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  • « Sovereignty Revisited by Pastor John Samson | Main | Three Views on Man's Condition »

    From the Mind of Dave Hunt

    Here is a MUST READ: Commenting on whether Calvinists are saved, in his own words, here is Dave Hunt at his best, apparently unconcerned for historical and theological accuracy, throwing all caution to the wind. Read through it -- no further commentary necessary.

    Question [composite of several]: Was this a misstatement, or do you really believe what you said in your September Q&A: “Those who only know the false gospel of Calvinism are not saved”?

    Answer: The original question was, “Is it possible for someone who believes only in the soteriology of Calvin to be saved?” As I said in my response, there are many Calvinists who were saved before they became Calvinists or who have believed the true gospel in spite of their Calvinism—but “those who know only the false gospel of Calvinism are not saved.” If all one believes is that infant baptism saves, as Calvin taught (and which is the case with many Calvinists), one is certainly not saved. If a person believes that he was saved through infant baptism, how is it possible for him, without relinquishing that false belief, to truly be saved by believing the gospel? He has no need of the true gospel, having already been forgiven his sins and made a child of God through infant baptism. He may affirm at his confirmation that Christ died for his sins, but he still believes that the benefit of that sacrifice came to him through infant baptism long before his “confirmation” of this lie.

    How could that false faith save? If it does, then the many former Catholics, Lutherans, and Presbyterians who realized they weren’t saved through their infant baptism, and who put their faith in Christ, were born again, and then baptized as believers, have been deluded. But they would vehemently deny that they were saved all the time in spite of their faith in infant baptism! And they would reject Calvin himself as an “ex-Catholic”—because he continued to rely upon his infant baptism for salvation, he declared that being baptized as a baby was the sure way of knowing one was among the elect, he opposed those who got saved and were then baptized, he banned Anabaptists from Geneva in 1537, and he even had some burned at the stake for this belief.

    Am I denying that Calvin was saved? No, only God knew his heart. But if all he believed was (as he taught) that Christ died only for the elect, and that his infant baptism into the Roman Catholic Church proved that he was one of the elect, then he never got saved no matter how eloquently he wrote about Christ’s sufferings on the Cross for our sins.

    If all one believes is that one has no choice—that it is God who causes some to believe and not others, and that one must be unwittingly regenerated by Him and only then given faith to believe the gospel—how can such a person make a genuine choice to believe in Christ? How could that person, consistent with this Calvinist belief, ever have the assurance offered in 1 John 5:13? No matter how simple and strong his faith in Christ might seem to be, how could he be certain that such “faith in Christ” was truly given to him by God after He had regenerated him?

    If all one believes is that Christ died only for the elect but not for all—how can that person be certain that Christ died for him and that his faith in Christ is not presumption? How can he believe the true gospel that “if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink...let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Jn 7:37; Rv 22:17), if he really believes that he is totally depraved and unable either to hear the invitation or respond to it? Calvin even said that God gives a false sense of assurance to the non-elect the better to damn them. If one’s most basic belief denies the very assurance Scripture offers, how can it be said that one believes the gospel promise of “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31)?

    That a person may believe the true gospel and thus be truly saved in spite of believing the false gospel of Calvinism may be possible. But I don’t see how one could sort out the fact that contradictory beliefs were being held. What does one really believe?


    Posted by John on September 13, 2006 03:28 PM


    From Dave Hunt's other writings, it's apparent that he's not a big John Calvin fan.

    I was unaware that Calvin thought and taught regenerational baptism?

    To my knowledge he didn't, he taught justification by faith alone.

    Hmm...... this might explain why I'm not a big Dave Hunt fan.

    I almost forgot, there's a good book out Called "dabating Calvinism" where James White defends the five points and the reformed faith against Dave Hunt.

    Sounds to me like Dave Hunt has never talked to a true Calvinist and certainly never read Calvin properly.

    Jim K

    I'm a bit nettled at having my views misrepresented in such a manner. Infant regenerational baptism! I've never ever heard of a Presbyterian who believes this. It is certainly not the majorly accepted view on paedobaptism. Of course, it is easy to knock down straw man arguments instead of real ones.

    I think this man only shows that he does not fully understand Calvinism or any of the views that he is criticizing. I hope he will soon find out the truth.

    God bless,

    A. Shepherd
    The Aspiring Theologian

    The Aspiring Theologian Blog

    If Mr. Hunt is going to criticize an opposing viewpoint to his own, he should at least make an attempt to properly understand and represent that viewpoint. His ignorance is quite plain to see by his own words.

    First, not all Calvinists baptize their children.

    Second, those Calvinists who do baptize their children (of orthodox Reformed persuasion), do not believe baptism saves. The administration of the covenant sign never has.

    Did someone already mention straw man?

    Nice Blogs-I’d like to add if I may:
    From the Mind of Terri Proud:
    And who are you Mr.Dave to say what you say….
    God IS sovereign …period..His word is a living dimension that no one will ever grasp the complete sound doctrine until we are in Heaven….If only ONE person pursues GOD it is ONLY because GOD called that person…He chooses whom HE will....again, who are you Mr. Dave that you write such things about such people which obviously you know nothing about. Who are you to question the moral excellence of God’s character? Because you, yourself, do not understand? So instead of seeking the deeper revelation of the words you attack- you attack those who do understand? It obvious Mr. Dave that your interest in not to talk with a Calvinist but only interest is to bash one. – I do not think I will be reading any of Mr. Dave’s books…

    The more I learn about Dave Hunt, the more I am convinced that he has no desire to understand the truth. He misrepresents all whom he disagrees with and holds to his false understanding despite numerous attempts to correct his misunderstanding.

    If Dave Hunt is right, and we are wrong; one day we'll stand before our Maker and try to explain why we preached that God greater than He really is. If we are right, and Dave Hunt is wrong, then one day he'll stand before his Maker and explain why he took credit for what God did.

    Here's a little sample of Mr. Hunt's scholarship.

    me concerned, Dave Hunt is trusting his choice instead of knowing Christ as One who pays for each of us our debt through His death, burial and ressurection, and the fact that this theology is popular

    Hey I have a question for everyone (or anyone who knows). In my history class (in a public school) my teacher told us that Calvin believed that only 144,000 will be saved. Now i am a calvinist and this shocked me because i had never heard this and it makes calvinism sound really foolish. If anyone can answer this i would be really grateful because i would like to defend calvinism if possible. Also, and more importantly, this can help me defend Christianity by making known the fact that Calvin and the puritans did not hold a foolish doctrine, but a powerful doctrine. Unless of course Calvin really did believe this, then i guess i will just have to continue to trust the Lord to do the work, which i will do either way. Thanks for the great blog posts reformation theology team!

