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How To Successfully Bury The Past

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					             How To Successfully Bury The Past
                  by Mark Finley

             Discoveries In Prophecy lecture #16


My topic tonight is how to successfully bury the past. Are there some things
about your past that you'd like to be done with.....done with forever? Final
words or parting words are extremely important.

Often because I travel I have to leave home, and I often say to my wife, "Honey,
I'm going to be gone, but remember, I need these three books. When you come and
join me in the city where I'm giving presentations, bring the books,
please.....or bring me an extra suit, or an extra tie, or an extra pair of
shoes" or some other thing which I have forgotten. My parting words..... that
little list that I leave my wife when I leave is important.

Dying words are even more important. As a pastor I've drawn close to men and
women who have been on their beds dying. And I've watched as their relatives
have gathered around them, straining their ears and bending over simply to hear
the next words out of the mouths of those relatives. Friend, dying words are
important.

Farewells are important. Christ gave His farewell after the crucifixion and
after the resurrection, telling His disciples in Matthew 28:19,20: "Go therefore
and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teach them to observe all things that I
have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Amen."

Jesus said to His disciples, "Go, teach men and women, and baptize them in the
name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." Jesus told His disciples in
His parting words, to baptize.....so baptism must be important, exceedingly
important because it was part of Christ's farewell. He said that after you teach
and after men and women accept Me, baptize them.

In fact, baptism is mentioned eighty times in the New Testament alone.....not
once or twice, not ten, twenty or thirty times, but eighty times in the New
Testament alone. Any subject mentioned that many times must be exceedingly
important. Yet there's a lot of confusion about this subject of baptism.....a
lot of confusion! Some people say, "Well, baptism.....that's by sprinkling of
babies." Other people say, "No, you take a baby and immerse it in the water."
Our orthodox friends do that, for example. Other people say, "No, you pour water
over a child at ten or eleven. Other people say, "No, you baptize by immersion,
where the person goes under, and they're covered by the water." I have even


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heard about rose petal baptism, where you take roses and sprinkle them on a
person's head. And one pastor tried snow baptism --- he said it doesn't make any
difference whether the water is liquid or not, so he took a group out into the
snow. The snow was about, oh, four feet high, and he put them under the snow and
covered them and said, "Although the water is a solid, that's okay." There is
also oil baptism. Many kinds of baptism.....

But, I wonder, what does the Bible really teach about baptism? Is baptism really
that important? And does it make a difference how a person is baptized.

When Nicodemus came to Him, Jesus said this in John 3:5: "I tell you the truth,
no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit."
Certainly baptism must be important, exceedingly important.....because Jesus
said that unless a man is born of the Spirit (that is, internally changed and
transformed, where God gives us a new life---to be born of the Spirit is
internal) and of water (that is, the witness or the external symbol that God has
done something in our heart).....the Bible says except a man is born of water
and the Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God. The Bible teaches that baptism
is important, extremely important.

Mark 16:16 says, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved," so notice
again, Jesus links belief and baptism together. Now, obviously the thief on the
cross was never baptized, and Jesus said that he would be in the kingdom, but
that thief was nailed to a cross and in his dying breath accepted Christ's
forgiveness. There are people that are physically incapable of baptism. But
Jesus says that baptism is a symbol of my belief in Him, of a new life in Him,
and that that external witness is extremely important.

But what one method of baptism does the Bible teach? The Bible says in Ephesians
4:5, "One Lord, one faith....." (read it with me please) ".....one baptism"---in
other words, only one type of baptism. One Lord, one faith, and only one method
of true Bible baptism.....just like there is one Lord (not Buddha, not Mohammed,
not Confucius, not many Gods) Jesus Christ---there is one faith or Bible
religion, the religion of scripture, the pathway to Jesus Christ---and so also
the Bible says there is one baptism.

Truly there is one biblical method of baptism. What is that? Let's go back to
the days of Jesus to see if we can discover this method of biblical baptism, to
see what it has to do with burying the past, with starting a new life, with
doing away with guilt. In the days of Jesus, as John the Baptist preached, the
Bible says in Matthew 3:5,6: "Then Jerusalem, all Judea and all the region
around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan,
confessing their sins."

As John preached, tens of thousands heard that he was out there by the Jordan
River, and many came, confessing their sins. As they did, John led them into the



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Jordan River, immersing them---they went under the water, the water completely
covered them---as a symbol of cleansing, as a symbol of forgiveness, as a symbol
of freedom from guilt. They confessed their sins, and there in the Jordan, John
baptized them.

