Water Baptism or Spiritual Water Baptism?

Water Baptism Initiation

A comment from Paul on Baptism: ” Peter, after seeing gentiles filled with Holy Ghost (Acts 10:44-47) asks, (v47) “‭‭Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?‭” The Ethiopian eunuch asks Philip (Acts 8:36, “And as they went on ‭their‭ way, they came unto a certain water: and the ‭eunuch‭ said, See, ‭here is‭ water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?‭”

These two examples of water baptism occurred after Jesus ascension. If water is not necessary then why these verses? Why would Jesus’ Apostles promote such unnecessary practices?
Then explain how baptism in Romans says it’s symbolic of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection if it’s baptism in the Holy Ghost?

It appears baptism was meant to be in water and the filling of the Holy Ghost accompanies it, just like Jesus’ baptism but unlike all the other baptisms performed by John.
Comparing scriptures gives a complete picture. “

Tom Lessing’s Reply to Paul:

Hi Paul

Yep! As you said in your other comment, we should avoid and also expose ALL false teachers. Was Paul a false teacher who said Jesus did not send him to baptize but to preach the gospel? (1 Corinthians 1:1) You said in one of your posts,

Paul said: “Then explain how baptism in Romans says it’s symbolic of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection if it’s baptism in the Holy Ghost?”

It appears baptism was meant to be in water and the filling of the Holy Ghost accompanies it, just like Jesus’ baptism but unlike all the other baptisms performed by John.

Deborah’s reply to Paul :

Acts 10:44-48 (KJV)
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

If we look at the all the above verses in its entirety it’s clear that Peter was travelling with Jews (those who were of the circumcision) who were against Gentiles being baptised at the time and receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit such as speaking in tongues etc,. Peter tells the Jews, “who are we as Jews to deny Gentiles from being baptised to receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost to speak in tongues and be a witness to all the nations?” Notice the word “water” (v47) above does not denote actual water, it was a spiritual water baptism of laying of on hands to receive the Holy Spirit.

water G5204 ὕδωρ hudor (hï ’-d̮ōr) n.
ὕδατος hudatos (hï ’-d̮a-tos) [genitive case]
water (as if rainy).
{literally or figuratively}
[from the base of G5205]

rain G5205 ὑετός huetos (hï-e-tos’) n.
rain, especially a shower.

Until such time as the canon was complete, the laying on of hands to receive the spiritual raining down of Holy Spirit water to receive the gift of speaking in tongues and prophecy would remain. After the Word of God was compete these gifts would cease.

Water Baptism is Symbolic?

Paul said: “Comparing scriptures gives a complete picture.”

Tom Lessing’s Reply:

Where in Romans does it say that water baptism is symbolic of Christ’s death burial and resurrection? It was John the Baptist who instituted water baptism unto repentance. “Unto repentance” means that the Jews (there were no gentiles among those whom he baptized) needed to change their minds about their Messiah, Jesus Christ, and his gospel. The word “metanoia” used for repentance means to change your mind for the better, the better being faith in Jesus Christ. If, as you say, water baptism and the infilling of the Holy Spirit go hand in hand, then those whom John baptized must also have been filled with the Holy Spirit. Moreover, if your claim that water baptism and the infilling of the Holy Spirit accompany one another, then Paul who was not sent to baptize, must have deprived people of the Holy Ghost.

Yes, there were instances when Peter and Philip baptized gentiles in water like the Ethiopian eunuch in (Acts 8:36), but they were exceptions which I shall explain to you later when I have more time. By the way, did Ananias baptize Paul by immersion in water? Can you prove it to me from Scripture, seeing that you yourself said “Comparing scriptures gives a complete picture.” Is there any evidence in Scripture that the twelve apostles were baptized in water?

A comment from Ian on the thief on the cross ” Many use the argument that Jesus saved the repentant thief on the cross with no mention of baptism – as proof conclusive that baptism has nothing to do with salvation.

This is an ignorant conclusion.