    In Christ,
    Chris Frick

    Hopefully this all makes sense.


    Yeah Chris, didn't you know, we all beleive that there will only be 144,000 of us when all is said and done. Ahem :) not

    The best thing you can do in that situation is to ask your teacher to give you a clear citation of where Calvin made such a claim. And which Calvinists have believed this through the centuries, with references (no secondary sources). Then at least someone should feel foolish.

    And this brings up a point. Since no one appears to be able to take down Calvinism with Scripture theologically, it appears that some people resort to trumping up false charges so that others who are investigating it will be turned off to it before they look. Pretty amazing. When I read Dave Hunt's stuff I scratch my head and wonder what is really going on in his head. Has his hatred for Calvinism reached a point that he makes purely nonsensical and insane remarks out of pure emotion, having no thought whatsoever to the facts? The statements he made in this post are so absurd so how do you even reply to such drivel? And yet he has followers that consume his books on it.

    People just don't like salvation by grace alone. We fight against it with all our might because we want to be able to contribute at least something to what Christ accomplished for us. But the Scripture leaves no room for that. All glory goes to God, and none to man.


    Thanks for the reply and the advice. Next time i hear what sounds to be a false claim i will raise my hand and ask where he got the source. Thanks again for the reply and this wondeful blog.


    Just in case you haven't seen it already, James White wrote an open letter to Dave Hunt several years ago when Hunt's book, "What Love Is This?" first came out. White's letter clearly displays Hunt's lack of research and his deception in that book. I don't want to be unkind to Mr. Hunt, even though I have no respect for him, but after reading White's letter, it's difficult not to think of Mr. Hunt as an outright liar. You can read White's open letter at

    I think that this is the attitude of what some people think Calvinism is in southern baptist circles. There is a continued resistance to the doctrines of grace from enough people in the SBC to draw attention. And I think it may be because they simply have the wrong understanding of Calvinism altogether.

    Reading stuff like this makes me wonder how David Hunt justifies such attacks. He certainly does not do it through solid research as even this relatively short answer is filled with theological and historical untruths. It makes me think of what I am preaching on tonight where in James 3 he points out two sources of wisdom.

    "But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere." James 3:14-17 ESV

    Based on that, who's wisdom is being exemplified in his answer?

    I've always had a hard time having any respect for Dave Hunt and his Pietistic tendencies.

    It's too bad that the reformation was burdened with the infant baptism holdover from the catholic church, it definitely gets in the way of a lot of people studying the doctrines of Grace.


    The doctrine of covenantal infant baptism is not a holdover of RCC theology, as you and mr. Hunt seem to be asserting. To equate the two would be to re-write history and theology. The Reformers and the Puritans have entirely different reasons for believing in infant baptism. It is important that, even though you may disagree with infant baptism it would be good to read the historical differences before equating the two. It is sometimes stated like this among some careless paastorswho oppose infant baptism but it has nothing to do with history or reality. If you wish to oppose infant baptism, do so, but argue againt the theology of it rather than a straw man caricature of it.

    of note: Believer's-only baptism was not even practiced in the first sixteen centries of the church.


    John H

    Please excuse the bluntness. Hunt is either a dolt or a liar. He's written several books, so he's probably too smart to be a dolt. He lies by intentionally avoiding the real issue of monergistic regeneration and substitutes it with the issue of baptismal regeneration to divert attention away from his own theological shortcomings. Shame!

    Sounds to me like Dave Hunt has never talked to a true Calvinist and certainly never read Calvin properly.

    Jim K

    Unfortunately, exactly the opposite is true. He's had more than ample interaction with true Calvinists, and he constantly beats this same drum.

    I'd add that I'm very much a Baptist, so paedobaptism is not my friend. However, even I can differentiate between baptismal regeneration and baptismal efficacy. These are elementary distinctions. Likewise, my Presbyterian and Baptist brethren view Lutheran baptism as suspect, but we recognize that Lutherans have, and I realize this is overly simplistic, inserted an objection/subjective distinction into their theologies of regeneration and justification, so that they differentiate between the grace of baptism which objectively regenerates and subjective regeneration which only God does; ditto with objective and subjective justification. It's high time folks stop talking past each other on these issues. Men like Mr. Hunt do themselves no favors, nor, for that matter the rest of us.

    Did Calvin really have Anabaptists burned at the stake for their beliefs?

    John H,

    of note: Believer's-only baptism was not even practiced in the first sixteen centries of the church.

    I think you are mistaken on this. Its the opposite. No infant baptism in the first 300 years of the early church.


    I thought I would mention something: as far as I know, Calvin and many of the reformers did indeed press the idea of infant baptism (not necessarily baptismal regeneration; much like R.C. Sproul today)... so it would be denial to say he didn't. On the other hand, I only recall Calvin having one man killed (Servetus) which, if I remember right, was not really related to infant baptism in any way. I am a Calvinist, and I think Calvin was an amazing man of God... a flawed one, like all of us. Dave Hunt is so ignorant of reason and logic (and obviously Scripture) that it almost hurts to read what he says.


    Good catch. The holy scriptures clearly state that on the day of Pentecost "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls." (Acts 2:41) Obviously, an infant cannot believe.


    Greetings and blessings to you and your family in the name of the Savior. I would argue that historically you are incorrect. Whatever you believe about infant baptism, the early church did indeed practice it. When adults became believers they were baptised but it was not believer-ONLY

    Further, I will have you notice the verse and logic that "wingedfooted1" (the person who posted after you) used. Acts 2:41.
    It is not being read in context...because there were other pertinant things Peter said in this sermon:

    2:38Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39"For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself."

    You may argue that Peter means grown children and not infants, but you would be mistaken. This statement that Peter makes is not taken out of the blue. It is covenant language that is used over and over again in the Old Testament. IN the Old Testament when this covenant language is used it refers to infants. Infants in Israel were circumcised into the covenant family of Israel way before they were able to believe. They were members of the covenant of Abraham (the covenant of grace that we all are under for those who believe in Christ are the children of Abraham --see Galatians 2-3)And these covenant signs are about what GOD DOES FOR US, not about what we do FOR HIM.

    The children of promise of course will believe and other will not. It was the same way in Israel. Note in Rom 9 it says not all (physical)Israel are Israel not all decendants of Abraham are children of promise.

    In other words, there were many circumcised infants in Israel who were not regenerated any time in their life.

