Baptize in Water and Teach His Commandments

"Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

 

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.

1. What is Water Baptism?

An average person does not know the meaning of baptism. Water baptism is to take bath in a pool of water soaking the body for some time in water and clean the body. But, if we take water baptism as a ceremony, we just dip ourselves one time and come out of water because it is ceremony, but not bath. Many churches use a little water in a ceremony and call it baptism. It is fake or counterfeit baptism. They may call it as baptism, but it is not the baptism that Jesus Christ took and commanded to give. The true pattern of baptism is the baptism, which John the Baptist gave to Jesus Christ. John immersed Jesus Christ in the water of the river Jordan for baptism. Matthew 3:13 says: "--- cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. --- 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: ---. 23 says: John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized." This ceremonial bath by immersion in water is the true pattern for baptism. Ephesians 4:5 says: "One Lord, one faith, one baptism," The Lord took the one baptism is the true baptism and all other baptisms are counterfeits.

2. Water Baptism is pre-requisite to be Christian

Jesus Christ took water baptism by immersing in River Jordan and said it is fulfilling righteousness. God the Father and the Holy Ghost came down from heaven to bless this simple ceremony of water baptism. The Holy Ghost descended on Jesus Christ and God the Father said "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:16-17, Luke 3:21-22). This simple ceremony of water baptism became the very pre-requisite for the preaching of the commandments of Jesus Christ for eternal salvation. Jesus Christ says in Matthew 28: "18) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20) 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." His first commandment after his resurrection was to baptize the repented people, and the second command was to teach them his commandments for them to obey or to observe. Jesus Christ also says that all his power and presence will be with them always, as they baptize and teach his commandments to the people to obey. At present, even the churches, who baptize believers, will not teach them to obey the commandments of Jesus Christ. Instead they proclaim that the believers are saved. This may be out of their  ignorance, or it may be deception.

3. Those believed Jesus Christ took Water Baptism

Jesus Christ and his disciples baptized people in much water as in John 3:"22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. 23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized." Jesus Christ also commanded his disciples to baptize. Matthew 28:19 says: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" So, whoever believe Jesus Christ will take water baptism, since Jesus Christ commands it. Acts 8:35-38 says "35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 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? 37 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. 38 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." Here we see that the eunuch believed Jesus Christ, and immediately he took water baptism. "Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway." It says that they must believe on Jesus Christ for their salvation. The sign of their belief is that they took water baptism. "Acts 18:8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized." Including Crispus the chief ruler, all those believed the Lord Jesus, took water baptism. "Acts 19:4 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. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." Again, when they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ they took water baptism. In a way, Christians who do not believe the Jesus Christ of the Bible, may not take water baptism. They are born in Christian families, or joined Christian religion, believe the Jesus Christ of the religion Christianity, and go along with the rituals and traditions of Christian religion. They believe the religion more than that they believe Jesus Christ.

4. Those accept Jesus Christ as 'Lord' take Water Baptism

Acts 9 says, "5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: ... 17 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. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized." Saul was persecuting the church. But, as soon as he come to know that Jesus Christ is the Lord, he took water baptism. "Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. 15 And when she was baptized, and her household," As soon as the Lord Jesus Christ opened the heart of Lydia, she and her household were baptized. Christians call Jesus Christ as 'Lord' since they think that it is a part of his name. They do not mean that 'Lord' is Master, who owns them. So, they do not care what he says and so they do not take water baptism.

5. Water Baptism is the Counsel of God

Luke 7:30 says: "But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him." Water baptism is the counsel of God the Father and the command of the Lord Jesus Christ. Water Baptism is one of the fundamental doctrines of the Bible. Water Baptism is required for salvation. Believers must take water baptism and obey God. Rebellious people disobey God in water baptism. They think that rejecting water baptism is a smart heroism, but they reject it for their own eternal damnation.

