Pastor's Blog
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July 18, 2018, 6:53 AM

The Revelation of Jesus Name Baptism (Testimony of Pastor Jeff Dillon)



The Revelation of Jesus’ Name Baptism

I was raised in a fundamental independent Baptist church. At the age of 20, I felt God call me to the ministry. I then went to Liberty Baptist College (now Liberty University) in Lynchburg, VA to pursue a degree in theology.  While enrolled there, I purposely studied the tenets of every major religion. I wanted to be sure of what I believed. I was convinced that I had experienced Bible salvation because I had believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and accepted Him as my personal Savior and because I had been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

The day I had a chance encounter with a stranger, a Rev. Robert E. Coleman, who witnessed to me about the necessity of Jesus’ Name baptism and the infilling of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues, my world was turned upside down. Although I had studied the beliefs of many other major denominations and religious organizations, I had never heard this message. It shook me to my core. I did not readily receive it, but it did plant a seed of conviction in me. As I continued my college studies, I began a quest for validation of my own salvation experience and to disprove what I had heard. But in the 
process, God began to reveal Apostolic truth to me.

When I enrolled at Liberty I was required to sign a statement that said I believed that the sign gifts had passed away with the Apostles and that I would not participate in the laying on of hands, healing the sick, or speaking in other tongues.  However, after I was witnessed 
to and began to search the Word, I came to the conclusion that the Holy Ghost was for today—which was in total contradiction to what I was being taught.  I then began to seek for passages of scripture that would confirm what God was revealing to me.  Once convinced, I began to diligently seek for the Holy Ghost in the dormitory prayer room although I did not know exactly what to do or what to expect. I had no one to instruct or encourage me and I was constantly in fear of being caught. After several days of seeking, I began to get discouraged and think that maybe it wasn’t for me.  I asked God to prove to me that it was real. That evening, after I had gone to bed, I woke up out of a sound sleep around 1 a.m. speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance. 

After receiving the Spirit, the Bible became alive to me. As I would read, words would seemingly jump off the page. I began to pray that God would show me the truth about baptism. I was still wrestling with what Rev. Coleman had said to me a year earlier. Although I had been baptized in the titles, I had been taught that it wasn’t necessary for salvation.  A few days later in Greek class, the professor announced Colossians 2:11-12 as the topic of discussion.  “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 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.”

My instructor, who had been mentored by F.F. Bruce (one of the foremost Greek scholars), argued that circumcision of the heart happened immediately at water baptism. It made me realize that baptism was a necessity for salvation.  As the class discussed the passage further I realized that the words “buried with him” meant in baptism in Jesus’ Name rather than in the titles Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The proper pronoun for the titles would have read “buried with them.” Other passages that helped to clarify Jesus’ Name baptism for me were: Romans 6:3-4, Titus 3:5, Mark 16:16, and John 3:5.  A special moment of revelation was when I read Matthew 28:19 and Acts 2:36-38 together. I realized it was only ten days later and that Matthew was there on the day of Pentecost when Peter preached the apostolic message of repentance, water baptism in Jesus’ Name and the infilling of the Holy Ghost.

Although the truth of Jesus’ Name baptism was being made known to me I did not have any connections to anyone who believed A
postolic doctrine. The man who initially witnessed to me was a stranger I had met in another state while working during the summer between semesters and I had had no further contact with him. So I just continued studying to be a Baptist minister, not knowing quite what to do with what God was showing me. After graduation, I returned to my hometown of Galax, VA and took a job as a youth pastor at the Baptist church my parents attended. 

While sitting at home one day, I began to read a 
tract entitled “Has the blood been applied to your life?” I’m not sure where I got the tract, but I realized after reading the scripture passage used (John 19:33-34) that the blood of Jesus was applied in his death.  When I compared it to Romans 6:3-4, the phrase “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” exploded in my mind.  I realized that since I had not been baptized in Jesus’ name I had not reached the blood of Christ. From that moment on I knew I was without salvation. I had experienced repentance which changed my life, but it did not save me.  I had experienced the Holy Ghost, which had brought great illumination of the scriptures to my life, but I still needed to be baptized in Jesus’ Name.

That night I could not sleep. God had been dealing with me for over three years regarding Jesus’ name baptism. He told me that he would withdraw Himself from me if I did not respond to the truth that had been revealed. 

The next morning my mother came 
into my room and handed me a letter from Rev. Barry Bleigh, a United Pentecostal Church minister from Lynchburg, VA., another stranger whom I had never met. Through a series of providential circumstances, someone I knew from college had contacted him and told him of my interest in apostolic doctrine. He wrote to me explaining my need of Jesus’ Name baptism. He invited me to come back to Lynchburg and visit him. I drove back to Lynchburg a few days later and met with him during the day at the church he pastored. He prayed with me in his office and God renewed my experience of the Holy Ghost. I then asked him to baptize me in Jesus’ Name.

When I came up out of the water, I felt free. I felt the burden of running from truth lift off of me. I was engulfed by God’s love and a peace I could not describe.  I was overcome with joy and laughed for over thirty minutes. The witness of how I felt was further confirmation to me that Jesus’ Name baptism was right.  I will forever be grateful for the revelation I have received. 

Rev. Jeff Dillon has been a licensed minister with the UPCI for 32 years. He currently pastors Cornerstone United Pentecostal Church in Winchester, VA. This article was first published in the August 2010 issue of the Pentecostal Herald.

 




January 24, 2018, 10:54 AM

Be Still And Know


The Bible is full of great gems, we just have to be willing to dig them out and allow them to speak to our moment. Here are a couple that can minister to us:

Proverbs 3:6

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Malachi 3:6

6 For I am the LORD, I do not change.

Here are some thoughts for your consideration today.

