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SEVEN BAPTISMS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
by Dr. Fred Wittman
VI. BAPTISM OF DISCIPLES OR WATER BAPTISM
Mt. 28:18-20; Jn. 3:26; 4:1,2; Acts 2:41,42; 8:12-24,25-39; 10:4-7, 48; 16:14,15,33; 18:8; 19:3-6; Rom. 6: 1-7; Gal. 3:27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:21.
UNTO RESURRECTION - FUNERAL
“And when /Jesus approached[the face of], He spoke to them, saying, All authority is given to Me in Heaven and upon Earth. Therefore journey& and consecutively disciple[train by intimate process] |people of | all the nations, then baptize them in the name of The Father and of The Son and of The Holy Spirit and repeatedly teach them publicly to keep all~ things watchfully secure as many as I commanded you&! And lo! I Myself am being continually with[in midst of] you& all the days until the consummation of the age. Amen!” Mt. 28:18-20 APT).
“And they came to[the face of] /John and [they]said to him, Rahb-bée[O Great One], |He| Who was [in company]with You$ across the Jordan, with reference to Whom you$ yourself have testified, behold This One is repeatedly baptizing and all people are continually coming to[the face of] Him. . . . Therefore as The Lord knew[from experience] that the Pharisees heard, ‘‘Jesus is constantly making and baptizing more disciples than John,’’ (although indeed Jesus Himself was not repeatedly baptizing, but[but on the contrary] His disciples |were|), He vacated /Judea and departed again unto /Galilee” (Jn. 3:26; 4:1,2 APT).
“And in the process of the day of /[Festival of 50; Lev. 23:15,16]Pentecost being completely fulfilled, they all were unanimously at the same~ |place|. And suddenly out of /Heaven, noise even as bringing a violently-forceful blowing[breathing] came to pass and it filled the whole house fully where they were continually sitting[for 10 days]. And tongues as if of fire appeared to them dividing themselves into parts and distributing themselves, and it[a part] sat down upon each one of them. And they all individually were filled with 0Holy Spirit. And they began to speak with other[different kind of] languages, according as The Spirit kept giving to them to utter forth under influence. Now Jews, reverent men from all nations of the ones under /Heaven, were customarily taking up residence in Jerusalem. Now when this sound came to pass, the multitude came together and commingled in confusion because each one heard them speaking in his own[private] /dialect. Then they all were amazed in themselves and they kept marvelling, saying to one another, Lo! all these who are speaking are Galileans, are they not? And how are we each one hearing in our /own[private] dialect in which we were begotten? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and the ones residing at /Mehsoh-pohtah-méeah, both at Judea and Kahp-pahdoh-kéeah, at Póhn-tohs and the Asia, both at Frugéeah and at Pahmfooléeah, at Egypt and at the parts of /Libya throughout Kuráynay[N. Africa] and the temporarily residing Romans, both Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians! We are hearing them speaking the magnificent~ things of The God in the languages belonging to us. Now they were all amazed and they were continuing at wit’s end, another[same kind] saying to[the face of] another[same kind], What ever could this~ possibly determinedly will to be? But others[different kind] were ridiculing and saying, ‘They are ones having been saturated with newly fermenting wine.’ But after Peter was standing with the& eleven, he lifted up his voice and uttered forth under influence to them, O men, Jews and all the ones individually residing in Jerusalem, this is to be known to you&! And you& yourselves are to give ear to my /declarations[spoken words]! For these are not intoxicated as you& yourselves assume, for it is 0third hour[9:00 A.M.] of the day. On the contrary, this~ is what was being spoken through the prophet, Joel[2:28-32], And it shall be in the last days, The God says, I shall pour out [away]from My /Spirit upon all flesh. And your & /sons and your& /daughters shall prophesy and your& /young men shall behold extraordinary sights and the elders of yours shall be dreaming dreams. And indeed I shall pour out [away]from My /Spirit upon My /bondslaves and upon My /maiden bondslaves in those /days and they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:1-18 APT).
“Then Peter expressed to[the face of] them[the ones who heard his sermon at Pentecost and asked what they should do], Repent at once! and be baptized each one of you& by[formula use of επι] using the name of Jesus Christ on the basis[cf. 3:19] of forgiveness of sins! And you& shall receive the gratuitous gift of The Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you& and [Is. 54:13; Joel 2:28]to your& /children and to all the ones at a distance[as remote] as many as ever our Lord The God shall summon to [the face of] Himself. And with more other[different kind] words he earnestly testified and entreated, saying, Be saved [away]from this /crooked /generation! So on the one hand the ones, who heartily received his /word delightedly, were baptized. And that /day about three thousand souls were added to[the face of] |them|. Then on the other hand they were persevering[remain in constant readiness] in the doctrine of the apostles and in the fellowship and in the breaking of the bread loaf into pieces and in the prayers” (Acts 2:38-42 APT).
