"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" The Great Apostasy (4:1-3) INTRODUCTION 1. Paul's concern in his first epistle to Timothy is proper conduct "in the house of God, the church of the living God" - 1Ti 3:15 a. The church Jesus said He would build - Mt 16:18 b. The church Paul wrote that Jesus loved - Ep 5:25-27 2. The Lord's intent was that there be one church... a. He prayed for the unity of His followers - Jn 17:20-23 b. Paul later wrote that there is one body (i.e., church) - Ep 4:4-6; cf. 1:22-23 3. Yet we see around us so much religious confusion, so many different churches... a. How did it happen? When did it happen? b. What can disciples of Christ today do about it? [Our text (1Ti 4:1-3) is one of several passages in which Paul and others foretold of an 'apostasy', a falling away...] I. THE GREAT APOSTASY FORETOLD A. BY PAUL... 1. In warning Timothy a. Describing how some will "depart from the faith" - 1Ti 4: 1-3 1) Giving heed to "deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons" 2) Forbidding to marry, commanding to abstain from meats b. Describing how some will 'not endure sound doctrine' - 2 Ti 4:1-4 1) Getting teachers who will tell them what they want to hear 2) Turning from the truth, turning aside to fables 2. In warning the Ephesian elders - Ac 20:27-31 a. Of "wolves" coming in from outside the flock b. Of men "from among yourselves" drawing disciples away 3. In warning the church at Thessalonica - 2Th 2:1-3 a. Of a great "falling away" that must come b. Revealing "the man of sin", "the son of perdition" B. BY PETER, JUDE, AND JOHN... 1. Peter warned of false teachers to come - 2Pe 2:1-2 a. Who will bring in destructive heresies b. Whom many will follow 2. Jude warned of false teachers who were present - Jude 3-4 a. Who had crept in unnoticed b. Who were turning the grace of God into lewdness c. Who were denying the Lord God and the Lord Jesus Christ 3. John warned of "antichrists" who had come - 1Jn 2:18-19 a. Many, in fact, had come! b. Indicative of living in "the last hour" [Even Jesus warned there would be false prophets (Mt 7:15). Before the canon of the New Testament was completed, the apostasy was already underway. As one examines early church history, there are further indications of...] II. THE GREAT APOSTASY FULFILLED A. IT WAS A GRADUAL PROCESS... 1. In many cases, it appeared innocent at first a. Attempting to deal with errors in and out of the church b. Leading to a change in the organization of the church 1) From autonomous and independent congregations overseen by a plurality of elders (also known as bishops and pastors) - cf. Ac 14:23; 20:17,28; 1Pe 5:1-2 2) To a collectivity of churches under one bishop - e.g., writings of Ignatius c. Resulting in centralization of power and influence among key individuals; just as Paul warned! - cf. Ac 20:30 2. This subtle change made it much easier for error to spread a. When those in power began teaching false doctrine b. Before long, the very errors foretold by Paul were being taught! - cf. 1Ti 4:1-3 1) Such as celibacy 2) Such as abstaining from certain foods c. Many other errors were introduced during this time, including: 1) Sprinkling instead of immersion for baptism 2) Mechanical instruments of music instead of a capella singing 3. Through slow but gradual changes, the seeds of modern churches were sown a. Producing what later became known as the Roman Catholic Church b. But also many other "orthodox" churches (Greek, Egyptian, Russian, Armenian, etc.) c. And eventually the multitude of Protestant denominational churches -- Just as foretold, many departed from the simplicity of the Lord's church as revealed in the New Testament B. WHAT OF THE LORD'S CHURCH...? 1. The Lord's church has continued unabated a. For not even the gates of Hades could prevail against it - Mt 16:18 b. It is a kingdom that cannot be destroyed - cf. Dan 2:44; Lk 1:32-33 2. Faithful disciples would have undoubtedly been treated as "heretics" a. For refusing to follow those in "power" b. By those presuming to have "authority" over the Lord's flock 3. But where there were faithful disciples, though few and unknown, the church existed a. For the Word of God is an incorruptible seed - cf. 1Pe 1: 22-25 b. Wherever the gospel was faithfully preached and believed, souls were saved and added by the Lord to His church - e.g., Ac 2:38-41,47 -- History may not record (or may misrepresent) the existence of those who remained faithful, but the Lord knows His own! - 2 Ti 2:19 CONCLUSION 1. Throughout the history of the apostasy, many have come to realize what has happened, and efforts made to rectify the problem... a. Appeals to reformation have produced many denominations b. Appeals to new revelation have produced many cults 2. The only antidote to apostasy is that given by Paul to the Ephesians elders... a. First, take heed to yourself and those around you - cf. Ac 20:28 b. Second, be on the watch and remember what the apostles warned about false teachers - cf. Ac 20:29-31 c. Third, look to God and His Word (not traditions of men); i.e., diligent prayer and careful Bible study - cf. Ac 20:32 With this "antidote" to apostasy, you can have confidence that God in His grace will "build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified"...!