Luke 7 says: "28) For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: .... 29) And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. 30) But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. ... 35) But wisdom is justified of all her children." The Bible says water baptism is the counsel of God. The religious leaders and their people did not take water baptism, but children of God took baptism for righteousness, which is justified. In Luke 20:3 Jesus Christ told them: "I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: 4 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?" Jesus Christ pointed to them that water baptism is from heaven. But, proud religious people rejected it. Even now, religious fanatics reject the counsel of God and so God has rejected them. 

6. Infant Baptism is not Water Baptism

Luke 18 says: "15) And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16) But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." Almost every church has child dedication service. In the service the parents promise God that they will raise the baby in godly ways. Some churches wet the baby with water in the ceremony of dedication and call it baptism. But it is not baptism. Ignorantly a few churches say that they give infants baptism, because if any child dies before baptism, it goes to hell and those who took infant baptism will go to heaven. This is ignorance or deception. Baptism is given to repented believers. "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, ..." John the Baptist said in Matthew 3:7 "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? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:" So, repentance is a pre-requisite to receive baptism. How can a child repent for sins with fruits? So, a child is not qualified to be baptized. It may be child dedication, but not baptism. They call it baptism in order to prevent the child to repent as an adult and to be baptized. The devil advise them to do it.

7. Why Repeat Water Baptism?

Acts 19 says: "3) And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. 4) Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, --- that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5) When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6) And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied." Paul baptized the believers a second time so that they may receive the gifts and the Holy Ghost. Believers must take the true baptism of Jesus Christ. Repentance of sins and the belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, which are required, and must precede the true baptism. In Matthew 28:19 Jesus Christ says, "baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" All other baptisms are false baptisms and are tradition of men and rebellion against God.

8. Exemption from Water Baptism

However, there are exemption for many things. Water baptism also has exemption. Luke 23:43 says "And Jesus said unto him (one of the malefactor), Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." This malefactor, who was nailed to the cross, had the exemption from the water baptism, since his cross did not let him go to take water baptism. If you are in such a predicament, you are exempted. But God will take vengeance on the dishonest disobedient person at the time of his righteous judgment. 2 Thessalonians 1:8 says: "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:" I know by experience with my personal friends that most of them will not take water baptism, because they are proud and are ashamed to take baptism thinking that it is below their dignity and the dignity of their church. They are willing to gamble or take a risk, even if it is to be damned by the Lord Jesus Christ. Some argue saying that Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman and her friends were not baptized and so water baptism is not necessary. How do they know that they were not baptized? The devil teaches discord and deceives them.

9. What to announce in Water Baptism?

A denomination call themselves as Apostolic Church, or known as Jesus Only Church, make a big issue about what the baptizer says when we are baptized in water. They say that if the baptizer says "I baptize you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" then the person who took baptism will go to heaven, and if the baptizer says something else, then the poor person who took the baptism will go to hell. It is weird, but let us look in the Bible to find what it is. Jesus Christ says in Matthew 28:19: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" Acts 19:5 says: "When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." The above two verses are in the Bible. We cannot reject one to choose the other, but we must accept both of them. As the Lord Jesus Christ commands the disciples to baptize, he gives instructions what is to pronounce at the baptism of a person. The disciples obeyed the Lord and gave baptism "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." The event was recorded as "they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" to mean that they gave water baptism in the authority given by the Lord Jesus Christ. Apostle Peter in Acts 3:6 says "Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." This is a similar thing. Here Apostle peter healed the man in the authority that Jesus Christ gave him. In the context of baptism, the apostles gave baptism in the authority that Jesus Christ gave them. The first one is the instruction of what to pronounce to baptize a believer and second is the recording of the information, saying that they have baptized in the authority that is given to them by Jesus Christ.

Acts 19:2 says: "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. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized?" Apostle Paul asked them "Have ye received the Holy Ghost." They replied, "We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost." Please notice that they have not even heard the name of the Holy Ghost. Immediately the apostle asked the next question, "Unto what then were ye baptized?" The truth is that if they have not heard the name of the Holy Ghost, then they were not baptized "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" So, they did take the baptism again "in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." The book of Acts records the incident as "they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" because they were giving the baptism in the authority that Jesus Christ has given them. The devil tries to mislead believers. But, we are not ignorant of his devices.

