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Old 04-10-2011, 10:18 PM
 
284 posts, read 134,650 times
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Lately there have been a few threads discussing Christian Baptism. One of the theories mentioned in a thread that baptism was not performed in water. I simply wanted to give some data from the early christian texts that show that Baptism was part of authentic Ancient Christianity and also that the earliest Judao-christians understood that authentic baptism was done in WATER.

Barnabas reminds us that the original baptism and it’s symbolism would not be left intact, but that it’s original intent and mode would be changed and substitutes would be created. For example, regarding Israel, he both asks and prophesies this change in baptism :
Quote:
But let us inquire whether the Lord took care to foreshadow the water and the cross. Now concerning the water, it is written with reference to Israel that they would never accept the baptism that brings forgiveness of sins, but would create a substitute for themselves. (Barnabas 11:1)
Though there are probably dozens of modern substitute theories and substitute interpretations and re-interpretations regarding the original and authentic “baptism by water”, however, I think the poster Twin-spin is correct in the specific assumption that ‘baptism by water” means what is says. At least it meant that to the earliest Judao-christians as they tell us in their own texts :

In the earliest Christianity, once the convert developed faith in jesus, the early convert, as part of their commitment to Christ and process of repentance, would be physically baptized in water as New Testament Barnabas points out :
Quote:
... blessed are those who, having set their hope on the cross, descended into the water, because he speaks of the reward “in it’s season” (The Epistle of Barnabas 11:8)
The very early Christian Didache describes the early and authentic context of Christian Baptism :
Quote:
Now concerning baptism, baptize as follows: after you have reviewed all these things, .baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” in running water”. But if you have no running water, then baptize in some other water; and if you are not able to baptize in cold water, then do so in warm. (Didache 7:1)
It is clear in the early christian Didache, that it is physical water that is being spoken of here.

To say that the WATER itself was not symbolic did NOT mean that there wasn’t deep symbolism involved in the ordinance of baptism by water. For example, the early christian didache obviously describes baptizing in real water, yet the ordinance of baptism symbolized the start of an actual process of moral cleansing that was occurring in the life of the early christian convert as it was associated with repentance.

This simple and clear doctrine is referred to by such questions as that asked by New Testament Hermas who asked the angel :
Quote:
Sir,” I said, “I have heard from certain teachers that there is no other repentance beyond that which occurred when we descended into the water and received forgiveness of our previous sins.” (Hermas 3:67)
New Testament Barnabas also refers to this same principle when explaining : [quote]“By this he means that while we descend into the water laden with sins and dirt, we rise up bearing fruit in our heart and with fear and hope in Jesus in our spirits.” (The Epistle of Barnabas 11:11)

The early Qumran Baptismal Liturgy has similar themes running through the text : “For you made me…Your will is that we cleanse ourselves before…to be in righteous purity and he shall bathe in water and sprinkle upon …And then they return from the water…cleansing His people in the waters of bathing…” etc. The liturgy instructs the priest as to what to ask the initiate and what he is to say in response.
Quote:
“And he shall say in response, “Blessed are You…Your purification in Your glory…
Quote:
” (A BAPTISMAL LITURGY 4Q414)

Such structure to this central ordinance indicates that it was an integral ordinance in authentic early christianity. It was a sign of their belief and commitment. New Testament Hermas taught : “For before a man,” he said, “bears the name of the Son of God, he is dead, but when he receives the seal, he lays aside his deadness and receives life. The seal, therefore, is the water; so they go down into the water dead and they come up alive. Thus this seal was proclaimed to them as well, and they made use of it in order that they might enter the kingdom of God.” Hermas - The Shepherd (93: 1-7)