“Now a certain man, Seemōn by name, was previously existing in the city practicing sorcery and amazing the nation of /Samaria and saying that he is someone great, to whom they all, from little until great, were holding fast, saying, This+ one is the great /miraculous power of The God. Now they were holding fast to him, because of the fact of them being amazed with his sorceries for a considerable space of time. But when they committed trust to the evangelizing[pronounce glad tidings] by Philip with reference to the~ things concerning the Kingdom of The God and the name of /Jesus Christ, both men and women were being baptized. Then /Seemōn himself also committed trust. And, after being baptized, he was consistently persevering with /Philip, while observing both miraculous powers and miraculous signs coming to pass, he was repeatedly amazed in himself. Now when the apostles in Jerusalem& heard that /Samaria had hospitably received The Word of The God, they sent[with commission] /Peter and John to[the face of] them, who[whoever], after descending, [they]prayed in behalf of them, so that they receive 0Holy Spirit. (For He had not yet permanently [intently]fallen upon [not one]even one of them, but they were existing only being baptized ones on the basis of the name of The Lord Jesus.) At that time they were placing their hands over upon them and they were receiving 0Holy Spirit. Then when /Seemōn gazed intently with rapt attention that because of the placing over of the apostles /hands The Holy /Spirit is being given, he offered[to the face of] resources to them, saying, Give to me also this /authority! in order that over whom ever I place my hands, he receive 0Holy Spirit. But Peter said to[the face of] him, May your$ /silver money be together with you$ unto utter destruction! because you$ presumed the gratuitous gift of The God to be acquired by means of resources. It is neither your$ share nor allotted portion in This /Word. For your$ /heart is not right[straight] in the viewpoint of The God. Therefore repent away from this /iniquity of yours$! And supplicate The God! if (and it is true), really the device of your$ heart will be forgiven to you$. For I behold you $ being in 0gall [De. 29:18-20] of bitterness and 0bonding together with unrighteousness. Then /Seemōn answered and said, You& yourselves supplicate to[the face of] the Lord in behalf of me! so that not one~ thing which you& have said alight upon me” (Acts 8:9-24 APT).
“Consequently, on the one hand after the+ ones earnestly testified and spoke The Word of The Lord, they returned unto Jerusalem and they evangelized[pronounce glad tidings] many unwalled towns of the Samaritans. But on the other hand 0Lord’s angel spoke to Philip saying, Rise up! And continue journeying at midday upon the way ~, the^ one descending away from Jerusalem unto Gáh-zah! The same^ is desert! And he rose up and journeyed. And lo! an Ethiopian man, an eunuch, a ruling power of Kahndáhkay, the queen of 0Ethiopians, who was over all her /royal treasure, who had come[1 Ki. 8:41, 42] unto Jerusalem in order to bow in homage. And as he was returning and sitting upon his /war chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then The Spirit said to /Philip, Approach! and be adhering |at once| to this /war chariot! Then when /Philip ran toward |him|, he heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. And he said, Indeed you$ really know[from experience] what you$ are reading, do you$? Then he said, For how ever could I possibly be able, unless some one shall guide me? And he entreated[summon alongside] /Philip to climb[ascend] up and to sit down together with him. Now the context of The Scripture which he read was this,[Is. 53:7,8] He was led as a sheep up to slaughter. And as a lamb[yearling]+ voiceless in the sight of the one+ shearing him, in this way He does not open His /mouth. In His /humiliation the judging of His was carried off. Now who will narrate His /generation because His /absolute life is being carried off away from the Earth? Then the eunuch answered and said to Philip, I implore[supplicate] you$, Concerning whom is the prophet saying this? Concerning himself? Or concerning another someone of a different kind? Then when Philip opened his /mouth and also began from This /Scripture [Is. 53:7,8], He pronounced[evangelized] glad tidings [gospel] to him with reference to /Jesus [cf. Lk. 24:27]. Then as they were journeying along the way, they came upon some water. And the eunuch expressed, Lo! water! What hinders me to be baptized? Then /Philip said, If (and it is true) you$ are committing trust by means of [source] your$ whole heart, it is legitimate [lawful]. Then he answered and said, I am committing trust that /Jesus Christ is[to be] The Son of The God. And he directed that the war chariot stand |still|. And they both descended into the water, both /Philip and the eunuch. And he baptized him. Then when they ascended out of[source] the water, 0Lord’s 0Spirit snatched /Philip away. And the eunuch did not behold him any [no longer double neg.] longer. For he continued journeying his /way rejoicing” (Acts 8:25-39 APT).
