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Page 380

 

Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
Then the Spirit said unto Phlip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

- Acts 8:28-29


The place of the Scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before His shearer, so opened He not His mouth.
In His humiliation His judgment was taken away: and who shall declare His generation? for His life is taken from the earth

- Acts 8:32-33

So shall He sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

- Isaiah 52:15

 

Read Ezekiel 36:25:

Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

How is this a similar prophecy to that of Isaiah 52:15?

 

And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert.

- Acts 8:26

 

it was both Philip and the eunuch that "went into" and "came up out of" the water. "And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip" (Acts 8:38-39a).

Both Philip and the eunuch went "into the water," and "came up out of the water"; therefore, these expressions cannot refer to immersion unless Philip immersed himself with the eunuch. What Scripture does state is that both stepped into (or "to" -see explanation on the corresponding page) the water, that there Philip baptized him -either by scooping his hand in the water and placing it on his head, pouring water over him, or immersing him (Scripture does not tell us the method used) -and then, they stepped out of (or "from" -see explanation on the corresponding page) the water.

Rather than being a clear case for baptism by immersion, as the immersionists claim, the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch would present the following difficulties when attempting to picture this mode:

  • The eunuch was reading the prophet Isaiah when Philip joined himself to his chariot (Acts 8:28-29). The eunuch was reading Isaiah 53:7-8, as Acts 8:32-33 informs us. When he realized that Isaiah's prophecy referred to Jesus Christ, he immediately requested to be baptized. How did he know about baptism? Who had told him about it? Seven verses before his present reading, he had read the words of prophecy in connection with the same Jesus Christ, "So shall He sprinkle many nations" (Isaiah 52:15a). No references to immersing people are found in the Book of Isaiah. We do not read of Philip explaining anything to the eunuch about baptism by immersion. For Philip to baptize the eunuch, as a young heathen convert, by immersion after he had just recently understood the prophecy of Isaiah concerning Jesus and His cleansing work pictured by sprinkling, would only tend to be confusing for him.

  • Neither historically has there been, nor presently is there, a river or body of water large enough to immerse a person on the desert route from Jerusalem to Gaza, as noted in the Lord's instruction to Philip, "Arise and go toward the south


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