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SEVEN BAPTISMS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
by Dr. Fred Wittman
I. THE BAPTISM UNTO MOSES
1 Cor.10:1,2,5,6,11 cf. Ex. 4:1-9-12,13-16,21
UNTO REDEMPTION--FREE FROM BONDAGE AND SIN
“Now, O brothers, I determinedly will that you& not be ignorant that all our /fathers were under the shaped cloud[Ex. 13:21] and all went between, through the sea[Ex. 14:22]. And all got themselves baptized[aorist middle] unto /Moses in the shaped cloud and in the sea” (1 Cor. 10:1,2).
The first baptism from an historical stand point mentioned in The New Testament is the baptism of the children of Israel unto Moses. The children of Israel spent four hundred years in Egypt. The last hundred of those years were spent in bondage and oppression. In order for The God to deliver them out of that bondage, He insisted that a lamb be slain (for a family or house). Then they had to dip a bunch of hyssop into the blood and strike it on the door lintel and two side posts. All those in the house were spared when the death Angel passed over all the houses where the blood was properly applied. These were identified with The God by applying the blood as The God commanded. (This was the final plague of ten against every god in Egypt.) Scripture doesn’t specifically state that the Egyptians put blood on their houses, but the account of this historical event records that a mixed multitude went out of Egypt with them (Ex. 12:38). This great mixed multitude was identified with The God’s children that were redeemed by the blood of the Passover Lamb applied to the door posts and lintel of their houses (and later also redeemed by power as they passed through the Red Sea by faith), but those who were not children of Israel were not God’s chosen people. Even as there is a great mixed multitude in the congregation of The God’s Church, the Bride of Christ today made up of those who are regenerated by The God’s Holy Spirit and those who go along with them with a profession which does not include total commitment of trust in The Lord Jesus Christ.
The children of Israel [Scriptural term for the descendants or offspring of Jacob whose name The God changed to Israel (Gen. 32:28)] journeyed out of Goshen in Egypt in the wee hours of the morning, led by The God in a pillar of fire overhead. In daylight they were led by The God in a shaped cloud (Ex. 13:18-22). They went southeast to Succoth and further on to Etham. (At this point archaeologists and Bible geographers are divided over speculations concerning exact locations of the sites mentioned in Scripture concerning the crossing of the Red or Reed Sea due to the subsequent excavation of the Suez Canal. Therefore we must rely upon the Scripture Text to surmise the situation. “The Wilderness of Judea” or the Judean Desert where The Lord Jesus Christ was tempted for forty days (Lk. 4: 1-6) was a vast, rocky, and steep mountainous area. This gives us some idea of what the Wilderness of Shur was like.) Pharaoh had second thoughts about the escape of the mixed multitude. He and his army pursued them. While “encamped at Etham in the edge of the wilderness” (Ex. 13:20), The LORD spoke to Moses (Ex. 14:1).
“Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in ” (Exodus 14:2,3).
The LORD told Moses to turn back and encamp by the sea before Pihahiroth (here the LXX uses the word for “homestead” ), in between Migdol (LXX uses the word meaning “tower or fortified city) and the sea over against (LXX has “in full view of”) Baal-zephon (possibly a temple of the lord of the dark, if true another god of Egyptians shown to be impotent ) so that the mixed multitude would be hemmed in on all sides. There was the Red Sea before them and a mountainous region on one side in full view of Baal-zephon and a fortified Egyptian city on the other, with the Egyptian Army in full force rapidly approaching them from behind. However The God heard the Israelites cry out in dreaded fear and stopped the Egyptians and protected the mixed multitude with the pillar of fire at night to give them warmth and light. But at the same time He gave a shaped cloud and darkness to the Egyptian army (Ex. 14:9-12).
Yes, the children of Israel were hemmed in just as Satan tries to hem us in after we come to Christ to turn back and Satan is there ready to take them back again into bondage. However, The God already has redeemed the children of Israel by the blood of the Passover Lamb. Now He has led them to the edge of the sea, the place where they are about to be redeemed by power by means of baptism. We noted in the Introduction:
The word ‘baptism’ is the translation of the Greek noun βάπτισμα (Báhptismah), which comes from the verb βαπτίζω (bahptéez0) translated ‘baptize’ and means ‘to make whelmed, (i.e. to fully wet).’ βαπτίζω comes from the root word βάπτω (bahpt0) which means ‘to whelm, i.e. to cover wholly with a fluid and is sometimes translated ‘to dip.’ βάπτω is also used to indicate the act of dying, “to dye,” that is to dip a cloth or material into a vat of liquid to change its color. The cloth is not changed, only the appearance and color is changed. However baptism is an inner change producing an action whereby there are seven factors in connection with each of the seven baptisms.
