Wednesday, November 4, 2015

GUIDE TO BAPTISM Series / Lesson One / Why did Jesus get baptized?

SERIES: All the Things I have Commanded
Questions added

Introduction

I have received many letters, requesting that I create a guide to teach those wishing to be genuine disciples of Christ, rather than indoctrinated adherents to an organization. Many seek the path to baptism, and there is much controversy over just what Jesus himself requires previous to baptism, if anything.
When I myself explore that question, my mind is drawn to Matt.28:19-20. I believe that Christ himself clearly states there, his direction on this matter.
Using his words and commands as a guide, I have begun a guide for others.
I will create lessons based up on the commands of Jesus Christ (Matt.28:20).
Jesus himself associates learning these, with baptism.
Learning would come before the vow (Acts4:11; Matt.7:24; Luke14:27-28; Ec.5:4-6).

My own coverage of Christ's commands will naturally, lack much (John21:25; 20:30-31; 12:49; Job 26:14; Matt.10:27). But my efforts will be my own best attempt as guided by spirit and truth (Rom.5:5; John17:17; 4:24), to obey Christ's command to his bride members and priests, at Matt.28:20.

Here is the first post...


LESSON ONE


Part A

Par.1
I suggest that you read Matthew, chapters 1-3. The end of chapter 3 will bring you to the first recorded words of Jesus, and we can see what we can learn from them.
When you are done with chapters 1-3, 
(Matthew chapter One)
(Matthew chapter Two)
(Matthew chapter Three)
read Matt.3:13-15 again. 
Baptism by John was the symbol of repentance for the Jewish nation (Mark 1:3-4) who were physical Jews (John 8:33,37,39; Matt.15:24; 10:5-6; Luke 1:54-55).  
John the Baptist was " 'greater / more' than a prophet" (Matt.11:7,9-10), because he had the spirit of an Elijah Herald (Luke 1:17,16; Matt.3:3; 11:14)... whose purpose is to awaken and cleanse God's nation to receive the arriving Messiah (Mark1:3; Matt.21:5). Such a Herald/Watchman, was also prophesied to arrive in the time of the end (Mal.4:5-6; Matt.17:11; Isa.49:8; Matt19:28; 25:6; Mal.3:1; Zech.4:9,14,11; Rev.11:4,3; 10:7; 16:17; 11:15; Isa.52:7; Rev.22:6,16; 1:1; John 16:8-14; Hab.2:2; Rev.4:8; 15:7) (Rev.12:14; Isa.40:3; 35:8; Matt.7:14; Rev.22:2), previous to Christ's final arrival (Matt.24:30,37; 16:27; Rev.1:7; 22:7)

At Mark1:3 and Luke1:17, we learn the work of the Herald, and how he prepares the heart to receive the arriving Messiah.
What does "turning hearts" between fathers and children, mean? 
The Herald comes to restore spiritual relationships...
WITH GOD
" 'A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect?' says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name.' "
 (Mal.1:6)
(Mal.4:6) (Luke1:16) Eze.14:5-6) (2Cor.5:20; Col.1:20; Matt.17:11)

WITH CHRIST
 "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."  (Isa.9:6)
 "If you love me, obey my commands." (John14:15) 
 (James1:18)
 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise" (Eph.6:1-3) (Deut.4:40; Isa.59:21; Deut.11:18; Rev.14:1)
 "Like Isaac, we are children of promise (Gal.4:28)...Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother." (Gal.4:26) 
  (Heb.8:6) (Gal.4:24 a)


WITH GOD'S TEMPLE
"Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel." 
(1Cor.4:15)
(3John1:4; 1Cor.4:14; 2Cor.6:13; 1Thess.2:11; 1Tim.1:2; 2John1:4; 1John2:1; 1John5:21; etc.)
"I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one." (1John2:13-14)

And so when we read that the relationships between spiritual fathers, mothers, and children, are ripped apart and need to be restored,
we understand better why God will  "devote the whole land to destruction/a curse" (Mal.4:6) 

(Satan - 1Cor.5:5) (Zech.5:3), if these bonds are not repaired (Luke1:16; Rev.22:3,18-19).  (See LINK)
Questions:
Why does God send a Herald, previous to His passing judgment on His people?
What does water baptism signify?
How does the Herald prepare the heart of his hearers?
What does it mean to "turn hearts toward children and toward fathers"?

