??Does Water Baptism Save??

Related articles: "The Holy Ghost in the Godhead Name, Lord Jesus Christ"
                     "Water Baptism: Why, Who, What, When, Where, How?"

Part 1

On Sat, 6 Mar 1999 16:10:42 EST Phillip218@aol.com writes:









Hebrews 6:2 speaks of a PLURALITY of baptisms:

During salvation we are incorporated [or baptized] into

the body of Christ by the Spirit: 1 Cor 12:13 "For by one Spirit are we

all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be

bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." That is


first baptism. Notice that the Spirit at that point comes in, not upon.

We "drink into one Spirit"---one Lord, one faith, one BAPTISM [Eph 4:5]

Water baptism is the second baptism. WATER baptism is something that

people desire to do immediately AFTER they are saved.

The UPON baptism with the Holy Spirit is the third baptism.

Jesus spoke of a fourth baptism that He had to be baptized with:

some call it the "cup of suffering."


Tithing ten percent is an act of righteousness that emanates from

having the King of Righteousness in your heart. Tithing did not

begin with the law nor does it end with the law, but tithing was

such a good idea that God chose to include it in His law, for

His law is holy, just, good, and spiritual. [Rom 7:12-14]

Those who have the Lawgiver in their heart keep the law as

He did and continues to do. We cannot be saved by keeping the

law perfectly, because we have already broken it, and the law

demands perfection. However, we were not saved to become

lawbreakers; Such a philosophy would be using grace as "a cloak

of maliciousness." Certain Old Testament laws are Bible typology

which are fulfilled in Christ. You fulfill those laws unconsciously

by allowing the Fulfiller to abide in you. Tithing is NOT in that


Some laws that are fulfilled by the cross are: ceremonial cleansing,

animal sacrifices, priestly garments, kosher foods, and rituals.

Tithing, like the ten commandments, has practical and

present value. It is not merely a shadow of things to come.

God still has men who minister at the altar who have a right to

be sustained by the storehouse of the Temple of God.

Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, and Jesus is of the priestly order

of Melchizedek, which means, "King of Righteousness."

One of Jesus' names is, "The Lord our Righteousness."

Another name is, "King of kings."

Put the two together, and you get, "King of Righteousness."

When we tithe to Jesus' ambassadors, we are

tithing to agents of Jesus. Many Christians are waiting for Jesus to

come and sit on their couch and tell them to tithe, before they will

do so. The fact of the matter is---He already has in one way or the

other, because we are ambassadors for Christ.

There is much confusion about the law. Many people who say that

they are "not under the law" place themselves [in their mind]

OVER the law. If one is over or above the law, he is walking on

the law or trampling the blood of Jesus underfoot which is typified in the law,

considering the Blood a despised thing.

If one is a Christian, Jesus the Word, that is, "Truth [Law] and Grace",

dwells within the heart. Like David, whom God called, "a man after

My own heart," we should delight in the keeping the law as a "treasure" as

David depicted in Psalm 119. Jesus admonished us to keep His Word(s).

The NEW Testament, not Old Testament says:

Matt 5:19 "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least

commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the

least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach

them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

So I will always teach about the righteous act of tithing, which

God delighted to place in His law, though tithing was before the law.

Since we are NOT saved by keeping the law, one who does not tithe

will not be excluded from Heaven---But he shall be called LEAST in Heaven.


Part 2

On Sun, 7 Mar 1999 12:32:39 EST Phillip218@aol.com writes:









>>Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of

>you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall

>receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.>>



"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;

but he that believeth NOT shall be damned." Mk 16:16

The criteria for damnation clearly is unbelief, not LACK

of water baptism.

Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

The criteria for salvation is true repentance accompanied

by complete faith in the risen Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

In order to be saved, Christ's Lordship must reign in the life of

that person. One of God's first injunctions for new believers is

that the individual be properly water baptized.

At salvation we are forgiven. If we die at that point, we will not

go to hell. This does not mean we have victory over the

clinging inhibiting grip of sin, but we are free from its

long-term penalty.

