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The Christianís War Manual

 

THE DOCTRINE OF BAPTISMS

(Hebrews 6:2)

 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1.  Whoa. Hold it right there. You have five baptisms listed. I know the Bible says in Ephesians 4:5 that there is ďone baptism.Ē What are you trying to put over on me?  Actually, the Bible mentions six different baptisms but Christians participate in only four of them.  So, letís take a look at what the Bible shows us ďOf the doctrine of baptisms...Ē (Hebrews 6:2) one by one.

2.  No, now youíre making matters worse. You list five then say there are six in the Bible but Christians only practice four of them. Has anyone proofread this stuff?  Sorry, but no, thereís no mistake.  While Christians should be aware of all of them, of the other two baptisms one is something that took place during Old Testament times and the other is more obscure. Followers of Christ actively practice neither of those two, but use their references in the Bible to aid their understanding.

3.  Well, I want to know what they all are so I can decide for myself.  Sure, no problem.  Each of the other two has only one reference in the Bible and both references are in the New Testament. The first is about the Exodus that Moses led out of Egypt and the old testament law:  

1 Corinthians 10:1Ė4  For I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, that our forefathers were all under and protected by the cloud in which Godís Presence went before them, and every one of them passed safely through the Red Sea, and each one of them allowed himself also to be baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, they were thus brought under obligation to the Law, to Moses, and to the covenant, consecrated and set apart to the service of God; and all of them ate the same spiritual, supernaturally given food, and they all drank the same spiritual, supernaturally given drink.  For they drank from a spiritual Rock which followed them produced by the sole power of God Himself without natural instrumentality, and the Rock was Christ.  (Amp.)

The other refers to being baptized for the dead:

1 Corinthians 15:29  Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?

4.  I remember hearing about a group that practices baptism in behalf of the dead. You said that no Christian participates in this practice, but itís in the Bible and obviously they believe it or they wouldnít be doing it. Arenít you being a narrow-minded hypocrite?  No. In fact, there's a strong likelihood that the apostle Paul wrote that to expose hypocrisy. For more discussion on that verse, please review the scripture section on the baptism for the dead below.

One thing to remember about seeking Godís will is that any scripture, when taken out of context, can be twisted to mean whatever anyone wants it to mean. We can be confident about knowing Godís will when we remember a few basic principles:

a. God is love. (1 John 4:8)

b. He is not willing that any should perish. (2 Peter 3:9)

c. He will by no means clear the guilty. (Exodus 34:7)

d. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:15-16)

e. By two or three witnesses, every word shall be confirmed. (2 Corinthians 13:1)

f. Scripture needs to be used to interpret scripture (Hebrews 4:12)

Christians donít practice this type of baptism because there are no Biblical directives to do so. And, if there were, there would be at least two references to it in the Bible.

5.  Okay. Whatís the baptism into the body of Christ? Iíve never even heard of that one.  At the moment of conversion, the Holy Spirit automatically baptizes the new believer into the body of Christ making that person a member of Christís universal church. The Holy Spirit also gives spiritual gifts so that the believer can function as a member of that body in accordance with Godís will. This is the ďone baptismĒ that Ephesians 4:5 is talking about.

1 Corinthians 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body...

Galatians 3:26-28  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Ephesians 4:5-8  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

Colossians 2:12  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

6.  Do I have to do anything to be baptized this way?  No, the Holy Spirit does it automatically when you are saved. 

7.  So, what about water baptism? Iíve heard different things about it and they oppose each other. Thereís immersion vs. sprinkling, infant baptism vs. age-of-accountability baptism, that itís just an act of obedience vs. something really happens, and someone told me once that I wonít be able to go to heaven without it. Whatís the truth?  Letís address the first issue by taking a look at the word ďbaptize.Ē The origin is the Greek word ďbaptizoĒ which means ďto immerse, to submerge, to dip in fluid, to make fully wet, to overwhelm.Ē Since Greek is the language in which the New Testament was originally written, the word itself promotes immersion over sprinkling. If God intended for us to be sprinkled, He could have impressed upon those who recorded His words to use "sprinkle" or another word with the same meaning instead of a word that means "immerse."  