Par.2


Since the meaning of baptism is a preparatory cleansing (Eph.5:26; John15:3; 13:10; Heb.10:22), why did Jesus desire to be baptized?
Was Jesus a sinner? No (see Heb.7:26; 4:15; 2Cor.5:21).
So, why did he get baptized? 
The reason, is the first lesson we learn from him.
Jesus was born a Jew (see Gal.4:4-5). 
Why are we told (in verse 4) that he was "born of woman"? 
That seems obvious.
It is telling us something deeper. If we go to Gal.4:24, it shows that this is also talking about being "born under Law" (Gal.4:4,24). He was born into the Nation that was in covenant with God, through God's Law covenant (John1:17; 7:19; Rom.3:18-20; 2Cor.3:7-10; Gal.3:10-14) and the covenant with Abraham (Gen.15:18; 17:8), who was the forefather of the circumcised Jews (James2:21; Luke1:73; Acts7:2; Rom.4:1).
The covenant/promise given to Abraham, was for all Abraham's physical children to come, first (Gen.28:13-14; Acts 3:25-26; Rom.1:16).
Later, those who were not physical Jews (other nations too) would also become Abraham's
spiritual children (Gen.17:4-5; Rom.1:16; 4:9,13,16,18,23-24; Gal.3:6-9), Chosen to be so, because of their faith. Those who become Abraham's children through faith, are his spiritual children, from all nations (Gen.17:4; Rev.5:9-10)... those who will be his heirs to receive the promise God made to Abraham (Gal.3:28-29,26) There is no preference by God for the physical Jew, anymore (John 8:39,37; Matt.3:9; 21:43; Rom.2:28-29; 4:12; 3:29-30; Gal.3:28; Acts 10:34-35).
Questions:
What does it mean to be "born of woman"?
How many "women" are mentioned, at Gal.4:24,26?
How do the "children" of each "woman", differ?
Who will inherit the full promise God made to Abraham (Rom.4:13; Gen.13:14-15; Gal.3:29)?
Are the physical Jews, still God's people of covenant? (Matt.21:43)

Par.3
But if we go back to Jesus, and why he got baptized...
The Jewish nation was in a Law covenant ("woman" -Gal.4:24) with God. Jesus was born from that nation in covenant. That's why Gal.4:4 says of him, "born of woman" (Gal.4:24).
Jesus was born into God's nation of physical Jews, because they were to be given the first chance to become heirs of God's promises (out of respect for God's promises to their forefathers) (Acts 3:25-26; Rom.1:16; Matt.15:24; Rom.15:8; Luke1:72,55; Acts13:32-33,46; Matt.21:43). How could those who rejected Christ (Matt.21:42; Acts2:22-23), "bear fruit"? (John 15:8,4-5; Matt.21:43). The Jews who rejected and slew Christ (Matt.27:25), cannot bear righteous fruit (Phil.1:11; John15:5) and so, do not inherit God's Kingdom (Matt.21:43). A few of the Jews, did accept Christ (Isa.10:22; Luke21:20; 12:32).
Question:
Who was given first chance to inherit the earth along with Christ, and why?
Why did not all Jews succeed in inheriting the promises made to Abraham?

Par.4
God fulfilled His promises to the physical Jews, through Christ (Acts 13:32-33; Gal.3:16; Rom.10:4; Matt.5:17-18; Gal.5:14) (Gal.3:21; Heb.8:6-7,13). He received the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham's physical seed (Matt.5:17; 2Cor.1:20; Gal.3:16,19; Gen.12:7)
Under the New Covenant, 
those who were not physical Jews would be included in a covenant with God (John 10:16; Rom.1:16; 4:16; John 11:52; 10:27; Rom.11:25; 9:6). Baptism today also symbolizes a cleansing, for the spiritual nation of "Jews", that exists under the New Covenant (Matt.3:9; Rom.2:28-29; Gal.3:7,29; John 10:16; Heb.8:10; Deut.11:18; Rev.14:1).
Questions:
Through whom did God fulfill His promise to Abraham, from among the physical Jews?
Who is included under the New Covenant promises?
John the Baptist called for a cleansing and repentance for physical Jews, to prepare for the physical arrival of the Messiah. What does baptism today call for? From whom?

