John 3:5 and other Baptism Questions


#1

It’s recently been asked of me how we can be sure that John 3:5 is referring to baptism as the verse, nor the conversation with Nicodemus ever mentions the word baptism.

Some claim that the Baptism discussed in the Book of Acts is the Baptism of the spirit as is described by John the Baptist and that after Acts 11:16, Peter remembers that water is unnecessary because… “and I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the holy Spirit.”

In light of John the Baptist saying that Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit, and we see a couple of times where people have, but also where they haven’t received the holy spirit before baptism, what can we say about this?

Some examples - in Acts 10, the gentiles receive the holy spirit, before receiving baptism.
in Acts 19:1-7 the believers don’t receive the holy spirit until Paul lays his hands on them (this refers to confirmation I believe).

Anyway, I know that the Church teaches that before we receive baptism (at least as an adult), we obviously receive the holy spirit in the sense to we have gained faith in order to make the decision to become baptized.

Can someone wrap these together for me in a nice package?


#2

ChristRocket. You asked about John 3 and Baptism.

Have you been discussing John 3 with Bible-only Christians?

The reason I ask is some Bible-only Christians have an issue with the “physical nature” of the Sacraments.

I have a Protestant Minister friend, who is now a Catholic Priest, tell me “these are the same people who if you could transport them back 2000 years, would have a problem with the “physical nature” of Jesus too.”

Some of these people are “quasi-manichaeism” in thought. They can be “dualistic” divorcing phyical from spiritual inappropriately.

Basically it’s a “spirit-good” “physical-bad” mentality.

I can’t recall where I read it, but one Father said dualism is the worst (or most deeply rooted or some such) of all the heresies.

Now the Bible Christians you MAY be discussing this with, probably have not adopted that degree of dualism. But some have adopted pretty extreme variations.


Anyway. John 3 and Baptism.

Contextually there is a “water and the Sprit” theme correct?

I mean you can see the “water and Spirit” theme in John 3 correct?

We will get to the Baptism parts later. For now I just want to know . . . if you can see a “water AND the Spirit” paradigm here?

JOHN 3:1-2a, 3-4a, 5, 22 (RSV) 1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus . . . . 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? . . . 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. . . . . 22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there he remained with them and baptized.

We’ll discuss this in more detail soon. (We will get to Acts 10 and Acts 19 later too. Very reasonable explanations on those, but that’s for later)

God bless.

Cathoholic

Anyway, I know that the Church teaches that before we receive baptism (at least as an adult), we obviously receive the holy spirit in the sense to we have gained faith in order to make the decision to become baptized.

This is part of what is called, God’s prevenient grace. More on that later too if necessary.

The late Fr. Hardon . . .

Moreover, the holy council declares that in the case of adults justification must begin with God’s prevenient grace through Jesus Christ. That is, it must begin with God’s call, a call which they do not merit. The purpose of this call is that they who are turned away from God by sin may, awakened and assisted by his grace, be disposed to turn to their own justification by freely assenting to and cooperating with that grace.

therealpresence.org/archives/Grace/Grace_005.htm


#3

Cathoholic,

Thanks for the response brother.

Yes, I’ve been speaking with a Bible-Only Christian (my best friend since 6th grade; ironically, neither of us grew up with religion) I believe he saw how silly it was by the end of our conversation to believe in the Bible but not the body whom compiled it. He immediately purchased a book about early Christianity albeit it was a protestant book and the primary history began in the 6th century.

However, the next day, he showed me a video (that I thought was very silly) of a pastor explaining that the Jews required water baptism, but the gentiles did not, as we see no more reference to water after Acts 11. I think it’s easily inferred in Acts 19 when Paul properly baptizes believers, and later on in letter such as 1 Peter 3:18-21

Yes, I’m very well aware of the Water and Spirit part of the text which I did point out. He asked how I knew they were talking about Baptism. My best answer was Church Tradition and… the proceding verses (the next section), speaks about the disciples baptizing. He was quick to show that Christ was not baptizing with them. And, pointed back to John the Baptist differentiating between water baptism and baptism by spirit.