The ordinance of baptism, was, in the earliest Christianity, a seal and symbol received AFTER faith in Christ and commitment to live in obedience to gospel principles. Thus Annaias tells us :
Quote:
I, Annaias, an officer of the guard, being learned in the law, came to know our Lord Jesus Christ form the sacred scriptures, which I approached with faith and was accounted worthy of holy baptism.” (The Gospel of Nicodemus - Prologue)
Annaias was accounted worthy because, as a catechchumen (anew convert) he had faith; had committed to be obedient to Christian priinciples, and had entered into the lifelong process of repentance expected of Christians. An early Prayer in behalf of catechumens read thusly :
Quote:
1 Let us all earnestly entreat God on behalf of the catechumens: v4 that he may reveal to them the gospel of his Christ, 5 illume them, and give them understanding, educate them in the knowledge of god 6 teach them his ordinances and judgments...7 and that he may establish them in piety, unify and number them among his holy flock, 8 grant them (the) washing of regeneration, the garment of incorruption, (and) real life:...10...and that he may cleanse them from all pollution of flesh and spirit, and dwell in them...12...obtaining remission of their trespasses through initiation, (Hellenistic Synagogal Prayers #10 A prayer on behalf of the catechumens - AposCon .5-8)
Early Christians did not have a “magical religion” where individuals suddenly became morally or socially “perfect” because of ANY ordinance, but rather, there were authentic requirements within the heart that were to be fulfilled, without which, NO ordinance by itself could bestow moral righteousness. Of the hypocrite, the Qumran charter said :
Quote:
Ceremonies of atonement cannot restore his innocence, neither cultic waters his purity. He cannot be sanctified by baptism in oceans and rivers, nor purified by mere ritual bathing. Unclean, unclean shall he be all the days that he rejects the laws of God, refusing to be disciplined in the Yahad of His society. For only through the spirit pervading God’s true society can there be atonement for a man’s ways, all of his iniquities; thus only can he gaze upon the light of life and so be joined to his truth by his Holy Spirit, purified from all iniquity. Through an upright and humble attitude his sin may be covered, and by humbling himself before all God’s laws his flesh can be made clean. Only thus can he really receive the purifying waters and be purged by the cleansing flow. (CHARTER OF A JEWISH SECTARIAN ASSOCIATION 1QS, 4Q255-264a, 5Q11 Col. 3)
It was not merely inappropriate for hypocrites and counterfeits to try to “fake” christianity; there were warnings against attempts to abuse such ordinances.
Quote:
If one goes down into the water and comes up without having received anything and says, “I am a Christian,” he has borrowed the name at interest. But if he receives the Holy spirit, he has the name as a gift. He who has received a gift does not have to give it back, but of him who has borrowed it at interest, payment is demanded.” (The gospel of Phillip)
However, those who had acquired authentic faith; had made the authentic commitment to repent and to be obedient to Christian principles, were entering into a process of becoming born again as new creatures and of moral progression of which repentance and forgiveness was an early and integral part
Quote:
So, since he renewed us by the forgiveness of sins, he made us men of another type, so that we should have the soul of children, as if he were creating us all over again. (The Epistle of Barnabas 6:11)
Though this gradual process of change was likened unto several processes, all authentic processes involved baptism.
Quote:
God is a dyer. As the good dyes, which are called “true,” dissolve with the things dyed in them, so it is with those whom God has dyed. Since his dyes are immortal, they are immortal by means of his colors. Now God dips what he dips in water.” (The gospel of Phillip)

My key point is to make clear that Baptism, in the earliest christianity was done in water and was an ordinance integral to early Christianity.

Clear
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:06 AM
 
774 posts, read 318,445 times
Reputation: 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clear lens View Post
My key point is to make clear that Baptism, in the earliest christianity was done in water and was an ordinance integral to early Christianity. Clear
It's a sacrament, not an ordinance.
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:33 AM
 
284 posts, read 134,650 times
Reputation: 47
GoodToBeHome wrote regarding baptism : "It's a sacrament, not an ordinance.".



I very much agree that Baptism also correctly referred to as a "sacrament" as well as an "ordinance" and I am completely comfortable if you prefer to use the word "sacrament" rather than the word "ordinance". However, you may want to look up the definition of ordinance and see if Baptism, as "a Christian custom or practice" isn't an ordinance as well as a sacrament.


GoodToBeHome, I hope however, you didn't get so caught up in the tangential issue of which word is best to use and thus missed the more important issues.


Good luck in your journey GoodToBeHome.


Clear

Last edited by Clear lens; 04-11-2011 at 10:48 AM..
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:52 PM
 
774 posts, read 318,445 times
Reputation: 182
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clear lens View Post
GoodToBeHome wrote regarding baptism : "It's a sacrament, not an ordinance.".



I very much agree that Baptism also correctly referred to as a "sacrament" as well as an "ordinance" and I am completely comfortable if you prefer to use the word "sacrament" rather than the word "ordinance". However, you may want to look up the definition of ordinance and see if Baptism, as "a Christian custom or practice" isn't an ordinance as well as a sacrament.


GoodToBeHome, I hope however, you didn't get so caught up in the tangential issue of which word is best to use and thus missed the more important issues.


Good luck in your journey GoodToBeHome.


Clear
The difference between sacrament and an ordinance is light years. It is the very nature of a sacrament which makes Baptism so important and essential.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:42 PM
 
284 posts, read 134,650 times
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GoodToBeHome : It is perfectly fine to me if we use the word sacrament for you and others who are used to speaking of it as a sacrament or to use the word ordinance for who are used to speaking of it as an ordinance. I honestly have NO preference in terms when speaking of this specific era to which I refer. If Jewish posters referring to the Mikvah at Qumran want to use a different term, we certainly can use whatever word they prefer. It honestly doesn't matter to me.


Clear
drviyy

Last edited by Clear lens; 04-11-2011 at 02:04 PM..
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:29 PM
 
2,675 posts, read 1,074,864 times
Reputation: 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clear lens View Post
GoodToBeHome : It is perfectly fine to me if we use the word sacrament for you and others who are used to speaking of it as a sacrament or to use the word ordinance for who are used to speaking of it as an ordinance. I honestly have NO preference in terms when speaking of this specific era to which I refer. If Jewish posters referring to the Mikvah at Qumran want to use a different term, we certainly can use whatever word they prefer. It honestly doesn't matter to me.


Clear
drviyy
Clear,

Thank you for posting this information. It is really interesting. I recently bought a book by Everett Ferguson. It's about baptism in the early church. It actually starts out with the Old Testament washings, etc. and takes you all the way to 500 A.D. It's a difficult text but very informative. There is no doubt in my mind that baptism was by immersion in water from the beginning. Thanks again.

Katie
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:40 PM
 
2,675 posts, read 1,074,864 times
Reputation: 200
[quote=Clear lens;18672354]Lately there have been a few threads discussing Christian Baptism. One of the theories mentioned in a thread that baptism was not performed in water. I simply wanted to give some data from the early christian texts that show that Baptism was part of authentic Ancient Christianity and also that the earliest Judao-christians understood that authentic baptism was done in WATER.

Barnabas reminds us that the original baptism and it’s symbolism would not be left intact, but that it’s original intent and mode would be changed and substitutes would be created. For example, regarding Israel, he both asks and prophesies this change in baptism :

Though there are probably dozens of modern substitute theories and substitute interpretations and re-interpretations regarding the original and authentic “baptism by water”, however, I think the poster Twin-spin is correct in the specific assumption that ‘baptism by water” means what is says. At least it meant that to the earliest Judao-christians as they tell us in their own texts :

In the earliest Christianity, once the convert developed faith in jesus, the early convert, as part of their commitment to Christ and process of repentance, would be physically baptized in water as New Testament Barnabas points out :

The very early Christian Didache describes the early and authentic context of Christian Baptism : It is clear in the early christian Didache, that it is physical water that is being spoken of here.

To say that the WATER itself was not symbolic did NOT mean that there wasn’t deep symbolism involved in the ordinance of baptism by water. For example, the early christian didache obviously describes baptizing in real water, yet the ordinance of baptism symbolized the start of an actual process of moral cleansing that was occurring in the life of the early christian convert as it was associated with repentance.

