Must Listen

Must Read

What Art Thinks


Today's Headlines

  • Sorry... Not Available
Man blowing a shofar

Administrative Area

Locally Contributed...



Special Interest

Weekly Bible Study
“John the Baptist gave a testimony so that we could do the same”
by Hugh Davidson   
September 23rd, 2007

John 1:32-34 “And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he 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 which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.”

In these verses is the second mention of an animal in the book of John. The first one was a lamb. And when you think about it, there are all kinds of human characteristics that we use animals to portray. We use terms like sly as a fox, warm as a puppy, as playful as a kitten, someone works like a horse, quick as a bunny, as dumb as an ox or as subtle as a snake. I’ve even heard someone described as, as cheerful as a bird with a mouthful of worms.

In a sense we could say that referring to Jesus as a lamb might be a reference to His purity since the lamb was considered to be a clean animal in the Old Testament. Then there’s also the gentleness and innocence of the lamb that also referred to Jesus human nature but I think the key to understanding this term is in seeing how He fulfilled the prophetic picture in being the perfect offering for the sins of mankind.

In the same sense the dove isn’t meant to convey the meaning that the Holy Spirit is gentle or harmless but this fulfills a scriptural type from the Old Testament. In Genesis 3:8-13 we see that the whole world had been drowned by the flood it says, “Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground; but the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark. And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark; and the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more. And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth: and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the ground was dry.”

The dove symbolized the fact that the act of judgment had passed. And in a very real sense Jesus came to earth and identified with us through His life and the act of baptism so all who put their trust in Him could escape the judgment of God. After all, any judgment that man deserved was poured out on Jesus when He hung on the cross at Calvary.

Then John said, “He 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 which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.” And there are two baptisms being discussed here. One is water baptism and the other is Spirit baptism. These aren’t the same thing but they are related. Let me explain.

The word baptism literally means to dip. Back when my children were small we were at the Swiss Chalet for dinner and my son was eating french fries and he said, “Watch this daddy, I’m going to baptize a french fry. And then he dipped it into his sauce. Now, he might have had poor theology but it was certainly sound interpretation. The act of dipping or submerging is an act of identification and that’s what baptism is. And as we’re put under the water and taken out we identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. And being baptized is an act of obedience to the Lord. And let’s face it, if someone won’t go into a tank of water because of their pride then maybe the same pride is keeping them from being saved.

And then the second mention of baptism is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and many people based their beliefs on the phenomenon of the New Testament rather than its teaching. In the New Testament era God enabled people to speak in languages they had never learned to communicate with people. The so-called tongues today are never used to evangelize but are actually practiced by several non-Christian religious groups as well as Christian.

As a matter of fact, these so-called spiritual gifts are used more for making money more than anything else. If God gave me the gift of healing I’d be hanging around the emergency room of the local hospital. If I had the gift of tongues I could go anywhere in the world and tell everyone about the gospel without spending two or three years developing the native language. God doesn’t always do the same thing the same way for all time. Think of it this way. If you needed money to pay your taxes would you go to the lake or ocean and expect to catch a fish with your tax money in its mouth? The Lord did that for Peter. What was He teaching us? Pay your taxes.

The two baptisms are related in that those who are baptized in the spirit which happens to all believers at salvation ought to be baptized in water as a testimony. The book of Ephesians likened the two baptisms to a seal on a document. Back in New Testament days there were many people who couldn’t sign their name so they would use a seal which was the equivalent to their signature. By our water baptism we are publicly sealing our commitment to God and by the baptism of the Holy spirit god is placing His seal on us as we are sealed by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

go back button