Month 12:29, Week 4:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5936:344 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Wednesday 21 March 2012
Temple for His Name
IV. Baptism and Circumcision
Continued from Part 3
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el!
"Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptised into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ" (1 Cor.10:1-4, NKJV).
One of the doctrines that Messianics and Christians fall out over is the practice of circumcision. It's a topic that creeps up frequently especially amongst those coming from a Jewish cultural and religious background for whom this ordinance is also a question of identity, whether they are messianic and non-messianic. It is therefore a very senstitive and touchy subject.
Let us begin by making seven statements that summarise the scriptural information we have on this topic and then take a closer look at some of these:
Here I have to say that Messianics have, by and large, got the doctrine of circumcision wrong and Christians have got it right even if the majority of the latter (Baptists, Pentecostals and a few others excepted) are confused over the nature of true water baptism.
- 1. Our identity in the New Covenant is to be found in Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) alone and not in any physical tribe, race or cultural heritage, because Messiah dissolved these divisions and partitions two millennia ago;
- 2. We are Israel and of the seed of Abraham not on the basis of any physical ritual or ordinance but because of our identity with Messiah first through emunah (faith) in Messiah and then, in consequence of the salvation coming from this emunah (faith) - and never the other way round - obedience to the Torah (Law);
- 3. The physical sign of identity with Messiah and New Covenant Messianic Israel is transient water baptism (immersion) or mikveh which is visible only for a few seconds (in and out of the water and then dry again) to emphasise the invisible spiritual nature of true baptism, which is internal, working its way outwards in changed character through immersion of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit);
- 4. Physical baptism does not save, is not therefore a 'saving ordinance' and is only administered to true believers after true salvation, its chief purpose being an external sign before witnesses that a covenant to follow Messiah has been made;
- 4. The Old Covenant equivalent of Baptism of the Ruach (Spirit) is circumcision of the lev (heart);
- 5. The Old Covenant equivalent of Baptism by Immersion in Water is circumcision up to a point (no pun intended) though as a symbol and tavnith (pattern) baptism is much older - this I will discuss in some detail presently;
- 6. Physical circumcision in the New Covenant, which was ordained in the Old Covenant only for males at 8 days of age (or later if neglected/postponed or because of conversion later) is of no value whatsoever in the New Covenant and we are neither to be circumcised nor go through an operation of uncircumcision in order to be properly identified with either Messiah or Messianic Israel; and
- 7. The way messianics, non-messianic Jews and secularists (as in the USA where it is quite routine) circumcise is mutilation and is not the way physical circumcision was performed in Tanakh (Old Testament) times.
It surprises many to learn that baptism was a Tanakh (Old Testament) doctrine before it came to prominence in the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament) but only came to prominence after the apostles specifically identified and it later had a Greek label slapped onto it, viz. 'baptizo' (baptism) instead of mikveh. What were these Tanakh 'baptisms'?
Various passages that discuss baptism in the Messianic Scriptures (New Testament) in Hebrews 9, John 3 and Colossians 2 point back to various Tanakh (Old Testament) passages. In its essential and most general meaning, baptism is a rite of passage from darkness into light. As we read the opening verses of Genesis account we clearly observe these elements:
- 1. The Flood of Noah - the baptism of the whole earth - to which New Covenant baptism directly corresponds (1 Pet.3:20-22);
- 2. The Red Sea Crossing - though the people didn't get wet, they did pass 'under the sea', as it were (1 Cor.10:1-6);
- 3. Ceremonial Purifications for individuals under the Old Covenant.
This is the tavnith (pattern) for baptism:
"In the beginning Elohim (God) created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) was hovering over the face of the waters. Then Elohim (God) said, 'Let there be ohr (light)'; and there was ohr (light)" (Gen.1:1-3, NKJV).
This same tavnith (pattern) is repeated or recapitulated throughout the Bible so that all forms of baptism point back ultimately to this creation event at Yom Rishon (the first day).
