Previously, in Part 1 of our two-part series,
we provided the groundwork for our present examination of the facts regarding whether or
not water baptism is a prerequisite for the
partaking of the Passover meal.
Replaced by Water Baptism?
It is claimed that after Yahushua’s death and resurrection the requirement of fleshy circumcision especially for Passover was “replaced” by water baptism. To make this point, the following quote by Saul (Paul) is given:
In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands (i.e., circumcision of heart), in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of messiah: BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM, wherein also you are risen with him through the trust of the operation of the deity (father Yahweh), who has raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; BLOTTING OUT THE HANDWRITING OF ORDINANCES THAT WAS AGAINST US, WHICH WAS CONTRARY TO US, AND TOOK IT OUT OF THE WAY, NAILING IT TO HIS TORTURE-STAKE. (Col. 2:11-14)
Carefully notice that there is no statement that one must be water baptized before one can partake of the Passover meal. This belief arises out of conjecture. Also, it must be recognized that Yahushua underwent fleshly circumcision to fulfill the requirement of the Torah of Moses (the Law) for he was born under “the Law.”
But when the time had fully come, the deity (father Yahweh) sent forth his son (Yahushua), born of woman, BORN UNDER THE LAW. (Gal. 4:4)
Furthermore, Scriptures plainly state that Yahushua the messiah was baptized with water by John the baptist, who without question, had authority to water baptize! Keep in mind, those who were being baptized at that time were Jews who were already fleshly circumcised. Notably, Yahushua also became baptized with the sacred ruach (spirit).
And Yahushua, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the ruach of the deity descending, as would a dove, and coming upon him. (Matt. 3:16; see Mark 1:9-10; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:32-33)
Should it now be a requirement to have the sacred ruach come upon us before we can eat the Passover meal? Of course not, as that claim is nowhere made in Scriptures.
It is very important to notice that Yahushua the messiah, who never sinned, did not require the water baptism of John because John’s was a baptism of repentance.
I (John the baptist) indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he (Yahushua) who comes after me is mightier than I . . . (Matt. 3:11)
Who (Yahushua) did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. (1 Pet. 2:22)
Yahushua was water baptized as a token or symbol of his death and resurrection not for his own repentance. Furthermore, even though Yahushua was legally bound to keep the Torah of Moses (the Law) and underwent fleshly circumcision, there was no requirement under “the Law” to be water baptized.
Since this detail is the case, the baptism of water and of the sacred ruach that Yahushua experienced fell outside the boundaries of any legal necessity under the Torah of Moses (the Law, Old Covenant).
What many also fail to recognize is that, Yahushua waited until he began his earthly ministry “being around 30 years of age”36 before he was baptized by water and the sacred ruach (spirit). Yet, he knew the truth long before he reached the age of 30.
John the baptist acknowledged the superiority of a future baptism that Yahushua would perform and spoke of the comparison of that baptism to the water baptism that he had been currently rendering.
John answered, saying to them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the sacred ruach and with fire. (Luke 3:16)
When John objected to his performing water baptism on Yahushua, the messiah permitted John to proceed.
Then came Yahushua from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of you, and come you to me? And Yahushua answering said unto him, Allow it to be so now: for thus IT BECOMES US TO FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS. Then he allowed him. (Matt. 3:13-15)
Notice it was both Yahushua and John who were “fulfilling all righteousness.” Therefore, because both were “fulfilling all righteousness,” logic dictates that if John and Yahushua did not continue on with the undertaking of water baptism of the messiah, then this would have been equated to a transgression against father Yahweh, for “all unrighteousness is sin.”37 As stated previously, Yahushua the messiah never sinned.
The Lack of Water Baptism
If water baptism was so important then it must be explained why the messiah never water baptized anyone:
Now when the sovereign knew that the Pharisees had heard that Yahushua was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Yahushua himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again to Galilee. (John 4:1-3)
Saul at one point could not even remember the person he last baptized, showing it was of no great concern.
I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I DO NOT KNOW WHETHER I BAPTIZED ANY ONE ELSE. FOR MESSIAH DID NOT SEND ME TO BAPTIZE but to preach the gospel . . . (1 Corinthians 1:16-17)
If no person could partake of the Passover meal unless they were water baptized, why would the messiah and Saul hold back or show so little concern for the ceremony. Were they trying to keep people from observing the Passover meal? Certainly not.
These details merely show that it was a ceremony, a token, to remind those trusting that they died and were raised with the messiah’s death and resurrection, for he is the source of all of us being resurrected back to life.
Even the water baptism administered during the time of John was not sufficient. In fact, those baptized by John’s water baptism were found in need of being baptized a second time by the sacred ruach in the name of Yahweh.
And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to trust in the one who was to come after him, that is, Yahushua. On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the sovereign Yahushua. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the sacred ruach came upon them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19: 3-4)
One must understand that water baptism for repentance is not required for salvation, but actual repentance and being baptized by the sacred ruach is! These two concepts are often confounded, thereby placing a greater emphasis on water baptism than that intended by early Christians.
One is water baptized as a token of their repentance and as an acknowledgement that their own lives are directly connected with the death and resurrection of the messiah. They are a member of the body of the messiah, unified as one person, and their eternal life rests with him.
Nevertheless, the greater baptism is in the true saving name of Yahushua (i.e., Yahweh)38 and of the sacred ruach.