Now, letís consider the infancy vs. the age of accountability issue and see what the scripture shows.

Matthew 3:6  and they were baptized of him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

Matthew 3:11  I indeed baptize you in water unto repentance

Mark 1:4-5  John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.

Luke 3:12   Then came also publicans to be baptized... 

We see that people old enough to hear, understand, repent, and confess their sins were baptized in water. Infants arenít able to repent and confess their sins much less understand the concept of sin. A person has to know about and be able to believe in Jesus. This is best illustrated in Acts where Philip is preaching to the Ethiopian eunuch:

Acts 8:36-38  And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

This brings us to the next issue.  Is water baptism merely an act of obedience or does something really happen?

Acts 22:16  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

1 Peter 3:21  The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ

The scripture shows that sins are washed away and we are given a good conscience toward God. Yes, something really happens as a result of our obedience.  

This raises another point in favor of baptism by immersion. Is it easier to wash yourself clean by a sprinkling of light rain or by getting thoroughly wet by  immersing yourself in a tub? Sure, you may take a shower, but baptism by sprinkling doesn't get you as wet or as clean in the way a cleansing shower does. Compare a dusty car after a sprinkling of rain to the same car after a downpour. Which gets it cleaner?

The last issue is if you have to be baptized in order to get into heaven. The example that the Bible gives us is the thief who was crucified with Jesus. He couldnít be baptized before he died yet the Lord promised that he would be with Him in heaven.

Luke 23:39-43  And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

8.  Okay, what's next?  The baptism with fire, like the baptism into the body of Christ, is also done automatically as the believer follows Christ. The Lord does this to get rid of the junk in a person as part of the sanctification process. This is why you hear stories of individuals no longer doing such things as lying or stealing when they come to Christ. Some have dramatic tales of being delivered of alcoholism or drug addiction overnight, while other stories aren't related as often because of their lack of dramatic appeal. For example, many wives are quietly grateful when their husbands start treating them kindly after these men submit themselves to the Lord. 

Matthew 3:11-12  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: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Luke 3:16-17. John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

9.  I suppose the only one left to discuss is the baptism in the Holy Spirit.  Yes, and it is the most controversial of all. The Bible tells us that it is the Lord Jesus Christ who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. This baptism gives us the fullness of the Holy Spirit with power to witness, to cast out demons, to pray, and to worship God.

John 1:32-33  And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

Luke 3:15-16  And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire

Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Mark 16:15-20  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. 

10. That passage from Mark 16 kind of sounds like I'm not saved until I'm able to speak in tongues. Also, how do you know itís referring to the baptism in the Holy Spirit and not water baptism?  Yes, there are those who use this passage to teach that you wonít have eternal salvation unless youíve been baptized with the Holy Spirit, but please remember the thief who was crucified with Jesus in Luke 23:39-43 who only acknowledged that Jesus is Lord yet was promised that he'd be in paradise with Him that same day. The main thing to keep in mind is that Christianity is a relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ that progresses ever more deeply the longer you're alive like any relationship, if you let it. The thief who was crucified with Jesus didn't have the time nor was he in a situation that permitted more than his profession of faith. Most people are allowed enough time and in the End Times it will be imperative for believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, symbolized by oil in the following passage, or they will not be allowed entrance to the marriage supper of the Lamb:

Matthew 25:1-13 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Revelation 19:7-9 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Revelation 21:7-8 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Seek Him and His will, trust Him, obey Him, and you'll be okay. That's what makes the Gospel "Good News."

As for it referring to the baptism in the Holy Spirit as opposed to being baptized in water, please be aware that the word ďsavedĒ comes from the Greek word ďsozoĒ which not only means saved, but also means deliver or protect, heal, preserve, do well, be or make whole. Look at the rest of the passage. Casting out devils, speaking in tongues, not being harmed by serpents or poisonous drinks, and healing the sick is for this world, not later in eternity.  Water baptism doesnít do those things; it washes away our sins and gives us a good conscience toward God only. 

11. Yeah, Iíve heard about people that handle snakes in church. Whatís your response to that?  That interpretation of this scripture is hard to endorse because the Bible warns many times against tempting God. Also, there's no confirming scripture telling us to handle snakes as part of the church service.  However, this passage does serve as the Lordís assurance of protection against poison encountered inadvertently. Look at how Paul was protected.

