Our Yeshua (Immanuel)

A collection of our studies
Home Articles About us Nederlands
A room with cream-colored tiles, lights and a square deep bath that you enter by stairs.Source: mikvey.co.il

Home >> Articles "It is said ..." >> First baptism, then grace and Holy Spirit'? p. 3-10

Question 4: What does ‘baptism’ mean?

Thinking about baptism, I know two ways baptism is performed:

  1. A sprinkling of drops of water on a baby’s head;
  2. A grown-up, who is held by two or more men and is being pushed under water.

Perhaps there are more ways considered as baptism, but these are the two I have heard of.
And these two are not the way one did in those days and within the Hebraic/Jewish culture. They still don’t do it like that these days. Furthermore, they didn’t, and still don’t, call it ‘baptism’, but ‘immersion’ (mikveh hamayim = immersion in water).

English isn’t my native tongue, so I looked up the definition of ‘immersion’ on merriam-webster.com:

  • The act of immersing or the state of being immersed: Such as:
    • Absorbing involvement
    • Instruction based on extensive exposure to surroundings of conditions that are native or pertinent to the object of study
      • Foreign language instruction in which only the language being taught is used
    • Baptism by complete submersion of the person in water

This way of baptism was done in those days, and these days it still is done like this. How? One is standing by/near you as a witness, while you are going completely under water. And you do this in relation of the first and second definition of immersing to our Lord. No longer your way goes first, but His way.

The Hebrew word of this kind of baptism is “tevilah” [טבילה]. It is a noun, coming from the Hebrew verb “litb’ol” [לטבול] and it means: “To dip; to immerse; to bathe; to duck; to sink.”
There are two ways to undergo, and to administer, the tevilah:

  1. By water;
  2. By Holy Spirit

In the first half of the TaNaKH (Bible), we can read what needed to be done when a man was unclean. See for example Leviticus 15. Everything this unclean man touches, and everyone who touched the man and the things the unclean man has touched, was unclean and needed to be washed/bathed [lirchots], including the unclean man himself. Same for an offspring of Aaron (Leviticus 22:4-6).

Examples of a dipping/immersing of an object; parts of the body; entire person, can be found in Leviticus 14:51; 4:6 and 2 Kings 5:14:

  • A hyssop was dipped, to clean a house;
  • A priest had to dip his finger in blood and sprinkle it when he had sinned (and because of him, the entire people with him);
  • A general of the king of Aram immersed himself seven times in the Jordan river by God’s order. He came to see the prophet of God, because he had leprosy.

And if we now take a look at James 4:1-10, we will see that James was addressing to the twelve tribes, scattered among the nations (James 1:1). They were fighting, killing, and all because they wanted something/someone due to their proudly desires. He told them to resist the devil and to come near to God, so God would come near to them.

“Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you doubleminded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and our joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
James 4:8-10_NIV