Paul told the Ephesians that there was just one baptism. So is it John the Baptist's water baptism that he was sent by God to perform or is it the holy Spirit baptism that John said that Jesus would perform.

Baptism is essential but you need to know what baptism it is that you need. Study these articles to understand why you need to be baptized by Jesus and to understand what happened to water baptism.


The New Birth CD Set

"You must be born again.", but when were the disciples born again? Speaking in tongues, baptism of the holy spirit and the New Birth. A 3 CD set, 3 hours of wonderful teaching Was it before they received the baptism of the holy spirit? What did Jesus have to do to make the new birth available? This reasoned discussion of the bible's revelation will answer these questions and remove the confusion. Learn how the spirit of antichrist has confused God's people on this fundamental issue. This 3 CD set available at cost price from our eBay storePurchase at cost on ebay. Knowing who is, and who is not born again is perhaps the most important understanding that you can gain.

Suggested Further Reading

Four fundamental truths of the faithSpiritual Light is the result of four visitations from the Lord over a period of 4 years. Starting with the 3rd commandment and then insight into Christ's sacrifice the book reveals desperately needed understanding that dispels the confusion about conversion, baptism, salvation and works.

Related Topics

Other subjects from the topical index related to the New Birth.
Salvation & Conversion
The New Birth
Speaking in Tongues
The Holy Spirit

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Cover of Speaking in Tongues at Spirit baptism book. read online now.
Essential understanding of the connection between speaking in tongues, the new birth and the holy spirit baptism. Read Speaking in Tongues at Spirit Baptism online now.

Thought for Today
Feb. 20


There are some facts that are so basic to one's understanding of the New Testament books that without being aware of them, one cannot possibly understand what the apostles wrote. Beginning today, I will present to you the essentials with which every student of the New Testament ought to begin his study. Before opening for the first time any of the books written by the apostles, one ought to already know these things. Fathers, teach these truths to your children. Pastors ought to teach these fundamentals to the congregation. These are foundations upon which all right knowledge of the truth of Christ is laid.

Fundamental #4


Early in each one of the four gospels we are told of John the Baptizer, a man so great in the sight of God that even his coming was foretold by other, more ancient prophets (Isa. 40:1-8; Mal. 3:1). Jesus called John "much more than a prophet" (Lk. 7:26), and told the multitude, "Among those that are born of women, there is not a greater than John the Baptizer" (Lk. 7:28).

John was the first man ordained by God to wash others with water since Moses, who lived about thirteen hundred years earlier. This is one reason that so many in John's day "mused in their hearts of John, if he were the Christ or not." He certainly was a prophet somewhat "like unto Moses", whom the ancient prophets foretold would come to Israel.

"And they asked him, 'Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ . . .?'"

"And he confessed, and denied not, but confessed 'I am not the Christ.'"

Not surprisingly, John and his holy work were misunderstood in his own time, even though John did his part to make himself and his work clear to Israel. The real tragedy is that John and his work are still a mystery, not only to Israel but also to the saints. The absence of this foundation in the hearts of God's people today has resulted in a world of conflict and confusion for the children of God. Being ignorant of the truth, they are so often like "sitting ducks" for those ministers of Satan who hunt the souls of men.

We cannot understand Jesus before we understand John. That is why God sent John before Jesus: "to prepare the way of the Lord." Understanding Jesus, of course, is far more important than understanding John; but that is not the issue. The building is always of more importance than the foundation. The point is that we must have the foundation of John and his baptism properly laid in our hearts before we can fully appreciate the greater one, Jesus, and his greater baptism.

From John's own words, then, and from Biblical record of the things John did, here are a few elemental truths about John and what God sent him to do:

A. Like Jesus, John was sent only to the house of Israel (Jn. 1:29-31). No Samaritans or Gentiles ever came to John to be baptized, and if they had come, they would have been rejected. John was not sent to them.

