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SCRIPTURAL WATER BAPTISM IS THE HOLY SPIRIT’S CIRCUMCISION OF THE ‘OLD MAN;’ THE “CUTTING AWAY” OF THE BODY OF SIN FROM THE BORN AGAIN HUMAN SPIRIT OF THE BELIEVER DURING WATER BAPTISM BY SUBMERSION, (1 Ths. 5:23.)
However desperate followers of the Baptism of Regeneration would like to defend their twisted doctrine, as long as they disobey the actual Word of God, they remain unbaptised and also spiritually uncircumcised. Paul also taught in Col. 2:11-15, “In Him you [born again believers of Jesus,] were also circumcised with the circumcision made without [human] hands, by putting off [or cutting away] the body of the sins of the flesh, [the old sinful nature, Rom. 5:12; 18-21,] by the circumcision of Christ, [at the moment you were] buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, Who raised Him from the dead, (Rom. 6:1-14.) [This too, proves the baptism of submersion as Scriptural truth, because a corpse cannot be buried by sprinkling or pouring a little soil over it.] And you, [who were] dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, [the old body of sin that man inherited from the fall in Eden, which must be cut away by the Holy Spirit Himself in the true water baptism,] He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements [the sacramental or ritual temple law of the Old Testament,] that was against us…”
· Jesus’ water baptism is a crucial, life-changing moment in the innermost being and outward life of a real believer, which can never be repeated, because one can only be born again once into the spiritual Kingdom of Jesus — just like a baby can only be born once into this world, (1 Pt. 2:9-10.) Jesus’ water baptism is a conscious, participating, spiritual burial; a spiritual circumcision, and a resurrection in Christ for sincere believers only. So that none of Jesus’ genuine believers should continue in deliberate sin, the New Testament circumcision, which the Holy Spirit Himself performs during water baptism, pertains directly to the blood-cleansed heart or human spirit of the person, (1 Ths. 5:23.)
It is impossible to live a spiritual life that is pleasing to God, should one remain spiritually uncircumcised; not being baptised Jesus’ way as one of His truly committed disciple/followers. Paul said in Col. 2:8-15, “See to it that no one carries you off as a spoil or makes you captive by his so-called philosophy and intellectualism, following human tradition, [deceitful doctrines and ways,] of the material rather than the spirit world… disregarding the teachings of Christ…” Regardless of this stern warning, millions of church members have, and still are “disregarding the teachings of Christ” in favor of human church tradition. Col. 2:11-15, the much-abused verses that supposedly justify the baby sprinkling circumcision, tell the exact opposite of what these deceived people have been taught through the ages. It states, “In Him, [during the water baptism of sincere believers,] you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without [human] hands, by [cutting away] the body of the sins of the flesh…” By nature, a baby, (although innocent and therefore belonging to Christ until able to distinguish between moral right and wrong,) is still an unbeliever and incapable of believing in Christ, choosing Christ, living in Christ, and following Christ. Moreover, the ‘covenant of baby circumcision’ is completely unbiblical. Thus, all those who were ‘baptised’ with the baby sprinkling, were not baptized in Christ at all.
BAPTISM “IN THE NAME OF JESUS,” OR “IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT?”
Jesus is God Himself. Therefore, He commanded His sincerely believing disciples to be baptized in “the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” which is also the Name of Jesus, The Godhead of the Bible. Paul explained in Col. 2:9-10, “In Him [Jesus] dwells [present tense] all the fullness of The Godhead [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] bodily...” In the context of the whole New Testament, the Man Jesus Christ Himself is the embodiment of The Inseparable Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! Heb. 1:1-3 explains that during the Old Testament dispensation, God spoke to His physical nation Old Israel through human prophets like Moses and Elijah, but in New Testament/Covenant times, “God has spoken to us, [His spiritual nation of believers] by His Son, [Who did not simply ‘speak’ God’s Word, but always was and will be God and God’s Word Himself,] Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things… Being the brightness of God’s glory and the express Image of His Person, [when we look at the Man Jesus, we see The Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;] upholding all things by the Word of His power…” (Jn. 1:1-3; Heb 1:1-14.)