You must ask yourself is this God’s will or not? Your part is to acknowledge Him; His part is to direct your path. Whenever you bring a decision before God are you willing to hear Him say no? We sometimes go back to God, trying to change His mind. If God doesn’t change His mind, guess who is going to change? 

There comes a time when, if you keep on stubbornly persisting about something that does not have the nod of God, He might just let you have it...literally. This always leads down a painful road.  Sometimes, we can’t see what we should, but God is gracious enough to surround us with those who can — until we can see it for ourselves. When you wait for the nod of God before acting, it's like an early warning system that detects the enemy’s mines and missiles before they are visible to the natural eye. When you are about to make a major decision and you feel a “check in your spirit,” or have a sense that something is wrong, you better heed the warning and wait for the nod of God. 

When you have God’s approval of your decisions, He will provide everything you need to do His will. Where God guides, He also provides. Through daily communion with the Shepherd, you cultivate the ability to discern His voice. There is a vast difference between being led and racing ahead. When we don’t hear the voice of God, we find ourselves running at breakneck speed, confused, and unproductive — always pushing and driving. 

The flesh thrives on noise, activity, competition, and busyness; the Spirit thrives on silence, stillness, solitude, and Scripture. Lord, help us be still and know that you are God. 




January 14, 2017, 11:18 PM

Excerpt from First Things First launch



My question to TAS is this: 
•    What right do we have to hear the Gospel over and over, when so many have never heard it for the first time? 
•    What makes us so special?
What has He sent us to do? 
•    To take the gospel message to sinners—everywhere in the world, not just in the Quad Cities.
God has spoken to me pointedly over the past 3 months; He is calling TAS to focus on the basics of Christianity:
•    Spreading the Gospel
•    Servanthood
•    Submission and
•    Sacrifice
Please know, we are living in the moment of greatest potential and opportunity for the Church: 
•    There are good times that we rejoice 
•    There are bad times that we mourn. 
•    There are victories we celebrate
•    There are hurts we cry over
•    There are moments of misery
•    There are times of jubilee.
I stand to remind you this is a new moment of opportunity for us:
•    The day the Lord hath made
•    The day of salvation
•    The moment of entering His presence with a shout of praise and spirit of expectation. 
•    The moment of reaping of the harvest.
•    The moment of taking back some things the enemy has stolen.
Let me pause and remind us that God hates neutral; Meroz was cursed for not coming to the aid of the Lord in battle.
•    God is not a fan of inconsistency.
•    He doesn’t care for fence-sitters.
•    He isn’t pleased by people who can’t make up their minds, who are forever weighing their options, but can never settle on a course of action;
•    God can’t stand by those who won’t stand with Him against evil 
•    God can’t bless those who won’t bless His name through action.
God isn’t calling us to act recklessly, without any thought to the consequences.
•    But what He wants are people who will follow Him with joyful abandon, without regret, without looking back.
•    A people who will catch the vision of His purpose…reaching the lost.
•    A people who will look beyond themselves and realize we have been saved to show others the way. 
Is there anyone who wants to join me and commit to spreading the Gospel?
•    Is there anyone that can take a moment of faith and declare their allegiance to God?
•    First Things First…
Is there anyone that can look the enemy in the face and declare I’m changing and I am going to be a force to be reckoned with.
•    My voice isn’t going to be silent anymore.
•    My feet aren’t going to be unmovable any longer.
•    My heart isn’t going to void of compassionate for the lost. 
TAS, First Things First MUST be our drive and duty: 
•    It is time to get our joy back
•    It is time to get our faith back
•    It is time to get our dance back
•    It is time to get our worship back
•    It is time to get our focus back on the Saviour.

 




February 4, 2016, 5:40 PM

Youth Are The Church of Today — Nate Randol



I am posting a thought from Nate Randol, a member of our Student Ministry leadership. 

There is a call upon the young people of the Apostolic movement to rise up and step into the dimension where God given power and authority saturates their lives! God is not afraid to use young people! David was in his middle teenage years when he defeated Goliath; Josiah was 8 when he became king, 16 when he began to seek Jehovah, and 20 when he began to rid the kingdom of idolatry; Mary was a mere teenager when she gave birth to Jesus; Joseph was 17 when his brothers sold him into slavery and he began his journey to becoming the ruler of Egypt! I'm sorry, but I can't be persuaded that God can't use you because you are too young. He is no respecter of person and He's no respecter of age! If He can use a donkey to speak to Balaam, then He can surely anoint and use the youth of today! We need to grab ahold of the Holy Ghost and fire and let it lead us to the realm of the supernatural! I don't want to be content sitting by and watching God use just the adults; I want to see kids lay hands on the sick and they recover; I want to see children pray people through to the Holy Ghost; I want to see teenagers become prayer warriors; I want to see soul winners and witnesses come from our Sunday School classes! Look out devil! The next wave of Hell Raze-ers are here and we won't be silenced or restrained! I Peter 2:9: "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light!" Young people, we need to become serious about praying, fasting, witnessing, reading the word, worshipping, and following the voice of God NOW more than ever before!




December 3, 2015, 8:41 AM

Be A Doubter


Learn to doubt your doubt, because two negatives become a positive! I doubt you can live for God; I doubt your doubt. I doubt you can be healed; I doubt your doubt. I doubt you can receive the Holy Ghost; I doubt your doubt. I doubt you can get your miracle; I doubt your doubt. I doubt you can be blessed financially; I doubt your doubt. So, if the devil (and maybe some folks around you) want you to doubt...go ahead and become a doubter today — Doubt your Doubt! 


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