Amongst other things, Damien wrote us:
Jesus has also taught me, as you state (actually in the bible), that there is only one baptism. Yet, brother Victor, you mention two baptisms as being required. You say
Water immersion is a symbolic act of identification, an expression of faith, picturing the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ
Water baptism, meaning only the baptism of John the Baptist and no other form whatsoever, never meant any of these things. Water baptism was an act of obedience to God by a repentant Jew. It was only sent to the Jews just as John and Jesus were only sent to the Jews. It was Paul who was sent with a gospel to the Gentiles and it was different to what Peter preached to the Jews. It omitted all ritual form but both gospels included the baptism of the Spirit. Even when Peter was sent to Cornelius he never got to preach water baptism. God interrupted Peter before he could mention water and gave them the Spirit. But the understanding of what God had done had to await the preaching of Paul.
Requiring water baptism is a rejection of what Jesus died for – the baptism of the Spirit. Any ceremony, any physical form is a rejection of Jesus.
Concerning water baptism, you draw false conclusions in what I write. Where did you find that I advocated water baptism as a necessity? You don’t find it there. If, however, you do find it in any of my writings, several of which are from many years ago, and I say, or give the impression, that water baptism is a necessity, let me know. I will, Lord willing, change it.
In the meantime, you are wrong to fault the Scriptures or Peter and Paul for performing water baptisms. Peter was full of the Holy Ghost when preaching to the Gentiles. You can say all you want that he was still in the old way of thinking, but in so doing, you deny the sovereignty of God. God was giving him revelation as He saw fit, and He could have given Peter, in all those years with Jesus, the understanding that water baptism was not necessary. He did not do that. Peter baptized, and it was the will of God.
Saul of Tarsus was water baptized, Philip baptized the eunuch, the Samaritans were water baptized, the Ephesian disciples were water baptized, as were Lydia, the Philippian jailer and his house, and all those at Pentecost after Peter preached. Paul baptized Crispus, Gaius, and Stephanas’ household, as he declared to the Corinthians, though he asserted that he was not sent to baptize. If there is only one baptism (and there is only one spiritual baptism), why did Paul baptize in water? Why would Jesus and His disciples have water baptized? Why would Peter, Jesus’ close disciple, baptize? One baptism does not mean there was only one of all kinds. Consider what the Hebrews writer says:
“Therefore, having left the discourse of the beginning of Christ, let us go on to full growth, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the baptisms, of doctrine, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits” (Hebrews 6:1-3 MKJV).
If there is only one baptism of all kinds, then what is the Hebrews writer doing, speaking positively of more than one? You err, Damien, not I. Do you not know that it was Paul who wrote to the Ephesians of “one Lord, one faith, one baptism”? Why would Paul and Peter include both water and Spirit baptisms in their teaching and practice, if there is only “one baptism,” period? Consider. You are subject to a false teacher.
As to the significance of water baptism, you err again. While Paul speaks of Spirit baptism to the Romans, it does not take a superior intellect to understand that water baptism depicts a death, burial, and resurrection, water immersion portraying that which happens spiritually, as described:
“Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father; even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been joined together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection” (Romans 6:3-5 MKJV).
Peter and Paul both practiced water baptism and taught spiritual baptism. You write: “Requiring water baptism is a rejection of what Jesus died for – the baptism of the Spirit. Any ceremony, any physical form is a rejection of Jesus.”
You therefore foolishly accuse Peter, Paul, Silas, Luke, Philip, and other saints of that transgression. You err in judging these men, fathers of the faith, chosen vessels of Christ, foundational apostles no less, who have ministered in understanding to us, by spiritual revelation. Do you see why the works of men are the paths of the destroyer, Damien? You are found coming against the Body of Christ and against Jesus Christ Himself. These ideas of yours, these doctrines of John Clark, are antiChrist. You write:
“God interrupted Peter before he could mention water and gave them the Spirit. But the understanding of what God had done had to await the preaching of Paul.”
Those are simply conjectures and opinions, stupid at that, formulated by Clark and company. They are unsubstantiated in Scripture and are not witnessed to by the Spirit.
Click HERE to go back to “Water Baptism.”
Richard contacts us with his esoteric theories about baptism and charges that the apostles had no authority to water baptize. This gives us the opportunity to respond with the Scriptural record and sensible view of water baptism and baptism in the Spirit, the latter being the substance Christ came to give us.
What this ordinance meant when introduced, and how it is no longer important, having a parallel with physical circumcision in its symbolism and what has come for those who believe: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but a new creation” (Galatians 6:15 EMTV).
We received this note in response to How the Lord Exposed Billy Graham: While I respect your difference of opinion about the gifts of the Spirit and their application today, I cannot subscribe to teachings that would take these differences and create division within the Body of Christ. This is not a salvation issue.