· However, Modulist Oneness Pentecostals, (or Jesus Only teachers,) reject the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as One God. They say the Father is God, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit were only ‘attributes’ or visible signs of God like wind and fire. This is why they disobey Jesus’ commandment to baptize disciples in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Instead, they baptize in the “Name of Jesus Only.”
We can be certain that all the instances, described in the Book of Acts, where believers were water baptized “in the Name of Jesus,” refer to Jesus’ commandment in Mt. 28:19-20. Hence, the early believers all baptized in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which is ‘the Name of Jesus.’ This is so because the One God, The Godhead of the Bible Himself, (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is completely inseparable, omnipresent, all knowing, and almighty. Heb. 7:3 testifies to the following immovable fact, “[Melchizedek, king of Salem or the One God, “The (Biblical) Godhead,” is] without father, mother, or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made [to look, in a physical sense,] like the Son of God [or the Man Jesus Christ…]” All these and other contextual verses prove that Jesus did not, and in fact could not leave the “complete, indwelling fullness of the Godhead” (Father and Holy Spirit) in heaven when He took on human form. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is inseparably omnipresent or everywhere in the universe at the same time. Hence, The Godhead is and always will be One God, and His Name is Jesus! Thus, Jesus Himself commanded us to baptize sincere believers “in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
SHOULD WE BE DUNKED THREE TIMES IN WATER BAPTISM OR ONLY ONCE?
Scriptural baptism occurs by one short submersion of the disciple into ordinary water, (a river, the sea, swimming pool, bath, etcetera,) and it occurs once in the context of the following words, “On your own confession of Jesus Christ as your personal God, Lord, Savior and Redeemer, and at your own request, I baptize you in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!” (Mt. 28:19-20.)
Jesus, the True God of the Bible, is One God: The Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As said, God can never be separated into three distinctly different people, so-called ‘divine persons’ or gods. However, many Pentecostals baptize believing disciples, submerging them three times in water: once for the Father, once for the Son, and once for the Holy Spirit as if the Godhead can be separated into three gods.
Of course, this is impossible. Jesus is One God: the inseparable Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
THE LITTLE CHILDREN – WHAT IS SCRIPTURAL?
Jesus declared in Mark 10:13-16 and Mt. 19:13-15 that little children, who are too young to know right from wrong and who are, therefore, not accountable for their actions, ‘naturally’ belong to Him. Jesus never ‘christened’ or ‘baptized’ little children; He laid His hands on them and blessed them – despite their ‘church/temple-affiliation.’ Older children and teenagers, who can understand the Gospel and the responsibilities of discipleship in Christ and choose to accept Jesus as their personal God, Lord, and Savior, are a different matter. All that is necessary for the babies or young children of sincere believers is to be informally dedicated to God, “to lay hands on them and to bless them.”
· To ‘baptizo’ little ones is completely out of the question, as the real baptism means to submerge genuine believers completely into water as a symbol of their Scriptural and personal rebirth in Christ. As said, babies cannot believe or understand Jesus’ Gospel, repent from false religion, and accept and follow Jesus according to God’s Word. So, all those who were christened in an unscriptural, so-called ‘saving’ ritual, were definitely not baptised at all. They were merely incorporated into a political-religious order; an idolatrous church system. As in all unscriptural practises, this religious ritual contains no spiritual value, Holy-Spirit power or the blessing of God. It merely brings people into bondage to a manmade, cultic system of religiosity without the truth of Jesus Christ, (Mt. 22:29; Mark 7:13; 2 Pet. 2:19.)
· Jesus Himself promised in Mark 16:15-18, [KJV translation,] “He who believes and [then] is [water] baptized, will be saved… And these signs [1 Cor. 12:5-11; 14:22-25,) will follow those who believe [and were baptized as born again believers.] In My Name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.’ [Concerning the sprinkling of babies in a so-called ‘saving,’ ‘holy-spirit filling’ sacrament — why don’t one see any of these babies (or adults) perform any of these signs, which are gifts of the Holy Spirit that “follow” all His disciples, as described in the truth of the Bible, and which have never ceased since that day at Pentecost until now?]