Acts 28:3-6  And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand. And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live. And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

12. That sounds pretty good to me.  Why is the baptism in the Holy Spirit so controversial?  The main controversies are over whether or not it is a separate act of grace and if speaking in tongues is the evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit.

13. So, is it a separate act of grace?  Yes. Although some believe that it is automatically done at the moment of salvation, they're getting it mixed up with the baptism by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ.  If it were done automatically, there wouldnít be scripture showing it as a separate act.

Acts 8:16 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 

14.  Now about the tongues thing, I don't understand it. I went to a church once and the people were just babbling; it was so chaotic and I didn't like it at all. Someone told me later that was the work of the devil, that speaking in tongues is not for today, that the gift died out when the last apostle died. Then, someone else told me it's only for mature Christians. Can you sort this all out for me?  Did you feel like you'd gotten plunked into the middle of a bunch of foreigners rattling off to each other in their own native languages? That's what the U.S. immigration processing center at Ellis Island sounded like when immigrants were in-processed there. 

Yes, I believe I can sort it out for you. First of all, please bear in mind that the devil perverts the things of God and the last thing he'd want is for Christians to exercise their authority and power over him. He'd much rather have weak Christians praying, "Lord, help me!" instead of their helping themselves by using what God's already given us. Therefore, he works as hard as he can to give the baptism with the Holy Spirit a bad name. In conjunction with that, there are congregations that turn people off by their disorderly conduct and make other Christians want to avoid anything to do with the baptism in the Holy Spirit. They're like exuberant puppies who haven't been housebroken. They bounce around, chew things up, and leave dog hair, puddles, and "presents" everywhere for someone to clean up. Paul was against this type of conduct which may be the greatest hindrance to other churches having Spirit-filled congregations. However, there are congregations that do encourage their members to become Spirit-filled that are obedient to the Word by not having disruptive, chaotic services. 

1 Corinthians 14:33, 40 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints...Let all things be done decently and in order

As for the gift ceasing when the last apostle died, there's no scriptural basis for the belief that apostles no longer exist since the Bible shows more apostles after the original twelve and the ministry is given to us to perfect us and unify us in the faith (Ephesians 4:11-12 above). Are we perfect? Are we united in faith? No, therefore apostles along with prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, still exist because we still need them. 

On the contrary, tongues, along with prophecies and knowledge, will cease at some time in the future when perfection comes. Since knowledge hasn't ceased and perfection hasn't arrived, there's no basis for tongues to have ceased either.

1 Corinthians 13:8-12 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Now, about it being only for mature Christians, again there's no scripture to support that belief. In fact, the following shows new converts receiving the Holy Spirit right away.

Acts 10:38, 44-46 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him...While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.

15.  I see. So, exactly how do I get baptized with the Holy Spirit?  For most Christians, itís fairly easy and happens right away.  All you have to do is tell someone you know who has already received the baptism with the Holy Spirit that you want it, too.  That person will lay hands on you while you both pray, asking the Lord to baptize you in the Holy Spirit. 

Acts 8:17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Then, again, some believers donít need to have anyone laying hands on them. 

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Acts 11:15-16  And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.

For others, it may be a little harder because there might be something hindering them from receiving.  This is when it is very important to have a close relationship with the Lord.  He will tell you what is hindering you from receiving and how to overcome that hindrance. 

Here we see that Paul fasted for three days before he received.

Acts 9:8-11,17-18  And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth...And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

16.  That scripture doesnít explicitly state that Saul was baptized.  How do you know it was in the Holy Spirit and not in water?  Youíre right. It could have been both but it couldn't have been only water because the Lord Jesus sent Ananias to Saul, before his name was changed to Paul, to be filled with the Holy Spirit which is another term for the baptism in the Holy Spirit.  And, while that particular scripture doesnít explicitly state that he spoke in tongues, Paul later wrote:

1 Corinthians 13:1  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels...

1 Corinthians 14:18  I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all

Since he was supposed to receive the Holy Spirit and later had the evidence of having done so, there's no reason to believe that he wasn't.

