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SEVEN BAPTISMS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

by Dr. Fred Wittman


INTRODUCTION

    This book is the first of a series of five volumes which the author has been in the process of accumulating material and writing during the last fifty-four years of his ministry. The series is entitled Fundamental Facts for Searching Saints and is based upon two verses of Scripture in The Book of Acts.

“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 2:41,42 APT).

The titles of these five books are: Seven Baptisms of The New Testament, The Apostles Doctrine, Seven Fellowships of The New Testament, Worship, and Prayer.

    According to the apostle Paul, there is a doctrine of baptisms which is incorporated into The Old Testament culture (Hebrews 6:2).

“Wherefore after vacating the account of the beginning of The Christ, let us continually be brought up to maturity! not laying down again 0foundation: of repentance away from dead works and of faith upon God, 2of 0doctrine: of immersings[baptisms], . . .”(Heb. 6:1,2 APT).

The ‘account of the beginning of The Christ’ refers the Hebrews reader back to John the Baptizer’s preaching a repentance baptism and to Peter’s first sermon on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 3:14-20), which he preached immediately after the baptism of the one hundred-twenty disciples obediently gathered in Jerusalem by The Holy Spirit. The descent of The Holy Spirit upon the disciples commenced The Church and began the permanent abiding of The Holy Spirit in the disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ according to His promise (Jn. 14:16 cf. Acts 1:5). In that sermon Peter preached the basic beginning principle of repentance and challenged the people to “Repent at once and be baptized in[formula use] the name of The Lord Jesus Christ!” and then he added, “Be saved[aorist passive] from this /devious [crooked] /generation” (Acts 2:38,40 APT). This seems to be building upon the ministry of John, who preached a repentance baptism including works that demonstrate repentance, except that now the emphasis of baptism is ‘on the basis of the name of the name of The Lord Jesus Christ.’Paul encouraged the Hebrews readers to vacate these basic principles of Judaism and continually be brought up to maturity. These basic beginning principles included repentance away from the dead works connected with The Law, faith toward The God, and doctrine which included immersions. [Some translations use the word ‘ablutions.’ An ablution is ‘the washing of the body or part(s) thereof as a religious rite.] These immersions could not save, but brought the sinner to humility before God so that faith upon God would focus on the coming of the Messiah, The Lord Jesus Christ. Immersions or ablutions as some translate the word βαπτισμός, among other teachings are to be vacated by allowing oneself to be led on to maturity by The Holy Spirit. These immersions are ceremonial rites of cleansing, hence the use of the word ‘ablutions.’

    Paul wrote to the local church at Corinth which was composed of Greeks and Romans as well, as Jews, Don’t be ignorant! Then he went on to call attention to the “baptism unto Moses” in which all who exited Egypt got themselves baptized.

“Now, O brothers, I determinedly will that you& not be ignorant that all our /fathers were under the shaped cloud[Ex. 13:21] and all went between, through the sea[Ex. 14:22]. And all got themselves baptized[aorist middle] unto /Moses in the shaped cloud and in the sea” (1 Cor. 10:1,2 APT).

By means of this account of how the children of Israel escaped from bondage in Egypt and became a nation, Paul introduced to the regenerated Gentiles that New Testament disciples are to look into the Old Testament for ‘types’ or patterns of The God’s Eternal Truth.

“Now these~ things became types[patterns] for us, in order for ourselves not to be ones passionately lusting after evil~& things, according as those also passionately lusted[Num. 11:4,5]. . . . Now all these things were types customarily befalling those, but they are written[Rom. 15:4] for[to the face of] admonition to us, unto whom the ends of the ages attain” (1 Cor. 10:6,11 APT).