“Then Peter opened his mouth and said, On the basis of truth I realize that The God is not a respecter of persons. But[on the contrary] in every nation he, who is continually fearing Him and is continually working righteousness, is an accepted[hospitably received] one with Him. You& yourselves perceive The Word which He sent[with commission] to the sons of Israel, pronouncing[evangelizing] glad tidings with reference to peace through Jesus Christ (This+ One is Lord of all), the declaration [spoken word] |which| emerged[became] throughout the whole Judea |region| and began from /Galilee after the baptism which John proclaimed as an herald: How The God significantly anointed Him, Jesus, The+ One from Nahzahréth, with 0Holy Spirit and with miraculous power, Who went throughout, working good and curing all the ones being tyrannized by the devil, because The God was with[in midst of] Him. And we ourselves are continually judicial witnesses of all~ things which He did both in the region of /Judea and in Jerusalem. This+ One, Whom they executed and hanged upon wood, The God raised up in the third day. And He gave Him to become clearly evident, not to all the people[same race and language], but [on the contrary] to judicial witnesses, the ones having been preassigned by The God, to us whoever ate together and drank together with Him after the act of Him rising up out of dead ones. And He charged us to proclaim as an herald and to earnestly testify to the people[same race and language] that This+ One is The+ One having been designated by The God, 0Judge of absolutely living ones and dead ones. To This + One all the prophets[Jer. 31:34; Mic. 7:18; Ps. 32:1; 103:3] testify. Everyone who is continually committing trust unto Him consequently receives forgiveness of sins through His /name. . . . While /Peter was yet speaking these declarations, The Holy /Spirit intently fell upon all the ones[Kohrnáyleeohs with his relatives and friends] hearing The Word. And the faithful ones of 0circumcision, as many as went together with /Peter, were amazed because also upon the Gentiles the gratuitous gift of The Holy Spirit has been poured out. For they kept hearing them speaking in languages and magnifying The God ” (Acts 10:34-43, 44-46 APT).
Peter asked the six Jewish brothers that went with him to Kaisáhreiah, “Not at all is anyone able to forbid /water in order that these[Kohrnáyleeohs with his relatives and friends], who received The Holy /Spirit according as ourselves, not be baptized, is there? And he prescribed with reference to them to be baptized in the name of The Lord. At that time they besought him to remain on for certain days” (Acts 10:47,48 APT).
“And a certain woman, Lu-deéah by name, a seller^ of purple of Thu-ah-teí-rah 0city and devoted to The God, heard |us|, whose /heart The Lord completely opened, so as to continually hold fast[on guard] to the& |words| being spoken by /Paul. Now as she and the house[servants?] of hers was being baptized, she entreated |us|, saying, If (and it is true) you& have judged me to be faithful to The Lord, enter into my /house and abide! And she constrained us” (Acts 16:14,15 APT)
“And after leading them without[off away from], he[the Philippian jailor] expressed, O Lords! what is it absolutely necessary for me to do in order to be saved? Then they[Paul and Séelahs] said, Commit trust upon The Lord Jesus Christ at once and you$ yourself shall be saved, and the house of yours$. And they spoke The Word of The Lord to him and to all the ones in his /dwelling. And after taking them[the Philippian jailor and all the ones of his house] aside in that /hour of the night, he washed off their wounds and instantly he himself was baptized and all the ones of his. And after leading them up into his /house, he served[placed alongside] a table and he was exceedingly glad in himself with his whole household having committed trust to The God” (Acts 16:30-34 APT).
“Then Krée-spohs, the ruler of the synagogue, committed trust in the Lord together with his whole /house. And when many of the Corinthians heard, they began committing trust. And they were being baptized” (Acts 18:8 APT).