One of those who came to John there in the wilderness was Jesus. Jesus came, not
because He had sinned, but because He knew we would sin---He came as an example
to you and me. The Bible says in Matthew 3:15 that John didn't want to baptize
Jesus. John saw in Jesus One so holy, One so righteous, that he was very
hesitant, but the Bible says that Jesus spoke to John and said, "Let it be so
now;....." (in other words, allow Me to be baptized) ".....it is proper for us
to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented. Jesus was not
baptized because He sinned, He was baptized because we sinned. But if Christ my
Lord, led into the baptismal pool by John, gave me an example, I want to follow
in His footsteps. What about you? If indeed Jesus Himself were baptized, if it
were not below Him, if the Righteous One were baptized as an example, that
example is one that He invites us to follow. In fact, the Bible says that Jesus
"came up out of the water" (now notice that John and Jesus went down into the
water, where John held his hand to heaven and lowered Jesus into the water.)
John 3:22 says, in fact, that the reason Jesus was baptized in the Jordan and
the reason John was baptizing there was "because there was much water there," so
true biblical baptism requires much water. The Bible says in Matthew 3:16,17,
that "As soon as He was baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment
heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and
lighting on Him. A voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with
Him I am well pleased." When Jesus was immersed by John (not sprinkled, not
poured---Jesus was immersed) the voice from heaven came saying, "This is my
beloved Son in whom I well pleased"---and as you are baptized, the voice from
heaven says this is my beloved daughter Mary, this is my beloved daughter Joan,
this is my beloved son Harry, this is my beloved son Joseph, in whom I am well
pleased. When you walk into that baptismal pool, there is the sense that you
are pleasing God. It's the greatest joy in life to know that you are pleasing
God. It's one thing, ma'am, to please your father. It's one thing, ma'am, to
please your husband. It's one thing to please your children, but it's another
thing to please God. It's one thing, sir, to please your wife, to please your
parents, to please your children, but it's another thing to please God. And when
we walk into that baptismal pool, we fulfill the object of our creation, because
baptism is a symbol that we're giving the life God gave to us back to Him, and
we have that sense of well-being in our hearts, that sense that we are pleasing
God. When Christ was baptized, the Bible says a dove hovered over Him---the
Spirit of God in the form of a dove---in that shaft of light. Jesus received
power from the Holy Spirit when He was baptized. Acts 10:38 says that "God
anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and....." (what everybody?)
".....power." When you are baptized the Bible way, you go into the water like
the candidates did tonight---they went under the water, they were immersed---
which is a symbol that they are giving their lives to Christ. They have the



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sense in their hearts that they are pleasing God, that sense that they are one
with God, and as they come up out of the water, they have made a commitment to
follow Jesus, a commitment to live in harmony with the principles of the Bible,
a commitment to follow Christ. Making that commitment is a great commitment, but
God gives them the power and the strength to follow through. I've had people say
to me, 'I don't want to be baptized, because I'm too weak.' As you walk into the
pool symbolic of giving your total life to Christ, He gives you the power to do
what you could never do. You make the decision, you make the commitment, and God
will give to you the power. In the Bible, baptism was always by immersion---
never by sprinkling, never by pouring. Do you remember the story in the Bible of
the Ethiopian man? This Ethiopian was a very intellectual and wealthy man, the
treasurer for the queen of Ethiopia. He had been to Jerusalem to worship---He
was an honest man studying the Bible, but he didn't understand what he was
studying about in Isaiah 53, the very portion that talked about Jesus. As he
studied, God led Philip to his chariot, so Philip climbed up and began to
explain it. And the Ethiopian said, 'I've never understood the Bible like this
before. I understand Jesus is the Messiah! I understand the prophecies of the
Bible now. I understand that Christ has come the first time and that now that my
whole life is His.' And so this Ethiopian said to Philip, 'Stop the chariot! I
want to follow in the pathway of Christ. I want to follow in the pathway of the
Bible.' And the Bible says in Acts 8:36-38, "As they traveled along the road,
they came to some water and the eunuch said, 'Look, here is water. Why shouldn't
I be baptized?' And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the
eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him." Now notice, "Then both
Philip and the eunuch went down into the water." In other words, Philip and the
eunuch together walked into the water, about up to the waist and Philip, lifting
his hands, said, 'Because of your belief in Jesus I now baptize you' and he
lowered that Ethiopian under the water. The Ethiopian learned the word of God,
and he understood prophecy. So many of you coming to these meetings have
learned the word of God. So many of you now understand that Christ is coming and
He's coming soon. So many of you have given your lives to Christ. So many of you
understand God's commands now in His word, like the Bible Sabbath. That's why
God is leading you to make a decision. That's why God is leading you now to
follow through on this knowledge like the Ethiopian did and to say, 'Lord, I
want to go all the way with You, I want to look forward to baptism just like
Jesus was baptized, just like men and women in the Bible were baptized.