I will point out though that it’s interesting that he at first didn’t concede to baptism being necessary, to later saying “well, it’s really important,” but not “required”. I pointed to Mark 16:16 and he said that the important part lied in Mark 16:17 that reiterates the belief portion of the text.

I’m a baby Catholic, hoping to help evangelize. I’m 27 years old and contemplating the permanent diaconate (I’m married). I’m currently double majoring in Peace/Conflict studies and Cultural Anthropology and plan to go onto theology afterwards.

Whatever assistance you can give in my journey, I greatly appreciate it.

Thank you and God Bless.


#4

Thanks for the response brother.

You are welcome:tiphat:.

You are way ahead of where I thought you were ChristRocket.

27 years old and already thinking the way you do (and doing what you are doing) is great!

I’m still going to build slow.

Why?

Because there are probably several “lurkers” on a post like this for every “poster”.

And I am glad to have them here too.

I’ll try to get to a computer (instead of an android device) soon and go into more depth


#5

For people just interested in Baptism ONLY, skip this and go to the next post.

For those interested in a more solid foundation to discuss Baptism with Bible Christians who tend to be Anabaptist this may be of help.


Knowing some rudimentary aspects of justification is necessary.

Justification ALWAYS seems to come up in those conversations about Baptism.


God gives us grace BEFORE the moment of justification.

God gives us justifying grace that we need at the moment of justification (Baptism).

God gives us a deeper share of justifying grace that we also need during our ongoing lifelong process of justification.


Let me repeat that.

God gives us grace BEFORE the moment of justification. This is called God drawing us to Him or “God’s prevenient grace”.

God gives us justifying grace that we need at the moment of justification (via Baptism).

Baptism is where we get the Trinitarian Life poured into us . . . . and WE get put INTO Jesus too (and we get put into fellow Christians—The Church as well).

We cannot “bypass” this. (God can)

1257 a, c The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.60 . . . . God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

If God chooses to work outside of the “ordinary means” like He did for all the Old Covenant people who eventually went to Heaven, this is called a “Baptism of Desire”.

Baptism of “desire” is a possibility for those who through NO FAULT of their own do not know Christ and thus cannot be Baptized.

CCC 847a This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:
Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, . . . .

After Baptism, God gives us a deeper share of justifying grace that we also need during our ongoing lifelong process of justification. With God living in us in this special way, we are expected to do something by COOPERATING with the grace given (make interest on the “talents”). “Let him who is justified, be justified further still” or “He that is just, let him be justified still” (Revelation 22:11 and Trent Session VI)


One quick build on Baptism.

When we get Baptized, we receive the Trinitarian life poured within us.

Bear with me for a moment.

If we have a December 27th birthday, before Christmas rolls around, Aunt Harriet may stop by with “presents” on Christmas day.

Let’s say you get several presents. But you can only open up two presents on Christmas (you have to wait to open the other three till your birthday two days from now).

You have ALL the presents under the tree but you can only open up two of them.

When your birthday comes you can open up the other three.

Now think of Confirmation.

When you are Baptized you get God in you! You get all the Baptismal gifts in a sense.

But your Baptism doesn’t get “completed” until you can open ALL the “presents”.

So yes you get gifts when you receive the Holy Spirit at Baptism.

Then in your “completion” of your ONE Baptism you get other “presents” opened when you receive the Holy Spirit again.

“Presents” like Wisdom, Knowledge, Counsel, Courage (or “fortitude”), Understanding, Piety (Sometimes called “love,” “godliness,” or “delighting in fear of the Lord”), and Fear of the Lord.


Confirmation is the “completion of Baptism”.