“And he said to[the face of] them[certain disciples at Ephesus who never heard that The Holy Spirit existed], Unto what then were you& baptized? Then they said, Unto the baptism of John. Then Paul said, Actually John baptized a repentance 0baptism, saying to the people[same race and people] that they should commit trust unto The+ One coming after him, that[this] is, unto Jesus, The Christ. Then when they heard |this|, they were baptized in the name of The Lord Jesus. And when /Paul placed his hands upon them, The Holy /Spirit came upon them and they began speaking with languages and repeatedly prophesied[proclaimed divine truth]. Now all the men were about twelve” (Acts 19:3-6 APT).
“What then shall we say? Shall we remain on in Sin in order that the grace abound? May it never be! We, whoever died off to the Sin, how shall we absolutely live in it yet? Or are you& ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, [we]were baptized into the death of His? Therefore we are buried together with Him through the baptism into the death in order that even as Christ was raised up out of 0dead ones by reason of the glory[exaltation with majestic radiant splendor] of The Father, so also we ourselves should walk in newness of absolute life. For if (and it is true) we have become ones planted together in the similitude of the death of His, undoubtedly we shall be also |in the similitude| of His resurrection. Knowing[from experience] this, that the old[in age] human [generic] of ours is crucified together |with Him | so that the body of the Sin become ineffective[negated] so that we no longer continue serving as a bondslave to the Sin. For the one |who| died off stands justified[declared righteous, free of blame, guilt, and / or penalty] [away]from the Sin” (Rom. 6:1-7 APT).
“For you& all are 0sons of God through the faith[committed trust] by means of Christ Jesus. For as much as you& were baptized into Christ, you& were clothed for yourselves with Christ” (Gal. 3:26,27 APT).
“. . . in Whom[Christ] also you& were circumcised by means of 0circumcision not made with human hands, in the stripping off from the body with reference to the sins of the flesh by means of the circumcision by The Christ when buried together with Him by means of the baptism, in which also you& were raised up together with |Him| through the faith by the effectual working of The God, Who raised Him up out of the dead ones” (Col. 2:11,12 APT).
“ . . . He proclaimed as an herald to the spirits in protective guardhouse, to ones, once resisting persuasion when once for ever the longsuffering of The God patiently waited in the days[Gen. 6:3,5] of Nō-eh, [Gen. 6:13,. 14]while 0ark was being completely made ready, in which few, that is, eight souls were brought safely through water; by which also baptism as a figure now saves us, not the laying down away of 0filth of 0flesh, but on the contrary, a question of a beneficially good conscience in regard to God through 0resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 3:19b-21 APT).
This is another chapter in the study of the Seven Baptisms, one book of the series entitled, Fundamental Facts For Searching Saints (Acts 2:41,42). Baptism has quite a significant meaning in The God’s Word according to the viewpoint of The God. What does baptism mean to you? How does your meaning of Baptism by The Holy Spirit compare with The God’s as clarified by His Dearly Beloved Son?
In order to fix the basic facts firmly in our minds, a brief review is always helpful. The word “baptism” is the translation of the Greek noun βάπτισμα (Báhp-teesmah). It comes from the verb βαπτίζω (bahptéez0) translated ‘baptize’ and means “to make whelmed, (i.e. to fully wet).” To whelm means “to overcome utterly, to submerge, to engulf.” βαπτίζω comes from the root word βάπτω (báhpt0) which means “to whelm, i.e. to cover wholly with a fluid.” It is sometimes translated “to dip.” βάπτω is also used to indicate the act of dying, ‘to dye,’ that is to dip a cloth or material completely immersed into a vat of liquid to change its color. The cloth is not changed, only the appearance and color is changed. However, baptism calls for an inner change producing action whereby there are seven factors in connection with each of the seven baptisms:
