Robin Scroggs and Kent I. Groff’s article, “Baptism in Mark: Dying and Rising with Christ” (1973), asserts that when a person is baptized, he is stripped of his garments and baptized into death.  But, only Jesus actually dies.  The substitution of Jesus for the initiate is symbolized by the loss of the linen.  Scroggs and Groff back this claim with numerous references to the Old Testament.  Scroggs and Groff’s purpose is to describe the nature of baptism and explain the symbolism of dying and rising with Christ.

Paul Mallia’s article, “Baptized into Death and Life” (1965), claims that in baptism, we experience new life in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.  He continues by arguing that it is then our mission to follow God in order to be saved.  Mallia’s purpose in writing this article is to explain the concept of dying and then arising to new life through immersion in the waters of baptism.

Philip Hyatt’s article, “The Origin and Meaning of Christian Baptism” (1960), argues that immersion into the water at baptism creates a mystical union with Christ, in which we share in his death and resurrection. He states that baptism must be a voluntary action, wherein the initiate is an active participant. Hyatt’s purpose is to explain the origin and the meaning of baptism in the Christian faith.

The 3 Monotheistic Religions

Mysticism – desire to experience the presence of God


The Torah contains many stories of mystical experiences, from visitations by angels to prophetic dreams and visions. The Talmud considers the existence of the soul and when it becomes attached to the body. Jewish tradition tells that the souls of all Jews were in existence at the time of the Giving of the Torah and were present at the time and agreed to the Covenant.

In the middle ages, many of these mystical teachings were committed to writing in books like the Zohar. Many of these writings were asserted to be secret ancient writings or compilations of secret ancient writings.

The mystical school of thought came to be known as Kabbalah, from the Hebrew root Qof-Beit-Lamed, meaning “to receive, to accept.” The word is usually translated as “tradition.”


The attainment of the quest to see God is realized in death

God said to Moses “No one shall see me and live.”

God is both transcendent and immanent

Christian doctrine generally maintains that God dwells in all Christians and that they can experience God directly through belief in Jesus, Christian mysticism aspires to apprehend spiritual truths inaccessible through intellectual means, typically by emulation of Christ

Two major themes of Christian mysticism are (1) a complete identification with, or imitation of Christ, to achieve a unity of the human spirit with the spirit of God; and (2) the perfect vision of God, in which the mystic seeks to experience God “as he is,” and no more “through a glass, darkly.”

Christ is the sole end of Christian mysticism. Whereas all Christians have Christ, call on Christ, and can (or should) know Christ, the goal for the Christian mystic is to become Christ—to become as fully permeated with God as Christ is, thus becoming like him, fully human, and by the grace of God, also fully divine. In Christian teaching this doctrine is known by various names—theosis, divinization, deification, and transforming union.


Muhammad said “worship God as if you see him” mandated by Sufis
Sufism, the religious philosophy of Islam, is described in the oldest extant definition as the apprehension of divine realities and Mohammedan mystics are fond of calling themselves Ahl al-Haqq, ‘the followers of the Real. Al-Haqq is the term generally used by Sufis when they refer to God.

Renaissance means “rebirth”. The Renaissance was a revival of ancient culture and classical learning. There was a sudden interest in math, science, religion, and the arts. The Reformation was a movement in the Holy Roman Empire that began with Martin Luther in 1517. The Renaissance convinced people to question everything about their lives, including their religion and faith. Martin Luther questioned the practices of the Catholic Church and did not agree with many of the practices. Martin Luther then compiled a list of 95 Theses criticizing the church and the pope, and posted them on the door of the Wittenberg Church. This led to a new denomination under Christianity, the Lutherans.

Zionism is the Jewish nationalist movement that was founded in 1897, and created the State of Israel in 1948. Political Zionism, formed by Herzel, said that Jews should all move to one area and make that their national home (a Jewish state). This stream stressed the political task of gaining recognition for the Jews as a political entity. Cultural Zionism stressed Zion as a spiritual center, to unite all parts of the Jewish people. This stream emphasized Jewish language, culture, and literature. Socialist Zionism wanted the Jewish state to be a Socialist society and economy. This stream stressed creating a Jewish state where the economy was based on public ownership of the means of production.

Inter-religious dialogue is dialogue between different religions. The goal is to have the other person understand what you are saying. Ecumenical dialogue is dialogue between the different branches of a particular religion. Fundamentalism refers to the literal interpretation of a doctrine or holy book. The problem with fundamentalism is that other religions may not understand the reasoning behind a certain belief or practice. Inter-religious dialogue tends to scramble the actual meaning of things.

Local Community Support & Upcoming Events

Los Siervos de Jesus relies heavily on the support of local businesses and our community of followers to keep the online classes running and maintain the website with the latest topics covered in lectures, since everything is volunteer based.  Over the years, many different companies and charities have donated money to help us in this way, and we acknowledge and thank them for their contributions.   This week, a local company, generously donated a large sum of money to us that will go a long way toward keeping us up and running for a long time.  This has allowed us to maintain the light of hope and ray of sunshine even in the hours of darkness.  Community of fellow friends in Christ, please add this local business to your prayers this week, as they have answered ours.  In addition, we would like to announce that in the coming Summer months, we will be hosting an in person, reading day where we have invited a famous author in the religious sector to stop in, speak, and participate with us as we examine the next set of stories in the Bible, according to Genesis.  We have yet to chose an exact date, but the event will be held on a Saturday from 9 AM – 3 PM.  Lunch is being sponsored by our local pizzeria, Mark’s, so thank you to them as well.

Our new site is coming!

Good evening everyone,

Los Siervos de Jesus has experienced a number of changes that we need to announce right away.  First, as you can see, we are going through a full site redesign.  For those of you who have been with us since the beginning, you’ll recognize the significant difference from what you have seen in the past.  We heard your complaints about the old site, and you were absolutely correct.  We have renewed the website and will return with better content than ever, as promised earlier this year.  We’re going to be looking to keep a light, fast website for the future, allowing you to get what you need quickly.  Please take a moment to check out the new site when it’s complete early next week.

Secondly, our Spanish translator has suffered an accident and is no longer able to work.  Please pray for him.  Our group does not have the funds to hire a replacement at the moment.  The group met to discuss this and it was determined that the majority of you, our following, speaks English as well as Spanish.  Considering both these facts, we have decided that for the time being, our posts and content will be written in English.

If you know anyone who is interested in translating religious content to help our cause, please send them our way.  Thank you, and we look forward to serving you.