We received a note from Richard Klitzke in which he told us we had a shortcoming in our teaching and attached a long document. Paul asked him to briefly summarize the document and tell us what we are missing and why it is critically important.
Water baptism at the hands of any man is not for the remission of sin.
The water baptism by the spirit is for the remission of sin.
The Spirit provides the water and blood to cleanse us from sin.
They were both provided at the cross when the spear hit the side of Christ.
The type and shadow of this application and part of our new covenant is in Hebrews 9:19:
For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book and all the people.
Moses as God to Aaron did the sprinkling Christ Our Lord And God in the Office of the Holy Spirit does this for the remission of sin nothing less is a baptism.
The Spirit knows who, what, when, where, how,, & why to baptize.
As men we know none of these things.
We don’t know Who to baptize because we don’t know if a person is a sinner or not. too young, too old, too dead, comatose etc.
We don’t know What method to use sprinkling, pouring, immersion. We have been left no real instructions. Only the suppositions of men.
We don’t know When to baptize because the heart of man is wicked and beyond finding out. We do this as though it were good to baptize sinners?
We don’t know Where to baptize although we use rivers and streams or our church houses baptistries. Where do we find the instructions to properly do this?
We don’t know How it is done we have been left no real instructions as was Moses when building the tabernacle. or Noah when building the ark.
Is God a respecter of persons that he would give one instructions and not another?
We don’t know Why to baptize, one man can not remit another’s sin only God can remit sin. John the Baptist was sent to baptize.
Paul on the other hand Said he was not sent to baptize but to preach the gospel so Where do we get the authority to baptize with water?
Baptizing in the name of Jesus yes. Baptizing in water, No.
Yet we find many scriptures proving the Spirit does baptize. He may sprinkle, pour or wash and knows which if any and when to use either.
Ezek 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
The Spirit knows all the above and no man can know any of these things.
So this baptism by man is rather a futile attempt to do something he is not allowded to do.
So let us leave the baptizing to the Spirit who knows all these things and was sent to do them.
Who will, without doubt, do them before entering into us or infilling us.
He will never enter into an unholy temple or body, it must first be cleansed. As here; If I wash thee not thou has no part with me.
Is Christ a respecter of persons that he would require this of one not another? So he must wash, sprinkle, or pour, to cleanse, us not some man? His method is not mans but sufficient for salvation.
Please consider these things before you attempt this baptism most now practice.
The truth will set you free.
Richard, there can be no doubt that many are practicing water baptism wrongly and viewing it as having some intrinsic magical, life-giving power. We can see what you say about water immersion or sprinkling or pouring, likening it to the idolatry of the children of Israel worshipping the brazen serpent in the wilderness. Anything man puts his hand to can be, and is, abused and perverted, if man is left to his own ways and thoughts.
We can also acknowledge that most people practicing water baptism cannot discern who should be baptized, not knowledgeable as to how to baptize, when, where, or even why.
Having acknowledged and agreed with you on those facts, I have some questions concerning your assertions about water baptism. Do you believe that the apostles are the foundation of the Church?
Ephesians 2:19-22 MKJV
(19) Now therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,
(20) and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,
(21) in whom every building having been fitly framed together, grows into a holy sanctuary in the Lord;
(22) in Whom you also are built together for a dwelling place of God through the Spirit.
If you do believe those words, could we trust that the apostles and prophets were sound in faith and practice? If not sound, how can we be confident we have a viable and sure foundation for our faith? How could He Who is perfect be the Chief Cornerstone with those who are not dependable as a foundation? Are they not His workmanship? Is He not the One Who set them there?
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 MKJV).
According to the Scriptures and what we have experienced of the Truth in Them, we have no doubt that our foundation is sure. Let’s take a look at the record of how the early church, including the apostles, looked at water baptism:
Peter spoke to the other Jews with him at Cornelius’ house, after the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit, saying, “Can anyone forbid water that these, who have received the Holy Ghost as well as we, should not be baptized?” (Acts 10:47 MKJV)
Was he not speaking of physical water immersion, seeing the Gentiles had just been immersed in the Spirit given by the Lord from above?