"Remit" means, "send away" or "slacken."

The word translated "remission" in Acts 2:38 is "aphesis",

which can mean "liberty" and "deliverance," as well as forgiveness.

Context and correlation determines the intended usage of the

inspired author. Since the bulk of Scripture makes it clear that

salvation is by inward faith, not outward ritual, we can be sure Peter

is talking about the ongoing liberty, loosing, and deliverance from sin

that continues after salvation. Obedience is a key to resisting

and defeating the work of sin and the devil. Water baptism

is a primary ingredient in submitting to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Water baptism is called "circumcision of heart." Col 2:11,12

In the wheel of your being, the knife of the Holy Spirit cuts

away the binding spokes of sin that try to attach themselves

to the hub of your heart. At salvation one is free from the

the death penalty of sin, but at water baptism he is free from

the tenacious grip of sin. I have seen many smokers and

alcoholics delivered from their vices through water baptism.

The tentacles of sin will grow back unless one daily reckons

his baptism to be active and effective.

No, water baptism does not save, but just as faith without

works is dead, a person who does not want to be washed

by Jesus in the waters of baptism, is illustrating that he

wants no part of Jesus (Jn 13:8), nor in Christ's burial

(represented by submersion) and resurrection power.

God gives the Spirit (pentecostal power) to those who

obey Him. (Acts 5:32)


Part 3

Phillip218@aol.com writes:

>1,PET,3;[18] For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the

>unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but

>quickened by the Spirit: [19] By which also he went and preached unto

>the spirits in prison; [20] Which sometime were disobedient, when once the

>longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a-

>preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. [21]

>The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the

>putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience

>toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:




With all due respect, evidently there are some that miss Peter's emphasis entirely.

The quote above says NOT by putting away the filth of the

flesh (i.e. NOT by water), but the answer of a good conscience by the RESURRECTION.

The quote above (1 Pet 3:21) says that the flood was a FIGURE, that is,

a physically representation of something SPIRITUAL to come in the

New Testament. The emphasis is not on water, but the Spirit.

Note that Peter said "baptism", NOT WATER baptism.

Noah's Flood also is figure of death ... death by drowning. The water

did not save ... it killed; but the Ark, representing Jesus, saved Noah,

who was seen to be righteous in the eyes of God, because he trusted God

in building the ark. Therefore, Noah was "saved by faith" not the Flood.

There is more than one baptism, (Hebrews 6:2; Luk 3:16, Luk 12:50)

but there is only "one baptism" that saves [Eph 4:4,5]. The subsequent

baptisms, which includes water baptism, are incremental steps in

equipping the Christian for service.

1 Cor 12:13 - "For by one Spirit are we all baptized [saved] into one body,

whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been

all made to DRINK into one SPIRIT." Water is a metaphor and symbol of

the Spirit. Similar to the flood, the glory of the Holy Spirit shall cover

the earth as the WATERS cover the sea.

We see that the SPIRITUAL baptism typified by the flood is described in

detail in Titus 3:5-- "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." This washing of regeneration produces the

clean/good conscience Peter alluded to in 1 Pet 3:21.

The "regeneration" is the new birth, which is not dependent on physical externals:

meats, and drinks, and diverse WASHINGS, and CARNAL ordinances (Heb 9:10).

"Now ye are CLEAN through the word which I have spoken unto you." (Jn 15:3)

Salvation is by faith in the risen Christ, NOT by rituals.

If a reprobate (one without faith) is water baptized, he is a dry reprobate

before water baptism, and a wet reprobate after water baptism.

The scriptures on the doctrine of salvation by faith alone fill the Bible from

cover to cover. Here are a few good ones:

"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." [Eph 2:8,9]

"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God,

how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements [such as H2O],

whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?"

"Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made

perfect by the flesh?" [Gal 3:3]

As I said in a previous mailing, if one does not obey the Lord in water

baptism, one's faith would be dead, being alone. Submitting to the

outward sign of water baptism is an external evidence of internal faith.

Water baptism also carries with it the spiritual dynamic of the

"aphesis" principle. Jesus commanded water baptism. Obeying

this mandate effects a circumcision of heart, because His Word

is quick [alive] and active and sharper than a surgical scalpel.

Obedience through water baptism activates and unleashes increased

inner growth.

Salvation began in the Old Testament by faith, and it is continued

in the New Testament by faith:

"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:

as it is written, The just shall live by faith." [Rom 1:17]

Just as our Old Testament predecessors were saved without getting

wet, likewise there will be many New Testament saints who will enter

Heaven without the benefit of water baptism, either because of lack

of adequate teaching or because of an insufficient co-supply of time and

water necessary to be properly baptized by submersion.

Empirical evidence:

We see throughout the book of Acts that water baptism FOLLOWED

belief (faith), not vice-versa. (8:12,36,37; 10:47,48; 16:31-33;


The fable that water baptism saves is a relic of the archaic Roman

Catholic heresy practiced in "infant water baptism." Such a spurious

teaching is opposed to the doctrine of the apostles.

"The gospel ... is the power of God unto salvation to every one that

believeth ..." [Rom 1:16]


Part 4

Water baptism is Spiritual if kept in perspective.

If and when water baptism becomes necessary

in one's mind for salvation, at that point it

becomes an ineffective carnal ordinance

of dead works. Our trust is in Jesus' work alone

for salvation, not any physical action by us or

a minister. We are saved on credit. We have

nothing to offer God, until He enters into our heart,

and works out what He has worked into us.

To change the subject for a moment--

People occasionally receive the gift of tongues at salvation,

although that is not the norm. (It may be normal one day as the

outpouring of the Spirit increases with the approach of the end time.)

(See Acts chapters 10 and 11 regarding Cornelius.)

Likewise, people are sometimes saved at water baptism,

although that is not the norm. Indeed, the minister would

not have, and should not have water baptized the person

unless the minister believed the subject was already saved,

or at the least was under heavy conviction to be saved AND

completely given over to the desire to be saved.

[Acts 8:37 regarding the Ethiopian eunuch.]

Since the presence of the Spirit is stronger when we gather

together for group meetings, which sometime include water

baptisms, there is a always a potential for people to get saved at

water baptism, although it is intended for believers.

God's ways and thoughts are higher than ours and he knows

all hearts, hence sometimes a person whom we thought was

already saved will get saved during water baptism for the above

reason. Secondly, during water baptism the minister's hands

are laid on the person to be baptized---the Spirit is often imparted

through the hands, especially apostles' hands, whether it be unto

salvation within the heart, or unto the "upon" baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Especially today God is doing a quick work in people.

When they are as zealous as Paul was in Acts 9

(recounted in Acts 22) persons under strong conviction

can certainly "call upon the name of the Lord" Jesus Christ

for salvation at the same time they are water baptized. [Ac 22:16]

washing away their sins simultaneously by the #1 washing of

the water of the Word, #2 the sprinkling of the blood unto obedience,

and #3 the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

[ref: Rom 10:13 "... For whosoever shall call upon the name

of the Lord shall be saved."]

I was talking about norms a minute ago---God really wants

new believers to be saved, water baptized, and baptized

by the upon anointing of the Holy Ghost AS SOON AS

POSSIBLE. We are in war time against the enemy, and

God is quickly drafting his soldiers into service and maturing

them speedily.

Many churches have baptismal facilities on the church grounds,

and can baptize new believers fairly quickly. Although God

loves the large assemblies, He will ultimately, through the duress

of persecution, cause the churches to move into private homes

where water baptism will be even more quick and easy. This is

the present norm in the underground Chinese church. (back to top)

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See also: "The Holy Ghost in the Godhead Name, Lord Jesus Christ"

            Water Baptism: Why, Who, What, When, Where, How?

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