Israel’s Three Prophetic Baptisms #8

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

“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:” (Matthew 3:11 KJV).

Let us review why Israel’s three prophetic baptisms do not apply to us:

  1. John’s water baptism: God the Father sent John the Baptist to “make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17). John preaches to Israel, “Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [approaching, near]” (Matthew 3:2). John’s water baptism is to prepare Israel to become a “kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:5,6; cf. 1 Peter 2:5,9), since Israel needs the Old Testament priests’ ceremonial washing. Jews who listen to John’s message and experience his water baptism form “the little flock,” the believing remnant of Israel that will inherit Christ’s earthly kingdom (Luke 12:32).
  2. The baptism with the Holy Ghost: On Pentecost (Acts chapter 2), Jesus Christ baptized that “little flock” (His apostles and disciples) with God’s Holy Spirit. This was to empower them to continue what He (Jesus Christ) had begun during His earthly ministry (that is, lead Israel to faith in Him as their Messiah-King; Luke 24:47-49; Acts 1:8).
  3. The fire baptism: Jews who refused the two above baptisms would receive the fire baptism, God’s wrath. Unbelieving Jews would never enter Christ’s earthly kingdom. They would perish in the fire baptism (the Tribulation, Christ’s Second Coming, and eventually hellfire), as described in Matthew 24:36-42, Luke 17:26-37, and Revelation 19:11-21.

When we understand that the three “baptisms” in today’s Scripture are unique to Israel’s prophetic kingdom program spoken by the Old Testament prophets (Acts 3:21), and that we Gentiles in the Dispensation of Grace live in the mystery (secret) program which God hid from the Old Testament prophets (Romans 16:25), it becomes apparently clear that we are totally isolated from Israel’s baptisms. When we understand that Paul is our apostle (Romans 11:13), we follow his epistles Romans through Philemon, and faith does not lead us to practice Israel’s water baptism, seek Israel’s “Pentecostal power,” or fear Israel’s Tribulation.

Israel’s Three Prophetic Baptisms #5

Saturday, July 14, 2012

“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:” (Matthew 3:11 KJV).

Do we in the Dispensation of Grace have any relation to the three baptisms of today’s Scripture?

BAPTISM #1: WATER BAPTISM

Water baptism is perhaps the most controversial Bible topic (someone once aptly termed it “religious TNT!”). Christendom argues more about water baptism than anything else. For salvation, or for a testimony only? Sprinkling, pouring, or immersion? Adults only, or infants too? What type of water? Priest or preacher? What words should be said when its administered? How many times forward? Backward?

The above confusion regarding the doctrine of water baptism is immediately dispelled when we, “Study to shew [ourselves] approved unto God, [workmen] that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth(2 Timothy 2:15). When we study God’s Word dispensationally, we understand that all of the Bible is for us, but not all of the Bible is to us or about us.

We are the Church the Body of Christ, so we must be careful to never confuse ourselves with the nation Israel (which the professing “Church” has done for almost 2,000 years!). All this talk in religion about “following Jesus in believers’ water baptism” is predicated on the false presumption that Jesus was water baptized as our example. Actually, He was setting an example for Jews, His kingdom of priests, who needed the Old Testament priests’ ceremonial washing to enter His earthly kingdom (John 1:31).

Water baptism does not belong in our dispensation: Paul wrote, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel…” (1 Corinthians 1:17). There is one baptism” for our Dispensation of Grace (Ephesians 4:5). What is it? “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…” (1 Corinthians 12:13). When someone places his or her faith in Jesus Christ alone as personal Saviour, the Holy Spirit places that person into the Body of Christ. There is no water or preacher/priest involved in our baptism.

Israel’s Three Prophetic Baptisms #4

Friday, July 13, 2012

“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:” (Matthew 3:11 KJV).

Let us review Israel’s three prophetic baptisms listed in today’s Scripture:

  1. John’s water baptism: John the Baptist preached, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [approaching, near]” (verse 2). The first step in anointing believing Jews to become priests in Christ’s kingdom was to have them wash with water like Israel’s priests did before entering the ministry (Exodus 29:4). Israel needed to prepare for her coming Messiah (Jesus) by confessing her national sins (breaking the Old Covenant) and being water baptized of John.
  2. The Holy Ghost baptism: Israel’s Messiah Jesus will baptize her with God’s Holy Spirit (Acts chapter 2). This was the second and final step in anointing believing Jews to become God’s priests. After washing with water, Israel’s priests were anointed with oil (Exodus 29:7). Oil in Scripture is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, the “anointing” that believing Jews received on Pentecost (John 7:39 cf. 1 John 2:20,27).
  3. The fire baptism: A Jew needed both John’s baptism and the Holy Ghost baptism in order to function as a priest in Christ’s kingdom: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). This is why water baptism was necessary for salvation in Israel’s program (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). Any Jew who refused the two above baptisms would receive the fire baptism, God’s wrath. Unbelieving Jews would never enter Christ’s earthly kingdom, previously perishing in the fire baptism (Christ’s Second Coming, and eventually hellfire). Joel 2:28-32 and Acts 2:16-21 indicate this fire baptism would have occurred shortly after Acts chapter 2 (the Holy Spirit baptism). However, God interrupted and temporarily suspended Israel’s program: our Dispensation of Grace postponed this fire baptism, which is yet future (notice Israel’s prophetic timeline of Joel 2:28-32 and Acts 2:16-21 knew nothing of our dispensation occurring between baptisms 2 and 3).