All posts by Peter Ditzel

Were the Old Testament Saints Born Again? The Least in the Kingdom is Greater Than John the Baptist

by Peter Ditzel

Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Matthew 11:11

For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
Luke 7:28

The above words of Jesus are puzzled over and wondered about by many. How can John the Baptist be both the greatest and less than the least? To answer this question, we must understand 1) Jesus’ comparison of two births, and 2) who John the Baptist was.

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Ekklēsia or Church, Does It Matter?

by Peter Ditzel

In the New Testaments of most English Bibles, the words “church” and “churches” appear a total of over one hundred times. (From now on, I will use “church” to stand for both the singular and plural.) With one exception in the King James Version (found in Acts 19:37), all of these instances of “church” are mistranslated from the Greek word ekklēsia. (Unless I am quoting a portion of Greek text, I will use the lexical form ekklēsia.) That’s right, I said mistranslated. Not only that, they are a deliberate mistranslation of ekklēsia. The fact that this mistranslation is so widespread and that it is deliberate should cause us to suspect that it is important to know what ekklēsia really means. In this article, I am going to tell you the origins of the word “church” and its meaning, what ekklēsia means and how it was used in history and the Bible, what Jesus meant by His ekklēsia, why ekklēsia was deliberately mistranslated as “church”, and why all of this is important.

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Mary at the Mercy Seat

by Peter Ditzel

But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
John 20:11-12

The Mary in the title and in the Scripture quoted above is Mary Magdalene. Mark and Luke identify her as a woman out of whom Jesus had cast seven demons (Mark 16:9; Luke 8:2). If you know something about the mercy seat, you might know that it was something in the tabernacle, and later in the temple after it was built. Not only that, but it was inside the Holy of Holies or Most Holy Place where only the high priest could go and that only once a year (Hebrews 9:7; Leviticus 16). So why do I in my title place Mary at the mercy seat?

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Q. Is Lucifer another name for Satan, the devil?

A. The Bible clearly equates the devil with Satan, the serpent, and the dragon (Revelation 12:9 and 20:2). We also frequently hear people refer to the devil as Lucifer. This name comes from only one Scripture: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12, King James Version). But is this verse really calling the devil “Lucifer”? Is it speaking of anyone as Lucifer? Let’s look at the context of the verse.

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Q. Baptists and Presbyterians argue over whether the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch is evidence for immersion baptism. Who is right?

A. They both are–at least in most cases. That’s because they are both usually arguing over the wrong verses. As the Baptists assert, the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch does imply immersion baptism. But it is not for the reasons immersionists, such as Baptists, usually cite and which those who baptize by sprinkling, such as Presbyterians, argue against. And the Presbyterians are right to argue against the verses the Baptists claim support their cause.

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Acts 2:39 and Infant Baptism

by Peter Ditzel

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.
Act 2:39

The proponents of infant baptism seem to use this Scripture as if it were a cornerstone of their doctrine. Almost all books and articles supporting infant baptism include this verse. But does Acts 2:39 support infant baptism or does it teach just the opposite?

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