I am requested to ask Brother E.G. Sewell to write a piece in regard to the proof of the baptism of the apostles.
Regarding John the Baptist it was said: “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:16f) John was to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. How did he do this? Answer: “And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” (Luke 3:3.) Every man that heard and believed the preaching of John, repented, and was baptized by him, received remission of sins, and in this way was made ready, prepared for the Lord. But those that refused to be baptized of John, rejected the counsel of God against themselves. (Luke 7:30.) When Christ came and selected his apostles, they were from among his disciples, and his first disciples were assuredly of those baptized by John, and were thus made ready for him. Therefore, the apostles were baptized by John in Jordan.
To suppose that the Savior would select his apostles from among men that rejected the baptism of John, when John’s mission was to make ready a people prepared for the Lord, is preposterous, especially so when those that rejected John’s baptism rejected the counsel of God. And would Jesus have selected his apostles from those that rejected his Father? Impossible, because Christ says of the apostles in his prayer to his Father: “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” (John 17:12)
God gave the apostles to Christ; and can anyone believe that God – after sending John the Baptist before Christ to prepare his way, to make his paths straight, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord – would then give him the apostles from among those that refused John’s baptism, which means they had refused God himself? The man that could believe that is not to be reasoned with. Moreover, God required Christ, his own Son, to be baptized of John before he had showed himself to Israel and before he owned him as his Son in the presence of the people; and Christ recognized the authority and will of the Father in the matter of baptism when he said to John: “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.”
Thus it was the will of God that Christ should be baptized. Now, will anyone say that God, after requiring Jesus to be baptized, having also sent John before him to make ready a people for him, would then select the apostles out of a lot of men that had already rejected him in refusing John’s baptism and give them to his Son as rebels against himself, when he did not own his own Son in the presence of the people till he was baptized? A man that can believe this could very easily believe any error that has ever been taught by man, even down to the effusions of Robert Ingersoll. But surely these reasons are sufficient to convince anyone that believes the Bible that the apostles were baptized by John.
Elisha G. Sewell