Baptism is a symbol. It's a symbol of death---it's a symbol of burial---and a
symbol of resurrection. The Bible says in Romans 6:3, "Don't you know that all
of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?" My
topic is how to bury the past. You bury a person when he has died---the Bible
says that baptism is a symbol of burial---we come to Christ, and we die to the
sins and habits of our past life, then we walk into the watery grave of baptism
and bury the old man of sin. In Romans 6:4 the Bible says, "We were therefore
buried with Christ through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was
raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new



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life." He is the God of the new start and the new beginning. There may have
been things you've done five years or five weeks or five months ago that you
don't want anybody to know about---secrets hidden in your life. The guilt of
your past haunts you. But you can walk into the baptismal pool, where that old
past can die. You can go under the water and the guilt can be gone. The devil
may tempt you a month from now, six months from now, a year from now, six years
from now---the devil may say, 'Look what you did back then!' But you can say,
'I'm sorry, that old person is dead and gone and buried. There is a new life
that I'm living now!' It's one thing to get a new car, another thing to get a
new suit, sir, another thing to get a new dress, ma'am, but it's another thing
to get a new life, and that what Jesus Christ offers to us---a new life!
Baptism is a symbol that we've died to the old sinful way of life, that it's
behind us. When we go into that water, there's this sense of cleansing, this
sense that we're fresh and new in Jesus. When we bury our sins in the watery
grave of baptism, they are gone. But somebody says, 'Oh, I'm too much of a
sinner!' Whether your sins are sins that are some of the grosser sins catalogued
by man, whether you have come from a drug addict or an alcohol background,
whether you've been promiscuous and sexually immoral, whether your sins are
pride or criticism or gossip, whether your sins are the inner sins of the lust
of the mind, whether it is theft---whatever it is, the truth of the matter is
that the Bible says "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." So
together we are sinners, and together we walk in the footsteps of Jesus into the
baptismal pool. And there we have our acknowledgment that we can never be good
enough to save ourselves, that we need the grace and mercy of God to save us.
I want to live the new life in Jesus---now that my eyes are focused on Jesus,
now that His Holy Spirit is living in my heart, now that I'm walking in the way
of obedience and following His commandments. Coming to Christ, I walk into the
watery grave of baptism. Baptism is a divide in the life where now I'm walking
in the way of Christ, in the way of His commandments. The Bible doesn't teach
that you must be perfect before you're baptized, but the Bible does teach that
you must have a commitment to Jesus Christ, a desire to follow Him, a desire to
obey Him.

You know, when you go back to study the ancient churches, they reveal the
method of baptism used. Let's go back to some of those churches in the early
centuries, back to Philippi..... Now you remember that Paul established one of
the early Christian churches in the first century in Philippi (---these ruins do
not date back to the first century, but they date back very early 4th or 5th
century.) Here in the ruins of one of the early Christian churches in Philippi,
there is a baptistery where early Christians were baptized by immersion. Let's
go to Rome, the second most famous church in Rome, St. John of Lateran, only
after St. Peter's Cathedral..... In the back of St. John of Lateran, there is a
baptistery, there in Rome where adult believers were baptized by immersion. If
we go to this famous architectural monument..... (what is this?) Yes, the
Leaning Tower of Pisa..... (Oh, I know why you knew, I wrote it on there,
'Leaning Tower of Pisa' Right!) It's very famous in Italy, but in back of the



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leaning tower is the baptistery. Our Roman Catholic friends for 1300 years
practiced baptism of adult believers by immersion in baptisteries in their
churches. And here is the capital city of Turkey..... During the Middle Ages,
when the church and state united, many, many Christians fled to these areas.
There, where they were hiding inside these caves, they carved chapels and
churches---these Christians were being persecuted. Let's go into these hollowed-
out caves and see what we find..... Here is a baptistery where Christians in the
Middle Ages practiced baptism by immersion, never by sprinkling, never by
pouring, always the Bible way. In Moscow's Red Square, you can see Saint
Basil's Cathedral. One of the early paintings of the prince of Russia in 1088,
Vladimir the Great, is a baptistery scene. Here you're looking at a Russian
baptistery scene of the king being baptized by immersion..... Baptism in the
Bible is always performed after people believe in Christ, always after they
repent of their sins, always after they accept the word of God. Baptism was
never for babies throughout the Bible, always for adult believers, as a symbol
of commitment, faith, repentance from sin. Here Vladimir, the great Russian
king, is shown being baptized by immersion..... If we go to Geneva,
Switzerland, in the World Council of Churches, you can view a fresco that dates
from the 4th century in Africa. It is of Jesus' baptism and reveals how
Christians in the 4th century understood Jesus' baptism---of course, baptism by
immersion. The African churches practiced baptism by immersion---that's how the
Ethiopian was baptized. You may ask, 'When did baptism of babies come in, and
how did that happen?' It was not until the Council of Ravenna in 1311 AD that
sprinkling and pouring were officially accepted as equally valid as immersion in
the rite of baptism. Thirteen hundred years after Christ is when the church for
the first time acknowledged baptism by sprinkling and pouring---up until this
time people were immersed.