Moses referred to this baptism “as unto Moses in the shaped cloud and in the sea.” A cloud is water in the form of vapor from which rain descends. They went under the cloud and through the sea whelmed with water over their heads in the shaped cloud and two walls of water, one on each side of the channel through which they walked but the Egyptians drowned. They went down under the water without getting wet. But before they went forward a message was proclaimed (Ex. 14:13-16). Before every baptism there is a message proclaimed. Remember what was written in the Introduction.
“Baptism is an action whereby there are seven factors in connection with each of the seven baptisms:
1. A Particular Message Proclaimed,
2. A Faith Proven,
3. An Action Performed,
4. A Confession Pronounced,
5. A Meaning Projected,
6. An Indication Produced, and
7. An Identification Professed.
A. THE PARTICULAR MESSAGE PROCLAIMED (Ex.14:13-15).
First of all this particular message must precede the other six considerations and must follow redemption by blood. This message instigated the baptism. It brought on the baptism and accompanied it. The message contains two parts.
1. “Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord” (v. 13).
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever” (Ex. 14:13).
First they were to stand still to see the salvation by the LORD, (this salvation is redemption by God’s power which frees them from bondage to the enemy). Before one can be saved, it is necessary to see the salvation of the LORD. The salvation of the LORD cannot be seen while looking in fright at the enemy posed to strike with destruction. It can only be seen when looking to The LORD in faith. When the Israelites saw The LORD open the way before them while holding back the enemy from advancing, they were ready for the second instruction.
2. “Go forward” to follow on. ( Jesus says, “follow me” ). The Israelites went forward and proved their faith. They went forward and took the step of baptism. When Paul described their action, he used the middle voice, they “all got themselves baptized” (1 Cor. 10:2 APT). It is not enough to just mentally believe that the blood of The Passover Lamb was shed and applied, but faith, totally committed trust must be proved by action in proceeding to follow The Lord Jesus Christ in getting yourself baptized.
B. A FAITH PROVEN (exercised) (Ex.14:21,22).
“And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and The LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left” (Ex. 14:21,22).
How did they prove (exercise) their faith?
1. Moses did something that he was told by The God to do (v. 16). Firstly, The God’s servant, Moses exercised faith. He did what God told him to do. He stretched his rod in his hand out over the sea. After that, it was then that The God did something and they saw the salvation of the Lord.
2. Secondly the children of Israel proved or exercised their faith by stepping forward to go forth into the sea on dry ground.
3. Thirdly the children of Israel went and took the step of baptism.
See the picture: A strong east wind kept blowing all night, the fire of The God warms the children of Israel redeemed by blood and preserves them while they prepare to go through the sea. They felt the tempest of God; they suffered fear and anxiety. They sensed and had experiential knowledge of the presence of The LORD. If you want to enjoy the presence of The LORD, you must realize two things: the purchased redemption by blood and the tempest that’s involved in redemption, that God is dealing with the enemies of darkness in order to open the way before us.
4. Their baptism was an indication of their faith. It is the same for disciples today. Moses did something he was told by God to do. Israel did what Moses told them to do. They stepped forward into the sea, conscious of the tempest and of the presence of The LORD. God dealt with the enemies in darkness while dealing with His people in the light of the fire by night.
C. THE ACTION PERFORMED (Ex.14:27,29; 1 Cor. 10:1,2; Rom. 6:4 cf. 1 Cor. 15:57).
“And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. . . .And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and The LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left” (Ex. 14:22,27-29).
1. They walked into the midst of the sea--passing through the sea, and not just into the sea. They were down in the midst of the sea and down under the cloud (v. 22 cf. 1 Cor. 10:1,2).
2. There is a burial of their bondage and of the Egyptians (their past life) and now they live a new life free from bondage (Ex. 14:28).
3. They walked in a new relationship with The God who wrought the great victory.
D. THE CONFESSION PRONOUNCED (Ex.14:11,12).
1. In their own sight and by their own admission they were virtually dead!
“And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness” (Ex. 14:11,12).
