The water baptism is ironically probably the most watered- down order of Yeshua/ Jesus by Christian preachers & teachers !!!!
Many Christians think that baptism originated with Yeshua’s (Jesus’) cousin John the Baptist.
But baptism is a biblical thing that has been practiced regularly by all of Israel since the days of Moses.
1 Corinthians 10:1-2
Old Testament Examples
1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,
2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
Greek word baptizó
The word baptize comes from the Greek word baptizó, which primarily means a thorough change of condition accomplished through immersion.
It is written in Bibles to take the place of the Hebrew word tevilah (to totally immerse).
Even Yeshua (Jesus) did baptize !!
22 After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized.
23 Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there.
And they came and were baptized.
24 For John had not yet been thrown into prison.
25 Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification.
26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!”
Womb, grave and rebirth –> pure
The baptism personifies both the womb and the grave and consequently, rebirth. It is regarded as a pure, unadulterated avenue of connection with God; and for that reason, it is a place where hope is reawakened and strengthened.
The baptism also plays an important role from preparation for marriage.
Baptism (full-body immersion) marks a change of status from being unclean (impure or unfit for the presence of God) to clean.
This is necessary because anytime a person is to come into the presence of God, they must come pure.
Entering a baptism, therefore, is commanded in Scripture for a number of common life events.
For example, it was forbidden to come into the presence of God in the Temple without first passing through a baptism.
The Scriptures instructs that anyone who becomes unclean through contact with a dead or diseased person needs to be immersed in water before re-entering the Temple.
A baptism was also to take place after a leper had been declared healed by the priest.
“The Lord said to Moses, ‘These are the regulations for the diseased person at the time of his ceremonial cleansing… He must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water and he will be clean.’”
(Leviticus 14: 1–4, 7, 9)
Even today in Israel one of the most widely practiced uses of the baptism is in the pre-wedding preparation of the bride and groom. It’s a way of becoming pure before the marriage.
Do you remember that the Congregation is also the Bride ??
There is no better way to enter a marriage than to start off being pure!
The significance of baptism
Obviously, the primary significance of the baptism isn’t for physical cleansing, but to symbolize a spiritual cleansing.
The apostle Peter tells us that “the waters of immersion is not the removal of dirt from the body, but one’s pledge to keep a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).”
(1 Peter 3:21)
Baptism uncovered in Israel
A baptism was often a body of natural water such as a river, lake, spring, or any naturally fed gathering of water.
Over time, however, it became common to construct special pools called Mikveh or Mikvah in Hebrew.
Archaeological digs in Israel have revealed several of these man-made pools in the 2nd Temple compound, as well as in the Judean desert, built by the Qumran community (the Essenes).
Modern-day visitors to Jerusalem can see the remains of these pools near the Southern Wall excavations.
Immersion pools have also been uncovered at Masada, at the Herodian, and all over the Land of Israel.
Born again—a Jewish term
When Gentile converts go down into the waters of the baptism, they leave behind their pagan ways, symbolically dying to their old life, and come up out of the water as a newborn child with an entirely new identity. They are in essence reborn.
You do not take a water baptism to get first(s) name(s) or to be part of a church organisation.
You take a water baptism into Yeshua (Jesus) !!
Understanding that the term “born again” referred on the conversation between Yeshua (Jesus) and Nicodemus (a Jewish pharisee) in the Book of John.
Nicodemus wondered, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” (John 3:4)
From his Jewish perspective, Nicodemus essentially asked, “How can I convert to God of Israel if I am already a Jew?”
Yeshua answered, “A man must be born of water and Spirit.” (John 3:5)
He was explaining to Nicodemus that we cannot rely on our “Jewishness” (or any other heritage or religion) to enter the kingdom of heaven.
A conversion of our spiritual condition is necessary for salvation.
The God of Israel regards the baptism as a symbolic expression of rebirth.
The baptism represents the mother’s womb, which is called in Hebrew rechem.
This comes from the same root as the Hebrew word for mercy (rahamah).
Immersing fully into the waters of the baptism is like re-entering the womb, the place of mercy; of God’s creative power.
Emerging from the baptism is like being born again.
Death and resurrection
Immersion in a baptism also represents death and resurrection. A person under water enters a death-like state, like a person descending into a grave. When he comes back out of the water, he comes back to life as a new creation.
When we are immersed into Yeshua Hamashiach (the Messiah/ Jesus Christ), we also become a new creation:
2 Corinthians 5:17:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Paul- as a Jew- knew this
Paul understood this death and rebirth imagery of the immersion and compared it to the death and resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus):
“Don’t you know that all of us who were immersed into Messiah Yeshua (Christ Jesus) were immersed into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism [immersion] into death in order that, just as Messiah (Christ) was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
Declaration of faith
When Believers are immersed in the waters of the baptism, as a declaration of faith in Yeshua (Jesus), they have the hope of a new life, a new beginning in Him.
As in the beginning, the disciples shared the belief with other believers that baptism requires someone to confess his or her faith in Yeshua (Jesus) and be fully immersed.
But notice also, you need both:
the water baptism and the Holy Spirit to be saved !!
you need both:
the water baptism and the Holy Spirit to be saved !!
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Immersion and Repentance
In the New Testament, John the Baptist arrived in the desert and began proclaiming the message that Yeshua (Jesus) would also proclaim after His own immersion:
“Turn from your sins to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near! … confessing their sins, they were immersed by him in the Jordan River.” (Matthew 3:1–6)
His message of turn and repent is the message of Teshuvah !!
Teshuvah is a familiar message for example during the High Holy Days of The Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement and The Feast of Tabernacles.
Link –> The Feasts of the Lord
During these Feasts of the Lord, Israel is to assess her spiritual condition and turn back to God.
The chronology in the Gospels reveals that John the Baptist`s arrival took place in the fall, which is the time for these feasts.
The baptism would have been a sign of inward cleansing in spiritual preparation for the Holy Days. Yeshua (Jesus) Himself entered the waters of baptism at this time.
The Great Comission
It is evident from Yeshua’s (Jesus`) final instructions below that baptism would play a part in making all the Gentile nations into disciples of the Jewish Messiah.
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
Be blessed in Yeshua`s name !!!!
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