FORESHADOWED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT : Part II
By: Michael Trapasso
Leaving the New Testament, we now go to the Old Testament. All of the great truths throughout the New Testament are foreshadowed by the Old Testament. For example, the land of Canaan was a type of the Promised Land that God will give to His spiritual people better known as Christians. The land of Egypt was a type of the world Jesus said His people must not love. The Wilderness was a type of the Christian pilgrim land. The flood was a type of destruction that will one day come upon the earth (II Pet. 3:7-10). The Rock in Horem was a type of the Christ. Since the scriptures have clearly shown that baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ was a requirement in every case when the door of salvation was opened to a group of people, then certainly baptism in the Name of Baptism is also foreshadowed in the Old Testament by some part of God’s nature.
That part of Nature of the Old Testament which foreshadowed baptism in the Name of Jesus was the Jordan River. Its very name implies that. The word ‘Jordan’ comes from the Hebrew word `yaradh’ which means ‘TO GO DOWN OR DESCEND’; and since river is water, thus Jordan River means TO GO DOWN INTO WATER. Baptism comes from the Greek word ‘baptizo’ which means ‘TO DIP OR PLUNGE’ that is into water. The meanings are identical. Now let us look how God used the Jordan River in the Old Testament.
In II Kings 5:1-14, we find a man named Naaman who had leprosy; and as most Bible readers know, leprosy is a perfect type of SIN. The man of God told Naaman that he could be cleansed of leprosy by dipping in the Jordan River; and that by doing so, his leprosy would be washed away. The Apostles of God in the New Testament declared unto men that if they wanted to be cleansed and washed from sin, they must be baptized in the Name of Jesus. Naaman’s resistance was not in that of being dipped, no; but rather he wanted to be dipped in another river, in a river that was more popular than the Jordan River, the River of Pharpar. To him one river was as good as another. The man of God, however, realized that there was a considerable difference. He knew that Naaman could never be cleansed from leprosy unless he was dipped in the Jordan River. Is not the perfect parallel before us today? Men do not resist being baptized, no; but they do not desire to be baptized into the Name of Jesus Christ; they want to be baptized the more popular way. The just cannot see any difference between the Apostolic formula, into the Name of Jesus Christ, and the present Father, Son, and Holy Ghost formula. To them one baptism is as good as another. Naaman, however, would never have obtained his cleansing from leprosy if he had not been obedient to the word of the Lord by washing in the Jordan River; and it follows, men today will never be cleansed from sin until they are baptized into the Name of Jesus Christ, the spiritual Jordan River.
Notice Joshua 5:2, “At that time the Lord said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.” This did not occur until they crossed the Jordan River. We find throughout the Holy Testament that circumcision was God’s seal on Abraham and his seed thereafter. God said if a man was uncircumcised, ‘that soul shall be cut off from his people, he hath broken by covenant.’ (Gen. 17:10-14). So we see that God required Abraham’s seed to be circumcised or they were none of his. This covenant carries on to us today since we are the spiritual seed of Abraham. (See Gal. 3:29; Rom. 4:11, 12, 16). Our spiritual circumcision, as Paul clearly tells us in Col. 2:11-12, is our BAPTISM in Jesus Christ. He states, ‘In him you have been circumcised, with no material circumcision that cuts flesh from the body, but with Christ’s own circumcision WHEN YOU WERE BURIED WITH HIM IN YOUR BAPTISM and thereby raised with him as you BELIEVED in the power of the God who raised him from the dead.’ (Moffat translation) So we can see, that soul which has not been spiritually circumcised, `…shall be cut off from his people, he hath broken my covenant.’ It should be noted that God was the one who ordered the Israelites to be circumcised, not Joshua. As said before, it was not until they passed through the Jordan River that they were circumcised, and the same is true today. God does not have his seal of circumcision on an individual until he has passed through the spiritual Jordan River (baptism in the Name of Jesus).
By looking in the twenty-second chapter of Joshua, we again find the Jordan River in God’s plan. The Jordan was the border, the dividing line, the separating point. As verse 25 states, Tor the Lord hath made the Jordan a border between us and you.’ Since the Jordan River was the demarcation line between God’s remnant and the world, then is it not only conclusive that in God’s plan, spiritual Jordan River would hold the same prominence? As we have already observed, the Israelites must pass through Jordan to Canaan’s land; and as we have said before, Canaan represents heaven. It was not God’s plan for his people to build a bridge over the Jordan River or for them to by-pass it; they were required to go through it. We too, then, must go through spiritual Jordan if we are to enter Canaan’s land. This was God’s plan from the beginning.
In the light of the scriptural teachings of Christ and those of the Apostles, with the Old Testament foreshadowing this marvelous truth, one can see that baptism in the Name of Jesus is imperative to salvation. Realizing that the Lord has a purpose in all things, we will endeavor to explain the Lord’s purpose concerning water baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ.