Repent and let each one of you be baptized in the Name of Yahshua Messiah for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Set-Apart Spirit.  (Acts 2:38)

We are a small group of believers who have escaped Pentecostalism and religion. Could you please tell us how you baptize new people. What is your procedure in this. thanking you for your time.  --A. Smith (Australia)

First off, it must be understood that "baptism" was performed in the Tanakh, and is  identified in the traditional translations as "washing".  The priesthood washed their flesh with water before, after, and during the means of making atonement, or bringing about the removal for sin, and in the Hebrew language, this is known as "mikvah" or immersion.  This was also the command of the prophet, Elisha, to Naaman the leper, when he commanded him to mikva or dip seven times and be cleansed.  Again, as Yohanan prepared the way for YHWH the Messiah (Yahshua), he commanded the crowds to mikva or immerse for the remission of sins, in accordance with the Torah commands which deal with this.

In our day, some confusion has arisen about the practice of mikva, much of it being introduced by the Catholic or harlot church.  Several of these points are as follows.

1.  A baby has no knowledge of right or wrong.  The existence of the Torah combined with the knowledge of sin is what makes something sin for us.  (For example, nakedness was not a sin for Adam and Chava (Eve) until they KNEW, and then the Torah required that they be clothed.)    As Rav Shaul said, "If I KNOW to do good, and do it not, it is sin unto me."  A baby does not know to do good and do it not, therefore baby baptism for the remission of sins, although it may fill the "letter", does not fulfill the spirit or intent of the Torah.

2.  There is NO SCRIPURAL BASIS for a so-called "age of accountability", before which one can not mikva or immerse.  Provided that they are of an age where they make the decision and can fully understand the importance and purpose of the procedure, mikva may take place at any time.

3.  Mikva was NEVER performed by sprinkling, but by COMPLETE IMMERSION.  The Greek word translated "baptism" is #907, baptizo, meaning "to make whelmed (i.e. fully wet)", and this word comes from #911, bapto, meaning "to whelm, i.e. cover wholly with a fluid".  Naaman is a prime example of this, as is the Messiah, who "came up out of the water"  following his immerison by Yohanan (John).

4.  Scripture never limits the number of times which a person may mikva.  In fact, it was a Scriptural command that every time you become physically unclean (i.e. in contact with a dead body, etc) that you were to mikva, and again be considered clean at evening.  Mikva was also preformed for physical healing, as we see with the blind man at the pool  (mikva) of Bethsaeda, in Jerusalem.

5.  Scripture never teaches that a mikva or immersion must be performed by someone else.  In fact, we have the Scriptural evidence that the apostles COMMANDED the crowd to be immersed, and some 3000 were saved.  Logic tells us that 12 men did not immerse  3000 people, or they would have been found floating downstream by the end of the day. Rather, the crowds immersed themselves.  Notwithstanding,  Y
ohanan is recorded as having immersed the Messiah, and Philip also immersed the Ethiopian man, whereby it is obvious that such a procedure is not wrong, and may even be advisable, but is not required.

6.  Immersion for the remission of sins should be in the name above all names, which is "YAHWEH our Salvation" (Hebrew, YAHshua) or YAHWEH the Messiah, and performed for the remission of sins.  "In the Name of..." requires that it be in Yahweh's AUTHORITY, and that the purpose for the immersion be well known and proclaimed.  Apart from complete immersion (preferably in running water, such as a river or stream) in the Name of YAHWEHshua Messiah, there are no other Scriptural requirements or commands.  The "forward only", "backward only", "bending at the knee or waist" or "number of times in sequence" are all halacha or tradition,  and therefore a matter of personal preference, but by no means find their roots in any Scriptural command.

Mark 16:16.  He who believes and has been immersed, shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemed.

Acts 2:38.  [Therefore] repent and let each one of you be immersed in the Name of YAHshua Messiah for the forgiveness of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Set-Apart Spirit.  39.  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as Yahweh our Elohim shall call.

Acts 22:16.  And now, why do you delay?  Rise up, be immersed, and wash away your sins, calling on the Name of YAHWEH.

1 Corinthians 12:13.  For indeed by one Spirit are we all immersed into one body, whether Yahudim or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink into one Spirit.

Galations 3:27.  For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah.  28.  There is neither Yahudite nor Greek, there is not slave nor free, there is not male and female, for you are all one in Messiah YAHshua.  29. And if you are of Messiah, then you are seed of Avraham, and heirs according to promise.

I hope that this has answered the question, and if there are any more, please do not hesitate to ask.

Shalom b'Shem Yahshua haMoshiach  (p
eace in the Name of Yahshua the Messiah) and have a Ruach-filled remainder of Shavuot.
--Brother MattithYah

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