10. Conditions to take Water Baptism

Matthew 3 says: "5) Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6) And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7) 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? 8) Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:" John the Baptist required people to repent and to confess their sins. John the Baptist also demanded proof or fruits for repentance from the religious people, who had a form of godliness, for him to give baptism. That is, John the Baptist refused to baptize those Jews, who had no fruits for repentance. They say that they have repented, but it was not seen in their life.

When a new person comes to church with some interest, the preacher's temptation is to give him/her water baptism to make him a member in the church. But water baptism is like a marriage ceremony that unites ourselves with Jesus Christ. Our immersion symbolizes our burial with Jesus, our coming out of water symbolizes our resurrection with Jesus Christ, and so that we will walk in the newness of life similar to his life. This is the covenant we make with God in taking water baptism. So, it is not just a ceremony, but it is like our marriage ceremony with the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 6 says: "4) 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. 5) For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:" Jesus Christ commissioned his disciples to give water baptism as a pre-requisite for salvation from sins. Christian water baptism requires the believers to commit their life to walk in the newness of the life of Jesus Christ. If John the Baptist demanded proof for repentance to give his baptism, how much more the Christian baptism should demand proof for repentance, and for their commitment? Marriage is not for the ceremony, but to share the life with the groom. If the bride has no intention to live with the groom, she should not marry. So also, if person has no intention live for Jesus Christ, he/she should not take water baptism, until he/she decides to live for him. It is more than to get wet in water.

11. Water Baptism is Required for Salvation

Jesus Christ says in Mark 16:16: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." But preachers say that those who are saved shall be baptized. But the word of God says that he who is baptized shall be saved. Then Jesus Christ says that those who do not believe the gospel, which includes baptism, will not take baptism, and they will be damned. So, if we do not take baptism, it is proof that we do not believe the gospel and so we will be damned. 1 Peter 3 says: "20 ... in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us..." Preachers say that baptism has nothing to do with our salvation, but the Bible says that baptism doth also now save us. Those who believe the word of God and the gospel, will take water baptism. Acts 2:38 says: "--- Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, ---" Many preachers say that nobody have to be baptized for the remission of sins. They are liars, who want to be politically correct. Acts 22:16 says "--- now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Many preachers laugh at the principle that water baptism washing away sins. But, God will laugh at them in the end. Let the church you attend may not be a hindrance for your eternal life. 

12. False Preachers oppose Water Baptism

John 12:39&40 say: "39) Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, 40) He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them." Most theologians, pastors and preachers study books written by Christian celebrities over the bible. They have no fear of God, no reverence for his word, including the commandments of Jesus Christ. They are proud people and so God has blinded them and hardened their hearts. They are lead by intelligence, but not by the Spirit of God. They serve Satan, in spite of the fact that they work as pastors in Christian churches. Most of them are ashamed of water baptism, since their God is denomination. They bring many silly arguments against water baptism. But, Jesus Christ took water baptism before he starts his ministry, Jesus Christ himself baptized many disciples and believers, and he has commanded his disciples to baptize people. "John 3:22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized." Jesus Christ proclaimed eternal damnation to those, who do not believe and do not take water baptism. "Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." We must take the water baptism that Jesus Christ told us to take and thus make the covenant with Jesus Christ.

Acts 13 says: "8) But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. 9) Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, 10) And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? 11) And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand." Probably Elymas the sorcerer could have done the same thing with full of subtlety and mischief preventing the deputy from taking water baptism. These preachers are also perverting the right ways of the Lord by preventing people from taking water baptism. As Elymas was blinded, God also has blinded the hearts of these preachers so that they shall never be converted. Elymas got it for a season, but these preachers are eternally damned.

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