|SPEAK AS THE ORACLES RADIO Program #120
THE W's & H's of
Adapted from Ira Y. Rice
INTRODUCTION: Any study of the FACTS concerning any matter is limited to six elements: WHO, WHAT, WHEN,
WHERE, WHY and HOW. The first five of these factual elements begin with “W”; the last with H.” When you know
the “FIVE ‘WS’ (AND ‘H’)” about a matter, you know ALL.
Much CONFUSION reigns in the minds of many people concerning BAPTISM. Part of it is caused through LACK
of information; part by MISinformation DELIBERATELY SOWN.
For the past several lessons, as we broke down and analyzed not only the GREAT COM MISSION but also the 11
CASES OF CONVERSION, time after time we have noted the place that BAPTISM occupies in one’s becoming
OBEDIENT TO CHRIST, CONVERTED, a DISCIPLE, a CHILD OF GOD — A CHRISTIAN.
After such a study, that God HAS made BAPTISM a PART of His PLAN OF SALVATION FOR ALL MANKIND, No
one can reasonably deny. But before we can fully grasp the WHOLE plan of salvation, as revealed in the New
Testament, it is imperative, first of all, that we clear away all this confusion, wrong teaching and floundering
In order to do this, let us apply the “five Ws and H”:
I. TO BEGIN WITH, WHO, ACCORDING TO GOD’S WORD, MAY BE BAPTIZED?
A. Nowhere, in the Scriptures, is an AGE requirement given for baptism.
B. However, certain limiting factors ARE set forth, which must be obeyed to qualify one for baptism.
1. When Philip and the eunuch “came unto a certain water,” in Acts 8:36, the eunuch asked a question: “See,
here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?”
a. What was the answer? “And Philip said, if thou BELIEVEST...thou mayest.”
b. Note carefully that it was not until after the eunuch confessed “I BELIEVE” that Philip baptized him.
c. This harmonizes with Mark 16:16, wherein Jesus said, “He that BELIEVETH and is BAPTIZED.”
2. When those on Pentecost who believed (i.e., were “pricked in their hearts”) asked, What shall we do?” what was
Peter’s reply? (Acts 2:37-38).
a. “Repent, and be baptized every one of you.”
3. It follows, from the foregoing, that to qualify for baptism, one must not only be able but also do three things.
Before he can (or may) be baptized, he must —
a. BELIEVE in Christ Jesus
b. CONFESS this believe
CONCLUSION: ANY REPENTANT BELIEVER, UPON CONFESSION OF HIS FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, MAY BE
• Can a baby BELIEVE in Christ?
• Can a baby CONFESS faith?
• Can a baby REPENT of sins?
Even to ASK such questions is nonsense. Babies can do none of these three things; babies, therefore, cannot be
baptized according to the Scriptures. After all, why SHOULD they be? Never having SINNED, they are not LOST;
not being LOST, they have no need to be SAVED. In fact, they are SAFE! “Of such,” Jesus said, “is the kingdom
of heaven!” (Matthew 19:14)
• If a baby cannot be baptized according to the Scriptures, then how old must one be in order to be
baptized? The answer to this question is not given in so many words in the Word of the Lord.
• The pre-requisites are given: belief, repentance and confession.
• It follows, therefore, that when one is old enough to fulfill these qualifications, he is old enough to be
baptized. Not before.
II. WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Note: We have observed in previous lessons that, during the Jewish dispensation, there were at least three
different baptisms mentioned:
1) the baptism of the children of Israel UNTO MOSES “in the cloud and in the sea,” referring to their escape from
2) the baptism of JOHN; and
3) the baptism of SUFFERING which Jesus Christ experienced in His death on Calvary.
All three of these baptisms inhered within the JEWISH dispensation; and, as we have seen already, none of them
carried over into the CHRISTIAN dispensation.
Turning to the CHRISTIAN dispensation, only TWO baptisms may be found therein by careful reading of the New
Testament. And, since Ephesians 4:5, says “There is...ONE baptism,” it must be concluded that ONE of the TWO
mentioned had finished its purpose and disappeared by the time the book of Ephesians was written (i.e., about a.
Earlier, as we have studied heretofore, the 12 apostles (in Acts 2) received a “baptism of the Holy Spirit,” as Jesus
had promised them (in Acts 1:5). After that Cornelius and his household received “the like precious gift” (in Acts
10). These are the only two instances of HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM” in the entire Bible.
The fifth, last, and only baptism remaining, when the Ephesians were baptized, however, was none of the
foregoing, Only GOD could administer Holy Spirit baptism. Yet, there was ONE baptism left, which was supposed
to be administered by HUMAN agency, which was to last until the end of the world.
It was the baptism commanded in the GREAT COMMISSION. After Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, Jesus
commanded His APOSTLES (human) to “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, BAPTIZING them in the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19).
Those thus baptized were to be taught to observe the same things (which would include baptizing) as the
apostles themselves were commanded; and this was to continue “always, even unto the end of the world. Amen”
Whereas “HOLY SPIRIT” BAPTISM was NOT one which could be OBEYED, the baptism of the GREAT
COMMISSION was a COMMAND SUBJECT OF HUMAN OBE DIENCE. Thus, when (some 10 days after Jesus first
announced it, prior to His ascension) the baptism thus commanded was subsequently made of force, Peter bound
it on those who heard the first gospel sermon of the Christian dispensation, preached on Pentecost.
Those who had just listened to it asked “what shall we do?” Peter said unto them, “REPENT, and BE BAPTIZED
every one of you” (Acts 2:38). “Then they that GLADLY RECEIVED his word WERE BAP TIZED” (verse 41). The
same was true in succeeding cases of conversion — of the Samaritans, Simon the sorcerer and the Ethiopian
eunuch (Acts 8), of Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9 & 22), of Cornelius and his house (Acts 10), of Lydia and her house and
the Philippian jailer and his house (Acts 16), of the Corinthians (Acts 18), and of the Ephesians (Acts 19), to
whom it was then declared “there is...ONE BAPTISM” (Ephesians 4:5).
With all this in mind, thus, let us ask ourselves again “WHAT is BAPTISM?” — this baptism of Ephesians 4:5 — this
baptism of the Great Commission?
A. First of all, by simple definition, BAPTISM is a BURIAL.
1. We are not left to speculate on this:
a. Romans 6:4 says in so many words, “Therefore we are BURIED with him by baptism.”
b. Colossians 2:12: “BURIED with him in baptism.”
2. As to why baptism involves our being BURIED, it is because baptism concerns Christ’s death.
Note carefully —
a. Romans 6:3-5: “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. For if we have been planted together in
the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.”
QUESTION: Well, what if we are not PLANTED or BURIED “in the LIKENESS OF HIS DEATH?” Shall we “be also
in the LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION?” Consider again—
b. Colossians 2:12: “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.”
NOTE: Inasmuch as the Word of God clearly states we are BURIED and PLANTED (re: baptism) in the likeness of
Jesus’ death, why do some supposed “followers” of Christ not follow Him in being baptized?
Baptism HAS to be IMMERSION; for only in IMMERSION are we either BURIED or PLANTED; and only from
IMMERSION is a RAISING possible in the LIKENESS of Jesus’ RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD. In the
“SPRINKLING” and “POURING” which some have SUBSTITUTED for BAPTISM, not only is the “likeness” of Jesus’
DEATH destroyed; but so also is the “likeness” of His RESURRECTION. In NEITHER sprinkling NOR pouring does a
BURIAL of any kind or sort take place; thus, sprinkling or pouring, having no suggestion of BURIAL, are NOT in
the “LIKENESS” of JESUS’ DEATH. No burial; no resurrection! So sprinkling or pouring are not in the “LIKENESS”
of Jesus’ RESURRECTION either!
In baptism we are BURIED (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). But we are NOT buried in sprinkling or pouring.
Therefore, it follows that NEITHER SPRINKLING NOR POURING is BAPTISM. In BAPTISM we are BURIED. In
IMMERSION we are BURIED. Therefore BAPTISM is IMMERSION. All this is so evident and clear, it just HAS to
Since SPRINKLING and POURING clearly are NOT BAPTISM, then how were they ever introduced AS SUCH?
They were NOT introduced as such IN THE WORD OF GOD. The EARLIEST RECORD of EITHER sprinkling OR
pouring appears to be in the SECOND CENTURY by which time the Bible already had been completed and the
church Jesus built was approximately 100 years old (with only IMMERSION for baptism ever having been used!).
Someone in the second century seems to have had the bright idea that sprinkling or pouring, AS A SUBSTITUTE
for baptism might be “just as good” in case one was terribly sick or dying. Neither sprinkling nor pouring at first,
was mistaken for TRUE BAPTISM; for the New Testament Scriptures were written in GREEK, and the Greek terms
for “baptism” and “baptize” (baptismus and baptizo) could NOT be CORRECTLY TRANSLATED so as to mean
either sprinkle or pour. (From the ORIGINAL GREEK, they cannot be translated even today!)
