"Repent and Be Baptized"
A man or woman (not a child) who has repented of his or her sins (Mark 1:15; Acts 2:38) of breaking God's law, and who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Acts 8:37; Mark 1:15) and who believes the gospel of the kingdom (Mark 1:15) should be baptized (immersed) completely under water. "Baptizo" is a Greek word, left untranslated. The English definition of this word is "immerse." It means "to plunge into, put into, dip." It does not mean "sprinkle" or "pour." The Greek word for "sprinkle" is rantidzo, and "to pour" is cheo in Greek.
6. Then the one who has baptized the convert should pray "for him, that he might receive the Holy Spirit" (Acts 8:15-16; Acts 2:38). He does this by laying his hands on the convert's head which symbolizes the giving of some special spiritual responsibility (Num. 27:18-19; Lev. 3:13; 24:14; Mark 5:23; 16:18; 1 Tim. 4:14; 5:22; Acts 8:18).
The wrath to come shall burn them with — baptize them into — a fiery death! This fire is the ultimate fate of the wicked, who shall be cast into the lake of fire — this earth's surface burning up — which is the second and final death (Rev. 21:8). John compared the evil to chaff which will be fanned away or removed and then he will gather his wheat into the garner -- the Kingdom of God. The chaff will be burned in unquenchable FIRE.
In Matthew 13, Jesus gave a Parable of the Sower. In his parable, a grain harvest pictures the "wheat" which is to be gathered into God's Kingdom. "His (God's) floor" in Matthew 3:12 is the same as "His field" of Matthew 13:24 — both are this earth. "The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his FIELD." But while he slept, the enemy, the devil, came and sowed tares — sinners. Now He lets both the wheat and the tares (the chaff) — saints and sinners — grow together in His field — His floor (this earth) — until the harvest. Then He will send the angels to BAPTIZE THE TARES — the unrepentant chaff — WITH FIRE that burns them up; but the wheat — the saved — are gathered into His garner which represents His Kingdom.
"When a catechumen (one receiving training in doctrine before church membership) dies, they conceal a living person under the bed of the departed. Then they stand before the dead, and ask the dead person whether or not he is willing to be baptized. Instead of the dead, who is unable to answer, the person under the bed replies in the affirmative. Whereupon they baptize him instead of the deceased, and thus make quite a farce of the whole matter. Such power has Satan over the minds of foolish men. And if you complain of this transaction, they appeal to the words of the Apostle Paul, who speaks of being 'Baptized for the dead'" (Hoary. xl in I Cor. by Chrysostom).
Is More Than One Baptism Required For Salvation?
It was not a new concept that John the Baptist invented. BAPTISM was one of three requirements for the conversion of a proselyte to Judaism. "One is not a convert until he is circumcised and IMMERSES" (Seder Nashim, Tractate Yevamot, Gemara, ch.4, Folio 46b). Then a sacrifice was the third. But where did that idea of IMMERSION of converts come from? Before receiving the law on Mount Sinai, the people were required to WASH their clothes (and by implication themselves also) and stay away from their wives (menstruation & ejaculation make a person unclean again) (Ex. 19:14-15). Was that ancient BAPTISM merely a once-in-a-lifetime event? IMMERSION upon conversion only? Many "Christian" churches seem to think so. But if Israelites -- after being BAPTIZED -- then touched an unclean thing, they must be BAPTIZED AGAIN. They were required to "WASH their clothes and BATHE with water" and were "unclean till evening" (Lev. 15:5). It was a regular way of life. Josephus says the Essenes BATHED DAILY in a mikveh (Wars 2:8:5). This is "the doctrine of BAPTISMS" (Heb. 6:2) plural -- not just one BAPTISM at conversion -- or at Mount Sinai. BAPTISMS are still obligatory. From Lev. 11:32; 13:54-58; 14:8; 15:1-27; 16:24-28; 17:15; Num. 19:19 and Deut. 23:11 we see a way of life. The early church met near a RIVER for this reason (Acts 16:12-13) and Paul said, "Touch not the unclean thing" (2 Cor. 6:17). Why not touch a corpse? Why not touch a menstruant? Because "no unclean person hath any inheritance in the kingdom" (Eph. 5:5). Today sinks have been provided to IMMERSE dirty hands and bathtubs have been provided to IMMERSE dirty bodies. Good sanitation and hygiene require it just as much today as in ancient times. Yes, more than one BAPTISM is required for salvation.