“And he commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord. Then they begged him to stay certain days” (Acts 10:48 MKJV).
Was Peter commanding they be immersed in physical water in the Name of the Lord? If Peter was speaking of such, was he wrong?
If he was speaking of physical water, is it possible he was also speaking of the same at Pentecost, as well as being baptized (immersed) in the Holy Spirit (receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit)?:
“Then Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized (Greek – baptizo, ‘to make whelmed, fully wet, immersed’ – Strong’s Concordance #G907), every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ to remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38 MKJV).
Did Peter not speak of two experiences here, one of a physical water immersion and one of the receiving/being baptized in the Spirit? (We see no difference between the gift of the Holy Spirit, the baptism by/with/in the Holy Spirit, and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. These are all terms speaking of the same event.)
And if Peter was full of the Holy Spirit and boldness on that day (which he was), unlike before the crucifixion and resurrection when he denied the Lord, how could he have spoken by the Lord’s anointing to the multitude gathered of immersion in water, and be in error at the same time?
Though not an apostle, Philip was a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3) to whom God spoke and gave mission (Acts 8:26-38) and whom God translated when the mission was accomplished (Acts 8:39). Did Philip immerse the eunuch in physical water as described here?:
“And as they passed along the way, they came on some water. And the eunuch said, See, here is water, what hinders me from being baptized? Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, it is lawful. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still. And they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch. And he baptized him. And when they had come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more. And he went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:36-39 MKJV).
Was Philip wrong in immersing the eunuch in water after the eunuch believed and confessed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God?
As to the method of baptism (immersion), why would they both go down into the water and needlessly get wet in such a solemn occasion if all Philip had to do was cup his hand and sprinkle or pour? How is it Jesus “came up out of” the water? Who needed to strip or soak himself and perhaps get muddied in order to be sprinkled or poured upon?
It seems Philip, previous to water immersing the eunuch, baptized the Samaritans:
“But when they believed Philip preaching the gospel, the things concerning the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women” (Acts 8:12 MKJV).
Would you say that Philip did not water immerse the Samaritans? Or if he did, was he wrong in doing so? How is a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, led by the Holy Spirit, walking in error? If the Scriptures testify that he was in such a spiritual state (full of faith), can he not be believed and the testimony of his works trusted, as recorded by the Holy Spirit?
Are you saying that Ananias did not immerse Saul in water, as commonly interpreted in this passage?:
“And instantly scales as it were fell from his eyes, and he instantly saw again. And rising up, he was baptized. And taking food, he was strengthened. And Saul was certain days with the disciples in Damascus” (Acts 9:18-19 MKJV).
Are you saying that Paul did not water immerse the Ephesian disciples? It seems they were immersed in water “to John’s baptism”, and when these disciples heard Paul, they were immersed in water in the Name of the Lord Jesus, after which time, they were immersed in the Holy Spirit when Paul laid hands on them:
Acts 19:1-6 MKJV
(1) And it happened in the time Apollos was at Corinth, Paul was passing through the higher parts to Ephesus. And finding certain disciples,
(2) he said to them, Have you received the Holy Spirit since you believed? And they said to him, We did not so much as hear whether the Holy Spirit is.
(3) And he said to them, Then to what were you baptized? And they said, To John’s baptism.
(4) And Paul said, John truly baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe into Him coming after him, that is, into Jesus Christ.
(5) And hearing, they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.
(6) And as Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
How do you answer these matters of Scripture, Richard?
Furthermore, was Paul speaking of water baptism or another kind in this passage to the Corinthians?:
1 Corinthians 1:14-17 MKJV
(14) I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
(15) lest any should say that I had baptized in my own name.
(16) And I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides these, I do not know if I baptized any other.