No wonder the Spirit’s miracles and powerful gifts (or signs) have disappeared from among those who practice the ‘baptism of regeneration’ and other false church norms and forms. Their clergy, (those of the Reformed churches,) preach that, like Jesus’ true water baptism, these miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit have ‘ceased,’ because they were allegedly ‘only for that time while the apostles were alive!’
· None of the Scriptural gifts or signs of the Holy Spirit have ‘ceased’ at all. Sadly, Charismatic churches have unrepentantly perverted His power and signs through their false doctrines and occult practices, but the Holy Spirit of the Bible remains “the same yesterday, today and for all eternity!” What happened to these church systems that they do not manifest the gifts of the Spirit, is that they have grieved the Spirit and quenched His Scriptural work and power by rejecting His supernatural Being and gifts, although they confess Him in their dogmas. They have literally ‘snuffed out’ His work through their pagan, Christianized sacraments, which substitute the Scriptural atonement, truth, and power of the Lord Jesus Christ! Thus, the Holy Spirit has written ‘Ichabod’ over them and departed from their assemblies, (Eph. 4:30; 1 Ths. 5:19.)
THOSE WHO OBEY JESUS’ WATER BAPTISM MUST CONTEND WITH THE HATRED OF SATAN AND HIS DISCIPLES
We are and remain spiritually alive only through personal faith in Christ, and we can be certain that obedience to the real water baptism carries the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit, (Mt. 3:16-17.) Thus, the thief and father of all lies (Jn. 10:10) never lets go of a soul without a real and rowdy fight. Jesus said a servant is not above his Master. If Jesus Himself “was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” after His water baptism, all earnest believers, once baptized in water, will have to face the temptation to turn back to the easy, broad-way, religious world, which they declared they have left behind. Such temptation is extremely strong. I have seen many believers, at first on fire for the Lord, turn their backs on Christ to return to their oppressing spouses, family members, and friends to find solace in their former dark world of church religion. Better then that such double-minded believers never accepted Jesus, than to fail this first and most important test to “crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame,” (Heb. 6:1-6.)
· This temptation after water baptism is the Scriptural ‘baptism of fire’ - the test(s), which Jesus warned, every true disciple must face for righteousness sake and for obedience to the truth of God’s Word, (Mt. 3:11; Lu. 12:50.) The Baptism of Fire is not Jesus’ baptism with the indwelling Holy Spirit or the so-called “evidence of speaking in tongues with the laying on of hands.” This strange ‘tongues-baptism of fire’ is not found in the true context of the Bible, or in the practical implementation of the gifts of the Spirit, (1 Cor. 14:22; Mark 16:16-17.)
The following is an extract from the book, ‘Relationship Versus Religion:’
“We all heard how Catholicism persecuted its Calvinist ‘heretics’ of Roman Catholicism. It is enlightening, however, to note that during the 16th century, the German Kaiser aided Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation, which was born directly from Roman Catholicism, with his troops. The Kaiser’s motive was similar to that of his predecessors - the establishment this ‘new’ type of Christianity to further his political goals. So, from time to time, Luther, Calvin and their contemporaries joined forces with their Roman Catholic ‘enemies’ to rid the world of those who opposed their many unbiblical, Roman-Catholic inherited doctrines. Just as the Catholic crusades during the Dark and Middle Ages, their incomprehensibly violent crusades spread through Europe like wildfire, as Catholicism and Protestantism contended for the hand of the reigning monarch in each country.
As early as 1527, Luther declared the death penalty for all those who obeyed Jesus’ commandment to baptise His disciples or adult followers, (Mt. 28:19.) The Baptists stated that Jesus died for every person and the human spirit must be reborn through a personal and willing acceptance of Christ, (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:3-5.) Once the human spirit is reborn, baptism by submersion is a symbol of the believer’s inward, spiritual regeneration. Hence, Scriptural baptism only pertains to sincere, adult believers, (Acts 8:36,37,38.) [The vital verse, Acts 8:37, was omitted by the NU.]
