Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Is baptism required for salvation? Yes or no? Your thoughts are welcome..

 …“Baptism is NOT water”- Yes or No?...

A question has arisen, a question of doctrine, of belief, of what it is that constitutes salvation. This epistle seeks to cover the subject, but is not exhaustive, nor can it be, for the matter is truly in the hands of Yahveh, and not in the minds of those who do their best to examine His holy word for the answers.  Each of us, no matter how hard we try, always come to the Living Word of God with our own biases, for we are creations that are made up of the sum of our experiences, our weaknesses, our strengths, our perceptions, our education, and so on and so on.  Strive as we like, these life encounters color us, and in most cases define us. As we grow in the knowledge of our Adonai and Savior, Messiah Yeshua, or Christ Jesus if you prefer, for myself I can only speak for: the more I know, the more I realize how little I really know. This Son of God, this holy and spotless Lamb, this Everlasting Father defies my vain attempts to understand Him, for who can know the mind of God? Who can fathom the depth, the richness of His mercy and grace, the validity of ALL His commandments, the wonders that He has prepared for those who love Him, and the place of eternal torment for those who do not? O but to know this God, this King of Glory, Elohim Tzva’ot, the Lord of Hosts!  Who is He, that goes by countless names:

Adonai Elohei Tzva’ot “Lord God of Hosts”
Adonai Eloheinu “Lord our God”
Adonai “The LORD our God”
Adonai Elohim “the LORD GOD”
Adonai Elohim Elohei-Tzva’ot “the LORD GOD, GOD of Hosts”
Adonai Elohim Tzva’ot “the LORD GOD of Hosts”
Adonai Sabaoth “The LORD of Shabbot”
Adonai Yir’eh “The Lord will see to it/Our Provider”
Abir — "Strong One".
Avinu Malkeinu — "Our Father, our King".
Boreh — "the Creator".
Ehiyeh sh'Ehiyeh — "I Am That I Am": a modern Hebrew version of "Ehyeh asher Ehyeh".
Elohei Avraham, Elohei Yitzchak ve Elohei Ya`aqov — "God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob".
El ha-Gibbor — "God the hero" or "God the strong one".
Emet — "Truth".
Ein Sof — "endless, infinite", Kabbalistic name of God.
Ro'eh Yisrael — "Shepherd of Israel".
Ha-Kaddosh, Baruch Hu — "The Holy One, Blessed be He".
Kaddosh Israel — "Holy One of Isarel".
Melech ha-Melachim — "The King of Kings".
Makom — literally "the place", meaning "The Omnipresent".
Magen Avraham — "Shield of Abraham".
YHVH-Rapha — "The Lord that healeth" (Exodus 15:26).
YHVH-Nissi (Jehovah-Nissi) — "The Lord our Banner" (Exodus 17:8-15).
YHVH-Shalom — "The Lord our Peace" (Judges 6:24).
YHVH-Ra-ah — "The Lord my Shepherd" (Psalms 23:1).
YHVH-Tsidkenu — "The Lord our Righteousness" (Jeremiah 23:6).
YHVH-Shammah — "The Lord is present" (Ezekiel 48:35).
Tzur Israel — "Rock of Israel".

And there are so many more… yet, He is our Savior. This is the one thing that I do know: He is my salvation; what He did for me on Gulgolta (Golgotha) was enough, I need add no more to it save my obedience and devotion to Him and His love. So let us walk together, on a journey of discovery. You might not agree with me, but keep an open mind, as will I. 

Father, Holy One of Isra’el
Lead us into Truth
Help us see, help us sh’ma (hear)
In the blessed name of Jesus we ask

First, a Statement of Belief Concerning Water Baptism:

1 Cor 15:3,4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Rom 10:9-11 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Mt 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

Acts 8:36,37 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what hinders me from being baptized? And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Do you believe with all your heart that Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is the Son of God, that He died for your sins and that He rose from the dead?

Eph 2:8,9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Titus 3:5,6 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that you affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

Col 2:12,13 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Water baptism is an act of obedience that follows conversion to portray symbolically the washing away of our sins, the death and burial of our old nature and of us being born again as a new creation living a new life in Christ. Baptism itself does not bring salvation. One must repent and be saved to be baptized.

Rom 6:2-7 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Water baptism is a statement of faith: my old life is behind me -- I am a new person, with a new life.
Water baptism is a sign of repentance -- repentance means change -- a change so drastic that the old person is "buried" and it signifies the following:
  • You’ve burned all your bridges to your past.
  • You see water baptism as a way of giving outward testimony to what has happened inwardly.
  • It is a sign of a clear commitment to turn from your old life.
  • Water baptism helps you to grasp the reality of the spiritual truth that the old "you" has died.
  • Confirms that unless you really believe you have died, there is no need for a burial.

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Col 3:1-7 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are  dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.[1]

Let us begin by defining terms:

·         G908
From G907; baptism (technically or figuratively): - baptism.

·         G907
From a derivative of G911; to make whelmed (that is, fully wet); used only (in the New Testament) of ceremonial ablution, especially (technically) of the ordinance of Christian baptism: - baptist, baptize, wash.

·         G911
A primary verb; to whelm, that is, cover wholly with a fluid; in the New Testament only in a qualified or specific sense, that is, (literally) to moisten (a part of one’s person), or (by implication) to stain (as with dye): - dip.

Ø  Baptizo = predestination (birth)
v  Never a verb in the Greek          
v  From G911, bapto, meaning to stain or dip
Þ     Originally used as an infinitive (a verbal noun, i.e. a noun with a verbal character)
v  Does not mean “immerse”

Ø  In 1611, the year of the King James Bible, there was no English word equivalent for baptizo
Ø  Hence, the best definition of baptizo would be:  it means a fluid movement from an outside source, not by the will of the target, but of the source.
Ø  “Baptizo “ is an anglicized word that is a compound of two roots (Note: since Greek is a very precise language, if it had meant “immerse”, they [the writers] would have called it “immerse”)


Gen 6:14  Make6213 thee an ark8392 of gopher1613 wood;6086 rooms7064 shalt thou make6213 (853) in the ark,8392 and shalt pitch3722 it within4480, 1004 and without4480, 2351 with pitch.3724

Noah’s Ark: 

pitch it within”  :

“pitch” : H3722 כּפר  kâphar kaw-far'
A primitive root; to cover  (specifically with bitumen)…
“within” : H1004  בּית   bayith  bah'-yith
“..without with pitch…” 

“without” : H2351  חץ    חוּץ  chûts  chûts  khoots, khoots
(Both forms feminine in the plural); from an unused root meaning to sever; properly separate by a wall, that is, outside, outdoors: - abroad, field, forth, highway, more, out (-side, -ward), street, without.

“pitch” :  H3724  כּפר  kôpher  ko'-fer
From H3722; properly a cover, that is, (literally) a village (as covered in); (specifically) bitumen (as used for coating), and the henna plant (as used for dyeing); figuratively a redemption price: - bribe, camphire, pitch, ransom, satisfaction, sum of money, village.

“Kopher” is used as a noun

Ø  As seen in above definitions, a type or picture emerges from the example of Noah’s Ark:  one is changed (or covered over) (denotes action) from within, i.e. the Holy Spirit.  (kaphar)
Ø  We are also covered by, or coated with on the outside, (denotes something) i.e. the Blood of Christ..
(cover us with Your Blood, Jesus…)  or “kopher”

The Ark of the Covenant:

On the Day of Atonement, (10th day of the 7th month, the month of Tishri, our Sept.-Oct), the High Priest would enter into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice upon the Mercy Seat of the Ark, the כּפּרת  kappôreth.    This covering of the blood is the word “kaphar”  (the sprinkling of the blood).  From these Hebrew words, whose main meaning is “to cover” we see the Greek words born of the root “bapto”- to cover.

The words “kaphar” and “kopher”  show us a type of the baptism: in the 1st century, a baptism was a martydom.  We are told by Paul that “he died daily” and “took up his cross.”  And what is a cross?   It was an execution stake, a place of death.  Christ died a “blood baptism” for us; so to be “baptized” is to die daily upon the cross of self, “sealed” as in the Ark of Noah by the Holy Spirit- the source without….

Ø  We are predestinated as believers to conform to the image of Christ, by the will of God…

Rom 8:27  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Rom 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Rom 8:30  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Ø  We see in Mark 10:38 that Christ speaks to His disciples and equates “baptism” (baptizo) with His death, not water immersion!

Mar 10:38  But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
Mar 10:39  And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:

Ø  In Acts 10 we see Peter is set to preach to Cornelius (the first “outreach” to the Gentiles, 10 years after the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of our Messiah Yeshua)
Ø  Remember, Jews were forbidden to associate with Gentiles
Þ     Here is a shadow of Lev. 11, the chapter where God details His dietary laws for the Jews,
Lev 11:47  To make a difference between the unclean and the clean….
Ø  See Acts 10:10-15 for the fulfillment of the dietary laws, and remember this fact:  the Apostles were human also…(i.e. prone to mistakes- more on this later)


Ø  Why the washing in water?
Þ     We read about water “baptism” is Acts 8:26-40,  the case of the Ethiopian eunuch.  Here Philip baptizes him in water.  Why?
q  Water baptism in the 1st century was a part of the proselyte process of the Jews for the conversion of Gentiles into Judaism.
q  Gentiles were coming to Israel to worship the True God. 
q  As they reached out to God, to study the Sacred Scriptures, they began to embrace Judaism, and if serious and devout enough, they desired to convert to Judaism.
q  To be accepted as a converted Jew, they first had to undergo 3 rites:
Ö  They had to fully accept and embrace the Torah and all it’s precepts
Ö  They had to under go the ritual of circumcision
Ö  They had to then be ceremonially washed, to “cleanse” themselves, to be made “clean”.

Ø  Now note:  Let us once again revisit the fact that the Apostles were human also.
Ø  Prone to mistakes… (as we all are)
Ø  Peter had walked with Christ for three years, yet on the day of His crucifixion, he denied Him three times; yet, 50 days later, he preached the first great evangelist sermon in Acts chapter 2.
Ø  Our Apostles had a lot of growing to do to grow into the powerful men of God that they would become.
Ø  Remember the rebuke by Paul of Peter in Galatia?

On with the “water”…

Ø  Just because we “see” in the Bible a water immersion, does this mean it has to be a “baptism”?
Ø  Remember proselyte washing: keep in mind the Apostles were young!  Not the wizened old men you always see in the paintings of Christ!
Ø  In Matt. 3:11 John the Baptist says:
“…I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: “
Þ     This was proselyte washing/baptism!  The Pharisees and Sadducees of the day were insulted by John’s baptism.  John was calling ALL to repentance.  In my understanding, the Jew was not in need of the ceremonial washing, for he was considered “clean” already, yet when John preached his call to repentance, the Bible says in Mar 1:5  And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. They were ALL being baptized, except the religious leaders of the day.  The significance of this baptism was not lost on the leaders, as the people by under going it were in essence saying that they, the priests and scribes, had failed the people in their spiritual development and the people were embracing this new call by being washed in the water…
Þ     In the Greek language, the statement of John’s about the “…the Holy Ghost, and with fire..” is “hagios pneuma pur”  [sacred breath and fire].  (see concordant translation below)

   ἐγὼ μὲν βαπτίζω ὑμᾶς ἐν ὕδατι εἰς μετάνοιαν· ὁ δὲ ὀπίσω μου ἐρχόμενος ἰσχυρότερός μου ἐστίν, οὗ οὐκ
  `I indeed do baptize you with water to reformation, but he who after me is coming is mightier  than I,
    εἰμὶ ἱκανὸς τὰ ὑποδήματα βαστάσαι· αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν Πνεύματι ῾Αγίῳ καὶ πυρί.
   of whom I am not worthy to bear the sandals, he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire,

Þ     This was a common idiom used in the 1st century that the listeners in Christ’s time would understand meant “life”.
Ö  This was a term made by the “Stoics”- that the “kosmos” (the order of the world) was a living, breathing entity.  Koine Greek was the language of trade (also the language that the Apostles wrote their Gospels and Epistles in) so such Hellanized sayings were as common to the people of that age as “mom’s apple pie” is to us.

Ø  Now, fast forward to Matt 28:19…

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Ø  What is the baptism Jesus is speaking of?
Þ   John’s baptism of water for repentance OR
Þ   Christ’s baptism of “Holy Ghost and Fire” i.e. LIFE!!

Ø  The proselyte means that someone had heard about YAHVEH Elohim and went to Jerusalem to worship.  So as in the case of the eunuch, to come to Israel to learn about the God he had read about in Scripture meant he had forsaken everything to come to this God [repentance anyone?] and follow the practices and precepts of the religion and the time.  He heard the news about Christ from Phillip but then he still wanted to complete the ritual of the Jews- so he’d cry “WASH ME IN WATER!”

Ø  Look at the rituals of the proselyte again:
Þ     Circumcision (separating himself from his people)
Þ     Accepting the precepts of the religion (believing what he had heard)
Þ     “Cleansing” himself in the water (….What can wash away my sins…..) (Also called “a new birth…”)
Þ     Sounds like the Gospel message to me…

Ø  He wanted to align himself with the “Kingdom of God”, an idiom that in the time of Christ simply meant the nation of Israel.

Ø  Now before we go on, why did Christ have Himself baptized?  The others were being baptized for the remission of their sins, but Jesus was sinless, so he had no need for the baptism of John!  Why then did He do it?

Ø  Lets see what He said to John:

Mat 3:13  Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
Mat 3:14  But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
Mat 3:15  And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

Ø  Here lies the answer.  For Christ came to fulfill the Law, to fulfill all righteousness.  In God’s pre-determined plan of salvation for man, the call went out by John the Baptist for repentance of sins, and the Word of God said ALL heeded.  Christ was sinless, yet to fulfill ALL righteousness, He humbled Himself to obey the call, for the Bible tells us that:

Heb 2:9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
Heb 2:10  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Heb 2:11  For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
Heb 2:12  Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
Heb 2:13  And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
Heb 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Heb 2:15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Heb 2:16  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
Heb 2:17  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Heb 2:18  For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Ø  He made Himself like unto His brethren, and in doing so, made sure our salvation, all praise and glory be unto Him..
Ø  This all being said, though Christ undertook the baptism of water, is this what he meant for us?
Ø  Again, our beloved Apostles were young, and were Jewish.  They kept the rituals of the Jewish people up until the end of the nation in 70 AD (at least those rituals that associated with and could only be performed in the Temple), or unto the end of their lives.
Ø  They grew into being the Apostles of God- sometimes doing things that they didn’t yet know didn’t need to be done.

Ø  What we as believers have to understand is that once we have come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, we have a learning curve to go through (just like the Apostles did).  Part of this learning curve is shedding man-made doctrines, religious traditions, and denominational beliefs that blind or block us to the truth of Yahveh’s word.  We have to UNLEARN to learn how to look at Scripture with our “new” (spiritual) eyes.

Ø  Colossians 2:6-15
Ø    6 As therefore ye have received the Christ, Jesus the Lord, walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, and assured in the faith, even as ye have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. 8 See that there be no one who shall lead you away as a prey through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the teaching of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and ye are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and authority, 11 in whom also ye have been circumcised with circumcision not done by hand, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of the Christ; 12 buried with him in baptism (and we aren’t speaking of water baptism, but the baptism of blood… In Romans 6:4 & Colossians 2:12 it says we are “buried with him by baptism unto death...” A “burial” is not salvation.  Colossians 2:12  correctly shows that what saves us is, “risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”), in which ye have been also raised with him through faith of the working of God who raised him from among the dead.  13 And you, being dead in offences and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has quickened together with him, having forgiven us all the offences; 14 having effaced (blotted out) the handwriting in ordinances which stood out against us, which was contrary to us, he has taken it also out of the way, having nailed it to the cross; 15 having spoiled principalities and authorities, he made a show of them publicly, leading them in triumph by it. [2]

As we look with these new eyes, we begin to understand that the “tablets of stone” that Yahveh’s laws were written on are done away with in Christ (and let’s be clear: the “law” or better, the Torah [instructions] aren’t done away with, the only thing changed was the location, from tablets of stone to our hearts of flesh), who writes His commandments upon tablets of flesh, our hearts; this is the “new” covenant spoken of in Jer. 31:31-33:

31 Behold, days come, saith Jehovah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day of my taking them by the hand, to lead them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband unto them, saith Jehovah. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith Jehovah: I will put my law in their inward parts, and will write it in their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [3]

The word used in Jer. 31:31 for “new” is H2319  חדשׁ châdâsh khaw-dawsh' From H2318; new: - fresh, new thing.[4] The root word is H2318,  חדשׁchâdash khaw-dash' A primitive root; to be new; causatively to rebuild: - renew, repair. Vine defines it as “…Chadash means “new” both in the sense of recent or fresh (as the opposite of old) and in the sense of something not previously existing. The first nuance appears in Lev. 23:16: “Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord.” The first biblical occurrence of chadash (Exod. 1:8) demonstrates the second meaning: “Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.” This second nuance occurs in Isaiah’s discussion of the future salvation. For example, in Isa. 42:10 a new saving act of God will bring forth a new song of praise to Him: “Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth.…” The Psalter uses the phrase “a new song” in this sense; a new saving act of God has occurred and a song responding to that act celebrates it. The “new” is often contrasted to the former: “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them” (Isa. 42:9). Jer. 31:31-34 employs this same nuance speaking of the new covenant (cf. Ezek. 11:19; 18:31). [5]

In the Hebraic perspective, this “newness” is likened to a new moon, not a re-created moon – thus, the idea imposed is that of one renewed in light out of the darkness. The new covenant is not one that replaces the old, it renews it, bringing light, restoring and repairing the breach that man’s ways had imposed upon the thing of God.

Ø  Another point to remember, is what are we to put to death?  Self.

G846 αὐτός autos ow-tos'
From the particle αὖ au (perhaps akin to the base of G109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons: - her, it (-self), one, the other, (mine) own, said, ([self-], the) same, ([him-, my-, thy-]) self, [your-] selves, she, that, their (-s), them ([-selves]), there [-at, -by, -in, -into, -of, -on, -with], they, (these) things, this (man), those, together, very, which. Compare G848.

Matthew 17:15-18
Ø    15 Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is lunatic, and suffers sorely; for often he falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they were not able to heal him. 17 And Jesus answering said, O unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to me. 18 And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon went out from him, and the boy was healed from that hour. [6]

Ø  In the above passages, the word “him” is the Greek word αυτου846 P-GSM  or ‘autos’.  Other manuscripts translate ‘him’ as ‘it’, but the meaning is clear (cf Mark 9:25) that Christ was rebuking the demon.

Ø  The “blood baptism”, Christ’s baptism, actually does drive out demons, as we can see in Scripture.
Ö  A study of J. Hastings “Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics” reveals that most pagan societies believed that you had to washed in water to be rid of your sins.  They also believed that the washing in water drove away demons.  Think for a moment of some of the old myths and legends from ancient times; people believed that “evil spirits” couldn’t cross over bodies of water (hence moats around castles, etc.).

We must understand that by incorporating pagan rituals into the Christian religion by Constantine  in the 4th Century (i.e. “Christ-Mass”, “Esther fertility worship” now called Easter, etc.), the church now has entrenched these religious/pagan rituals as main-stream, such as water baptism, etc.  If we are truly honest, and open to the searching of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.) [7] then we would have the scales removed from our eyes to see how, by the doctrines and traditions of men, we have made the word of Yahveh to no effect…(Mark 7:13  Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.) [8]  The question is not one of “right action”, but “right belief”.  Do we have the courage as true believers to stand up for the things of Yahveh, for the TRUE Gospel of Jesus Christ, and “agape” our brethren by speaking the truth to them? 
This doctrine of “self” is what is taught in the church today, this “gospel” of prosperity, of blessings, of a “god” who is forever enslaved to “his” creation by “his” own words, to do their bidding just because they “name it and claim it”.  Do our words make a difference in our lives?  The answer is “Yes”, but only under the condition that they are spoken in the light of the will of the Father and through the Son.
(2 Corinthians 1:20  For however many are the promises of God, their Yes is in him; therefore, the Amen from us also goes through him to God for glory.) [9]
The will of Yahveh is for us to believe in Yeshua, His son.  The work of Yahveh is for us to believe in Yeshua, His Son: (John 6:28-29  Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.). [10]
And we believe by hearing and hear by the word of Yahveh, and what we hear does matter.  The words of the Father are life and truth, and this is the true Gospel, the message of truth that destroys the works of the enemy, by revealing the false-hoods, the lies and distortions that have crept into the body of Christ through the works of at worst, false, or at the least, ill-informed teachers.  If you don’t love the truth, then these words will inflame you.  If you don’t love the TRUTH (Christ Jesus), then you’ll hold onto the lies and reject that which saves, for if you believe in half a truth, then you reject the whole, for half a lie is still a lie, and your faith is in vain.

Colossians 3:1-17  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God (my note: The True Baptism). 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.  12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. [11]
Ø  Back to the water….
Ø  Truth in the word of Yahveh is always established by the mouth of two or more witnesses:

Deuteronomy 19:15   One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, and for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter be established. [12]
Matthew 18:16  But if he hear thee not, take with thee one or two more, that at the mouth of two witnesses or three every word may be established. [13]
1 Timothy 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, except at the mouth of two or three witnesses. [14]
v  1st Witness:
Ø  Acts 10:47 is the most common verse used to justify baptism with water, but what is the true context? 
Act 10:34  And Peter having opened his mouth, said, `Of a truth, I perceive that God is no respecter of persons,
Act 10:35  but in every nation he who is fearing Him, and is working righteousness, is acceptable to Him;
Act 10:36  the word that he sent to the sons of Israel, proclaiming good news--peace through Jesus Christ (this one is Lord of all,)
Act 10:37  ye--ye have known; --the word that came throughout all Judea, having begun from Galilee, after the baptism that John preached;
Act 10:38  Jesus who is from Nazareth--how God did anoint him with the Holy Spirit and power; who went through, doing good, and healing all those oppressed by the devil, because God was with him;
Act 10:39  and we--we are witnesses of all things that he did, both in the country of the Jews, and in Jerusalem, --whom they did slay, having hanged upon a tree.
Act 10:40  `This one God did raise up the third day, and gave him to become manifest,
Act 10:41  not to all the people, but to witnesses, to those having been chosen before by God--to us who did eat with him , and did drink with him, after his rising out of the dead;
Act 10:42  and he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify fully that it is he who hath been ordained by God judge of living and dead--
Act 10:43  to this one do all the prophets testify, that through his name every one that is believing in him doth receive remission of sins.'

Act 10:44  While Peter is yet speaking these sayings, the Holy spirit fell upon all those hearing the word,
Act 10:45  and those of the circumcision believing were astonished--as many as came with Peter--because also upon the nations the gift of the Holy Spirit hath been poured out,
Act 10:46  for they were hearing them speaking with tongues and magnifying God.
Act 10:47  Then answered Peter, `The water is any one able to forbid, that these may not be baptized, who the Holy Spirit did receive--even as also we?'
Act 10:48  he commanded them also to be baptized in the name of the Lord; then they besought him to remain certain days.[15]

Ø  If we look at this verse in all the ways it has been translated into English, this version is typical of how the translators have dealt with the Greek.  In the Textus Receptus, the Greek version used to create the King James version, “Then answered Peter..” comes at the end of verse 46.  The literal translation of the Greek text for Peter’s answer is:
Þ     “meti to hudor..”  (μητι3385 PRT-I  το3588 T-ASN  υδωρ5204 N-ASN)
Þ     “not the  water”
Þ     Let’s look at this:

Figure 1. Snapshot from The Apostolic Bible Polyglot ©1996 by Charles Van der Pool

The translation above reads as this: “…Shall water be able to be restrained to anyone of these to not be immersed, who received the Holy Spirit as also we?...”  Even this is a bit murky. To fully understand what is actually said here, we must look a bit deeper at the word “meti  μητι3385”.

Μήτι mēti may'-tee
From G3361 and the neuter of G5100; whether at all: - not [the particle usually not expressed, except by the form of the question].[16]
The word mēti as defined by Thayer is:

The use of mēti is used as a question expecting a negative answer.  What is important to note, punctuation marks do not exist in the original Greek. So what or how was Peter asking this question? Now, what I believe is that Peter and his companions were surprised by the fact that Cornelius received the Holy Spirit BEFORE immersion (thus negating what some teach that you only get the Spirit after baptism which to them means you are not saved until baptism…) Let’s look at this through the words of David Guzick..

“…3. (30-33) Cornelius explains why he sent for Peter.
So Cornelius said, "Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.' So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God."
a. Cornelius, your prayer has been heard: Cornelius was praying, and the eventual answer to his prayer was the arrival of Peter with the gospel.  So, what was Cornelius' prayer?
b. Undoubtedly, Cornelius was praying either generally to draw closer to God, or specifically that God would send the Messiah.  God would answer this prayer through the gospel Peter brought to Cornelius.
c. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God: Peter was living a preacher's dream.  His audience is attentive and well-prepared by the Holy Spirit.
4. (34-43) Peter's short sermon to the Gentiles at Cornelius' house.
Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ; He is Lord of all; that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins."

(Author’s Note: While I site various commentators and scholars/pastors etc., it doesn’t necessarily mean that their views are in line with my own. Any further notes or comments I have will be in this color..)

(The baptism John the Immerser preached as outlined in the Holy Scriptures:
(Luke 3:3-6) 3 And he came into all the district round the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, 4 as it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet: Voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. 5 Every gorge shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked places shall become a straight path, and the rough places smooth ways, 6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God…[17] Clearly after John’s ministry came a different, a better way… “…through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins..."
Now back to Guzick…)

a. In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality is the foundation for Peter's understanding that the gospel should now go forth to Gentiles.  This statement goes completely against the prevailing Jewish thought that God certainly did show partiality, towards the Jews and against the Gentiles.  In essence, many Jews of Peter's day thought that God loved the Jews while hating the Gentiles.
i. A Jewish man would begin every day with a prayer thanking God that he was not a slave, a Gentile, or a woman.  A basic part of the Jewish religion in the days of the New Testament was an oath that promised that one would never help a Gentile under any circumstances, (This statement is not entirely true… the Jews understood that the whole concept of Torah was summed up in the statement by Rabbi Hillel that “What is hateful to you, do not do to another; that is the whole Torah, go and learn it…” What was true was the thought that contact with the Gentiles would render a person ‘unclean’ and keep them from the duties of the Temple, hence their reluctance to engage with the Gentiles. Also, it must be noted here, that the Gentiles treated the Jews with utter contempt and hatred, and what else would you do as a Jew if every day you walked by one of your brethren that had been crucified by the Gentiles for ‘crimes’ against the State? This was the reality in Jesus’ day, so let us keep our understanding rooted and grounded in truth, not conjecture.) such as giving directions if they were asked.  But it went even as far as refusing to help a Gentile woman at the time of her sorest need - when she was giving birth - because the result would only be bringing another Gentile into the world (Again, and I feel I must say this: this flies in the face of Torah, for God said in Exodus 22:20-23:
20 r“He who sacrifices to any god, except to the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed.
21 s“You shall neither mistreat a 2stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
22 t“You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you afflict them in any way, and they ucry at all to Me, I will surely vhear their cry; [18]
Statements such as these paint the picture of a heartless people with the one making the statements having no real understanding of the Hebraic mindset, but of painting a picture with a broad brush.. no God fearing Jew would turn aside from suffering if they could do something about it – and please, don’t quote the story of the Good Samaritan for you truly have to understand that parable and all that it contains before you can use it as an ‘example’ of an uncaring people.)
ii. If a Jew married a Gentile, the Jewish community would have a funeral for the Jew and consider them dead.  It was thought that to even enter the house of a Gentile made a Jew unclean before God. (These traditions were established by man, not God, it is important to remember that. They were wrong then, they would be wrong now. But before we point fingers, what about the Inquisition, the pogroms of Europe, the Holocaust? What of the Crusades, and all the other atrocities committed in the name of Jesus? We would do well to recall our own sordid history before we cast stones…) Ancient Jewish writings tell us of a Gentile woman who came to a rabbi.  She confessed that she was a sinner and asked to be admitted to the Jewish faith.  "Rabbi," she said, "bring me near."  The Rabbi refused and simply shut the door in her face. (How sad it is to allow men’s traditions to cloud a heart of mercy… may we learn from mistakes today so that we don’t fall into the same sad place.)
iii. But the Gentiles could give as good as they got from the Jews.  Gentiles despised Jews as weird traditionalists, and believed that they were evil plotters who worshipped pigs.  After all, Jews refused to eat pork, so they must worship pigs! (This is where the Muslims got their diatribe about the Jews from – we Gentiles started this whole mess of anti-Semitism..)
iv. All of this changed with the spread of the gospel (O if only this was so true, yet by the end of the first century even the Apostle John was being barred from the “church”; see 3 John 9-11).  Christianity was the first religion to disregard racial, cultural and national limitations. 
(Here is another example: I do not consider “Christianity” as a religion… any more than I consider the Hebraic perspective from which I teach as a religion. Belief in God and Messiah Yeshua transcends religion -  it is a covenantal relationship between the Creator and the created. Yeshua/Jesus didn’t come to create a new “religion” but to bring man back into line with the Father’s plan of salvation and grace that existed before the foundation of the world and that He has always had… There is and never was a “Plan B” in Elohim’s play book, only “Plan A”, and Yeshua came to restore that which was hidden by the darkness of sin, to bring it forth into the light. God’s original plan before the fall and before man’s “monkey-ing” around with the Holy Writ was a plan that always disregarded racial, cultural and national limitations; the only thing this plan never disregarded was sin; and a way was provided to conquer even that…)
v. When the Jews showed this kind of partiality they were not being faithful to God's heart as revealed in the Old Testament. (Again proving the point that those who truly followed God would do what He said, not follow their own way or traditions..) The idea that God shows no partiality is also stated in Deu. 10:17 and 2Ch. 19:7: For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. (Deu. 10:17)
b. Peter's point in saying but in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him is not to imply that men like Cornelius were already right with God and don't need to become Christians (…better, believers; remember they weren’t called ‘Christians’ yet, or if they were, it was a derogatory label …).  Instead, the point is that they need not feel excluded from God because of their national background.
i. We often think God sees color; He only sees the heart.  God does not see economic status; He only sees the heart.  He doesn't see nationality or ethnic group; He only sees the heart.
c. He is Lord of all is a powerful phrase, showing the deity of Jesus.  How could anyone say this of someone who is not God?
d. Whom they killed by hanging on a tree . . . Him God raised up on the third day: Notably, Peter's preaching to the Gentiles is essentially the same as his preaching to the Jews.  He presents the person and work of Jesus Christ, with an emphasis on the resurrection of Jesus and our responsibility before God in light of these things.
i. Peter didn't have one sermon for one group and another sermon for another.  All people needed to be saved by coming to a living faith in a living Jesus Christ. (Amein!!)
e. The brief sermon concludes with an understanding of the broadness of God's promise of salvation: Whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.  Note it carefully: Whoever believes!  Jew or Gentile!  Black or white!  Rich or poor! (..No mention of baptism being a requirement of salvation…)
f. This message had great preparation.  Peter was prepared by the Holy Spirit, and those at Cornelius' house were prepared to hear the message Peter brought.  Our blessing is greatly increased when we prepare ourselves to hear the word of God.
5. (44-48) God-fearing Gentiles are saved (first!) , filled with the Holy Spirit (second!) , and (then) baptized.
While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
a. While Peter was still speaking these words: Salvation came when each one of these Gentiles responded to Peter's message with believing faith in their hearts, so that they were actually saved while they listened.
i. While listening to Peter, these people made a secret and invisible transaction (actually it was the Holy Spirit that makes this transaction, quickening a dead person into one that lives and is able then to call on and receive the gift of life..) in their hearts with God, by setting their faith in Jesus Christ.
ii. The moment of a person's salvation isn't necessarily when they raise a hand or come forward at an evangelistic invitation.  It is more likely at the moment they surrender to God and embrace Jesus in the sincerity of their hearts.
(Here, to this I say, salvation has nothing to do with a person’s “accepting” Christ or of the sincerity of a person’s heart, for the Scriptures tell us in Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV):

9     “The nheart is deceitful above all things,
And 4desperately wicked;
Who can know it? [19]

Salvation is of God alone, His sovereign choice, for again Scriptures read:

Rom. 9:14-16 “…14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy…” [20]

If salvation came by the act of a man’s decision, it would be a cause to boast; if salvation came by any other medium than the finished work of Christ on the execution stake, it would be a travesty; salvation comes from the precious blood and nothing more; on the cross our Savior said “…It is finished (tetelestai)…” [John 19:30]. What more was needed? Consider the thief… condemned, no chance of baptism, nothing but a cry for mercy.. what saved him?

“…But with the saved thief it was far otherwise. He had no moral life before his conversion and no life of active service after it. Before his conversion he respected neither the law of God nor the law of man. After his conversion he died without having opportunity to engage in the service of Christ. I would emphasize this, because these are the two things which are regarded by so many as contributing factors to our salvation. It is supposed that we must first fit ourselves by developing a noble character before God will receive us as his sons; and that after he has received us, tentatively, we are merely placed on probation, and that unless we now bring forth a certain quality and quantity of good works we shall "fall from grace and be lost". But the dying thief had no good works either before or after conversion. Hence we are shut up to the conclusion that if saved at all he was certainly saved by sovereign grace…”[21]

O believer, know that the work upon the cross was sufficient! O believer, know that there is naught we can do to save ourselves, naught we can do afterward that adds to the spilt blood of Jesus! No water washes away our stains, no act or work seals us in salvation – only His death, only His ascension, only His grace and mercy applied to our lives can save… O crucify Him not again by saying “…it wasn’t enough… you also need [fill in the blank]…” He said
O why can’t that be sufficient for you?)

iii. Peter was willing to allow the Holy Spirit interrupt his sermon.  The Holy Spirit was doing the greater work in the hearts of those listening, and Peter went with the flow.  He stopped and called for their baptism.
iv. Were these the first Gentiles to be saved?  Gentiles had probably received salvation in the eight years since Pentecost (Acts 2).  But those Gentiles were saved as they embraced Judaism as well as Christianity (no they embraced the Messiah, the King of Isra’el, the Son of God, the Son of Man… they embraced the correct way to walk, the Torah of the Living Savior, they walked as He walked, not in Judaism, for the way of the Jew wasn’t even called that... we need to see with different eyes!).  Gentiles may have received salvation before this, but they were saved as Jews, not Gentiles.
b. The Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word . . . they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God: Their filling with the Holy Spirit was accompanied by the demonstration of spiritual gifts.  This was a filling with the Holy Spirit in two senses.  First, in the sense that He indwells and abides in every believer.  Second, in the sense of a special empowering with gifts and graces from the Holy Spirit.
i. When they spoke with tongues, it was to magnify God, not to teach men.  The audience was God, not man, as is consistent with the principle of 1Co. 14:2.
c. Those of the circumcision who believed were astonished: The Jewish Christians (again, they didn’t call themselves “Christians” but called themselves talmidim [disciples] of Yeshua, or Natsarim [followers of the Natsarene {Nazarene}]; to imply they were “Christians” is to deny them the heritage that they and their/our Messiah lived and loved…) present were amazed.  They may have understood that God was now "starting" to love the Gentiles, but who would have thought God would fill Gentiles with the Holy Spirit in the same manner and degree as the Jews?
i. Peter makes the point clearly when he notes that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.  It wasn't just that God was loving or blessing the Gentiles that astonished them.  It was that God was loving and blessing the Gentiles just as He loved and blessed the Jews, and He did it while they were still Gentiles!
d. He commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord: The baptism in water did not save them.  Instead, their baptism recognized the salvation they had already received. (Very important point.)
5. This entrance of Gentiles into the church was not a "new" plan, but something promised long before.
a. The Old Testament looked for the day when a light would shine in the darkness of the Gentile world: Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.  For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.  The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. (Isa. 60:1-3)
b. God promised Abraham, and his descendants, that the blessing that came through him would extend to all nations (Gen. 12:1-4).  Here, we see Jesus - the greatest blessing from Abraham - extended to the nations.
c. Remember Jesus' promise of other sheep, not of this fold in Joh. 10:16.  Jesus also promised, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself (Joh. 12:32).
d. The first Gentile Jesus dealt with in His public ministry was a Roman centurion from Capernaum.   When Jesus healed that centurion's servant, He declared that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven (Mat. 8:5-13).
e. We should also see that Cornelius was an undoubtedly good man; yet he needed Jesus.  Even good people, who are respectful towards God, still need to come to Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and put all their trust in who Jesus is and what He has done for them. © 2001 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission [22] (And to this I say Amein and Amein…)

Ø  Given the context and the people involved with Peter at the time of Cornelius’ conversion, we must also understand the new apostle’s mind set.  He and the other Jewish believers that accompanied him to Cornelius’ home were astonished that the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) had been poured out unto the Gentiles.  It wasn’t water, it was the Spirit of the Living Yahveh that prevailed due to the words of Life spoken by Peter.  Remember what Christ had told the disciples:
John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. [23]
Ø  Remember also what Peter told the others upon his return from Cornelius’ home:
Acts 11:15-17
Ø  15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. 16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. 17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ;  what was I, that I could withstand God? [24]
Ø  Here, Peter actually got it right, even though in practice, he was still behaving as a Jew would in proselytzing:  he “baptized” in water.
Again, just because we see it in the Bible, doesn’t mean that the practice noted is what Yahveh intends for us to do.  (Should we conceive children by our hand-maidens, or our daughters, or daughter-in-laws? All these things are in the Bible…) But by that same note, I won’t even try to put God in a box, therefore let me state here, so that there is no mistake: while I do not believe that salvation is sealed by anything other than the sovereign choice of a Holy God and the shed blood of His Son, I do not object to nor seek to discourage water baptism, for it is an outward sign of the saved believer in his salvation; what I object to is the notion that it is required as a means of salvation. To insist upon this is no different than what Sha’ul (Paul) spent his life doing: correcting the misunderstanding that the Gentiles (and Jews) had concerning salvation. Jewish believers had come into the flock with the mistaken notion that:

  1. you had to convert and become a Jew to be saved;
  2. you had to follow the Torah of Moses AND be circumcised AND believe in Jesus Christ in order to be saved.

Sha’ul went about setting the record straight, that it was only faith and trust and belief in Yeshua that saved – he understood that the Torah was never intended for salvation, but was intended to show a sinful human race how to approach a Holy God and live; how to love their fellow man and what pleased God and what did not. The faithful Jew didn’t keep Torah because he was “obliged” to do so.. he kept Torah because he LOVED HIS GOD, and wanted to do what pleased Him. How can anyone ever say that loving God was equal to legalism? To be sure, it was the burdens of the rabbis and the scribes that yoked the people; not the commandments of God. Man-made interpretations and oral traditions took on a life of their own and superseded the Truth of the Father’s word. But, is that any different from today? How many extra-biblical traditions do we hold to today? How many excuses do we invent to circumvent the plain words of Scripture so that we can hold onto our sacred cows (i.e., the “Christ-Mass”, “Easter”, Sunday as Sabbath, the “Law” [Torah] being done away with, the Feasts of the Lord [Lev. 23] being ignored, picturing our Savior as a long haired [shameful for a man in Jesus’ day], toga wearing [He’d have worn the tallit {or the equivalent of the day} and would have had the tzitziyot {fringe} on His garment], short cropped beard [it would have been full and untrimmed], blue-eyed, pale white skinned, skinny man we see in all the paintings [more than likely He was a robust example of a man, strong {He was a carpenter, and possibly a stone mason, as that is what carpenters also did in 1st century Isra’el}, and he would have been dark, olive skinned as are most of the native middle-easterners.] Isaiah says he had no form or comeliness that would of attracted us to Him, yet it would have been His eyes, probably deep black or brown [strictly conjecture], eyes full of compassion and light, eyes that would have radiated the love of His Father that would have drawn us, as well as a voice that spoke in tones of Truth, patience and righteousness. And He was a Jew. A Torah observant, Torah loving, Torah believing Jew. See Him as He is, as He was, not through the filter of 2000 years of misrepresentation. So as far as the baptism of water, I hold nothing against it, and even feel it is part of the halakah (walk) of the believer. But to say that the only way we are saved is by belief in Christ AND baptism, is no different than saying we need to believe and be circumcised – again, Peter said it best:

(Acts 10:38-43) 38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: 40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; 41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. [25]

This is our salvation, what can add to it? Let us then continue:

Ø  Peter reacted according to WHAT he knew, not what he should do.
Ø  He gave the true answer though in Acts 11:16, that Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit.
Ø  “…Not the Water…”
Ø  Let’s look at Acts 15…
·         Acts 15:1 (1901 ASV) And certain men came down from Judaea and taught the brethren, saying, Except ye be circumcised after the custom of Moses, ye cannot be saved…. [26] (What difference is there in saying Except ye be baptized after the custom of John, ye cannot be saved…?)

  • Acts 15:6-11 (KJV) 6 ….And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 7And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. [27]

(The yoke that was the burden was the mistaken belief that it was keeping Torah that was the key to eternal salvation, when it has always been faith in Him who is King of kings and Lord of lords..)

Ø  “…Stop the circumcision…” (or better, don’t even start!) of Gentile converts…. Now he’s getting it right…
Ø  The practice of the Jewish proselyte process as it applies to Gentiles is starting to be seen by our apostles as unnecessary.

v  2nd Witness:

Ø  Paul, speaking to the Corinthians (A Gentile Church):

§  1 Corinthians 1:12-16 (NLT)  Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,*” or “I follow only Christ.” 13 Can Christ be divided into pieces?
Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 for now no one can say they were baptized in my name. 16 (Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.) [28]

Ø    What baptism was Paul speaking of?  Water..  Now, let’s continue..

(And again, being fair, he was concerned that people would boast of his name, not the name of Yeshua for to be baptized in the name of Paul would have been meaningless…. See below.)

§  1 Corinthians 1:17 (1901 ASV) For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made void. [29]

Ø  Paul is saying (paraphrase mine) “I’m glad I don’t baptize, lest anybody identifies with my name, and not Christ’s, for Jesus didn’t send me to baptize, He sent me to preach the Gospel!
Ø  Wait a minute… what about “The Great Commission?”

Matthew 28:16-20 (KJV)

16Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teachb all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. [30]

Ø  What baptism is Christ talking about?
Ø  As I’ve stated before, Christ is saying to his disciples, “Baptize with Life!”
Ø  If Christ says “Baptize with life!” and Paul says, “Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel!” is there a contradiction here?  “…μηG3361 PRT-N  γενοιτοG1096 !  (me genoito!  [may it not be coming or God forbid!])

Ø  “Preach the Gospel” =**εὐαγγελίζω = euaggelizō = evangelize = The Word of Yahveh = John 6:63 …the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. [31]
Ø  “Preach the Gospel” = Life = Matt. 28
**G2097 ευαγγελίζω euaggelizō
From G2095 and G32; to announce good news (“evangelize”) especially the gospel: - declare, bring (declare, show) glad (good) tidings, preach (the gospel).

Ø  RECAP:  Paul says, “..Not water, but preach the Gospel..”
Þ     Type of “baptism” .
Þ     What type?
Þ     The baptism of the Blood, of the Cross
Þ     The Cross is Life [death to self, life to the soul]
Þ     “Preach the Gospel” = Word of Yahveh = The Cross = Life
Ø  In The Beginning: ראשׁית (rê'shîyth ray-sheeth') : ἀρχή  (archē ar-khay')
Ø  No matter how it’s said, English, Hebrew or Greek, there is a beginning to all we know…

Mark 1:1-3 (1901 ASV) 1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2Even as it is written in Isaiah the prophet, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, Who shall prepare thy way. 3The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ye ready the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight; [32]

Mark 1:1-3 (KJV)  1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; 2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 3The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. [33]

Ø  First, Mark tells us where to look..”… As it is written in the prophets…”
Ø  Yeshua HaMashiach, [Jesus Christ] was foretold by the prophets, specifically Isaiah.
Ø  “…my messenger (aggelos  ang'-el-os, pastor or messenger)… shall prepare thy way (ὁδός  hodos  hod-os')...”
Ø  What did Yeshua say about Himself?
Ø  John 14:6 (KJV) “… I am the way, the truth, and the life…” [34]  (εγω1473 P-1NS  ειμι1510 V-PXI-1S  η3588 T-NSF  οδος3598 N-NSF  (hodos ) και2532 CONJ  η3588 T-NSF  αληθεια225 N-NSF  και2532 CONJ  η3588 T-NSF  ζωη2222 N-NSF )
Ø  Way = hodos = Yeshua

Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way (τεθλιμμενη2346 V-RPP-NSF  η3588 T-NSF  οδος3598  ), which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.  [35]
Ø  (τεθλιμμενη2346 V-RPP-NSF  η3588 T-NSF  οδος3598 ) (thlibo ho hodos) = narrow is the way
Ø  Narrow (thlibo) is the way (hodos) to Yahveh; thlibo in Strong’s is defined as:

Ö  G2346  thlibo  thlee'-bo akin to the base of G5147;
to crowd (literally or figuratively):--afflict, narrow, throng, suffer tribulation, trouble.

Ø  The “way” to Yahveh then is through affliction, through trials, through tribulations, through suffering and dying to self… the narrow way is the way of Torah, for it defines what we are to do, how we are to do it and why we do the things we do; thisnarrow way is the way of our Master, the Living Word, the Living Torah.
Ø  John the Baptizer, it is said, in Mark 1:4: “..did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance ( metanoia) fora the remission of sins” 24   not water proselytizing.
Ø  “Metanoia” is to turn, to feel compunction (for guilt, including reformation); by implication,
reversal (of (another's) decision):--repentance.
Ø  How do we “turn” from self?  Man won’t, because in Romans, Paul says that none seek Yahveh, so it must be an act of Yahveh that “turns” us and leads us into the baptism of repentance.  This must be because  Yahveh has already “pre-determined” (predestined- G4309  proorizo  pro-or-id'-zo) that we would “turn” (repent) of self (die to self; i.e. take up our cross daily and die:  The Blood Baptism).

Ø  If Mark 1:1 talks of the beginning of the Gospel and 1 Cor. 1:17 speaks of the preaching of the Gospel, then let’s look at Luke 3:3-6:
3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make His paths straight.

5 Every valley shall be filled

And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough ways smooth;
6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ” [37]

Ø  By all our examples, we see that:
Þ     If the Gospel therefore = prepare the way
Þ     And Baptism = prepare the way
Þ     Then Paul is correct when he says, Christ sent him not to baptize (immerse in water) but to PREACH THE GOSPEL.
Þ     Therefore, Gospel = Baptism

Ø  Yeshua is saying “Go forth and baptize (PREACH) in the name (Greek nomos, meaning authority) of the Father, of the Son and the Holy Ghost.”
Ø  And Paul is saying “Preach the Gospel, not the water!”
Ø  And Peter is saying “Not the water  (for the water doesn’t save, but by the Spirit) or the circumcision (for Gentiles because he would never have advocated that a Jewish believer break Torah by not being circumcised; Gentiles on the other hand needed the circumcision of the heart as do ALL now, Jew or Gentile, for it is the circumcision of the heart which is the only circumcision that matters)!”
Ø  Then we have three witnesses confirming the truth of Yahveh’s word:  “Preach Life (the Gospel), Baptize (TELL THEM) about the Truth of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (YAHVEH Elohim, the one true Yahveh), Tell them to “metanoia”, to repent, to turn from themselves, to be immersed in the Spirit of Yahveh, not water (though as I have said, you’ll want the water as a sign of your love)!  Pick up your Cross, die to self, be “baptized” in and by the Blood of Christ Jesus!”
Isaiah 40:3-5 (KJV)

3The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straightb, and the rough places plain: 5And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. [38]

Ø  Valleys, mountains, and hills are types in the Bible of rulers, powers, principalities, that will be brought low at the revelation of the Glory of Yahveh, Jesus Christ.
Ø  While we see that Mark was correct, just as the prophets foretold, Isa 40:3 is also a picture of Isra’el  (Yahveh’s separated, chosen people) coming out of Babylon (the world system of religion) and humbling themselves.  Death to self (Babylon) leads to the resurrection of Jerusalem (the new birth).
John 1:6-14 (KJV)

6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12But as many as received him, to them gave he powerb to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.[39]

Ø  Here was the way, pre-determined from before the foundation of the world, that the Light would come onto His own, and we would become the sons of Yahveh.  We have to do as the Israelites did, not once but twice, come out of the world, into wilderness.  For we are, in our first born state, dead and rejected, but once called, once quickened, our salvation begins.  Like Esau, Ishmael, Cain, and other first born, we loose our birth rights to the second birth, to the birth of the spirit.  The first born natural man is rejected by Yahveh, made to wander in the wilderness for our own good, just as the children of disobedience had to do after leaving Egypt.  There, in the vastness of the broad way, they died, but those of the second generation, found their way to the promised land by the narrow path and crossed over.  The way is not filled with promises of ease, but it is filled with the promise of life and contentment, as we learn to rest in the trials and tribulations placed upon us by a loving Father, who teaches us in our struggles that He is truly all in all.  For it is in these trials that Yahveh brings us into the fullness of what we were predestined to be: conformed to the image of His Son…
Malachi 3:1 (KJV)

1Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. [40]

Ø  Again, we see the “way” (derek in the Hebrew = to hodos in the Greek)
Malachi 3:2 (KJV)

2But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: [41]

Yahveh will appear to us as a “refiner’s fire”, burning away the dross.  This is no easy salvation, no once saved, always saved.  We don’t just say a “sinner’s prayer”, or just call upon the name of Jesus and then no matter what we do, we’ve got our free ticket to heaven. There is a condition upon Yahveh’s love, and that is obedience.  The history of the Christian church shows us that the power and relevancy of the church suffers in times of ease.  Where is the power in the western church today?  Why aren’t we seeing the same miracles and growth that the persecuted churches around the world are experiencing? (For truth, there are pockets of power, but the body of Messiah is weak and anemic, and only an infusion of the true baptism, of the Blood of Christ, will build us up. It will take the winnowing wind and the cleansing fire of an ALL CONSUMING GOD to prepare His bride, to make us without spot, wrinkle or blemish.)  It is  because we haven’t prayed like Solomon did in Proverbs 30:7-9 (1901 ASV):

Two things have I asked of thee; Deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lies; Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is needful for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is Jehovah? Or lest I be poor, and steal, And use profanely the name of my God. [42]

It is also because we have forsaken the way of Torah for the way of religion.  In our ease, in our comfort, we have forgotten what it means to sacrifice, to deny self.  We are preached to in smooth words, told that Yahveh has to provide us with all we ask for, why it’s in His word!  There is no call for the daily repentance that we need, no call for the crying out of our heart for the sins of the nation and ourselves, no weeping at the injustices we see.  We all worship at the altar of self, of “I want it now”, we bombard ourselves with the images of life, the lust of our eyes, and strive to make a name for ourselves, and at what expense?  What was the sin that brought the Tower of Babel to an end?

Genesis 11:1-4 (RSV)

1 Now the whole earth had one language and few words. 2 And as men migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”[43]

Yahveh confounded their language and scattered them across the earth, for what they proposed.  In their ease, they devised wickedness against the Most High; in our ease, so have we.  For if we love Him, we will keep His commandments.  If we love Him, we will pick up our cross and daily repent, daily die to our own wishes and desires.  We will give up any search for our own name, our own “nomos”, our authority over our lives and in obedience turn to Him and let His life be lived through us.  We will suffer for His sake, not our own, if we love Him.  And if we are at ease, if sorrow for the sins of the world and the plight of the lost do not weigh heavily upon us, then we must  drop on our faces and cry out to Yahveh to bring us back to that place of repentance once more.  His heart has to once again becomes our own.
Malachi 3:3
3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. [44]
Yahveh shall purify, shall purge, His sons of Levi, the priests and preachers that are knowingly or unwittingly teaching the false doctrines.  Not all of His preachers are wolves, some just are ignorant of the Truth, and need to be taught.  These are the ones that will be refined, be purged of the dross of man’s doctrines and brought into the full knowledge of Jesus Christ.  There are those that are wolves though, and in the fire that is to cleanse Yahveh’s ecclesia (called out ones, church), their works will be burned, as hay and stubble….  If wolves out of ignorance then:
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (1901 ASV)

According to the grace of God which was given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder I laid a foundation; and another buildeth thereon. But let each man take heed how he buildeth thereon.
11For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12But if any man buildeth on the foundation gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13each man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself shall prove each man’s work of what sort it is. 14If any man’s work shall abide which he built thereon, he shall receive a reward. 15If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as through fire. [45]

But if wolves out of the wickedness of their hearts, then…

Malachi 4:1 (1901 ASV)
4 For, behold, the day cometh, it burneth as a furnace; and all the proud, and all that work wickedness, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith Jehovah of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. [46]

Isaiah 47:14 (1901 ASV)
Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: it shall not be a coal to warm at, nor a fire to sit before.

We, as Yahveh’s elect, are predestinated to leave Babylon, the dead country, and move into a land we know not, the one flowing with milk and honey.  It will not be without struggle though, as we encounter our own foundations, built up with our own hands.  Do we have the courage to set fire ourselves to those beliefs that are contrary to Yahveh’s word, to the teaching of Christ?  If we do, the rewards are great:

Malachi 3:4-5 (DARBY)

4 Then shall the oblation of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto Jehovah, as in the days of old, and as in former years. 5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against the false swearers, and against those that oppress the hired servant in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith Jehovah of hosts. [48]

In the end, the offerings (the remnant of grace) will be acceptable to the Lord- the bride will have made herself ready.

Revelation 19:7 (KJV)

7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. [49]


We’ve seen:

Ø  The Proselyte Process
ü  Circumcision  (a shadow of repentance, i.e. obedience)
ü  The washing of water  (and we see in 1 Cor. 1 “Stop the Water!” but we still need the washing of the water of the word. Again, it is not baptism I want to see stopped, only the trusting of salvation to something other than the all sufficient work of Jesus on the cross…)
ü  The offering of a sacrifice

Ø  Acts 10:28
ü  Peter speaks of how it was unlawful to go to the house of a Gentile.  Rabbinical tradition said if a Jew came into contact with a Gentile, he had to go home and ‘wash’ himself to be clean again….
Ø  Acts 10:34-43
ü  Peter preaches the Gospel
Ø  Acts 10:44-46
ü  The Jews with Peter are amazed at the out-pouring of the Holy Ghost on the Gentiles…
Ø  Acts 10:47
ü  Now the Truth…remember, that in the Greek language, there are no punctuation marks, these were added by the English translators… the literal translation of the text would read “ (It’s) Not the water! Forbid it (for believing it brings salvation)! They have received the Holy Spirit like us! [punctuation marks mine – DER]”
Ø  Acts 10:48
ü  The proper translation is “…with [G1722  en  en a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), i.e. a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); "in," at, (up-)on, by, etc.:--about, after, against, + almost, X altogether, among, X as, at, before, between, (here-)by (+ all means), for (... sake of), + give self wholly to, (here-)in(-to, -wardly), X mightily, (because) of, (up-)on, (open-)ly, X outwardly, one, X quickly, X shortly, (speedi-)ly, X that, X there(-in, -on), through(-out), (un-)to(-ward), under, when, where(-with), while, with(-in). Often used in compounds, with substantially the same import; rarely with verbs of motion, and then not to indicate direction, except (elliptically) by a separate (and different) preposition.] the name of the Lord..”, not “…in the name of the Lord…” .

The action here was the Blood Baptism, not water..  Go to Acts 11:5-17.  Peter recounts this experience with the believers (Jews) in Jeruslem.  In 11:16 he tells how he recalled the Lord’s words :

16Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. [50]

Ø  “..baptizo en pneuma hagios..” = LIFE

Ø  The Point:  The Apostles were learning.  Both Peter and Paul (not to mention the other Apostles) had to learn about WHAT TO DO.  They had to put away the “doctrines of men”, i.e. rituals, and learn the things of Yahveh.  We see this with Peter’s recount of the Cornelius episode in Acts 11:18:

Acts 11:18 (1901 ASV)

And when they (the Jews w/Peter) heard these things, they held their peace (not arguing about the washing/prosthelyzing ritual), and glorified God, saying, Then to the Gentiles also hath God granted repentance unto life. (The Gospel=baptism of repentance=Life) [51] (emphasis mine)

Ø  Now to Acts 15…
v  Paul in Acts 13 & 14 has been going to the Gentiles preaching the Gospel and teaching.  Now he is in Antioch.  Paul has traveled to Antioch, Iconium, Listra and Derby.  He was rejected by the Jews in these cities (cf. Acts 13:1-43).  Luke relates to us how Paul preached Jesus from the prophets to the Jews in Antioch, and that in verse 43, we see that many of the Jews and the devout proselytes urged Paul on, to continue to talk to them concerning this matter.  By verse 45 though, we see the “zelos”, or the envy and/or indignaton of the Jews come against Paul and Barnabas.  Rejected by the Jews, he then goes to the Gentiles (where we see predestination once again in verse 48), …

48And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. [52]

v  The unbelieving Jews followed Paul all through the cities.  (Paul ends up being stoned.)  Now in chapter 15, believing Jews have come in, and insisted that to be saved, the converts had to be circumcised.  (Remember Paul says STOP the circumcision of Gentiles for Christ was sufficient..)  In order to solve this contention, Paul travels back to Jerusalem, to discuss it with the church leaders.  Believing Pharisees wanted the Gentiles circumcised to follow the Law of Moses… this brings to mind Christ’s warning in Matt 23:15:

15Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte (hmmmm), and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. [53]

v  Peter rebutes this with a recap of what occurred in Acts 10. (see Acts 15:7-11; cf. Acts 15:9 with Eph 2:14-22, “the one new man”).  In verse 10, Peter speaks of the Gentile believers as “mathetes”- disciples or more correctly, learners…   What then, makes a disciple?  Jesus says in Luke 14:27:
Luke 14:27 (KJV)

27And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. [54]

v  Bearing his cross, to his death of self, to the baptism of blood through the baptism of repentance, at the will of Yahveh who predestinated it (salvation) to happen…  Peter goes on to ask why do this when we as natural Jews or our fathers before us couldn’t even do this thing?  He is basically saying  to stop the (physical) circumcision of the Gentiles, and to lean on the grace of Jesus Christ (vs. 11).  Now, let’s stop for just a minute:  the law(s) of Israel were confirmed by the mouths of two or more witnesses.  Paul and Peter then, by the lead of the Holy Spirit, confirmed:  STOP THE CIRCUMCISION OF THE GENTILES, STOP THE WATER (as a means of salvation, not as a public sign of faith).


