Did you know that the Bible speaks of different types of baptism? In this legacy teaching by Dr. Henry W. Wright, he explores the doctrine of baptisms. He identifies four different types of baptism: water baptism, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, baptism of fire, and baptism into the Body of Christ. Discover the significance of each type of baptism for your life and journey as a believer and an overcomer. Dr. Wright also offers some astounding insights into how each baptism works to restore our fellowship with the Godhead and each other.
The Doctrine of Baptisms- An Introduction to the Different Types of Baptism
by Dr. Henry W. Wright
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit. Hebrews 6:1-3 KJV
This scripture implies that we are to have already mastered certain principles of the mind of God in our lives, and we’re to go on into perfection. Perfection means establishing the Kingdom of God in our lives. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are absolutely perfect; it doesn’t mean that you have to have it all together. But the foundations of Christ establish the Kingdom of God in the Earth. The sons and daughters of God should be clearly seen by everyone around. First, you and I must know, and be fully persuaded, that we are sons and daughters of God.
What should we not lay again? First, repentance from dead works, then faith towards God, the doctrines of baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we do if God permits. He permits if you decide to participate with Him.
God finished everything that He intended to do to the church at the cross. Have we begun to participate with Him?
Is it the doctrine of baptism or baptisms?
Note that this scripture does not say the doctrine of baptism; it says the doctrine of baptisms – that’s plural. That means there is more than one. There are four different types of baptism. One represents our baptism into God the Father, the other represents our baptism into the Holy Spirit, the next represents our baptism into Christ, and the last one represents our baptism into each other.
Many people are water baptized, many are baptized in the Holy Spirit, and some are baptized in the baptism of fire. But are we prepared to be baptized into each other?
For many of us, the answer may be “No!” because we’ve built up walls of protection around ourselves to keep us from getting hurt by others. We may feel safe being baptized into God by faith, but when we are baptized into each other, it’s no longer by faith – even though it works by faith. The living Body of Christ functioning together in unity in the Earth is a fruit of faith.
The Baptism of Water
The first baptism is the baptism of water. I submit to you that the baptism of water is a baptism into God the Father. It represents your death to your old father, Satan, and your birth and submersion into a new Father, God. The scriptures say that you have not been given the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the Spirit of adoption whereby you may cry, Abba, Father! (Romans 8:15 KJV)
Let’s look at Matthew 3:1:
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 3:1-2 KJV
Make no mistake, the people that John the Baptist was preaching to were not unsaved. He was not preaching to the unsaved Gentiles. He was talking to the Old Testament, covenant church; he was telling them to repent! So here we see repentance from dead works, which is the first principle of the Doctrine of Christ in Hebrews 6.
It wasn’t until Paul came along that the Gentiles were grafted in as a dispensation of God’s plan. Therefore, for the covenant people and those who were outside of the covenant, the Gospel and the instruction are the same: Repent and be baptized.
Have you taken the plunge?
I strongly suggest to you, if you haven’t taken ‘the plunge,’ to be water baptized as a believer, it is important that you do. Your ability to overcome the enemy may be hindered, to some extent, if you don’t get water baptized. According to the Word, it is not an option; it is one of the three sacraments that are commanded in the New Testament. One is the baptism in water, the other is the sacrament of communion, and the other is foot-washing.
So back to Matthew 3, it says the people came from all the surrounding regions and were baptized and confessed their sins. Who were confessing their sins? The Old Testament, covenant people! Why? Because they began to understand that their sins were separating them from who? – Not Jesus necessarily, but from God the Father.
How should we address sin before God?
As a son of God by faith, I want to truly say that God is my Father, and Satan is not. How about you?
When I find myself practicing Satan’s commandments through unforgiveness, bitterness, fear, strife, envy, and any other thing, then as a believer, what am I to do? Repent for allowing it in my life. That’s what baptism in water represents: your death to the old father, the old man, and your resurrection to a new Father, a new Word, a new day, and a new life!
Which member of the Godhead are we instructed to pray to?
The Lord’s prayer teaches us how we should pray. It says, “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses…”
What does baptism mean?
The word ‘baptize’ or ‘baptizo’ translated from the Greek text, means submersion. This is not a time for you to walk on water. Baptism in water is a time for you to be swallowed by it. This is not a time just to know about God the Father; this is a time to be absorbed by Him as His children.
Acts 2:28 says:
Then Peter said unto them, 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 KJV
Some people debate what name we should be baptized with. Here it says in the name of Jesus Christ but at Hope of the Generations Church, we baptize in the name of Jesus Christ and in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That settles the argument so that we don’t have to debate the small things later.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
The next baptism is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This one represents the next member of the Godhead, which is the Holy Spirit. We do not insist that speaking in tongues is the initial proof; I did not find that in scripture. What I did find is that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the empowerment of a human being, by God, to do the works of God in the Earth, in the name of Jesus, in boldness, and in truth.
Maybe you have not received since you believed. Perhaps you have not been anointed. Perhaps you have been born again, and you are a son or daughter of God by faith, but are you doing the works of God in the name of Jesus?
Many people are born again by the Spirit of God, but they are not doing the works of God. They are not healing the sick in His name. They are not casting out devils. They are not doing creative miracles in His name. Yet, that is a facet of Jesus’ ministry that He mandated all believers to carry on in Hebrews 6.
Jesus set the example of baptism for us to follow.
Christ set a standard that we must follow. That includes being baptized with water. Was Jesus baptized with water? Yes. Was He baptized with the Holy Spirit? Yes. Acts 10:38 says, “Know ye this, how God anointed Jesus Christ of Nazareth with power, and with the Holy Ghost.” That’s Jesus, the man. God doesn’t need to be anointed with the Holy Ghost, but Jesus divested Himself of His power and His glory to become fully man so He could redeem us. Therefore He needed to be empowered to defeat the enemy. Have you been empowered to defeat the enemy since you believed?
Acts 10 goes on to says, “And He (Jesus) went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil.”
Jesus first needed to be water baptized and baptized and empowered by the Holy Spirit before He even started ministry; before he cast out a devil, did a creative cure, or healed the sick. Therefore, we also need to follow Him in the same pathway. Why? Because without the power of God, you cannot remove one kingdom and replace it with the Kingdom of God.
Jesus said this, “If I by the finger of God cast out devils, know ye this, that the Kingdom of God has come unto men.” (Matthew 12:28)
What the first two different types of baptism represent
Aren’t you grateful for the cross? It gives us the ability to make our peace with God. That’s what water baptism represents. The second part, baptism with the Holy Spirit, represents your ability to represent God in the Earth, in the name of Jesus, with power.
Now let’s go to Numbers 11:16:
And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. 17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which [is] upon thee, and will put [it] upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear [it] not thyself alone. Numbers 11:16-17 KJV
God has called all believers to represent Him in the Earth.
This is not just for the 70; this is for every believer. Why? That you may help bear the burden of the people. It’s amazing that we want our leadership to be the ‘anointed ones.’ We hold our pastors, our elders, and our deacons to a level of performance while we excuse ourselves as if we were not the priesthood of believers. I read in the Bible that you are called the priesthood of believers.
But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 1 Peter 2:9 KJV
The administration of the baptism of the Holy Spirit
Back to Numbers 11, I want you to notice that the Lord does not say that He would come down from Heaven and bring the Holy Spirit to anoint these 70 men. He said He’d take the anointing that was on Moses and distribute it to the 70 others. Isn’t it amazing that today, we still lay hands on a person to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
So what happened next? Let’s go to Numbers 11:24:
And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle. 25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that [was] upon him, and gave [it] unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, [that], when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. Numbers 11:24 KJV
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for our profit
Prophesying after receiving the Holy Spirit is very scriptural. I’ve seen this happen at churches when I’ve administered the baptism of the Holy Spirit; some people began to prophesy or speak in tongues.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not just for your personal use as if it were some genie in a bottle. It’s for the profit of all people as it says in 1 Corinthians 12:7:
But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 1 Corinthians 12:7 KJV
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are for all believers!
1 Corinthians 12 tells us about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are for all believers. It says these are given to each person individually as God wills.
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 KJV
There are also administrations of the Holy Spirit, which we find in verse 27:
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:27-28 KJV
It’s sad to me that many of these roles are missing from the church today. In most churches, all you have left are teachers, governments, and helps. If God set this order in the church, who took it out? Who are these gifts to operate through? You, not just the leaders. You are the church. We are all fellows in a ship – that’s fellowship. One unit; one body working together in unity as a work of the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the empowerment of God for you to represent Him in the Earth both individually and corporately as the Body of Christ.
