You May Be Surprised at the Answer

The English word baptize, and all variations of it, has come to mean many things to many people with very few of them having the same meaning found in the scripture. Unhappily, it seldom means to a person in one denomination what it means to a person in another denomination. Also, it doesn't always mean to any particular person what the writer of the word meant when he wrote it.

The English rendering of the Greek word leaves much to the imagination. This should not be. The simplicity of the gospel of the Anointed (haMashiach or the Christ) is stated very plainly in that gospel. It is plain and to the point about all things that are important to our salvation.

Satan (saw-tawn), through the use of man (and man's fallible and sometimes gullible mind) will confuse the issue just enough to cause different people to become attached to a particular belief, derived from a lie of satan, regardless of what the scripture says. Remember that if someone does not want to believe the truth, our Eloah, whose name is Yahuwah, will accommodate them by sending them a strong delusion to help them believe the lie. (2 Thessalonikeos [Thessalonians] 2:11)

You are encouraged to ask the Father for guidance. Then with an open heart and an open mind, look through the verses listed below. Get your Scriptures down and STUDY the scripture that surrounds these verses.

It will help if you also have a good scriptural Greek dictionary such as the one found in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. (In order to properly study the word of our Eloah you must know what the underlying word that was translated is and what it really means, and not just what the translation says with its modern meaning.) I have confidence that if you will study the subject of immersion (baptism) in the scripture that you will come to recognize its importance in becoming a "born again" child of Yahuwah.

Never let it be reported that I believe or have said that water immersion in and of itself saves you from your sins. Those who believe and preach this doctrine are as much in error as are their detractors who say that water immersion is not necessary at all, or that you SHOULD be immersed but don't HAVE to be. All of these extremes are wrong, as extremes usually are. However, water immersion is definitely an integral part of the path to salvation, just as your belief that Yahushua is the Anointed, repenting, and confessing His Name are integral parts of that same path.

Don't let the thief on the cross and his salvation without immersion be a stumbling block to your understanding either. The New Testament became of force AFTER the death of the Anointed, as explained in Ibriym (Hebrews) chapter 9, especially verses 14-17. (The thief on the cross was still under Law of Mosheh while the Testator, Yahushua, was physically alive.) Besides that, Yahushua was Master of the universe then, just as He is now, and could have said and done what He did regardless of the circumstances. As the Maker of the rules, however, He obeyed them then, just as He expects us to now.

We, and all that will do the will of Yahuwah, are saved by grace (unearned merit or gift) and are justified by faith (the hope of things not seen). This faith that we are justified by is the faith that Yahushua is the Anointed, that He died for our sins, and that He rose again to sit on the right hand of Yahuwah as our living Savior. We have the faith that we are washed in His blood, and that His shed blood takes away our sins.

Now, let's look at the Greek for a moment. The root word bapto, (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #911), means "to whelm, i.e., cover wholly with a fluid" and is defined as "to dip." The word baptism is from two words (with the same root, bapto), baptisma (#908) and baptimos (#909), with the latter word also being defined as "washing." The word baptize is from the same root and is the act of "making whelmed" (baptizo - #907). It also is translated as "baptist" and "wash."

The question is with what fluid are we to be covered? It should be no surprise to anyone that the fluid that washes us clean, spiritually, is the blood of Yahushua the Anointed.

The next question is, "How do we meet that blood?" The answer is amazingly simple, and is as follows:

  1. Believe - The first and foremost thing that you must do to meet the blood of the Anointed is to believe that He is the living Son of our living Eloah.

  2. Repent - You'll repent, or think differently about your relationship to the world, and turn away from worldly ways to the ways of the kingdom of Yahuwah. (The word translated as repent literally means "to think differently.")

  3. Be immersed - You'll be immersed in the name of Yahushua for the remission of those sins.

To summarize, when you truly believe that Yahushua is the Anointed you'll gladly confess His name and be immersed just as the eunuch did in Acts 8. You will also recognize the importance of turning from your old and carnal ways of life to the new and spiritual way of life.

Why be immersed in water?
When we are immersed in His name we are buried with Him in the likeness of His death and we are buried into His death. The act of immersion in water symbolically buries the old man of sin so that you can be "born again." While you are buried with the Anointed, His blood washes you clean as evidenced by what ChananYahuw (Ananias) told Sha'uwl (Paul), in 1 Keph (Peter) 3:21, and other places. Once you have been washed in His blood, your sins are gone from the remembrance of Yahuwah and you rise up from the washing to walk a new man, as Sha'uwl said in his writings and Keph said in his. Praise His Magnificent Name. You'll gladly confess the name of the Anointed and walk as He did. (The eunuch went on his way rejoicing).