Ø  Col. 2:8-  Paul says to those Gentiles in Colossae:
Colossians 2:8 (KJV)

8Beware lest any man spoil (sulagogeo- to lead away as booty, to seduce, to carry away] you through philosophy [the ways of the world] and vain deceit [private, personal interpretation **], after the tradition of men, after the rudimentsc of the world, and not after Christ. [55]

**2 Peter 1:20 (KJV)

20Knowing this first, that no prophecy [propheteia- speaking, etc.]  of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  [idiosepilusis- self explanation][56]

Ø  Tradition: paradosis, a precept, especially the Jewish traditionary law, i.e. verbal law, the proselyte process.  Pauls warns the Colossians (and us) of being led away from Christ by the things that aren’t Christ’s. Paul tells us that:
ü  We are complete in Christ, the head of all principality and power;
ü  That we/they are circumcised by that made without hands, the putting off the body the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ (circumcision of the heart);
ü  We are buried with Him in baptism [the spiritual, blood baptism] and raised up again in faith of Yahveh doing the work (v. 12), the same Yahveh that raised Christ;
ü  And we/they, though dead, hath Yahveh quickened [sazoopoieo {sood-zo-op-oy-eh’-o}: reanimated with (or by), brought to life] us with Christ and forgiven our sins (v13);
ü  That by blotting out the letter of the law (the ordinances that were against us, those that separated Jew and Gentile), and having nailed them to the cross (v. 14);
ü  And triumphed over the principalities and powers [the darkness and ourselves], and victory was His in the cross, and by His cross, our own.

Ø  So here was the Jewish tradition, circumcision as it pertained to the Gentiles, washing of water, sacrifice….  Christ made us the circumcision made without hands; baptized us in blood (O are you washed by the blood of the lamb…); and sacrificed- to blot out our transgressions and the letter of the law (the law of sin and death, not Torah) that kills, fulfilling the law (of righteousness, Torah of God) with His blood.
Ø  Therefore, in verse 16, Paul sums it all up:

Colossians 2:16 (1901 ASV)
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new moon or a sabbath day: [57]

Ö  Christ fulfilled the dietary laws of the Jews (meat and drink, but He did not change them…pig is still unclean!)
Ö  Christ has fulfilled (the first four, the Spring Feasts and will fulfill the three remaining Fall Feasts) the feasts (holy days)
Ö  Christ will fulfill the new moons  [7 months of trumpets at each new moon- the 7th trump being His bride going home]
Ö  Christ will fulfill all the Sabbath Days- rest at last will be ours
Ö  Remember in Colosse Paul wasn’t speaking of the Jewish feast days or new moons or Sabbaths, but was referring to those that the pagans practiced and that his disciples were being pressured to take up again. Gentile believers had it tough; pressured by the ones Paul called ‘Judaizers’  and pressured by the pagan society in which they lived…

The shadow of things to come- the one body of Christ- the Jew and Gentile worshipping together is yet to come but praise Yahveh is coming closer, but as He said in Revelation 22:7: …behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book. [58]

Ø  Ephesians 4:4-6 (1901 ASV) There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism [the baptism of blood], 6one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all. 7[59]
Ø  Only need one baptism of blood (though in this we need to die daily to self)-   how many times have you been baptized in water?
Ø  Ephesians 3:6-12 (1901 ASV) …to wit, that the Gentiles are fellow-heirs, and fellow-members of the body, and fellow-partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel [the baptism of blood] 7whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of that grace of God which was given me according to the working of his power. 8Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach unto the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9and to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery which for ages hath been hid in God who created all things [what we’ve thought we knew, Yahveh hid; and now He reveals the truth to His elect]; 10to the intent that now unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through our faith in him. [60]
Ø  Ephesians 2:11-22 (1901 ASV)
Wherefore remember, that once ye, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called Circumcision, in the flesh, made by hands; 12that ye were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus ye that once were far off are made nigh in the [baptism of..] blood of Christ.
14For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition, 15having abolished in the flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace; 16and might reconcile them both in one body unto God through the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17and he came and preached peace to you that were far off, and peace to them that were nigh: 18for through him we both have our access in one Spirit unto the Father. 19So then ye are no more strangers and sojourners, but ye are fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, 20being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone; 21in whom each several building, fitly framed together, groweth into a holy temple in the Lord; 22in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God in the Spirit. [61]

We are born, not by our will, not by our might, not by our righteousness, but by the power and spirit of our Living Yahveh, all glory be unto Him; and salvation cometh only through the Messiah Yeshua and His completed work on the cross.  Because we love Him, we’ll keep His commandments; because we love Him, we will be baptized in water; because we love Him, our salvation is assured only by the turning of our hearts toward Him by the sovereign grace of the Holy Spirit, and the Shed Blood of Jesus, nothing more is added, but there is a halakah we will walk, and learn. Torah is true and holy, for it is the Living Word of the Father, who dwelt among us as the Son, and in that, I rest. If I am in error I my conclusions, I pray Yahveh corrects me so I can repent..

….May He richly bless you this day my beloved, Amein and Amein...

[1] From the article  Water Baptism” by Pastor Mark Biltz []

[2]Darby, J. N., 1890 Darby Bible, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.
[3]  Darby, John Nelson: The Holy Scriptures : A New Translation from the Original Languages. Oak Harbor : Logos Research Systems, 1996
[4]Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries, electronic edition, e-sword® ver 9.7.2, ©Rick Meyers 2001-2010
[5]Vine, W. E. ; Unger, Merrill F. ; White, William: Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. Nashville : T. Nelson, 1996, S. 1:160
[6] Darby, J. N., 1890 Darby Bible, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.
[7] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[8] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[9] The New American Bible, (Nashville, Tennesee: Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) 1997.
[10] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[11] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[12]  Darby, J. N., 1890 Darby Bible, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1995.
[13] 1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.
[14] 1901 American Standard Version, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1994.
[15] Young’s Literal Translation, from the 1898 Third edition, via the Electronic Edition, e-Sword, Ó2007-2008, Rick Myers
[16] Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries, electronic edition, e-sword® ver 9.7.2, ©Rick Meyers 2001-2010
[17] Darby, J. N. (1996). The Holy Scriptures : A new translation from the original languages (Lk 3:2). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.
r  Ex. 32:8; 34:15; Lev. 17:7; Num. 25:2; Deut. 17:2, 3, 5; 1 Kin. 18:40; 2 Kin. 10:25
s  Ex. 23:9; Deut. 10:19; Zech. 7:10
2  sojourner
t  Deut. 24:17, 18; Prov. 23:10, 11; Jer. 7:6, 7; [James 1:27]
u  [Luke 18:7]
v  Deut. 10:17, 18; Ps. 18:6
[18]  The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

n  [Eccl. 9:3]; Matt. 15:19; [Mark 7:21, 22]
4  Or incurably sick
[19]  The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[20]The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.) (Ro 9:14-16). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[21] From  THE SEVEN SAYINGS OF THE SAVIOR ON THE CROSS, by A.W. Pink, electronic edition, Ages Software, ©2001

[22] David Guzik’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, ©2001 by David Guzik (electronic edition), theWord © 2003-2010 - Costas Stergiou
[23] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[24] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[25]The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (electronic ed. of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.) (Ac 10:38-43). Bellingham WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[26]  American Standard Version. Electronic edition. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995
[27]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995
*  1 Corinthians 1:12
Greek Cephas.
[28]  Holy Bible : New Living Translation. electronic ed. Wheaton : Tyndale House, 1997, c1996
[29]  American Standard Version. Electronic edition. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995
b  teach...: or, make disciples, or, Christians of all nations
[30]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995
[31] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[32]  American Standard Version. Electronic edition. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995
[33]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995
[34]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995
[35]  The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[36]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995
a  for: or, unto
[37] The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.
b  straight: or, a straight place
[38]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995
b  power: or, the right, or, privilege
[39]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995
[40]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995
[41]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1995
[42]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[43]  The Revised Standard Version. 1971 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[44] The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.
[45]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[46]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[47]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[48]  Darby, J. N. (1996). The Holy Scriptures : A new translation from the original languages (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.
[49]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems,
[50]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[51]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[52]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[53]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[54]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
c  rudiments: or, elements
[55]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[56]  The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[57]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[58]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[59]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[60]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
[61]  American Standard Version. 1995 (Electronic edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.