The Baptism of Fire
The third baptism represents Jesus. The first baptism of water doesn’t represent Jesus because do you think Jesus was baptized for himself? No, He was baptized in obedience to the Father as an absolute declaration that He was in subjection to Father God – the Father of all spirits.
But the baptism of fire is from Jesus. It’s not the anointing. The Bible says that the church will face the judgment seat of Christ one day. The unsaved go to the white throne judgment before the Father to give an account for why they rejected Him. But we are judged by our Creator; He who died for us, He that rose again for us, He that is coming back for us, He that has chosen us to be a wife to Himself as a helpmeet forever. We belong to Him. And He wants a wife that’s clean; a pure bride. He wants a church without spot or blemish.
How does the baptism of fire work in our lives?
Christ renews our minds by the washing of the water of His Word, and burns the things out of our lives that the water does not get.
I call this teaching “The Covenant of Salt,” it’s an in-depth teaching about what the baptism of fire represents.
The baptism of fire is the cleaning, purging work of the Lord concerning those that are His. This is not a time to declare Jesus as Lord. This is a time that He really is Lord. Have you been submerged in His fire?
Luke 3:16 and 17 say:
John answered, saying unto [them] all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. 17 Whose fan [is] in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. Luke 3:16-17 KJV
Who has the fan in His hand? Jesus. Who is going to burn the chaff with fire unquenchable? Jesus. So the baptism of fire is a work of Jesus.
A warning from Jesus to the church
Now, let’s to Revelation 3:14. The author is Jesus who sent His angel to his servant, John, to discuss things that were, that are, and that are to come. And He addresses the seven New Testament Churches. Sadly, five of the seven, in the first 50 years, now represent a problem.
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Revelation 3:14-16 KJV
When I read this in the Bible, I got saved all over again because I wasn’t interested in losing my betrothal to Jesus. I want to be part of the marriage supper of the lamb, how about you? I want to be one of those who enter into my place of rest in the day of the first resurrection. I want the Lord to cleanse me. In the great house, there are vessels of honor and dishonor; I want to be a vessel of honor.
What’s the remedy?
Revelation 3 goes on to say in verse 17:
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Revelation 3:17-19 KJV
You are like gold to your Heavenly Father. You are precious. Gold is purified by subjecting it to high heat to burn out the impurities. You are more precious than gold. You are the inheritance of the living God. You have been created for His pleasure. He takes delight in you!
The white garment in this passage is not a white coat that you would wear; it’s the righteousness of the saints.
What is righteousness?
Righteousness is God’s nature in you. If God’s nature is love, your nature should be love. If part of your personality is not love, that part needs to be burned out of your life so all that is left is love. Another attribute of God is patience. If you find that you are impatient all the time, impatience needs to be burned out. If you are not merciful to those around you, what needs to be burned out then? Being not merciful so that mercy can remain.
What does the shame of our nakedness mean in verse 18?
Let’s go back to Adam and Eve. When they sinned, their eyes were opened, and they felt unclean. They had fear of God, guilt, and shame. Why? Because they had disobeyed God. Here, the Lord is saying to the church, “Because you are my people and you have not dealt with those things that are not pleasing to me, you have covered them as with a garment, but you have been exposed, and your nakedness is before me.”
You ought to be able to stand before God and not feel guilty. Instead of hiding in the bushes, you need to run to God as He comes to you in the cool of the evening of your spiritual life. Look for Him. Run to Him. But our sins have separated us from our God, and we hide from Him in guilt and unworthiness, then we pretend like we have no problems.
Why should we want the baptism of fire?
But the Lord wants to deliver you and purify you in something called the baptism of fire. It says it right here: That you may be clothed, and the shame of your nakedness does not appear and anoint our eyes with eye-salve that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Be zealous, therefore, and repent.
Now we get to verse 20, which many evangelicals use as part of the Roman’s road of conversation for the unsaved. Yet this scripture is not written to the unsaved. It is written to God’s people who are no longer in relationship with the Lord who saved them. They are new covenant saints that have asked the Lord to leave their hearts.
How do we let Christ be the Lord of our lives?
