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Concerning baptism, you should baptize this way: After first explaining all things, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in flowing water. But if you have no running water, baptize in other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, then in warm. If you have very little, pour water three times on the head in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. Before the baptism, both the baptizer and the candidate for baptism, plus any others who can, should fast. The candidate should fast for one or two days beforehand. (Didache, chapter 7) The Didache or The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles is a brief early Christian treatise, dated by most scholars to the late first or early 2nd century. The first line of this treatise is "Teaching of the Lord to the Gentiles (or Nations) by the Twelve Apostles".
Baptism is performed as an indication of the superior cleanliness and moral standard required by all those functioning as priests for intercessory and other purposes. The baptism of John the Baptist released those baptized from the authority of the Aaronic priesthood in preparation for the appearance of the Messiah. John was of the Aaronic priesthood and in effect gave those he baptized the spiritual authority to function as intercessors independently of the Aaronic priesthood. Baptism was by total immersion for Jews only. The baptism of Christ brings new Christians, either Jew or Gentile, directly into the Melchizedek priesthood. It is the spiritually more profound ritual since we symbolically participate in the death and new life of Christ as a new creation. Since the two baptisms are different in intention, the Christian ritual can be different in differing circumstances. Nothing, such as a shortage of sufficient water, can prevent Christianity from effecting baptism since the Holy Spirit can confirm the baptism regardless of how much water is actually used.
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