- 1. Darkness;
- 2. Ruach and Water; and
- 3. Ohr (Light)
The first actual baptism recorded in Scripture is Noah's Flood (Gen.6-9) that Peter discusses:
The same tavnith (pattern) is repeated:
"For Messiah also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to Elohim (God), being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Ruach (Spirit), by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us -- baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward Elohim/God), through the resurrection of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of Elohim (God), malakim (angels) and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him" (1 Peter 3:18-22, NKJV).
Likewise, the Egyptian Exodus follows exactly the same tavnith (pattern):
- 1. Spiritual darkness (the world covered in evil);
- 2. Water (the flood - also called "baptism"); and
- 3. Spiritual ohr (light) (the new world begins with 8 covenanted souls to Yahweh).
Numerous Tanakh (Old Testament) practices likewise perform a similar function and follow an identical tavnith (pattern):
- 1. Bondage in Egypt (dwelling in darkness);
- 2. Crossing Yam Suf (Sea of Reeds/Red Sea) (water baptism); and
- 3. Freedom from Egypt (dwelling in ohr (light)).
The Gospel of John recapitulates the first verses we read earlier in Genesis when it says:
- 1. Ceremonial uncleanness - can't approach Yahweh (spiritual darkness);
- 2. Ceremonial purification ('baptisms' by blood, water or both); and
- 3. Ceremonial cleanness - can approach Yahweh (spiritual ohr (light)).
The world lay in spiritual darkness but the Ohr (Light) was coming, namely, Yah'shua (Jesus). Who would point to the Ohr (light)?
"In the beginning was the Davar (Word), and the Davar (Word) was with Elohim (God), and the Davar (Word) was Elohim (God). He was in the beginning with Elohim (God). All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was chayim (life), and the chayim (life) was the ohr (light) of men. And the ohr (light) shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it" (John 1:1-5, NKJV).
What was John's ministry? Baptism! He came calling people to repentance, baptising them, and pointing them to the Ohr (Light). The same tavnith (pattern) is evident:
"There was a man sent from Elohim (God), whose name was Yochanan (John). This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Ohr (Light), that all through him might believe. He was not that Ohr (Light), but was sent to bear witness of that Ohr (Light)" (John 1:6-8, NKJV).
John's baptism was, however, a lesser baptism to the one of Messiah, for Messiah brought the Baptism of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) which cleanses the soul inwardly of sin and darkness through complete regeneration. Note the tavnith (pattern) again:
- 1. The world is in spiritual darkness;
- 2. John baptises with water and points to the Ohr (Light); and
- 3. The "Ohr (Light) of the world" (Yah'shua/Jesus) comes.
Water baptism follows the same tavnith (pattern):
- 1. A soul is in spiritual darkness;
- 2. Yah'shua (Jesus) baptises with the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit); and
- 3. The soul now abides in spiritual Ohr (Light).
There are very close parallels between water and Ruach (Spirit) baptism. Water baptism brings a soul from darkness to ohr (light) externally/outwardly whereas Ruach (Spirit) baptism beings a soul from darkness to ohr (light) internally/inwardly. Both are passages from darkness to ohr (light) but one is with water and the other is with Ruach (Spirit). The first is the outward sign whereas the second is the inward reality - the thing signified.
- 1. A person is outside Messianic Israel (Community/Church) (apparent spiritual darkness);
- 2. The person is baptised in water; and
- 3. He/She is now inside the visible Messianic Israel (Community/Church) (apparent spiritual ohr (light).
Therefore there is no coincidence that the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God) - and specifically the Ruach haRishon (the First Ruach/Spirit associated with the First Day of Creation) "hover[s] over the waters" in between the "darkness" of Genesis 1:2 and the "ohr (light)" of Genesis 1:3 because baptism marks the passage from darkness to ohr (light), from being an outcast to being in Yahweh's presence, from being "formless and empty" (Gen.1:2) to being "very tov (good)" (Gen.1:31).
As we saw earlier, New Covenant Baptism and Noah's Flood are equivalent. Prior to the latter, the earth was steeped in wickedness and spiritual darkness (Gen.6:5) and Yahweh found a righteous man who walked with Him - Noah (Gen.8:8-9). Indeed, he was the only one who was righteous in the whole of his generation. Indeed, on the basis of this one man's righteousness Yahweh saved Noah and his family:
Please note that Yahweh does not say that He found eight righteous people who coincidentally happened to be of the same family but only one. Noah's household was saved because he was saved - because he alone was righteous:
"And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the ruach (breath) of chayim (life); everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish My b'rit (covenant) with you (Noah); and you shall go into the ark -- you, your sons, your wife, and your sons' wives with you" (Gen.6:17-18, NKJV).
Noah did everything Yahweh commanded him to do (Gen.6:22; 7:5). We know that all the rest of his family were not righteous in everything as their husband, father and father-in-law was. By the time we arrive at Genesis 9 we start to learn more concerning the rest of his family. Ham was wicked, dishonouring his father and his son Canaan was thrice-cursed. Shem and Japheth were good, honouring their father, and both are blessed.
"Then Yahweh said to Noah, 'Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you (singular - Noah) are righteous before Me in this generation" (Gen.7:1, NKJV)
The eight who were saved were therefore truly a 'mixed bunch' as far as righteousness was concerned. But only Noah "found favour", only Noah was "righteous", "blameless", and "walked with Elohim (God)".
You should by now have concluded that I am trying to make an important point about baptism. Let me now summarise what I am getting to in five points:
From this we conclude an important principle of tavnith (pattern): if a husband/father walks with Yahweh and that man and his family are baptised, all the family members receive blessings even if all are not necessarily regenerated.
- 1. Noah alone walked with Yahweh;
- 2. Noah alone was fully obedient;
- 3. Noah's entire family received a type of baptism (cp. 1 Pet.3:20-21);
- 4. Yahweh blessed Noah, and Yahweh blessed all three sons too; and
- 5. Nevertheless. Ham proved to be wicked and his son was thrice-cursed.
I now want you to compare Noah's Family with the whole Israelite nation which was was baptised in Yam Suf - the Sea of Reeds or 'Red Sea':
It's hard to say how many adult Israelites - that is, those 20 years old and above - crossed that body of water but it may have been as many as two million. I think it is fairly safe to say that not all two million of these were regenerate! Just think of the many rebellions. Thus both the regenerate and unregenerate were baptised. And Paul says that the things that happened to these Israelites were to be "examples" for us . Not only that, but they were baptised into who? Into Moses!
This is a twin baptism into a mortal man - not into Yahweh but into His representative or proxy. Here Israel, the bride, is being baptised into Moses, a human bridegroom.
"Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the [Red] sea, all were baptised into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Messiah (Christ). But with most of them Elohim (God) was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted" (1 Cor.10:1-6, NKJV).
By analogy, who, then, is a wife to baptised into? Her husband.
Notice also that there were two baptisms into Moses:
The first is an 'air', 'breath', ruach or 'spirit' baptism and the other is a water baptism. And when we see this, we are to obviously make a connection between it and Ruach (Spirit)-baptism and water baptism into Messiah.
- 1. In the cloud; and
- 2. In the sea.
||Cloud (by day,
fire by night)
||Messianic Israel/Bride/ Believers ||Ruach haQodesh
For many centuries, Judaism has required a ritual immersion (mikveh) for converts (like Christian baptism), a ritual immersion for women just before they are married, a ritual immersion for women for purification according to the laws of niddah after she has completed her mestruation before she can lie with her husband again, and a ritual immersion after childbirth. These are conducted naked just as baptisms in the early eastern Orthodox Church were. Indeed, some immersions were sevenfold reminding us of the dipping of Naaman in the River Jordan at the behest of the prophet Elisha. Latterly, Jewish men of the Hasidic sect have taken to immersing themselves every day, some before the sabbath, some after semenal emissions, some men before marriage, and some before Yom Kippur. It has become such a fad now that some Jews immerse to mark graduation, important birthdays, and making a new start after some big loss (like death of a spouse, a divorce, rape, abuse, etc.).