You might say, how did I ask the Lord to leave my heart? By not letting Him be Lord. When He asked you to forgive, did you forgive? When He asked you not to be in strife, did you refuse? When He asked you to be angry and sin not, did you continue to be angry and let the sun set on your wrath? Did your anger carry on to the next day, and the next week, and the next month, and the next year?
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. Revelation 3:20-21 KJV
The blessed reward of the baptism of fire
God wants to restore that place of sweet communion He had with you. He wants to redevelop relationship and fellowship with you. That is one of the first byproducts of the baptism of fire – sweet fellowship with God without guilt. By submitting to God’s purging fire, we are able to stand before Him in good conscience. It’s a much better place to be than hiding in the bushes.
The only difference between a “saint” and an “aint” is the letter “s.” It stands for “savior” and “salvation,” and it’s your birthright through repentance.
Revelation 3:22 says, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” So in this third baptism, the baptism of fire, the third member of the Godhead is certainly the author, which is Jesus. The baptism of fire is a work of Jesus for His bride.
The Baptism into the Body of Christ
What is the purpose of finding yourself immersed in God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus, the Word? There is a sweet, sweet conclusion. This fourth baptism is also the most difficult.
1 Corinthians 12:12 says:
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12 KJV
Who is the head of the church? Jesus is the chief bishop of the church. It pleased God the Father that all things in creation should be put under the leadership of Jesus the Word. He’s the head apostle, He’s the head prophet, He’s the head evangelist, He’s the head teacher, and He’s the head pastor.
You cannot be an apostle if you don’t have a pastor’s heart. You can’t be a prophet and not have a pastor’s heart. You can’t be an evangelist and not have a pastor’s heart. And you cannot be a pastor and not have a pastor’s heart. Because the great God, the Word, the second member of the Godhead, came from Heaven, and he made contact with mankind. He did not avoid us. He demonstrated God’s care and His love, He taught us of the Kingdom of God, and then He healed us of our diseases and cast out devils because He cared. That’s the standard of pastoral leadership.
What part of the body am I?
So the Lord is the head of everything in the body, and all of us underneath are part of His body. Do you know what part of the body I am? I’m the intestine for two reasons: I help you process food and get rid of waste, and I’m a Jeremiah 3:15 individual – He shall give you pastors according to His own heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
That’s the standard – to help you process food. And you know, getting rid of waste is a baptism of fire. And who is the great manna from Heaven? Jesus the Word. God the Word came in the flesh to show us the Father, to reveal the Kingdom of God, and to show us how God thinks so that we could get our “stinkin thinkin” straightened out. That’s the renewing of our minds.
Let’s go on to verse 13:
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many. 1 Corinthians 12:13-14 KJV
The baptism into the Body of Christ brings unity.
This fourth baptism which I think is a valid baptism out of Hebrews 6:1-2 in the doctrine of baptisms is not often taught clearly or understood like it needs to be. Are we prepared to be baptized into each other so that we become indistinguishable, one from another?
That word, ‘baptized’ doesn’t mean I partake of you when I feel like it. It means that we are submerged deep into each other and that we begin to heal from the inside out as a work of God.
I consider, as a metaphorical application, that all of creation is still in the womb of God. And it’s suspended in utero with a birth defect. But as a work of the Gospel, we have a chance to have this birth defect, called sin, changed so that on the day of the resurrection, we can be fully formed as sons and daughters of God. He gave us the power to be the sons of God by faith.
We need each other so much. There are so many parts of you that are not me, and there are parts of me that are not you, and in it is God working through us to form us into what He should look like through us in the Earth.
This is a legacy teaching of Pastor Henry W. Wright
Building on the application of the different types of baptism, how can we walk in the rest of the doctrines of Christ? Here are more articles that may be helpful to you:
How to Walk in the Supernatural Power of God – What is required of us in order to walk in the supernatural power of God, healing the sick, and fulfilling the other doctrines of Christ?
What is righteousness?- God’s Righteousness Vs. Self-Righteousness – First thing’s first; to walk as Christ walked we need to establish in our hearts what true righteousness is and how we can walk in God’s ways. How can we represent Him in the Earth if we follow our own version of righteousness versus His?
Praying to God the Father – Is it possible that our prayers could be hindered because we are praying to the wrong member of the Godhead. Discover the life-changing, and faith boosting power of fellowship with Father God according to Jesus’ instruction in the Gospels.