Hell and the Omnipresence of God
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
Since God is omnipresent, does that mean that He will be present in hell?
The Bible certainly indicates that God is all-knowing and ever-present. “[A]ll things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). Through the prophet Jeremiah, God asked: “Am I a God near at hand...and not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?... Do I not fill heaven and earth?” (Jeremiah 23:23-24). Indeed, God does “fill heaven and earth.” Solomon said: “Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You [God]” (1 Kings 8:27). No one can flee from God’s presence (Psalm 139:7). He is omniscient and omnipresent.
The Bible does, however, speak of God’s presence in different senses. God is present on His throne in heaven (Hebrews 8:1; 12:2; Revelation 21:5). Solomon referred to “heaven” as God’s “dwelling place” from which He hears the prayers of His people (1 Kings 8:30). God is present in and among His church (1 Corinthians 3:16). Though God has hidden His face from sinners who have separated themselves spiritually from God (Isaiah 59:1-2), God still fills the Earth with His presence, knowing and seeing everything (Hebrews 4:13; Jeremiah 23:23-24). What’s more, though God is with Christians (Hebrews 13:5), and is ever-present on Earth, God also has made more direct, periodic appearances in spirit or fleshly forms (Genesis 18:1; Acts 9:5,17; Acts 23:11).
The Bible reveals that God is even present in Sheol (“the abode of the dead.... [T]he Hebrew equivalent of the Greek Hades...to which both the righteous and unrighteous go at death”—see “Sheol,” 1986). The psalmist asked, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there” (Psalm 139:7-8, NASB, emp. added). Job declared that “Sheol is naked before Him [God], and Destruction has no covering” (Job 26:6; cf. Proverbs 15:11). Whether one enters into the afterlife on the side of Paradise (Luke 23:43; 16:22) or torments (Luke 16:23), God is there in some sense. He knows all and sees all.
In addressing his desire to leave this present life and be with Jesus, Paul wrote: “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8, emp. added; cf. Philippians 1:23). In one sense, Christ was “with Paul” as a Christian and an apostle (Matthew 28:20; Acts 18:10), in another sense, while here on Earth Paul was “absent from the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6). Once again, Scripture refers to the presence of God in different senses.
In the end, the saved will “meet the Lord in the air” and “always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). We are going to the place that He has prepared for us and be where He says, “I [God] am” (John 14:2-3). But what about the inhabitants of hell and the omnipresence of God? It would appear that, since God created hell for the devil, his angels, and all of the wicked (Matthew 25:41), and since the Bible makes clear that prior to the Judgment God has some kind of presence in sheol/hades, even though there is a great gulf separating Paradise and torments (Luke 16:26), God’s presence is in hell in some sense. Though on one hand the wicked will be separated from God forever (Matthew 7:23; 25:41), they will never escape His ever-present and everlasting judgment.
“Sheol” (1996), Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Hebrews 6:4-6 and the Unpardonable Sin
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
Forgiveness is one of the most sublime concepts in the Bible. To think that our Creator loves us in spite of grievous sins that we have committed is thrilling. And to know that the blood of Jesus can forgive us when we repent and obey is nothing short of amazing (see Lyons and Butt, 2015). One of the most terrifying ideas, however, is the thought that maybe we have done things that are so wicked and sinful that we are beyond God’s forgiveness. Some believe this due to an incorrect understanding of two concepts in the Bible—the unpardonable sin and a statement in Hebrews 6:4-6.
The idea of an unpardonable sin scares some people, because they believe they may have committed it, even though most of them do not have a proper understanding of what the sin actually is. We read about the unpardonable sin in Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:28-30, and Luke 12:10. The sin is the very specific sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. That means the act of speaking evil of the Holy Spirit. It was committed by those who actually saw Jesus perform miracles and attributed His power to Satan. Because no one today can see Jesus perform such miracles, then the sin apparently cannot even be committed today. Some have suggested that the sin is any sin that is unrepented of, or murder, or adultery, or various other behaviors. The text is plain that those sins cannot be the unpardonable sin. It was specifically blasphemy that was the result of seeing Jesus’ miracles (see Butt, 2003).