The Torah mentions nine ritual immersions or mikveh requirements:
All of these nine Torah requirements were obviously fulfilled in Messiah, our Cohen Gadol (who was immersed in water and then received the immersion of the Ruach haQodesh/Holy Spirit in the form of the dove descending). The Levitical Priesthood has been abolished along with all the rituals pertaining to the former covenants. The Baptism of John, which in some ways rolls up all the nine Torah requirements into a general baptism of repentance, was a forerunner to, and was completed by, the baptism into Messiah which is both of water and the Ruach (Spirit)/Esh (Fire). There is therefore now only one combined baptism of repentance and into the Shem (Name) of of Messiah. Or is there?
- 1. After keri - the normal emission of semen, whether from sexual activity or from nocturnal emission - this is sometimes known as Tevilath Ezra or 'the immersion of Ezra' (Lev.15:16);
- 2. After zav/zavah - abnormal discharges of bodily fluids (Lev.15:13);
- 3. After tzaraath - certain skin conditions, lepra (in the Greek Septuagint), and therefore traditionally translated into English as 'leprosy', though this is a translation error (Lev.14:6-9);
- 4. By anyone coming into contact with someone suffering from zav/zavah, or into contact with someone still in Niddah (normal menstruation), or who comes into contact with articles that have been used or sat upon by such persons (Lev.15:5-10,19-27);
- 5. By cohenim (priests) when they are being consecrated (Ex.29:4; 40:12);
- 6. By the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) on Yom Kippur after sending away the goat to Azazel, and by the man who leads away the goat (Lev.16:24,26,28);
- 7. The cohen (priest) who performed the Red Heifer ritual (Num.19:7-8);
- 8. After contact with a corpse or grave, in addition to having the ashes of the Red Heifer sprinkled upon them (Num.19:19); and
- 9. After eating meat from an animal that died naturally (Lev.17:15).
One of the practices of modern Judaism, like ritually immersing new converts, is obviously a later imitation of New Covenant practices. But where did baptising a woman about to be married come from? And does this apply to the New Covenant?
Clearly, divine tavnith (pattern) not only required a woman to be immersed into Messiah but in addition into her husband also as a symbolic representation of her transfer from direct ownership by Yah'shua (Jesus) to ownership by her husband. This does not, of course, in any way negate her baptism into Messiah, nor is it saying that her husband is her Saviour in place of Messiah, but rather depicts a transfer of toqef (authority) and ownership - she comes under the tabernacle/tent/covering of her husband, even as he is under the tabernacle/tent/covering of Messiah: she is therefore under her husband with Messiah.
A married woman converting to Messiah should properly be baptised into Messiah and then into her husband. Those who convert to Messiah when they are single should have a second baptism into their husbands.
Immersion of a woman into her husband has a parallel symbolic meaning to immersion into Messiah, representing death to a life of singleness and ownership by her father into a new life as a married woman and ownership by her husband. This compares with baptism into Messiah which is a symbolic burial in the grave, leaving behind self-ownership, dying to self, and re-emerging from the water cleansed of sin and guilt and with the regenerating resurrection power of Messiah to empower the new life. As previously mentioned, the woman does not disconnect from Messiah and His salvation to be joined only to her mortal husband, but remains in Messiah - the "little branch" is being transferred from the Vine to the "greater branch" and is connected to the Vine viâ the latter - it is the same mayim chayim or waters of life that pass through both. Because it is a 'lesser' or 'secondary' baptism, at no time is there so much as a hint that the woman is bypassing Messiah. Rather, she is connected to Messiah in her husband because they are considered as a single unit - a compound Adam, an echad (oneness) - with the husband as rosh or head.