1. A Particular Message Proclaimed,
2. A Faith Proven,
3. An Action Performed,
4. A Confession Pronounced,
5. A Meaning Projected,
6. An Indication Produced, and
7. An Identification Professed.
The Baptism of Moses projected the meaning, Redemption by power after being redeemed by the blood of the Passover lamb. It indicated that the participant who has been redeemed by blood and by the power of The God is Free from bondage and Sin. The Baptism by John projected the meaning, Repentance. It indicated that the participant was Forgiven of sins. The Baptism of Christ projected the meaning, Righteousness. It indicated that the participant had Fulfilled all Righteousness. John the Baptizer was reluctant to baptize Jesus at first. He needed instruction so he could obey. The Baptism of Violent Death projects an unusual aspect of meaning upon which The Lord Jesus Christ elucidated. This baptism projects the meaning, Wrath. It indicates that the participant is Faithful to his spiritual father. The Baptism of Violent Death is different than the other baptisms in that it is figurative, symbolic, and begins with a meaning that adds to the basic meaning of baptism stated above. Moses and the nation of Israel were not completely wet. However they were whelmed with walls of water on each side and vapor in the form of a cloud overhead. In the Baptism by John the people were baptized by immersion in water after they repented of their sins and brought forth fruits meet for repentance. Therefore the Baptism by John projected the meaning, Repentance. It indicated that the participant was Forgiven of sins. But in the Baptism of Violent Death we are faced with a symbolic meaning for baptism or an abstract meaning and not with water. That means “it has only intrinsic form with little or no attempt at pictorial representation.” The whelming is not with water, but with more severe action resulting in the reality of the representation, death - a violent death. The Baptism by The Holy Spirit projects the meaning of a twofold Relationship to The Godhead: as a member of The God’s family and as a member of The Christ’s body. The Baptism by The Holy Spirit also is not with water. But on the contrary this baptism is a spiritual baptism performed by The Holy Spirit of The God. Because The Baptism of The Holy Spirit is figurative and spiritual, it is most often confused in our day!
The sixth baptism chronologically observed in The New Testament is Water Baptism or Baptism of Disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ. The term believer’s baptism is not found in Scripture. The Lord Jesus Christ’s fourth command is to baptize disciples (Mt. 28:19,20 APT, see above before Introduction).
The Lord Jesus began baptizing His disciples early in His public ministry, shortly after He observed His first Passover in Jerusalem in the spring of A.D. 30. This was reported to John the baptizer, who identified Jesus as The Christ (Jn. 3:26-4:3). According to the imperfect tense which John used to record this event Jesus initially baptized but did not continue to do so. Rather the disciples He baptized were repeatedly baptizing the disciples who followed Jesus. Because of this practice, the twelve disciples, who formed the core that Jesus left behind when He ascended, understood the command to make disciples, the need to, and how to baptize ‘them’ (Mt. 28:18-20 , see above), since they already had done so.
Then on the day of Pentecost, after The Holy Spirit descended and it was manifest that the promise that Jesus gave to His disciples was fulfilled, Peter used the keys to the Kingdom and preached his first sermon with Holy Spirit convicting power. So effective was his preaching that the question was asked by those who heard, “O men! Brothers! What shall we do?” In addition to the brief answer to, “Repent at once and be baptized!” recorded by Luke, Peter exhorted and earnestly testified “with more other words” (Acts 2:40 APT). Then those who gladly received his word delightedly were baptized (v. 41). Remember these were Jewish adults who were in Jerusalem for the festival of Passover and Feast of Weeks or Pentecost and were well aware of the crucifixion that took place on the Preparation Day of Passover. They also had been exposed to baptism by the preaching and baptism by John who prepared the way for The Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry. So they understood the sermon that Peter had just preached which included repentance and baptism as a response to the Salvation and forgiveness of sins provided by The Lord Jesus Christ through His crucifixion death under The God’s wrath and His resurrection-ascension after burial.
Then in early Autumn of A.D. 33 (four months after Pentecost), during the great persecution that the church suffered which scattered all the church in Jerusalem except the apostles (Acts 8:1-5). Philip evangelized a city in Samaria. He baptized those who responded. Among whom was Seemōn the sorcerer. However, later Peter followed up Philip’s ministry in that city and discovered that Seemōn was still in the bond of iniquity and perishing. Then a Lord’s angel directed Philip to journey on the road from Jerusalem to Gáhzah where he met the Ethiopian eunuch, sitting in his war chariot reading a scroll of Isaiah and had progressed through to chapter fifty-three. From that point, Philip began to pronounce The Glad Tidings concerning The Lord Jesus Christ. No doubt he was fulfilling The Scriptures and The Lord’s third command in discipling the eunuch. But because of the information given we have a limited understanding of how much teaching Philip did and how long it took place. But it is unreasonable to think that Philip would be disobedient to the command of The Lord Jesus to baptize someone he did not disciple. Perhaps he spent more time with the eunuch because of the disappointment with Seemōn the sorcerer. Because when the eunuch asked what was hindering himself from being baptized, /“Philip responded, If (and it is true) you$ are committing trust by means of[source] your$ whole heart, it is legitimate[lawful]. Then he answered and said, I am committing trust that /Jesus Christ is[to be] The Son of The God”\ (Acts 8:37 APT). Perhaps Philip felt he could baptize him because he had discipled him concerning The Lord Jesus Christ from his exposition of Scripture and what the eunuch had learned while recently being in Jerusalem. Perhaps the eunuch had been exposed to the truth about The Messiah and was still confused until Philip explained about The Christ. In any event Philip straightened out his understanding and clarified The Scriptures for him as he preached Christ to him in such a way that the eunuch of himself was ready to act upon it. So much so that he himself requested baptism.