Although the Baptist’s interpretation of the Word did not remain pure throughout the centuries, they were massacred because they also believed the true “church” [in fact the true body of Christ] is a gathering of sincere believers, united through their faith in Christ and through their obedience to the Word, (1 Cor. 3:16-17.) Baptists rejected the deception that the body of Christ consists of ‘predestined’ people who ‘inherit’ church salvation without personal faith in, obedience to, and discipleship of Christ. Parallel to this ran their Biblical belief that believers must reject all state-involvement in the “affairs of God.” They saw the body of Christ as God’s master plan for salvation, (2 Tim. 2:3; Jn. 18:36.) They taught that the assemblies of believers, as defined in Acts, did not fall under the rule of the Roman Catholic Caesar Constantine. Complete restoration of life in Christ must be the Body’s only form. As the Baptists rejected the so-called rejuvenating power of the Catholic/Protestant christening, they were unjustly called “Ana-Baptists,” which means they were christened as babies, but as adults they baptised themselves ‘again.’
Both the Vatican and the Protestant Reformers hated these Scriptural truths. Accordingly, Luther and Calvin joined forces with the German Kaiser and their Roman Catholic ‘enemies’. Together, they turned their fury on the Baptists, who ‘kept on interfering’ with their goal of worldwide Christian union and political control, and marked the Baptists for extermination, (Jn. 18:36; 2 Tim. 2:3-4.) During the battle of FRANKENHAUSEN in 1525, Luther and the Kaisers murdered 100,000 farmers – 100,000 people in one battle, because the German government and the Catholic-Protestant church would not grant them their God-given right to serve Jesus Christ in spirit and in truth, and to proclaim His real Gospel.
Michael Servetus is but one of John Calvin’s victims, whom he callously tortured to death on a fiery stake. With the battle of MÜNSTER in 1535, Catholics and Lutherans marched against the Baptists and murdered hundreds more in cold blood. The Catholic/Protestant sword of Christianity drenched 16th century Germany in human blood. Europe followed; and eventually, its razor-sharp blade scourged islands, the Americas, Australia, Africa, and Asia. Yet, Christians still admire these unscrupulous persecutors and murderers of thousands of martyrs; even ascribing the title of ‘father’, ‘reverend’ or ‘minister’ to them, (Rev. 16:5-6; 19:2.) Generation after generation, mesmerised by the false ‘power’ of Roman Catholicism and her equally blood-thirsty Reformed daughter Protestantism, followed their soul-consuming church doctrines, (Rom. 1:32.) Wilfully, either through a lack of knowledge or through a ‘lack of love for the truth,’ the descendants of those callous crusaders continue to associate themselves with the atrocities of their spiritual ancestors; kneeling at the altars and pulpits that were and still are being soaked in the blood of the innocent.
‘BAPTIZED FOR THE DEAD’ AND SCRIPTURAL TRUTH (1 Cor. 15:29.)
Scripture clearly refutes the practise of ‘baptising yourself for the dead.” Heb. 9:27 inarguably states, “It is appointed for all men once to die, and after that, the judgement.” Death is the end of life as we know it and there is absolutely no ‘second chance’ to be saved after death.
Yet, many churches still baptize their members for the dead, and some actually baptize the deceased themselves because of this once-off verse in the Bible, (1 Cor. 15:29,) which states, “What will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all…”
In this passage, Paul was not saying we must baptize the deceased so they can inherit eternal life or baptize ourselves in their place. He is defending Scriptural salvation, water baptism, Jesus’ resurrection, and the resurrection of the dead at Jesus’ once-off return, because the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. Yet, they were baptizing themselves ‘for the deceased,’ as their spiritual descendants still do.
So, in 1 Cor. 15:30, Paul asked, “Why stand in [danger] every hour… [bringing the truth to all those who believe false doctrine,] if the deceased is not raised at Jesus’ return, [in incorruptible human bodies; similar to Jesus’ glorified body, which could appear through walls, eat physically, and ascend into heaven?]” Paul was not referring to those who ‘stand in for the deceased’ to identify with their church and allegedly ‘suffer persecution,’ “just like their church members before them did, who were willing to die for Christ.” Those people baptize themselves for the dead because, [other than the Sadducee sect of Paul’s day,] they confusingly believe that “resurrection is real and they do not want their deceased ones to miss That Day.” Yet, this ‘standing in for the deceased’ in a so-called ‘saving baptism rite;’ is just another false doctrine.