17.  Are you sure that only people who are baptized in the Holy Spirit are able to speak in tongues?  Isnít there some other way to know who is already baptized with the Holy Spirit and for me to know when Iíve received this baptism?  This is where most of the controversy lies. There are those who donít believe they need to ask for it because they feel like theyíve already received the fullness of the Holy Spirit. They are ignorant of the fact that thereís no scripture that supports using feelings as a guide as to whether or not a person is Spirit-filled. They are also ignorant of the fact that speaking in tongues is the only scriptural evidence of having received the Holy Spirit.

Then, there are those who believe Jesus baptized them with the Holy Spirit simply because they asked. They did ask and the scripture does say that if we ask in accordance with His will, He will do what we ask. However, they donít know for sure because nothing in their lives is really different and they don't have the evidence of speaking in tongues. They havenít received this baptism even though they asked for it. These are the people who have to seek the Lord about what is hindering them from receiving what He gave them. 

Finally, there are those who believe they are Spirit-filled because they have experienced spiritual gifts manifesting through them. Again, they are confusing the baptism by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ with the baptism with the Holy Spirit that the Lord Jesus does. There are many people like this who, when they are truly baptized with the Holy Spirit, find that their spiritual gifts are stronger and manifest more frequently than before.

The only way to know for sure is by having the evidence of speaking in tongues just like the people in the Bible did.

Acts 10:45-48  While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.  

Acts 19:1-6  And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

18.  I still think that part about speaking in tongues is pretty weird. Will I have to find someone to teach me how to do it?  Absolutely not. That is entirely unscriptural. The Holy Spirit Himself will bring a syllable, a word, a phrase, or whatever, perhaps even a song to your mind that you won't recognize or understand because it's in another tongue, that is, another language. All you have to do is speak or sing until He stops giving it to you. People who are called to intercessory prayer may pray in the Spirit for several minutes or for hours if they're available for a lengthy time. While anything different is strange, even weird as you put it, you will become knowledgeable and gain understanding and the strangeness will go away as familiarity increases. Perhaps youíd like to review what the Bible says about speaking in tongues.

19. So, will I be able to do this whenever I want? No. While there are Spirit-filled believers who think they can speak in tongues/pray in the Spirit/or, if you want to impress someone with your vocabulary, engage in glossolalia anytime they want, the truth is that they're yielded and available to the Holy Spirit most of the time. Since He gives what is to be said or sung and since He is God, people can't make Him give them anything if He doesn't want to do so. You can, however, not speak or sing out loud what He gives you and just do it silently to yourself and, of course, back to Him.

20. Hmm...you know, I've been going to a church that doesn't believe in it and Iím still not sure I believe you. Why should I? Because the Bible shows that this is His will for all Christians and His way of empowering His church. I encourage you to ask God to help you receive the truth then study what the scripture says. Please make all decisions as He guides you through His Word. Please also be aware that there are numerous believers in traditional churches such as Catholic, Baptist, Episcopal, and Methodist that have accepted this exceptional gift and continue their memberships in those congregations with faith and joy.

 

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The baptism into the body of Christ

 

By Whom: The Holy Spirit

When: At the moment of conversion

Why: To join the believer to Christ, to build and mature His church which is His body

How: Through receiving salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

Acts 19:3-5 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

 

Romans 6:3-4 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 

1 Corinthians 12:13-14, 27 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many...Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

 

Galatians 3:26-28 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

 

Ephesians 4:1-8, 11-12 I Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men...And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ

 

Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

 

1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ

 

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The baptism with fire

 

By Whom: God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

When: This work starts at the moment of conversion and continues thereafter

Why: To be purged of ungodliness

How:  Through receiving salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

Matthew 3:11 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 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.

 

Luke 3:16-17 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

 

Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

 

Acts 20: 32. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

 

Acts 26:15-18 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

 

Romans 15: 16. That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

 

1 Corinthians 1: 2. Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours

 

1 Corinthians 1:30-31 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

 

1 Corinthians 6: 11. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

 

Ephesians 5:25-26 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

 

Jude 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ...