There are jurisdictional (legal) and literal aspects of this. The jurisdictional aspect says that the couple are married in Yahweh's eyes even if the relationship is rotten, and lasts until-death-do-us-part unless there is divorce because of adultery. The literal aspect is the actual connection in Messiah. So long as a husband is IN Messiah and the wife is connected to her husband mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, the "sap" or resurrection life of Messiah passes freely to her in the manner intended for echad union. If the husband falls away from Messiah and the "sap" of Messiah no longer passes from Messiah to her viâ her husband then she must, of necessity, be regrafted directly onto the Vine again and bypass her unbelieving husband, leaving only a symbolic 'legal' marriage. This is a bad place for a wife to be in. What should she do? She should guard her connection to Messiah no matter what and leave any regrafting back into the Vine to Yah'shua (Jesus) and behave as Paul said a believing wife should toward an unbelieving husband (whether unconverted or lapsed) in the manner we discussed two days ago:
If the wife is unconverted or lapsed then there is no literal grafting anyway - neither to the husband nor to Messiah - so the branch will be fruitless and at length whither away, leaving only a symbolic and legal marriage if she remains.
"Wives, likewise (like believers), be submissive [and obedient] to your own husbands (as to Messiah), that even if some [husbands] do not obey the Davar (Word - won't surrender to Messiah), they, without a davar (word - in silence), may be won by the conduct (behaviour) of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear (deep respect)" (1 Peter 3:1-2, NKJV).
The picture I am trying to paint for you here, as illustrated using the baptism or mikveh analogy this time, is of the great and glorious intent that Yahweh has for married believers. He desires something wonderful and supernatural to happen between spouses - He wants them linked together in such a way - in divine tavnith (pattern) - that they are not only inseparable but are living out life to its fullness in the same way that the Heavenly Family does too. He wants the kind of depth in their relationship that obtains in the Elohimhead (Godhead) and wants us directly linked to it and feeding off it as a branch feeds off the sap fron the vine:
Yahweh wants men immersed in His Son and women immersed in Messiah in their men. This is the most intimate form of connectivity that exists in the universe requiring great committment and responsibility on the part of those involved. It requires sensitivity, vulnerability and awareness as represented by the softness of water whilst at the same time being encased, as it were, in an iron-clad fortress - consider the power of water under pressure!
The difference between the two qualities of waters - power and softness - is the difference between maleness and femaleness, respectively.
"Behold, Yahweh has a mighty and strong one, like a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, like a flood of mighty waters overflowing" (Isa.28:2, NKJV).
When and how should a woman be baptised into her husband? Israel was baptised into Moses when she crossed the Red Sea (Yam Suf) at Yom haBikkurim as the cloud of Yahweh's Presence hovered over them in the Pesach or Passover season, just as the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) - and specifically the Ruach haRishon - hovered over the waters of the earth before being separated from the land. Yom ha Bikkurim occurs during Chag haMatazah, the only festival (Bikkurim) that occurs in the middle of another festival (Matzah). This baptism of Israel required no human hands unlike baptism into Messiah in which one man baptises another as a proxy for Messiah. In other words, this baptism of the woman into her husband is done 'without hands' - she makes the journey herself by immersing herself, just as it still is done in Judaism. This should occur immediately before marriage and should be done quietly and alone in deep meditation, a covenant between her and the Ruach (Spirit), her Heavenly Mother, that she is accepting her Heavenly Father's giving her away to her new husband. Her immersion personifies the womb and the grave simultanbeously, as she re-enters a 'womb' and emerges having died to her former life of singlenes and her former life of being owned by her father, passing into her new life as a wife. It is a redefinition of selfhood as she becomes disconnected from Messiah the Vine and is grafted back into Messiah the Vibe viâ the Greater Branch which is her husband.
As we probe deeper into the meaning of baptism it should be clear that whilst baptism resembles circumcision in many ways, in others it fundamentally does not. Circumcision symbolises the cutting away of the a life of sin for a man (as women were never circumcised), just as Chag haMatzah is the removal of the leaven of sin. It was the physical sign of the covenant Yahweh made with Abraham and although the initial covenant was made in Genesis 15, circumcision wasn’t commanded until Genesis 17 – at least 13 years later, after Ishmael was born. At that time, Yahweh changed Abram’s name from Abram ('exalted father') to Abraham ('father of a multitude'), a name that anticipated the fulfillment of Yahweh’s promise. The covenant was made with Abraham and later with Isaac and Jacob and with all their descendants.
