The Importance of Water Baptism
Please read the following article prayerfully and with an open mind. The great Apostle Paul preached in a city called Thessalonica but his words were rejected by the hearers, without so much as checking to see if they were true or not. Those who heard in a city called Berea had a different spirit. Acts 17 : 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. I hope that you are one of the NOBLE ones. The purpose of this article is to show from the scriptures and from history that unless you have repented of your sins, been baptized by full immersion in water, in the name of Jesus Christ and received the gift of the Holy Ghost with evidence of speaking in other tongues, you do not have salvation and your soul will be lost. Also that the common formula used by most ministers during water baptism is incorrect. Jesus said "Upon this rock I will build MY CHURCH and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16: 18). Many people believe that as long as they are sincere, it doesn't matter which church they become a member of. This philosophy goes against the teaching of scripture, for the apostle Jude said that we should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 3). In the days of Noah there was only one ark of safety from the flood, and only one door of entry. In these last days the one true Church of Jesus Christ is the only place of safety for your soul. It began on the day of Pentecost, and the new birth of water and Spirit is the only means of entrance (John 3:5). If the church you are in does not follow the teachings and practices of the original Church which Jesus established, it is not the true Church. Your soul is in danger of being eternally lost. The word of GOD reveals that in the last days there would be false prophets and teachers (Matthew 24: 4 + 11), churches with an outward appearance of godliness (2 Timothy 3: 5), and also that satans ministers can appear as ministers of righteousness (2Corinthians 11:15). How then can one distinguish the TRUE CHURCH from the false ? In the same way that one can distinguish the genuine banknote from the forgery, by holding it up to the light. All other churches when examined against the light of GOD's word (Psalm 119: 105), fail the test of authenticity concerning the new birth. Only the APOSTOLIC CHURCH is shown to be the TRUE CHURCH when examined in the light of scripture. Many people have gone shopping with counterfeit money, SINCERELY believing that what they had was the real thing, only to end up highly embarrassed when the time of reckoning came at the till. We do not question your sincerity or love for God. You may be like Apollos who was very zealous toward God and mighty in the scriptures, but he had a teachable spirit and allowed Aquila and Priscilla to expound unto him the way of God more perfectly (Acts 18:24 28). The Lord Jesus is coming soon to take HIS CHURCH (Those who have been called out of the world, purchased with his blood, and born again the Bible way) out of this world to be with him for eternity. Take some time to seek the truth, for the traditions of men cannot save your soul. Make sure that you're in the TRUE CHURCH. The eternal destiny of your soul depends upon it.
Is baptism necessary for salvation ?
Some hold to the theory that they do not have to be baptized to be saved, and will justify this theory by pointing to the thief on the cross. The thief however, died under the old covenant of the law and did not need to be born again. Jesus had told Nicodemus that we must be born of water and the Spirit (John 3 : 5), but the new birth could not fully take place because the Holy Ghost was not yet given when the thief died, for Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7 : 39) The Church age began on the day of Pentecost and will end at the rapture. You and I are under the new covenant of grace and must be born again. There was a practise taking place in the Corinthian Church known as baptizing by proxy or baptizing in the stead of a dead person. (1 Corinthians 15 : 29). The Corinthian Church members had family, relatives, friends and other loved ones who had died without being baptized. They believed that by being baptized for their dead loved ones they could secure a place in heaven for them. Although the Corinthians were in error for believing that their dead loved ones who had died in their sins could be saved through their baptism by proxy, they were fully aware that without water baptism in the name of JESUS CHRIST a person could not enter into the Kingdom of GOD (Acts 2 : 38 + John 3 : 5). If water baptism is not necessary for salvation then the Corinthian Church members would not have bothered baptizing for the dead. So many people profess that they are living for Christ and yet have never been ' Born again '. Naturally speaking a person cannot live until they are first born, and so it is spiritually ( John 3: 5 ).
When we meet people today
who profess to be Christians, they become very offended when
we ask them how they were baptized or if they have received the Holy Ghost, and yet Upon
arriving at Ephesus the greatest evangelist of the new testament, the Apostle Paul came across
some disciples of John the baptist and the first two questions which they were asked were
concerning water baptism and the baptism of the Holy Ghost ( Acts 19 : 1- 6 ).
Paul knew that a person
cannot be saved without the new birth of water baptism in the
of Jesus Christ and the infilling of the Holy Ghost.
If Paul met you today, and
asked you "Unto what then were you baptized" , What
answer be ?
A person cannot live for Christ if they have not been born right
How do we obtain salvation ?
