Exodus 29:4 And Aaron [Levitical Priesthood] and his sons thou (Moses) shalt bring unto the door of the Tabernacle of the Congregation and shalt wash (baptize) them with water.
1 Peter 3:21-22 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us not [the water and] the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him.
Acts 8:35-38 Then (the Christian) Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
- Matthew 3:13-17 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John [the baptist], to be baptized of him. But John forbad Him, saying, I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered Him. And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him [John the Baptist], and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: And lo a voice from Heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
When Jesus was Baptized it wasn't to take away sins, Jesus didn't have any instead it was to reveal Jesus as the Messiah, [Melchisedec (Melchizedek) High Priest] and was for Jesus to set an example for us to follow as an opportunity for us His followers to be baptized like Jesus was and in fact to enter into His one Priesthood baptism.
- Ephesians 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the [Holy] Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord [Jesus Christ], one faith [Christian], one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Note: Baptism by water does take away our sins it is only the blood of Jesus that removes our sins. Our Baptism in water represents our faith in the blood-death and resurrection life of Jesus the Messiah-Christ. Baptism represents that we are dead with Jesus (immersed in water) and buried to this world and then (reemerged) resurrected with Jesus and alive in heaven.
- Romans 6:3-5 Know ye (Christians) not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection:
Criteria for Christian Baptism
1. The person being baptized confesses a personal individual faith in Jesus Christ [the Apostles' Creed, a Psalm or a Bible verse can be read or recited]. Acknowledging the sinless Divine life, sacrificial atoning death on the cross and three days later the resurrection [eternal life] of Jesus Christ.
2. The person administering the baptism is to baptize in the Name of God the Father, the Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit [not in the name of any individual, group or denomination] i.e. (Matthew 28:18-20) "I baptize you in the Name of God the Father, the beloved Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit."
3. The water baptism event [submerging into water] signifies our (dying) death and burial to this world (sin and death) while then [emerging from the water] signifies our own personal resurrection with eternal life in Jesus Christ entering into a new life in the eternal Kingdom of God.
4. Note: The water baptism [and accompanying confession of faith] is the Biblical public confession of faith for each individual Christian and is not to be confused with an alter call that although being a public stand it is not in its entirety the Biblical confession of faith.
- Matthew 28:17-20 And when they (Disciples) saw Him (Jesus), they worshipped Him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all Nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I Am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Water Baptism is an act of obedience towards God it is a public declaration of one's Christian faith declaring openly to both the human physical realm and also to the Angelic spiritual realm that a person is now a Child of God. Baptism is like confession of faith and communion in that it is also an act of participation in the Kingdom of God. Notably water Baptism does not save a person from their sin as only a belief in Jesus Christ particularly that His blood that He shed on the cross covers our sins and that His resurrection declares us to be righteous proving our sins are forgiven. Water Baptism is an act of obedience committed by an already believing, Spirit filled, submitted, child of God, disciple of Jesus Christ in obedience to Jesus Christ.
The 3 Types of Baptism
Water is an element in cleansing and washing. The Levitical priests at the age of 30 were publicly washed with water signifying their cleanliness and start of priestly duties. Likewise when one becomes a Christian we become clean and a part of Jesus' priestly kingdom. We as Christians are also each a priest that means that we can each approach God. In approaching God we offer our own individual offerings to God, including prayers and fruits of praise and thanksgiving to God. The water baptism is significant to the converted believer; the washing in water is also a symbol to the spirit realm that the baptized person is cleansed and now in the kingdom of God. Evil spirits and demons lose the bondage they once had on a person. The demons can no longer go to the believer, at the desire of the demons. Unfortunately though the believer can still go to or invite the demons into their life and there will also always be periods of testing and sifting, that include demonic attacks. But a baptized Christian is now in a new relationship with God, a relationship that includes support, protection and guidance. Water baptism is a commandment from Jesus and is something every obedient Christian has to take part in.
Fire is also a cleansing element. Fire cleanses items from corruption and disease. Fire also strengthens items, clay jars are stronger and more reliable and more useful after they have been in fire. The baptism of fire also helps us becoming more like and more identifying with Jesus. The fire in the life of the Christian is the fire of trials and testing. The important thing about this fire is that it is God's fire. God controls the circumstances in the believer's life. He turns up the heat to refine us by taking out the impurities in our life. We lack compassion so God allows circumstances in our life, in order to give us a heart of compassion like His heart. Trials and fire create in us compassion and mercy, eyes to notice the hurting and suffering that is going on around us and a heart to desire to change it. The fire also strengthens us; it gives us hope and a clearer picture of who God is and how powerful He is. As the fire of circumstances burns in our life we become stronger knowing from past experience that God is in control, this gives us patience and the ability to reach out and help others.
Baptism: Holy Spirit
Another Baptism where we become more identified with Jesus is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that when He left, He would not leave us as orphans but that He would send the Comforter the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our comforting friend He teaches us right from wrong He guides and directs us, He gives the Bible meaning to us and He teaches us to pray to the Father. The interesting thing about Christianity that separates Christianity from all of the worlds religions and makes Christianity not a religion but a relationship, is that God has come to us. All of the world's religions focus on man and man's shortcomings. The Christian relationship with God focuses on God coming to man. The way of Christianity is that God meets us where we are, He leads, He guides and He instructs us into a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Himself. Religion has man guessing and attempting to get man's act together in the hopes that some god will approve and then reward man with something like money or fame. In the real relationship with God, God says He knows that we make mistakes. He knows all of our thoughts, our hopes, our fears and our anger. But He says that He is bigger than any of that. When we look to God we replace our fears, our anger with His love, His compassion and His mercy. When we replace what we have with what God has for us, we are being baptized.