This simple and clear doctrine is referred to by such questions as that asked by New Testament Hermas who asked the angel :

New Testament Barnabas also refers to this same principle when explaining :
Quote:
By this he means that while we descend into the water laden with sins and dirt, we rise up bearing fruit in our heart and with fear and hope in Jesus in our spirits.” (The Epistle of Barnabas 11:11)

The early Qumran Baptismal Liturgy has similar themes running through the text : “[color=Purple]For you made me…Your will is that we cleanse ourselves before…to be in righteous purity and he shall bathe in water and sprinkle upon …And then they return from the water…cleansing His people in the waters of bathing…” etc. The liturgy instructs the priest as to what to ask the initiate and what he is to say in response.



The ordinance of baptism, was, in the earliest Christianity, a seal and symbol received AFTER faith in Christ and commitment to live in obedience to gospel principles. Thus Annaias tells us :

Annaias was accounted worthy because, as a catechchumen (anew convert) he had faith; had committed to be obedient to Christian priinciples, and had entered into the lifelong process of repentance expected of Christians. An early Prayer in behalf of catechumens read thusly :

Early Christians did not have a “magical religion” where individuals suddenly became morally or socially “perfect” because of ANY ordinance, but rather, there were authentic requirements within the heart that were to be fulfilled, without which, NO ordinance by itself could bestow moral righteousness. Of the hypocrite, the Qumran charter said :

It was not merely inappropriate for hypocrites and counterfeits to try to “fake” christianity; there were warnings against attempts to abuse such ordinances.

However, those who had acquired authentic faith; had made the authentic commitment to repent and to be obedient to Christian principles, were entering into a process of becoming born again as new creatures and of moral progression of which repentance and forgiveness was an early and integral part Though this gradual process of change was likened unto several processes, all authentic processes involved baptism.


[i][b]My key point is to make clear that Baptism, in the earliest christianity was done in water and was an ordinance integral to early Christianity.

Clear
It sounds like baptism was not only done in water, but it was also for remission of sins.
Katie
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:12 PM
 
23,169 posts, read 11,363,001 times
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Default The early "milk" does NOT determine the true significance

I have little patience for superstition or supernatural thinking that has no relationship to the reality around us. Dunking in water accomplishes nothing but getting us wet. There is no magic to it . . . no matter what is said or done or believed about it. It is symbolic of our purpose. The doctrines of early Christians are instructive but not controlling because they were geared to the capabilities, understanding, and sophistication of the original very carnal audience. If we do not apply any of our advanced knowledge to them . . . we will never truly understand what "mysteries" were actually contained within them.

Baptism = The Water of Life

Jesus explained rebirth to Nicodemus. Nicodemus asked: "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born again?" Jesus answered,

John 3:4

. . . I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Do not wonder that I said to thee, 'You must be born again.'

In this remarkable passage from John, the word Water has major significance. It is clear from the many references to it, that ordinary water is not what is meant here, since it is actually within each of us. There are many mentions of this internal water of life,

John 7:38,

. . . He who believes in me, as the scripture says, ' From within him there shall flow rivers of living water.' [Emphasis added]

John 4:13

. . . He, however, who drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up unto life everlasting. [Emphasis added]

This water of life within us that relates to our ability to achieve rebirth must refer to the fluid surrounding our brain. It is truly a water of life. However, at the time of Christ and John the Baptist, this was not exactly common knowledge. If God's consciousness really is available to inspire our consciousness and those of the early "prophets," it is not inconceivable that this basic idea would be communicated (received) in terms that would make sense to such primitive minds. Submersion into river water seems an obvious analogue.

There is a standard pattern to human cognitive learning and the acceptance of new ideas. There must be at each new departure, a connecting link with previous knowledge or experience. Our means of achieving eternal life consists of immersion into the water-like fluid surrounding our brain. Our primitive ancestors could only produce a simple introduction to this concept probably using the link with the birth water that precedes our physical birth. For the primitives of John's day, immersion into river water and the rebirth that was symbolized by it set the basic concept firmly in the memory of the species.

John the Baptist's teaching of baptism by water was simply our first introduction to the methodology of rebirth. His task was to pave the way for understanding.

John 1:26,

. . . I baptize with water; but in the midst of you there stood one whom you do not know. He it is who is to come after me, who has been set above me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to loose.

