Recognize Analogies of Baptism
At the Lord’s direction, twelve thousand men were chosen from the tribes of Israel to go to war against the Midianites. The children of Israel were victorious and conquered the nation of Midian. (See Numbers 31:1–12.) When they returned with the spoils of the war, Eleazar the priest told the Israelites: “. . . Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water” (Numbers 31:23).
God’s command to His people to purify the spoils of war from a Gentile nation before they could be used gives us a picture of baptism by water and fire for purification. This is the same pattern we see in the redemption of man. The Lord Jesus fought for the souls of men and conquered Satan. Believers are, in effect, the “spoils” of that war, and they need to be cleansed.