    If there was a time for the covenant signs to go from infants to Adults ONLY, Peter's sermon at Pentecost was certainly it. But he used the same covenant language as the OT and mentions our children. Yes, Faith is a sign of being elect, but baptism, like circumcision marks one as being in the covnenant community, some not saved.

    As for church history you may want to note that there are no debates about this issue in the early church. If all of the sudden the church had a change you would naturally expect there to be some debate about it in the early church. But there is not. Debate is not to be found. That is, not until the sixteeteenth century with the Anabaptists ... who by the way were utterly pelagian in their view of salvaiton.

    The anabaptists were much closer to the Roman Catholic church when it comes to the doctrine of salvation ... they were both synergistic. And this is not just an opinion but historical fact. And please do not confuse anabaptists with later Baptists who were MOSTLY Calvinists in the early days (minus the infant baptism).

    Those Reformers who believe in infant baptism believe it is a sign of the covenant of grace, what God does for us, not salvific. Baptists tend to believe that it is a sign of OUR committment to God. A step we take to show our belief.

    Now both of course believe that God does something, the Reformers simply believed it was a sign of His promise to his elect, not so much a sign of what we do.

    The same goes for the Lord's Table. It is mostly a sign of the gospel, what God has done for us, not what we do for Him. It "reminds God" not to treat us as our sins deserve. Our faith is simply a byproduct of His grace, his grace is not a byproduct of our belief.

    John H

    Wow, how long is Dave Hunt going to go like this before he gets things right?

    I'm appalled at how over the years, he's continually being more and more ignorant in the things he say about Calvinism...
    Come on, Calvin teaching Infant Baptism saves you???


    I appreciate your feedback. I meant no disrespect. My only point was to prove from a biblical perspective that at the day of Pentecost 3000 people who accepted Jesus as the Christ were then baptized. The scriptures are full of biblical examples of people being baptized after putting their faith in Christ. Your interpretation suggests infants were baptized as well, but I don’t recall one example of an infant being baptized in all of scripture. You quote Acts 2:39 “For the promise is unto you, and to your children”, but we don’t know how many were in attendance. There could have been 10,000 people in attendance. All we do know is that those “that gladly received his word were baptized”. Those who did not receive his word, were not. Still, I would think you would agree that it is impossible for an infant to “gladly received his word”. Even Spurgeon, in his sermon entitled “Fight the Good Fight of Faith” is quoted as saying “All good men will not agree with me when I say that the addition of infant baptism to the Word of God—for it certainly is not there—is fraught with mischief.” Spurgeon added in his “Tell It All” sermon “Little do our friends know how much mischief they do by teaching infant sprinkling. I believe it to be the root and pillar of Popery, the stronghold and bastion of Puseyism. It is an invention of man, against which Christians ought to protest every day, because infant sprinkling is a practical denial of the need of personal godliness.”



    I don’t believe anyone has addressed your question “Did Calvin really have Anabaptists burned at the stake for their beliefs?”. The answer is YES. From what I have read, anyone who disagreed with Calvin during his time in Geneva was either imprisoned, flogged, banished, or put to death. Even more disturbing is a 1561 letter he wrote to the Marquis de Poet, the high chamberlain to the King of Navaree…

    “Do not fail to rid the country of those zealous scoundrels who stir up the people to revolt against us. Such monsters should be exterminated, as I have exterminated Michael Servetus the Spaniard”.

    In the burning of Servetus, who was put on trial for denying the Trinity and infant baptism, Calvin used slightly green wood to prolong the agony. Calvin was even quoted as saying…

    “One should not be content with simply killing such people, but should burn them cruelly”.

    The issue of Anabaptists, or anyone for that matter, being heretical is pointless. All denominations understand heresy exists, but not one denomination believes they preach it. Regardless, Christ tells us in Matthew 5:44 “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”.

    Saved by the blood of the Lamb


    I did not think you meant any disrespect at all. I fully respect your position on this issue since I myself held it for many years. However, the argument you just presented supporting believers -ONLY baptism is an argument from silence.

    It is not about whether adults are baptised when they believe ... this proves nothing ... all positions believe this. Even Presbyterians baptise adult converts if they were not covenant children of believers. Obviously there will always be believers where they did not previously exist. The issue is whether parents are to continue the Old Testament practice of giving the covenant sign to their children, which the New Testament never does away with.

    The Biblical logic is the same and it may be helpful to consider a question. A believers-only baptist must answer: how could Abraham give a sign of the covenant to his infant child if the child did not believe? How could the child be a covenant child of Israel without his consent?

    The answer is federalism - the Bible teaches it. If you believe in original sin, you believe that what Adam did affects you. We are part of what our parents are. Likewise we are citizens of the country we are born in, though we can later renounce that citizenship.

    It is not a historical argument to suggest that infant baptism is popery. Covenant baptism and RCC baptism have nothing in common except for the agfe of the recipient. The theology is completely contrary. In Popery baptism is ex opere operato. Covenant baptism is not. Most historically learned baptist pastors will acknowledge as much. You may disagree with infant baptism but please don't equate it with popery. With all due respect, this is to promote ignorance. Debate against the theology rather than shoot it down by pretending it is Roman Catholic. It is easy and comforting to deabte that way but it is not reality.

    Your argument against the passage in Acts I quoted was, "we don't know how many there were that day" If there were one infant or just a few it would be enough. Again, the language Peter used was covenant language used in the old testament over and over again ... and when this phrase was used in the OT it DID refer to infants. If it did not at this particular juncture then Peter would have said something.

    I was a believers-only baptist for 20 years, and like you, could not understand how any one could believe in infant baptism, and I went kicking and screaming ... the biblical and historical evidence for it, imho, is way too overwhelming and it makes more sense when we read all the Biblical data including the Old Testament. (Read Ephesians 2). We were strangers to their covenants and now are brought into them together with them. We did not replace Israel we were ingrafted into Israel, expanding upon them. The growth of the church since Abraham is organic.

    John H,

    Thanks for the respond! Family is doing great, I hope yours is well.

    I found this quote by Tertullian, treatise on BAPTISM 18,4 (c. AD 200-206)

    "According to circumstance and disposition and even age of the individual person, it may be better to delay Baptism; and especially so in the case of little children. Why, indeed, is it necessary -- if it be not a case of necessity -- that the sponsors to be thrust into danger, when they themselves may fail to fulfill their promises by reason of death, or when they may be disappointed by the growth of an evil disposition? Indeed the Lord says, 'Do not forbid them to come to me' [Matt 19:14; Luke 18:16].

