The Baptism of Jesus
Copyright By Pastor G. Reckart owner of WWW.WHYAPOSTOLIC.COM
"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him" (Matthew 3:13-16).
"And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him. And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Mark 1:9-11).
"Wherefore of these men which have accompanied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto that day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection" (Acts 1:21-22).
Here are three testimonies that Jesus was baptized.
Was it necessary for Jesus to be baptized? The Bible answer is YES!
Jesus told John: "It behoveth us to fulfill all righteousness."
If there was something Divine to fulfill, and this fulfilling was tied to all righteousness, then the baptism of Jesus was essential.
Now the baptism of John the Baptist was unto repentance (Matthew 3:11). Was the baptism of Jesus because he repented or needed to repent of any sin? No! Jesus committed no sin. Why then was Jesus baptized? What was the purpose?
A little history of baptism may help us here.
The word "baptism" is the Greek word baptizo and means to make fully whelmed (fully wet), dip, immerse, etc (Strong's Greek #907). Baptism in the Hebrew language is called "miqveh (mikveh)." Mikveh means a collection of water (Genesis 1:10). Pools of Egypt that turned to blood were called waters of Mikveh (Exodus 7:19). In the Mikveh pool there is hope (Ezra 10:2) that the washing taking place restores a condition of holiness and brings sanctification. The monthly washing by a Jewish female is considered a ritual when in fact it is a religious act of faith restoring her to holiness and sanctification for her husband. The collection of water for the Mikveh washing can be a pool, a stream, a fountain spring fed (Pool of Siloam), a reservior,and a container holding 575 lieres about 152 gallons. The Red Sea is mentioned as the children of Israel being baptized unto Moses, therefore the Red Sea as a collection of waters could serve as a place for a Mikveh. Mikveh is the place of the washing and the Hebrew words "rachats and kabac" (Strong's Hebrew #7364, #3526) describe what takes place in the Mikveh. There are places where Mikveh does not mean a collection of water as in 1Kings 10:28, and 1Chron 29:15, and 2Chron 1:16, but taking the law of "first mention" or "hermeneutics," the uses in 1Kings 10:28, 1Chron 29:15, and 2Chron 1:16 would be a later development. Mikveh will remain the proper word to describe the place where divers washings occured.
Here are some beautiful associations which we associate with a collection of water be it in a pool or otherwise:
That which is washed for purification is said to have been mikveh;
A female who has had her monthly purification bath is said to have had her mikveh;
A female on the day of her wedding, goes to mikveh and washes to prepare for her bridegroom;
Any washing of clothes for purification was called a mikveh;
The crossing of the children of Israel through the red sea, and across Jordan, is called a mikveh.
The idea behind the word is that something purifying is taking place. A separation has occurred. Through mikveh the body and soul are purified before the Lord as being washed, sanctified, and then at last, considered clean, pure, and absolved of all sin and contaminations of evil.
Water baptism for the remission of sins was a New Testament mikveh wherein a candidate is immersed into the waters of sanctification, into the waters of separation, into the waters of crossing over, and the soul receives the Divine grace of the remission of sins.
There was a mikveh for Gentiles who wanted to convert to the Jewish religion. A Gentile would seek a Rabbi for counselling to join the Jewish religion. The Gentile would be the taught Torah and the ways of God. The convert must be willing to give up all gods. And must be willing to adopt the Jewish way of life and living. If the Gentile is a male and he continues to desire conversion to Judaism, he had to undergo circumcision. Then he was scheduled for salvation mikveh-baptism. On the scheduled day the candidate arrived with the Rabbi and a few witnesses. They have the mikveh-baptism with the Rabbi invoking the name of God over the candidate when he is immersed. Afterward, the convert had to go have a blood sacrifice offered for his/her sins. IT was this convert mikvah that was translated into Greek as baptiso or baptism.
Now Jesus went through a mikveh-baptism. Why?
Was he a new convert? No, he was a Jew from birth and was circumcised the 8th day according to the Scriptures.
Why then was he baptized?
He told John: "for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness". There is something in mikveh-baptism that is righteous. We understand "righteousness" to mean that which is right in the sight of God. So what is right is righteous. John was sent by the Spirit of God to preach repentance and mikveh-baptism for those who desired to enter into the Kingdom of God. All the spiritual authority of God upon the earth was centered in one man, John the Baptist. The ministry of Jesus had not yet begun. John was closing out the Old Testament era and he was God's last authority of the Law and that dispensation. He had the only righteous message of God that would transfer all believers from the Old Covenant over into the realm where the New Covenant would be revealed. The Law and the Prophets were until John, that is what Jesus said (Luke 16:16).
Jesus is the bridge between the Law and the New Covenant. All righteousness that would end the Law, Jesus was compelled to observe on the side of his flesh from the seed of David. God chose water baptism to be the transfer point from the Law dispensation over into Grace Dispensation, from dead in sins and trespasses unto life, from darkness to light, and from an unholy to a sanctified condition.