Then later in the summer of A.D. 37, Peter beheld the extraordinary, great-sheet, appearance and went with two household servants and a godly, pious soldier sent by Kohrnáyleeohs to Kaisáhreiah and used the keys to the Kingdom to open the door to the Gentiles. When the Gentiles demonstrated that they received The Holy Spirit in the same way as the Jewish disciples did on Pentecost, to the six brethren who accompanied him, he prescribed the Gentiles who received The Holy Spirit to be baptized (Acts 10:48 APT). Later others were baptized as disciples in Philippi (Acts 16:15-34), in Corinth (Acts 18:8), and in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-6).
Now consider the seven factors of Baptism of Disciples.
I. A PARTICULAR MESSAGE PROCLAIMED.
The particular message proclaimed in connection with the Baptism of Disciples is The Gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ (Mk.16:15), but also to “make disciples” of people of all nations and “keep ALL things watchfully secure whatsoever I have commanded you&” Mt.28:19,20 APT). This message includes: His Creatorship; His Deity; His virgin birth; His perfection; His agonizing, vicarious death enduring the Wrath of The God in darkness; His burial; His resurrection-ascension and high priestly ministry; His exaltation; the coming again of our Lord Jesus Christ; His Saviorhood (Acts 5:31) and the basis on which Salvation including forgiveness of sins is appropriated (Acts 20:21); and His Lordship including the true meaning of Disciples’ Baptism, that the disciple together with Christ is crucified to Sin, self, and the world and lives the victorious, resurrected life as an overcomer (Mt. 7:21; Acts 10:36; Lk. 6:46-48; Rom. 12:1,2: Gal. 2:20; 1 Jn. 4:1,4,5; 5:4,5; Rev. 21:7,8).
When Peter first preached The Gospel and opened the Kingdom to the Jews with the keys The Lord Jesus Christ had given to him, he preached The Gospel of Christ and the necessity of repentance for Salvation followed by the command to be baptized at once. A few days later Peter had a little better understanding of The Gospel. He did not tell the hearers to be baptized, but he told them to repent and be converted (Acts 3:19). So he moved away from the preaching the act of baptism in connection with Salvation. But in the beginning he preached it because of the understanding from the fact that The Lord Jesus baptized and His disciples baptized and prior to that John baptized. There was a primitive understanding about baptism, but as The Holy Spirit revealed The Truth more clearly, the contents of the message became more precise and the act of baptism was not retained in the message of The Gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ. As one reads through the Book of Acts, at first one finds the Deity of Christ (3:13) is emphasized, then the perfection of Christ (3:14) and His death, burial and His resurrection-ascension (3:15). Also included in The Gospel is the exaltation of Christ (His ascension to the right hand of The God) and His coming again was alluded to (3:19) and then the emphasis on The Saviorhood and The Lordship of Christ, not in word but in deed (the ones who actually do his will, making Him The Lord of their lives (Acts 10:36). “He is Lord of all!” Thus The Saviorhood (Acts 5:31; 13:23) and The Lordship of Christ (Acts 2:36; 10:36; Rom. 10:9) were also involved in the particular message that was proclaimed.
II. A FAITH PROVEN (EXERCISED).
The faith that is exercised is saving faith in The Lord Jesus Christ that is proven by means of the Baptism by The Holy Spirit. The fact that one has been truly baptized by The Holy Spirit and therefore regenerated is proof that the faith committed to The Lord Jesus Christ has been accompanied by repentance and acknowledged by The Father. The change in lifestyle and persistent obedience to all Scripture is evidence that such repentance and saving faith has been committed. Additionally, the candidate for disciples’ baptism demonstrates that he or she has indeed been crucified to Sin, self, and the world together with Christ and therefore needs to be buried with Christ in the likeness of His burial and resurrection to walk in newness of life (Acts 8:12, 37; 9:18; 10:47, 48; 16:15, 33, 34; 18:8; 19:4, 5).