    "Let them come, then, while they grow up, while they learn, while they are taught to whom to come; let them become Christians when they will have been able to know Christ! Why does the innocent age hasten to the remission of sins? ...For no less cause should the unmarried also be deferred, in whom there is an aptness to temptation -- in virgins on account of their ripeness as also in the widowed on account of their freedom -- until they are married or are better strengthened for continence. Anyone who understands the seriousness of Baptism will fear its reception more than its deferral. Sound faith is secure of its salvation!"

    It was only after the 3rd century that the talk of infant baptism was found. Can you find any documents to suggest otherwise?

    I find the covenantal argument equating circumcision and baptism to be appalling. Boys and not girls were circumsized, how did that change to both for baptism now.

    I would assume you hold to the sprinkling mode of baptism. Can you argue exegetically? (baptizo vs rhantizo).

    Acts 8:38-39 tells us that Phillip came out of the water. It would be difficult on the parents seeing their babies fully immersed. Anyway this is a separate issue.

    Going back to the first contention, is there any books or writings of antiquities to show infant baptism explicitly?

    Have you read "Baptism in the Early Church" by Hendrik Stander and Johanes Louw?

    Here is another link for page.

    by the way, thanks for all the work at Its a great resource!

    Dear Andy

    Thanks for your thoughful post and for the kind encouragment. Having been a believers-only baptist for 20 years (most of the time I have been a Christian) I fully understand your sentiments and distaste for paedobaptism. I am not here to convince you otherwise. In fact I fully respect the baptist positon. But over time I have been convinced otherwise and I am not one to be easily convinced. With this in mind I do not expect anything I say to scratch the surface of anyone's heart ... but I have done a thourough investigation into the subject

    in your post you said>>>> I find the covenantal argument equating circumcision and baptism to be appalling.

    I know this but in itself this is not an argument, only a sentiment. Many persons (not you) tell me they do not believe in divine election because it is appalling as well. But our inclinations and feelings are not the final word, as I know you will agree.

    I would like you to consider something which I think makes sense. It may not make sense to you and that is fine. But I would ask that you would put yourself in the position of a first century Jew who was actually hearing the sermon by Peter you just quoted in Acts 2. A first century Jew heard covenantal language when Peter spoke to them. In fact he was quoting Genesis chapter 17 which I will quote only part.... but I want you to notice that Peter uses language describing the EXACT same concept that God used when speaking with Abraham. Peter lifts the same words, concepts and terminology of the covenant of grace made with Abraham. And I believe, while you may still disagree, it makes my position not so "appllaing" as you are suggesting. In fact it is so biblical that it got my attention. it is not drawn out of nowhere but is in perfect continuity with the Scripture. We will get to your other questions in a minute... but first read this....

    Genesis 17:1-27

    To Abraham, God said ... “And I will carry out my covenant between me and you and your seed after you according to their generations for a covenant to time indefinite, to prove myself God to you and to your seed after you.

    9 And God said further to Abraham: “As for you, you are to keep my covenant, you and your seed after you according to their generations. 10 This is my covenant that YOU men will keep, between me and YOU men, even your seed after youb: Every male of YOURS must get circumcised. 11 And YOU must get circumcised in the flesh of YOUR foreskins, and it must serve as a sign of the covenant between me and YOU. 12 And every male of YOURS eight days old must be circumcised, according to your generations, anyone born in the house and anyone purchased with money from any foreigner who is not from your seed.

    The reason I raise this is because A Jew who heard Peter saying these words in the first century would have only understood Peter in ONE WAY, that baptism was the new sign of the covenant and it was for believers and their children in the same way it was in the OT. If there was EVER a time for Peter to tell them that something had changed THIS WAS IT!!!

    you said>>>>>Boys and not girls were circumsized, how did that change to both for baptism now?

    Because in Christ their is neither male nor female, Jew or Greek. All Are one in Christ Jesus. The dividing wall of hostility has been broken down. Women who were once in the outer courts of the temple can now approach Christ on the same terms. He has fulfilled the law on our behalf. But the concept Peter spoke of (a covenant sign and seal) just as in the OT ...the fact that boys only were circumcised in the OT does not change the basic idea. It would be a huge jump in logic to then assume he meant only adults were ok now cause it says the opposite. It is not a valid argument against what I am saying.

    As for the history and your quote about Tertullian, the fact that he had some misgivings about infant baptism actually proves my point. It means that it was indeed practiced in the early church. His misgivings, as you can see from his theology were quite different than what you or I might have misgivings about, but it shows that people were practicing it. And some in the early church "delayed baptism" because they thought somehow that they could avoid being damned for moral sins and the like. SOme waited to their deathbed. That is just bad theology and has little to do with the problems you might have with it.

    Thus Tertullians Homily On Baptism actually provides the first undisputed evidence for infant baptism in the early church. IN this document he indeed believed infants were validly baptised but thought it unnecessary. He felt infants had little need of baptism because "why should innocent infancy hurry to the remission of sins"

    Furthermore, Origen (185-251) clalimed that the practice was handed down from the apostles. Cyprian also argued strenuously for infant baptism (200-258). While there has been some small resistance to infant baptism in church history at various times, it has been the accepted practice most of the time.

    We argue that it is a story on continuity ... Consider that a sudden shift from inclusion of infants in the covenant in Israel to sudden exclusion. You would expect their to be discussion and even debate if there were a change, but no such discussion is found.

    Fruther consider if your understanding is true and the worldwide church SUDDENLY changed from believers' ONLY baptism to paedobaptism in the third century, WHERE IS THE DEBATE???? Whay did no one speak up and challenge it? At all other times in church history when something this monumental happened, there is always a record of disagreement among theologians, but here you find none. The reason???? because nothing changed.

    Perhaps, as I believe paedobaptism as the practicve of the apostolic church but due t alien influences the biblical and covenantal rationale was soon lost and the practice, while it continued, people were not sure why. Leter when it was practiced universally it was completely detached from its covenantal moorings and had internal contradictions. I do believe this makes better sense of the evidence. infant baptism became the rule after the third century but not many were entirely sure why it was done. So when it did become the norm after early church times, it was not done for biblical reasons, as we can ascertain from the quotes of Tertullian and others.

    The Hebrew purpose of the covenant, I propose, was lost early in the church's transition to large numbers of Gentiles who were unfamiliar with Jewish history and much of the Old Testament. Many biblicall infomred CHristians were killed in the persecutions. As ist moved out into the Greco-Romans world the gospel, though Jewish in origin was embraced with people with very different assumptions about the world. So non-biblical assumptions penetrated the worship of the church. Although infant baptism was practiced some had misgivings, like the one you cited, but it was practiced.

    It seems that most early baptism was fraught with superstition, much of which neither you nor I now believe.

    Thanks for the discussion. I do not expect you to embrace the implications of what I have said, but it may help understand it more. You can argue against it and you should if you think it is wrong, but it should be noted that it has ZERO to do with what papists now practice.

    One thing I want anyone reading this to remember however is to consider how Peter's audience (Jews) would have understood his words "this promise is for you and your seed after you" which is a quote from Genesis 17 and quoted frequently in the OT when it refers to the covenant of grace.

    May the lord richly bless you and your family

    John H


    I share John's experience in that, for the majority of my Christian life I was adamantly opposed to infant baptism, but eventually (and reluctantly) I came to embrace it. It is of course a very involved discussion, and I can add nothing to what he has said, in a venue of this sort. However, I just thought I would briefly mention a peripheral issue which you brought -- immersion vs. sprinkling (in your words, to baptizein vs. to rhantizein.

    Consider Hebrews 9:1-10. Here, the author is speaking of the Christocentric significance of the rituals observed in the tabernacle (about which you may read more fully in Exodus 26-31, then again Exodus 35-40). Now, if you read these descriptions, it is manifestly clear that there are a great diversity of ritual sprinklings through which the tabernacle, altar, priests, etc., are sanctified. So when the author of Hebrews says that the worship service of that time was founded on "foods and drinks and diverse baptisms [gr. "baptismois"]..." (Hebrews 9:10), he is inarguably using the term baptism to refer to ritual sprinkling. I just point that out because I also used to be immersion-only until I considered that passage. The baptist argument that the term "baptizo" can only mean immersion is clearly not true, as this particular case demonstrates.

    Anyway, that's a peripheral issue, but it is the passage that persuaded me of the legitimacy of sprinkling as a mode of baptism (in continuity with the ritual sprinklings of blood, in the era of shadows).

    Blessings in Christ,


    Thanks for the post. One thing about the arguments for paedobaptism is that it is not done exegetically. I have read your post clearly and I think it would be best to discuss in-person. I see from on baptism, there are a lot of good writings already. Perhaps we can meet sometime in the future to talk more when you are in town. Perhaps for a Shepherd's Conference or Resolved Conference.

    The topic for this tread is Dave Hunt's mind but we went into baptism! Anyhow, its always good chatting with brothers on Scripture

    Anyhow, paedobaptists are my brothers unless for those who hold to baptismal regeneration for which most reformed camps are not.


    Thanks for your explanation.

    I just checked the usage of that word in Heb 9:10. The word baptismois does not refer to ritual sprinkling. Actually it is far from sprinkling. If that word were to mean sprinkling, they might have a bit of difficulty in cleaning their utensils in Mark 7:4 (the same Gk. Word) washing of cups, pitchers and pots. They could not have sprinkled the cups, pitchers and pots. No where in the Bible does baptizo refers to sprinkling.

    I just checked my Kistemaker/Hendriksen and he wrote nothing about Heb 9:10 and nothing about various washings. Also, checked NIGTC and Barclay, nothing on washing. Please let me know if you in town for Shepherd’s Conference or for any conference in the area, we can definately chat more about this issue and also other doctrines. Thanks.

    Thank you guys!


    By the way John and Nathan,

    Have you heard the dialogue/debate between MacArthur and Sproul?

    How abut James White & Geoff Volker vs Gary Johnson & Robert Strimple?



    I’m not sure what you’re trying to demonstrate by mentioning which scholars do not mention the referents of the Greek word “baptismois” in this passage. The question is really not, “Whose commentaries mention this usage?” but rather, “Do the referents of the word ‘baptismois,’ as it is used in this passage, include any cleansing rituals that do not involve immersion?” Just one such referent would cut away the foundation of the semantical argument against sprinkling as a baptismal mode. And really, it would involve some very intricate linguistic gymnastics to deny reference to any non-immersive ritual, given the immediate context. Just since you seem to appreciate published authorities, I will quote some thoughts of John Murray on the passage (Hebrews 9:10-23).

    “In verse 10 we have the expression “divers baptisms” (diaforois baptismois). The allusion is to various symbolical lustrations of the Old Testament. The word “divers” indicates that lustratory rites of various kinds are in view. It is not probable, however, that all the lustratory rites are contemplated. It is likely that those which had more direct relevance to the purification of persons are intended; the preceding verse, which is closely coordinated with verse 10, is concerned with the gifts and sacrifices which could not make him that performed the service perfect as to the conscience. but even if we recognise this delimitation we have still to note that lustrations of various kinds are envisaged.

    The significance of this passage as it bears upon our present interest is that the “divers baptisms” referred to in verse 10 must surely include the lustrations expressly referred to in the succeeding verses. In these verses a contrast is drawn between the intrinsic inefficacy, or at least relative inefficacy, of the ritual ordinances of the Levitical economy and the transcendent efficacy and perfection of Christ’s purificatory and expiatory work. In a word, the imperfection of the Levitical lustrations is contrasted with the lustration once for all perfected by Christ. In this sustained contrast every lustratory rite that comes within the writer’s purview must be included in the “divers baptisms” of verse 10. And that simply means that the lustratory rites mentioned in the succeeding context must come within the scope of the “divers baptisms”.

    In verse 13 one of these lustratory ordinances is expressly stated to have been performed by sprinkling – “for if the blood of goats and bulls and ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh”. When we bear in mind that here a lustratory rite of the old economy is contrasted in respect of its efficacy with the finality and perfection of the blood of Christ and when we remember that it was precisely this thought of relative inefficacy that prompted the reference to "divers baptisms," it becomes exegetically impossible to exclude this rite, or these rites, of verse 13 from the scope of the “divers baptisms”. And this means that a lustratory rite performed by sprinkling can be called a baptism.

    Again in verse 19 reference is made to the sprinkling of the book and all the people, and in verse 21 to the sprinkling of the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry (cf. Exod. 24:6-8). These ordinances are expressly stated in verse 23 to have been purificatory. We cannot exclude them from the scope of the “divers baptisms” of verse 10.

    We must conclude, therefore, that the word “baptism” refers to an action that can be performed by sprinkling as well as by any other mode. It cannot, therefore, mean immersion.”

    This is probably not the place to continue the discussion, (as you have noted). If you want, we can keep it up by e-mail, or on one of my posts that actually deal with baptism.

    Blessings in Christ,

    P.S. I'm from North Dakota, so chances are I'll never be in town to get together with you -- I guess e-mail will have to suffice. Keep seeking Him,

    Immersion vs. Sprinkling is a different issue than Paedo vs. Credo.