    In this way Paul set an example of utilizing The Old Testament in teaching New Testament doctrine through typology. However we must be careful how we use typology. It cannot be used to put meaning into shadows (those things which foreshadow New Testament Truth. Typology is used to explain and depict that which is seen to be intentionally designed by The God to predict or prefigure a future event, a future aspect of The Messiah’s life, character, or ministry, or a future condition. Thus the roots of our New Testament teaching or doctrine are discovered in The Old Testament. This applies even to Baptism. In his Epistle to the Romans, Paul indicated The same Truth in different words,

“For as many~ things as were written before were written before for the purpose of our own /teaching, in order that through the patient endurance and the comfort of The Scriptures we have the hope” (Rom. 15:4 APT).

Another reference that the apostle Paul made using the word τύπος (type) is in relation to a person as a type of The Coming Messiah (Rom. 5:14).

“Because of this, even as through one+ human the Sin entered into the world and the death through the Sin, so also The Death penetrated unto all humans because all sinned. For until 0law Sin was continually existing in 0world. But Sin is not being imputed[charged to one’s account] while Law is not existing. But[on the the contrary] The Death reigned away from Ahdáhm til Moses, even upon the+ ones |who| did not sin on the basis of the similitude of the transgression of Ahdáhm, who is a 0type of The Imminently Coming One. But[on the the contrary] not as the gross stupid error[falling aside, failing to stand upright when one should], so also |is| the grace-gift. For if (and it is true) by the gross-stupid-error[falling aside, failing to stand upright when one should] of the+ one the many died off, much rather the grace of The God and the gratutous gift by means of grace^, which^ |is| by The+ One Human, Jesus Christ, is in abundance unto the many” (Rom. 5:12-15 APT).

These verses in First Corinthians and Romans give us the authority to look in The Old Testament for examples or types and additional understanding of New Testament Truth.

    The word ‘baptism’ is the translation of the Greek noun βάπτισμα (Báhptismah). It comes from the verb βαπτίζω (bahptéez0) translated ‘baptize’ and means ‘to make whelmed, (i.e. to fully wet).’ βαπτίζω comes from the root word βάπτω (báhpt0) which means ‘to whelm, i.e. to cover wholly with a fluid.’ It is translated ‘to dip.’ βάπτω is also used to indicate the act of dying, ‘to dye.’ However Baptism is an inner change producing an action which results in a new life in The Lord Jesus Christ.
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.

 All seven baptisms (βάπτισματα), not including the Hebrew doctrine of immersions (βαπτισμός), have an aspect of teaching which relates to the total meaning and full significance of the doctrine of New Testament baptism for disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ. These aspects of teaching include: redemption, repentance, righteousness, wrath, relationship, resurrection--present and future, free from bondage and sin, forgiven of sins, fulfilled all righteousness, faithful to his father, faith in Christ committed, funeral (white) and faith of a dead loved one. Full understanding of each of the seven baptisms in The New Testament is complete when, and only when, each of these seven factors have been carefully considered and their significance realized. These seven factors will be examined and explained in each of the seven baptisms with one chapter devoted to each. The seven baptisms are as follows:

       I. The Baptism unto Moses (1 Cor. 10:1,2,5,6,11 cf. Ex.14:1-9-12,13-16,21).

      II. The Baptism by John (Mt. 3:1-11; Mk. 1:4-8; Lk. 3:3-17; Acts 18:25

           cf. 19:3-5).

     III. The Baptism of The Christ (Mt. 3:13-16; Mk. 1:9-11; Lk. 3:21-23).

     IV. The Baptism of Violent Death (Mt. 20:22-23; 3:8-12; Mk. 10:38,39; Lk.

           12:49,50.)

      V. The Baptism of The Holy Spirit (Mt. 3:11; Jn. 1:33; 7:39; Acts 1:5; 2:1-18;

           10:44-47; 1 Cor. 12:13).

     VI. The Disciples’ Baptism or Water Baptism (Mt. 28:19; Acts 2:41; 8:12-39;

           10:34-48; 16:15,33; 18:8; 19:3-6; Rom. 6: 1-7; Gal. 3:27; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet.

           3:21).

    VII. Baptism for the Dead (1 Cor. 15:29.)

   DFW

Wilmington, Delaware

2004


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