Answers: 1-12 of Baptism


1. How should we first try to determine the meaning(s) of special words in the Bible, like baptism?


b. By the context; how they are used in and throughout the Bible, the actions they create Disciplines 7,7a


There are many special spiritual words in God’s Word, which are unique to it. And with the help of the Spirit, we can only find the meaning of these words by the context in which they are used, and the actions they create; throughout the written Word.  There are at least 7 different baptisms which are described in the Word. Some baptisms are spiritual events, others baptisms use water to physically symbolize what spiritually is happening when one receives the Holy Spirit.


The word “baptism” is just like the spiritual words “born again” which describe the spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit which Jesus would give to us. These spiritual words cannot be explained using the definitions secular languages have put upon their meaning throughout history; for they are unique to the Bible. Only the Spirit through God’s Word, can define the meaning of these spiritual words; tell us what is spiritually happening. Or we will be trying to figure out how to physically get back in our mother’s womb as Nicodemus was.  

*I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? John 3:12 NIV+

*Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" John 3:4 NKJV+


2. Where were the prophecies about baptism first given in the Word?


a. Old Covenant, Old Testament


The Old Testament prophets in Old Covenant times told us about the spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit, which we would receive in the New Covenant of Christ’s grace. These prophecies from our Father came over 500 years before the Greek word baptism was used in the New Testament. Guided by the Spirit, Peter used the prophecy of Joel 2:28-29 to describe how the baptism of the Spirit was given at Pentecost, how it would be poured out on us. Those of us who will surrender our human will to follow our Father, His Son Jesus; will receive the Holy Spirit our Father and Jesus promised to give us.

*"But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the Lord, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Jer 31:33 NASB+

*But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “ ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; Acts 2:16-17 (ESV)


3. What is the baptism which Jesus came into the world to give us?


b. A spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit    


John the Baptizer would baptize with water, an Old Covenant ceremonial washing of repentance to prepare many for Jesus. John announced that Jesus would baptize us with the spiritual baptism of the Holy Spirit; give us the indwelling of the Spirit, make us children of our Heavenly Father.

*John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.Ac 19:4 ESV+

*I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”  Mk 1:8 ESV+


4. How do we receive this baptism?


d. Our Father spiritually forgives all the sins of any who will surrender our will to Him


Our Father spiritually washes away, forgives all of our sins, including our inherited sin from Adam, so our eternal spiritual being, our soul and spirit, can be made holy. So the Spirit can dwell within them.

*I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.  Eze 36:25 ESV+

*I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Eze 36:27 NKJV+


No one was spiritually holy, could receive the indwelling of the Spirit, until Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross atoned for our sins. Now it was possible for our Father to forgive our sins, make our eternal spiritual being perfectly holy.

*But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. Jn 7:39 NASB+

*For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. Heb 10:14 NKJV+

*If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. Ro 8:10 NASB+


5. Who first received this baptism?


 a. Jesus


Jesus is and always will be spiritually God, a holy spiritual being. Yet He became a physical man just like we are in every way; except His physical being was always holy. For He did not sin, nor did He inherit Adam’s original sin which is carried in through the seed of all man; because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in a woman, Mary. See God Becomes Man

*God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2Cor 5:21 NIV+

*But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. Matt 1:20 NKJV+


Before Jesus received the Spirit He was washed, baptized by John. This baptism was not John the Baptist’s Old Covenant baptism of repentance, for Jesus had not sinned, did not need to repent. Jesus had to be ceremonially washed with water before He could begin His ministry, become the servant of God, our High Priest. This was a requirement of the Old Covenant ceremonial laws, and Jesus had to do this act to remain righteous, without sin. See Old Covenant Baptisms

 *Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting and shall wash them with water  Ex 40:12 ESV+

*For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Heb 2:17 NIV+

*Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?" But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him. Matt 3:13-15 NKJV+


Jesus came up out of the water, after being washed, to be set apart and presented to His Father, and anointed by the Holy Spirit to become our High Priest. His earthly ministry began by water, after He was washed by John. It ended when He shed His blood on the cross as atonement for our sins. And now He is our High Priest in Heaven, interceding for us.