Many practices have come into the Christian church that don't find their roots
in the Bible. For instance, Sunday worship came in through paganism.....also,
the idea that the soul leaves the body at death (the immortal soul) came in
through paganism..... The Bible teaches that the seventh day of the week is the
Sabbath, and that when you die, you sleep, resting until Jesus comes.....
Many practices have come in, and one of those practices of course is baptism by
sprinkling. You ask, 'How did it come into the church after 1300 years? When
did they first start baptizing babies? The church fathers---a priest or a
bishop---would be called to a person's bedside when he was dying, because this
individual had put off baptism. And you know, the individual knew that Jesus
said, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mark 16:16). The
individual knew that Jesus said, "Except a man be born of water and of the
Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5.) So often a person,
if he had put off baptism, would call for the priest when he was dying. The
priest would come and wrap him from his feet to the top of his head with wet
towels, because he couldn't take the dying person to baptize him by immersion.
As a result of that, then some began to baptize by sprinkling because it was
inconvenient to those who were dying. The church also developed the idea that



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a baby was guilty of Adam's sin --- and if the baby was not baptized before it
died, the church said it could not go to heaven because of the guilt of Adam.
Now, what kind of God would we have who would say that because of what Adam did
(sin) and because of what the mother did not do (baptize the child), the child
can't go to heaven? Does that sound like God? --- saying, 'You're not here,
because of what Adam did and because of what your mother didn't do." And so the
idea of baptizing infants first came when there was a shift from sprinkling
people dying because they couldn't be immersed to the idea of now sprinkling
every baby, so you wouldn't have to wait until their death to cover the guilt of
Adam's sin. But all through the Bible baptism was never a symbol of forgiveness
for the sin of Adam. As by one man (Adam) the whole world was plunged into sin
and condemnation, in one Man (Jesus Christ) the whole world was redeemed. And my
baptism is a symbol that I believe Jesus redeemed the world and that He redeemed
me as a believer. Baptism is a symbol that we're walking in the footsteps of
Christ. A baby cannot believe, a baby cannot repent, and a baby cannot be
instructed.

Did you ever read that story about the American frontier, where a certain
missionary shared Jesus with an Indian chief? For months the missionaries
studied the Bible with his tribe, and the chief and his whole tribe wanted to be
baptized. The date was set, and the missionary came to the Indian chief and
said, "Chief, I'm ready to baptize you." The missionary brought out a gold
chalice filled with water, and the poor chief looked at it and said, "Chalice
too small, chalice too small. Indian cannot fit in cup." When the missionary
said, "It doesn't make any difference how much water there is, Chief," it is
reported that the old chief said, "Then Indian has read wrong book!" Friend
of mine, if you're going to go by the Book, baptism is a beautiful ceremony to
bury the past. The word 'baptism' (the Greek word 'baptizo') means to dip, to
immerse, to plunge. The very word 'baptism' does not mean sprinkling, it does
not mean pouring. The very word 'baptism' means submerged, like a piece of cloth
that is taken from the bolt and put under dye to completely change its color ---
as the Greeks say, it is 'baptizo.' Or if you get a pitcher of clay pottery and
you plunge it under the water and totally fill it, it is immersed, or 'baptizo.'
So baptism in the Bible is always going completely totally under the water.

Often people ask me the same question that was asked in the Bible: "What shall
we do?" (Acts 2:37). Or they ask "What shall I do when I hear these things?" How
do you know if you're ready for Bible baptism? How do you personally know if God
is leading you during this series of "Discoveries In Prophecy" lectures, to walk
through the baptismal pool in your local host city, in the church that you're in
tonight, or there in that movie theater where you're watching this broadcast? Or
maybe God is leading you there at home where you are watching. Maybe God is
leading you..... Or you are here in Orlando and God is leading you.....

