Discussions and sermons

Baptism in the Cloud and in the Sea

We have just had the joy of witnessing some of our family as they passed through the waters of baptism. This is a good time to remember and consider that the teaching or doctrine concerning baptism is called “The doctrine of baptisms”. That is not one, but more than one baptism, is implied in this way of speaking.
Heb 6:2 (NIV) instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
Examination of the Scriptures will show that there are four types of baptism mentioned in the New Testament, John’s baptism, the baptism of suffering, water baptism and baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is the last two, that are most directly related to the Christian experience.
There is a need to know these two in perspective, and how God has ordained that these should take part in our experience and walk before Him.
There is a passage in Paul’s writing which helps to understand this question.
1 Cor 10:1-4 (NIV) For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptised into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
Paul further goes on to say in verse six and eleven:-
1 Cor 10:6 (NIV) Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.
1 Cor10:11(NIV) These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfilment of the ages has come.
Paul is here telling us that the happenings so long ago were more than just history. These experiences were to teach us about the things of God. They were examples to follow.
It seems prudent then to look carefully at what has been said and to understand and take heed of the message, that we too do not fall, as the children of Israel did long ago.
Consider the four verses earlier….
One word stands out in Paul’s approach to the subject:-
He uses “ALL” five times.
ALL our fathers
ALL passed through the sea.
ALL were baptised in the cloud and sea
ALL ate spiritual food.
ALL drank spiritual drink.
He was emphasising that the examples he was quoting were not a smorgasbord of blessings that we pick and choose.
These were intended by God to be followed by ALL his believing people. There were to be no exceptions
What werethe these blessings?
A. 1. passing under the cloud. 2. passing through the sea; these two were singular experiences.
B. 3.eating 4.drinking; regularly repeated experience.

Consider first the two singular experiences. Paul uses one phrase that connects the two, “all were baptised into Moses”
These then were two experiences which correspond to two forms of baptism in this time in which we live. What then are these twoforms.?
Let us consider baptism in the sea
Ex. 14:21-22 (NIV) Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.
The Egyptians tried to follow but they failed……………
Ex. 14:27(NIV) Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the LORD swept them into the sea.
To summarise:

i..The escape was possible only by God’s supernatural power i. Christian baptism in water only possible by supernatural death and resurrection of Christ.
ii.Israel could only cross by faith. Heb.11:29 ii. Only effectual through personal faith
iii Egyptians tried to do same thing but without faith were not saved. iii. To be baptised without personal faith does not lead to life.
iv.Israel went down into, passed through and came up out of the water. iv. In full immersion baptism this also is true.
v. By thisIsrael were finally separated from their last contact with Egypt. v. Baptism in water is intended to separate the believer from this world’s system.
vi.Israel came up out of the water into a new land, with new laws. vi. The believer after baptism enters a new life and new directions.
vii. Israel was to follow a new leader. vii. The believer is to follow a new leader … Jesus.

Rom 6:4 (NIV) We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
But this was only the beginning of the story. What are we to see in the second experience which Paul speaks of as, “baptism in the cloud?”

Next we read
Ex. 14:19-20 (NIV) Then the angel of God, who had been travelling in front ofIsrael’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, 20 coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.
Ex. 14:24(NIV) During the last watch of the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.

To summarise:

i. The cloud came down from above i. The baptism of the H.S. is from above.
ii Not merely an invisible influence for it could be seen. It was sensibly perceptible. ii. Not merely an invisible influence but is something the effects of which can be seen and heard. It is sensibly perceptible.
iii The cloud provided shade from the heat and light and warmth at night. iii The Holy Spirit, coming in this way is the Comforter. He provides spiritual light.
iv. The cloud guided God’s people at all times iv. The H.S. guides the people of God.
v. Within the cloud was the personal presence of the Lord. v. This experience contains the actual presence of the Lord. (John 14:18)
vi. Gave light to the people of God. vi. The Holy Spirit give spiritual light
vii. The cloud came between the people and their enemies. vii The Baptism of the Spirit both protects and separates us from the world

Separating and protecting.

So it has been seen that in the Old Testament Israel as our example and pattern were brought out of Egyptian domination and slavery to a new life, a new leader and to be the chosen people of God.
The story tells of a lamb that was slain and the blood sprinkled upon the door posts. How the angel of death passed over. How a deliverer came in the person of Moses. How the marched out of Egypt, no longer slaves but a mighty army ready for war.
Then when Egypt came again to enslave them God brought His next two stages of deliverance. They passed through the sea and under the cloud.
These completed their deliverance and prepared them for the new life God was to provide.
All this is written for our example and we can now see: Not by a natural lamb’s blood but the blood of Jesus.
By water baptism and baptism in the Holy Spirit we can fulfil the pattern and take up our new life in Christ Jesus

Sermon preached to Brewarrina Christian Revival Crusade Assembly Brewarrina