Comparing The Baptisms of Moses, John, Jesus & The Disciples
Comparing The Men And Their Baptisms
One interesting fact concerning baptism is that individuals were said to have been baptized either unto (or in the name of…) Moses, John, or Jesus. There is no Biblical record indicating that anyone ever received water baptism by reciting some formula using the titles: The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, which is in reference to the instruction Jesus gave his disciples in Matthew 28:19. Have you ever wondered why?
Most baptisms, as reflected in the Bible, were associated with select Holy men whom God empowered to lead people to some form of deliverance or salvation. The most significant were those which focused on Moses, John, and Jesus. The followers of these Holy men were commonly called their disciples (a believer or a follower of someone’s teaching). It was God who determined the “mode” by which these “baptisms” would take place; in other words, God determined who would do what, how it would be fashioned, and when.
So let’s explore the different baptisms separately to see what, if any, similarities exist.
Those who were baptized unto Moses were “saved”. The Lord “saved” Israel from the Egyptians; this was the first reference to a water-related baptism incident. (Ref. Exodus 14:30)
(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; 2And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;”
(Exodus 14:30) “Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.”
(John 9:28-29) “Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses disciples. 29We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.”
John, being obedient and led by God, (to go baptize with water) was fulfilling the 1st step of obedience to God’s plan for man to be forgiven of his sins. John’s baptism symbolized the acknowledgment of repentance until “he” [Jesus] came, the Son of God (John 1:29-34).
(John 1:29-34) “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33And I knew him not: but he [God] that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he [Jesus] which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.”
(Acts 19:3-4) “And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
NOTE: There are three different baptisms being mentioned above yet clearly there is no mention of any specific phrase needed to be spoken to receive these baptisms, except that “they should believe on him.”
A set of instructions (Matthew 28:19) referred to as the “Great Commission” was given by Jesus Christ to his disciples and charged them to do two things; “TEACH all nations” and “BAPTIZE”.
(John 4:2) “Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples”
(Matthew 28:18-19) “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”
So let’s examine how these disciples carried out the commandment of Jesus.
(Acts 2:37-38) “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38Then 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 primary purpose of this section was to show that Jesus disciples were not actually being instructed by Jesus to merely repeat a specific phrase, for that is clearly not what they did. It will become clearer in the following sections how the reading in (Matthew 28:19) was carried out in the book of (Acts 2:38) and how these scriptures are yet in harmony.