John 1:31,

. . . And I did not know him. But that he may be known to Israel, for this reason have I come baptising with water.

and John 1:33,

. . . And I did not know him. But he who sent me to baptise with water said to me, 'He upon whom thou wilt see the Spirit descending, and abiding upon him, he it is who baptises with the Holy Spirit.'

Since one’s attitude and one’s “Spirit” are really synonyms this basic idea was supposed to make it easier to accept and understand the true method once human knowledge progressed enough to have sufficient information about our brain, its functions, and its environment consisting of the water of life.

To discern the essentials of the actual process that is involved we need additional clues,

from the Revelation 22:1,

. . . And He showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming forth from the throne of God. . . And He who was on the throne said . . . To him who thirsts I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely. He who overcomes shall possess these things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. [Emphasis added]

Basically, we know that mental activity is a process of energy change. Our brain cells transmute energy into thoughts. We do not know what happens to energy in the form of thoughts . . . but the fluid around the brain is intricately involved. Apparently there is some electro-chemical energy transmutation involving neuro-transmitters between our consciousness and its interaction with our inner urges or basic drives ("He who overcomes") . . . that produces changes in the water of life around our brain.

A direct relationship between emotional maturity, mental health, depression, etc., and the composition of the fluid around the brain has been established. Some research conducted with emotionally retarded patients and this fluid around the brain provides potential insights into this connection. Altering the fluid around the brains of retarded patients has produced startling, if only temporary, increases in their emotional age. The fact that the changes were only temporary and could not be maintained without external supplementation indicates that the composition of the fluid must be changed by internal mental processes. The good news is that temporary supplementation creates a more suitable environment for the brain to perform the mental processes of self-control . . . that might eventually make the supplementation unnecessary (barring actual congenital or disease factors).

Our emotional age increases for most of us as we mature. Our EQ is determined by and determines our level of self-control over our emotions . . . and it is related to the composition of the fluid around our brain. That should be sufficient to suggest that the kind of mental development we achieve throughout life is the source for the changes in this Water of Life within us . . . otherwise we would never change our emotional age. This development (or lack thereof) has obvious implications for the fate that awaits our soul. The energy of our soul (the source of our emotional maturity) is transformed by a specific type of mental activity and ion transfer in the fluid surrounding our brain when we control our animal drives. THAT is the mechanism of Baptism throughout our lives . . . self-control motivated by belief in and love of God. It strengthens our embryo Spirit and prepares it for rebirth upon our death. There is no superstitious hocus pocus or mumbo jumbo involved.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
14,116 posts, read 10,066,313 times
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Originally Posted by GoodToBeHome View Post
It's a sacrament, not an ordinance.
Same thing. Some denominations use one word, some the other. But when it gets right down to the bottom line, they essentially mean the same thing. I know Catholics use the word "sacrament" so that's obviously the one you're comfortable with. Since you think they're "light years apart," maybe you could explain what you believe an ordinance to be. When I look up the word "ordinance" online, I see (among other, non-relevant definitions): 1. Christian rite, especially the Eucharist, 2. an established rite or ceremony.

Last edited by Katzpur; 04-11-2011 at 07:32 PM..
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Maryland
3,540 posts, read 4,279,860 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I have little patience for superstition or supernatural thinking that has no relationship to the reality around us. Dunking in water accomplishes nothing but getting us wet. There is no magic to it . . . no matter what is said or done or believed about it. It is symbolic of our purpose. The doctrines of early Christians are instructive but not controlling because they were geared to the capabilities, understanding, and sophistication of the original very carnal audience. If we do not apply any of our advanced knowledge to them . . . we will never truly understand what "mysteries" were actually contained within them.

Baptism = The Water of Life

Jesus explained rebirth to Nicodemus. Nicodemus asked: "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born again?" Jesus answered,

John 3:4

. . . I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Do not wonder that I said to thee, 'You must be born again.'