Rather these terms correctly translated into such ideas as “DIP,” “IMMERGE,” “SUBMERGE,” “TO CLEANSE BY
DIPPING,” “SUBMERGING,” “TO WASH,” to “MAKE CLEAN WITH WATER,” “IMMERSION,” “SUBMERSION,”
“OVERWHELM,” to “DYE.” Look through this list carefully. Do you see any words there that carry the idea of
SPRINKLE or POUR? There is not an authoritative Greek lexicon on earth that translates the Greek terms for
baptism or baptize as either sprinkle or pour! There is not a Greek scholar in any university in the world, who
values his scholarship, who will define these terms from the ORIGINAL NEW TESTAMENT GREEK as sprinkle or
pour! Then why be content with sprinkling or pouring for baptism, when the Bible words for baptism do not (and
never did) mean sprinkle or pour?
God did not command us to be “sprinkled” in Jesus’ name, or to be “poured” in the name of the Father, Son and
Holy Spirit. He commanded BAPTISM in this name! If SOMETHING ELSE is “JUST AS GOOD,” why does not the
Bible say so? SPRINKLING AND POURING NEVER WERE IN THE DOCTRINE AND PRACTICE OF THE CHURCH
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
Sprinkling or pouring, neither one, was “officially” recognized as “baptism” by ANYBODY until the ROMAN
CATHOLIC CHURCH so ordained at the COUNCIL OF RAVENNA (a.d. 1311) almost 13 CENTURIES after Jesus
established HIS church on Pentecost in a.d. 33.
The truth is: BAPTISM is IMMERSION—and ALWAYS WAS!
III. WHEN BE BAPTIZED?
Note: the way people PUT OFF being baptized — and even some modern-day preachers try to “SAVE UP”
converts so as to BAPTIZE THEM ALL AT ONCE ON SOME SPECIAL OC CASION — one might suppose it makes
little difference at all as to WHEN he is baptized. However, a careful study of God’s Word will show that in New
Testament times baptism was accounted to be of the utmost URGENCY.
A. Converts DID NOT WAIT to be baptized on Pentecost.
1. The multitude heard Peter preach the first gospel sermon in the Christian dispensation on that day (Acts 2:14-
2. Being “pricked in their hearts,” they asked, “What shall we do?” (verse 37).
3. Peter told them what to do (verse 38).
a. He explained why they should “repent and be baptized” (verses 38-39).
b. He testified with many words and exhorted (i.e., urged) them to “Save yourselves” (verse 40).
4. Then they that “gladly received his word” were baptized.
a. “Then” WHEN?
b. “THE SAME DAY” (verse 41).
B. The Samaritans DID NOT WAIT!
1. Philip preached CHRIST unto them (Acts 8:5).
2. The people with one accord GAVE HEED (verse 6).
3. WHEN they BELIEVED Philip’s preaching ... they were BAPTIZED both men and women (verse 12).
C. Simon the sorcerer DID NOT WAIT!
1. “Then Simon himself believed...and...was baptized” (verse 13).
D. The Ethiopian eunuch DID NOT WAIT!
1. Philip preached unto him Jesus (verse 35).
2. Coming to “a certain water,” the eunuch asked for baptism (verse 36).
3. Philip said he could if he believed (verse 37).
4. The eunuch confessed he believed (verse 37).
5. He commanded the chariot to stand still and he was baptized before going on his way (verses 38-39).
NOTE: How different from the general practice nowadays!
E. Saul of Tarsus DID NOT WAIT!
1. The preacher (Ananias), being sent by the Lord, entered into the house (Acts 9:17).
2. The preacher told Saul about Jesus Christ (9:17; 22:14-16).
3. Immediately three things happened to Saul.
a. There fell from his eyes as it had been scales (9:18).
b. He received his sight forthwith (9:18).
c. When Ananias asked, “And now why tarriest (i.e., wait) thou?” and com manded Saul to “Arise, and be
baptized” (Acts 22:16), he “arose, and was baptized” (9:18).
NOTE: WHEN did all this take place? It was even BEFORE SAUL PAUSED TO EAT. For, although he had not
eaten for three days (verse 9), it was not until after he was baptized (verse 18) that the Scripture mentions he
“received meat and was strengthened” (verse 19).
F. The Philippian Jailer DID NOT WAIT!
1. Paul and Silas preached the Word of the Lord unto him and to all that were in his house (Acts 16:32).
2. The Jailer took Paul and Silas “the same hour of the night.”
a. He washed their stripes (verse 33).
b. He was BAPTIZED (verse 33).
c. All his house was also baptized —not later, but straightway (verse 33).