There are three steps the Bible talks about..... .....First, the Bible says
that, when we come to Jesus Christ, we come and repent. We say, 'Lord, You died



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on the cross for me, and Lord, I'm sorry for what I have done!' The word
'repentance' means a change of attitude toward. So I come to Christ, I come to
the cross. The Bible says in Acts 2:38, "Repent and be baptized, every one of
you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins." Is a baby
old enough to repent? Can a baby just a few days old have sins to repent of? The
Bible says, not that babies are to be sprinkled or immersed --- the Bible says
that baptism is for adult believers who repent of their sins. It says, "Repent
and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission
of sins." Your sins are gone, the past is buried, and you have a new life.
.....The Bible then goes on to say in Acts 8:37 that you come to Christ and
believe --- "If you believe with all your heart, you may (be baptized)." Have
you repented of sin? Have you said, 'Jesus, I'm sorry. Jesus, I've done some
things that are wrong. Jesus, there are some things in my past.....there are
attitudes and criticism.....there is pride. Lord, I walked in a way opposite of
you. Lord, there's theft.....Lord, there's been adultery.....Lord, whatever it
is, you know what it is and so does God.' And you come with an attitude of
sorrow and contrition and thanksgiving. You believe that Christ died for you.
You believe that Christ will forgive you and cleanse you. You believe that
Christ will come into your life, into your heart, and that He's changed you. You
accept that what Jesus did on the cross, His death, was for you. The Bible says
that before baptism you repent and you believe. .....The Bible says also that
before baptism, we learn. In fact, Acts 2:41 says, when Peter was baptizing
believers, "Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day
about three thousand souls were added to them." The Bible says they who gladly
received God's word were baptized. As you have come to the "Discoveries In
Prophecy" series, you've been gladly receiving God's word. You've received the
truth that Jesus is coming.....every eye will see it and every ear will hear it.
You've been receiving the truth that there's salvation only through Christ ---
we've talked about that night after night. You've received the truth that Christ
can change your life. You received the truth that we're living in the the last
hour just before the coming of Jesus. You've received the truth that, if we love
Him, we'll keep His commandments and follow Him on the Sabbath, keeping the
Sabbath day holy. You've received the truth that death is but a sleep. And the
Bible says, "Then those who gladly received His word were baptized: that day
about three thousand souls." When we come to Christ and repent of our sins, we
have a genuine sorrow for sin.....we say, 'Lord, I'm sorry.' We believe that
Christ has saved us, we accept Christ as Savior and Lord, and we learn the
essentials of Christian faith. And then we make that decision. God has not led
you here by accident! God has brought you here to this place! Somebody may
say, 'But does baptism mean I'm becoming part of Christ's church?' I've had
people say to me, 'Well, Pastor, I want to be baptized, but I don't want to join
any church.' What does the Bible say? The Bible says in Acts 2:47, "And the Lord
added to the church daily those who were being saved." Where were the people
that were baptized added, everybody? To the church. 1Corinthians 12:13 says,
"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body." What is that 'body'?
Colossians 1:18 tells us, "And He is the head of the body, the church." The



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church is the only organization that is so big that it has its body on earth and
its Head in heaven. When we are baptized, we're not baptized into some narrow
earthly organization. The church is God-made, not man-made, so when we're
baptized, we accept Christ and become part of his Bible-based church.....His
Sabbath-keeping, commandment-keeping people on earth.....His people who are
awaiting the Second Coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ.....this Adventist,
Sabbath-keeping body.

In Matthew 28:20, Jesus said, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the
nations....." --- go to the ends of the earth and preach the gospel, and men and
women will decide to follow. He said to go to all nations --- that is what's
happening via this satellite telecast --- I believe that these programs are a
fulfillment of prophecy. I believe that God is taking His message to every
nation, kindred, tongue and people and that thousands are hearing the truth,
following Jesus, accepting God's word, and thousands, no tens of thousands, are
making decisions to be baptized. And they will, in a very few weeks, be baptized
in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said,
"Go therefore.....teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded
you." How many things, everybody? All things. To be baptized means that I want
to follow Christ, that I love Christ, that I want to do whatever Christ
commands.....that if He commands the Sabbath, I want to do that, because I want
to follow Him. He says, "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Jesus says, right down to the end of time, share His message and lead men and
women into the baptismal pool. I've seen God work absolute miracles leading men
and women to Christ, leading them to step into the baptismal pool. I remember
when Hungary went through the transition from communism to a more free
democratic society.....I was there holding lectures in Budapest. Budapest is one
of my favorite cities in the world. (Buda and Pest --- the Danube River runs
through Buda on one side, Pest on the other.) And as we were holding meetings --
- the first ones in 40 years, public meetings like this, opening the Bible ---
thousands came. On the first evening, right after my meeting in the same
auditorium there was a rock concert scheduled. Hundreds of young people lined up
for the rock concert, and some of them gate-crashed and ended up in my meetings!
Here are four of those young women students, one of them at Karl Marx University
in Budapest --- these were atheistic young women. They gate-crashed the concert
and ended up in the "Discoveries In Prophecy" meetings, standing in the back the
first night, but the second night they were on the front row. And --- praise
God! --- we led them into the watery grave of baptism, and they were baptized in
the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God indeed is working
miracles around the world! I remember that, when I first had an invitation to go
to the Kremlin inside the gates in Red Square, tickets were sold for people to
come to the meetings. So many wanted to come --- they came by the thousands! You
are looking right now at scenes inside the famed communist Kremlin palace.....
Here Gorbachev spoke, here Kruschev spoke, here Castro spoke sometimes for three
hours. These crowds are coming to hear the word of God, inside the Kremlin,
thirteen thousand --- this is end time, when God can even open up the heart of