*Bring his sons and dress them in tunics. Anoint them just as you anointed their father, so they may serve me as priests. Their anointing will be to a priesthood that will continue for all generations to come." Ex 40:15 NIV+

*This is the one who came by water and blood--Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 1Jn 5:6 NIV+

*Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. Lk 4:14 NKJV+


When Jesus was anointed by the Spirit, He was also the first human born to receive the indwelling of the Spirit, and then gifts from the Spirit. The Spirit descended like a dove upon Jesus, physically showing how spiritually the Spirit was given to Jesus, would be given to those who would accept Jesus. Jesus did no miracles until He was given power by the Spirit on this day. The same way the Spirit will give us different gifts to do our Lord’s work, when He lives within our hearts.  See Old Covenant Baptisms 3a.; 3b.

*Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; and a voice came out of the heavens: "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased." Mk 1:10-11 NASB+

*how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. Ac 10:38 NIV+


6. When did Jesus first baptize anyone?


b. On Resurrection Sunday - Baptisms of Holy Spirit 5a


Jesus first gave His baptism of the Spirit on Resurrection Sunday to His disciples. Those who were staying at room He rented in Jerusalem for them to stay in while they celebrated the Passover celebration (MK 14:15). They were all gathered together behind locked doors wondering about the events concerning His resurrection that morning. Including Mary Magdalene telling them she had seen Jesus who had been physically resurrected from the dead.

*Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her. Jn 20:18 NKJV+

*On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  Jn 20:19 ESV+


This is the only time Jesus baptized anyone with the Holy Spirit, until after He had ascended into Heaven. Jesus never did baptize anyone with physical water.

*Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were), Jn 4:1-2 NASB+


7. Who did Jesus first baptize?


c. Some of His disciples


Jesus’ disciples, who were in the room (Ac 1:13; which Jesus rented Mk 14:15) on Resurrection Sunday, and received the baptism of the Spirit included: 

-10 of the 12 chosen disciples (Thomas had left: Jn 20:24, Judas dead: Jn 20:24)

-The 2 disciples who had walked with our risen Savior from Emmaus, recognized our Savior, and when He vanished went to tell the chosen disciples in Jerusalem

*Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. Lk 34:31 NKJV+

*And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, Lk 24:33 NASB+

- Possibly some or all of the women staying there (Ac 1:14)- Possibly some of the other 120 disciples at Jerusalem (Ac 1:15)


Jesus wasted no time in giving the Spirit to His disciples to strengthen them. He gave the indwelling of the Spirit to them on the first evening, before night after His resurrection. Through Jesus’ atoning sacrificial death on the cross, all who would surrender to Him, to His Father, could now have all of our sins forgiven, forgotten forever. And the Spirit would then be given to us.

Jesus told his disciples after Judas had left to betray Him, that He would be glorified after His sacrificial death upon the cross. So on Resurrection Day (Easter) Jesus gave His disciples the indwelling of the Spirit, just as He promised in answer 4 above.

*When he was gone, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. Jn 13:31 NIV+


8. How did Jesus baptize them?


d. He breathed on them


Jesus breathed on His disciples to give them His baptism of the Spirit. The same way He breathed the Spirit into Adam to give Him life. 

*And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Jn 20:22 NASB+

*And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Gen 2:7 KJV


We must be spiritually born again, to come into the Kingdom of God. Jesus breathed the Spirit into Adam so the Spirit could create an eternal holy spiritual being, his soul and spirit, within him. Now that Adam has brought sin into the world, our Father must first forgive all of our sins so Jesus can once more breathe the Spirit into our hearts (baptism of the Spirit) to keep us holy (sanctified).

*Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Jn 3:3 ESV+

*Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Jn 3:5 ESV+

*And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. 1Co 6:11 NKJV+


Flesh can only create flesh; there is nothing we can physically due to save ourselves. Only spiritually can we have our sins forgiven by our Heavenly Father, so the Spirit can live in our hearts, continually sanctify our hearts to keep them holy. For only our Father has clean water to sprinkle our hearts to remove the evil conscious of Adam’s inherited sin. He only has the pure water to wash the rest of the sin of our bodies of worldly flesh from us. And Jesus used no physical water or baptism to give the Spirit to His disciples. 

