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essay: Baptisms, 7 bible

October 5, 2015

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is one of seven Bible baptisms, Heb 6:2.
1. The Greek word BAPTISMA means the identification of one thing with another resulting in a change. There are real and ritual baptisms.
2. Real baptisms are actual identifications.
a. The baptism of Moses, 1 Cor 10:2. The Jews were “baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” Two million Jews followed Moses who was identified with and followed the cloud between the parted waters. In this way, two million Jews were identified with Moses. (This was a dry baptism; no one got wet except for the Egyptian army who drowned.) The cloud was the Lord Jesus Christ functioning as their compass. Moses simply identified himself with the Lord; the Jews identified with Moses.
b. The baptism of the cup or the cross, Mt 20:22 (only in the KJV). Actually, this is not in the original Greek. James and John wanted to sit on each side of our Lord in heaven. So He asked them, “Can you drink from the cup I am going to drink?” This is in the Greek. The cup referred to the sins of the world. Of course they couldn’t bear the sins of the world; they were sinners. Then the King James Version says, “And can you be baptized with the baptism I am about to be baptized with?” This is not in the original, but the baptism referred to here is the identification of our sins with Christ. Mk 10:3839.
c. The baptism of the Holy Spirit, Jn 14:20; Acts 1:5; 1 Cor 12:13. This is one of the seven ministries of the Holy Spirit at salvation, whereby the invisible omnipotence of the Holy Spirit takes every believer and enters him into union with Christ. That is a real identification. You were really taken at salvation and really put into union with Christ, although you couldn’t “feel” it.
d. The baptism of fire, Mt 3:11; Lk 3:16. All the unbelievers who survive the Tribulation are identified with fire at the Second Advent. They are put into the fire of Torments. They are the tares, gathered into bundles, and put into the fire. This is a real identification with fire. As a result, only believers will begin the Millennium.
3. Ritual baptisms are representative identifications in which water is used to portray by ritual an actual identification.
a. In the baptism of John, water represented the kingdom of God. The believer was submerged, generally in the River Jordan, and was thereby identified with the kingdom through their faith in Christ. Coming out of the water was a picture of resurrection, being identified with the King forever in a resurrection body, Mt 3:110; Jn 1:2533.
b. The baptism of Jesus. One day the King, the Lord Jesus Christ, came to John. In spite of John’s protestations of unworthiness, Jesus told John to baptize Him also, to represent His identification with the Father’s will, plan, and purpose for His next three years in the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union. Our Lord’s baptism was His dedication to the Father’s will, plan, and purpose for the incarnation. When John submerged Him under the water of the River Jordan, it indicated His positive volition toward the Father’s plan for His last three critical years on earth. When our Lord came out of the water, it was a picture of His resurrection, Mt 3:1317.
c. Christian baptism is the water baptism of the believer, Acts 8:36-38; 16:33. It was used to teach the baptism of the Holy Spirit before the Canon of Scripture was completed. It was a ritual for the preCanon period of the Church Age. The Canon was not completed until A.D. 96. Just as all spectacular, miracletype spiritual gifts ended with the completion of the Canon, the same is true with the ritual of water baptism.
(1) There were two rituals ordained for the preCanon period. The first was the Eucharist, the Lord’s Table. The second was water baptism.
(2) In order to emphasize the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is unique to the Church Age, the believer was submerged under the water indicating identification with Christ in His death and burial, i.e., retroactive positional truth. Coming out of the water, the believer was identified with Christ in His resurrection, ascension, and session, i.e., current positional truth. This was the Church Age believer’s way of saying, “I recognize what is not yet in the Canon of Scripture, that I am a new spiritual species, that I am a part of the body of Christ, that I am royal family of God!”
(3) Once the Canon was completed and circulated, the only ritual left for the Church Age is the Eucharist. The truth portrayed in ritual baptism was now reduced to writing, and therefore, was no longer needed as a ritual. Water cannot do anything for your spiritual life!