 

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The baptism with water

 

By whom: A Christian

When: After conversion

Why: For the remission of sins and righteousness

How: Immersion in water ("baptism" comes from the Greek "baptizo" which means "immerse")

Matthew 3:1-2, 5-8, 11-15 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 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? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 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: 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. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

 

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

Mark 1:4, 8-9 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.

 

Luke 3:2-3 ...the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins

 

Luke 3:16a, 21a John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water...Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying...

 

John 1:26, 31 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not...And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

 

John 3:23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.

 

Acts 1:5a For John truly baptized with water...

 

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 

Acts 8:36-38 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

 

Acts 10:47-48 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days

 

Acts 13:24 When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.

 

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

 

Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

 

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The baptism with the Holy Spirit

 

By Whom: Generally, the Lord Jesus Christ but sometimes also the Father

When: After conversion

Why: To be able to pray and worship in God's perfect will, to receive power to witness and overcome the devil along with the fullness of the spiritual gifts and the sanctification that God has for the believer.

How: Through prayer, the laying on of hands, hearing the word of God and believing

 

Many Christians think they are Spirit-filled because they experience and operate in some of the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8-10) even though they haven't been baptized in the Holy Spirit. By Luke 11:13 ("how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him") and John 14:17b ("for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you"), we know that the gifts grow stronger and the sanctification more intense after a Christian is Spirit-filled because something in a person is more influential than something with that same person, no matter how close. The only scriptural evidence of being baptized in the Holy Spirit is having a prayer language that He gives to each individual believer when baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 3:11 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...

 

Matthew 16-17 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

 

Matthew 20:22-23 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

 

Matthew 25:1-13 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

 

Mark 1:6-11 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

 

Mark 10:38-39 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

 

Mark 16:15-18 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

 

Luke 3:16-17, 21-22 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable...Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

 

Luke 11:9-13 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Notice that the above passage is a written guarantee that a Christian asking for the Holy Spirit won't get something else as Satan would like some of us to believe.

Luke 12:50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

 

John 1:29, 32-34 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world...And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

 

John 7:37-38 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

 

John 14:14, 16-17 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

 

Acts 1:5, 8, 12-14; 2:1-4 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth...Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren...And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

Acts 8:13-20 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

 

Acts 9:17-18 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

 

Acts 10:38, 44-46 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him...While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.

 

Acts 11:15-16 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.

 

Acts 19:2-6 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

 

Jude 1:17-21 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Prayer to Receive the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is already given but Christians must receive Him just as salvation is already available to everyone but each individual person must accept it. It's as though a wrapped gift is waiting on a table. It's up to the believer to take and discover what God has for him inside.

"Lord Jesus, please baptize me with the Holy Spirit. I want Him in me as well as with me with the fullness of all the spiritual gifts He has for me to use for Your kingdom including my personal prayer language that will enable me to pray and worship in full accordance with God's perfect will. Thank You for this holy gift. It's in Your name that I pray. Amen."

 

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The baptism for the dead

 

By Whom: A living person

When: After a person has died, another is baptized on the behalf of the deceased, even without the deceased's knowledge, permission, or authorization

Why: For the salvation of the deceased

How: In water

1 Corinthians 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

Since paganism abounded in Corinth and since many Christians there had difficulty breaking away from their past practices, this puzzling verse may refer to something now obscure that Paul used merely to point out a discrepancy in their not believing in the resurrection of the dead. Another possibility is that, if we look at the rest of the chapter in which Paul addresses the death and resurrection of Christ and His followers, understanding that the word "for" in verse 29 (huper in the original Greek text) may also be translated to "on the account of" or "for the sake of" or "regarding", it could also refer to those believers who are baptized in water on account of Him, following His example of righteousness, for the remission of their own sins which there is no sense in doing if He is not risen and if there is no resurrection of believers. For whatever reason Paul wrote verse 29, without confirming scripture, it can in no way be safely accepted as a solid instruction to be baptized as proxy for people already deceased in order to ensure their salvation because each individual is responsible for their own personal relationship with God. Those who use it for proxy baptism are subject to a heresy about salvation.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4. Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures

 

1 Corinthians 15:12-14 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

 

1 Corinthians 15:20-23 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

 

1 Corinthians 15:29-30, 32b Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?...what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not?...

 

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