Baptized Unto Moses
In 1 Corinthians 10:1 Paul writes about a Baptism not associated with water at all.
"Moreover brethren, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all
of our fathers were under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized
unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea."
The Israelites were sent through the sea on dry
land as the Lord led them in the cloud. The Baptism through the sea identified Israel with
all that Moses stood for; redemption from the bondage of Egypt, the ceremonial law, and
set apart from the rest of the world as the chosen people of God. This is the first great
teaching concerning Baptism in the Scriptures. The first occurrence of the word is in Job.
But the first Baptism mentioned in Scripture is Israel passing through the Red Sea on dry
ground. After that, they went through another Baptism by crossing the river Jordan on dry
ground. These Baptisms separated them from the world. Passing through the Red Sea
represents the passing from the bondage of darkness into the light of the redemption
associated with their salvation. The Lord was with them in the cloud. The Lord led them
throughout their journey. Much can be learned from these Baptisms and their symbolism.
Paul's Ministry - Did It Include Water Baptism?
When we "rightly divide the Word of Truth" (2 Tim. 2:15), we learn
that Paul was appointed by God to be an Apostle to us Gentiles. If we follow this Truth
then everything will fall into place concerning our understanding of the subject at hand,
Gal. 2:7. But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the
uncircumcision (Gentiles) was committed unto me
(Paul), as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
8. (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of
the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:
9. And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace
that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship;
that we should go unto the heathen (Gentiles), and they unto the
1 Tim. 2:7. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth
in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and
Error gives way to understanding when we don't rightly divide the Word of Truth.
Before we can apply Scripture to ourselves, we must understand to whom the passage was
Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write to us Gentiles just as the other New
Testament writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Second Timothy 3:16 teaches us that
"ALL scripture is given by inspiration of
" What Paul wrote was just as inspired as any other N.T.writer.
In Corinthians 1:17, Paul writes: 'Christ sent me NOT to baptize but
to preach the gospel'.
This statement alone should cause the seeker of Truth to sit up and take notice. If Paul were alive today, would he be called a gainsaying and
disobedient servant of God?
There are those who say that the commission of Matt. 28 belongs to the Gentiles and that
we, as Gentiles should baptize the nations in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy
Ghost. If you agree with this, then I ask you; where is it in
Matthew that the Gentile is so commissioned? Could it be
possible that this commission belonged to believing Israel who as a Holy Nation was to
witness the salvation of God to the nations?
Baptized Unto His Death - The
Preaching of Paul
After Israel was set aside (Acts 28:24-28) and the Mystery
revealed, we are told to keep the Unity of the Spirit which includes the 'One
baptism'. This Baptism is revealed to us in Colossians 2:21 where it is written that the
believer of the Church of the One Body is 'buried with Him in baptism'. This cannot imply
water Baptism of any kind. This Baptism is so closely identified with Christ in His death
that we are to consider ourselves as having been buried with Him also. An examination of
the context of Col. 2:10-21 speaks volumes:
10. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head
of all principality and power:
11. In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in
putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12. Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are
risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the
13. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath
he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14. 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 cross;
Notice one important point concerning our Baptism. It is NOT MADE
WITH HANDS. In other words, man has nothing to do with this Baptism. It has been
done. It is complete. To be complete in Christ means that there is no need for anything
else as far as our close identification with Him. To be complete in Him means that there
is no need of anything else as far as our standing before God.
We are closely identified with Christ's death. Nothing in the preceding verses
teaches that this is the operation of man. Christ has done it all on the cross. To
understand this is strong meat. If the old man is involved with rites, washings, and
decrees, then it cannot discern the things of the Spirit concerning our Baptism unto His
death. Because we are buried with Him in this baptism therefore we are raised with Him.
This is our identification with Christ. When He died, then we died with Him. When He was
buried, then we were buried with Him. This close identification with Christ's death is the
Baptism of the Church of the One Body. This Baptism unto death also represents the death
of the old man, the old nature in the believer. (See Two Natures
in the Child of God).
Eph. 2:1. And you hath he quickened (made alive), who were dead in trespasses
2. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world,
according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the
children of disobedience:
We were once dead to sin, but now, through the operation of Christ's death on
the cross and our identification with Him, we are alive unto God in newness of life.
Eph. 2:4. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved
5. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together
with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
1. I Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation
wherewith ye are called,
2. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another
3. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your
5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
We are not called upon to make a unity; it is already made. We are called upon
to "keep the unity". To do so is to "walk
worthy" of our calling. Failure to keep the Unity of
the Spirit results in a walk that is unworthy. The question of baptism would clear up
if believers would recognize PRESENT TRUTH and insist upon
keeping the Unity of the Spirit. Ephesian 4 states emphatically that in this Dispensation,
there is but ONE BAPTISM. One Baptism is certainly not two.
To allow for two or more Baptisms betrays a Divinely given trust.
Christ has done it all for us. We are truly COMPLETE in Him. Would a demand for
a water baptism as a part of our salvation, doctrine, or conversion, demonstrate our
belief that we are complete in Him?
Let us be faithful and believe that there is but ONE Baptism
and that Baptism is our close identification with Christ's death on the cross. Through
Christ our Lord we have passed from death unto life. Praise His Name!
The previous study was made possible by the exemplary writing of Stuart
Allen's "Baptism" study as well as Tom Ballinger's Plainer Words study on the
"Unity of the Spirit." I borrowed a few of their words simply because I
could not improve the manner in which they were presented. D. Kelson
audios by Stuart Allen:
A052 - One Baptism
A564 - The
Baptism of Suffering
A565 - Significance of
Water Baptism in the O.T.
A566 - Water and Spirit
Baptism in Paul's Ministry
< Part 1