Par.5

Jesus accepted that he came from the Jewish nation which was sinning, when John the baptist began his work.
Even though Jesus was not sinning, he did not separate himself from the nation that was sinning. In order to save them, he stayed connected to them, and took responsibility for them and their sins. God considers that "righteous" (Matt.3:15; Job 1:5,8; 42:7-8,10; Heb.9:7; Dan.9:20,3; Rev.11:3; Neh.1:6; Isa.6:5; Ps.145:18; Rom.3:25-26). For a time, the intercession of the righteous, is found lacking in the time of the end (Rom.3:10-13; Deut.32:32-33; Matt.3:7; 23:33,36; Mark.8:38; Rom.3:13; Rev.13:11,7; 18:3; Dan.8:11-12; Isa.59:14; Rev.8:1; Eze.22:30) 
(Mal.4:5-6), due to the dominion of "Wormwood" (Rev.8:10-11; 9:1,3,10; 11:7; 13:11,7). 
Without the intercession/discipline of Christ/"Michael", the elect would perish (Matt.24:21-22; Eze.22:30; Isa.59:16; 63:5; Dan.12:1; Rev.12:7; 2:16; Rev.12:10-11; Amos 7:1; Rev.9:1-3,10) (Matt.24:22; Mark10:26-27)
Questions:
Why did Jesus desire to be baptized?
How does Christ's intercession for the physical Jews, compare to the intercession needed today for God's spiritual nation of Israel? (Rom.2:28-29)
Could the final remnant be saved, without the intercession of Christ/"Michael"?

Par.6
If Jesus did not intercede on behalf of those in both covenants, God's people would not have a chance to have their sins forgiven, or to receive the promises God made to Abraham.
As the above scriptural examples showed, such intercession was done by righteous men, before. 
Even though the prophet Jeremiah was a good man in God's eyes,
his nation (God's people Jews, Israel) were sinning then also.
Jeremiah prayed to God to have mercy on his sinful people.
Even though he was not doing the sinning, he prayed like he was a part of it,
because he stayed a part of the nation, so he also, could help it.
See his prayer...
Jer.14:7, 19-21
He spoke like he was a part of the sinful nation, and he was repenting for them and those who came before them (forefathers) because they also sinned.
That is what Jesus was doing, when he was baptized, but unlike the righteous before him (Heb.9:7; 5:3; Job 1:5), he was completely without sin (Heb.4:15; 7:26; 9:24-25,11-12,14,28).
It was the right thing to do (Matt.3:15)... to share the identity with the sinful, so that he could share with them, his own righteousness. He, like Jeremiah, repented of sin, even though it was not his sins that he asked forgiveness for.
But there is another reason why it was "righteous" for Jesus to be baptized by John.
"John the Baptizer" was chosen by God to perform this role, even before his birth (Luke 1:13,15-17,76-80). He was chosen to turn God's nation from their sins, and to baptize them in symbol of that repentance. 
Jesus was obeying God's arrangement for all Israel, by seeking out baptism by John (Luke 7:29-30). We too, should obey God's expressed arrangement for baptism (Matt.28:19-20; Mal.2:7).
Questions:
Although sinless, why was it "righteous" for Jesus to be baptized?
Although himself capable of baptizing with Holy Spirit (Matt.3:11), why did Jesus subject himself to John for baptism? (Matt.3:13-15)

Par.7
These are the first lessons through example, that Jesus gave us, as recorded in the Greek scriptures.
A way to imitate the baptism of Jesus, is to submit ourselves to those whom God has chosen to baptize us, by learning from them, and by being baptized by them (Matt.28:19-20).
There is a second way to imitate the baptism of Christ...
If we belong to God's people today and we are striving to be righteous, we have a choice...
We can just separate ourselves from the sinners, keep quiet, and let them die (Isa.59:15; Eze.33:6).
Or, we can have feeling for what they are going to suffer because of God's punishment to come.
We can devote ourselves to doing all we can (Eze.33:7; Eph.4:25)... even giving our life for them (Eph.6:19; Amos 5:10; Rev.6:9; 13:15; Mark 8:35), so that some may be warned, wake up, and be given a chance to live.
Question:
In what two ways can we imitate the example we find in the baptism of Jesus?

