|Baptism in Living Water Created by God|
|Written by arkwriter|
|Sunday, 14 June 2009 15:43|
BAPTISM INTO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
7. Baptism in Living Water Created by God
The terminology “Living Water” is used in Scriptures with literal as well as spiritual meanings. In describing the beauty of “my sister, my spouse” Solomon wrote about “a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters,” (Songs 4:12,15)
Water that has the Blood of Jesus Christ Jeremiah informs us the Lord Jesus Christ is “the Fountain of Living Waters.” (Jer. 17:13) Zechariah foretold, “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.” (Zec. 13:1) This fountain was opened at the Crucifixion when “. . . one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.” (Jn. 19:34) Water, in itself, has no power to remit sins. When water is combined with the blood of Jesus Christ it becomes alive. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” (Lev. 17:11) The Blood of Jesus Christ must be present in the water so that it becomes the Living Water. Only the Living Water that includes the Blood of Jesus Christ can wash away the sins. The efficacious baptism that remits sins is “. . . not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.” (1 Jn. 5:6)
Water that is Moved by the Holy Spirit Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke to the woman at the well, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you Living Water. . . But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” (Jn. 4: 10, 14) Our Lord had also declared: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of Living Water. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit , whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (Jn. 7:38-39) Our Lord referred to the Holy Spirit as “Living Water”. In a sense, the water can only be described as “Living Water” when the Holy Spirit is present in the water. At Creation “. . . the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Gen. 1:2) When God’s Spirit came into contact with the water it became alive, and creation takes place.
The Spirit, the Water and the Blood The Holy Bible gives us this important revelation. “And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.” (1 Jn. 5:8) Nearly two thousand years ago on Mount Calvary, the Spirit, the water and the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bore witness on earth and agreed as one that He died for our sins. Today, the Spirit, the water and the blood of Jesus Christ also bear witness on earth as the Living Water. All three also agree as one that through our baptism into His Living Water our sins are washed away.
Water in the River that has life and saves lives The prophet Ezekiel describes a river that heals and makes alive. “And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.” (Ezek. 47:9) The river that heals and makes fish alive refers to the river of blood and water that flowed out from our Savior’s body on the cross. Fish symbolizes people who are saved. Jesus told His disciples, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mt. 4:19) This river of the Savior’s blood and water is flowing all over the world where the Holy Spirit leads. “There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The most holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.” (Psm. 46:4) Our Lord Jesus Christ entered the most holy place and shed His Blood for the sins of mankind. The river that began in “the most holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High” can only refer to the river of blood and water that flowed from our Lord’s veins and came out from His body (Jn. 19:34). This river that is divided into many streams indicates there is only one source but many outlets are formed. This precious truth of the river of living water must be shared with every Christian in the world.
The Mighty Waters that Save Lives and Destroy the Enemies Water is the most common element in the world. Without water all living creatures would die; and yet water could also destroy people by drowning. God had used the mighty waters to save His own people and to destroy His enemies on two occasions. During the Great Flood “all flesh died that moved on the earth” and “only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive.” (Gen. 7:20-24) The second time that God used the mighty waters to accomplish His purpose was the crossing of the Red Sea (Ex. 14:21-31). Both miracles prefigure God’s salvation through water baptism. The Holy Bible informs us about the longsuffering of God who “waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 3:20-21) “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, . . .” (1 Cor. 10:1-2) “Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea and a path through the mighty waters.” (Isa. 43:16) Again, we read in the Holy Bible, “Your way was in the sea, Your path in the great waters, and Your footsteps were not known.” (Psm. 77:19) God had used the mighty waters in the sea to save His people from their enemies, but He also uses it to destroy sin that is the people’s real enemy. “Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Mic. 7:18-19) Some may want to know how God casts sin, an intangible element, into the depths of the sea. He does it through water baptism into the Lord Jesus Christ that has the power over sin. that has the effect of remitting sins When it is administered correctly by Spirit-filled baptists in Living Water, that is, when the Holy Spirit and the Blood of Jesus Christ is present, all sins are remitted.