*That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Jn 3:6 NKJV+

*I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.  Eze 36:25 ESV+

*let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Heb 10:22 ESV+


We are saved by the love and mercy of our Heavenly Father, the free grace our Savior has given us. Not by any deed which we will ever do, not by any physical work which we will ever do. We must only relinquish our will, be willing to accept our Father’s will. He did this by spiritually washing away our sins; the washing of regeneration, and by putting the Spirit into our hearts; the renewing of the Holy Spirit. Our Father was able to pour the Spirit on us, only after Jesus died on the cross, so His by his grace our sins could be justified. When we receive the Spirit into our hearts, we become children of our Heavenly Father, and heirs of Heaven. 

*He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:5-7 NASB+


9. When did Jesus next baptize anyone?


c. At Pentecost - 50 days after Christ’s resurrection, 10 days after He ascended into Heaven


The disciples clearly had received the indwelling of the Spirit, for Jesus used the Holy Spirit to guide and teach His disciples while He was on earth for 40 days after His resurrection. Just before Jesus ascended into Heaven He told His 11 disciples they would be baptized by the Spirit in just a few days.

*until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. Ac 1:2 NIV+

*for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”  AC 1:5 ESV+


The disciples would receive a gift, a manifestation of power from the Holy Spirit to do the work of our Heavenly Father.

*But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. Ac 1:8-9 ESV+


10. How did Jesus baptism them?


d. With tongues of fire


Jesus symbolized the Holy Spirit as a wind when one was born again, given the Spirit (7. Above). The Spirit does His work where our Father and Jesus guide Him; then on His own discretion. Here His coming is symbolized like a mighty rushing wind, filling the room where those who had received the indwelling of the Spirit were sitting. As He comes by Jesus’ request, not the request of the disciples.

*"The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." Jn 3:8 NASB+

*And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Ac 2:2 ESV+


John the baptizer told us Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. Those who had previously been given the Spirit were now baptized with fire, as divided tongues of fire rested on them.

*John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Lk 3:16 ESV+

*And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. Ac 2:3 ESV+


Tongues symbolize the gift, the manifestation of the Spirit which allowed the words coming from their mouths to be translated into the languages of the people from different nations who were listening to them speak. 

*And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Ac 2:2-4 ESV+

*"And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? Ac 2:8 NASB+


All who have received the indwelling of the Spirit, making us one with Christ, will continually be given gifts (also called: anointings, baptisms, manifestations) from the Spirit, do the Lord’s work. These will be different gifts, given at different times, as the Spirit sees fit.

*But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good1Co 12:7 NASB+

*But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. 1Co 12:11 NASB+


11. Where in the Word of God does it tell us the 12 disciples where given a water baptism in the New Covenant of Christ’s grace?


b. It does not say in the Word that the 12 disciples where given a water baptism in the New Covenant, only that they baptized others.


There is no place in the Word that says the 12 disciples (now including Matthias) where ever water baptized after Jesus arose from the dead. What the Word tells us is they were given the indwelling of the Spirit (6,7,8 above) on Resurrection day, which was 50 days before Pentecost, and a gift of the Spirit (9,10 above) on Pentecost. Then one may assume the 12 disciples were washed with water. This clearly shows baptism of the Spirit, and water baptism are 2 separate events. The indwelling, the anointing of the Spirit is given by our Father, and can be given any time we will give up our will, accept the will of our Father. Though because Jesus asked us to be water baptized, we should also receive this baptism.

*And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2Co 1:21-22 ESV+


12 . Do we need to be given a baptism like the disciples where given to be saved, become one with Jesus?


a. Yes we need to be given the indwelling of the Spirit to be saved


Jesus baptizes us with His spiritual baptism, the baptism of the Spirit, which relies only on His grace upon the cross. No physical baptism, washing with water is ever needed, to make us children of God. Only when we receive the indwelling of the Spirit, are we one with Christ, are we spiritually taken to Heaven when we physically die here on earth. And the Spirit will give us glorified bodies, when our Savior returns for us, and takes us home to be with Him in the New Jerusalem.  

*But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. Ro 8:9 NKJV+

*But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Ro 8:11 NKJV+


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Copyright 2014 amended 2017 by Ron Borkey

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