The thief was under heavy Roman guard and even if it could possibly have happened it would never have happened under their watch – they would have lost their lives for dereliction of duty.
The simple facts are:

Jesus could not baptize – He wa nailed to the cross.
The disciples could not, would not baptize because they had been all scattered as sheep; though John was there as a possible baptizer, the whole work of evangelizing had come to a stop because of the world shattering event taking place on Golgotha.

What Jesus said to the thief who repented is an example for all those facing imminent death – it being fully impossible for them to submit to getting baptized. God is merciful and does not impose on those who are completely unable to be baptized such as the thief, to be baptized. God is not unreasonable or unjust.”

Tom Lessing’s reply to Ian:

You are wrong, you know. Jesus did, in fact, baptize the thief on the cross, despite the fact that He was nailed to the cross. You yourself provided the proof.

An Initiation?

Deborah’s reply:

A very important point to make regarding Water Baptism: Water Baptism is being used as an initiation into a church and their doctrine. Hands are laid on a person as they are immersed under water. We all know what happens when hand are laid on someone don’t we? Yip, we become a partaker of their sins. In other words, a transference of demonic spirits can take place.

1 Timothy 5:22 “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.”

All people joining the Seventh Day Adventist church are expected to be baptised into the church through water baptism. Are they now truly saved as they symbolically went through the actions representing Christ’s death burial and resurrection? Mormon’s need to be baptised in water as well when they join the church, are they too now saved because they obeyed the gospel to be immersed in water?

Much of the Latter Day Saint theology of baptism was established during the early Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith. Baptism must be by immersion and is for the remission of sins (meaning that through baptism, past sins are forgiven), and occurs after one has shown faith and repentance. Latter Day Saint baptism does not purport to remit any sins other than personal ones, as adherents do not believe in original sin. Baptisms also occur only after an “age of accountability” which is defined as the age of eight years.[2] The theology thus rejects infant baptism.[3]


Let’s take it one step further, are all people who get baptised in water in a Calvinist church now truly saved because they symbolically went through the actions representing Christ’s death burial and resurrection?

In Reformed theology, baptism is the sacrament of initiation into the visible church, or body of people who publicly claim faith in Christ. Baptism also signifies regeneration and remission of sin. Reformed Christians believe that the children of those who express faith in Christ should be baptized. Because baptism is believed to be beneficial only to those who have faith in Christ, infants are baptized on the basis of the promise of faith which will come to fruition later in life. [Emphasis added]



In this dispensation of grace, Jesus plus something else, like water baptism to allegedly receive the Spirit to speaking in tongues etc, is another Jesus who cannot save.

In the times we are living in people are asking the question, “Where can I be baptised in water when the church is so false?” or “Must I be re-baptised if I realised the church I was baptised in was false?” The answer is, you don’t need to be baptised in water. Just like the thief on the cross. Faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God is all that is required to be saved whereby you will be spiritually baptised immediately by the living water of the Holy Spirit as He comes it abide in you, and you in Him. (John 14:16; John 14:20)

Luke 3:16 (KJV)
16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

Comments and answers taken from the following article: TORBEN SØNDERGAARD – LAST REFORMATION OF LIES

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Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

19 Responses

  1. Sheepdog says:

    The gifts are still for today.
    The canon was complete but many did not have access to it over the centuries.
    The gifts are about more than ‘revelation.’ There is healing and other miracles.
    The revelation aligns with the Bible and is about lesser things or specific details.
    1 Cor. 13 says that when the Kingdom has come we don’t need the gifts anymore
    as we will see Him face to face and don’t need to look through a dirty glass (that which is perfect has come).
    It never says that this phrase refers to the Bible and clearly it is the return of Jesus and thus the argument is that the gifts will
    continue until He returns.

    There is water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism.
    Acts 10 is showing that we don’t need water baptism to be saved, as they were water baptized after salvation.
    You can have any one baptism before the other, or both simultaneously. You can be saved with neither one, such as
    the thief on the cross. There is receiving the Holy Spirit and the baptism thereof, which can occur at salvation or later.
    Many are water baptized but not saved.

    God bless!

  2. Hi Sheepdog. You wrote:

    There is water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism.
    Acts 10 is showing that we don’t need water baptism to be saved, as they were water baptized after salvation.