The Lord Jesus declared
"And many false prophets shall rise and deceive many"
( Matthew 24 : 11 ). Notice that it is not the few that will be deceived but the many. Many
famous preachers hold giant evangelistic crusades each year and declare that thousands of
people were saved. During the alter call, the people are told to raise their hand and repeat
the sinners prayer. They are then told ' you are now saved '. These preachers are false
prophets and are leading millions of people to hell.
There are professing
Christians who build their doctrine of Salvation on one verse of
while rejecting all the other scriptures which relate to Salvation. The common Salvation
scripture is Acts 16 : 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be
saved, and thy house. Notice that shalt be is future tense. Belief is the beginning of the
process of the NEW BIRTH. The Philippian jailor and his family heard the word of the Lord and
then went on to be baptized ( Acts 16 : 30 34 ).
Natural birth has to begin
with conception, the mans seed (sperm) has to be received
woman to fertilize the egg. The baby then has to pass through water and receive natural breath
as he/she comes into the outside world.
As it is naturally, so it
is spiritually. We first hear the gospel ( Gods word
is his seed/sperm
Luke 8 : 11, 1Peter 1 : 23, James 1 : 18 ).
We then believe the gospel
by receiving the word into our hearts (This is spiritual
This then leads us to pass through the water of baptism and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost
(The spiritual breath of life). Acts 2 : 41 Then they that gladly received (believed) his word were
baptized: and the same day were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Here are some other scriptures which relate to Salvation
1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto BAPTISM doth also now SAVE US
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is BAPTIZED SHALL BE SAVED
Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall
Cornelious was then COMMANDED to be BAPTIZED in the name of the LORD (The name of the
LORD is Jesus Acts 10:36, 44 48)
Jesus said I am the door: by me if any man ENTER IN, he shall be saved (John 10 : 9).
previously told Nicodemus that the only means of ENTERING
IN is through the New
Birth of water and of the Spirit (Water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ and the infilling of
the Holy Ghost Acts 2 : 38 )
Sprinkling or Immersion
Some people say that they believe that baptism is necessary for salvation, but will then declare that they were baptized when they were a baby. What they mean is that they were Christened, by having a few drops of water splashed on their head. Whatever we believe about salvation, it must be able to be proven from the Holy Bible (King James version). According to the scriptures, the proper way to be baptized is by IMMERSION. "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water" (Matthew 3: 16) "And they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him" (Acts 8 : 38) By being baptized we are identifying with the BURIAL of Jesus Christ "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death" (Romans 6 : 4) A dead body is not buried by lying it on the ground and sprinkling some soil on it, but by completely submerging it below the ground. The World Book Encyclopedia declares "At first all baptism was by complete immersion" (vol 1 page 651) The Catholic Encyclopedia states "In the early centuries, all were baptized by IMMERSION in STREAMS, POOLS AND BAPTISTERIES" (vol 2 page 263) Immersion was not convenient after the Catholic Church instituted infant baptism thus the mode was changed to sprinkling. (See Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, vol 3, pages 365-366) When a baby is to be born naturally, he/she is completely submerged in water in the Mothers womb, and so it is spiritually (John 3 : 5) We conclude therefore that according to the Bible and history, water baptism must be administered by complete IMMERSION. We also submit to you that water baptism must be PRECEDED by FAITH and REPENTANCE (Mark 16 : 16 + Acts 2 : 28). A baby therefore having no faith in GOD or knowledge that they have been born in sin (Psalm 51 : 5 + Romans 5 : 12) should not be baptized.