Living Water refers to natural places that are created by God “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth - to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people - saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” (Rev. 14:7) Our God is the Creator of all things in this universe, but He wants to draw our attention to “the sea and springs of water”. In these last days God wants His people to worship Him as their Creator and return to natural baptismal sites that are created by Him. When you read the New Testament you will find that the Lord Jesus Christ and the primitive Christians were baptized in natural places with much water such as rivers, springs and the sea (Mt. 3:5-5; Jn. 3:22-23). When Christianity spread to Europe, especially in Rome, the early Christians were severely persecuted. Christianity went underground and public baptism in the open became non-existent. Christians used to meet in catacombs or underground caves and it became impossible to baptize converts in Living Water. As a result, baptism by complete immersion soon gave way to sprinkling and other more convenient modes. The true form of water baptism was altogether forgotten by the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. After the Reformation in the Sixteenth Century, Christians began to rediscover more truths regarding water baptism.
One of the greatest truths ever discovered in the Twentieth Century is Baptism in Living Water. Throughout the Scriptures we find that water baptism had been administered in natural places of God’s creation. Some may contend that on the Day of Pentecost the three thousand people could have been baptized in the pools of Jerusalem. Actually, there is no support for this assumption at all. However, there is a clear record that states where people in Jerusalem were baptized. “Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.” (Mt. 3:5-6). If the people living in Jerusalem could go to the River Jordan to be baptized by John the Baptist, the three thousand people could also have gone to the same river to receive water baptism. Remember the Biblical mode of immersing oneself in the forward motion with head bowed may be administered to all three thousand people in the River Jordan at the same time. How wonderful is the correct mode of baptism!Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch were riding in a chariot. “Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized? . . . So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.” (Acts 8:36-38) The eunuch was baptized in a desert spring that is large enough to be visible at a distance from a moving vehicle, and deep enough for two people to go down.In Philippi Paul had preached to Lydia on the riverside. After she and her household believed in the Lord Jesus Christ they must have been baptized in the river (Acts 16:11-15). The jailer and his family, who lived in the same city, must have also been baptized in the same river (Acts 16:30-34). Paul rebaptized about twelve disciples in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-6) It is a city that is situated near the river mouth and the Aegean Sea. There are many baptismal sites in this city. Most of cities where churches were established have suitable places for baptism. Our God of Miracles provided the Living Water
Many people have asked me this question. What about places with no living water like rivers, seas or springs? How will Christians be baptized? I would like to share a testimony about how the Lord Jesus Christ solved this problem in South India several years ago. The Madras area did not have rain for two and half years, and the people were suffering because there was lack of water. All the rivers and streams had dried up. In October 1969 the Lord sent two ministers to preach the gospel in that area. I was one of them and the other minister was John Chin. After the first open air meeting in Pammal Settlement the Lord performed a great miracle. That same evening the Lord poured down rain only in the village that we had preached. All the surrounding villages remained dry. The people living in Pammal brought out containers to collect the rain water. They all talked about the One True God in the Lord Jesus Christ. On the second evening of the Gospel Meeting, 69 souls accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. and were baptized into Him. God had filled a depressed portion of the river with rain water the previous evening. It was big and deep enough to administer water baptism. Our Lord is a God of miracles. He had not only given rain to the people in Pammal so that they would believe in Him, but had also created the Living Water so that they could be baptized in it. We give all the glory and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Do not forsake the Fountain of Living Waters Jeremiah wrote: “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the Fountain of Living Waters, and hewn themselves cisterns - broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jer. 2:13). This is a prophecy spoken by the Almighty God to His people who have committed two evils. The first evil was to forsake the Lord Jesus Christ as the Fountain of Living Waters. A fountain is a perennial spring that continually gives out water. It never runs dry. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Eternal Fountain.. God’s people have forsaken the truth of the blood and water that flowed from our Lord’s body. This Fountain is still with us today because of the witness of the Holy Spirit. The second evil that God’s people have committed is to hew themselves cisterns that cannot hold water continuously. Although Jeremiah was not writing about water baptism, nevertheless the same principle may be applied to it. Man created the hewn cisterns therefore have a contrast with God’s natural Fountain of Living Water. The Roman Catholic church have ceased administering baptism in natural places that are created by God, and have been using baptismal fonts for dipping the fingers and marking crosses on foreheads. The Protestant churches have only made slight improvements. Some of the newer churches use baptismal tanks with paintings of river scenes. Some have used swimming pools and even bath tubs. All these artificial baptismal sites are man’s creation. God’s people must return to the Fountain of Living Water and baptize in natural places such as rivers, streams, springs and seas (Rev. 14:7)
May God bless you.
- to be continued -
|Last Updated on Sunday, 14 June 2009 15:59|