Par.8
We work to save others (1Cor.9:22-23; 10:33; Rom.15:1-2), even when they hate us [John16:2; Heb.13:13; Isa.66:5; Matt.24:49; Rev.17:6; Micah 3:9-11; John 15:18 ** (John 8:13,15,23 **; John 15:25); Rev.11:3,7-10; Matt.24:9; Rev.9:20-21; Micah 2:2; Rom.8:17], and they don't comprehend their sins (Mal.3:1-2,7-9,13-15,18; Isa.57:1; Rom.3:11; Rev.3:17-18; Jer.9:11-13).
[Matt.24:15 (the-greatest-tribulation-what and why)]
Just like Jesus said...
"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matt.5:44)
"But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." (Luke6:27-28)
"Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke23:34)
"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." (Rom.12:14)
"Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else." (1Thess.5:15)
Questions:
Do those we seek to help, always appreciate it?

What general reaction do we expect?

Par.9

God does not listen to the prayers of the unrepentant sinners (John9:31; Prov.28:9; Ps.66:18).
But he does hear the prayers of His faithful servants (Ps.34:15; 1John3:22).
So, Jesus knew that he was the only one who God would listen to, for the sake of God's Nation (1Tim.1:15; Luke19:10).
If we have approach to God (Eph.3:12; Matt.21:22), we do not want to be selfish, but to pray for those who really need it (Titus 3:8; Heb.13:16).
We will also do what we can, to save sinners, and so,  imitate Jesus.
That is the job of God's priests (Heb.5:1; Phil.4:6; Eph.6:18; 1Tim.2:1; James 5:15-16; Hosea 14:2; 6:6; Micah 6:8) (John 17:1,15,20; Luke 23:34; Matt.5:44)
Question:
How can we imitate Jesus within our prayers?

Par.10

Jesus was rewarded for his decision to be baptized... (Matt.3:16-17; 1Cor.2:10; Rom.5:5)
The heavens opened up [Mark 1:10; (Isa.11:2) Rev.4:1; 3:20; 2:17; Matt.7:7; Luke24:32,45; John3:12] (Rev.2:17; John6:51,55; 14:21) 
(Isa.29:11-12; Rev.5:2,5,7; John16:15,14; 15:15; Rev.22:16; 10:7; 20:12; John12:48), 
(pearl-newscrolls.blogspot.com)
meaning that, God blessed Jesus with heavenly knowledge, wisdom, and understanding (Rev.5:2,5; Rev.5:7; Dan.7:13-14; John15:15).
Best of all, God declared that Jesus became His son (Heb.5:5; Matt.3:17). ...a Son in a new way.
Jesus was imitating God, by his mercy toward the sinful (Eph.5:1; Matt.5:44-48; Matt.5:9).
This is how, we also, become adopted as God's children.
Questions:
What blessing does God give to those who extend His mercy to others?
When we imitate our merciful God, what confident hope can we have?

Part B


Par.1

At the time of his baptism, Jesus presented himself to do God's Will.
He knew that God's will would require a death for the sake of both defending the truth, and the giving of life to others (John 10:15; Luke12:50; Rom.6:3; Matt.26:28)....
Heb.10:
4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
    but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings
    you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
    I have come to do your will, my God.’” (Ps.51:16-17; 69:30-31; 50:14; Hosea 6:6; Ps.40:6-8)
8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” — though they were offered in accordance with the law. 9 Then he said, 
“Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 
13 and since that time (he reigns) he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool 
(Ps.110:1-2; 1Cor.15:24-25,27; Matt.28:18).
14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy (Heb.12:22-23; Matt.5:48,44-45).
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
    after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds.”
(Deut.11:18; Rev.14:1; Jer.31:33; 1Pet.2:10,9)
Christ left us the example of presenting himself to serve God whole-souled, while knowing that this would require a death for others, in order that they might live (1Pet.2:21; Rev.14:4-5; 20:4; 6:9,11; John 12:24-26). 
Question:
What did Jesus understand about his baptism vow?

