The Three Baptisms


“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. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner: but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” – (Mt.3:11,12).


   Here we see three distinct and separate baptisms: the baptism of water, the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and the baptism of fire. John’s baptism of water is distinct from Jesus’ baptisms of the Holy Ghost and fire. Jesus never baptized one single person with water – “though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples” – (Jn.4:2). There is an obsession that makes people think ‘water’ every time they see the word ‘baptism’ in God’s Word as if that’s the only baptism in the Bible. We must rightly divide the Word of truth concerning the doctrine of baptism because damnable heresies abound in this area; pernicious and deadly heresies. “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them… And many shall follow their pernicious ways: by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” – (2 Pet.2:1-2).


   The greatest baptism heresy is called ‘baptismal regeneration.’ This is the heresy that says that one must be water baptized to be saved – indeed that water baptism itself saves the soul even when administered to infants. Most Protestants holding these heretical beliefs today are not aware that they originated with the Roman Catholic Church in the middle ages. For centuries before the reformation, baptismal regeneration was rejected by Bible-believing Christians, whom the Catholic Church therefore persecuted, tortured and slaughtered by the millions. Lutherans also practice this heresy of baptismal regeneration of infants, as do Episcopalians, Church of Christ, Methodists, Greek Orthodox, Anglicans etc.


   All the water on the outside of your body of all the baptistries in all the world cannot  wash away your sins inwardly. Only the baptism of the Holy Spirit can do that when you’re saved by the Lord Jesus – “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles…” – (I Cor.12:13). This verse is crystal-clear and easily understood. We know this does not refer to water baptism because it says “by one Spirit.” This then is a spiritual baptism by God, not a physical baptism by men. Men may baptize unbelievers by water into a church made with hands but only the Lord Jesus can baptize believers by the Holy Spirit into the true body of Christ made without hands. God’s temple today is a spiritual church and you must be baptized by the Holy Spirit and be born again by the Holy Spirit in order to enter it. You cannot earn your own salvation by your own good works of baptism.


   On the Day of Pentecost, the birthday of the N.T. Church, the church as a whole was baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit. “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” – (Acts.1:5). Jesus said “…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” – (Jn.3:5,6). To be born of water is to be born of the flesh, as a woman ‘breaks her water’ just at birth. You must be born again of the Spirit, a spiritual birth. The moment a repentant believer trusts Jesus as Savior, that person is a born again and baptized by the same Holy Spirit into the body of Christ. John the Baptist, the original water baptizer told us that Christ ‘only’ can baptize you with the Spirit into His church which He has plainly shown us at Pentecost. Don’t be deceived. During Paul’s entire ministry he only baptized with water one household and two others. His emphasis was on salvation by faith in Christ so they could be Spirit baptized by the Lord Jesus – (1Cor.1:14-17). He was concerned about the invisible baptism and not the visible one.


   Peter preached to the multitude on Pentecost and said – “…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” – (Acts 2:38). Peter certainly wasn’t telling them to be baptized in water in order for remission of sins and to receive the Holy Spirit. It’s the Baptism of the Holy Spirit he’s telling them about, that which just happened to him and 119 others in the upper room – amen. If you’re not born again and baptized with the Holy Spirit all you’ll do in water baptism is go down a dry sinner and come up a wet sinner – amen. Repent is the first word of the plan of salvation. Do not mistake being washed in the baptistry with being washed in the blood of Christ.


   It is written “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” – (Rom.6:3,4). This is not water baptism which only symbolizes the baptism of the Spirit. This happens to us the moment we truly believe and are born again. We have been joined to Christ by the baptism of the Spirit and baptized into His death on the cross, crucified spiritually with Him. The old man dies and a new man is born again. We are dead to the world and raised to “walk in newness of life.” Born again from death to life. We spiritually experience Easter with Christ.


   To teach the heresy that water baptism is essential to salvation, or to teach that water baptism saves or washes away sins, is to make void the grace of God and the shed blood of Christ. Water baptism has nothing to do with saving us. It plays no part in our salvation or our redemption. It is an outward expression to an unbelieving world that we have been baptized inwardly by the Spirit. Multiplied millions have been deceived by Satan into believing this lie. Whole denominations are water baptizing unsaved church members straight into hell.


