century. Children, under the influence of supernatural power, spoke and prophesied in languages unknown to them."
Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, edited by James Hastings, vol. 7, page 424: "In 1831 the gift of tongues and prophecy appeared, it was believed in answer to fervent prayer, among the members of Irving's congregation."
Butler, Christian Denominations of the World, "Edward Irving (1792-1834)": "He proclaimed his conviction that the gifts of the Holy Ghost, such as tongues, healing, etc., were withheld only because of the want of faith, and ere long there were several persons in his church who claimed the gift of tongues."
Abingdon Bible Commentary, page 1190: "Scottish peasants spoke in tongues."
Webster's New International Dictionary, 2nd edition, page 1056, "Gift of Tongues": "A phenomenon experienced by some of the Christian of New Testament times, the nature of which seems to have been a kind of ecstatic utterance usually unintelligible to the hearers and even to the speakers, therefore requiring interpretation; glossolalia. Similar phenomena have in modern times been experienced by some of the early Friends, Jansenists, Methodists, etc."
We must present ourselves as holy unto God (Romans 12:1), cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit (II Corinthians 7:1), and separate ourselves from all worldliness (James 4:4).
If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (I Peter 4:18).
No one can live a holy life by his own power, but only through the Holy Spirit. "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1:8).
Jesus went everywhere healing those who were sick (Matthew 4:23-24), and He commanded His disciples to do the same (Matthew 10:8). He said concerning those who believe the gospel, "They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:18). Mighty healings and miracles followed the disciples wherever the gospel was preached.
There is no sickness or disease too hard for God. Any of us, our children, or our friends can be healed by the power of God.
"Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him , anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord shall raise him up: and if he have committed sins they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed" (James 5:14-16).
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
"One shall be taken and the other left" (Luke 17:36). Will we be ready?
The signs of His coming are everywhere. The days of peril are here indeed, with forms of godliness void of the power of God; society and politics corrupted; and people's hearts filled with pride, blasphemies, unholiness, love of evil, and love of pleasures (II Timothy 3:1-13). These things, together with multitudes running to and fro, the increase of knowledge (Daniel 12:4), the persecution of the Jews and their return to Palestine (Luke 21:24), and scores of other things are starting signs that Jesus' coming is drawing near.
Wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, storms, floods, distress of nations, perplexity, and people's hearts failing them for fear are sounding the solemn alarm that Jesus' coming is at hand (Matthew 24:6; Luke 21:25-28).
"Prepare to meet thy God" (Amos 4:12).
"Marvel not this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:28-29).
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God . . . and the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them" (Revelation 20:12-13)> (See also Daniel 12:2; I Corinthians 15:13-23.)
The eternal destiny of every soul shall be determined by a just God who knows the secrets of everyone's heart. "And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. . . .Then shall he also say unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. . . . And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal" (Matthew 25:32-34, 41, 46).