Baptism is, in some sense, as we have seen, the sign of the New Covenant Yahweh makes with Israel, His Bride (Church). Yah'shua (Jesus) commanded baptism in the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)” (Mt.28:19). Baptism is the outward sign of an inward change. It represents rebirth in Messiah just as the secondary baptism represent's a wife's rebirth in her husband in Messiah.
While there are parallels between baptism and circumcision, they symbolise two very different covenants. The Old Covenant had a physical means of entrance: one was born to Israelite parents or bought as a servant into an Israelite household (Gen.17:10-13). One’s spiritual life was unconnected to the sign of circumcision. Every male was circumcised, whether he showed any devotion to Elohim (God) or not. However, even in the Tanakh (Old Testament), there was recognition that physical circumcision was not enough. Moses commanded the Israelites in Deuteronomy 10:16 to circumcise their levim (hearts), and even promised that Yahweh would do the circumcising (Dt.30:6). Jeremiah also preached the need for a circumcision of the lev (heart) (Jer.4:4).
In contrast, the New Covenant has a spiritual means of entrance: one must believe and be saved first (Acts 16:31). Therefore, one’s spiritual life is closely connected to the sign of baptism. If baptism indicates an entrance into the New Covenant, then only those devoted to Yahweh by being Torah-obedient and trusting in Yah'shua (Jesus) should be baptised.
True circumcision, as Paul preaches in Romans 2:29, is that of the lev (heart), and it is accomplished by the Ruach (Spirit). In other words, a person today enters a covenant relationship with Yahweh not based on a physical act but on theRuach's (Spirit’s) work in the lev (heart).
Colossians 2:11-12 refers to this type of spiritual circumcision: “In Him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Messiah, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your emunah (faith) in the power of Elohim (God), who raised him from the dead.” This circumcision does not involve the cutting of the body; it is a cutting away of our old nature. It is a spiritual act and refers to nothing less than salvation, effected by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). Baptism, mentioned in verse 12, does not replace circumcision; it follows circumcision — and it is clearly a spiritual circumcision that is meant, for the ritual has been abolished with all the other Old Covenant rituals. Baptism, therefore, is a sign of inward, spiritual "circumcision".
This passage also specifies that the new life, represented by baptism, comes "through your emunah (faith)".. This implies that the one being baptised has the ability to exercise emunah (faith). Since infants are not capable of exercising emunah (faith), they can never be candidates for baptism.
At what minimum age should a person be baptised? This will entirely depend on the spiritual maturity of the child but as a rule in this ministry we have usually said 'not younger than 8 years and preferably before 12', the traditional time of Bar Mitzvah or 'confirmation'.
Someone born (physically) under the Old Covenant received the sign of that covenant (circumcision); likewise, someone born (spiritually) under the New Covenant ("born again", John 3:3) receives the sign of that covenant (baptism). What is the equivalent of a wife being 'born again' in her husband? By realising that she loves the man she wants to marry and obtaining a testimomny that she comes from him and belongs to him, just as we all must be born again to love Messiah and come to a sure knowledge that He is our Creator and Owner!
I hope that this little study has been a blessing to you. It has obviously had to be truncated to complete this series before the New Year. More can and will be said so may this serve as an introduction containing principles which may be new for some of you as we seek to restore all that was revealed in earlier times before the Enemy submerged them in lies and false traditions. As we approach once again the season in which we traditionally baptise, I would invite those of you who have been postponing baptism, for whatever reason, to reconsider obeying the commandment to have this ordinance of the New Covenant performed on you. And if you wives have not yet been immersed into your husbands, I invite that you do so after your baptism into Messiah.
May this New Year, soon to begin, be a spectacular renewal for everyone. It is time for everyone to come home.
 There are some who try to make a case for infant baptism from these passages of scriptures by comparing baptism with circumcision which was made on infants. However, in order make this claim, they must overlook the many passages which clearly point to believers' baptism. And as we shall see baptism and cicumcision are not exactly equivalent.
 Wikipedia, Mikveh
 Baptism in the Old Testament