    For one, the Eastern Orthodox are immersionist paedos. There is nothing at all about an immersionist theology that inherently makes it credo, just like there is nothing about sprinkling or pouring that is inherently paedo (Martyn Lloyd-Jones comes to mind on the latter).

    Perhaps the infants do need to be immersed, but that's just change the mode, not the practice for paedos.

    A. The Christian and the Spirit in the first century:
    1. In the fi rst century, the inspired spoken word was miraculously confirmed before unbelievers by the Spirit (Mk 16:17-20; Hb 2:3,4).
    2. In the absence of the written word, the Spirit guided Christian teachers, whose teachings were inspired by the Spirit (1 Co 12-14).
    3. In order to mature the church, miraculous gifts of the Spirit were given by the laying on of the apostles’ hands (At 8:18; Rm 1:11; 2 Tm 1:6).
    4. The confirming work of the Spirit before unbelievers ended with the completion of the word in the fi rst century (1 Co 13:8-13).
    5. All necessary truth was revealed in the fi rst century (2 Tm 3:16,17).
    6. Christians must now rely on the written word of God for direction from God (At 20:32; Ep 3:3-5; 2 Tm 3:16,17; see Gl 1:6-9; Jd 3; Rv 22:18,19).
    7. Christians are warned not to change, add to or subtract from the Spirit-inspired written word of God (Gl 1:6-9; Jd 3; Rv 22:18,19).

    B. The Christian and the Spirit today:
    1. The Spirit indwells the Christian (1 Co 3:16; 2 Co 6:16; Ep 2:22; 2 Tm 1:14).
    2. The Spirit sanctifies (2 Th 2:13,14; see Jn 17:17; At 15:9; Ep 5:26; 1 Th 5:23; 1 Tm 4:4,5).
    3. The Spirit strengthens (At 20:32; Ep 3:16,20; Cl 1:10,11).
    4. The Spirit comforts (At 9:31; see 2 Co 7:6,7,13; Rm 15:4; 2 Th 2:16,17).
    5. The Spirit leads (Rm 8:14; Gl 5:18,25; see Is 48:17; Ps 119:105; 2 Th 3:5).
    6. The Spirit seals the Christian (2 Co 1:21,22; Ep 1:13,14; 4:30).
    7. The Spirit seeks to produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Gl 5:22,23).
    8. The Spirit works today through the impact of the word of God on the
    heart of man to produce faith (Jn 20:30,31; Rm 10:17), convert (Js 1:18;
    1 Pt 1:22,23), save (At 11:14; Js 1:21), cleanse (Jn 15:2; Ep 5:26), quicken (Ps
    119:40,93; Jn 6:63), give understanding (Ep 3:4; 2 Tm 3:15), admonish SPIRIT
    today for your FREE Bible study course!
    (4:14; 10:11), guard (2 Tm 3:13-15), exhort (1 Pt 5:12), instruct (2 Tm 3:16,17),
    stir up (2 Pt 1:12,13), purify the soul (1 Pt 1:22), and enlighten the mind
    (Ps 19:8; 119:130).
    One blasphemes the Spirit by saying that the Spirit’s instructions for
    salvation are not from God. One sins against the Spirit by rejecting the
    Spirit’s instructions in the Bible as to how he or she must be saved (Mt
    12:31,32; Mk 3:28-30; Lk 12:10). But the Spirit seeks to convert people today
    through the preaching of the inspired word (Js 1:22), by which one is born
    again (1 Co 4:15; 1 Pt 1:22,23). And one is born again when he or she obeys
    the Spirit’s written instructions that in order to be saved, we must believe
    and be baptized for remission of sins (Mk 16:16; At 2:38)

    In the case of adults who have received faith through hearing and reading the gospel (Jas 1:18; 1Pe 1:23; 1Co 4:15), baptism is still "the washing of regeneration," because it is a seal to them of the
    righteousness which these people have previously obtained by believing the gospel (Ro 4:11-13; Ga 3:7); and it reminds them of, and enables them to discharge, their daily duty of putting away the old and putting on the new man (Eph 4:22,24), just as the Word is still the regenerating word of truth (Jas 1:18) though it be preached to persons who are regenerated a long time ago. Accordingly, Luther rightly extends the regenerating and renewing influences of baptism throughout the life of a Christian, when he says "Baptizing with water signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die, with all sins and evil lusts; and, again, a new man should come
    forth and arise, who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever" (Smaller Catechism).

    Christians are sealed up by the Holy Spirit "unto the day of redemption" (Eph 1:13; 4:30; 2Co 1:22). Ownership, security
    and authentication are implied in the words, "The firm foundation of God standeth, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his" (2Ti 2:19). The seal of God on the foreheads of His servants (Re 7:2-4) marks them off as His
    own, and guarantees their eternal security, whereas those that "have not the seal of God on their foreheads" (Re 9:4) have no such guaranty. Harnack and Hatch maintain that the name "seal" for baptism was taken from the Greek mysteries, but Anrich and Sanday-Headlam hold that it was borrowed from the Jewish view of circumcision as a seal.