Those who wanted transfer from the Law into the Kingdom of God came for water baptism. Of course they did not fully understand the Kingdom of God was separate from the Law. But, they did understand the Kingdom of God would be ushered in by the Messieh when he came. That is why John preached water baptism unto repentance, to prepare all who came to the waters of separation for the coming Messieh. That is why John told Jesus he needed to be baptized by him, not for the remission of sins, but because John had not been baptized himself by the same baptism he was enforcing on others. He was commanded by God to do something and was not told by God he had to be baptized himself. He wanted Jesus to baptize him unto repentance so he also could transfer over into the Kingdom of God. But Jesus did not baptize him. Why, because John would die under the Law before Calvary and not live to enter or see the Kingdom of God ushered in. So, there was no need for him to be baptized. Jesus came for baptism because he was the Messieh, and as the son of David according to the flesh, he must be the example of all who would follow him. The King of Israel stood in the water that day. The King was baptized. As the head of the nation of Israel it was his duty and responsibility to do all things that were commanded of God by God's Prophets. God commanded water baptism by the Prophet John and the fact Jesus complied with this Divine order, shows he humbled himself as a servant to the Divine Will, and became obedient (Philippians 2:8). Obedience of faith is the highest righteousness a person can perform before God.
Water baptism is not a ritual. It should not be treated like it is one step in a three-step procedure for salvation, and then is no longer important once past sins are washed away. Many Jesus Name preachers and ministers do injustice to Acts 2:38 and water baptism. They teach it is only for sinners. No, this baptism is where the Blood of Jesus is applied and it remains with the convert all their life. They must never separate from the covenant of their baptism. They must be faithful to what occurred that day. They buried the old shack, the old body, the person of sin, the person against whom there was future judgment of God. They took down under their old shack and with faith in God's craftsmanship ask him upon rising from the waters of separation to make of them a brand new temple. Yes, the day of water baptism is the day a new temple came forth unto righteousness, purged, cleansed, washed, sanctified, and ready for the presence of the one true God. See, a temple has in it only ONE GOD. Why is it that Oneness do not preach this Oneness doctrine at all? I say, we need to declare it from the housetops. The day I became a temple of God! What's wrong with this? Why do we treat Acts 2:38 like a slam-dunk recipe for sinners and never declare the fulness of what actually happened? Are we so spiritually dead now to illumination Truth that we cannot see more depth in our Salvation? Oh, I pray for the day men will give up their Pentecostal liberal lies and taking people back to their old shacks and letting women put back on their earrings and jewelry, their pants, their make-up, their cut hair etc.etc., and men can put on their jewelry, shorts, t-shirts, and other ungodly attire. It is an abomination to turn the Temple of God into the old shack. It is a sin of rebellion to corrupt the Temple of God with things of idols. Where are the Prophets of God? Why are eyes of the seers blind? It is because they have institutionalized and corporationized and organized around three doctrines and all else is up for compromise and modernization. Water baptism is the starting point of eternal life for many souls. In the water they are born of the water and Spirit. This is full salvation. If eternal life was designed to begin in the waters of transfer from death to life, why is it, we do not make more to do about this great revelation?
Jesus knew the importance of water baptism and commanded the Apostles to go to all nations and carry on this great work. It is the contact point of Calvary. It is the garden tomb. It is resurrection with a new spiritual identity. You gave up Gentileism and put on the seed of Abraham. You became an adopted son and daughter of God. Here, you came into the Kingdom through the BIRTH WATERS OF YOUR MOTHER, THE CHURCH! Here the Church shows itself as the wife of Christ with whom the New Covenant has all to do.
The baptism of Jesus sets forth the mighty revelation of the bridegroom preparing himself for his bride-wife. As the head of the Church, he must be first partaker of that righteousness that the bride-wife would join in participation. The Church had to have its own birth water for the sons and daughters who would come forth when Zion travailed. Jesus is the cause of the seed sown in the Church to bring forth sons and daughters. Even as the natural birth water brings forth a son or daughter unto the husband of the woman, and by this birth water, he is now a father, so in the natural birth water comes forth a progeny by the name of the father. And as soon as possible after coming through the birth water, the child is named with the surname of the father. All of this takes place in water baptism when the name of Jesus, the surname of God is placed upon all sons and daughters who come forth from these birth waters.
When Jesus went under the water in the Jordan river, it was also a type of his own future resurrection. Likewise, when we go under the water and come up, this rising is a type of our own future resurrection at the coming of Jesus. Again, our future resurrection is guaranteed by the resurrection of our water baptism (Romans 6:5). We who are saved and remain in the righteousness of our baptism, are clothed upon by the white raminent of the saints. We are holy and above condemnation. By the blood washing away our sins we have stopped all future judgments of God. When Jesus went under the water and arose to face the world, he had authority over all future judgments of God. And it is he who will judge the living and the dead. Those who do not follow Jesus in baptism, who do not go through the birth waters of the Church, who refuse to be baptised in the name of Jesus, these will surely be lost. Baptism is not an ordinance (law) for those who are already saved. It is an operation of faith to be saved. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be damned. There is no place of compromise here. Water baptism is not an ordinance (law), it is an invitation of grace.
Jesus went to his water baptism to bring the world the hope of grace.
We are baptized today because we desire by faith to avail ourselves of this grace.
Even as water baptism brought a division between the law-keepers and the believers of the New Covenant, so it will bring division between the convert and his/her past and past religion. Once they fully understand the doctrine of water baptism, and they go down in the water, there will occur a spiritual work of separation. The old shack is buried that God may build a Temple. The convert will leave his/her old religion and come into the Kingdom of God. They will give up the world and take up righteousness. They will attend an Apostolic Church where the truth is taught. Even as multitudes who were baptized followed Jesus after John was killed, so multitudes will follow the Apostolic Doctrine if we can bring them to the waters of Jordan. The baptism of Jesus was the beginning of the Alpha and Omega gathering his saints from the earth.
Let all who have not been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ come now by faith and go to the waters of resurrection.
Visit an Apostolic Church were the truth is preached and where holiness is still a testimony of the Blood of Jesus working in the midst.
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