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communism. God can even open up the Kremlin for the preaching of God's word!
Here they are, getting their Bibles.....Russian communist army trucks delivered
the Bibles to the Kremlin for us.....here they are! This is the end time. God
is working miracles.....a thousand baptized in Moscow, two thousand baptized,
three thousand baptized --- Pentecost all over again! Here are pastors baptizing
former KGB.....here is a pastor baptizing former atheists.....here are pastors
leading hundreds into the watery grave. God is reaching out, leading men and
women back to His word. God is touching their hearts and they are coming, not by
the ones and twos anymore, coming by the hundreds, coming to swimming pools,
coming to public auditoriums, coming to churches.....they are coming to be
baptized. Here they are in Moscow, hundreds of them being baptized in the name
of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

We are witnessing in our day the greatest miracles since the day of Pentecost.
Miracles! Here is a tribe, far out in the jungle.....the leader of this tribe
had a dream about 'the Sabbath-keeping people.' In fact, in Romania just two
weeks ago before I preached on the Bible Sabbath, two dear relatives, mother and
daughter separate from each other, dreamed that the Bible Sabbath was true. God
gave them that dream three days before I preached this message.....I just got
that report from Romania.....and they went to that church and said, 'Before we
see, we see in our dreams!' God is leading us here. Like this whole Indian tribe
--- God gave them a dream of the truth, and when the missionaries came, they
were ready for baptism.

All over the world I've seen them. In Gdansk, Poland, I preached in the
Leningrad Theater, dedicated to Lenin and named after the city of Leningrad, and
there we saw them come by the hundreds to follow Christ. There I had one of the
most moving experiences of my life. It was there that I met Peter's mother, Mrs.
Eberhov, a faithful Christian who loved Jesus. Her son had brain cancer. They
shaved his head, operated on one tumor, cut it out, but only got part of it, had
to shave his head again.....he had a scar down the center of his head, another
scar here.....they went in a second time and operated again. The boy was not a
Christian --- he listened to Satanic music, had his Nazi symbols. The boy had no
interest at all in Christianity, but those Polish Christians prayed for that
boy. They began taking him the audio tapes of our meetings --- his mother would
give them to him, and he would listen to them. And one day he called me and
said, 'Pastor, you must come.' I came to his house once, I came to his house
twice, and we began to study the Bible. He broke all his Satanic rock records,
took his Satanic symbols and altar and Nazi symbols, and threw them all away.
One day I was at the church and a phone call came. Pastor Roman Haluka (Pastor
Haluka was my translator in Poland then and he is my translator right now
translating this message into Polish) told me to come to this very home. There
the doctor said that this boy had only two hours to live.....this boy was dying
and had only two hours to live. We got to the house, and the boy looked at me
and said, 'Pastor, I've accepted Jesus. Pastor, I've repented of my sins.
Pastor, I've listened to your tapes, you've been to study the Bible with me, and



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I believe Jesus is coming again. I've given my life to Him. Pastor, I want to be
baptized. Baptize me, pastor. I don't want to be lost!' I said, 'Look, it's
impossible for me to baptize you. The doctor says that you have just two hours
to live.' He was so weak.....when I got there this boy hadn't eaten for a couple
of weeks, he was vomiting and vomiting. Pastor Haluka and I knelt before him
with a bowl, and he vomited in the bowl. He was weak. His breath smelled like
death. His eyes were yellow, rolling in his head. He looked like death! He was
yellow underneath his fingernails. The boy was dying, and in his faint voice, he
said, 'Baptize me, Pastor, please baptize me.' And I said, 'Son, the thief on
the cross was not baptized --- he was physically incapable, too. Son, you're an
exception.' But the last words of this dying boy were, 'Pastor, baptize me!' So
I said, 'Strip to the waist. Tell your mother to fill the bathtub with water. I
can't take you to the church --- you're too weak, and you may die.' So the
mother filled the bathtub with hot water, and Pastor Haluka and I took the boy
in our arms into the bathroom and there knelt on the floor, and with this boy in
our arms, we prayed. It was as if angels filled that little, simple, humble
apartment --- it was as if the presence of God were there! So we put that boy in
his bathtub and, each lifting a hand, we immersed him in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. As he came up out of the water (remember
that he hadn't eaten in two weeks) there was a smile on his face, and he said,
'Momma, I want some tea.' The boy did not die that day or the next day --- God
gave him one more month. He lived for a month with his momma, sharing Jesus
together, and his mother told me later that those were the happiest days of her
life, as he was baptized and as they lived for a month together. At the end of
the month that boy simply closed his eyes and fell asleep in Jesus --- and
awaits the resurrection.

The Bible says in Acts 22:16, "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be
baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Why do you
wait, my brother? Why do you wait, my sister? Arise and be baptized. Is there
anything to wait for? Have you accepted Jesus? Arise and be baptized and wash
away your sins. Somebody may say, 'Pastor, I was sprinkled as a baby' --- that
is not biblical baptism. Arise and be baptized the Bible way. Somebody else may
say, 'I was immersed as a baby' --- but that wasn't a symbol of your personal
belief, that was your father's or your mother's belief. God tells you to arise
and be baptized and wash away your sins.....go into the baptismal pool and let
the water cover you, letting your condemnation and your guilt be gone. Start a
new life in Jesus Christ. Somebody else may say, 'But Pastor, what if I was
immersed once? Should I ever be immersed a second time?' The apostle Paul, in
Acts 19, met a group of people who had been baptized once by immersion, but they
had never heard the truths of God's word fully proclaimed --- they had never
even heard about the Holy Ghost --- and Acts 19 tells us that they were immersed
a second time when they learned the fullness of truth. Now there may be two
reasons for you to be rebaptized..... One, you were baptized once as a symbol of
your commitment to Jesus as an adult, but you drifted away.....five years, ten
years. Look, if you're a husband and wife, every time you get in an argument,



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you don't have to be remarried, do you? But if you turn your back on your wife
and you run away from her and you become legally separated, that's a different
story. Every time you sin you don't need to be rebaptized, but if you've severed
your relationship with Christ, if you've turned your back on Christ, these are
the last days. If you've been gone a year, God is calling you back.....if you've
been gone five years, God is calling you back. This is the time to return and to
cleanse those sins committed while you've been drifting. .....You also may say,
'But what if I'm a faithful Christian? I've loved Jesus, and I've been a Baptist
Christian, a Pentecostal Christian, but I've learned all these new truths. What
should I do?' The Bible says in Matthew 28:19 to "go therefore and make
disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded
you." You've learned the commandments.....the truth about the Sabbath, the truth
about death, the truth that God is gathering out a commandment-keeping people.
You may desire to follow Jesus, to be cleansed of all the errors, and to be
rebaptized. This is your hour, this is your time. In the days of ancient
Israel, when Israel was being led from Egyptian bondage, the Bible says that it
was time for the blood to be applied above the doorpost before the angel of
death would fly over. But wait! Here's a lad who says, 'Father, do you know that

all the firstborn are to be slain? Father, I'm the firstborn. Did you put the
blood over the doorpost?' 'Not yet, my son.' "But, father, I'm worried.' 'Oh
it's just a symbol, son.' 'But, father, I'm concerned --- put the blood over the
doorpost!' The blood over the doorpost was the symbol that Christ is in this
home and the angel of death would pass by. It was just blood over the doorpost,
just a visible symbol, but it was vitally important. And so baptism is a symbol,
but it's important --- a symbol you've come to Jesus, a symbol you want to
follow Jesus, a symbol that you've given your life to Jesus. Have you repented
of your sins? Do you believe that Christ is your Savior? Do you want to look
forward to walking into the water and being cleansed and burying your past and
coming up to a new life following Christ? He will give you the strength. He will
give you the power. He simply asks you to make the decision just now. As our
pianist plays quietly, I would like you to be in a state of prayer, a state of
meditation, just quietly.....no movement in our auditorium here in Orlando at
all.....all around the world right now. In the quietness, meditating, could God
be leading you, right now at this moment, to make a decision to follow Him in
baptism? Your past can be gone. Your guilt can be gone. You can walk into the
water and that guilt can be washed away --- cleansed. You can walk into the
water and that sinful past can be gone. You can walk into the water and the
errors of the past can be all washed away. You can say, 'Jesus, I want to follow
You. Jesus, I want to walk in Your footsteps. Jesus, I love You enough to be
cleansed from sin and cleansed from error, to be filled with Your Holy Spirit.'
Our ushers have response cards. They are going to pass them across to you just
now. Whoever you are, whether you're a church member of some church, or you're
not a church member, I'd like every person in this room to take a card. Your
filling it out will encourage somebody else. Ushers.....just now if you'll take