    The interpretation of the latter class seems entitled to the greater weight.
    According to the Apocalyptic usage, Jewish terms are “christianized and
    heightened in their meaning, and the word “Israel” is to be understood of
    all Christians, the blessed company of all faithful people, the true Israel of
    God.” See Romans 2:28, 29; 9:6, 7; Galatians 6:16; Philippians 3:3. The
    city of God, which includes all believers, is designated by the Jewish
    name, New Jerusalem. In verse 3, the sealed are designated generally as the
    servants of God. In chapter 14 the one hundred and forty-four thousand
    sealed are mentioned after the description of the enemies of Christ, who
    have reference to the whole Church of Christ; and the mention of the
    sealed is followed by the world-wide harvest and vintage of the earth. The
    one hundred and forty-four thousand in chapter 14., have the Father’s
    name written in their foreheads; and in chapter 22:4, all the inhabitants of
    the New Jerusalem are so marked. In chapter 21:12, the twelve tribes
    include all believers.
    Acts2:38 Repent: Peter said that each one who believed must repent.
    All must change their hearts, thinking and lives in response to God’s
    grace that was revealed through Jesus (8:19; 8:22; 17:30; 20:21;
    26:20; Lk 13:3; 24:47). However, their belief and repentance would
    not take care of their sin. Belief and repentance were their response
    to what they should do in reference to the Savior of the world. This
    response must lead one to do that which God requires as a
    manifestation of remorse for one’s sin. Their response, therefore, can
    never be a work of merit. Baptism is not a meritorious work in order to
    earn salvation. It is a response to the gospel of Jesus. Be baptized:
    The Greek word that is used here (baptizo) means “to dip,” “plunge,”
    “immerse” or “overwhelm.” “Baptize” is a transliterated word that was
    introduced through the original King James Version in order to
    accomodate those who were being sprinkling and calling it baptism.
    Unfortunately, the true meaning of the Greek word baptizo has been
    lost among many religious groups who practice the tradition of
    sprinkling that was introduced no earlier that A.D. 250 where it was
    recorded by Eusebius (A.D. 260 - 340) that a person by the name of
    Novatian was sprinkled because he was too sick to be removed from
    his bed. Neverthless, the mode of baptism is immersion, which
    according to this text, one must do in order to coming into a saving
    relationship with God. Every person who responds to God’s grace that
    was revealed through Jesus on the cross (Ti 2:11), therefore, must be
    immersed in water (Jn 3:23) in order to obey the death, burial and
    resurrection of Jesus (See comments Rm 6:3-6; Cl 2:12). In doing
    this, one comes into a covenant relationship with the Father, Son and
    Holy Spirit. Since Jesus died for us, we must die for Him (See 2 Tm
    2:11,12). The people to whom Peter preached had to crucify
    themselves in a spiritual manner as they had physically crucified
    Jesus (Rm 6:6; Gl 2:20). Their obedience to the gospel resulted in
    remission of all their past sins (22:16; 1 Pt 3:21). They were thus born
    again of the water and Spirit through immersion in and resurrection
    from water (See comments Jn 3:3-5). Peter affirms here that upon
    their obedience they would also receive the blessing of the gift of the
    Holy Spirit which God had promised He would pour out upon all flesh.
    Their obedience to Peter’s command to be baptized, therefore, was
    not a legal work in order to earn salvation. Their immersion would be
    a response to God’s grace as it was revealed through Jesus whom
    they had crucified. In the name of Jesus Christ: Jesus was in
    heaven with all authority on earth at the time Peter made these
    statements, and thus, it was by His authority that people are baptized
    (8:16; 10:48; 19:5; see comments Mt 28:18-20). Remission: This
    same Greek word is used in Matthew 26:28. It is at the point of
    immersion that one contacts the blood of Christ, and thus, receives
    from God the remission of sins. It is God who remits one’s sins by His
    grace. One does not obligate God to forgive sins through the action of
    immersion. Forgiveness of sins is the result of the free gift of God’s
    grace. Gift of the Holy Spirit: This has been a greatly discussed
    statement and one that must first be understood in the context of
    Peter’s audience. Peter’s explanation must be accepted in the
    context of prophecies that led to the event of verses 1-4 and his
    statement of verses 16,17 concerning the fulfillment of the promise of
    Joel 2:28. Therefore, in view of “the promise” of the following verse 39
    that refers us back to Joel 2:28 when the promise of receiving the Holy
    Spirit was made, it is consistent to affirm that Peter here refers to the
    Holy Spirit being poured out on “all flesh.” Specific reference in the
    context is to the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit that was openly
    given to the apostles on this day of Pentecost. However, we must also
    affirm that the result of this outpouring affected others through the
    laying on of the apostles’ hands in order that they receive the
    miraculous gifts of the Spirit (See comments 1:8; 8:18-20; Mk 16:16-
    20; Lk 24:49; 1 Co 12-14). Joel prophesied that the Spirit was to be
    poured out upon “all flesh.” We must affirm, therefore, that all the work
    of the Holy Spirit in this dispensation originated first with the
    outpouring of the Spirit in Acts 2. Originally, however, the Spirit gave
    miraculous power to the apostles and to the ones on whom the
    apostles personally laid their hands (8:18). By His own initiative the
    Spirit also came upon the Gentile household of Cornelius in order to
    prove a point to the Jewish Christians (See comments At 10; 1 Co
    12:11). Joel 2:28 is definitely a prophecy of a miraculous reception of
    the Spirit. This understanding harmonizes with what Jesus promised
    both in John 7:37-39 and Mark 16:16-20. This also harmonizes with
    the conversion of the Samaritans in 8:12-20. The Samaritans did not
    receive the Spirit until the apostles had laid hands on them (8:17,18).
    This is also in agreement with 19:1-7 in the conversion of some
    Ephesians who did not receive the Spirit until Paul, an apostle, laid his
    hands on them after they had been baptized in the name of Jesus
    (19:2-6; see comments Gl 3:3ff). We must conclude, therefore, that
    this miraculous reception of the Holy Spirit ceased when all the Christsent
    apostles died. It ceased because only the apostles could
    transmit to other people the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit by the
    laying on of their hands (See 8:18-20; Rm 1:11; 2 Tm 1:6). Gift:
    Notice that where the term “gift” is generally used in reference to that
    which the Holy Spirit gives, it is in the context of the miraculous activity
    of the Spirit such as prophesying, speaking in languages, and the
    other miraculous gifts of the Spirit (See 11:16,17; 10:44-46; see
    comments 8:18-20). In the New Testament, the singular word “gift”
    would refer to the whole of the promise that was first poured out on the
    apostles. The plural word “gifts” of the Holy Spirit would refer to
    individual miraculous powers that resulted from the outpouring (1 Co
    12:8ff). Only the Christ-sent apostles could give these miraculous
    gifts to others (8:18; compare the parallel use of the word “gift” in
    passages as 10:45-47; 11:17; Rm 12:6; 1 Co 12:4; Ep 4:8, 2 Tm 1:6).
    Peter’s emphasis in his Pentecost lesson includes this fulfillment of
    the miraculous benefits of the Joel 2 prophecy. The secondary
    emphasis is on the indwelling of the Spirit in God’s family that would
    not be defined with the word “miraculous.” This indwelling of the Spirit
    comes as a result of the obedient individual’s choice and allowance of
    the Spirit to rule and guide one’s life by the Spirit-inspired word of God.
    This would be a real and actual indwelling of the Spirit since the Spirit
    would be directing the life of the obedient by one’s voluntary
    submission to the Spirit-inspired word of God. Therefore, the promise
    of Joel 2:28 would also include a non-miraculous indwelling of the
    Spirit that continues in and with the believers until the final coming of
    Jesus. This belief is sustained by a literal understanding of passages
    as 1 Corinthians 6:19 and Romans 8:9. Thus, the Spirit was poured
    out upon all flesh on Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2. The Spirit
    manifested His works in the 1st century through those whom He chose
    (1 Co 12:7,11). Though the word-confirming miraculous manifestations
    of the Spirit have ceased, His present indwelling in the disciples
    will continue until Jesus comes again. This does not mean that God