In this remarkable passage from John, the word Water has major significance. It is clear from the many references to it, that ordinary water is not what is meant here, since it is actually within each of us. There are many mentions of this internal water of life,

John 7:38,

. . . He who believes in me, as the scripture says, ' From within him there shall flow rivers of living water.' [Emphasis added]

John 4:13

. . . He, however, who drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up unto life everlasting. [Emphasis added]

This water of life within us that relates to our ability to achieve rebirth must refer to the fluid surrounding our brain. It is truly a water of life. However, at the time of Christ and John the Baptist, this was not exactly common knowledge. If God's consciousness really is available to inspire our consciousness and those of the early "prophets," it is not inconceivable that this basic idea would be communicated (received) in terms that would make sense to such primitive minds. Submersion into river water seems an obvious analogue.

There is a standard pattern to human cognitive learning and the acceptance of new ideas. There must be at each new departure, a connecting link with previous knowledge or experience. Our means of achieving eternal life consists of immersion into the water-like fluid surrounding our brain. Our primitive ancestors could only produce a simple introduction to this concept probably using the link with the birth water that precedes our physical birth. For the primitives of John's day, immersion into river water and the rebirth that was symbolized by it set the basic concept firmly in the memory of the species.

John the Baptist's teaching of baptism by water was simply our first introduction to the methodology of rebirth. His task was to pave the way for understanding.

John 1:26,

. . . I baptize with water; but in the midst of you there stood one whom you do not know. He it is who is to come after me, who has been set above me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to loose.

John 1:31,

. . . And I did not know him. But that he may be known to Israel, for this reason have I come baptising with water.

and John 1:33,

. . . And I did not know him. But he who sent me to baptise with water said to me, 'He upon whom thou wilt see the Spirit descending, and abiding upon him, he it is who baptises with the Holy Spirit.'

Since one’s attitude and one’s “Spirit” are really synonyms this basic idea was supposed to make it easier to accept and understand the true method once human knowledge progressed enough to have sufficient information about our brain, its functions, and its environment consisting of the water of life.

To discern the essentials of the actual process that is involved we need additional clues,

from the Revelation 22:1,

. . . And He showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming forth from the throne of God. . . And He who was on the throne said . . . To him who thirsts I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely. He who overcomes shall possess these things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. [Emphasis added]

Basically, we know that mental activity is a process of energy change. Our brain cells transmute energy into thoughts. We do not know what happens to energy in the form of thoughts . . . but the fluid around the brain is intricately involved. Apparently there is some electro-chemical energy transmutation involving neuro-transmitters between our consciousness and its interaction with our inner urges or basic drives ("He who overcomes") . . . that produces changes in the water of life around our brain.

A direct relationship between emotional maturity, mental health, depression, etc., and the composition of the fluid around the brain has been established. Some research conducted with emotionally retarded patients and this fluid around the brain provides potential insights into this connection. Altering the fluid around the brains of retarded patients has produced startling, if only temporary, increases in their emotional age. The fact that the changes were only temporary and could not be maintained without external supplementation indicates that the composition of the fluid must be changed by internal mental processes. The good news is that temporary supplementation creates a more suitable environment for the brain to perform the mental processes of self-control . . . that might eventually make the supplementation unnecessary (barring actual congenital or disease factors).

Our emotional age increases for most of us as we mature. Our EQ is determined by and determines our level of self-control over our emotions . . . and it is related to the composition of the fluid around our brain. That should be sufficient to suggest that the kind of mental development we achieve throughout life is the source for the changes in this Water of Life within us . . . otherwise we would never change our emotional age. This development (or lack thereof) has obvious implications for the fate that awaits our soul. The energy of our soul (the source of our emotional maturity) is transformed by a specific type of mental activity and ion transfer in the fluid surrounding our brain when we control our animal drives. THAT is the mechanism of Baptism throughout our lives . . . self-control motivated by belief in and love of God. It strengthens our embryo Spirit and prepares it for rebirth upon our death. There is no superstitious hocus pocus or mumbo jumbo involved.
If the over consumption of salt contributes to water retention,

it would stand to reason (based upon your assumption)

that a big bag of salty pretzels would do us better than baptism by water.

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