Bible Student Baptism Service – How Different from a JW Baptism Service

BaptismWhat is a Bible Student Baptism service like?  How is it different form a JW Baptism Service?  What are we baptized into?  What questions are asked of the candidate?  What requirements are there?

In 1985 the JW baptism questions changed, with the candidate having to announce their desire to become associated with an Organization.  The candidate must answer this question in the affirmative: “Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization?”

Bible Students are not baptized into an organization.  We are baptized into Christ (Romans 6), just like in the early Watchtower days.

View a Bible Student Baptismal Service and see for yourself by clicking here.  (Note that each elder elected by their congregation has full latitude to create their own Baptismal Service with not guidelines imposed other than the congregations desire for the elder to reflect the teachings of scripture in his service.)

 

You can read the text of the Baptismal service by clicking here.


50 comments to Bible Student Baptism Service – How Different from a JW Baptism Service

  • sherry

    That verse was a good one. Is that why David wanted to put him to death? I mean David thanked Jehovah for doing it. And remember how David shoed that thinking? Nathan came and told him a story and asked David what should be done? Kill him was David’s reply. Yet the promised one to come would come through David’s line. And yes this one will be powerful also. Rev. 19

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Sherry – David’s motive for killing Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba, was an evil motive. He wanted Bathsheba for himself. The problem is that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. David was sitting comfortably on his throne. He was not longer going out in battle. Rather, others were fighting for him and the nation. David began to grow too comfortable with power. Even so, David actually tried to spare Uriah by tricking him into making love with his wife, Bathsheba, who was pregnant with David’s child. Uriah would not do so when his fellow soldier were risking their life in battle. David felt trapped realizing that he would be caught when Bathsheba gave birth to his son. David’s adultery would be revealed to all. Had he confessed his sin, the Lord and the people may have very well forgiven him. However David panicked and arranged for Uriah to be killed in battle. He could then take Bathsheba for his wife and hid his adultery.

      However, after the baby was born, Jehovah sent Nathan with a story to David that revealed to David his sin. David was humiliated and exposed before the nation. God punished David for his sins. David’s son died and he was told of future family trouble that would result as a consequence of his sin. Although David genuinely repented and God forgave him, still David would have to experience consequences for his actions. Wise parents do the same with their children on a smaller scale.

      The bottom line is that the Bible is honest. It reveals the good and bad of God’s servants and the lessons they learned. That is the whole point of the “permission of evil and suffering.” So that mankind will understand and appreciate the importance of love, mercy, justice and righteousness for eternity.

  • sherry

    The problem with that answer is why are all these people suffering in Hospices houses? Many are Jews? Your answer lacks balance, no offense please.

    Maybe you could help me and I will search also. In the fifth book of the Bible, I think, it says not to refuse bread to anyone.

    Will get back to you unless you find that part.

    I did like your answer the time before. So I try to balance things.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Sherry – Perhaps you are thinking of Leviticus 23:22 (NASV) “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the LORD your God.'”

      Also in Matthew 5:42 (NASV) “”Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.”

      I am trying to read between the lines here. Perhaps you are thinking that God is a hypocrite??? On the one hand he tells us to help the poor, give to him who asks and love our enemies, yet on the other hand he has permitted mankind to suffer for over six thousand years with sickness, dying, injustice, pain, etc. If this is your concern, I totally understand. The answer is in understanding what God’s purpose is in permitting evil and human suffering.

      Let me give you the super short answer. God is looking at the big picture of eternity, of blessing all the families of the earth forever. The pain of child birth is horrible, yet when over it seems worthwhile for the joy of having the newborn child coming into the world. This is God’s perspective. The only way mankind can truly eternally understand and appreciate the need for honesty, kindness, love, patience, fair justice, etc. is by experiencing evil for the short period of their life span. The history of mankind is full of tyrants, injustice and inhumanity. Mankind experiencing this evil for the short period of several decades, will for eternity appreciate the health, life, human perfection, fair justice and love that God’s kingdom will bring to everyone. They will not want to rebel and turn to evil, having already experiences the severe consequences of evil.

