God promised Abraham that he would make a great nation through him (Gen 12:2). Moses would later deliver that nation of Israel from the bondage of the Egyptians. Israel was promised to be a blessing to the world as the stewards of God’s oracles (Gen 12:3, Rom 3:1-2).
The entire nation was prophesied to one day be the Priests of the Lord to the Gentiles:
“But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.” – Isa 61:6
God ordained Israel to be a kingdom of priests and an holy nation:
“ And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” – Exodus 19:6
To consecrate a priest under the old covenant required a cleansing and anointing ceremony. The ceremony included a water washing, oil anointing, and the sprinkling of sacrificial blood (Exo 29:1,4,7,20).
The Kingdom at Hand
When the time was fulfilled for the kingdom to come the nation had to be consecrated as priests. They were going to be washed, anointed, and sprinkled with the blood of a sacrifice.
John came baptizing the nation in water preaching “the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4). He told of another baptism with the Holy Ghost to come shortly after.
“I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” – Mark 1:8
This anointing with the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the believers at Pentecost as the oil anointing was poured out in the Aaronic priesthood.
Lastly, the blood of the sacrificial Lamb of God was shed to purchase the new and better covenant for the nation of priests (Heb 9:13-15).
The result is that a holy nation would enter the kingdom as priests of the Lord to minister to the Gentile nations.
Rites Not Right
Water baptism was a required rite of passage into the kingdom priesthood for Israel, as well as the Holy Ghost anointing.
Today, there is no one holy nation as there is no difference between Jew and Gentile. Gentiles are never included as priests in his kingdom. Also, Paul teaches us that we are “not under the law” and “strangers of the covenants of promise” (Rom 6:14, Eph 2:12).
Therefore, water rites, special anointings, or sacrificial sprinklings, which are a part of the law and the covenants, are unnecessary for us today when we learn that they were given for a special kingdom of priests.