2. They reasoned, “There is no reason for us to consider any hope of escape.” Thus the former life is gone - we are dead. Before we can experience redemption we must die outright to self, sin, and the world. Even as the Israelites came to the end of themselves facing death and slavery to Egypt, which pictures or is a type of the world.
3. Although they were virtually dead, they were redeemed!
“The LORD is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation: He is my God, and I will prepare Him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him. . . . Thou stretchedst out Thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: Thou hast guided them in Thy strength unto Thy holy habitation. . . . by the greatness of Thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till Thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased” (Ex. 15:2,12,13,16 ).
How were they redeemed? By blood! and by power!
a. Firstly, by blood! First that little lamb was selected. He had to be a male without blemish taken on the tenth day of the month. Then he was kept until the fourteenth day and slain after three P.M. His blood was shed and applied to the two side posts and lintel of the door of the house. Then that Passover Lamb was roasted with fire. This looked forward to Jesus, the Passover Lamb of God, and His precious blood that He shed for the sins of the world and suffered the fire of The God’s wrath on Calvary for three hours in supernatural darkness.
b. Secondly, by Power! They had to be severed from the past life of sin and bondage and complaining and murmuring. They were in Egypt in bondage and The God in His miraculous power had to free them from bondage by means of baptism under the cloud and through the bottom of the sea between two great walls of water. Just as disciples today do not get baptized till there is the evidence that they have been delivered from the power of sin. Baptism is burial, one is virtually dead to the former life, redeemed, and now living a new life, “to walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).
E. THE MEANING PROJECTED: REDEMPTION! (Ex. 15:6,13,16).
The song of Moses reflected that Israel was redeemed in power by The LORD destroying the enemy’s power.
“Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. . . . Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: Thou hast guided them in Thy strength unto Thy holy habitation. . . . by the greatness of Thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till Thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased” (Ex. 15:6,13,16).
1. On the Cross of Calvary The Lord Jesus Christ dashed in pieces the power of the enemy. He became glorious in power as He defeated Satan with his own weapon (Heb. 2:14,15).
“Therefore since the little children stand partaken of flesh and blood, He also Himself associated in sharing similarly the& same things in order that through the death He destroy the one having the might of the death, this one is the devil. And He rid judicially |from him| the ones, as many as because of fear of death through all the process of absolute living, were ones held guilty under bondage” (Heb. 2:14,15 APT).
2. The LORD redeemed the children of Israel and separated them from Egypt forever (Ex. 15:13; Deut. 17:16).
“Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: Thou hast guided them in Thy strength unto Thy holy habitation” (Ex. 15:13).
“But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way” (Deut. 17:16).
Israel is redeemed by power from the world (Egypt) and its pleasures and lusts, to be recognized as God’s “peculiar people” (Ex. 19:5,6 cf. Tit. 2:13,14; 1 Pet. 2:9).
“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel” (Ex. 19:5,6).
“while continually expectantly awaiting the blessed hope and the glorious splendid appearing of The Great God and Savior of ours, Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself in behalf of us in order that He by Himself ransom us from all lawlessness and cleanse for Himself a special chosen people, one boiling-zealous of intrinsically good works” (Tit. 2:13,14 APT).
“But yourselves: an elect genus, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for a purchased possession” (1 Pet. 2:9 APT).
F. THE INDICATION PRODUCED: FREE from BONDAGE and SIN (Ex. 14:30,31).
The life of bondage to sin and the world is over and new life serving God has begun.
1. Freedom from bondage and sin -- the former life of slavery which ensnared every Israelite to serve as a bondslave in sin to the Egyptians is past. There were not able to freely offer sacrifices for sin to The God before the ten plagues. Egypt represents the world. After getting themselves baptized unto Moses, the children of Israel were free from bondage and sin in Egypt. That life of bondage is now over. Every human is in bondage to sin and ensnared (entangled) in the world (Rom. 3:14,25; 8:5,6).
“For we are aware that the law is spiritual, but I myself am continually fleshly[controlled by the flesh] standing sold under the Sin. . . . Really therefore myself, I myself serve as a bondslave: on the one hand with the comprehension to 0God’s law, but on the other hand with the flesh, to Sin’s 0law” (Rom. 3:14,25 APT).
“For the ones being according to 0flesh continually mind the things of the flesh, but the ones according to 0Spirit, the things of The Spirit. For the frame of mind of the flesh |is| death! But the frame of mind of The Spirit |is| absolute life and peace! for the reason that the frame of mind of the flesh |is| enmity against God! For it is not under subjection to the law of The God. For neither is it possible” (Rom. 8:5-7 APT).