(17) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel; not in wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
If you say he was speaking of a spiritual baptism, how is it Paul would say that Christ did not send him to baptize? If he was speaking of water baptism, it is clear that he, an apostle of Christ, one endued with the Holy Spirit, one who wrote about a third of the New Testament, water baptized some people. Plainly, we should safely and reasonably believe Paul knew how, whom, when, why, and where to water baptize, don’t you think? If we cannot believe or trust Paul, an anointed of the Lord, with spiritual understanding, whom can we trust?
Allow me to respond to some of your questions in your summary to us.
You say: “We don’t know When to baptize because the heart of man is wicked and beyond finding out. We do this as though it were good to baptize sinners?”
How did John the Immerser know whom to immerse? Was he baptizing both good and evil men without discretion? If all were evil, then, as you say, none should have been baptized. Yet the record is that he baptized people. He also baptized where there was much water:
“And John was also baptizing in Enon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized” (John 3:23 MKJV).
Of John, Jesus said: “Truly I say to you, Among those who have been born of women there has not risen a greater one than John the Baptist. But the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11 MKJV).
If John knew whom to immerse in water, when, how, and where, shall not those greater than he, those born again into the Kingdom of Heaven, know whom to immerse, and when, how, and where?
In this context, let me toss one of your questions back to you: “Is God a respecter of persons that he would give one instructions and not another?”
If John were sprinkling or even pouring, just how much water do you think he would have needed? Why did he go where there was “much water,” if not to immerse?
You say, “We don’t know Why to baptize, one man can not remit another’s sin only God can remit sin. John the Baptist was sent to baptize.”
So what then do these words of the Lord mean?:
“Of whomever sins you remit, they are remitted to them. Of whomever sins you retain, they are retained” (John 20:23 MKJV).
“And I will give the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to you. And whatever you may bind on earth shall occur, having been bound in Heaven, and whatever you may loose on earth shall occur, having been loosed in Heaven” (Matthew 16:19 MKJV).
Of His disciples, Jesus said to the Father:
John 17:18-23 MKJV
(18) As You have sent Me into the world, even so I have sent them into the world.
(19) And I sanctify Myself for their sakes, so that they also might be sanctified in truth.
(20) And I do not pray for these alone, but for those also who shall believe on Me through their word,
(21) that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.
(22) And I have given them the glory which You have given Me, that they may be one, even as We are one,
(23) I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.
Then to His disciples, He said:
“Then Jesus said to them again, Peace to you. As My Father has sent Me, even so I send you” (John 20:21 MKJV).
If Jesus forgave sins while on the earth in the flesh, and He prepared His disciples to continue the work He began, shall they, with His Spirit Which He gave them at Pentecost, not be able to continue? If He had the power to forgive sins, did He not give them that power, they being His Body and members in particular, bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh?
He promised: “Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes on Me, the works that I do he shall do also, and greater works than these he shall do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12 MKJV).
You say, “The Spirit knows all the above and no man can know any of these things,” and, “As men we know none of these things.”
You are right – no man can know any of these things by himself, as the Scriptures declare:
“For who among men knows the things of a man except the spirit of man within him? So also no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11 MKJV).
But to the children of God, those who have received His Spirit, these things are freely given. In the Scriptures, of the saints it is recorded:
“But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged by no one” (1 Corinthians 2:15 MKJV).
Of those who have not received His Spirit, it is written:
“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14 MKJV).
Are you telling us, Richard, that these things are foolishness to you?
John declared: “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things” (1 John 2:20 MKJV).
“But the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true and no lie, and as He has taught you, abide in Him” (1 John 2:27 MKJV).
So we, as true sons of God, can know the things of God.
Again, you say: “We don’t know When to baptize because the heart of man is wicked and beyond finding out. We do this as though it were good to baptize sinners?”
Does not God give new hearts to those whom He chooses? Of the saints, it is said:
“And the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul. And not one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own. But they had all things common” (Acts 4:32 MKJV).
“Of one heart and one soul.” Were the bad fishes mixed with good? How could they be, if all were of one heart and one soul? They had to have new hearts, no longer wicked. They were now members of the Body of Christ, with Jesus as the Head, no longer wicked. As Jesus said to His disciples, He had cleansed them and they needed no more cleansing:
“Jesus said to him, He who is bathed has no need except to wash his feet, but is clean every whit. And you are clean, but not all” (John 13:10 MKJV).