      Imagine if God had prevented Adam from sinning. We would have a race of billions of perfect people who have not experienced evil and do not understand the terrible consequences. Now Sherry, hypothetically, let’s say you are God and you prevented Satan from getting Adam and Eve to disobey. Now thousands of years later, with this perfect race of mankind that have never experienced sin, suddenly, you find people colluding together to take over the administration of the earth paradise and to even intimidate and kill others to achieve their ends. Looking at the big picture, how would you deal with this problem?

      In God’s plan, these people would not be tempted to do evil, because they would understand the horrible history of over six thousand years of suffering. So God’s plan eternally solves the problem. What would be your plan? How would you keep eternal peace, love and justice in the earth paradise.

      Sherry – this is not to put you on the spot if you don’t want to answer. I hope that even if you see things different that maybe you have a better understanding of what Bible Students are thinking.

      I think the passage below sheds some light on why God permits evil and human suffering (for a time that will end soon)

      Ecclesiaties 7:2-7 (NLT)
      “2 Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties.
      After all, everyone dies—
      so the living should take this to heart.
      3 Sorrow is better than laughter,
      for sadness has a refining influence on us.
      4 A wise person thinks a lot about death,
      while a fool thinks only about having a good time.”

  • sherry

    Very interesting, but what about the married man who refused David and his men bread? God had his life taken. How do we balance that with the men of Succoth?

    But looking at the men were all in the tower seems reasonable.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Sherry – You are referring to the story in 1 Samuel 25 about David, Nabal, and Abigail. David had protected Nabal’s sheep and yet was refused any food and provisions for his men. Rather Nabal insulted David. David’s was angry, but relented when Abigail apologized for her wicked husband and brought provisions for David and his men, which was only just payment for the wall of protection provided for Nabal and his possessions. When Nabal realized the potential danger he was in, he seems to have suffered a stroke and in 10 days died. The expression in verse 38 “the LORD struck Nabal and he died” seems to indicate that God ended quickly, rather than prolonged his dying.

      Perhaps your concern is whether or not it was just for God to end the life of Nabal? I could add to that, would it have been more merciful for God to let Nabal suffer for months before finally dying? Consider God’s promise to Numbers 24:9 (GNT) “Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed, And whoever curses Israel will be cursed.” As Nabal cursed David, an Israelite and servant of Jehovah, than we can see how he would be cursed as a result. However, since Nabal will be resurrected from the dead and have an opportunity for repentance, learning righteousness and life in the kingdom, from this perspective, ending his life early does not seem like such a terrible punishment.

      Sherry – do you have questions as to whether God is truly loving and just in a fair way?

  • jake

    Jacqueline & Peter K,

    Thanks for the responses! Hope to meet y’all in person someday!

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Jake, It would be nice to meet you someday also. If you are on the Wednesday night study say hello to us and Br. Brad will include you in the reads of the scriptures or like last night we are trying to get thru the material on the reformation and you will be included in the lineup for reading and commenting on the paragraph. Take Care.

  • Sherry

    Why did Gidion destroy all the males at Peniel, but not Succoth. Were they both not quilty of the same thing?

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Sherry,

      You ask an excellent question and we may not fully know the answer until God’s Kingdom is established on earth.

      So why would Gideon destroy ALL the men of Penuel, but not ALL the men of Succoth.

      Notice the following:

      Judges 8:14 (NASV) “And he [Gideon] captured a youth from Succoth and questioned him. Then the youth wrote down for him the princes of Succoth and its elders, seventy-seven men.”

      Since the youth identified the guilty elders of Succoth, Gideon was able to make a surgical strike so to speak and punish only the men who refused to aid Gideon’s men (who were doing the work of Jehovah). However, even so, Gideon did not kill them as with the men of Penuel.

