John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. |
I n Hebrew the word for ‘baptism’ is: mikvah. The etymological meaning of ‘Mikvah’ is: gathering, as in the gathering of waters.
In the days of Noah, The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart (Genesis 6:5-6).
Our sorry Father could have also opted to destroy the earth, but somehow, He opted instead to try to fix it. I lived ten years in S.E. Asia. Upon my arrival in the U.S.A., I was sharing with a friend about the miserable state of many places in India. My friend reacted by saying, ‘They just need to blow it up and start again!’ The Father could have done the same thing with the world, to ‘blow it up and start again,’ but no; somehow He wanted to give us a chance. He instead opted to try to fix us, and this fixing took the form of a planet-wide mikvah, or ‘baptism’.
The idea of being born-again is vividly portrayed in our Scriptures. .The first one is of course that of the flood. The narrative of the sixth chapter of the Book of Genesis tells us that the earth had become polluted by angels who renounced their heavenly station in order to settle down on earth with women. In the process they taught mankind a knowledge they were not supposed to have and thus the earth became polluted with violence and wickedness. The Father then proceeded to gather all the waters of the planet and clean humanity. In the process of this worldwide ‘bath’, God rid the earth of the bad elements and through Noah and his family gave a chance for humanity to continue.
Later, God wanted to separate for Himself a people through whom He would redeem the world. He brought them out of Egypt all the way to the Eastern arm of the Red Sea. He needed them to go through a ‘mikvah/baptism (1 Corinthians 10:1-2). As they did, they shed behind them their Egyptian culture to re-emerge on the other side a new people, a new nation, a new culture: God’s people and nation. Before entering the Promised Land, the Red Sea scenario was repeated, through the Jordan River this time. This place of the Jordan River became the place where later John the Immerser would mikvah people unto repentance. People would have to cross the Jordan out of the Land to meet John, mikvah, and re-enter the Land as born-again creatures.
Friends; the message is clear. Unless we have shed behind ourselves the evil spirits that push us to evil, the ‘Egyptian’ culture that keeps us in idolatry and the doubtful disobedient behavior that keeps us in the desert, we cannot enter the Promised we cannot call ourselves: born-again. The proof of mikvah, baptism, or of being born-again, is the evidence of a new creature ruled by the Torah of God.
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