One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the discerning of spirits. Shall the saints, who have His Spirit, not discern between good and evil? If the Lord warns them of false prophets and brethren, shall they not be able to tell, as you say the hearts of men are “beyond finding out”?
How is it John declared how he should tell whether they were righteous or not? He said:
“Then he said to the crowd that came forth to be baptized by him, O generation of vipers! Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say within yourselves, We have Abraham for our father. For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones” (Luke 3:7-8 MKJV).
Jesus also said:
Matthew 7:15-20 MKJV
(15) Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
(16) You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
(17) Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit.
(18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruits, nor can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
(19) Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
(20) Therefore by their fruits you shall know them.
That is how you know – by the fruits – so the hearts are indeed knowable by those who are His chosen.
Do you not contradict the Scriptures in so many instances, Richard? Can you explain to us the apparent inconsistencies we find in your reasoning and use of Scripture? Am I wrong in all that I say or confront you with herein?
Again we ask you, Richard, to show us where we err, specifically, on our site. You have not so far done so. And I would appreciate it if you were to make a sincere attempt to answer every one of the questions I ask in this letter. Can you do that for us?
Richard sent a long reply, mostly off topic. Here are portions of Victor’s answer:
What it boils down to is that you still have not shown us where we err, whereas we, by the grace of God, have seen where you err, and have declared it to you. Will you repent and be saved, or stumble on the Stone and be destroyed?
I wrote: Was he not speaking of physical water immersion, seeing the Gentiles had just been immersed in the Spirit given by the Lord from above?
You reply: (1) It appears from this question you do not understand the difference in the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the Baptism By the Holy Ghost and the In filling of the Holy Ghost. Three different and distinct operations of the Spirit. Not taught nor seen by many. May you see!
Acts 11:16-17 KJV
(16) Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
(17) Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as He did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
The "gift of the Holy Spirit" and being "baptized with the Holy Spirit" are one and the same, Richard.
You write: The people of Paul’s time were being divided over who was baptizing them.
I answer: Not true: they were divided over who to follow, giving undue honor to men. The issue was not baptism.
You write: So we see even in the early church days baptism is becoming a problem. Consider if you would, the following. If just words of wisdom presented to them could make the cross of Christ of none affect, how much greater would, who baptized them, cause the cross of Christ to be of none effect.
My reply: There was no problem with water baptism. The problem was with men following men, baptized in water or not, or placing undue value on water baptism.
If one submits to water baptism as unto the Lord, it costing him this life, he is taking up the cross. It is all in the spirit and motive, even as when Abraham sacrificed Isaac. The outward act in itself means nothing either way.
You have no idea what the cross is because you have never taken it up. You are still in your sins, Richard, a confounded man looking for usefulness, recognition, and importance. Is that not so?
You write: John the Baptist was AUTHORIZED "God sent this man to baptize with water."
Paul was UNAUTHORIZED "God did not send this man to baptize with water"
1 Cor. 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
The fact that Paul did baptize; we will discuss later. But the authority to baptize is the topic. If Christ did not send Paul to baptize with water, then who has He sent to baptize with water? No man sense John the Baptist has been authorized. So we must ask this; "Has all authority for water Baptism stopped with John the Baptist?" Scripture shows no man has been given the authority to Baptize with water. The authorized ministry of John the Baptist, covered, John and Christ’s disciples only. This was their authority to baptize with water. Notice this scripture.
I answer: It was not that Paul was not authorized to water baptize so much as that was not the issue and he knew it. Had he been "unauthorized," as you say, to do so, he wouldn’t have baptized those he did, and he would not be bringing up the fact without apology that he baptized them.
It might interest you to know that we do not deem water baptism as necessary today either, but you didn’t ask; you just assumed things about us and refuse again and again to answer our main question.
You have no substance with which to criticize us, but you will do so to vaunt yourself. You shot first, because you are not here for our benefit or anyone else’s. You are only here for yourself.