The following will coincide with Brother Lindsey's teaching on Water Baptism and Entire Sanctification.
In order to understand why the doctrine of Entire Sanctification was deviated from after the early Church, the subject of “Baptism” must be touched on to clarify. Baptism relates to the Sanctifying work of the Spirit, but - Sanctification through the Spirit has no reference to Water Baptism; or the use of water ministered by a preacher. Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit in the human soul.
The work of the Holy Spirit relates to conviction in a sinner, repentance of a sinful man, the new birth in regeneration. Entire Sanctificaiton relates to crucifixion of self and the final work of the Holy Spirit in the soul of a believer. Two Baptisms are pertinent to New Testament doctrine and both baptisms refer to the work of the Holy Spirit in the human soul.
· Baptism of the penitent is where the Holy Spirit places a believer into the body of Christ at salvation through trust alone in the death of Christ for the forgiveness of sins
· Baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire cleanses a believer from the conflicting Adamic nature that often tries to arise during the believer’s life in Christ. The conflict is where a saved man has an inner struggle from the old man that wars against the work of the Holy Spirit in that life. The Baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire is the purifying work that takes place that rids the believer from the war within his members. This final work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of a believer is termed as “Entire Sanctification”.
Neither Baptism mentioned above pertains to the mode of water Baptism.
· Sanctification is a work of the Holy Spirit that removes the Adamic life from the believing soul.
· Water Baptism is a religious act of man that has no reference to Biblical Sanctification, the work of the Holy Spirit: or salvation to the human soul.
After the Early Church the mode of Baptism (performed by preachers) became an issue of importance as the truth of Sanctification (performed by the Holy Spirit) in the human soul, dwindled. Man formed doctrines, and deviated from the truth of salvation. Various modes of Water Baptism became prevalent in the religious world and thus became appealing to the religious affections of man.
· Obviously man’s “own” wisdom deviated from the wisdom of God experienced by the writers of the New Testament Epistles (James, John, Peter, and Paul) after the resurrection of Christ.
Since the First Century Church, doctrines, denominations, and numerous modes of Water Baptism have been made by man to an uncountable degree. The truth of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in the human soul has been tossed aside, as religious emphasis has been placed on the mode of Water Baptism. A few examples and various religious modes of Baptism are…Sprinkling, pouring, full body immersion, cleansing from Original sin, confession of faith, burying the Old man, an act of obedience, or following Christ’s example.
Let's examine John’s baptism a baptism performed by a preacher however; in Johns Baptism one must know the history of Jewish religion and ceremonial purification ministered by a Levite upon the nation of Israel. To simplify, “John’s baptism “under Law” purified the body of those with faith unto righteousness and allowed Israel to approach and accept Christ as the promised Messiah”. Repentance from a deviation from the Law of Moses and Faith in Christ as the promised Messiah allowed Israel to repent, thus obey the Law and have their sins remitted by God. John’s Baptism showed Israel’s obedience to the Law of Moses and acceptance of Christ as the Messiah.
John's baptism attracted enough attention in its time to have been recorded by Jewish historian Josephus 50 years later in his "Jewish Antiquities":
"Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness..." (Josephus, "Jewish Antiquities", Book 18, Chapter 5)
More in part 2...