Neither was Paul, in 1 Cor. 15:30, referring to those who supposedly ‘stand in’ for the deceased by baptizing themselves on behalf of the deceased and thus allegedly turn themselves into church ‘martyrs.’ Paul asked in 1 Cor. 15:29, “What will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead are not raised at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead?” It seems even Paul was baffled by this ‘baptism,’ as it could not accomplish anything. The Sadducees of his day did not believe that the deceased will be raised at all — so what could be the point of their baptism, even if it could have an effect on the dead? This silly baptism could not and still cannot change anything for the deceased, or for those who baptize themselves in their place, as “the dead [are either in heaven or in hell,] and know nothing; they have no more part in anything done under the sun [or in this life,]” (Eccl. 9:5-6.)
· The suffering Paul refers to in verse 30 has nothing to do with this so-called “church martyrdom on behalf of the deceased.” He was referring to his own suffering and 'dying daily' to self-centeredness. He asked, 'Why am I suffering so much (as described in verses 31-33,) and why do I die daily to sin if there is no resurrection?” He was suffering for God’s righteousness and Scriptural truth, like all true believers do. To warn against this great folly, he warned in 1 Cor. 15:30-34, "Do not keep evil company, which corrupts your good [understanding of the truth.] For if the dead will not be raised, Christ was not raised. Then, our faith is futile. Let us then eat and drink and enjoy life in sin, for tomorrow we die [supposedly without any consequences and hope of the resurrection.]”
Confusingly, people allow themselves to be 'baptized for the departed,' although we cannot and may not communicate with the deceased in any way. (Deut. 18:10-14.) As said, they are either in heaven or in hell; their time to worry about things on earth is over, (Eccl. 9:5-6.) I think those church members mainly commit such abominations because they so desperately want to know that their departed loved ones are in heaven, but in reality, their loved ones also had to choose eternal life in Christ before they died. We can cut, martyr, and baptize ourselves “in their place” as much as possible, but we will never be able to change anything about the eternal fate, which the deceased have chosen for themselves.
In baptizing themselves ‘for the deceased,’ the Latter Day Saints, (ancestors of the Pentecostal Charismatic Movement,) who came from Mormonism, stated, “Baptism for the dead is central to Jesus’ Gospel, as He said, “The dead shall hear My voice and live…” But Jesus was not talking about the deceased; He was referring to those who are in spiritual death without Him; not in ‘hell’ after death, but in ‘Hades,’ the grave.
The Latter Day Saints still practice substitute or proxy baptism by submersing or sprinkling a living person on behalf of someone who died, like family members who never accepted, or got the chance to accept the doctrines of that church, and even for those who refused to accept Jesus. Furthermore, there are some other Apostolic churches who actually baptize their deceased, because they believe the ‘power of the water’ or the “water god,” applied by their ‘anointed’ clergy, can even ‘save’ the deceased after death.
Roman Catholics and others still practice ‘death bed baptism’ by sprinkling the dying, as they did to Caesar Constantine on his death bed. The members of other churches are also baptized ‘for’ their deceased relatives outside the church who refused, or never got the chance ‘to be saved.’ Still others, with the corpse still in the bed, get under the bed to answer the questions of a priest concerning salvation “for” the deceased; supposedly accepting Christ and then being sprinkled-baptized [some dunk these stand-ins in water] on behalf of the dead person.
What “foolish faith!” God gave us all the incredible privilege to choose our eternal destiny. Personally, while minister to the dying, I have not witnessed a single ‘death bed’ salvation. God gave us a whole lifetime to make our decisions, and He Alone is the Judge of those who seemingly did not have the chance to know and accept Him. All such efforts to ‘save’ our loved ones and church members stem from senseless faith, because only those who decidedly believe in, accept, and follow Jesus, belong to Him for all eternity, (Jn. 1:12-13; 3:16-17.)
Repent from false doctrine and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior