Passing the Six Stones and the Three Baptisms

In the Six Foundational Stones there are 3 basic baptisms and most people consider the first and the second baptism as the same one, but that is not truth.

Listen to 3 Essential Baptisms and Passing the Six Stones:

The letter from a follower of Jesus to the Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians sometime in the late 60s AD, just before Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed by the Romans in AD 70, a destruction that would last until 1948 when Israel became a nation again. Jewish Christians were starting to turn away from Christianity and back to the familiarity of the temple and its rituals. The writer of Hebrews, a follower of Jesus Christ, had to oppose them and defend the true gospel, much like what is happening today.

There is a falling away in the Church happening right now, not the same kind of falling away the writer of Hebrews was dealing with when he wrote his letter to the Jewish Christians, but a falling away that is headed toward apostasy, which is a total abandonment of the Christian faith. The goal of every Christian should be to become like Jesus because that is the point of Christianity as we mature in our faith.

Much like a child who learns based on the foundation laid out early in life, so too do Christians build on a foundation of basic doctrine. In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus said, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” (NLT)

There comes a time in every Believer’s life when that person must pass certain checkpoints to advance in the Christian faith toward Christian maturity. When we are first taught math, do we dive right into Algebra as a toddler and start spitting out complex math equations to solve our problems? No, we first learn one finger equals one and build from that foundation.

Maybe you are new to Christianity. If so, then great, you are about to the learn a solid rock foundation of Christianity. If you have been a Christian for any amount of time and you feel like you are not where you need to be in your faith, then this video will help you realize six foundational teachings that were considered elementary points of the Christian doctrine in the first century church. These six points were taught to new Christians and were expected to be understood before further solid foundational growth could take place.

A first checkpoint a Christian must pass to advance in the Christian faith toward Christian maturity and be more Christlike is the Six Foundation Stones. There are six foundational stones every Christian should understand before moving on to another checkpoint in Christianity. These are not all the important teachings for a new Christian, but these are a solid rock foundation.

At the time Hebrews was written, some Christians were having trouble dealing with the basics of their faith, they had to be taught the same things repeatedly, not being able to get past the fundamentals of Christianity so they could mature spiritually.

The writer of Hebrews wrote in Hebrews 6:1, So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. (NLT)

These six foundation stones are paired in three groups. The first group of two stones are conditions for becoming a Christian  Repentance and Believing In God.

Repentance and Believing In God

The first thing a new Christian must do is repent from useless works, works that only lead to death and have no place in a Believer’s life. There are far too many people in this world who have never been able to lay this first stone in their foundation of faith, continuing in their sinful lifestyle without even trying to change their mind. The Greek word for repenting in Hebrews 6:1 is Metanoein, and it only has one meaning throughout the history of the Greek language, to change one’s mind.

Many people think repentance is emotional based alongside crying and remorse for sin, but throughout the New Testament repentance emphasizes decision over emotion, a firm inward decision, a change of mind. Other people think repentance can be achieved through penance such as fasting, giving things up for lent or praying the rosary, but a person must make up his or her mind to change and not rely on crutches to get themselves out of trouble.

It does not matter how many times a Believer messes up; Jesus is always there to forgive the person when the person changes his or her mind. Jesus is the only way sins are forgiven. A person can do good works their entire life, but if the person is not admitting to Jesus his or her lifestyle is sinful, then the person is not changing their mind and is not repenting. Hell is full of good people who did good works their entire life but will remain separated from God for eternity.

When a person dies, that person either goes to be with Jesus for eternity or that person goes to hell, there is no in between, the person does not become an angel and watch over their loved ones on earth. There is no place of holding for a spirit that has died. Any unfinished worldly business a person has on earth is forgotten about by the person’s spirit in Heaven or the person’s spirit is tormented in hell by the unfinished business from earth.

The decision to follow Jesus and do God’s will is made while the person is alive on earth, once the person dies, that is it, the person already decided their own eternity while they were alive on earth.

Whenever Jesus uses the word “certain” that means He is talking about a specific person that exists and not a general analogy for teaching. Jesus used the word “certain” for Himself in many parables. One parable from Luke is Jesus talking about a certain rich man and a poor man named Lazarus, two men who both lived on earth and each one died.

This was before the general public had access to Heaven, everyone went to Sheol, also known as hell, but hell had a side that was paradise and a side that was tormenting. When Jesus rose from the dead, He took everyone from the paradise side of Sheol to Heaven with Him. The poor beggar Lazarus was in the paradise side of Sheol with Abraham, while the certain rich man was tortured in hell because he did not repent while he was alive on earth.

Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus

19 Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. 20 At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores. 21 As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man’s table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.

22 “Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the heavenly banquet. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and he went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.

24 “The rich man shouted, ‘Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.’

25 “But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.’

27 “Then the rich man said, ‘Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father’s home. 28 For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don’t end up in this place of torment.’

29 “But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.’

30 “The rich man replied, ‘No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.’

31 “But Abraham said, ‘If they won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

-Luke 16:19-31 (NLT)

In the Old Testament, the word repentance means to turn, the outward action, while in the New Testament repentance emphasizes the inner decision. Together, repentance is an inner change of mind that causes an outward turning around. Repentance causes a sinful person to begin to move in a new direction, a direction toward Jesus. Repentance is needed for the salvation of sinful people. Change your mind to change your direction.