CCC 1288 "From that time on the apostles, in fulfillment of Christ’s will,
imparted to the newly baptized by the laying on of hands the gift of the Spirit that completes the grace of Baptism.
For this reason in the Letter to the Hebrews the doctrine concerning Baptism and
the laying on of hands is listed among the first elements of Christian instruction.
The imposition of hands is rightly recognized by the Catholic tradition as the origin of
the sacrament of Confirmation, which in a certain way perpetuates the grace of Pentecost in the Church."9

CCC 1304 Like Baptism which it completes, Confirmation is given only once, for it too imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual mark, the “character,” which is the sign that Jesus Christ has marked a Christian with the seal of his Spirit by clothing him with power from on high so that he may be his witness.[119]


One more concept. Prefigurement leading up to fulfillment.

Prefigurement is but a shadow.

Fulfillment is the “real deal”.

Fulfillments are always greater than “types” or “prefigurements”.

Jesus used this prefigurement-fulfillment motif on the Road To Emmaus.

LUKE 24:27 27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

Adam was a “type” of Jesus! St. Paul explicitly says so.

ROMANS 5:14 a, c 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses . . . who was a type of the one who was to come.

OK. Back to Baptism proper (tomorrow).


#6

Now on Baptism (I couldn’t wait till tomorrow. I love Baptismal themes).

St. John’s Gospel is the Gospel where we are told we MUST be born of water and the Spirit.

Go back to the beginning of St. John the Evangelist’s Gospel and what do we see?

JOHN 1:1,4-9 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . . 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. 9 The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.

Re-read John 1:1,4-9 above, keeping in mind that Baptism is the Sacrament of Enlightenment (among other names).

CCC 1216a "This bath is called** enlightenment**, because those who receive this [catechetical] instruction are enlightened in their understanding . . . .“8 Having received in Baptism the Word, “the true light that enlightens every man,” the person baptized has been "enlightened,” he becomes a “son of light,” indeed, he becomes “light” himself:9

Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift. . . .We call it gift, grace, anointing, **enlightenment **. . .

Re-read John 1:1,4-9 above, keeping in mind that Baptism begins to undo the effects of the fall. Baptism begins to undo the effects of “DARKNESS”.

JOHN 3:1-2a 1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night

Now this is talking about the time of day it was when Nicodemus came to see Jesus. But it was ALSO talking about the state of Nicodemus’ soul (“night”). Nicodemus represents all mankind here too.

Now re-read John 1:1,4-9 above, and let it hearken you back to Genesis 1.

Read the beginning of Genesis 1 and see if you don’t see a “darkness to light” motif?
Read the beginning of Genesis 1 and see if you don’t see a concomitant “water and the Spirit” motif ALSO?

GENESIS 1:1-3 1 IN the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.

JOHN 1:1a 1 In the beginning was the Word . . .

GENESIS 1:1a 1 In the beginning God . . . .

Now let’s again re-read Genesis 1 and see the Spirit hovering over the waters. A “water and Spirit” theme.

GENESIS 1:1-3 1 IN the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep;
and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.
3 And God said, **“Let there be light”; and there was light. **

JOHN 3:1-2a, 3-4a, 5, 22 (RSV) 1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus . . . . 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? . . . 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. . . . . 22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there he remained with them and baptized.


#7

:popcorn:


#8

Remember. We saw Jesus tell a man of the Pharisees (Nicodemus), that he needs to be born of water and the Spirit (a “water and spirit theme”) in St. John’s Gospel.

JOHN 3:1-2a, 3-4a, 5, 22 (RSV) 1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus . . . . 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? . . . 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. . . . . 22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there he remained with them and baptized.

We saw this in the same St. John’s Gospel . . . . which hearkens us back to Genesis 1 (which has its own “water and Spirit” theme).


Let’s go further.

You know the story in Genesis.

God gives creation “light” (some think that is not only “stars” but the creation of spiritual Heavenly luminaries too that we call “angels”).

God creates man as well.

He creates man from the dust of the ground.

GENESIS 2:5b-7 for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; 6 but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground-- 7 then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

(Incidentally. As Dr. John Bergsma brings up, when Jesus gave the blind man his sight to him, he used mud and gave his Spirit via spittle then told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. That should hearken you back to Genesis too. A darkness and light theme AND a water and Spirit theme. God creates Adam’s bride from Adam’s flesh that came from his side. More on THAT, later.)

JOHN 9:5-7 4 We must work the works of him who sent me, while it is day; night comes, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." 6 As he said this, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle and anointed the man’s eyes with the clay, 7 saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.


Now in Genesis we later see a “fall” of mankind. First the fall of Adam and Eve.

And then the fall of society in general with Lamech killing and bragging about it.

GENESIS 4:23-24 23 Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, hearken to what I say: I have slain a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. 24 If Cain is avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

The world was falling headlong into sin.

God was preparing to deliver the world though. But HOW?

God was preparing to deliver the world via a “water and Spirit” theme.

To prepare this deliverance, God sent Noah and his building of the Ark.

God also sent the Prophet Enoch who was prophesying (see Jude 14-16) to these same people.

You know the story.

Enoch was “translated” elsewhere (see Hebrews 11:5). God sent a flood. Noah and his family were delivered via the Ark.

When Noah wanted to find out if the waters were receding, Noah eventually sent out a “DOVE”.

What does a “DOVE” symbolize?

In St. John’s Gospel (in John 1:32) the “DOVE” symbolizes the Holy Spirit.

With Noah’s Ark we see a “water and Spirit” theme, in the midst of “cleansing”.

GENESIS 8:8-12 8 Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; 9 but the dove found no place to set her foot, and she returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put forth his hand and took her and brought her into the ark with him. 10 He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; 11 and the dove came back to him in the evening, and lo, in her mouth a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth. 12 Then he waited another seven days, and sent forth the dove; and she did not return to him any more.


OK. So we see a “water and Spirit” theme with Noah and the Ark.

But isn’t that a stretch to relate that to saving people and conjoin that to Baptism?

No.

Why?

Because the inspired St. Peter shows this exact relation too.

1st PETER 3:18-21 18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ . . . .

St. Paul likewise sees this relationship between Baptism and being united to Jesus’ Resurrection as well.

ROMANS 6:3-5 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.


#9

Wow!

Thank you for all of the information. I’ve heard some of this before, but you’ve put it together so well and added emphases to help make it more presentable and understandable.

I hope you don’t mind if I apply some of it to a document I’m putting together?


#10

Thank you for all of the information.

No problem.

I’m going to post more later when I get to a computer. (I’m on an android right now).

I don’t want to see Catholics get their faith destroyed by other people who have difficulty believing what Jesus says about being re-born of water and the Spirit.

I hope you don’t mind if I apply some of it to a document I’m putting together?

That’s part of why I do this. I WANT people to use this information.

BTW. I can’t take credit for it. You can hear a lot of it in the Baptismal liturgy.

Others like Dr. Scott Hahn, Steve Ray, Dr. Brant Pitre, Fr. Mike Schmitz and others too have been most helpful in showing these things to me (compelling me in effect to share with others too).


#11

Hi!

…first, there’s not a single passage in Scriptures where anyone, Christ or the Apostles, states that Baptism of water is unnecessary.

…here’s how I can wrap it up for you:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]31 Which of the two did the father’s will?’ ‘The first’ they said. Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you, a pattern of true righteousness, but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did. Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him.

(St. Matthew 21:31-32)

29 All the people who heard him, and the tax collectors too, acknowledged God’s plan by accepting baptism from John; 30 but by refusing baptism from him the Pharisees and the lawyers had thwarted what God had in mind for them. (St. Luke 7:29-30)
Clearly, it is Jesus Christ Himself that states that Baptism of water is not only Ordained by God but necessary for Salvation… here’s how we know that water Baptism is not a symbolic gesture nor a superfluous matter:

1 When Jesus heard that the Pharisees had found out that he was making and baptising more disciples than John – 2 though in fact it was his disciples who baptised, not Jesus himself –

(St. John 4:1-2)
…why would Jesus engage in such trivialities as Baptizing for the sake of gaining the upper hand over others?

…did you note the connection: Baptism & Discipleship?

Now, for the cherry on top:

…remember those who Received the Holy Spirit while not yet Baptized? Did Cephas say: ‘great, these people are so holy and spiritual they need nothing more, please bring them forth so that they can witness (proclaim) about their past life and how the Holy Spirit chose them and separated them from amongst the sinners?’

No!

Here’s what actually took place:

44 While Peter was still speaking the Holy Spirit came down on all the listeners. 45 Jewish believers who had accompanied Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit should be poured out on the pagans too, 46 since they could hear them speaking strange languages and proclaiming the greatness of God. Peter himself then said, 47 **‘Could anyone refuse the water of baptism to these people, now they have received the Holy Spirit **

just as much as we have?’ 48 He then **gave orders for them to be baptised **in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterwards they begged him to stay on for some days. (Acts 10:44-48)
The Apostles did not consider water Baptism as an empty “feel-good-show-the-Followers-you’re-part-of-the-Flock” theme nor as a superfluous act that could be practiced or put away as the celebrants and “mood” dictate.

Maran atha!

Angel

[/size][/FONT]


#12

Hi!

…congrats!

We need more holy and dedicated people in the Deaconate!

…just for your own edification and study… consider the claims (Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Fire)… how can anyone but Christ do this outside of Christ’s Delegation of His Authority (Succession of the Apostles)?

…and secondly, where did Christ state that Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Fire was the initiation into His Mystical Body?

Maran atha!

Angel


#13

The people need to be delivered from “slavery”.

Humanity needs to be delivered from the **slavery **of sin.

Moses and the Israelites had such a delivery from slavery (which is a foreshadow of being delivered from the slavery of sin).

You know this story too.

Moses told Pharaoh eventually, God says "let my people go.”

The Ten Plagues ensued culminating with the Passover.

As mankind wanders into the wilderness, er I mean as the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, insurmountable danger awaits us . . . I mean “them” (Pharaoh’s army goes after them).

Yet God delivers the people despite overwhelming odds.


But HOW did God do it?? How did God deliver the people?

With a “water and the Spirit” theme that’s how.

God led the people through the wilderness with a “Cloud” by day and a “Fire” by night.

EXODUS 13:21-22 21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night; 22 the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.

Implicitly, this Pillar is the Shekinah Glory Cloud. The Holy Spirit of God. (“The Lord went . . . in a pillar of cloud . . . .by day. . . . and by night . . . . a pillar of fire”)

So the people are being illuminated by the Spirit of “The Lord”.

Yet Pharaoh’s army is closing in on them!

Now what?

God, through Moses parts the Red Sea and the people are saved by REAL ACTUAL PHYSICAL WATER too.

(Incidentally. The Israelites spoke on behalf of their babies also. They did **NOT **leave their babies on the seashore and say: “Well I guess we’ll just have to wait until they are old enough to accept Yahweh as “personal Lord and Savior” and have an emotional experience too.”

No! Parents have God-given authority to speak on behalf of their infants.

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” — Joshua)

We need to learn from these Old Testament occurrences.

These foreshadowings were there for the Israelites of old . . . but they are here for US to learn from TOO!

St. Paul thinks so anyway.

Here is St. Paul telling us of this and it is in the context of . . . . (you guessed it) . . . . “BAPTISM”.

1st CORINTHIANS 10:1-2, 11 1 I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea . . . . . 11 Now these things happened to them as a warning, but they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages has come.

The people were saved via a “water and Spirit” theme (“the cloud AND the sea”).

And if you go back and read verses 3-10, you will see the life-giving drinking water in the desert was Christ (also a prefigurement to Baptism)!

And you will see St. Paul warning against the heresy of “Once Saved, Always Saved” too (a common false belief of many Anabaptist Protestants who also often can’t believe Jesus when He tells us we must be born of "water AND the Spirit).

