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SCRIPTURAL WATER BAPTISM AND REPENTANCE
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The Scriptural water baptism is not about "babies or adults." There is no special 'power' or merits in any church and it’s baptism that can 'save' anyone. We must all be saved by personally believing in, and accepting Jesus, (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5.) Jesus Himself, and not a church system of any kind is “The Way, Truth, and Life. No one, (that is absolutely no one,) comes to the Father except through Him,” (Jn. 14:6.)
Although, by itself, not even Jesus’ real water baptism can save believers, it is not an option because it is an important, public declaration of what already happened in the believer’s heart or human spirit, and soul or mind when he surrendered himself to Jesus, (1 Pt. 2:9-10; 1 Ths. 5:23.)
As Jesus illustrated in Scripture, (and as it was passionately practiced even under the Old Testament Covenant, Nehemiah 8:3,5-6,13,) it is vital to understand the Word of God — and especially the form, function, and necessity of the Scriptural water baptism, which Jesus clearly demonstrated and commanded all His true believers to follow, ( Mt. 22:29, 2 Tim. 2:15, Mt. 13:19 KJV.) One must begin by understanding Who Jesus Is, what He really did for us at the cross, and that our obedience to the true context of His Word, the Bible, is mandatory, (Mt. 3:13-17; 28:19-20.) Jesus said in John 12:47-48, “…He who rejects Me and does not receive My Words has one that judges him – the Word that I have spoken will judge him in the Last Day.” We can never say we belong to Jesus if we do not accept His words. When we ‘receive’ Jesus’ words, we accept Him. Jesus Himself Is The Word of God, (Jn. 1:1-5.) Jesus Himself Is God, (Col. 2:9; Jn. 1:1-5; Heb. 1:1-14; Rev. 1:8!) Should we reject His words, we reject God.
· Therefore, hear the words of the Lord Jesus Christ concerning Scriptural water baptism. Not my words; (God forbid!) not the next man’s words or the words of church clergies, but Jesus’ own words. It is a grave sin to push Bible verses out of context to insert false doctrines and ultimately, an entire church system, which deviates from the truth of God’s Word, into the Bible. This is exactly how all the different denominations or divisions of Christianity came into being. One can ‘prove’ anything from the Bible. For instance, using this erroneous type of interpretation, I can ‘prove’ from the Bible that “there is no God,” (Ps. 14:1.) So, if “there is no God,” we can burn our Bibles and go wild, for if there is no God, there is no heaven or hell. Thus, there is no point to any type of faith or religion. Ah, but let us read that verse in context! Psalm 14:1 actually proclaims, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt...”
For the sake of our lives on earth and in heaven we must immerse ourselves in God’s Truth! As Jesus God’s Son Himself Is The Truth, a sincere desire for Scriptural truth is one of the most important marks of a true believer. And his motive to understand Scripture is not merely to acquire knowledge, but to understand God’s will to obey Him from the heart to glorify Him! (Rom. 12:1-2.) God’s Scriptural truth will always remain the only “lamp for our feet” in this deceitful dimension. I am not talking about a few verses or passages from the Bible to ‘prove’ a church doctrine of some kind. I am referring to “the entire truth” or full context of God’s Word; interpreted from the perspective of the New Covenant in Christ, (Ps. 119:160; Heb. 8:13.) The opposite of God’s Truth are omissions of, or additions to the Truth; the twisting of truth, and using portions of the Bible out of context. All this equals lies and deception. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 warns, “The coming of the lawless one, [who makes his own doctrines by abusing God’s Word of Truth,] is according to the working of Satan… and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
· JESUS’ OWN DEMONSTRATION AND EXAMPLE OF HIS WATER BAPTISM, AND THE ONE AND ONLY FINAL COMMISSION HE GAVE TO HIS DISCIPLES
· Is it possible to receive the indwelling Holy Spirit during or after water baptism?
· The Repentance Jesus commanded in Mark 1:15 is the same Repentance John the Baptist, Peter, and Paul called for
· THE BAPTISM WHICH JESUS COMMANDED IS THE BAPTISM OF JOHN THE BAPTIST, PETER, AND PAUL
· Can Baptismal Regeneration be Biblical and real through so-called ‘saving’ church sacraments?
THIS IS THE EXAMPLE OF THE SCRIPTURAL BAPTISM THAT JESUS HIMSELF GAVE TO HIS DISCIPLES
Matthew 3:16, “When Jesus had been baptized, He came up immediately from the water, [NO WATER SPRINKLING OR POURING HERE!] and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and abiding upon Him. And a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.’”
Jesus’ personal demonstration of the only true baptism of disciples was during the Old Testament covenant before the cross and Pentecost. And because it was a commandment of Jesus at His ascension, it is vital for all true believers to obey Him, (Mt. 28:19-20.)
THE COMMISSION OF JESUS TO PREACH HIS TRUE GOSPEL, AND TO BAPTIZE AND TEACH HIS SINCERELY BELIEVING DISCIPLES
Matthew 28:18-20 describe the steps that Jesus, at His ascension, commanded to spread His Gospel worldwide in the hearts and minds of people.
(1:) “All authority in heaven and earth was given to Me, [and I give this authority to My true disciples.] Go therefore, and [preach My Scriptural Gospel to] make disciples of all the nations, (Rev. 5:9.) [THIS DOES NOT “SET AN AGE LIMIT FOR BAPTISM” AS SOME TEACH! HOWEVER, ‘BELIEVING DISCIPLES’ CANNOT BE BABIES AND YOUNG CHILDREN, WHO CANNOT PERSONALLY UNDERSTAND AND ACCEPT HIS SCRIPTURAL TRUTH!]
(2:) [Water] baptize [these believing disciple/followers] in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
(3:) Teach [these disciples] to observe all things that I [Jesus, and not church clergies,] have commanded you,
(4:) And see, I Am with you always, [through the constant indwelling of the Holy Spirit,] even to the end of this world,” (1 Jn. 2:20, 27!)
· Jesus’ promise to be in and with His truly believing, baptized disciples to the end of the world, proves that absolutely nothing has “changed” about His commission, or the meaning and method of the water baptism, which He Himself demonstrated as our example.
Jesus’ own baptism in water was not because He needed to be baptized like He commissioned all His sincere disciples to be baptized. Jesus’ baptism was clearly the only illustration and example of the Perfect Man Jesus, the Sinless “Second Adam,” Who instructed us on the motive and manner of the one and only water baptism that He commanded in Matthew 28:19-20.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO RECEIVE THE INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT DURING OR AFTER WATER BAPTISM?
As seen above, in addition to Jesus’ practical demonstration of how we must baptize His sincere believers in water, (Mt. 3:16,) He plainly taught us the necessary steps we must follow to make disciples, and then to bring those baptized disciples to emotional or soulical maturity in Him through knowledge of His Word, (Mt. 28:18-20.)
· Jesus’ illustration of who and how we must baptize, also included His manifestation of the Holy-Spirit in the form of a dove, which symbolizes God’s presence and power through our obedience to the water baptism, and how “well that pleases” Him, (Mt. 3:16-17.)
· However, the outward manifestation of the Spirit at Jesus’ baptism was not the indwelling of the Spirit like at Pentecost, (Acts 2.) The sign of the Spirit as Jesus came up out of the water, was also to show the fulfilment of the prophecy in Isaiah 61:1, which stated that the Man Jesus Christ was anointed to start His ministry of miracles among the Hebrew nation, (Mt. 4:17; Jn. 1:1-14.) “Anointed” in New Covenant terms in the lives of real believers means the manifest power, presence, teaching, leading, etcetera, of the Holy Spirit, Who would, after Pentecost, work in them to teach and guide them in His Word, and to “equip” them through His different gifts and callings, which He still entrusts to all the individual members of Jesus’ spiritual body, (1 Cor. 12:4-11; 1 Jn. 2:20, 27; Eph. 4:11-16.)
Thus, the manifestation of the Holy Spirit at Jesus’ baptism was not to prove that we ‘get the Holy Spirit through water baptism!’ God’s sign of the Holy Spirit at the water baptism of the Man Jesus, shows how serious God views the water baptism of sincere believers, which Jesus commanded at His ascension, (Mt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-18.) True baptism is a symbol of the spiritual death and resurrection that already occurred when the sincere believer was moved "from darkness into Light" at his rebirth when he accepted Jesus — and the reality of the Holy Spirit Who indwelt him at that moment when he was spiritually born again by wholeheartedly accepting Jesus, (Jn. 1:12-13; Gal. 4:4-7; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Cor. 3:16-17!)
· Hence, the manifestation or sign of the dove at Jesus’ baptism does not mean that during the New Testament Covenant after the cross and Pentecost, believers will “receive the Holy Spirit” or ‘get more of Him’ at their water baptism, (Jn. 3:34; Gal. 4:4-7; 1 Jn. 2:20, 27.)
· No one could or can receive the Holy Spirit through water baptism, either before or after Jesus’ New Testament Covenant was established, (which became a reality when He died, was resurrected, ascended into heaven, and at Pentecost when He sent the Holy Spirit to indwell all sincere disciples from then on, (Jn. 7:39! KJV Mt. 3:11; Acts 8:12.)
· Just like the spiritual rebirth through faith in, and acceptance of Jesus as our personal Redeemer, Savior, and Blessor, and Jesus’ baptism with the indwelling Spirit at that moment, (Rom. 8:9,) the authentic water baptism of disciples cannot be repeated. It is one of the most drastic and life-changing moments, apart from being born again through personal faith in Christ, that can occur in the life of a true believer here on earth.
Yet, it does sound as if Peter, in Acts 2:38, taught that one receives God’s forgiveness and the Holy Spirit in water baptism. However, baptism is not a means of forgiveness or to obtain the indwelling Holy Spirit, (Eph. 1:7; 12-14.) What’s more, when Peter referred to “the Gift of the Holy Spirit,” he was not talking about the Spirit’s gifts such as healing, prophecy, or speaking in tongues, (Mark 16:15-18.) He spoke of the indwelling Holy Spirit Himself as the completely free, constantly indwelling Gift from God, (Ef. 1:7 & 12-14; Gal. 4:4-7.) Paraphrased, Acts 2:38 sounds like this, ‘...Be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ as an outward declaration of inward your remission of sins, and that you have received the Holy Spirit when you believed in, and accepted Jesus,’ (Eph. 1:7; 12-14; Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5.)
THIS IS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF JESUS’ COMMISSION TO BAPTIZE BELIEVING DISCIPLES AFTER THE CROSS AND PENTECOST
In Acts 8:35-39, “[The Holy Spirit sent Philip to speak to the Ethiopian,] so he ran to [the eunuch;] heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ And he said, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ [Romans 10:14-17, “Faith comes by hearing the preaching of the True Word…”] And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him…
Verse 35, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture [in the Book of Isaiah, he explained] Jesus to him.
Verse 36, “Now as they went down the road, they came to water. And the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?’ [Seeing that I now understand the Gospel, accepted Jesus, and was instantly born again,]’ (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5; Eph. 1:12-14.)
Verse 37, “Then Philip said, [this verse was either fully or partially omitted from new versions of the Bible,] ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may [be baptized.]’ And he answered, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’
Verse 38, “So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.”
Verse 39, “When they came up out of the water…” This was definitely the baptism Jesus commanded and illustrated for all true believers.
THE REPENTANCE TO BELIEVE THE GOSPEL THAT JESUS COMMANDED IN MARK 1:15, IS THE REPENTANCE WHICH JOHN THE BAPTIST, PETER, PAUL, AND ALL THE OTHER DISCIPLES CALLED FOR
While every believer must repent from personal sin, Jesus, John the Baptist, Peter, and the other apostles were not referring to sin such as stealing or lying. They referred to Jesus’ statement in Mark 1:15, “The time is fulfilled, [for the New Testament Covenant to be established at the cross,] and the Kingdom of God, [which will be inside all true believers since the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost,] is at hand, (Luke 17:21 KJV.) Therefore, repent [from Judaism and all other temple/church religion without the truth of Christ,] and [choose to] believe the Gospel.”
· In Mark 1:15, Jesus announced salvation through the establishment of His New Testament Covenant at the cross, of which repentance from spiritually dead religions, and personal faith in the True Jesus and His Gospel, are requirements. [Partially from the Spirit Filled Bible, 1991.]
God does not share His holy, New Covenant temple of believers with demons, (1 Cor. 6:15-20,) and the temple of the Holy Spirit can never be ‘half-filled’ or empty, (Rom. 8:9.) Thus, it is impossible to accept Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit without first repenting from the misconceptions and other brainwashing techniques that keep people away from the True Jesus and His Gospel of salvation, (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5; 1 Pt. 2:9-10.)
· Just as Jesus commanded, John the Baptist, in Matthew 3:1-3, called the Hebrews, (and other religionists — as anything can be a religion without the Truth of Christ; Satanism and Christianity too,) to repent from their “religious opinions of, and sinful attitudes toward Jesus.” He said, “Repent [from Judaism and its temple worship,] for [Jesus’ New Covenant] Kingdom is at hand… [and will soon be established at the cross…] Brood of vipers! Who told you to flee from the wrath to come [for your sin of rejecting Jesus Christ and His Gospel Truth?] Bear fruits worthy of repentance and do not think to say you have Abraham as your father. [Do not say you will rather believe what your church tells you.] For God is able to raise up [spiritual] children to [believing] Abraham from these stones…” (Gal. 3:11-18.)
· Similarly, at Pentecost, Peter insisted that people from all nations must forsake their religions, (which was mostly Judaism in their day, and nowadays the false doctrines, norms, and forms of every Christian church and other religious society,) to believe and accept Jesus Christ Himself; the Word of God, (Jn. 1:1-14.) Peter commanded in Acts 2:40-42, “[Repent from religion] and be saved from this perverse generation [of Jesus-rejecting, Gospel-defying temple worshippers.] Then those who gladly received [Jesus’ and His Gospel] were baptized [in water…]” Before that, in Acts 2:38, Peter, then ‘filled’ or baptized with the Holy Spirit, commanded his Hebrew audience, “Repent [from your false teachings about Jesus and His Word,] and let every one of you be water baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ… [because you have received forgiveness and] God’s Gift of the [indwelling] Holy Spirit [at your rebirth,]” (Col. 1:13-14; Eph. 4:5-6; 1 Pt. 2:9-10.)
· Directly in line with Jesus’ commandment in Mark 1:15, throughout their Epistles, Paul and the other apostles also described how their greatest defense of the Gospel of Truth was against Judaism — mixed with some New Covenant truth, just as in our day in the form of Messianic Judaism, Roman Catholicism, Calvinism, and other forms of Protestantism. Thus, Jesus, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, and the other apostles all said that we must “die” to our state or spiritual position of sin, (which always centers on some kind of vain religiosity,) to “live” in Christ, (Gal. 2:20.) Jesus does not share His blood-redeemed, Holy-Sprit filled temple of genuine believers with demons, manmade temples, doctrinal lies, church sacraments, and other religious deceptions.
THE WATER BAPTISM THAT JESUS DEMONSTRATED AND COMMANDED AT HIS ASCENSION, (Mt. 28:19-20,) IS THE SAME BAPTISM OF JOHN THE BAPTIST, PETER, PAUL, AND THE OTHER APOSTLES
When John the Baptist preached and baptized believers as described in Matthew 3:1-14, he was still functioning under the Old Testament Covenant before the New Covenant cross and Pentecost. At that time, “because Jesus was not yet glorified, the Holy Spirit was not yet given” to indwell all true believers like under the New Testament Covenant after the cross and Pentecost, (Jn. 7:39; Mt. 3:11 KJV.) A greatly misunderstood fact is that, just as the Old Testament blood and other temple sacrifices, John’s “forgiveness and cleansing through water baptism” was still symbolic of Jesus’ full atonement at the cross, (Mt. 3:11-12.) But John’s preaching and baptism was just as necessary and powerful, because it pointed straight towards Jesus and His New Covenant Gospel, which was inaugurated at the cross and Pentecost, (1 Cor. 10:11; Jn. 1:29, Mt. 3:11.)
· For this reason, as a demonstration of the impending New Testament Covenant in Christ, John The Baptist preached and practiced the same water baptism that Jesus demonstrated for all His sincere disciples and then commanded at His ascension, as explained in Matthew 3:16, “When Jesus had been baptized, He came up immediately from the water…” (Acts 1:8-9; Mt. 28:15-20; Acts 8:30-30 KJV.)
· This remained exactly the same water baptism that Peter commanded after the cross and Pentecost. In Acts 10:44-48, “While Peter was still preaching, [the people believed and accepted Jesus, and Jesus immediately baptized them with the indwelling Holy Spirit…] So Peter said, ‘Can anyone forbid the water, that these should not be baptized who have [already] received the Holy Spirit just as we have [through sincere belief in and acceptance of Jesus?] And he commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord, (Eph. 1:12-14.)
· Paul explained Jesus’ the real meaning of water baptism as follows in Colossians 2:11, “In Him you were… [symbolically] buried with Him in baptism, [when you were dunked under water,] from which you were raised with Him through faith [when you came up out of the water…]” Romans 6:3-14, “Do you not know we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Thus we were buried with Him through baptism into death, [when we were dunked under water,] that just as Christ was raised from the dead… so we should walk in a newness of life, [which is symbolized by coming up out of the water.]”
· Peter explained in 1 Peter 3:21-22, “There is an antitype [of the saving ark of Noah,] which now saves us — baptism. [Peter immediately adds:] not as the removal of the filth of the flesh, [or the forgiveness of sin, which only the blood of Christ can accomplish,] but the answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ… [which is symbolized by coming up out of the water,]” (Eph. 1:7, 12-14.)
· Mark 16:16 confirmed 1 Peter 3:21-22, “He who believes and is [water] baptized [as a disciple] will be saved…” This does not mean that the baptism in itself can save anyone. Mark underscored “faith in Jesus” in this passage. However, he also made it plain that faith cannot be loosened from obedience to Jesus’ commandment to baptize sincere believers in water as He Himself demonstrated.
The last mentioned two verses on “baptism that [supposedly] saves,” were brutally twisted and abused by baby-sprinkling and other Baptismal Regeneration denominations. However, the footnote in the 1991 Spirit Filled Bible explains 1 Peter 3:21 by saying, “Water baptism is [always directly] linked to the believer’s confession of [sincere, personal] faith in Jesus Christ,” (Rom. 6:3-4.)
· This “direct link” between the water baptism by submersion and personal faith in, and acceptance of Jesus, is the essence of the timeline that stretches from John the Baptist’s baptism to Jesus, to Peter at Pentecost, to Paul, Mark, and the other apostles, and to all true disciples today.
CAN BAPTISMAL REGENERATION BE BIBLICAL THROUGH SO-CALLED ‘SAVING’ CHURCH SACRAMENTS?
As seen above, contrary to what Catholicism, Calvinism, and every other –ism of Christianity preach, water baptism cannot accomplish anything by itself, whether it is administered by an “ordained clergyman,” or not. The dogma of Baptismal Regeneration or ‘salvation through water baptism’ without personal faith in and acceptance of Jesus is totally uncontextual, illogical, unscriptural, and in fact, disobedience to Jesus Himself.
The Scriptural Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:18-20, is the only mandate believers have to water baptize people. Without the believer’s personal, sincere acceptance of Jesus Christ, and a stern commitment to follow Him in a new life of obedience to the truth of His Word as His follower/disciple, even the Biblical water baptism as Jesus Himself demonstrated and commanded, is without true spiritual life and therefore, a dead, occultic church ritual.
On the other hand, completely unalterably, as a symbol of sincere believers’ immersion into Jesus Himself and His full atonement in their place, true water baptism points directly to the believer’s transition from spiritual death to spiritual life through personal faith in the crucified, risen Christ, Jesus the Savior of Golgotha, (Eph. 1:7, 12-14.) Thus, we can conclude that obedience to the water baptism, which Jesus demonstrated and commanded, is a powerful, Holy-Spirit anointed step in our New-Covenant relationship with Christ, as it is truly “the answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…” (1 Pt. 3:21-24.) No clergyman with his church rituals dare add or take away from this Truth.