Par.2
That death would take many forms. It would first require self denial... a death of one's former, self-centered purpose (2Cor.5:15; Rom.14:7-8; Rom.7:6-7; 6:2; Gal.5:24). It would then require a social death, inflicted by a false religious community through exclusion and expulsion (John16:2; 9:22; 5:16; 15:20; Rev.13:8,15; 11:7; 6:11; Isa.66:5; Luke6:22; Heb.13:12-13; Rom.7:6; etc.) due to being "hated" by the "world"/religious system (John 8:40-42,48,23; Matt.15:24; John 15:24-25,18; 1:11; 16:2) (1John 3:15,12; Gal.4:16). (1John3:15; Isa.66:5; John16:2)
(Symbolic "Death" by means of the World)
 For many brothers of Christ, the death can also become literal and physical (Acts7:54-60; 11:19; 8:1; John21:18-19).
This sacrificial course should also be considered a command of Christ. How so?
(John15:12-14,17; 13:34-35; 1John 4:7-8; Matt.22:37-39; Rom.12:9-21; 2Cor.12:15; Phil.2:17; 1Thess.2:8; 2Tim.2:10; Col.1:24; Mark 8:35; Rev.19:11,14,8; 6:11; 17:14; 12:10-11; 2:26,17; 3:12,21; Eph.2:6) (Matt.10:32-33)
(John12:25; 15:18-19,24-25) (LINK)
Questions:
In what three ways may a death for truth, be manifested?
Is such a "death", necessary? Why?

Par.3

To be a genuine disciple of Christ, entails a sacrificial life (Luke 9:23; 14:27).
The occupation of such a life would be the praise of God (John17:4; 15:8; Luke 6:43,45; John7:18,16), the defending of His Truths (2Cor.11:3-4,20,12-13; 2Cor.10:5-6; Gal.1:8; Col.2:8; Rom.16:17; Eph.5:11), 
and to be loving... 
God (1John5:3; 2:15), 
Christ (2Cor.5:14-15; John21:15), 
Truth (Ps.15:2; Eph.4:24-25,15; Luke8:11,15-16; John14:6; 17:6,8,17-20) (Matt.5:20; Luke12:1), 
neighbor (Mark12:31; Gal.5:14; Luke10:29-37), 
fellow Christians (1John3:17; James 2:14-16; Matt.25:35,40; 2Cor.9:10-12; 1:11; 8:4,14; 1Cor.12:25-26; Heb.6:10; Rom.12:13; Gal.6:10; John13:34-35)
spiritual assistance among priests- (John13:15,14; Ps.119:9; Eph.5:26-27; Gal.6:6; 2Tim.4:2; Acts18:25-26; Eph.4:7; Rom.12:4-8; 1Cor.10:17; John13:14)
and our enemies (Matt.5:44; 1Cor.4:11-13; Rom.12:9,14,17-21). 
That love would be expressed in action (1John3:18) and would primarily be concerned with the spiritual welfare and future of all those we can reach.
In imitation of Christ, our baptism signifies our presenting ourselves to do God's will, as defined in a life of loving sacrifice for the sake of others.
Questions:
In what three main ways, do we serve God?
In what ways do we display Christ's command to love? (John13:34-35)

For more on baptism today: (LINK)
*For Lesson Two: (LINK)

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7 comments:

  1. Dear Pearl, I wanted to say thank you for your article on Baptism, it was very uplifting to read, as you know this has been a subject close to my heart but also one that has caused me distress aswell as I was rejected by the Watchtower org/Jw's for baptism.
    So in essence may I ask, are you basically saying that we no longer need a water baptism to be baptised into Christ, is it shown through our deeds performed for God, our faith & loyalty to the Father & the Son?

    D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Being "baptized into Christ" is described at Gal.3:27. The context shows (Gal.3:29) that this is referring to Abraham's seed... heirs of the world with Christ (Rom.4:13; 8:17; Gal.3:26). It is true as you say, that water baptism is not necessary to be baptized into Christ, because that baptism is one of spirit (Matt.3:11), which is not the baptism of water. Yet there is still a place for water baptism, for those not baptized with spirit, and for those who are baptized with spirit, just as Jesus underwent both.