   Jesus Christ is the Savior and He washes our sins away in His shed blood on Calvary and baptizes us with the Holy Ghost into His church – “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” – (Rev.1:5). That’s why on the cross both blood and water came out of His side – showing us we are washed from our sins in His precious blood by faith. “…The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” – (I Jn.1:7). Yes, “he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”


   Millions of church members in America have not even heard of the baptism of the Holy Spirit as the devil’s ministers in the pulpits have kept the truth from them. “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” – (2 Cor.11:14,15). These pernicious, deadly ministers and false teachers murder millions of souls by sending them to the lake of fire which is the second death. They baptize unsaved people and give them church membership and together they join their father and the devil for eternity. O my God, the horror of it – “to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not…” – (Mk.9:45,46). This is the baptism of fire.


   It is written – “There is one body, and one Spirit… one Lord, one faith, one baptism” – (Eph.4:4,5). One Lord, one faith, one baptism and that is not a baptism of water in a church baptistry, it’s the baptism of the Holy Ghost. And we receive this baptism into the body of Christ the split second we believe. Water baptism never saved anyone, and never will save anyone. Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit.


   It is written, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” – (Gal.3:26,27). Again this is not water baptism but the baptism of the spirit. The baptizer is not the minister of the local church, but the risen Christ Himself. He baptizes with the Holy Spirit into Himself, thereby making the believer a member of His own body, a member of His flesh and bones, His bride – one flesh. Read also (Acts 10:47 – 11:16 – 13:24, 19:2-7).


   It is written in (Col.2:11,12) – “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in Baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.” When we are baptized by the Spirit we are also circumcised by the same Spirit. We are circumcised in the foreskin of our heart, not in our flesh. Circumcision simply means a “putting off of the sin of the flesh” and the lusts thereof. Again this is Spiritual baptism and not water baptism. Water baptism is a visible demonstration of an invisible miracle within. Water baptism can never circumcise the heart of man, only the baptism of the Holy Ghost can, inwardly.


   The Baptism of fire is the fire of God’s judgment that will come upon all who spurn the grace and mercy and love of God in His beloved Son and do not receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and have their sins washed away. God’s fiery wrath falls upon the wicked unsaved as chaff is burned up in the harvest at the end of world at Christ’s second coming and forever in hell. At the end of the great tribulation the whole earth will burn with fire. It’s the great and dreadful day of the Lord’s wrath – “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” – (2 Pet.3:10). God will cleanse this earth of the wicked with His baptism of fire. “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven: and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up…” – (Mal.4:1).


   The unsaved are awaiting the fiery wrath to come at Armageddon like chaff after the saved wheat goes up in the rapture. Jesus spoke of His baptism of fire – “I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straightened till it be accomplished” – (Lk.12:49,50). In this parable Jesus was teaching about His second coming in wrath and His baptism of fire upon the wicked. If you spurn the grace of God in Christ and His baptism of the Spirit, you will receive His baptism of fire. Don’t wind up being baptized in the lake of fire.


   Be saved and baptized and washed from your sins by faith in the blood of Christ by the grace of God. You must be baptized and born again by the Holy Sprit in order to become a member of God’s spiritual church. Repent of your sins and believe on Christ in your heart by faith and you will receive forgiveness of sins and become a new born again creature in Christ. Born again describes what happens to you when you’re truly saved – “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” – (2 Cor.5:17). Do not be deceived by water baptism or your final lot will be the baptism of fire. The baptism of Jesus Christ is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, not water. “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost” – Amen.


P.S. – Immediately after writing this sermon on the day before Easter 3-22-08, I went to AOL news and read “Pope Baptizes Prominent Muslim” – Pope Benedict baptized Magdi Allam, Italy’s most prominent Muslim commentator. The pope reflected on the meaning of baptism, saying “through the sacrament, the Lord enters into the heart of a new Catholic.” This shows the heresy of Baptismal regeneration performed by the greatest heretic and false prophet of all.


                                                                            Pastor Mike Storti

5000 N. LaCholla- Lot 76

Tucson, AZ  85705