“But when they committed trust to the evangelizing[pronouncing glad tidings] by Philip with reference to the~ things concerning the Kingdom of The God and the name of /Jesus Christ, both men and women were being baptized” (Acts 8:12 APT).
Notice who were the ones being baptized by Philip in Samaria: men (husbands) and women (wives), but not children! Remember now this is disciples’ baptism. It is difficult for young children to become disciples. They can learn about The Lord Jesus Christ, but they have great difficulty in making disciples by themselves and greater difficulty denying the self life and being dead to Sin, self, and the world. It becomes a problem with them, mainly because they have not matured and their bodies have not fully developed.
The Ethiopian eunuch proved his faith by vocally identifying himself with The Lord Jesus Christ and requesting of himself to be baptized (Acts 8:37). It is essential that the candidate for Disciples’ Baptism of oneself request baptism when that one meets the qualifications for baptism even as the Ethiopian eunuch did. The apostle Paul’s faith was proven in a deeper way. He had given evidence that he was a changed man. As a matter of fact, unless Saul was a changed man, Ahnahnéeahs did not even want to go near him (Acts 9:13-17).
In Philippi, Ludéeah attended unto the things which were spoken of by Paul and she was baptized and her household (Acts 16:14,15). Now the household in this particular case, if you go back to verses 12,13 all were women. The household of Lydia was a household of women servants, neither children nor husband nor men were involved. So Paul and Lydia proved their faith. Also in Philippi there was the Philippian jailer who gave evidence that he believed as he came and took Paul and Séelahs and washed their stripes (Acts 16:32-34). The jailor saw the evidence of their faith in Jesus Christ by the fact that these men were not going to escape and run away but stayed there in the prison after the earthquake opened the doors. He took them into his home and showed by his life of caring for their stripes that he meant business with The God, and straightway he and all his were baptized. Again the household is referring to servants as it usually does, and does not include children, because God usually tells us when children are meant. But in every case along the way it has been men and women and the household. It is reading into Scripture what is not there if one makes the ‘house’ mean little children. Finally reference is made to many Corinthians being baptized but not all by Paul (Acts 18:8). “Kréepohs believed with all his house. It does not say that his whole house was baptized. In Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians he indicates who were baptized (1 Cor. 1:14-16).
III. AN ACTION PERFORMED.
There must be an action performed on the part of the participant to be baptized by The Holy Spirit. Here with disciples’ baptism the action is death to Sin, self, and the world and yielding to The Holy Spirit’s work to be a bondslave to Righteousness and to The God and thus demonstrating that Sin is not reigning in one’s mortal body and fruit is being borne unto sanctification (Rom. 6:11,22,4-6; Col. 2:11,12). But one cannot be buried by baptism into death if one has not reckoned oneself to be dead. So the action performed is a reckoning to be dead, the act of burial and planting in the waters of baptism and rising to new life. There has to be the reckoning to be dead before there can be the burial. The burial takes place simultaneously with the planting. For what reason is a fruit tree planted? To bear fruit. (Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” He also said that the good soil is that which bears fruit, some thirty, some sixty, and some an hundredfold.
The purpose of the baptism is that discipleship has progressed to the fruit-bearing stage (Jn. 15:8). The evidence in the life is that there has been (the reckoning of death to self, sin, and the world) and now the burial takes place and the planting in order that after this there should be fruit bearing and walking in newness of life (rising out of the water unto new life in Christ).
IV. A CONFESSION PRONOUNCED.
The confession that must be pronounced at the baptism of a disciple is as follows, “The Lord Jesus Christ, The Son of God is my Savior and Lord. I am now dead to Sin, self, and the world. Christ now lives in me and through me” (Gal. 2:20; 1 Pet. 4:1, 2).
The eunuch said, “I am committing trust that Jesus Christ is The Son of The God.” Further confession includes, He is my Savior and Lord, because in The Gospel that Peter preached recorded in The Book of Acts he emphasized the Lordship (Acts 2:36; 10:36) and the Saviorhood (Acts 5:31) of The Christ. If He is The Son of The God, and He is, then He is my Savior (1 Tim. 4:10; Tit. 2:13,14) and my Lord (Rom. 10:9,10). This is the confession that must be pronounced. Also I must confess that I am dead to Sin, self, and the world and The Lord Jesus Christ liveth in me and through me (Gal. 2:20). I live this new life in Christ by His faith so that it is His life living through me.
