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1This evening I would like to speak on Water Baptism since we are going to have a baptism this next Sunday. Now, baptism is one of the three ordinances that our Saviour left us. It is the first of the ordinances that he taught the disciples, although he never baptized disciples himself, he left that up to others to do for Him. John 4: 1-2 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples, 3 He left Judea, and departed unto Galillee)
2So we see that as far as water Baptism is concerned, all his disciples were baptized in water, and yet he himself baptized none of them. Yet there is another Baptism that Jesus did Baptize the disciples with, and that is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. John even prophesied that one greater than he would baptize with the Holy Spirit in the following Scriptures:
3Matthew 3: 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
5Luke 3: 16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
7John 1: 33 And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon Whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
8Now, Although Jesus Himself never baptized any with water, yet he had his disciples do so. But this sort of baptism was not something new to Israel. Baptism by water was synonymous with what Israel as a nation had experienced in the red sea.
9Paul alludes to this in 1 Corinthians 10:1Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 14Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. 15I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
10We can see a form of ritual purification by water in the book of Leviticus s 11, 14 and 15 and in The Book of Numbers especially 19 where washing with water by immersing the body was symbolic of the cleansing process. Although the term "baptism" was not used by the Jews to describe purification by water, the word mikvah was used instead to describe immersion. In Jewish history immersion in water was used for ritual purification and for restoration to the condition of "purity" for certain circumstances.
11For example, Jews who became ritually defiled by contact with a corpse had to use the Mikvah before being allowed to participate in the Temple. Also, Immersion was required for converts to Judaism as part of their conversion, And Immersion in the mikvah represented not only purification, but restoration and qualified the person to be able to fully participate in the religious community much like Christian baptism qualifies Christians to participate in Communion and foot washing. Although unlike Christian water Baptism, the mikvah is repeated over and over, again. Much like the sacrifice which is repeated often, yet we have a once for all sacrifice that need never be repeated
12The Apostle Paul comments on this in Hebrews 10:10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. So we have a once for all sacrifice that needs not be repeated as it was in the Temple by the Priests. And Paul goes on to say, … 11And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
1412But this man, after he (the man) had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, (sins plural, all our sins, past, present and future.) sat down on the right hand of God; 13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14For by one offering He (the Son of God) hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
15Now, I would like to stop right here for a moment and I want to ask you a question. Do you believe this is the Word of God to us? Do you believe that God has forever washed away your sins, all of them, past, present and future? Then why do you keep going back to Him and asking for forgiveness for things you have already asked forgiveness for? Now, that is not to say we shouldn’t apologize and make right when we err. But when you have asked forgiveness and you take God at His Word, then you need not ask over and over again, unless you do not believe you were forgiven in the first place. You see, I think we need a better understanding of total justification. Brother Branham said to be justified is as though you never did do it in the first place. Well, if you didn’t do it in the first place, then why are you going back again and again to ask forgiveness for the same thing?
16If you didn’t do it, then you didn’t do it. I mean once the sinner has become conscious of what God has done for them through the shed blood of His Son, then what are we dredging up old sin for anyway?
1719Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21And having an high priest over the house of God; 22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.In other words, water baptism. 23Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
18And if He is faithful that promised, then to keep going back and asking again and again shows you don’t believe that He is faithful that promised. So if you are going to doubt anything, doubt your doubts, and believe what God has said about you.
19Now, I don’t want to make this a history lesson, although I enjoy history, but let me just say a few more things about the Jewish right of water baptism which they called their form of immersion by water.
20Immersion was required for both men and women when converting to Judaism. There were three prerequisites for a proselyte coming into Judaism: Circumcision, baptism, and sacrifice Immersion is also required for several other reasons but we won’t get into those at this time.
21Paul tells us how we are to be baptized in his letter to the Colossians 2: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. Now, when you bury someone, you don’t sprinkle them with dirt, you bury them under the dirt.
