Baptism by Immersion
In the times of Jesus and before the coming of John the Baptist, water was used to purify the person of sins. It was thought by the Jews that to wash the body and cover in water would remove sins. They understood that sickness was related to sins, therefore immersion of the body in water remove sickness and infirmities, making the person clean, absolved of sin. This does all come from the Old Testament to use water to remove sin and purify. As an example, read the story of Naaman who washed his body by immersion of seven times in the River Jorden to cure leprosy [2 Kings 5:8-15]. Or see Numbers 5:17 where water is referred to as Holy Water or Ezekiel 36:25 where a person was cleansed by water. In the times of Jesus, in the houses of the rich or religious leaders, i.e. Pharisees, there would be a deep pits filled with water, were a person would enter through one door into the water, as a sinner and leave by another door, as clean or absolved of sin. The pools in the market places of Jerusalem like Bethesda or Siloam were built for this function, so that the ordinary Jewish people could be washed all over and become clean from sin and their infirmity. They thought that sickness and the ailments they suffered were because of their sin or that of their parents [see John 9:2]. They would immerse themselves in the water, by going under the water, they took the view this removal of sin would cured them. In the miracle of Jesus at the sheep market at the pool of Bethesda, when Jesus healed the man telling to take up his bed and walk, it was by a pool that was used for purification from sin and body [John 5:1-9].
This is were baptism began, going into the water to be cleansed of sin. When John the Baptist came he had the authority to baptise and absolve people from sin, he said so “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” [Matthew 3:2]. The people flocked to receive his blessing and baptism by immersion. Jesus went to John knowing that he held the authority. If we accept that Jesus was the Son of God, then we must by virtue accept that He knew the right person and knew John had the true authority to baptise. John said to the people, knowing Jesus would come to him for baptism;
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 [Matthew 3:11].
Every person has the right to freely accept or not accept their own theology or ideology, but if we profess to being Christian, then we should adhere to the Christian ethos as described within the scriptures and taught by Jesus Christ whom we follow. The ordnance of baptism was by immersion in the beginning, but has been changed over the years by men and needs to be restored for the salvation of all people of faith. Baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost is the only way forward towards salvation, Jesus said:
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 [John 3:3-5]
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 3:15]
In Jesus words “to fulfil all righteousness“, means it is the right thing to do in the sight of God. Baptism is administered with authority, meaning by the priesthood of God. It is for the remission of sins, therefore it is not for babies, but for those older who have some understanding. Jesus was baptised at thirty years old [see Luke 3:23]. A person is baptised to remove sin, so they are clean within. It is within this state of purity that a person can now truly receive the Holy Ghost, for they are now clean and free from sin, because the Holy Ghost cannot enter into an unclean vessel. The Apostle Peter does give these words:
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptised 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 2:38]
I am often asked about the baptism of babies, and the term “Christen or Christening” used by many churches this is very much misunderstood. The ordnance of Christen is for the naming and blessing of a baby and comes from the Jewish ordinance of circumcision, which was the Abraham convent for the Jews [Genesis 17:9-15]. It was then changed to the Christen ordnance, by Christian followers in the early years after the death of Jesus Christ, this was not, and should not be considered as baptism, but is an ordinance for naming and blessing babies. This is where water or oil is poured on the babies head by authority, giving the baby a name and a blessing for the babies future. I should say, this is not in all Christian Churches, some have understood this principle,. Also not all churches anoint the babies head they just hold the baby while it receives a Naming and Blessing.
Baptism should be conducted by authority when the child or person reaches a age of understanding, and this can be any time within the teenage years and beyond. Jesus was 30 years old when baptised (In Jewish life, a boy becomes of age at twelve). This is considered when a child reaches an age of understanding and beyond. The person can now be baptised by immersion and is now free from sin and can receive the Holy Ghost into a clean vessel or body. I am not here to condemn or criticise what churches do, I am only here to teach the truth, to give you understanding to the teachings of Jesus Christ from my studies and prayers. I take the view that no soul should be lost, that all souls should be saved.
The question of was baptism by immersion is very important Jesus told us this, when He said “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” [Mark 16:16], these are not my words but that of Jesus Christ.
The next question is what is baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost; Baptism is by immersion going under the water completely and coming up clean from sin; this is called baptism by immersion, going completely under the water. In going under the water we are buried as sinners and when we come up as cleansed of sin. Jesus went under the water, in Matthew we read: “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water:” [Matthew 3:16]. The apostle Paul describes baptism by immersion this way: 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. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: [Romans 6:4-5]. Talking to the Corinthians he said roughly the same words; 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 [Colossians 2:12]. In Acts Philip baptised a eunuch “and they went down both into the water“, [Acts 8:38]. It is significant that the baptism described above is by immersion, why, we go under the water, to rise up from death, like Jesus Christ; clean, free from sin; you can now receive the Holy Ghost as a constant guide within your life, for you are clean or absolved of sin, The Holy Ghost is your guide and companion, it can protect you from evil if you have faith. The Holy Ghost and sin cannot be in the same place, so when you do evil the Holy Ghost will leave.
This baptism by immersion is conducted in many Christian denominations today, although some major churches do not practice this. It was common in all Christianity up until about 300 years after the death of Jesus Christ and then it got changed through the lack of understanding. As I say many Christian Church do continue baptism by immersion, but there can be no division between the teaching of Jesus Christ; all should adhere to this principle, as taught by Jesus Christ. This is an important ordnance, which puts at risk all followers of Jesus Christ; souls to save. Jesus said, talking to the disciples, said this “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” [Matthew 28:19. These are not my words, but the words of Jesus Christ, this is His gospel. I am a disciple trying to teach the gospel as we have been ask by the Saviour. How can souls now manipulate this ordnance as taught without authority for change from the Father or HIs Son, Jesus Christ. Are we not Christians, followers of Jesus Christ?
Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen [Matthew 29:20.
In Ephesians we read: One Lord, one faith, one baptism [Ephesians 4:4]. It says “one baptism” not many ways, just one.
To the reader of these words, I believe and have faith in God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. In these words of Jesus Christ, I have sort to give understand to the distortion of past history. I am not saying these word to bring disharmony or judgement upon any religious church or organisation. I am only trying to teach as commanded and enlighten, giving a true understanding to the teachings of Jesus Christ. I would ask you the reader to search your heart in prayer and faith, asking God the Father if this is true?
Even today people flock to the River Jordan to be baptised by immersion. The spirit of John the Baptise is still with them “And were baptised of him in Jordan confessing their sins” [Matthew 3:6].
Top Picture is of the River Jordan