    Can’t you just take a bath or a shower after your salvation and see it as a baptism?

    Are you saying that John the baptist lied when he said Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost which means that repentant sinners are baptized into his death? Didn’t Jesus baptize the thief on the cross with the Holy Ghost?

    You said:

    Many are water baptized but not saved.

    Well, many are healed today and are not saved.
    Many speak in tongues today and are not saved.
    Many prophesy today and are not saved.
    Many raise the dead and are not saved.
    Many drive out demons today and are not saved.
    Many do mighty works for the Lord and are not saved.
    Many shake like a leaf in a storm today and are not saved.
    Many Fall backward slain in the spirit today and are not saved.
    Many dance like mad in the church today and are not saved,
    Many believe in all these miracles and are not saved.
    Many do mighty works in the Name of the Lord and are not saved.

    So, what’s the benefit of all those things other than that they do not save?

    Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23)

  3. Peter says:

    1.Why did the Ethiopian eunuch get baptised in water by immersion by Philip ?Acts ch8 v36-39
    Philip would only baptised the ethiopian after a confession of faith in The Lord . . Looks like a good example of a believers baptism.in 1 peter3 v21 it speaks of baptism as being ” the answer of a good conscience toward God “

  4. Dear Peter

    I want to add to Toms comment. Water baptism during the book of Acts represented the coming complete Word of God. After the apostolic age (after the bible was completed) you are not supposed to be baptised in H2O water. Today your “… answer of a good conscience toward God” is reading the Word of God, that one washes oneself with the Water by the Word daily.

    Let’s look:

    1Pet 3:19-22 (KJV)
    19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 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: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

    Here it is comparing the water that saved Noah and his family to the one and only baptism of Jesus Christ’s death, burrial and ressuretction. Does H2O water baptism save? Certainly not. But being born again and being instantly baptised into the ONE AND ONLY SPIRITUAL BAPTISM of Jesus Christ’s death burrial and ressurection, certainly does save.

    If we look at verse 21 it links to Ephesians 5:26 “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,”

    And there you have it.

    Have a lovely day!

  5. Hi Peter. Why do you think Paul, arguably the greatest missionary who ever lived, said, “I thank God that I baptised none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptised in mine own name. And I baptised also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptised any other. For Christ sent me not to baptise, but to preach the gospel: not with the wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” (1 Corinthians 1:14-17). Was Paul baptised (immersed in lots of water) in Ananias’ home in Damascus the day he got saved? Was the one thief on the cross who got saved, baptised? The reason why I mention all these instances is to prove that we cannot take one example, in this case the Ethiopian eunuch, and make it a mandatory doctrine for all believers. The main reason why Paul did not baptise every single believer he led to Christ was to quell the divisions and wrangling that began to rear its ugly head in the church at Corinth. Some Christians started to boast that they were of Paul (were baptised by Paul); others that they followed Apollos because they were baptised by him, and so forth to the detriment of the Gospel. Things have since become much worse. Today, many believe that baptism in water is a prerequisite for salvation and that you must speak in tongues as the evidence of the infilling of the Spirit. This is not the Gospel. It is another Gospel. By the way, was John the Baptist baptized in water? Is there any evidence in Scripture that he was baptised, and if so, who baptised him?

    Now, to address Peter’s good conscience in 1 Peter 3:21. A correct understanding of the context will present us with an answer. First of all we must determine why Peter referred to Noah in his appeal for a good conscience toward God. As you know, Noah preached the Gospel for 120 years to the antediluvian world before God destroyed everyone, accept Noah and his family (8 souls in toto). During that time, Noah was ridiculed, persecuted, mocked, abused and bore much hardship while building the Ark. Now, Peter draws a parallel between Noah, who gained a good conscience toward God through his obedience to Him, and Peter’s brethren, who suffered greatly in times of persecution. Peter’s discourse may be summed up as follows, “Remember my brethren, Noah, who suffered in many ways like you, was saved from God’s wrath through water and thus gained a good conscience toward God (a conscience that did not charge him as guilty of disobedience to God). So I urge you not to try and avoid persecution, and in doing so, harbour a bad conscience toward God, but rather to publicly display your obedience to God through baptism in water. No, of course not, baptism does not save, but it proves to your persecutors (as a symbol alone) that you have died with Christ and had been resurrected into a new life.” Once again, I must stress, that Peter’s discussion of water baptism in 1 Peters 3:21 is not mandatory, making it necessary for every believer to be baptised in water. Had it been mandatory, Paul would have baptised every single believer he led to Christ.