Immersion for the remission of sins is no more a "work" than belief, confession of the fact that Yahushua the Anointed is Master, or repenting are works. Rhomaios chapter 6 is a very good explanation of the preceding statement. Now it should be obvious that in order to do anything toward salvation you must first believe that Yahushua is the Anointed and that He is risen. That if you don't believe this, there is no reason to do anything else. Once you do believe, all the rest follows BECAUSE you believe. (See Markos 16:16)

One of the many evidences that immersion is not a work is found in Titos 3:5 (See below).

Titos 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 Sacred Spirit . . .

The "washing of regeneration" mentioned here is from the Greek words loutron and paliggenesia which literally translated mean "immersion for spiritual rebirth" and the "renewing of the Sacred Spirit" means that the person who was renewed was renovated in a spiritual sense. This is exactly the idea communicated in Acts 2:38 and Rhomaios 6:3-5.

With these thoughts in mind, and a prayer in your heart, continue now to study, as was explained earlier.

May Yahuwah bless your efforts to come to the knowledge of the truth, and guide your heart in all that you do as you "Study to show thyself approved unto Eloah . . ."(2 Timotheos {Timothy} 2:15).

MattiythYahuw (Matthew) 3:11 I indeed immerse you in water toward repentance, but He that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. He shall immerse you in the Set Apart Spirit and with fire.

This is Yahuchanan the Immerser telling the people that the Anointed is coming. Now you are told that He's coming back again. Isn't that great? Read Acts, chapter 2, and you'll get an idea of what he's talking about. There are several other instances of this also. You'll see them as you continue to study.

MattiythYahuw 3:13-14 Then Yahushua came from Galiyl to Yarden to Yahuchanan to be immersed by him. But Yahuchanan forbade Him saying, "I have need to be immersed by of You, and You come to me?"

Yahuchanan told them He was coming, and here He is. Yahushua was immersed for a different reason than you and I, but the example stands. (He had scripture to fulfill and this is the start of His earthly ministry. - And lo a voice from the sky saying, "This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased." (Also see Acts 1:22)

MattiythYahuw 28:19 You go therefore, and teach all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Sacred Spirit.

Markos 16:16 He that believes and is immersed shall be saved, but he that does not believe shall be condemned.

These are the words of our Master Himself, telling us what we must do. Do you remember where He said "If you love Me, obey My commandments?" In these two verses He gave us a commandment. Do you love Him?

Acts 1:5 For Yahuchanan truly immersed in water but you shall be immersed in the Sacred Spirit not many days from now.

This is where our Master told the delegates what was going to happen on the fiftieth day after the Passover (Pentecost) Acts 2:1-4. Of course it happened just exactly like He said it would.

Acts 1:22 Beginning from the immersion of Yahuchanan to that same day that He was taken up from us, one must be chosen to be a witness with us of His resurrection.

Do you believe that it's coincidence that Yahushua's ministry began when He was immersed by Yahuchanan? Look back at MattiythYahuw 3:13-14.

Acts 2:38 Then Keph said to them, "Repent and be immersed every one of you in the name of Yahushua haMashiach for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Sacred Spirit."

The delegates had just been asked by men who had just come to the belief that Yahushua is the Anointed of Yahuwah, "Men and Brothers, what shall we do?"

This was Keph's answer to that question then. It is still the answer now.

Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were immersed and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls.

Those that "gladly received his word" had just been told the good news of our Master and Savior, Yahushua the Anointed. Read the entire chapter and see if you agree that this is a "condensed account" of everything we need to know about the good news to believe it and become "babes in Christ", as it is stated in the KJV. Notice also that no one in the scripture "moved his letter" or otherwise "joined the Church." Those that obeyed the Word of Yahuwah were ADDED to the assembly without further ado.

This should be sufficient to get you started in your study of the subject of baptism. The below listed verses all have some form of the word baptism in them. They are listed for STUDY. Make sure you read all the verses surrounding those on the list so that you get the correct context of what you're reading. Don't believe the context anyone tells you that it is in. Do not take anyone's word for what it means. YOU read it, with a prayer for guidance and understanding, and with an open heart and mind, and let the Sacred Spirit define the meaning for you. Then you can't go wrong. Happy studying and may the peace of our Father and the Father of our Master Yahushua the Anointed be with you, now and always.

Acts 8:12-13, 8:16, 8:36, 38, 9:18, 10:47-48, 11:16, 16:15, 16:33, 18:8, 18:25, 19:3-5, 22:16, Rhomaios 6:3-4, 1 Korinthios 1:13-17, 10:2, 12:13, Galateos (Galatian)s 3:27, Ephesios 4:5, Colossaeus 2:12, Ibriym 6:2, 1 Keph 3:21

C.F. Castleberry