When we talk about “baptism” we usually think of water baptism that a new follower of Christ takes. What man actually needs to undergo are four levels of baptism each representing one of the four elements. By being baptised through all four elements this represents our death to the natural and resurrection to the spiritual.
The four elements of creation were known in antiquity as water, wind, earth, and fire. Now I know that you are thinking of the periodic table and “you are not really taking four elements seriously are you?” Remember though, this is not talking about the physical creation. The periodic table describe physical matter, but these are soul-elements. These are the basic categories of creation and each of them represents something unique. In both the original Hebrew and Greek languages, the word for “wind” “breath” and “spirit” are actually the exact same word! “Spirit-Baptism” was written the same way as “wind-baptism” because “wind” and “spirit” had a similar identity to the ancients. Lets look at some of their symbolism:
Water represents life, healing, and cleansing
Fire represents action, destruction, and purification
Wind (or spirit) represents independence, freedom, and the mind
Earth represents structure, permanence, and security
Christ was the first man to go through all four levels of baptism. When Christ was 30 years old he went through water baptism. At this point the Spirit descended on Christ like a dove which was his Spirit-baptism. When Christ went through his trials in life and at the cross this was his baptism of fire. Finally, when Christ was buried in the tomb and descended into the center of the earth for three days this was his earth-baptism. So before resurrecting into his spiritual body, Christ had to first suffer death in each of the four elements of creation, and by doing this he now has authority over all of creation.
Christ could not say “all power in heaven and on earth has been given me” until after his resurrection when he had died in all four elements of creation, his resurrection took back the power over all creation and the elements, the power Adam was supposed to exercise on the earth but gave up when he sinned.
Baptism of Water
We also must go through a baptism in all four universal elements. The first of these is water baptism. IN water baptism the new follower of Christ declares his separation from his old ways and resurrection to a new life.
Acts 22:16, “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
The water element represents cleansing, as this verse shows it is water baptism that cleanses us from the power of the sin we once lived in. There are many testimonies of believers who struggled with deep sin habits, and it was not at the point of salvation, but at the point of baptism that the power of that sin was truly broken off of their life. You are saved simply by choosing to live for Christ, accepting his forgiveness, and repenting of your old ways. Baptism is not necessary to become saved in the first place, but it is something you need to do right away after being saved. Everywhere in the Bible baptism is done as soon as possible after becoming a believer.
Baptism of Spirit (Wind)
Mark 1:8 “I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost”
Here John the Baptist speaks of a greater baptism than that of water, the one coming after him, the Christ, would baptism them with the Holy Spirit.
The baptism of the Spirit is where our Spirit truly becomes one with God and we meet him in a special way. Just as some believe water baptism is simply a “sprinkling” and others know it is full immersion, you can receive a “sprinkling” of the Holy Spirit if you want, but what you really need is full immersion! A life full of the Spirit! A life in God’s presence, we get this by worship and obedience. Making priority time for God all the time.
It would take way to much space to list all the times the baptism of the Spirit is mentioned, but just read through the book of Acts and you have it right there. The Holy Spirit was an essential part of their lives.
Remember “spirit/wind” represents independence, freedom, and freshness. Those who try to put the Holy Spirit into their box of comfortable traditions will find that the Holy Spirit will come no where near such mindsets. The Holy Spirit needs to be free, the instruction in the new testament is “Quench not the Spirit! Despise not prophecies!” (1 Thessalonians 5:19)
God’s people are called to be “born of the wind”
“4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?”
Verse 8 here represents the qualities of wind, independence and freedom “blows where it listeth”, and hiddenness “cannot tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth.
Baptism of FirePsalm 66:12, “Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
Isaiah 43:2, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”
1 Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
Matthew 3:11, “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:”
This verse describes three elements of baptism in the order they should be done, water baptism, Spirit baptism, and fire baptism.
Immediately after Jesus was baptised with water and with the Spirit the very next thing he did was go into the wilderness to be tested by the devil, this was the first step in Christ’s baptism of fire.
The baptism of fire represents the trials and testing we must overcome as believers. Engrained sinful ways are not just taken out automatically once we are saved. Oftentimes we hold dearly to these things and the only way for God to get rid of them is through the baptism of fire.
The baptism of fire where we must make the choice in life to crucify the flesh with its carnal desires. As we overcome trials with the right attitude and make the right choices our spirit is purified. Some sins can be repented of fairly easily, but others are burrowed deep in our spirit and require trials to get rid of.
Baptism of Earth
The baptism of earth is the final stage in our death and resurrection over the natural elements of the universe. The baptism of earth is simply natural death, when we are laid “six feet under.” It is after this final baptism that we are ready to be resurrected a new man with a new spirit-body.
1 Corinthians 15:40-54,
“40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”