B. John's baptism was for some Jews, not for all of them. His baptism was given only to those Jews who truly repented when they heard him preach (Mt.3:5-9). There were many Jews who came to John to be baptized and were sternly rejected because they had not repented. John was so close to God that he knew who was prepared for his "baptism of repentance" and who was not. No one fooled John because no one could fool God.

C. John's baptism was from heaven (Lk.7: 24-30; 20:1-8). John did not invent his baptism. He was sent by God to do exactly what he did and to say exactly what he said when he did it.

D. John's baptism always was accompanied by a specifically worded message (Acts 19:1-5). If John's exact message did not attend his water baptism, it was not John's baptism, as Paul taught those twelve Ephesian disciples whom he met. They thought they had received John's baptism, but they had not heard about the holy Ghost baptism. Learning this, Paul explained to them that they had not really received John's baptism because "John came saying". And since, being Jews, they were required by God to receive John's baptism (even though John himself was dead by then), Paul re-baptized them with John's real baptism for the Jews, this time using John's words. Then, those twelve humble men received the holy Ghost baptism from Jesus and spoke with other tongues, just as John had said they should.

E. Mere water baptism is not John's baptism. The various forms of water baptism that Christians practice and teach are strange baptisms invented by Christians without any ordination of God whatsoever. There are only two baptisms that God has ever ordained, John's and Jesus', and only one of them was intended to be permanent. The time for John's baptism is long passed, and every other form of water baptism has been worthless to start with. For this reason, Paul proclaimed that there is but one baptism that matters at all to God (Eph. 4:5).

F. John's baptism was a prophetic symbol of Jesus' baptism, the baptism of the holy Spirit and fire (Mt. 3:11; etc.). When Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to the Father, he brought about the baptism of men's spirits, and the need for John's baptism began to fade away. As John himself confessed, "He must increase, and I must decrease."

G. The holy Ghost baptism is greater (Mt. 3:13-15) and was destined to completely replace John's baptism (Jn. 3:28-30; Eph. 4:5; 1Cor. 1:10-17). John's baptism was but one of the many ceremonial symbols that God gave to Israel to point them to their Messiah. When the Messiah came and accomplished his work in Israel, there was no more need for John's baptism than there was for animal sacrifices or holy days. These things were the "shadow" of Christ, and the shadows all faded away as the light came to us.

H. John's baptism prepared Jews to receive the holy Ghost baptism.

This is the last element of confusion that needs to be cleared up for this generation concerning the purpose of John's baptism. On several occasions, John's baptism is called a baptism "unto repentance for the remission of sins". On this basis, many have wrongly concluded that John's baptism remitted, or washed away, sins. But no amount of earthly water can wash away sins. Sin is a matter of the heart (Mt. 15:19-20); water baptism, being a natural, fleshly thing, cannot cleanse that part of a man. Jesus' baptism of man's spirit is the only baptism that can cleanse man's heart from sin.

John's baptism was a divine seal, a testimony from John that a person had repented and was prepared for the baptism of the holy Ghost that Jesus would make available after he ascended to the Father to offer himself as a sacrifice for our sins. John's was a "baptism of repentance" because it was given only to those Jews who repented. It was for "the remission of sins" because it prepared those whom John baptized to receive the remission of sins that Jesus' baptism gives. John's baptism was "for remission of sins" not because it remitted sins but because it qualified the Jews who received it to receive remission of sins. In your Bible, you will never find one Jew who received the holy Ghost from God unless he had been prepared for the remission of sins by John's baptism.

No reasonable person can believe that earthly water can remit sins. But wrong ideas about God make us unreasonable. Plato once said that "whatever deceives, bewitches." In other words, when we receive a lie into our souls, we are brought under a spell. Lies have power; they have influence in the heart of those who believe them. Every lie comes from some unclean spirit, and we are brought, to some extent, under the power of that unclean spirit when we believe its lie. But Jesus promised that the truth would set us free. God's children need to know the foundational truth about John the Baptizer so that they can be free and escape the dark power of Christianity and its lies about God.

This is the fourth stone that I have used to lay out for you for a sure foundation, upon which you may safely build your faith as you grow in the light of God.