From The Master's Table Web Site
What about Baptism if there is no Minister?
Question is do we have to be baptized to receive salvation? And is "faith" to be the instrumental cause of Spiritual rebirth, and who should baptize any person accepting Jesus blood sacrifice? This has to be answered with some foundation so let’s take a look at some points and then we will address who should baptize any person accepting Jesus blood sacrifice and what should be understood first?
First I want to say that water Baptism does not save as the word faith means only one thing in the New Testament and that is reliance upon Christ for salvation; which the word assurance is made more understandable in this context. Mark 16:15-16 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. "He who “believes” and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
The main point in the above scripture is the word believe. The word believe here is the same word as Faith in the Greek which is pisteuo, and means by implication, to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to the Messiah. This word "Justify" in the greek is dikaioo and means to render just or innocent or to Justify. There is a place in the New Testament that seems to use the word faith in the Old Testament way in Matt 6:30; It states…"Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? And in Matt 14:31; which states…And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" So this word is used in the context of lacking in confidence in the Messiah.
The very reason Jesus healed and raised the dead as well as the apostles doing so was to show that they were acting in compliance with the power and will of the Holy Father. This gave them credibility just as it will do for the two Great Witnesses that God will send before His return.
The point made concerning the thief recorded in the book of Luke chapter 23 which has been stated how could he receive salvation if he had not been baptized? The answer is Jesus saved him and from that day the thief was with Christ (Or in Christ) as he was promised because Jesus has the authority and power from the Holy Father to save and forgive sins. Remember the religious leaders of Jesus’ day were very upset because Jesus forgave people their sins and this was before His death and resurrection and this can be proven by Scripture. In Matt 9:2 we find Jesus stated… Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you." However the scribes were saying in their hearts "Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
Now I know you have read where Jesus made the promise to the thief while they were both still under the old covenant (which we know was not fulfilled until Jesus died and spread His blood on the Holy of Holies in heaven). But understand this, the issue is not WHEN Jesus made the promise to the thief, the issue is, under which covenant did the thief die? The thief died under the new covenant!” There is much more to be stated about this but will not get into it here.
So what about baptism? John the Baptist' was commissioned by God the Father to baptize, and many people have not understood that his baptism was of "repentance only" because the Holy Spirit had not yet been offered to all, and as we see recorded in the book of Acts, those baptized by John had to be baptized again. Let’s read it. "He said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” ‘And he said to them’ "Into what then were you baptized?" ‘So they said,’ "Into John's baptism.” ‘Then Paul said,’ "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus and when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied." Acts. 19:2-6. So if you were baptized and did not have hands laid on you to receive the Holy Spirit then you have been baptized with the baptism of repentance; not the baptism of salvation.”
Keep this in mind because it is very important… If salvation could come by baptism then the Holy Father could have just commanded baptism for salvation without sending His Son Jesus to shed His blood. What many people don't seem to get is that after Adam and Eve sinned blood was shed when God clothed them with animal skins to cover their shame. No animals were ever slain till that time but you see God stated that blood had to be shed for the remission of sins and that is also why God did not accept Cain's sacrifice because it was of fruit while Abel's was an animal sacrifice. The fact is that baptism is the outward showing of an inward faith and to do so is to obey Jesus’ command to baptize which is what we should do out of obedience but baptism is not some ritual that insures salvation.
First let me explain that we should not get baptized unless we fully understand what we are doing. When I baptize I always teach about the old covenant and how the High Priest had to first receive cleansing for his own sins and then he could go into the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood for the sins of the people and then he would place the sins on the scape goat and a strong man would take the scape goat into the wilderness and let it go. This is depicted in the book of Revelation as well when the angle comes and cast Satan into outer darkness. The reason I teach this first is so the one being baptized will understand more fully what Jesus did in fulfilling this act of the High Priest which was done to depict the coming Messiah for the people. The new covenant replaced, or as taught in the book of Hebrews, made void the old covenant, and as a result we have an eternal sacrifice as well as a High Priest that cannot become corrupt as was the case in the old covenant run by men. You might ask why this is important and the answer is that anyone being baptized, or anyone doing the baptizing, MUST UNDERSTAND that it is done by the authority of the High Priest that sits at the right hand of the Holy Father.
Some ministers will state “By the authority invested in me” and that is not what they should be saying or else you have only been baptized by a man. Now this should answer the question who should baptize? I would say as a man and from what I have studied in-depth concerning this subject that is written in the new covenant bible that the person doing the baptizing does not have to be righteous or at least more righteous than the person being baptized. Remember I stated above that the High Priest would offer a blood sacrifice for his own sins first and I always do the same in asking Jesus to cover my sins and that I’m doing this by His authority. Also as stated above all parties involved need to understand what they are doing and why they are doing it. You are entering into an agreement with God the Holy Father and His Son Jesus the Messiah to believe Jesus is the Son of God and His eternal blood sacrifice is for your justification for your weak flesh. You are stating and accepting that there is no other way except through the blood sacrifice of Jesus the messiah and you intend to work on becoming like Him as you are able.
I say as you are able because we will not be perfect till Jesus changes us at the first resurrection (As there is a second resurrection but not a third.) and remember the admonition of the apostle Paul when he wrote… “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Cor 10:12-13
After the person is baptized by FULL IMMERSION they must have hands laid on them and ask for God to give them the Holy Spirit which is the Power of God and not a person of the Godhead. The power of God is also the spirit of truth which we can draw on when seeking the will of God. The Holy Spirit helps the believer as long as the person continues to submit to it and I must say if we get involved in the ideas of men and resist the Holy Spirit it very well may stop working with the person.
One last point is that the one doing the baptizing must consider if they are strong enough to lift the person being baptized into and out of the water as the person being baptized MUST be fully immersed into the water. If you think it necessary to have help from another brother or sister there is nothing wrong with that.
If you have any questions about what I have stated please let me know.
If you want to read the complete study titled the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah for more information see…
And the study or sermon titled “Just what is Faith?” which gets into more understanding about Jesus the Messiah being the only way we can be justified and receive salvation.
Timothy M. Youngblood
The Master's Table