22Again we see in Romans 6: 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. So again we see the baptism in water represent our dying out to self, and we are buried with Him in His death.
23Anyway, it is immersion, and if so, then why Immersion? Well, the very word Mikveh was first used in the book of Genesis 1:10 where we see, And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. And this gathering together is the Hebrew word Mikveh used for the first time. So we are looking at living waters, deep waters which he called the sea.
24The term Mikveh in Hebrew literally means any gathering of waters, but is specifically used in Jewish law for the waters or bath for the ritual immersion. The Mishnah tells us that Ezra decreed that each male should immerse himself before praying or studying. Some Jewish groups such as the Essenes observed ritual immersion daily to assure readiness for the coming of the Messiah. So we see that the ancient Jew used the Mikveh as a process of spiritual purification and cleansing, and as I said was the was seen by the Jews as no strange thing when John the Baptist came forth calling people to repentance and baptism by immersion as an outward show of an inward work of grace.
25 1 Peter 3: 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: So it is the identifying of ourselves with His death burial and resurrection. That is why we repent and then are baptized or fully immersed in water. It is to represent that we have genuinely and truly died to self.
26Acts 2:36Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38Then Peter said 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. 39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
27Now, we see here that there are two very important elements to be taken seriously in water baptism. First of all it calls for repentance which is a change of the mind. A person could be baptized every hour of their life but without repentance they just go down a dry sinner and come up a wet one.
28On the wings of a dove 65-1128E P:96 Now, the Lord can show me a vision; He could tell me what's the matter with each one of them. I can prove that to you (See?); you know that. But that don't heal them. That doesn't heal them. No, it's got to be something drop in them. See? And I hope...Like I could go up here take each one of you and baptize you in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ; that won't remit your sins. No, no. No, I don't believe in water baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ unto regeneration; I believe the Blood is regeneration (See?) now, not the waters. But, see, I could baptize and baptize, but you only go down a dry sinner, come up a wet one (See?) until you have thoroughly repented. Repent, and then be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. See? And that's where I different with the Oneness movement. Not baptizing to regeneration, no; I believe it's the Blood that cleanses, not the water. See? Repentance, and then be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ.
29Key to the door 62-1007 P:60 And that's the reason I do use the word baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ, but not to regeneration. Now, the Pentecostal, United Pentecostal church baptizes in the Name of Jesus Christ for regeneration. I don't believe that. They can do it if they want to. But I believe that Peter said repent first. Water don't remit sins. The Church of Christ preaches it that way. But I believe that repentance, godly sorrow... "Repent" means "turn around, go back, you missed the mark, start over again." Do that first. And your baptism in water is only an outward profession of something that's been done inside of you, that you have accepted Christ as your Saviour.
30You know that is where they always miss the mark, is that they don’t realize the Gospel is all about repentance, a changing of the mind. Let’s just look at what the scripture teaches concerning repentance, and I want you to notice how often it says this.
312 Peter 3: 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. So you see the Lord desires that we all repent.
33Revelation 3: 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
34Revelation 2: 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. So we see that judgment is all that is left if we do not repent.
352 Timothy 2: 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; You see, Repentance comes from God and leads us to the truth. So repentance is a changing of the mind, from unbelief to belief, and from un-right-wiseness to right-wiseness.
362 Corinthians 7: 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. Notice, the Scripture does not teach that Godly sorrow is repentance, but that it will work repentance. Just being sorry is not repentance, because the Bible speaks of having works fit for repentance.
372 Corinthians 7: 9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. Notice that it is not enough to be sorrowful, but that the sorrow leads to a change of the mind.
38Acts 26: 20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. So there are works which are meet for repentance. In other words, what good does it do to say you changed your mind, unless your actions show that you indeed have.
39Acts 20: 21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Here we see that the motive for preaching was to cause repentance, which is a change of the mind. Then what good does it do to preach what everyone already knows. You’ve go to bring forth repentance, that is what the True ministry of God will produce in the True Five Fold.