Since all are in bondage to Sin the master (see Leaflets on web entitled Fragmentary or Full Salvation, click here if already on the web), we need to be freed from that bondage and have the old life of Sin buried by baptism.
2. A new life, serving God, is begun. The old master, Sin is replaced with the New Master, Righteousness (Rom. 6:11-18).
“So also you& yourselves reckon yourselves! on the one hand to be dead ones to the Sin, but on the other hand absolutely living ones to The God in Christ Jesus, The Lord of ours. Therefore the Sin is to stop reigning in the mortal body of yours& so that you& |not | continue obeying it in its /cravings! Neither continue yielding your& /members as weapons[war implements] of unrighteousness for the Sin! But on the contrary offer[stand alongside to present] yourselves at once |as sacrifices| to The God, as ones absolutely living out of 0dead ones and your /members as weapons[war implements] of righteousness for The God! For 0Sin shall not exercise lordship over you&. For you& are not under 0law, but [on the contrary] under grace. What then? Should we sin, because we are not under 0law, but[on the contrary] under grace? May it never be! You& are aware, are you& not? That to whom you& yield yourselves bondslaves unto obedience, you& are bondslaves to whom you& are continually obeying, either[restrictive, one of two; this first naturally] to sin unto death, or to obedience unto righteousness? But gratitude |be| to The God! because you& were continually 0bondslaves to the sin, but you& obeyed out of 0heart in regard to which type of doctrine you& were delivered. Then since being freed+ ones from bondage away from the sin, you& became enslaved to the righteousness” (Rom. 6:11-18 APT).
3. That’s exactly what is indicated in believers baptism, a life of serving sin and the world is over. “ I am alive in The Christ. I am living unto The Christ. I am dead to self, sin, and the world. But I am alive. I am going to serve The God. My new life serving The God and The Lord Jesus Christ is begun.”
G. THE IDENTIFICATION PROFESSED
The baptism unto Moses identified Israel with The True God, Who redeems by blood and by power (Ex.15:1,2,6,13). The children of Israel recognized that they were to be an habitation for The God. They sang,“The LORD is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation: He is my God, and I will prepare Him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him”(Ex. 15:2).
This baptism identified:
1. Israel with The One True God, Who redeems by blood and power.
2. Right after they were redeemed by power, they recognized that they are going to prepare God an habitation in which to dwell (vs. 1,2).
3. What is the habitation today prepared for God in which to live or dwell? Answer: The Church of God with our bodies as members (Eph. 2:20-22)
“. . . ones being built up upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the corner-foundation stone, in Whom all the building continually being fitly compacted together continually increases unto an holy place[in the Temple] in 0Lord, in Whom you& yourselves also are continually being built together for a place of residence for The God by means of 0Spirit” (Eph. 2:20-22 APT).
Individually The Spirit of God is to “continually abide alongside” His disciples “ and “be in you” according to The Lord Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:17 APT). The bodies of the regenerated disciples corporately form an Holy temple of the Lord, being fitly framed together for a temple in which we are an habitation or place of residence of The God by His Spirit.
4. Our Holy habitation to which He is going to continually guide us in strength is ultimately in Heaven with Him.
1. The Baptism unto Moses is a baptism projecting the meaning, Redemption by blood and by power has been accomplished; and it indicates freedom from bondage and sin.
2. The meaning projected and the indication produced by each of the seven baptisms will be given in the study of each baptism.
3. Here we find an Old Testament example and teaching that focuses upon a New Testament truth. It guides us and focuses on disciples’ baptism. Just as each of the other six baptisms mentioned in the New Testament will lead up to and guide us into understanding what disciples’ baptism is all about.
4. Baptism takes place AFTER experiencing redemption both by blood and by power.
What will you do as result of learning this truth?
Condensed Review: I. Baptism unto Moses - unto Redemption and freedom.
A. A Particular Message Proclaimed - This was in two parts: Stand still - Go forward.
B. A Faith Proven (or exercised): By stepping forward to go on into the bed of the sea.
C. An Action Performed: They walked in the midst of the sea.
D. A Confession Pronounced: Virtually dead.
E. The Meaning Projected: Redemption
F. The Indication Produced: Freedom from bondage and sin
G. The Identification Professed: They were to be an habitation for The God.
| | understood $singular &plural /the 0no article +masculine ~neuter
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