      One point of view is that “the men Penuel” would have been the elders, however that is not clear from the verse and even, it so does not explain why they were killed. In Judges 8:7-8, Gideon had threatened to “thrash your bodies with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.” This applied to both the men of Succoth and the men of Penuel. It was not a threat to kill.

      We are not provided with details other than that Judges 8:17 (NASV) simply says, “He (Gideon) tore down the tower of Penuel and killed the men of the city.” Perhaps the men fled to the tower and were killed when it was torn down. Or perhaps as Gideon fulfilled his promise to tear down the tower (verse 9), the men of resisted and fought back against Gideon and were thus slain in battle.

      At any rate, I cannot answer your question with certainty, though I am inclined to favor the last suggestion.

  • jake

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for the reply. I enjoy the discourses I have seen/heard from you.

    Regarding the gowns, are they for modesty purposes? Or, perhaps to give the ceremony more formal respect?

    You also mentioned “Going back to the 1940s…”. Have gowns not always been used by the Bible Students.

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Jake hi, I was like you unaware of robes but was told everything would be provided at immersion. What a joy to see the robes!! Most religions use them ( don’t know why) but I felt modest before my God and onlookers.
      Wet tee-shirts and some not ready for what they could find in swimsuits, was always a concern for sisters when I was a witness.
      Again just a personal on the spot observation. Take care

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Jake – Just because denominational churches practice something, it doesn’t meant it is wrong. The Catholics and Baptists have music as part of their service. It doesn’t mean we should not. I think baptism robes have been a tradition of protestant churches practicing baptism and the practice did not seem objectionable. My opinion is that the robes help make the ceremony more serious and appropriate for the occasion. There have been “Dress for Success” books which illustrate that what we wear for an occasion has a psychological impact on the people around us. I would prefer a robe than that a sister wear a sexy bathing suite which would distract from the reverence and spirituality of the service. Br. Ken Rawson (an elder in his 80s) remembers as far back as the forties and I based my comment on that. I imagine that Bible Students had continued to do this from Br. Russell’s day.

  • jake

    Hello,

    In Bible Student groups, is it common for both the baptizer and baptized to wear black gowns for water baptism? Is there any background for this practice?

    Thank you and God bless,

    Jake

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Jake – Going back to the early 1940s robes have at times been black, gray and white. There is no particular significance to the color than perhaps what was available for sale at the time we were shopping for baptism robes.

  • Andrew Richard

    Dear Peter and Jacqueline:

    When a baptized JW leaves the religion and wishes to formally associate with the Bible Students, does he have to baptize again? Or is it just a matter of conscience? (I am asking this because I was baptized, as a JW, in 1989, but in my mind I was consecrating myself to Jehovah through Jesus. So much so, that later on I began partaking of the emblems. In my heart I was never being baptized into an organization…)

    In Christ,
    Andrew Richard

    • Jacqueline

      Hi Andrew, I was baptized in1960 but was a child, so I felt I didn’t know all the ramifications. To my knowledge you don’t have to be baptized. If fact that was an issue in my ecclias that I shouldn’t but I personally knew in my heart I had just understood. I learned the organization had formed already but my questions were different than yours also. And I wanted to be a vacation pioneer and that was the only way to do it. You however seemed to be older and with ability to make a decision. Br. Peter will answer you with the scriptures perhaps concerning this but that is how I reasoned on it. And here is the actual quotes on JW baptism questions. They may have changed again however:

      Watchtower changes Baptism Questions to include Dedication to Organization
      “Therefore now with your mouth make a public declaration of your faith by answering these two questions that I shall ask you, and let your answers be hearable, that all those about you may be witnesses to the declaration that you solemnly make:
      (1) Have you recognized yourself before Jehovah God as a sinner who needs salvation, and have you acknowledged to him that this salvation proceeds from him the Father through his Son Jesus Christ?
      (2) On the basis of this faith in God and in his provision for salvation, have you dedicated yourself unreservedly to God to do his will henceforth as he reveals it to you through Jesus Christ and through the Bible under the enlightenment of the holy spirit?” Watchtower 1956 July 1 p.407

