Les Feldicks, who is an ultradispensationalists, presents his view on baptism on his on-line Question and Answers, in response to “What is the meaning of baptism.” His answer is found in Book 8 LESSON ONE * PART IV
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: (many people will disagree, but I’m convinced this is not a water baptism. Water baptism cannot do what Paul is talking about here.) that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
No baptism can give new life. Only the power of God can do that. So I am convinced, maybe contrary to the way I was taught in my earlier years, that this is Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Paul speaks of this in I Corinthians Chapter 12. I hadn’t intended to do this but I feel the Spirit is leading this way for a reason, so let’s look at this verse. In Chapter 12 is what I consider the only valid baptism for us in this Age of Grace. And it’s a baptism that human hands cannot touch; it’s a baptism that a lost person can have no part in. In water baptism, we can never be sure of a person’s salvation.
I was brought up in a congregation where candidates for baptism were examined very thoroughly, yet I’ve come to the conclusion in my later years that there is no way a group of men, or pastors, can truly determine a person’s salvation. We can hear their testimony and come to some human conclusions, but we can never look on the heart. That is something that only God Himself can do.
Both moderate and extreme types of ultradispensationalists reject the origin of the church on the Day of Pentecost. “They all hold that the church could not have begun at Pentecost, for the revelation of it was exclusively Pauline” (Radmacher, page 207). The moderates and extremes disagree as to when the church started and also they disagree concerning the church’s two ordinances.
The movement is also known as the Grace Gospel Fellowship and the Grace Movement. Its literary organ is The Berean Searchlight. E. W. Bullinger (1837-1913) is thought by some to be the father of ultradispensationalism. Bullinger believes the church started after Acts 28 and the church that practiced baptism and the Lord’s Supper was a Jewish church and not the true church or the mystery body of Christ which was exclusively revealed to Paul in the Prison Epistles. Bullinger believed in no ordinances.
Moderate ultradispensationalists believe in one church ordinance, the Lord’s Supper, and that the church started at in Acts 9 (Cornelius A. Stam), Acts 13:46 or 18:6 (J. C. O’Hair). Ultradispensationalist Charles Baker (1910-2001) was moderate and therefore rejected water baptism for this dispensation. “If anything is evident from the pages of the epistles it is that the ritual has given place to the spiritual. And that is exactly what we of the Grace Movement believe: that the ritual baptism has ceased, leaving us with the one baptism which is spiritual; not the Spirit’s baptism in miraculous powers as at Pentecost, but the Spirit’s baptism of believing Jews and Gentiles into the Body of Christ” (Bible Truth: What We Believe and Why, pages 32-33). While Baker rejects water baptism because it is a ritual he does not reject the Lord’s Supper which is also just as much a ritual.
The way to disprove the extreme and moderate views ultradispensationalism is to prove that the church started on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. “Baker contends that a new dispensation began with Paul. The Pauline revelation results in the joining together of Jews and Gentiles as joint members of a joint body; whereas at Pentecost the message was to Jews only and it continued that way for several years. Thus, they see a different church in the latter part of Acts from that Jewish church established at Pentecost” (Radmacher, page 207).
C. I. Scofield espoused this view in his notes in reference to the mystery of the church: “The revelation of this mystery, which was foretold but not explained by Christ (Mt. 16:18), was committed to Paul. In his writings alone we find the doctrine, position, walk, and destiny of the church” (The Scofield Reference Bible, page 1252).
Here are the arguments that prove that the church started on the Day of Pentecost. The word “church” is used before Paul’s conversion in Acts 9. Even during the life of Christ, Christ gave early suggestions of the coming church in John 14:20: “At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me and I in you.”
The word “church” is used in Acts 5:11. In Gal. 1:13 and 1 Cor.15:9, Paul testified that before his conversion in Acts 9, he persecuted the church. Not only was information about the church given by Christ and information about the church before Paul’s conversion, but Paul himself never claimed to be the only receptor of church information. In Eph. 3:5, Paul wrote in reference to the mystery of the church: “Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.”
Therefore the observances of baptisms and Lord’s Suppers in the book of Acts are not limited to a Jewish dispensation. The Great Commission command to baptize in Matthew 28:19-20 cannot not be limited to a Jewish dispensation or Kingdom Gospel , when Christ said that “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.”