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this 'My Commitments' card.....just pass them are wherever you are.....North
America, the United States and Canada.....thousands, tens of thousands of cards
are going out. I want to make tonight a time for reflection, a time of
quietness, a time that is between you and God. Nobody else can make this
decision for you --- that's why God is knocking on the door of your heart.
That's why God is leading you right now to that decision. That's why God is
tugging on the door of your heart, just now as each of you are getting your
cards, if you need a pencil here in Orlando, just raise your hand. We're going
to take time with this.....we're not going to rush this. There are churches in
Romania, with hundreds of people, that are so crowded that people are sitting on
the floor and standing in the back. I want everybody to get a card.....here in
Orlando, our auditorium is packed tonight. Wherever you are, we're going to take
time for you to get a card. This is an opportunity for you to make a decision
for Christ. If you've never been baptized by immersion before, this is an
opportunity for you to do that. If you've been baptized by immersion and you've
drifted away, this is an opportunity to come back. Why wait? Come back, friend,
come back to Jesus, come back to His people. If you've been baptized by
immersion and not known God's truth, this is God's opportunity for you to make
that decision. Let's read our cards together. Here in Orlando and across the
country, the lights are coming on..... The Bible says, "He that believes and is
baptized shall be saved." Tonight, I surrender my life to Jesus, accepting Him
as my Savior and Lord. I eagerly desire to follow Him all the way and thank Him
for leading me into His truth. Because I desire to be ready when Jesus comes, I
look forward to baptism.

If you are looking forward to being baptized like Jesus very soon, to walk
through those waters, check the first box. If you've never been baptized by
immersion before, check the first box. Maybe you were sprinkled as a baby, maybe
you were poured, but you want to make that decision. If you'd like to look
forward to being rebaptized, check the second box......say, 'Jesus I want to
follow You in rebaptism.' If you want to become part of God's people and you
believe you've been hearing the truth, but you're already baptized by immersion,
you say, 'I want to be part of God's people by professing my faith'.....check
the third box. Write your name, your phone number, your address, your city. Are
you a church member? Yes or no, and what denomination --- we have lovely Baptist
Christians and Catholic Christians and many others. As Pastor Arties sings "I've
wandered far away from God and now I'm coming home," just now during this quiet
time, fill out your card, and our ushers will pass the buckets along. This is
a precious decision. Thousands and thousands around the world tonight are making
decisions to follow Christ. They are making decisions to be baptized. Here in
Orlando, I know hundreds of you are making that decision right now. You want to
be baptized and follow Christ. Maybe you've drifted away and you want to be
rebaptized tonight --- this is your decision night. Tonight you're saying,
'Lord, I want to follow You.' Just now throughout the United States, throughout
Canada, all across Europe and South America and InterAmerica, men and women are
checking their cards. These are the last days, and they have made that decision



                                                                                   13
in their hearts to follow Jesus. Ushers, once you have collected the cards here
in Orlando and in your host cities, would you be so kind to bring those cards to
the front? I want to pray that every decision will be sealed in eternity. We're
going to have a special consecration service here in a moment for those cards
that are brought to the front, and we'll be offering up thousands and thousands
of names and decisions to Christ.

Please stand for prayer..... Thousands all over the world are standing, and as
we're praying tonight, here in Orlando (if you have checked a card looking
forward to baptism) I'm going to invite you to join us for this prayer by
slipping out of your seats and coming forward. If you have drifted away and
you've checked a card to be rebaptized, I'm going to ask you to come as well.
Maybe you didn't check your card and you're thinking about it now and you're
saying, 'Hey, I really want to do that, I want to look forward to baptism,' I
want you to come. I want to pray for you. If you are looking forward to baptism
or rebaptism or if you were baptized this evening, you come, too. I want to pray
for you, and your pastor will come forward to greet you and to pray with you.
We are just so thankful to God for these decisions of men and women, boys and
girls who want to be baptized, who want to follow Christ..... Oh, Jesus, we
thank You for that. I thank You for the tens of thousands in North America,
throughout Europe and around the world. Lord, together we want our sins
cleansed. We want to follow Christ, we want to live for Him. We thank you in
Jesus' name, Amen.




=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-



These transcripts of Mark Finley's Discoveries In Prophecy - 2000 And
Beyond, are being made available for your personal reading by IT IS
WRITTEN. These texts have come from the closed captioning system,
and are not edited or approved for any publication or distribution.
Copyright (c) 1996 by IT IS WRITTEN. Thank you for your cooperation.

Pastor Finley urges you to use the attractive color sermon reprints that are
available. Contact HART Research Center, (800) 487-4278 for more info.


1st proof by Rose Bowen or Edsel Adap. Final Proof by Susan Astleford.
Web work by Darryl Hosford Email: webmaster@iiw.org Web: www.iiw.org




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