In verse 3:19 Peter used the words; repent and be converted: (not; repent and be baptized) , that your sins may be blotted out. So to have our sins blotted out, we must repent and be converted. When? When are our sins blotted out? When the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. This happened in 4:31when they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. In 3:20 Peter confirms how the refreshing would come. “And he will send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:” So our sins are blotted out, when we receive Jesus Christ. Or when we are baptized in the Holy Ghost.
All of this took place and not one word was ever said about water baptism.
In Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. It goes on in vs. 33-37 explaining how properties were redistributed. The point being here that water baptism was not a primary concern at all. We know of course that these people were baptized in water in the name of the Lord Jesus for the remission of sins, but this baptism did not remiss their sins. Their sins were remised; (blotted out) as it says, when the times of refreshing came from the presence of the Lord: When they were filled with the Holy Ghost.
The scripture does not say when these people were actually baptized in water. It probably took place within a week after they were saved. They probably heard a lot of teaching from Peter and John during that week as well. Water baptism wasn’t a pressing issue at all.
Now if Mr. COC had been there he’d try to hurry these people up to get baptized. He’d say: “You need to hurry up and get baptized in water. If anything happens to you, so that you die first, you’ll still go to hell if you’re not baptized in water, in the name of Jesus.” And they go; “aw shucks; I was happy till you said that. You mean I’ve had my sins blotted out and have been baptized in the Holy Ghost, and i’m still going to go to hell if i’m not baptized in water?” People new in the Lord can actually fall for this, and when they do they fall from grace. Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 5:8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
Now the circumcision of the law is not the same thing as the water baptism of Jesus; but if you make a law out of it, the same principle applies. If you’re saying; “I have to do this or go to hell,” then it is law with you, and you have fallen from grace. The fact is you never had any grace, because you believed the law of baptism before you were given a chance to believe in the name of Jesus. If you have not repented of that belief, then you are dead in your sins.
We know all of these people got baptized in the name of Jesus, but they did it in obedience to the spirit of grace, not in obedience to the letter of the law. It was in their heart to obey God. They were just as saved whether they lived long enough to make it to the water hole or not.
THE PHILIPIAN JAILER Acts 16: 30 ….Sirs what must I do to be saved? :31 And they said; believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thine house. 32,33 The house then heard them speak, and were all baptized straightway. Only to point out here that the emphasis was on belief. Like Paul says in Romans 10:9 & 10 Belief and confession are made unto salvation.
PAULS CONVERSION AND BAPTISM: Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightiest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 9: 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose and was baptized. Only to demonstrate that Paul was actually saved before he was baptized in water. He receive his sight and the Holy Ghost when Ananias laid hands on him. Then he was baptized. Paul recounts this occurrence in Acts 22:13-16 :16….And now why tarryest thou? arise, and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Paul used this wording to demonstrate the simplicity of salvation in Christ Jesus. In other words; “just do it. Have faith. You’re welcome!” Though this wasn’t exactly the way it happened to him in Acts 9:17 & 18. The cults use Acts 22: 16 in the literal sense to argue that water baptism actually washes away your sins. Paul was using figurative speech here: “Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins.” This is the only verse in the bible worded to this effect, with the exception of 1 Peter 3:21 “Baptism doth now save us.” He goes on there to explain that he was using figurative speech. I don’t think that anyone has ever actually been baptized in the Holy Spirit while they were actually under the water. (The cults teach that you actually go down a sinner, and come up a saint. This is not right, though it would be possible for this to happen.) The act of water baptism would not hurry up, nor delay the Spirits coming. Of all of the examples given in the New Testament the subject or subjects received the Holy Ghost either previous to or subsequent to the act of water baptism. Pauls’ case was very unique in that he received the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and previous to the act of water baptism. There are two more cases given, whereby the subjects received the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. In both cases the subjects had already been baptized in the name of Jesus. We will recount them:
Acts 19: 1-6 And it came to pass, that while Apollos was at Corenth, Paul having passed through the upper coast came to Ephesus: And finding certain disciples, :2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? (This was the chiefest concern. Have ye received the Holy Ghost? Not; have you been baptized?) And they said unto him, We have not heard so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. :3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto Johns baptism. :4 Then 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. :5When they heard this they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. :6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came upon them; and they spake with toungs and prophesied.
These people were not saved when they came up out of the water. They were saved when they received the Holy Ghost. Referring to Acts 4:19 …that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. No doubt; the Holy Ghost would have come to these people shortly anyway, but it could have been days. Why wait? Paul had the faith and the power of prayer to hurry him up, so to speak.
Acts 8: 14 Now when the Apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: :15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: :16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) :17 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost. Only to point out here that these people had received the word, they believed and confessed, and were baptized; but still were not saved until they received the Holy Ghost.
1 Corinthians 4: 20 For the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power. Receiving the Holy Ghost puts us in Gods house. Not merely receiving the word and being baptized in water.
There are some (cults) which teach that the gifts have passed away. That the Spirit doesn’t work in the miraculous anymore. This is not true. I’ll discuss that in a later study.
SIMON THE SORCERER Acts 8: 13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. : 18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the Apostles hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, :19 saying, Give me this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. Simon was still in the bond of iniquity. He’d believed, confessed and was baptized; yet he was far from God. Peter told him to pray that he might be forgiven. He did not tell him to start all over and get baptized again. I don’t know if he ever found repentance or not. If he did then the one baptism would still have been sufficient. However if a person gets converted from a cult to Gods living Church, then I feel that he should be baptized again. Why?? Because when he was baptized, he did not understand the Spirit of grace. His baptism was in obedience to the letter of the law.
John 3 3-7 :3….Verily verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. (The cults teach that here Jesus is speaking of water baptism. It is not true. Nowhere was it ever said in scripture that water baptism was a new birth.) He is clearly speaking of the Spirit, as we will show. :5….Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. (Here again the cults say that he is speaking of water baptism, when he said “be born of water” ) He is not. He is comparing the natural birth to the Spiritual birth. As the next verse will show. :6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. :7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
There is absolutely nothing to indicate that water baptism was any part of this conversation.
Matt 3:11 John the Baptist: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I , whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Some argue here that the fire spoken of is hell fire. In other words you’re going to get saved, or you’re going to get burnt. This isn’t the fire spoken of. John said and, not or. Fire is one characteristic of the Holy Spirit. i.e. Hebrews 12:29 Our God is a consuming fire. This scripture was given to point out that it is indeed the Holy Ghost baptism that does save us. Not water baptism. The water baptism of Jesus isn’t even mentioned here. John didn’t say “I indeed baptize you with water and he will baptize you with water too.) He does of course baptize us with water, but it is the Holy Ghost baptism that saves us. Ans as we have shown profusely it can happen to people before they know amything about water baptism.
THE GREAT COMMISSION: Mark 16: 15 …..Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. :16 He who believeth and is baptized will be saved, but he who believeth not shall be dammed. Here again the cults teach that he is referring to water baptism here. He is not! He said you must be born of the Spirit. It is the Spirit baptism that he is speaking of here. Reference Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. These people obeyed the gospel. They believed and were baptized in the Spirit. :17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new toungs; :18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.