    has ceased to work. He continues to work in the lives of Christians,
    which work is perceived by faith. Regardless of our understanding of
    verse 38 and all its implications concerning the work of the Spirit, one
    must affirm that all the work of the Holy Spirit in this dispensation of
    time finds it beginning in Peter’s affirmation that the promise of Joel
    2:28 was fulfilled on the Pentecost of A.D. 30. Though we may not
    understand all the implications of the outpouring of the Spirit and the
    gift of the Holy Spirit, we do know that the Spirit will do what His work
    is in the life of the Christian regardless of our understanding of His
    work. His work in our lives is not controlled or limited by our lack of
    understanding of His work. We do not presume to know all the
    workings of the Holy Spirit. Our limited knowledge of how God works
    does not limit His work in our lives.
    And now from the old testament
    Water baptism in the New Testament was not a new idea to those living at the time. It was not a foreign thought. They were already familiar with the concept of water baptism. How is this true, considering that John the Baptist is the first person mentioned in scripture that performed baptisms?
    Water baptism was seen in the Old Testament in typology. In fact, there are many OT typologies of baptism.
    We see the account of Noah in Genesis chapters 6 – 9. God told Noah to build an ark to save Himself, his wife, and his three sons and their wives, and two of every animal (and seven each of the clean animals) in whose nostrils was the breath of life. God destroyed the earth with water in a world-wide catastrophe. Noah was saved through the flood. Peter used this as a typology of baptism.
    1 Peter 3:20-21 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
    The earth was purged of sin by water. The next purging will be with fire.
    2 Peter 3:5-7 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
    We are purged by water at baptism, and of fire when we are filled with the Holy Ghost.
    In the book of Exodus we see the Israelites in bondage of Egypt. God sends Moses to deliver the Israelites out of the hand of Pharaoh. While Moses and the Israelites are traveling to the land that God promised them, Pharaoh and his armies chase them. The Israelites are caught against the Red Sea as Pharaoh’s armies approach to attack. God sends a cloud to stand between Israel and the Egyptians as Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. God parted the Red Sea, allowing Israel to cross on dry land. Once the Israelites have crossed over, the Egyptians attempt to follow them. God causes the water to fall back into its place, destroying the Egyptians (Exodus 14). God used water to destroy Pharaoh’s armies. This is symbolic of water baptism destroying and burying the sinful nature. The water delivered Israel. We are delivered of sin when we are baptized in water.
    1 Corinthians 10:1-2 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
    Just before God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai, He commanded Israel to wash their clothes in water.
    Exodus 19:10-11 10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, 11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
    Moses sprinkled the people with blood and water; symbolic of the shed blood remitting sins through water baptism (Bernard, p. 138).
    Hebrews 9:18-20 18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.
    Symbolism can also be seen in the Tabernacle. In fact, the Tabernacle symbolizes the New Testament salvation experience (Bernard, p. 79).
    Hebrews 9:8-10 8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: 9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
    The laver of brass was given for the Priests to wash before entering the Tabernacle.
    Exodus 30:18-21 18 Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. 19 For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: 20 When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the LORD: 21 So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.
    This is symbolic of washing away uncleanness before entering the holy place, which contained the altar. Without the washing, the priests were unclean, just like without water baptism our sins are not washed away.
    Consecration of the Priests required a blood sacrifice, washing in water, and anointing with oil. The washing in water was symbolic of water baptism.
    Exodus 29:4 And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.
    The blood sacrifices had to be washed in water before being burned in fire (more new birth symbolism – water representing water baptism and fire representing Spirit baptism).
    Leviticus 1:9 But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.
    Elijah poured water on the altar.
    1 Kings 18:33-35 33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. 34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. 35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.
    Naaman was healed of leprosy after obeying Elisha’s instructions to dip seven times in the river Jordan.
    2 Kings 5:10-14 10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. 11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? 14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
    Others that were healed of leprosy were purified in blood, water, and oil. The water is symbolic of water baptism.
    Leviticus 14:5-8 5 And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water: 6 As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water: 7 And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field. 8 And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean:
    Those that were ceremonially unclean had to be purified blood, water, and fire.
    Numbers 19:7-8 7 Then the priest shall wash his clothes, and he shall bathe his flesh in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp, and the priest shall be unclean until the even. 8 And he that burneth her shall wash his clothes in water, and bathe his flesh in water, and shall be unclean until the even.
    God ordained a purification ceremony for the Israelites after they had won a war against the Midianites. This included purification in water.
    Numbers 31:23-24 23 Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water. 24 And ye shall wash your clothes on the seventh day, and ye shall be clean, and afterward ye shall come into the camp.
    These typologies show that water was used for cleansing from sin (Bernard, p. 137). In some cases the blood was applied through the water, showing that the blood of Jesus Christ is applied during water baptism in order to forgive sins (Bernard, p. 137). Over and over we see blood, water, and oil or fire. This is symbolic of New Testament salvation, which consists of repentance, water baptism in the name of Jesus, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost, or Spirit Baptism.
    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
    The blood that was offered in the Old Testament was a foreshadow of the blood of Christ. The blood represents our repentance from sin. This is the death of the old sinful man in our lives. This is a conscious decision to turn from sin and live for God. The washing in water is water baptism in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins. Water baptism also represents the burial of Jesus. We are buried with Him in baptism, which is a burial of the old sinful man. The oil and the fire represents the Spirit baptism, or the infilling of the Holy Ghost. This represents the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is a resurrection into newness of life. Without the complete gospel – death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus – we do not have salvation. We apply the gospel by repenting of our sins, being baptized in Jesus name for the remission of sins, and being filled with the gift of the Holy Ghost. This is the gospel that the Old Testament shows in typologies. This is the gospel that Jesus bought for us by coming to Earth as a man and taking our place in death by dying upon the cross. It is salvation bought by the blood of Christ.

    It is baffling that a Christian denomination that shuns all trappings of "Catholic ritual" would insist that the Christian rite of Baptism be performed in such a rigid, ritualistic manner that they even surpass the strict adherence to ritualistic form of the Roman Catholic Church!

    Even if you believe that baptism is only for the purpose of a public profession of your faith, that it has nothing to do with salvation or the forgiveness of sins, why DEMAND that this rite be performed EXACTLY "as Jesus did it"??

    Christianity is about the heart, not the external ritual!

    Here is a write up concerning Mr Hunt who did some good work on warnings concerning other issues regardless - but in regard to the 'so-called' "5 Points of Calvinism" (which is continuously being misrepresented for why they were written in the first place) can read on for another view

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