  6. Perfectly explained! Deborah. Thanks.

  7. Bobby says:

    Hi Tom and Deborah

    Reading through your work on Baptism I understand that it is not required for salvation. My question is, should baptism not be undertaken at all? Or is it an acceptable act to demonstrate obedience to Christ? I acknowledge that my scriptural knowledge is minuscule so I am not looking to contest a point of doctrine,rather merely find out if it is ok to be baptized?

    Thank you kindly

  8. Dear Bobby

    When you were born again, where you not immediately baptized into the ONE and ONLY baptism of Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection? What can be greater than that?

    You said “acceptable act to demonstrate obedience to Christ?”

    Um, obedience is something far greater than just being dunked under water. Millions of unbelievers (from all sorts of ungodly denominations, like Seventh Day Adventist etc,) are H2O water baptized. Are they demonstrating obedience to Christ?

    As saints and members of the true Church we are to maintain a Christ-honoring testimony, separate from all forms of worldliness and apostasy, and to demonstrate obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ and love to all men.

    I will repeat what I said above in another comment:

    “Water baptism during the book of Acts represented the coming complete Word of God. After the apostolic age (after the bible was completed) you are not supposed to be baptised in H2O water. Today your “… answer of a good conscience toward God” is reading the Word of God, that one washes oneself with the Water by the Word daily. (Ephesians 5:26)” See this comment: https://www.discerningtheworld.com/2019/08/08/water-baptism-spiritual-water-baptism/#comment-496025

    You are more than welcome to be baptized, but just remember, it means nothing. And be careful who you let lay hands on you during the baptism.

    Bible is clear 1 Timothy 5:22 “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.

  9. Bobby says:

    Hi Deborah

    Thanks for the reply.

    Regarding an act of obedience,a lifetime of obedience starts with a single act hence I am engaging with this particular point which to my naive eye seemed rather pertinent. Like I said I have very limited knowledge and I am busy working through the Bible for the first time. As I read it plainly there is much reference about repent and be baptized. Matthew 28:19 and John 3:5 are also confusing to me in light of your assertion that baptism doesnt mean anything. Could you please elaborate and help me understand the concept of baptism during the Acts representing the coming complete Word of God? How did baptism go from being important to being irrelevant in the formation of the Bible? Thanks very much for your help.


  10. Hi Bobby. The most important question, and the simplest one to ask, is: Does water baptism have any bearing on your salvation? If the answer is no, then water baptism (John the Baptist’s baptism) is irrelevant.

    Have you been baptised or are you planning to be baptised in a swimming bath filled with “holy water?”

  11. Bobby says:

    Hi Deborah

    No I have not been baptized yet, I met 2 brothers in Christ on the weekend and we were discussing each others’ journeys with God. They asked if I have been baptized and I said no. They offered to baptise me in any body of water near one of their farms if I was interested in being baptized. I said I would pray about it. It was something I had planned on doing because I was under the understanding that it was one of the things Jesus and the disciples taught,although I knew that it was not necessary for salvation ( the fact that there are varying opinions and interpretations of this in the church scares me a bit). Hence I have been doing some research on it and hence my questions.

    Being a baby Christian I am somewhat concerned about all the varying views in the Church which is quite anxiety invoking when starting out in the Word. Especially when eternity is at stake.

    Thank you very much

  12. Hi Bobby, As Deborah explained to you in one of her previous comments you ARE already baptised. You were baptised into the death of Jesus Christ the moment you believed the Gospel. (Romans 6:3-4). Who baptised you into Jesus and his death? Well, of course, the Holy Spirit. Can your “brothers in Christ” or the water on one of their farms do any better?

    So for you who believe in Jesus as your personal Saviour, eternity is not at stake (at risk). (John 3:16-18).