G. The Ephesians DID NOT WAIT!
1. Paul came to Ephesus (Acts 19:1)
2. He found “certain disciples” there (verse 1).
3. Since they did not understand about the Holy Spirit, he inquired concerning their baptism.
4. Learning they had the WRONG BAPTISM, Paul taught them about Jesus Christ (verses 3-4).
5. “WHEN THEY HEARD THIS,” did they wait? No, “they were BAPTIZED in the name of the Lord Jesus” (verse 5).
NOTE: When people were made believers, in the New Testament, THEY DID NOT WAIT to eat, sleep or
procrastinate; they were baptized at ONCE. IV. WHERE BE BAPTIZED?
NOTE: Baptism, by its very nature of a BURIAL, requires a PLACE in which to be performed.
A. New Testament baptism requires a place where there is WATER.
1. At Cornelius’ house, Peter asked, “Can any man forbid WATER, that these should not be baptized?” (Acts 10:
B. New Testament baptism requires a COMING UNTO WATER.
1. Philip preached Jesus unto the eunuch, “And as they went on their way, they CAME UNTO A CERTAIN
WATER” (Acts 8:36).
2. It was literal, physical WATER, for the eunuch said, “SEE, here is WATER; what doth hinder me to be
baptized?” (Acts 8:36).
C. New Testament baptism requires a GOING DOWN INTO WATER.
1. “And he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they WENT DOWN BOTH INTO THE WATER, both Philip
and the eunuch” (verse 38).
D. New Testament baptism requires a BURIAL in water.
1. “went down both into the water, both Phillip and the eunuch; and he baptized him” (verse 38).
a. “Therefore we are BURIED with him by baptism” (Romans 6:4).
b. “BURIED with him in baptism” (Colossians 2:12).
E. New Testament baptism requires a RESURRECTION.
1. “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his
RESURRECTION” (Romans 6:5).
2. “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are RISEN with him” (Colossians 2:12).
F. New Testament baptism requires a COMING UP OUT OF WATER.
1. “And when they were COME UP OUT OF THE WATER” (Acts 8:39).
NOTE: How foreign to the New Testament description of baptism are SPRINKLING and POURING! The only
similarity between them and baptism is the element — water. At least to that extent, they are right.
But whereas New Testament baptism requires a COMING UNTO WATER, in sprinkling and pouring the WATER IS
BROUGHT TO THE PERSON (i.e., just the opposite!)
Whereas New Testament baptism requires a GOING DOWN INTO WATER, sprinkling and pouring permit one to
STAY UP OUT OF THE WATER (i.e., just the opposite!)
Whereas New Testament baptism requires BOTH A BURIAL AND A RESURRECTION in the likeness of Jesus’
death and resurrection, in sprinkling and pouring there is NO BURIAL, NO RESURRECTION and NO LIKENESS.
Lastly, whereas New Testament baptism requires a COMING UP OUT OF WATER, in sprinkling and pouring one
never gets INTO water, hence CANNOT COME UP OUT OF water. How can ANYONE say SPRINKLING,
POURING and NEW TESTAMENT BAPTISM are the SAME?!
V. WHY BE BAPTIZED?
A. Be baptized TO BE SAVED (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38-41; 1 Peter 3:21).
B. Be baptized (i.e., “born of WATER and of the spirit”) for ENTRY INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD (John 3:3-5).
C. Be baptized FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS (Acts 2:38).
D. Be baptized TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT (Acts 2:38).
E. Be baptized TO GO ON YOUR WAY REJOICING (Acts 8:38-39; 16:34).
F. Be baptized TO WASH AWAY YOUR SINS (Acts 22:16).
G. Be baptized TO GET INTO CHRIST (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:26-27).
VI. HOW BE BAPTIZED? The New Testament is a book of PRINCIPLES. What God wants done is clearly taught
in all things; however in no instance is an EXCLUSIVE METHOD set forth for doing anything God has required.
As long as we observe WHAT God has commanded, He leaves us FREE as to the methods we choose, just so they
are decent and orderly (1 Corinthians 14:40).
WHO may be baptized? ANY PENITENT BE LIEVER, upon the confession of his faith in Christ.
WHAT is baptism? It is the IMMERSION OF A REPENTANT BELIEVER IN CHRIST IN WATER —followed by a
resurrection therefrom “to walk in newness of life.”
WHEN be baptized? The same day one “gladly receives” the Word of the Lord, believes it, repents, confesses his
faith, IMMEDIATELY, STRAIGHTWAY.
WHERE? In WATER,
WHY? To be SAVED, to GET INTO GOD’S KINGDOM, for the REMISSION OF SINS, to RECEIVE THE HOLY
SPIRIT, to GO ON OUR WAY REJOICING, to WASH AWAY OUR SINS and to GET INTO CHRIST.
HOW? DECENTLY AND IN ORDER.
SPEAK AS THE ORACLES