40Acts 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. So we see even John’s baptism was unto repentance.
41Acts 17: 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: There was a time when God turned his eyes, but now, there is no more excuse for sin when he has given us opportunity to be filled with His own sinless spirit.
42Acts 13: 24 When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. Again we see that John’s preaching was for one purpose and that is repentance. To get the people to repent.
43Acts 11: 18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. You see, it’s all about repentance, God granting us repentance which leads unto Life, eternal Life.
46Acts 3: 19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; repent so your sins may be blotted out. What a promise. And this Scripture is fulfilled in this very hour when the Presence of the Lord is come. And why is repentance so important?
47Luke 24: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Because repentance is what brings us under the blood of the lamb and remits our sins.
48Well, then what about those who are not willing to repent? Luke 13: 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.Luke 13: 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
49Luke 11: 32 The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. And if they were saved by repenting then, what about when the Holy Ghost is come.
51But he also said, Luke 3: 8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
62Revelation 16: 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. 11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
64Revelation 9: 20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
70So I hope you can see the importance of repentance in baptism. Because the water does not wash you clean, it is only an outward display of what has already taken place in a repentant heart. That is why we see John came forth baptizing men and the purpose was to show forth publicly their repentance.
71We see this is Mark 1: 4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And again we see this testimony of repentance in Matthew 3: 6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
72We also see this in Mark 16: 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. So a change of the mind is essential, here. Because we see what happens when they do not repent.
74Now, Peter said there is a name that is involved here. He said, first of all you must repent which means you must change your thinking, and then you must be baptized in the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ, and then you will receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Catholic church and her daughters want to argue this point and say that the words of Peter are not as important as the words of Jesus himself, and they will quote you 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: But as brother Branham taught us, father is not a name, it is a title, son is not a name it is a title and holy Spirit is not a name, it is a title. So the name is what we are baptized into. But if you were baptized using those titles, and then they said, “which is the Lord Jesus Christ”, you might want to reconsider being baptized over again.
76God of this evil age 65-0801M P:112 And when Jesus said, "Go baptize them in the Name of the Father, Son, Holy Ghost," setting that there to blind the unbeliever... Watch. Why didn't Peter carry that out word by word? He had to. If a man is baptized in the titles Father, Son, Holy Ghost, he's never been baptized at all; he has no name. Father's no name; Son's no name, and Holy Ghost is no name. Holy Ghost is what It is, like I'm a human. It is the Holy Ghost. Father's a title; I'm a father. Son is a title; I'm a son. Human is a title; that's what I am. But my name is William Branham. And the Name of the Father, Son, Holy Ghost is the Name of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "I come in My Father's Name?" What is the Father's Name? Any son comes in his father's name, and the Father's Name is Jesus Christ. See? See what I mean?
77Look, it can be proven by history that no one was ever baptized in those titles until the Catholic Church made it so 3oo years after the church had been baptizing the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is just a catholic creed and all her daughters too. Christian Baptism is not to be done in titles. The whole purpose for Christian baptism is not just repentance like the Jew who looked for Messiah that is just the beginning. Baptism is an identification of our death to self, and our dying with Christ and our being raised with Him. Baptism done correctly in this hour must be done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are not baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, you must be baptized over again,
78Acts 18: 24And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. 26And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. 27And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: 28For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ. 19:1And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2He 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. 3And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. 4Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on 5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
79What shall I do with Jesus 63-1124M P:153 If you want to be baptized, if you have took the titles Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I say this with reverence and respect, but to my way of seeing it, you are not baptized. You're not, for you haven't carried out what He said. He said, "Baptize them in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." If you just had those titles called over you... He never said, "Go call these titles, go call these names." It never was done in the Bible. It never was done that way. It was baptize the way Jesus said, "In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost," which is Jesus Christ.
80COLOSSIANS 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. So if you are not baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, then you are not doing everything in that name like you were told to do.