With the idea of an unpardonable sin in mind, many people then go to Hebrews 6:4-6 and are convinced that they have fallen away from God and that it is now impossible for them to be saved. A closer look at Hebrews 6:4-6 will show the problem with this thinking. The text reads:
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame (Hebrews 6:4-6).
Notice what the text does not say. It does not say it is impossible to forgive a person who has fallen away. This is in contrast to the unpardonable sin. The gospel writers describe that sin as an “eternal” sin, for which there was never any forgiveness. The text in Hebrews says that if people fall away it is impossible to “renew them again to repentance.” The difference between forgiveness and repentance is profound. The message in Hebrews 6 is not that those who fall away have committed sins that God will not forgive, it is that their hearts have become so hard that they will not repent. Thus, if a person is willing to repent, he or she cannot be one of those who have fallen away according to Hebrews 6:4-6. A similar idea is found in 1 Timothy 4:2, where we read about those who have “their own conscience seared with a hot iron.” Again, it is not that God will not forgive these people, it is that they will not repent and come back to God.
An excellent example of the difference between forgiveness and repentance is seen in the lives of Judas and Peter. In a very real sense, both of these apostles betrayed their Lord. Judas sold Him to the Jewish leaders, and Peter denied three times even knowing Him. Their actions after their sins, however, show that Peter was willing to repent and come back to his Savior, but Judas’ heart was so calloused he would not repent. Peter was forgiven and Judas was lost, not because Judas’ sin was so much more grievous than Peter’s, but because Judas had allowed his heart and conscience to be so seared that he would not repent.
In summary, any person who reads Hebrews 6:4-6 and wonders if he or she is a person who is without hope and has fallen away from God can easily answer that question. If that person is willing to repent of sins and obey God, that passage cannot apply to him or her.
Butt, Kyle (2003), “Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit—The ‘Unpardonable Sin,’” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1218.
Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2015), “Receiving the Gift of Salvation,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/pdfs/e-books_pdf/Receiving%20the%20Gift%20of%20Salvation.pdf.
Hearing God in the Twenty-First Century
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
In the Garden of Eden, God spoke directly to Adam, commanding him to refrain from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). Centuries later, “the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision” while he dwelt in the land of Canaan (Genesis 15:1). The patriarch Jacob received a message from Jehovah via the “Angel of God,” Who spoke to him in a dream (Genesis 31:11). The Lord spoke directly to Moses at the burning bush on Mount Horeb (Exodus 3-4). The angel Gabriel brought messages from God to Zacharias, who was dwelling in Jerusalem (Luke 1:11-21), and to Mary, the mother of Jesus, who lived in Nazareth (Luke 1:26-33). Even Saul, who was on his way to Damascus to imprison any Jewish Christians he might find, received a “heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19; cf. Acts 9). A list of God’s appearances and messages to men seems almost endless. No Bible believer can dispute the fact that God has revealed messages to men countless times, either directly or through avenues other than written revelation.
The question often asked today is, “How do we hear God now?” Does He still communicate to people through dreams and visions like He did in biblical times? Should we expect Him to call upon us directly at any moment to do some great work, like Saul was called to do? Will God send an angel to me to disclose more revelation than what is given in the Bible? Or, similar to how Eli instructed Samuel, should I “go lie down” and wait on Jehovah to reveal some message to me (1 Samuel 3:9-10). In view of the fact that for millennia God communicated to people either directly or through avenues other than written revelation, why do some today claim that God communicates to man only via the Bible? Just how is it that we “hear God” today?
According to Hebrews 1:1-2, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2, emp. added). In another contrast between the prophets of old (namely, Moses and Elijah) and Jesus, God instructed Peter, James, and John, saying, “This [Jesus] is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matthew 17:5, emp. added). Jesus informed His listeners on one occasion of the reason we must “listen” to Him: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48, emp. added). For one to be pleasing to God, he must learn and obey the words of Jesus.
But how do we “hear” Jesus? According to the New Testament, people come to know Jesus and His words by way of the of the apostles’ teachings. Consider the following line of reasoning from the Scriptures.