The importance of water baptism
Why we baptize in the name of Jesus Christ
The Apostles were the only ones who heard directly, the commission from Jesus to teach all nations and baptize them. Ten days later on the day of Pentecost they began to fulfil this commission. The book of the Acts of the Apostles is an historical record of the birth and developement of the original Church. It records examples of the disciples baptizing people and also the formula for baptism which was "In the name of Jesus". You may say "We baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost because Jesus said so" (Matthew 28: 19). Let us remember that Jesus never wrote a word of the New Testament, but his words were recorded by his disciples. Let us take a careful look at what Jesus actually said. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the NAME (singular, not names) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost". The focus of Jesus' command was to baptize in a single name, and not three titles, eg Father, Son and Holy Ghost. There is a difference between a name and a title. All of a person's power and authority is contained in his name, not his title. Father is a title meaning ' Male parent ', Son is a title meaning ' Male child ', Holy Ghost is describing the purity of GOD's Spirit. None of these are GOD's name. The scripture says " Save me, O God, by thy name " ( Not by thy titles ) ( Psalm 54:1 ). GOD has many titles, but only one name, which is JESUS. " And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus , receive my spirit " (Acts 7:59) We know that the name of the Son is Jesus (Matthew ch 1 vs 21). The Father and the Son must have the same name for there to be a relationship. It is clear from the Old Testament that Gods saving name was not known, (Gen 32:29-30, Isaiah 52 : 6 ) In the Old Testament God (The Father) appeared in angelic form to Manoah and said his name was a secret ( Judges 13:17- 22) It was prophesied that theMessiah (The Son) would declare GOD's (the Father) name (Psalm 22:22 + Hebrews 2: 12). The Old Testament declared that one day GOD (the Father) would be known by one name (Zechariah 14: 9). Jesus said " I am come in my Father's name" (John 5: 43). He said to the Father "I have manifested thy name, and I have declared unto them thy name" (John 17: 6+26). Paul said Jesus received his name by inheritance. A son would inherit from his Father (Hebrews 1: 4). In the Old Testament the temple was called by the same name as the God (The Father) who dwelt in it. (1 Kings 8 : 43) and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by THY NAME. The temple was a type of the Son of God for Jesus said Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up (John 2:19) But he spake of the temple of his body (John 2:21). The Son (Temple) had the same name as the Father who dwelt in him (John 14:10) I am come in my Fathers name (John 5:43). The name that Jesus inherited from his Father, and manifested, was JESUS. Therefore the name of the Father is also Jesus, which means Jehovah is Salvation Jesus said also that the comforter which is the Holy Ghost would come in his name (John 14: 26). Mary was found with child of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 1:18), that makes the Holy Ghost the Father. The scriptures also declare that the Holy Ghost is Jesus Christ in Spirit form (John 14:17,18,26, Gal 4:6, Eph 3:17, Col 1:27). This means that the name of the Holy Ghost is also Jesus. We submit therefore, that JESUS is the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The terms Father, Son and Holy Ghost refer to the three manifestations (Not persons) of the one God whose name is Jesus. When withdrawing money from a bank account, the cashier will ask you to sign the withdrawel form. He/she will point to the dotted line and say " Sign your name here". Do you repeat his/her words literally and sign " Your name here" or do you obey his/her words and sign eg "John Smith". Those who baptize in the titles Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are only repeating Jesus' words as a baptismal formula, but are not obeying them as the disciples did. (Acts 2: 38+Acts 8: 16+Acts 19: 5). The name (not titles) of the Lord(Jesus) is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is SAFE (Proverbs 18: 10). The only way that we can enter that name is to be BAPTIZED into it ( Acts 2 : 38, 8 : 16, 19 : 5 ). The Church is the bride of Christ. Every bride must take on her husband's, family or surname (Revelation 21: 9). The Church takes on her Husbands name at water baptism (Acts 2 : 38 ). The Church are Sons of GOD. Every son must take on his family name at birth (John 1: 12, 3 : 3 5, Acts 2 : 38 ). JESUS is the family name (Ephesians 3 : 14+15). Most churches believe in praying, casting out devils and healing the sick in the name of Jesus, but reject or even become offended at the thought of being baptized in his name. Paul said "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed (baptism is a deed), do all in the name of the Lord Jesus (Colossians 3 : 17 + Acts 19 : 5). Friend, as you read this message today, let me tell you the desire of our hearts. We are not trying to introduce controversy for the sake of argument. We are here by the help of GOD to explain to you the great truth that lies dormant in the Church world. We are here to resurrect again the understanding of the GREAT POWER there is in the name of JESUS CHRIST. Baptism is not a means of earning Salvation, but a means of receiving or applying the Salvation that was purchased at Calvary, to OUR LIVES.
Salvation by Grace through Faith
Some people believe that salvation through the new birth contradicts the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith. There are no contradictions in the Bible and the Bible has a perfect harmony of doctrine. When seen in its true light, the new birth is by grace through faith. Suppose that I tell you to meet me at McDonalds tomorrow at 11.00am and I will give you £10,000 ( This is the condition I have prescribed for you to receive your free gift). If you really believe me then you will show up at McDonalds at 11.00am. If you are at McDonalds for 11.00am does that mean that you have earned the money ? Of course not, because the £10,000 is a free gift. Your appearance at McDonalds at 11.00am is a necessary requirement for you to receive your free gift (Grace on my part, faith on your part) If you fail to show up, you will lose out on your free gift and the fault will be yours (No faith in my promise). Likewise we must respond to God's promise in faith by repenting and being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and seeking the baptism of the Holy Ghost ( Acts 2 : 38 ). God will then do his part by graciously granting us salvation as a free gift and not an earned right. If we do not obey God's word and meet these requirements then we will not receive salvation because of our lack of faith. True faith always produces obedience.