      An important comment was made in 1955, something significantly contradicted in the arrangement introduced in 1985.
      “A Christian, therefore, cannot be baptized in the name of the one actually doing the immersing or in the name of any man, nor in the name of any organization, but in the name of the Father, the Son and the holy spirit.” Watchtower 1955 July 1 p.411
      “We do not dedicate ourselves to a religion, nor to a man, nor to an organization. No, we dedicate ourselves to the Supreme Sovereign of the Universe, our Creator, Jehovah God himself. This makes dedication a very personal relationship between us and Jehovah.” Watchtower 1966 October 1 pp.603-604

      In total disregard for these previous comments and Biblical examples, in 1985 the baptism questions changed, with the candidate having to announce their desire to become associated with an Organization.
      “At the close of the convention baptism talk, the baptism candidates will be in position to answer with depth of understanding and heartfelt appreciation two simple questions that serve to confirm that they recognize the implications of following Christ’s example.

      The first question is: On the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, have you repented of your sins and dedicated yourself to Jehovah to do his will?

      The second is: Do you understand that your dedication and baptism identify you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with God’s spirit-directed organization? Having answered yes to these questions, candidates are in a right heart condition to undergo Christian baptism.” Watchtower 1985 June 1 p.30

      So I say it is a matter for you to decide. Br. Peter will probably have the scriptural support, this is just what JW baptism was about. Take Care I have been there.

    • Andrew Richard

      Thank you very much, Sister Jacqueline, for your thoughtful comments. I am looking forward to Brother Peter scriptural view on the matter.

      • Peter K. (admin)

        Andrew – It is a personal decision. If you believe that when you were baptized while a JW that the Father accepted your 0consecration and that you received the Holy Spirit, it is not necessary to be baptized again, however you can do so again if you desire.

        At the time of the early church, some had already been baptized by John’s baptism, and then were baptized later into Christ. (Acts 19:1-7)

        • Andrew Richard

          Thank you, Bro. Peter, for your point of view. I truly think I was accepted by the Father and received His spirit. So I don’t see a reason to get baptized again, nor I feel compelled to do so. I speak this in truth, and our Father knows this.

          In Christ,
          Andrew Richard

  • Daz

    Hi Peter, yes it is the Watchtower 1 July 1955 page 411.

    • Daz

      Hi Peter, I have emailed you a picture of a copy of the page of the 1955 watchtower regarding baptizm so you can post it up on your site, hope that helps.

      Warm & loving regards,
      Daz

      • Peter K. (admin)

        Daz – Thanks!

        Quote and reference –
        “A Christian, therefore, cannot be baptized in the name of the one actually doing the immersing or in the name of any man, nor in the name of any organization, but in the name of the Father, the Son and the holy spirit.” Watchtower 1955 Jul 1 p.411

  • Daz

    Thankyou for this post!
    I was working towards baptism as a JW but the elders would not let me because of they way my hair was styled & what I did for a living contributed to their decision although what I do for a living in no way lewd in any way, just didn’t fit into their criteria I guess. So I was judged on my outward appearance & not for what was in my heart. I started searching the scriptures for reasoning that made them come to their decision but couldn’t find anything to support it. Then I learned of the many questions that are asked prior to your baptism & that you have to agree to get baptized into the organization which didn’t sit well with me so I researched it & found that a watchtower from 1955 quoted never to get baptized in the name of the one emersing you, or in the name of any man or into an organization but only into Christ. Well that was enough for me to realized, I question it & brought it up with an elder especially the fact regarding being baptized into the org even though a previous Watchtower spoke against it, all he could say was that Jehovah was an organized God so it makes sense that you get baptized into his organization. Even though I proved there was NO scriptual evidence of being baptized into an earthly organization he still stuck by his original reasoning.
    Now I am looking at being baptized into Christ & Christ alone, this is what Jesus instructed so that is what I am seeking to do.