    I am not sure why you feel that I am stating that water baptism is no longer necessary.
    True... God does not ask us to perform empty physical rituals, that have no meaning.
    But when what He asks us to do, does have meaning, the meaning does not cancel out the ritual.
    In other words (for example),
    when the marriage ritual is described for us in the bible, and it's performance indicates that two are now one...
    it does not follow that the ritual is no longer necessary (Matt.19:4-6) to establish the vow.
    Jesus described the meaning behind the action, which both together, establishes a vow. He pointed to what the physical act, accomplishes. In that way, we keep the meaning in mind, and fulfill it, even while we take the vow with all it's physical ritual.
    By performing the action, we are thereby taking the vow. There are also then, witnesses to whom we establish the intention. But the vow and act, also require a recognition of it's meaning, even while we perform the action.
    These two things are needed for any vow to be valid.
    Do you see that both the action, and the recognition of it's meaning, constitute the pledge/vow?
    Please reconsider again, Jesus Christ's command...
    "19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt.28:19-20)
    If it were only necessary to undergo the spiritual washing by means of God's Word (Eph.5:26; John15:3);
    then Jesus would only have mentioned... "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations... teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you".
    But if you look at what he said in between those phrases...
    "baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"
    ...then you see he also still requires the physical act, which signifies the learning, obeying, and discipleship,
    and the acceptance of the vow.
    We understand that our salvation arises, not by a physical act of baptism, but from the meaning behind the act, and the vow it signifies. Yet according to Jesus, the meaning does not cancel out the need for the act.
    Continued.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Again, consider the meaning behind taking a woman home in the presence and witness of the community. This signifies a choice of marriage. If a man never took the visible action before everyone (of publicly taking her home), would they still be considered married? Would he still have taken the vow of marriage, without the visible witness to the community? No. Both the visible, voluntary action which makes manifest the taking of the vow, and the meaning behind it (becoming one), constitutes the marriage and it's vow. Can you see that?
      Can you see how that compares to a baptism vow to God and Christ? If you do discern the comparison, and the need for the physical act,
      then you understand why Jesus requests both, at Matt.29:19-20.
      Consider also, 1Pet.3:21...
      "And that water (of Noah's flood) is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
      We see that the emphasis is placed upon the meaning of baptism, as it should be.
      Yet baptism is still included as the means of salvation. Do you see that?

      We must take the whole of Christ's words...
      19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
      How did Christ's own apostles understand these words? Did they understand them as only referring to a spiritual baptism? No (1Pet.3:21; Mark16:16; Acts8:12; 19:4-5; 10:47-48; 22:16). Yet they also understood the meaning behind the action... a demonstration of one's inner faith and resolve to obey God's Laws, through Christ.

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    2. As a side-point...
      You may wonder about the comparison of Acts2:38 and Acts8:15-16.
      At Acts10:44-47; 19:2, we learn that receiving holy spirit, (when compared to the act of water baptism), are two separate events. Experiencing one, does not guarantee the other. Yet there are seeming instances that indicate that one leads to the other. Which is it?
      Those who are already chosen (such as was the case of being Abraham's literal seed, already in covenant with God (Rom.11:28-29; Acts2:36-43; 5:31; Isa.59:20; Matt.15:24; Luke24:47; John 1:11-12), those among the Jews who repented and accepted Christ, were automatically due to receive the holy spirit (and priesthood). They also needed to recognize the new priesthood arrangement, starting with the foundation of Christ (as the cornerstone of God's NEW Temple), and the apostles (Acts8:14-16; 19:5-6) (Eph.2:20-22; Rev.21:14), in order to receive of the spirit.
      In other cases, the apostles had to lay their hands on someone baptized, in order for them to receive of the spirit.
      In the case where GOD chose a priest... they would receive of spirit, even without a previous baptism. Yet baptism followed. One example, is Paul (Acts9:18).
      I just thought I would mention these things,
      in case you were wondering if baptism results in anointing. It will not. Even if you were a Jew, the favoritism toward them, ended in the first century. If someone is chosen by God today, baptism is not a prerequisite.
      Like Christ, we should all still undergo a physical and spiritual baptism. He set the example.

      We keep in mind also, that according to Matt.28:19-20 Jesus was speaking to his anointed apostles and priests (Matt.28:16), that they were the ones to do the baptizing of others. Naturally, this would occur after Christ's other commands were also fulfilled, that of them teaching those baptized to be Christ's disciples, to know and obey Christ's commands. This learning would occur, previous to baptism (Matt.7:24; Luke14:28).