Baptism in History
In the Encyclopedia Britannia, the 11th edition vol 3, page 365-366 you will find this statement "The baptismal formula was changed from the name of Jesus Christ to the words Father, Son and Holy Ghost by the Catholic church in the second century." Now I am giving you historical proof that the original Church baptized in the name of Jesus. Also from the Encyclopedia Britannia, vol 3, page 82 "Everywhere in the oldest sources it states that baptism took place in the name of Jesus Christ." The Canney Encyclopedia of Religion, page 53 states, The early Church always baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus until the developement of the trinity doctrine in the 2nd Century. My friend is this not proof that the early Church practised baptism in the name of Jesus ? According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, vol 2, page 377, Catholics acknowledge that baptism in Jesus' name was changed by the Catholic church. In addition, Hastings Encyclopedia of Religions, vol 2, page 377 states "Christian baptism was administered using the words "In the name of Jesus". From the same source, page 378, "The use of the trinitarian formula of any sort was not suggested in the early Church's history". From the same volume, page 389; note that, baptism was always in the name of the Lord Jesus until the time of Justin Martyr, when the triune formula was used. Hastings Encyclopedia vol 2, page 377 declares the baptism in Jesus' name according to Acts ch 2 vs 38. The word Name was an ancient synonym for 'person'. Payment was always made in the name of some person, referring to ownership. Therefore, one being baptized in the name of Jesus became his personal property, as the scriptures say " Ye are Christs" (1 Corinthians 3 : 23). History testifies to the authenticity of the scriptures, history also corroborates the fact that you and I must go back over the period of Church thinking, re-arrangement for man, philosophies, and ideas of individuals introduced long after the Apostles . Baptism in Jesus name is what the individuals who hear the word of GOD should obey. It is also necessary to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, with evidence of speaking in other tongues (John 3 : 5 + Romans 8 : 9 + Acts 8 : 15,16 + 17 Acts 10: 45 + 19 : 6). Speaking in tongues was not exclusively for the early Church, but Jesus promised it to them that believe (Mark 16 : 17). The Holy Ghost gives us victory over sin (Romans 8: 13), and enables us to live a Holy life, without which no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12: 14).
The Authority of the Apostles
We have to remember that none of our modern day church leaders ever saw the Lord Jesus in the flesh. They were not on the mount of Olives when he gave the great commission to teach all nations and baptize them. Only the APOSTLES were there. Jesus issues a warning to those who reject the words of his APOSTLES (Matthew 10 : 14+15). Jesus said to his APOSTLES "He that heareth you heareth me" (Luke 10 : 16) Jesus prayed only for those who would believe on him through his APOSTLES word (The New Testament scriptures) (John 17: 20). Jesus confirmed the words of his APOSTLES with signs following (Mark 16 : 20). Jesus gave his APOSTLES the authority to remit or retain sins (John 20 : 23). The names of the 12 APOSTLES are in the foundations of the wall of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21: 14). The teachings of the APOSTLES are the foundation of the New Testament Church (Ephesians 2 : 20). The APOSTLE Paul said that if anyone, including an angel from heaven preached anything other than the APOSTLES gospel they would be accursed (Galations 1 : 8+9). The mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven were given to the APOSTLES (Matthew 13 : 10+11). Jesus opened his APOSTLES understanding to understand the scriptures (Luke 24 : 27+45). Jesus taught his APOSTLES how to baptize people (John 4 : 1+2) Jesus commissioned NO-ONE but his APOSTLES to teach all nations (Matthew 28 : 19). Therefore the APOSTLES are the only ones we can depend upon to show us how to be baptized correctly The only true formula for water baptism is the one used by the Apostles. The Apostles, who were taught by JESUS, administered baptism in the name of Jesus. The Apostles never repeated the words " In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost " as a formula for water baptism. "And they continued stedfastly in the APOSTLES' DOCTRINE (Acts 2 : 42). ACTS 2 : 38 : Then said Peter 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. THE TIME HAS COME FOR YOU TO MAKE YOUR DECISION FOR ETERNITY. HEAVEN OR HELL, IT'S UP TO YOU! The Beulah Hills Apostolic Church Benson Road Winson Green Birmingham England UK
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