V. THE MEANING PROJECTED -- Resurrection.
The meaning of the Baptism of a disciple is that the participant is spiritually passing through death, burial and planting, Resurrection, and living a new, victorious, resurrection life in the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:4,5; Gal. 2:20; 5:24; 6:14). It also means that the disciple has been clothed with Christ (Gal. 3:27) and has been circumcised by means of circumcision not made with hands through the operation and effectual working of The God (Col. 2:10-12)
VI. AN INDICATION PRODUCED -- Funeral.
The indication that is produced by Baptism of a Disciple is that he or she is going to one’s own white funeral and is no longer living unto self, Sin, and the world, but unto Him Who died for that one and rose again. It indicates to the world that that disciple belongs to The Lord Jesus Christ and no longer lives unto himself or herself as a bondslave to sin and unrighteousness, but unto Him Who died in that one’s stead and rose again to give that one new and absolute life. It also indicates that he or she has a beneficially good and clear conscience with regard to God (1 Pet. 3:18-21).
VII. AN IDENTIFICATION PROFESSED.
The Baptism of a disciple identifies him or her as a committed disciple and bondslave of The Lord Jesus Christ. It also identifies him or her as one that is buried and planted with The Lord Jesus Christ to begin producing fruit for His glory.
COMPARISON OF THE FIRST SIX BAPTISMS:
The Baptism unto Moses took place at the beginning of Israel’s relationship to The God under the Law. The people of Israel were delivered and redeemed from the power of sin and from the world behind them through redemption by the blood of the Passover lamb in Egypt and through redemption by power in passing through the Red Sea. This was accomplished so that the world had no more dominion and control over them. They were free from bondage and Sin and were identified with The True God to prepare an habitation for The God.
The Baptism by John took place at the close of Israel’s relationship to God under the Law. Those Jews baptized by John after repentance were identified with the Kingdom of God and Heaven, marking those Israelites out as those who were forgiven of their sins and awaiting the coming of Christ (The Messiah) because not all Israel was awaiting The Messiah. These two baptisms recorded in The New Testament refer to The Old Testament. One baptism referred to the initiation of a nation under Law and the other the conclusion of the nation under Law and introduced them to the new relationship to The Messiah.
The Baptism of Christ took place at the beginning of the ministry of The Lord Jesus Christ in preparation of The New Covenant and indicated His righteousness. It identified Him as The Fulfiller of all Righteousness. This Baptism introduced The One Who is The Lamb of The God Who fulfilled all righteousness enabling Him to take away Sin and establish righteousness.
The Baptism of Violent Death for The Lord Jesus Christ took place at the end of His physical human life on Friday, 14 Nisan (April 3), A.D. 33, when in darkness He endured the fiery wrath of The God upon Sin for the whole world of people from the creation of human beings. The Baptism of Violent Death for the disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ takes place when they face violent physical death to be martyred for the sake of The Lord Jesus Christ. The Baptism of Violent Death for the unregenerate ones takes place at the end of time immediately after the Great White Throne Judgment takes place in outer space.
The Baptism by The Holy Spirit initially took place for the Jewish disciples on the Day of Pentecost, Sunday, 5 Sivan (May 24), A.D. 33 in Jerusalem when The Holy Spirit descended to abide on Earth with (in the midst of) the disciples of Christ, which make up His Church, forever. Baptism by The Holy Spirit took place on the Gentiles a little more than four years later in the summer of A.D. 37 in the home of Kohrnáyleeohs in Kaisáhreiah. Thereafter it took place on both Jews and Gentiles anywhere in the world at the time of regeneration.
Baptism of Disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ takes place after repentance toward The God and committed trust unto The Lord Jesus Christ, which is proven by a change in lifestyle and persistent obedience to all Scripture and after the disciple has demonstrated that he or she has been crucified together with Christ to Sin, self, and the world
Baptism of a disciple indicates that he or she no longer lives unto self, Sin, and the world, but unto The Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for and in the stead of that disciple and rose again from the dead on the third day. It indicates to the world that this disciple belongs to The Lord Jesus Christ and that he or she has a beneficially good and clear conscience with regard to and before The God. It also indicates the disciple is attending his or her own white funeral and rises with The Lord Jesus Christ to walk in newness of life.
How does your understanding of Baptism by The Holy Spirit compare with The God’s Word? How will you live in the light of what The God’s Word teaches on this subject? What changes will you choose to permit The Holy Spirit to make in your life and your lifestyle? What will you do to conform to the true meaning of Baptism by The Holy Spirit?
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