I (John) indeed have baptized you with water: but he (Yahushua) shall baptize you with the sacred ruach. (Mark 1:8)
Authority to Water Baptize
Keep the following in mind regarding the issue of water baptism. Scriptures conspicuously indicate that John and Yahushua were under direct instructions from father Yahweh to implement the messiah’s water baptism. In the case of father Yahweh’s instructions as given to John the Baptist, Scriptures state:
And I (JOHN) knew him (Yahushua) not (that he was the messiah): but HE (FATHER YAHWEH) WHO SENT ME TO BAPTIZE WITH WATER, THE SAME (FATHER YAHWEH) SAID UNTO ME, Upon whom you shall see the ruach descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizes with the sacred ruach (spirit). (John 1:33)
It is clearly evident that the instructions regarding water baptism were given to John by means of someone other than the father. The most likely method would have been by means of an angel/messenger for no fleshly human can directly see or hear father Yahweh except in visions.
Who (father Yahweh) alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no (fleshly) man has ever seen or can see. (1 Tim. 6:16)
And the father (Yahweh) himself, which hath sent me (Yahushua), has borne witness of me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. (John 5:37)
Not that any man has seen the father, save he (preexistent Yahushua) which is of the deity (father Yahweh), he has seen the father. (John 6:46)
No (fleshly) man has seen the deity (father Yahweh) at any time. (1 John 4:12)
With these scriptural passages in mind:
• Who has this authority to baptize in our present day? for all who originally held this authority have died.
• Who can rightfully claim direct authority from those who had authorization or through one of their agents?
• Do we have authority to baptize ourselves?
• Can we give ourselves this authority?
One must also be cognizant of the fact that there is no command found in the New Testament that states that a person must undergo water baptism to partake of the Passover meal. The argument for such a stipulation is based upon sheer supposition.
Try as one may, one cannot find one passage in Scriptures that gives the authority for anyone to perform water baptisms today. Pointing to passages where the apostles were given direct authority cannot be used to give ourselves authority, no matter how much wishful thinking we may have.
If Yahweh wants us to pick up the ceremony of baptism in our present time, he must authorize someone to carry out the act, just as John the baptist and the apostles were duly authorized.
Should we not undergo water baptism? Of course this representative act would be good, but it would only be of value if we are prepared to take on the responsibility of such tokens and seals. It is a professing of one’s trust in Yahweh, as fleshly circumcision was a token for Abraham.
But, this brings us back to the question of who will baptize us? Who has the authority? Herein lies the rub. If we baptize ourselves without authority, what force is it and in what trust do we honor ourselves?
We should not forget that King Saul, becoming impatient for the arrival of Samuel, the priest and prophet of Yahweh, performed sacrifices in the name of Yahweh without authority. As a result, Saul lost his kingdom.39
Do we really have trust if, without any authorized agent from Yahweh, we give ourselves authority and baptize ourselves in the name of Yahweh? Who would be so brazen as to give himself authority and act without the permission of Yahweh?
Circumcision of the Heart
If one recognizes and grasps the true nature and intent of water baptism then one can understand what Scriptures actually teach. For a person to ultimately attain salvation and eternal life, that person must be circumcised of heart (innermost self).
Thus comes the command for all those attending the festivals that “none must appear before Yahweh ריקם (reyqam; worthless in character, empty).”
Three times in the year you shall keep a festival to me. You shall keep the Festival of Unleavened Bread; as I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. None shall appear before me ריקם (reyqam; worthless in character, empty).40 You shall keep the Festival of harvest, of the first fruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall keep the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the sovereign Yahweh. (Exod. 23:14-17)
Three times a year all your males shall appear before Yahweh your eloahi at the place which he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, at the Festival of Weeks, and at the Festival of Tabernacles. They shall not appear before Yahweh ריקם (reyqam; worthless in character, empty). (Deut. 16:16)
That is, a person should strive to be a filled vessel, filled with the sacred ruach, to appear before Yahweh and therefore circumcised of heart (innermost self).
In summation, when the matter is thoroughly investigated, the truth of Scriptures informs us that, unless Yahweh directly commands us to reinstitute the practice of water baptism and sends men who have the authority to act in this capacity, there is no need for any person to undergo a water baptism in order to participate in a Passover meal.
The truth of the matter clearly demonstrates that even if one were to insist that he or she must be water baptized in the name of the messiah prior to their partaking of the Passover meal, there is no known person who presently has the authority directly from Yahweh to perform these water baptisms.
If we truly can identify such a duly authorized person, we can freely come forth and genuinely be water baptized.
Meanwhile, until otherwise notified, we should attend the Festivals and appear worthy before Yahweh, a filled vessel offering the good fruit of the sacred ruach as we strive to walk in the trust of Abraham’s steps.41
36 Luke 3:23.
37 1 John 5:17.
38 That the true saving name of Yahushua is Yahweh, see SNY, Vol I, chap. XVII.
39 1 Samuel 13:7-14.
40 For ריקם (reyqam), i.e., being worthless in character, without effect, to no purpose, without success or cause, empty handed, and “an empty vessel,” etc., see Hebrew and English Lexicon. Edward Robinson, p. 978; A Manual Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. Josiah Gibbs, p. 239; and Student’s Hebrew Lexicon, Benjamin Davies, p. 593.
41 See Rom. 4:12.