A study on what is and is not Baptism.
Ruach (Spirit) p2
Infant/child ‘baptism’ (christening) and its pagan background p3
There are three different baptisms;
It is vital to remove a common mis-understanding: baptism (in any form) is not a requirement for salvation. We are baptised because we are saved; not saved because we are baptised.
There is also an antitype which now saves us–baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (1 Pt. 3:21 NKJV). ‘Baptism’ #G908 βάπτισμα baptisma immersion, submersion. This verse does mean that baptism saves. Rather it refers back to the various types that look forward to baptism (antitype). Past accounts refer to the Flood, Moshe in the basket, the Israelites passing through the Sea of Suf (Reed Sea) and through the River Yarden (Jordan). However, baptism is itself a type; a symbolic internal cleansing. The antitype was explained by Shimon Kefa (Peter) as the power (faith) that raised up Messiah that cleanses a person’s soul/spirit upon repentance leading to salvation.
Full immersion in water was being practised by the Jewish people long before the Master’s time. The Jewish מִקְוֶה ‘mikveh’ was used by worshipers prior to entering the Temple. It was not a means of cleaning the body. Rather, it was a ritual that readied a worshiper to enter into יְהֹוָה’s presence (www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org).
Yochanan did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. (Mark 1:4). Yochanan haMatbil (John the Immerser/Baptist) was immersing people as an outward sign of their internal repentance. It was this water baptism that was carried on by the followers of the Master. For Believers today, it is an external, physical, visible witness to an internal, spiritual, invisible, change that has occurred as a result of salvation.
“He who believes and is immersed will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16). Again this is not saying baptism is necessary for salvation. It assumes that everyone who is saved will naturally want to be baptised.
“Go, and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Ruach HaKodesh (Spirit),” (Matt. 28:19). In order to fulfil the Master’s commandment, a person must be baptized or it could be seen as hypocritical to do something that a person has not undergone themselves.
“Yeshuah, when He was immersed, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to Him. He saw the Ruach of `Elohiym descending as a dove, and coming on Him.” (Matt. 3:16). “Yeshuah, full of the Ruach HaKodesh, returned from the Yarden, and was led by the Ruach into the wilderness” (Luke 4:1). Here, the Ruach descended and filled the Master after His water baptism.
“I remembered the word of Messiah, how He said, ‘Yochanan indeed immersed in water, but you will be immersed in the Ruach HaKodesh (Spirit).’” (Acts 11:16). Baptism in water is the outward sign of a new Believer entering into the special relationship with the Body of Messiah (Church). Baptism of the Ruach is when a Believer enters into a special relationship with the Ruach. This baptism was not a single event with the Ruach having been poured upon the Body once for all time. It has been said that the Pentecost outpouring was the only Baptism and all subsequent outpourings were simply fillings similar to the Ruach descending upon people in the Tanakh. This would require the Body being the depository and single supply of the Ruach and not the Father.
“But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him.” (Judges 6:34). “I have heard of you, that the Spirit of the Lord is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.” (Dan. 5:14 NKJV).There are numerous accounts of the Ruach coming down upon men but only in Daniel where a person had been ‘filled’ with the Spirit. However none of these were due to the Baptism of the Ruach. When the Ruach came down upon a person, it was to carry out a specific task; be it for a day or many years. Baptism of the Ruach was a complete in-dwelling in order to prepare a person for service.
“I (Yochanan) immerse you in water, but He will immerse you in the Ruach HaKodesh.” (Mark 1:8). The Master was never baptised (in the Spirit) but was the Baptiser (of the Spirit).
1) “But He said this about the Ruach, which those believing in Him were to receive. For the Ruach HaKodesh was not yet given, because Yeshuah was not yet glorified. (John 7:39).
2) “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Ruach HaKodesh to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:13).
3) “When the Counselor has come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Ruach of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about me.” (John 15:26).
4) “Can any man forbid the water, that these who have received the Ruach HaKodesh as well as we should not be immersed?” (Acts 10:47).
The above is a precise of the order of events: 1) a person must be a Believer; 2) the Believer must ask the Father; 3) Messiah sends the Ruach HaKodesh from the Father. In the final verse 4) above, Cornelius was saved, then baptised in the Ruach BEFORE his water baptism.
Again, water baptism was an outward sign to witnesses and not a necessity for salvation.
Although the account of Cornelius and his family is not the normal state of affairs, the above 3 steps can still be seen.
Baptism of the Ruach can therefore occur immediately after salvation or there may be a time delay lasting many years, if it occurs at all. If the crossing of the Sea of Suf (Red Sea) was a type of water baptism, then the crossing of the River Yarden (Jordan) could be considered as a type of baptism of the Ruach. In the Suf account, the Israelites had just left Egypt (Exod. 12:51-a type of Salvation) and went through the Suf on dry land (Exod. 14:22) i.e. the Exodus/Salvation is followed by Suf/Baptism. In the Yarden account the Israelites were moving from a position of wandering and inactivity into a position of an effective army. Baptism of the Ruach is the empowering of a Believer for effective service and spiritual warfare. Sadly, through the lack of faith, the Israelites failed to enter the Promised Land (Num. 14:1-38) and were required to wander until the faithless generation died. It was necessary for a new generation of faithful people to rise up and cross into the Promised Land (Josh. 3:15). Father, through the Ruach, can only use people of faith. Likewise, it requires faith to call upon Father through His Ruach to empower Believers for His service.
“But Yeshuah said to them, ‘You don’t know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and to be immersed with the immersion that I am immersed with?’ They said to Him, ‘We are able.’ Yeshuah said to them, ‘You shall indeed drink the cup that I drink, and you shall be immersed with the immersion that I am immersed with;’” (Mark 10:38, 39). When Yaakov and Yochanan asked the Master for a privileged position in His Kingdom, the Master retorted by asking are they ready to suffer as He was about to do. “saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.’” (Luke 22:42). Baptism of fire has an element of suffering in order for a Believer to become more Messiah-like.
“I will bring the third part into the fire, And will refine them as silver is refined, And will test them like gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will hear them. I will say, ‘It is my people;’ And they will say, ‘יְהֹוָה is my `Elohiym.’” (Zec. 13:9). “and He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi, and refine them as gold and silver; and they shall offer to יְהֹוָה offerings in righteousness.” (Mal. 3:3). This is the act of removing the dross from a Believer’s life. This refining process is to make the material more expensive but more fitting to the role it was made for. Gold is found in very small quantities in ore. In order to make it more useful, it undergoes many physical and chemical processes in order to make it pure. However, gold is of little use (except for bullion reasons) and is then given over to the craftsman who makes it into something of beauty or useful causing it to increase greatly in worth.
Child Baptism (Christening)
With regards to the above discussion on water baptism, it was shown that baptism was a type of dying and then rising to new life. It is an outward sign of an inward change. It takes a
person to know what they are entering in to, making an informed decision to have Messiah Yeshuah as their personal Saviour. Therefore, it is impossible to reconcile infant or child baptism/christening with scripture.
What then is the basis of the rite known as christening?
“You shall not give any of your children to sacrifice to Molekh; neither shall you profane the name of your `Elohiym: I am יְהֹוָה.” (Lev. 18:21). Molekh was the god of the Phoenicians and Ammorites, but was a god of many nations represented by a man’s body with a bull’s head. It is known by many names including Ba’al (of the Canaanites) and Kronos (Carthaginians). The demonic cult travelled from Carthage to Greece where it developed into Titan, the father of Zeus (www.gotquestions.org).
“and have built the high places of Ba`al, to burn their sons in the fire for burnt offerings to Ba`al; which I didn’t command, nor spoke it, neither came it into my mind:” (Jer. 19:5). It was the demonic practise to sacrifice a child to this fertility demon to ensure prosperity and fertility. Some have suggested that the children were made to walk between rows of fire, but Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) tells of the actual burning of the children (www.jewishencyclopedia.com) and in particular, of the firstborn (www.gotquestions.org).
“for all the firstborn are mine. On the day that I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Mitzrayim I made set apart to me all the firstborn in Yisra’el, both man and animal. They shall be mine. I am יְהֹוָה.” (Num. 3:13). As with all demonic activity, the aim is to draw people away from יְהֹוָה eieither by appealing to their lusts or perverting יְהֹוָה’s truth.
In a parent’s decision to symbolically put to death a child but no rising to new life as in the christening rite, there are undertones of the demonic practice outlined above. Note should be made that the design of the baptismal font of the Temple of the Latter-day Saints (www.lds.org). This was to represent the brass Sea made by Shlomo (Solomon) placed in the Yerushalayim Temple as noted in 1 Kgs. 7:23-26. It should also be noted that Shlomo was lead away from יְהֹוָה by his pagan wives and concubines and raised altars to Ba’al (www.gotquestions.org).
Strong J. (1994) Strong’s New Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, World Bible Publishers Inc., Madison.
Strong J. (1996) The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words, Thomas Nelson, Nashville.
www.youtube.com-YaHuWaH – Giver of All Life
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