- The night of Jesus’ betrayal, He prayed to the Father, saying, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:20-21, emp. added). The “their” of verse 20 refers to those for whom Jesus was praying in the preceding verses (17:6-19)—the apostles. Jesus prayed for the unity of future believers, which He stated would be based upon the apostles’ “word.”
- On that same night, Jesus told the apostles: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me” (John 13:20, emp. added). After Jesus’ resurrection, and before His ascension into heaven, Jesus told these same disciples: “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). To receive the apostles’ teachings, then, was to receive Jesus.
But how do we receive the apostles’ doctrine today? Since all of the apostles are dead, via what method do the apostles speak to us in the twenty-first century? Paul answered this question in Ephesians 3:1-5.
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles—if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets (emp. added).
Today, a person can understand “the mystery of Christ” through the written revelation of men like the apostle Paul, who received the Truth “through the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12).
Still, some ask: “Haven’t other men who have lived through the centuries, even into the twenty-first century, been inspired by God to reveal His message?” Actually, the Bible indicates that all Truth necessary for salvation was revealed during the lifetime of the apostles. The night before Jesus’ crucifixion, He promised His apostles that after His departure from them, the Spirit would come and guide them “into all truth” (John 16:13), teaching them “all things,” and bringing to their remembrance “all things” that Jesus taught them (John 14:26). After His crucifixion and resurrection (but before He ascended into heaven), Jesus then commanded these same disciples to “make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20, emp. added). The “faith…was once for all delivered to the saints” in the first century (Jude 3), so that since that time Christians have had “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).
Hearing God’s will in the twenty-first century is as easy as picking up the providentially preserved Bible and reading what Jesus’ “apostles and prophets” recorded for our benefit. God’s revelation thoroughly equips us for every good work (cf. 2 Timothy 3:17), so that no modern-day messages, dreams, or visions are needed. Nearly two thousand years ago, God revealed “all truth” to the apostles and prophets, who recorded it “by inspiration.” This “truth” is the standard by which all people are to live. And anyone teaching a contrary message will suffer eternally (cf. Galatians 1:8-9).
Has Satan Always Existed?
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
From a very early age, children learn about the righteousness of God and the wickedness of Satan. We teach children that God is the loving, powerful, and all-knowing Creator and Sustainer of life Who wants them to live right and go to heaven. We also tell them that there is an evil being called Satan who is very influential in the world, and who is doing everything he possibly can to keep them out of heaven. Many Sunday mornings in Bible class, children either sing or study about these two beings. This time of study certainly is worthwhile because children are taught to obey God (John 14:15) and to resist the devil (1 Peter 5:8). In time, however, if young people are not offered additional teaching about the origin of Satan and the eternal nature of God, many inadvertently begin to form a picture in their minds of two opposing “gods” who are at war with each other. Like two heavyweight boxers exchanging punches in the middle of a ring, children begin to think of God and Satan as two equally opposing “forces.”
Although little is suggested in the Bible about Satan’s beginning, we can know that Satan is a created being. Unlike God, the Bible teaches that Satan is not omnipotent (1 John 4:4), omnipresent (cf. Job 1-2; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Luke 4:6; Revelation 20:1-10), or eternal (cf. Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 102:27). Furthermore, in speaking of Jesus, Paul wrote: “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16, emp. added). The apostle John was inspired to write: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3, emp. added). Who made all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible? Jesus (the Word—John 1:14). Thus, the Bible teaches that Satan is one of God’s created beings. He had a beginning just like you, me, and everything else that exists other than God.
But just because God created Satan, does not mean that He created him as an evil being. Rather, God created him good, and then he chose to become evil. The Bible indicates that Satan was one of the angels who lived in heaven, but he (along with other angels) rebelled against God and was cast out of Heaven. The apostle Peter said that “God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment” (2 Peter 2:4). Another inspired writer wrote: “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day” (Jude 6). Since the Bible also refers to the devil as “the ruler of demons” (Matthew 12:24), and speaks of “the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41, emp. added), it is very likely that the devil is the leader of a group of rebellious angels that was expelled from heaven to eventually spend eternity in hell.
Thus, unlike the philosophy of dualism (made popular by the Persian—Zoroaster), which teaches that an eternal good being and an eternal evil being exist and oppose one another, the Bible teaches that the Godhead is the only eternal entity. Although Satan is not to be taken lightly, it is a blessing to know that he cannot snatch us from the love of God if we are unwilling to allow him to do so (Romans 8:37-39), nor can he tempt us beyond what we are able to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). God alone is deity, and He alone deserves our praise and adoration.