Judas betrayed Jesus and then repented in Matthew 27:1-5, but it is not the same Greek word, it is another word that means to feel sorry, but this repentance did not cause Judas to change his mind, he still hanged himself.

Judas Hangs Himself

Very early in the morning the leading priests and the elders of the people met again to lay plans for putting Jesus to death. Then they bound him, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.

When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.”

“What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.”

Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself. (NLT)

Believing In God is the second foundation stone for becoming a Christian from Hebrews 6:1, and the actual phrase believing in God in Greek continues on from repentance because it suggests once a person repents, that person begins being directed toward God through faith and that direction causes a person to rest in that decision.

Baptism and Laying On Of Hands

The next set of foundational stones is two practices in Christian life Baptism and Laying On Of Hands. Hebrews 6:2, You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. (NLT)

There are three basic baptisms in the Church and most people consider the first and the second baptism as the same one, but that is not the truth. The first baptism is spiritual, being baptized into Christ’s body through being born again by the Holy Spirit as in 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, 12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. (NLT)

The second baptism is physical, being baptized in water, and it is only meaningful if the person being baptized is a Believer. If the person being baptized is not a Believer at heart, then the baptism is meaningless, just a religious ritual that does nothing spiritual. The person is not being baptized into the body of Christ and the person is not magically getting their sins washed away to cleanliness, the person is baptized into the body of Christ and clean when the person repents and believes in Jesus, the first baptism.

In Acts 2:36-41, Peter is talking to the multitude of people who screamed “Crucify Him!” at Jesus’ trial, where they asked for Jesus to be killed and a murderer to be released instead of Jesus.

36 “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”

37 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” 40 Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!”

41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all. (NLT)

1 Peter 3:18-22,

18 Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.

19 So he went and preached to the spirits in prison— 20 those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood. 21 And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

22 Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept his authority. (NLT)

Water baptism is a symbol of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. When a believer goes down in the baptismal water, that person, through faith, is leaving all the remnants of that person’s old life in the water, buried in the grave of the old person, and when the new person comes up out of the water, a new beginning starts, the believer is one with the resurrection of Jesus and the person knows through faith that person will rise again with Jesus into eternity.

Romans 6:1-11,

Sin’s Power Is Broken

Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. (NLT)

The third baptism is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The purpose of this baptism is to lift up Jesus and glorify His Great Name through the gifts of the Holy Spirit that produce fruit in our lives, fruit that causes other people to believe in Jesus and become saved also. Luke wrote the Book of Acts as a sequel to his book The Gospel According to Luke. Acts continues where Luke left off, which is why he starts out talking about his first book in Acts 1:1-11,

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

In my first book I told you, Theophilus, about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven after giving his chosen apostles further instructions through the Holy Spirit. During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.

Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

The Ascension of Jesus

So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”

He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” (NLT)

The laying on of hands was used in the Old Testament to symbolically transfer the sins of humans to an animal sacrifice, for a special blessing or to set a person apart for a special office. In the New Testament, the laying on of hands was also used to set a person apart for special service, known as ordaining a person, and the laying on of hands transferred the Holy Spirit from an apostle to another person. Acts 19:1-6,

Paul’s Third Missionary Journey

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions until he reached Ephesus, on the coast, where he found several believers. “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them.

“No,” they replied, “we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

“Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked.

And they replied, “The baptism of John.”

Paul said, “John’s baptism called for repentance from sin. But John himself told the people to believe in the one who would come later, meaning Jesus.”

As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all. (NLT)

Resurrection of the Dead and Eternal Judgement

The last two foundational stones are pictures of the future Resurrection of the Dead and Eternal Judgement. These two truths of the Christian faith are determined by the person while the person is alive on earth. Once the person dies, that person’s eternity based on his or her life on earth begins.

Many people do not like the idea of the resurrection of the dead because it places responsibility on people to follow Jesus and spend an eternity in life or to not follow Jesus and spend an eternity in death. Many would rather just believe in some vague afterlife and not accept the truth so they can live however they want to live while on earth.

There is no redemption available once a person dies, that person either goes to heaven or to hell. Those people who died and who were waiting on redemption to go to heaven were the saints in Abraham’s bosom, and Jesus got them out and took them to heaven with Him after His resurrection. Matthew 27:45-55,

The Death of Jesus

45 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

47 Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. 48 One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. 49 But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.”

50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.

54 The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”

55 And many women who had come from Galilee with Jesus to care for him were watching from a distance. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James and Joseph), and the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee. (NLT)

Paul Preaches in Athens

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city. 17 He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there.

18 He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, “What’s this babbler trying to say with these strange ideas he’s picked up?” Others said, “He seems to be preaching about some foreign gods.”

19 Then they took him to the high council of the city. “Come and tell us about this new teaching,” they said. 20 “You are saying some rather strange things, and we want to know what it’s all about.” 21 (It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.)

22 So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, 23 for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.

24 “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25 and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. 26 From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.

27 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29 And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.

30 “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. 31 For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”

32 When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” 33 That ended Paul’s discussion with them, 34 but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them. -Acts 17:16-31 (NLT)