House Church Talk - Baptisms and Administrations

Bruce Woodford bwood4d at
Fri Feb 6 12:19:34 EST 2004

Hi David,

You wrote:"Oh, ok.  Now I see what you are driving at.  Yes, your viewpoint 
seems to accord well with Mat. 21:25 which indicates that many did not 
participate with John's baptism.  Clearly his baptism was something new and 
a dividing line between orthodox Judaism and those who were truly

Bruce, this is kind of interesting in light of home church because the 
difference here is someone doing the baptism.  The question of authority 
certainly comes into play here.  Why do you think God put this element of 
authority into baptism as the distinguishing factor between this work and 
the baptisms of Judaism?  It seems like the opposite of what most of us 
involved with home church have done.  We tend to shy away from authority 
being involved and believe that we can approach God without the authority of 
others, yet here with the question of baptism, we have either using your own 
authority under Judaism for baptism, or submitting unto authority through 
men, either John the Baptist or Jesus Christ.  Do you see what I am getting 
at?  I'm not sure I'm explaining myself very well.  Time is short and I have 
to go right now (people waiting on me)."

David, you have brought up an interesting point, but I'm not sure that I 
really understand what you are saying. Please expand when you have 

My observations at this point regarding differences between scriptural 
baptisms under the old covenant and scriptural baptisms under the new 
covenant are the following: (This does NOT include the Pharisaical 
washings/baptisms of pots and cups etc!)  The following places in the O.T. 
where the Greek words "bapto" or "baptizo" are used were traced through the 
Septuagint version.

Baptisms which were COMMANDED by God in the O.T. are as follows:
-hyssop was baptized/dipped in blood in order to apply the blood to the door 
posts and lintel prior to the first Passover in Egypt. Ex.12:22
-the priest's finger was baptized/dipped in blood to sprinkle it before the 
vail in the tabernacle. Lev.4:6,17
-Aaron's finger was baptized/dipped in blood to apply the blood to the horns 
of the altar Lev.9:9
-a living bird, cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop were dipped in water and the 
blood of a slain bird and used in the sprinkling of a leper for his 
cleansing. Lev.14:6
-the priest's finger was baptized/dipped in oil which was sprinkled before 
the Lord as part of the leper's cleansing. Lev.14:16
-cedar wood, scarlet, hyssop and a living bird were baptized/dipped in water 
and the blood of a slain bird for the cleansing of leprosy from a house. 
-hyssop was baptized/dipped in water and the ashes of a red heifer by a 
clean person and sprinkled for cleansing from defilement on a defiled 
person, tent or vessels which a defiled person had handled. Numbers 19:18
-part of Moses' blessing on the tribes of Israel was that Asher's foot was 
to be baptized/dipped in oil (figuratively? as a sign of strength?)  
-at the crossing of the Jordan, the priests feet (who carried the ark) were 
baptized/dipped in the Jordan river and the waters were stopped so Israel 
could cross over on dry ground. Josh.3:15
-Naaman baptized/dipped himself seven times in the Jordan and was cleansed 
of his leprosy. II Kings 5:14

If we consider the matter of authority for such baptisms, there was definite 
divine authority for all of them  because they were commanded by God.

Other instances of baptisms RECORDED in the O.T are as follows:
-Ruth was instructed by Boaz to baptize/dip her morsel of bread in vinegar 
with the other laborers. Ruth 2:14
-David baptized/dipped the tip of his rod in the honey of a honeycomb to 
obtain food. I Sam14:27
-the weapon used by Hazael to murder King Ben Hadad was a heavy cloth 
baptized/dipped in water and spread on the king's face to suffocate him!  II 
Kings 8:15
-Job said that even though he could wash himself in snow water and make his 
hands "never so clean", yet God would baptize/plunge him in the ditch/in 
filth! Job recognized that God looks not on the outward appearance but on 
the heart which is deceitful and desperately wicked!  Job.9:31
-regarding God's promise to bring again His people Israel to a place of 
prominence and victory over their enemies, He said, "thy foot shall be 
baptized/dipped in the blood of thine enemies."  Ps.68:23
-Isaiah said, "My heart wanders and transgression baptizes/overwhelms me; my 
soul is occupied with fear."  Isaiah 21:4
-as King Nebuchadnezzar was humbled by God and made as a beast, he was 
baptized/bathed/wet with the dew. Dan.4:30

David, talk to us more about your thoughts on authority. At this point, I 
see the source of authority for the baptisms of objects, fingers feet and 
Naaman's body in the O.T. to be the very same source of authority for 
baptisms mentioned in the N.T. (John's baptism in water, the baptism of 
disciples in water, the baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit, and the 
baptism of unbelievers in fire)  The authority for all of them was/is the 
command of God, or an action performed by God, Himself.


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