    Warm & loving regards,
    Daz

    • Jacqueline

      Daz, I had to get immersed in 2012 in Christ to in part visibly show him that i was deceived and sorry for worshiping those men for so long and get his assured forgiveness for replacing him with this governingbody. I was baptized at 12 with the questions of 1955 but felt the org had already formed. At any rate I knew nothing about Jesus at that time as they didn’t preach Jesus. So I know how you feel. Take Care.

      • Daz

        Hi Jaqueline, thankyou for your reply, Jesus & Jehovah will understand the position you were in & would know where your heart was, you were mislead at such a young age & I am sure they would certainly recognize that fact & sympathize with how you felt later on in your life once you had realized.

        Warm & loving regards,
        Daz

    • Brettstone

      Daz-
      Good move… Keep on the path of life, it appears that Jah and Christ are calling to you and you are responding! It is going to save you a lot of hardship and difficulty not having to break the bonds of an organization. Enjoy your freedom in Christ..

      • Daz

        Hi Brett, thankyou for your kind words, it has been difficult & still is at times but I feel alot more at ease with myself, just wish I knew where I am going now. I am on a rollercoaster ride at the moment discovering new reasoning & meaning to the scriptures. Had a visit from a good JW friend who was recently appointed an elder, he & his family were out on ministry today & popped in to see us. It was lovely seeing them, had a nice talk with him, I told him there were some things that just sit right with me including 1914 doctrine, he was very willing to chat about & didn’t come across judgemental in in anyway, he has always been one I could talk too as we have alot in common but he is very for the organization & has been all over the world bulding for the org etc. I tried to encourage me to come back to meetings & if I am honest a little part of me was tempted as I miss him & his lovely family but in reality I know if I go back it would never be the same because of things I have learned outside the Watchtower, I would struggle to keep what I know quiet.
        Once again thankyou for your kind reply Brett,

        Warm & loving regards,
        Daz

        • Brettstone

          Daz-
          There are many of the fundemental truth there no doubt and that can be confusing. I am still an active member of the congregation although not as active as i have struggled know that there is “A Ransom for all” and that Armegedon is not what has been taught by thw WT, but is merely a take down of governments and authorities religious secular ect.. Also as you have prob read on E Watchman either all prophecies apply to disloyal spiritual isreal/JW organization and theyr reproved disciplined and then brought back?? Or as taught by Russell and Bible Students, literal isreal being reproved and disciplined then brought back.
          These new understandings make it very difficult to listen to or teach to others. And can easily put your consious in jeperody as i am struggling with.. The control is tough to break and not be ostrasized..

          • Daz

            Hi Brett, thankyou kindly for your reply. I feel for you my friend, it must be very difficult for you but be sure that Jehovah & Christ Jesus can see your struggle & will be there for you. It can be very daunting to break those chains & detach yourself from the teachings & discovering the REAL truth. I still question myself sometimes even though I know that my departing from the organization was the right thing to do. The friends we THOUGHT we had there don’t even contact us now, don’t even see concerned as to why they don’t see us at the meetings anymore. I feel that with some JW’s as regards to the friuts of the spirit & the new personality they put on that it’s not nurtured & practiced enough in the reality of their life but just put on as an outward show & not inbuilt in their heart, I wonder sometimes where is the love? I am not judging anyone as I struggle everyday to be a better person, some days are harder than others but the fact is I genuinely do try. That’s why when I was rejected for baptizm I was very hurt & felt let down because they did not know my inner struggle & what was in my heart. I look back now though & realize that it just wasn’t meant to be especially due to the organization’s batizmal vows being what they are now which lead me to questioning the baptizm process.
            I hope you find peace whilst you venture on your jouney & may God be with you in your efforts.

            Warm & loving regards,
            Daz

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Daz – Regarding the 1955 Watchtower – Do Yo have the exact citation and quote or even a link? This would be good to document. Thanks.

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