Two Priests, Two Baptisms
by Lary R. Hale
Today I have a few words on two priests, two baptisms, and two remissions of sins. Okay, so to the point: John the Baptist was a priest. I don’t know if a lot of people realize that, but in Luke 1:5 we see that his father Zacharias was a priest, and that means that John was also a priest. God chose John to be the man to introduce Jesus to Israel, and to tell of why Jesus was coming. And he just happened to be the ONLY man God sent for this purpose. He was mentioned in the old testament scriptures several times, and in fact Jesus said of John; “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist” (Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1; Mal. 4:5; Mat. 11:14; Mat. 11:11). Now here’s where it starts getting really good. God sent John to do two things, one was to baptize in water, and the other was to tell that God’s Son was coming as well (Mk. 1:4,7,8). Well, there is another detail, but let’s go with what we have and come back to that detail in a bit. What was John’s baptism for, or what was actually the function of it? “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Mk. 1:4). “Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins” (Mat. 3:5,6). The baptism that God sent John to baptize with was for the remission of sins [for that time]. That is why the people came to his baptism confessing theirs sins. Under the old covenant, anyone who wanted to obtain remission of their sins had to take a sin offering to the tabernacle to the priest, who in turn offered it on the altar of sacrifice (Lev. 4:27:35). It was only the business of the priests to deal with the offerings made by anyone for sin. And again, John was a priest of the Levitical priesthood, and that is why God appointed him with this baptism for the remission of sins, in order to introduce Jesus. It was a new thing, and it was a very gracious thing that God did not have to do. Yet he provided this very up close and personal shadow type of what he was sending Jesus for, and made sure that the messenger got the simplistic point across. God really didn’t want anyone to miss the point of why he was sending his Son. He could have just let it suffice that the high priest on the day of atonement was a type of Jesus and what he was going to do (Heb. 9:7-12). But he decided in his goodness and love to make it even clearer. Now John was a priest under the law, and his baptism was a “work of the law.” Jesus came to fulfill the law, and he made it clear when he came to John’s baptism, that it was for the purpose of fulfilling the law that he was coming to be baptized (Mat. 5:17; Mat. 3:13-15). Two more significant things that the scriptures show us are that Jesus did not baptize while on earth, and that he could not be a priest while he was on earth (Jn. 4:2; Heb. 8:4). And as we will go ahead to see from the Bible, both of these omissions from his earthly ministry were intertwined and for the same reason and purpose.
Okay, let’s go back to that detail in John’s message that I left out: “And [John] preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall BAPTIZE you with the Holy Ghost” (Mk. 1:7,8). Do you know that baptizing with the holy Ghost is the only thing that John said Jesus was going to do? Maybe that is because of what God told John: “And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him [Jesus]. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost” (Jn. 1:32,33). No wonder that is all John had to say about the purpose of Jesus’ coming. So here’s what it comes down to: Jesus, like John, is a priest; but not of the old covenant Levitical order: “We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man” (Heb. 8:1,2). Jesus could not be a priest on earth, because as the scripture states, “there were priests according to the law” (Heb. 8:4). So Jesus is a priest like John was a priest, but of the new covenant, and of the heavenly order. In like manner Jesus is also a baptizer like John was, but of the new covenant, with a heavenly, spiritual baptism (Jn. 4:13,14; Jn. 7:37-39). Jesus did not baptize while on earth for the exact same reason that he was not a priest on earth; because there were baptizers according to the law [John, his disciples, and Jesus’ apostles]. And that brings us to this: If John’s baptism was for the remission of sins at that time under the old covenant, and we have seen that it was; then Jesus’ baptism is for the remission of sins under the new covenant. There is no other possibility unless we care to accuse God of being “the author of confusion.” John and his baptism were for the express purpose of leading the way to Jesus and his baptism, because the baptism that Jesus suffered, died, and rose again for; is the only thing that has ever truly taken away sin (Jn. 3:30; I Cor. 6:11; Tit. 3:5). That is why when Jesus ascended back to heaven, his last instructions were for his followers to wait for the baptism of the holy Ghost. He also reminded them at that time of how John’s baptism led to him and his baptism (Acts 1:4,5). When Jesus ascended back to the heavenly sanctuary, it was to offer himself before God, both as the high priest, and as the sacrifice; in order to obtain the remission of sins UNDER THE NEW COVENANT for all that truly believed, and would believe on him (Heb. 9:11,12,24-26). And the apostle Paul certified us that the baptism of the holy Ghost was and is the witness of this heavenly fact (Heb. 10:14-17). That is the experience that was received by believers after Jesus went back to heaven (Acts 2:1-4). So what this very evident scriptural and spiritual truth means is that all of the supposed methodologies of Christianity that serve as the remission of sins and new birth, are utterly false, modern religious inventions of man. Anything that is recognized as the remission of sins or new birth, other than the Spirit baptism with it’s heavenly witness of “speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance;” is idolatrous and an utter denial of what Jesus suffered, died, and rose again for. “Getting saved,” “accepting the Lord as your personal savior,” “confessing Jesus as Lord,” and all the like; are nothing but filthy abominations to God that leave those who trust in these teachings in sin. Not only so, but water baptism has been dead and buried in the sight of God for 1979 years to date, and it is also idolatrous to continue with a practice that God’s Son gave his life to fulfill. He alone has earned the right to be the ONLY new testament baptizer (I Cor. 1:17; I Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:5). No wonder the scripture clearly says, “Now if any man HAVE NOT the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Rom. 8:9). Amen!
Original Post at By One Spirit Ministries Facebook page August 14, 2012