JOHN 3:3, 5, 22 (RSV) 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” . . . . 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. . . . . 22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there he remained with them and baptized.

More will follow later.

(The Confirmation items I brought up in post 5 will be important later as we look at some Old Testament things and New Testament teachings. Since Confirmation “completes” Baptism we would expect this.)


#14

Much of this is from a prior post . . . .

When Elijah the Prophet opposed the prophets of baal there was a water and the Spirit theme too.

The lifeless wood gets “baptized” not three times “In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”, but it does get “baptized” three times.

Then the “completion of baptism” by “confirmation” er I mean, then the watered sacrifice is “completed” by “FIRE” that comes down from Heaven (a prefigurement to the completion of Baptism–Confirmation in my opinion).

1st KINGS 18:31-41 31 Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD came, saying, “Israel shall be your name”; 32 and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.

33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood.

And he said, "Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the burnt offering, and on the wood."

34 And he said, “Do it a second time”; and they did it a second time.

And he said, “Do it a third time”; and they did it a third time.

35 And the water ran round about the altar, and filled the trench also with water.

36 And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. 37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that thou, O LORD, art God, and that thou hast turned their hearts back.”

38 **Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
**
39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.” 40 And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and killed them there. 41 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.”

Another water and Spirit theme.

Yet another pre-figurement of Baptism when the water is poured three times over the sacrifice.

(It suggests to me at least, a pre-figurement of pouring three times at Baptism while the Priest says . . . . “I Baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”)

That’s likely part of the reason WHY when St. John the Baptist was out in the Wilderness Baptizing, the Pharisees KNEW it was significant and asked if he was “Elijah”.

Also consider “The Prophet” who had a double portion of the “Spirit of Elijah” (which of course comes from the Spirit of God).

The people referred to Elisha as “The Prophet”.

Naaman the Syrian General had leprosy (which is a “type” or “foreshadowing” for sin).

Naaman the Syrian had incurable leprosy.

Naaman’s Hebrew servant girl suggested he go to the prophet to call upon God to help him.

Naaman DID go to “the prophet” to ask for this.

Elisha through his subordinate told Naaman to go wash seven times in the River Jordan (itself a prefigurement of the Seven Sacraments).

Naaman thought he was dissed (disrespected) by Elisha for not going to him personally and decided against following the orders of God (through Elisha via Gehazi).

Fortunately Naaman was persuaded to do the simple thing he was asked to do.

2nd KINGS 2:15b, 5:9-14 “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” . . . .

9 So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the door of Elisha’s house.

10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.”

11 But Naaman was angry, and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and cure the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage.

13 But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, if the prophet had commanded you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much rather, then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”

14 So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

The Fathers in the early Church saw this as a prefigurement to Baptism.

Here is St. Irenaeus back in the late 100’s A.D. just matter-of-factly teaching this.

SAINT IRENAEUS " ‘And dipped himself,’ says [the Scripture], ‘seven times in Jordan.’ It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [it served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions; being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, **even as the Lord has declared: ‘Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ **"

  • Irenaeus, Fragment, 34 (A.D. 190), in ANF, I:574

JOHN 3:5 (RSV) 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. . . .

Yet another water and Spirit theme prefiguring baptism.

Real Water. Real Spirit.


#15

In the New Testament period there was also the practice of baptism for the dead, this practice is mentioned in the Epistles by the Apostle. Probably this practice was practiced in sects, but what significance did baptism for the dead signify? Some sects today insist on the importance of such practices.


#16

The Prophet Ezekiel telling us of the water and Spirit theme we are to expect . . . .

EZEKIEL 36:24-27 24 For I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.

JOHN 3:3, 5, 22 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” . . . . 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. . . . . 22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea; there he remained with them and baptized.

(By the way. Your Anabaptist friend likely denies “sprinkling” as a valid form of Baptism. Yet here it is prophetically being discussed.)

I’ll post more in a couple of days? We have our local men’s Bible study and I may not get time before then.


#17

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