    You mentioned Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”

    The word for “in” in “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” is “eis” (pronounced “ice”) and means “into.” In other words, it portrays movement from one place to another. Here is means to be placed into the entire holy character of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It means to be completely enshrouded or covered by their holy qualities.

    Don’t let the different opinions (doctrinal beliefs) scare you. It has been like this since the beginning.

  13. Bobby says:

    Hi Tom and Deborah

    Thank you for your responses and clarification.

    Have a good evening

  14. Hi Bobby. We would like to know what you have decided to do?

  15. Dear Bobby

    Please read this article and scroll down to the section on “Second Blessing?” or being “baptized in the Holy Spirit” that is promoted by the Pentecostal church. https://www.discerningtheworld.com/2020/10/09/andrew-murray-masonic-charismatic-calvinist/

    These two guys you met who you believe are Christian, how sure are you that they are, which church do they go to?

    As Tom said: “Don’t let the different opinions (doctrinal beliefs) scare you. It has been like this since the beginning.”

    There are two churches Bobby, the bride of Christ that comprises all born again Christians and then the false organized institutionalized church that looks Christian and they speak about a ‘Jesus’, but they in fact preach another gospel that is so close to the truth but yet very far.

    It’s been like this from the very beginning. The bible said “Jude 1:4 “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    This is why born again Christians contend for the faith once delivered to the Saints, so that baby Christians (like yourself) and even longtime Christians don’t get caught up in false teaching.

    Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

    No one is immune to deception, not even us. But because of the Holy Spirit that abides in us, who came to abide in us the moment we were saved, He warns us, to keep us on the narrow path. Notice the verse below, there is a wide path (full of false teaching set up by Satan to lead everyone astray.)

    Matthew 7:13-14 13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    The reason why I don’t want these guys to lay hands on you is because of this article: https://www.discerningtheworld.com/2012/06/23/biblical-holy-spirit-unholy-spirit-fire/ The transference of demonic spirits (or kundalini spirit / Lucifer’s fire). Water Baptism has been used by the organized church to lay hands on people and transfer demonic spirits onto them.

  16. Bobby says:

    Hi Tom and Deborah

    I have decided not to be baptized. The 2 guys I met dont attend church because of all the deception they experienced in church funny enough. I cannot speak for them but I think they may just have incorrect understanding.

    Thank you for your time and explanation much appreciated.


  17. Bobby

    Most do have the incorrect understanding (thanks to hundreds of years of misinterpretation – all thanks to the Roman Catholic church.) I too believed it was necessary not so long ago, and then the Holy Spirit showed me the truth in scripture and I was blown away. This is what happens when we just believe the ‘church’ blindly but the truth is catching on quickly as many believers are now questioning it :nod:

    You said “Thank you for your time and explanation much appreciated.”

    No problem! :bigsmile:

    Have a great day.

  18. Bobby says:

    Hi Tom and Deborah

    Me again. Sorry,I have many questions because I have traveled a bit of a rocky road in my first 7 months after coming to Christ. Would it be possible to have your email address too Deborah so that I may send to you and Tom some more personal questions that I wouldn’t like to air on the open platform? If not I will just email Tom.

    I was just going through your preceding comment regarding laying on of hands to transfer demonic spirits. I unfortunately was “baptized in the Holy Spirit” by laying on of hands in my second week after being born again and receiving the Holy Spirit. I also did 2 weeks of kundalini meditation shortly thereafter for depression,anxiety and OCD. I did not know it was demonic but stopped after becoming aware. My question is,what do I do now? I have repented. What are the possible implications of my actions?

    Thank you and sorry for all the questions.


  19. Hi Bobby

    No such thing as too many questions.

    You can email me at discerningtheworld@gmail.com and cc Tom at his email address we will gladly assist you.

    You can let us know via email: What happened to you when they laid hands on you, did you: speak in tongues, fall over backwards, shake or convulse etc? Can you tell us what you experienced during meditation? When did your depression/anxiety start? Has it become worse since having hands laid on you, or did it get better? Are you having more serious problems since you had hands laid on you or since the kundalini mediation? Or did you experience healing during your meditation? Let us know.

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