Would You Allow This?
by Greg Gwin
Submitted To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Thursday, June 03, 1999 9:43 PM
Submitted To: email@example.com
Date: Thursday, June 03, 1999 9:43 PM
- A husband was away from home for several weeks. There was no justifiable reason for him to be gone. One day he just left and never came home. Numerous inquiries were made, but his absence remained unexplained. And then one day he wandered back home. He sat down at the supper table and acted as though nothing had ever happened. Would you allow this?
- A worker walked off this job. He did not obtain his employer's permission, he just disappeared. He remained gone for a couple of months. Other employees had to take up the slack and fill-in for him, covering his work while they tried to do their own. Then he showed up on a payday. He offered no explanation, asked for all his back wages and proceeded to take up his former position as if everything was normal. Would you allow this?
- A student failed to attend classes for a number of weeks. School officials attempted to locate him and discover the cause of his absence, but to no avail. The other students progressed in their studies, leaving the absent student far behind in several important subject areas. The truant student returned one day. He had no excuse. There was evidence that his absence was deliberate and that he had been involved in a good bit of mischief. Amazingly, he expected to be welcomed without question and even requested that the entire class back-track and cover the subject matters he missed. Would you allow this?
- A Christian did not attend services for several weeks. The elders, the preacher, and a number of other church members tried to find out what the problem was, but without success. Others had to take up the slack caused by his absence. The congregation proceeded with its program of work and teaching. Then one day he showed up for services again. There was no explanation - no confession of wrongdoing. He wanted to immediately retake to his former status, to be counted as a faithful member, to be called on for prayer and used in the services. Would you allow this? Think!!!
- Greg Gwin
Get yourself baptized
How do you get saved? The very question makes it sound like we save ourselves, and that couldn’t be further from the truth! God alone is the Savior in Jesus Christ. But because God cannot and will not save us against our will, the scriptures call us to respond in free cooperation with the saving Lord. That’s why you hear texts saying, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation" (Acts 2:40). Or 1 Timothy 4:16, which says, "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them. Because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."
Some people fear such speech because they see a legalist under every bed. They don’t want anyone to get the impression that they can save themselves. This is a legitimate concern but there’s no point in being so "careful" that we don’t call people to do what they’re called by God to do. "What must I do to be saved?" a jailer asked Paul (Acts 16:31). "What must we do [to be forgiven]?" thousands asked Peter (Acts 2:37). "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" a man asked Jesus (Luke 10:25). None of the three acted as though this was a terrible question. No one said to the inquirers, "Ah, now that’s your fundamental mistake because you can’t do anything to be saved." All three told their hearers what to do to be saved.
Responding to the gospel of Jesus Christ in trusting repentance saves you when you get baptized into Jesus Christ. This is what Paul taught the jailer in Acts 16:31-32. This is what Peter taught thousands in Acts 2:37-38 and it’s what Christ told his apostles to teach all nations in Matthew 28:18-19 and Mark 16:15-16. It’s what Ananias told Saul in Acts 22:16 when he wanted the forgiveness of his sins. I’ve stressed in scores of places on this site, and at length, that faith in Jesus Christ is the heart of our response to God’s gospel. That isn’t to be denied. Without a trusting and penitent heart nothing else matters—it’s all in vain for without that trust and repentance which is part of a full-bodied faith there is no true acceptance of Christ. But I need to say plainly that in the New Testament when convicted and now believing people wanted to become Christ’s they were told to be baptized.
It doesn’t matter that some sweet and wise people that we know don’t hold to that. The scriptures are very plain about it. You aren’t required to obey these sweet wise people but you are required to obey the voice of God in scripture. Read the texts on baptism for yourself and if they’re as plain to you and as they are to me, don’t ask anyone’s permission or approval—get yourself baptized and know you are saved.
And it isn’t necessary for you to make judgements on the spiritual condition of everyone you meet. Leave that to God. [Please see Remarks on Baptism (3).] Simply tell them what you’ve read in scripture and what you have done about it and let them make up their minds before God what they’ll do about it. In Acts 22:16 Ananias told a now believing and repentant Saul, "And now, what are you waiting for? Get up, and have yourself baptized and wash your sins away, calling on the name of the Lord." So, if you haven’t done that, "What are you waiting for? Get up, and have yourself baptized and wash your sins away calling on the name of the Lord."