      I hope Matt.28:19-20 has been clarified for you,
      and that you have come to understand that both the physical demonstration of our vow,
      and also it's meaning, should be fulfilled by disciples of Christ.
      If there is anything else you need to accomplish such a clarification, please let me know.
      In Christ,
      Pearl

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  3. Thanks Pearl, problem is for me is that there isn't really anyone here who I would feel comfortable performing a baptism for me, when chatting with a bible student elder quite a while back he offered to perform it at one of their small conventions & although I very much appreciated his kind offer I didn't feel right about it after thinking it over. I have kind of baptised myself emerging myself in water & saying the vows in a prayer whilst emersed.

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    1. It is understandable that you are not comfortable with a baptism by those on hand. The baptism of John was done to people who recognized his divine role as God's herald, for cleansing God's people previous to Christ's arrival.
      The same cleansing is needed today. But today's cleansing must be done by means of God's Word of truth, through the teachings of Christ. The baptism of John had symbolic meaning even back then. It also has symbolic meaning today, more than ever. Idolatry blankets God's nation today, and the return of Christ is at the door.
      While God heard your prayer and I'm sure, appreciated your resolve to serve Him, there are reasons to reconsider whether or not a self-immersion conforms to the commands of Christ.
      Concerning valid baptism, Jesus said, "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt.28:19-20)

      Note that this command of Christ, does not direct people to baptize themselves. It directs those who Christ was speaking to (his anointed disciples and priests, whom he taught directly and who followed his path of example, wherever he went John 15:27; Luke22:28; Rev.14:4) to do the baptizing, after they passed on what they themselves had learned from Christ.
      The subsequent baptisms that resulted from obedience to this direction, would be a dedication on the basis of what they had learned from Christ's under-priests (Mal.2:7).
      If one is not anointed, and is self-taught, and performs the baptism themselves; Is not their vow based upon the same things? One has not learned about discipleship, from a genuine disciple, previous to their expressing their accomplished dedication and cleansing.
      CONTINUED IN THE NEXT POST

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    2. Who would be the foremost expert, on what Christian discipleship entails?
      Would it not be Jesus Christ himself? He himself was authorized by God, to baptize with Holy Spirit!
      Yet, did he baptize himself?

      No. Even he submitted to the baptizer whom God chose to perform it.
      John resisted Christ in this, feeling that he was not worthy to baptize the Messiah (Matt.3:11).
      But Jesus insisted, because Christ wanted to do all that was prescribed and arranged by God, thereby "carrying out all that is righteous" (Matt.3:13-15). God chose John to baptize all those belonging to His nation (Mark 1:4; Acts 19:4; Matt.3:1-3,5-6). Jesus obeyed God's arrangment.
      What then, should we do?
      Should we imitate Christ's subjection to God's arrangement?

      Did God direct us to baptize ourselves, according to our own accumulated concept of discipleship?
      Even if we believe we have learned what we know, from a genuine faithful priest...
      if we are not baptized by them, then we have not had their oversight, or their direct and personal instruction and care as preparation. The scriptures compare that relationship to a parent and child. Can a child raise themselves without the direct oversight, instruction and care of their parent? Would you want your children to raise themselves without your direct care?
      If we do not mold ourselves to God's Word and will, then how can we be genuine and faithful disciples of Christ?
      If we do not accept Christ's direction and example on baptism, then how is it that we have truly dedicated our lives to him as his obedient servants (John 8:31; 14:15,21,23; 15:10; 2John 1:9)... obeying his teachings (Matt.28:19-20) and example? (Matt.3:14-15)
      How can we be obedient slaves of Christ and his example, if we divert from it?
      For, a vow to obey Christ's example, is the very meaning of baptism...
      to cleanse ourselves of our own thinking and volition, to do the will of our Master in all things.
      To baptize oneself, is ironically, just what it depicts... a vow to do as WE deem fitting, rather than as commanded by the scriptures.

      For any who wish to repent of their worship of the Beast, or of themselves, or to prepare to receive the arrival of God and His Kingdom; there are genuine priests of God's choosing, available to "teach" and baptize (Matt.28:19-20) so that a symbolic cleansing can take place. But one must be cleansed spiritually, first... according to the Word.
      This "Baptism Series" will cover the first requirement of Christ (Matt.28:19-20).
      I will continue to add lessons regularly.
      I can be contacted by using the form on the right side of this page.

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