Baptism – Jewish or Gentile Part 3

Question – were Old Testament Jews baptized?

When people speak about baptism most people think water. However, water would be the wrong answer and here is why. As we said in Baptism – Jewish or Gentile Part 1, baptize means bathe or immerse. You could be baptized in jello or in cow manure or in marshmallows. The word baptize means immersed. So when you read scripture and see the word baptize, you know God is speaking about immersion in something. People need to reprogram their mind to when they read or hear baptize, they think immersion. But immersion in what?

If I were to ask you, what are the elements of a house. You might say a house has 3 elements – a roof, walls and a floor. So what are the elements of baptism / immersion God talks about? Most people only know water immersion.  If God tells believers and unbelievers about being immersed in “something” wouldn’t you want to know?

Some say there are 7 baptisms / immersions mentioned in scripture. This post is not an exhaustive study on immersion or baptisms mentioned in scripture, this post is to help you see baptism or immersion was something taught to Jews and later, the church, believers. And baptism / immersion is not just about water.

A good picture of this is when Jesus, a Jew, told Nicodemus, a Jewish priest, how to be born again in John 3:5 KJV
  “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

Some people read that verse and automatically think baptize them in water. But that is not what the verse says. Actually, to understand what the water is Jesus was speaking about we find Paul explains it in Ephesians 5:26-27 KJV  “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
[27] That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

It is the word of God. People are born again by the Spirit ( Holy Spirit ) and the word of God. Why? Because faith saves people’s soul and faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God, Romans 10:17. People learn and hear the word of God.

So when we look at baptism / immersion we learn God describes 3 elements of baptism.  Another words, people are baptized with 3 things. Two of the three are for believers only. One is for unbelievers. The three elements of baptism / immersion:
Water
Holy Ghost
Fire

An interesting point is when people are baptized, they appear to be baptized in to a new location. When Jesus told Nicodemus about being born again the goal was entering the kingdom of God. I started this post asking if Old Testament Jews were baptized? The answer is yes. But what were they baptized / immersed in to and what were they baptized with? The answer, they were baptized unto Moses and with what? The cloud and in the sea.

1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV  “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
[2] And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
[3] And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
[4] And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

And notice the account of Israel being baptized unto Moses happened after Passover was instituted. Then, as Israel passes through the Red Sea the Jews are immersed in the water but God separated the waters. Imagine walking through the Red Sea, surrounded by water, immersed in the water but walking on dry ground.

Exodus 14:26-31 KJV  “And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
[27] And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
[28] And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
[29] But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
[30] Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.
[31] And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord , and believed the Lord , and his servant Moses.”

Question: After Israel passed through the Red Sea, did their location change? They were on the other side of the Red Sea and their enemies could no longer get to them.

God spoke with Moses unlike today where Christ works through all believers and the Holy Ghost speaks to believers. So let us look at the three elements of baptism / immersion.

Water baptism is bathed or immersed in water.
Holy Ghost baptism is bathed or immersed in the Holy Ghost.
Fire baptism is bathed or immersed in fire.

Notice in Matthew 3:11,12 – when John the Baptist is speaking to Pharisees (religious Jews believed all of the Scripture)  and Sadducees (didn’t
believe all of Scripture – most of Sanhedrim were Sadducees ) we might call Sadducees “scholars” today. But when John saw the Pharisees and Sadducees  (Matt. 3:7) John brings up all three elements of baptism / immersion.

Matthew 3:7-12 KJV  “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
[8] Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
[9] And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
[10] And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
[11] I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
[12] Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

So according to God and his word, these three elements of immersion or baptism happen to people. Often, I have heard certain people ask, have you been baptized in the Holy Ghost. But scripture teaches us,  believers are baptized not in the Holy Ghost but with the Holy Ghost. This is important because believers are, according to scripture, baptized or immersed in to Jesus Christ. Into the body of believers with the Holy Ghost. Another words, it is the person of the Holy Ghost / Holy Spirit that immerses believers in to Jesus Christ and then seals believers. Paul explains this in Ephesians.

Ephesians 1:12-13 KJV. “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
[13] In whom ye also trusted , after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”

And we will pick it up next time. We will look at the 3 elements of baptism / immersion and what they mean. Don’t forget, our main mission here at HeavensRecord is to share to gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. Tell one person, every day, God loves them and Lord willing, he will open the door for you to share how people can get saved. Until next time.

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