Holy Water?

Do you know how so-called “holy water” is made? I stumbled upon an article recently that laid bare the secret process of making “holy water”.

Are you ready?

A Catholic priest by the name of Richard Tomlinson first explained, “Well, Holy Water is water that has been blessed by a priest, though other clergy (such as a bishop) can bless it as well. The two main uses are for baptism and as a sacramental—in blessing something or in the liturgy itself. And, like any sacramental, it’s ordered toward the sacrament, meaning the presence of Christ Himself. And so, in baptism, for example, the water was blessed by Christ (in His baptism), and then (through the priest) it is blessed again by Christ—and it takes away the stain of original sin or any other sins that have been committed. So, the Holy Water has a cleansing power, which is really crucial to the understanding of baptism. Thus, it symbolizes our baptismal purity, and it also signifies the protection that comes from that. It represents the physical activity of being purged of original sin; and represents being renewed and refreshed—as well as the ability to experience God’s grace in a pure and unadulterated way.”

Then he explained “I think it’s important to realize that Holy Water (in the Catholic tradition) is made by mixing blessed salt with water, and the blessed salt is there for the purpose of exorcisms. Salt has a long history of being used as a preservative, and also as a purifying agent. Specifically, salt mixed with water comes from Second Kings chapter 2, where the prophet Elisha is in Jericho. And the water there is not healthy. And so, the people ask him to do something about it. And he says, ‘bring me some salt’ and he put salt in the water, and then it becomes very sweet and good to drink. He says, ‘I have healed these waters.’ So, in the blessing of the salt (for the making of Holy Water), that action of Elisha [2 Kings 2:19-22] is actually referred to. And so, the Holy Water is a very powerful defense against evil spirits and evil thoughts within us. It brings us to that baptismal purity, and it also gives us protection from spiritual evil.”

The… huh? What? Defense against evil spirits? Evil thoughts? Really?

Here’s a question I’d love to ask Father Tomlinson: Why did Christ die on the cross?

Seriously. If we needed “holy water” to accomplish all these various things for us, then what, exactly, was the point of Christ dying on the cross?

You want to be blessed? You want to be cleansed? You want to remove the stain of original sin? You want to experience God’s grace in a pure and unadulterated way? You want to be protected from demons? You want to free your mind from evil thoughts? Make no mistake. You do not need “holy water” for any of that.

You look no further than the Word of God and the cross of Christ.

Just consider what Paul tells us about the redemptive power of the shed blood of Christ. We are “justified by his blood” (Rom. 5:9). We are declared righteous “through faith in his blood” (Rom. 3:25). We have “redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph.1:7). We are “made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13). We have peace with God “through the blood of his cross” (Col. 1:20).

2 Cor. 5:21 tells us, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Christ was made into something He wasn’t so we could be made into something we aren’t. He was made to be sin for us when He Himself never knew sin. He was made to be “a propitiation” for all our sins (Rom. 3:25). In other words, Christ took on the consequence for all your sins. Christ took on the penalty for all your sins. Christ took on the punishment for all your sins. So when you come to Him in faith trusting in who He is and what He accomplished for you at Calvary in His death, burial, and resurrection as a substitutionary atoning work for all your sins, then God the Father gives you the free gift of eternal life (Rom. 3:22-25, 4:5, 6:23), and you are made righteous in His eyes.

What Father Tomlinson and every poor soul trapped in the vice grip of religion fails to understand is the all-sufficiency of Christ’s victory for us on that cross at Calvary. Anything that is added to your salvation, including water baptism, is nothing less than an affront to the very cross of Christ (1 Cor. 1:17).

Why? For by the cross, our sins were fully dealt with (Rom. 3:21-26). For by the cross, we have forgiveness of all trespasses: past, present, and future (Col. 2:13, Eph. 4:23). For by the cross, we are baptized by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13), indwelt by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16), which protects us from demons, and we are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the redemption of our bodies (2 Cor. 1:22, Eph. 1:13, 4:30). For by the cross, we are “complete in Him” (Col. 2:10). How is that possible? Because by the cross, everything we were in Adam is crucified with Him (Rom. 6:6), and we are now “new creatures, behold all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). For by the cross, we are dead, buried, and risen with Him through the one baptism of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:5, Rom. 6:1-4). For by the cross, we have been made free from the power and the bondage of sin (Rom. 6:9-11,14, 18,22). For by the cross, we have been quickened together with Him, made alive unto God for His good use (Eph. 2:1,5, Col. 2:13). And by the cross, we are already seated “together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6).

And I must ask: Do we really need “holy water” as a defense against evil thoughts?

No. You will not find one verse in the Bible advocating “holy water,” explaining how “holy water” should be made, or how “holy water” should be used. That story about Elisha in 2 Kings 2 had to do with Israel, not the church today, the Body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23). That story was about Elisha proving through mighty miracles His God-given authority as the reigning prophet of Israel, the honored successor to Elijah. That story was never meant to be used for doctrine about “holy water,” not even for Israel.

We do not need “holy water.” We need only the “living water” (John 4:10, 7:38), “the water of life” (Rev. 22:17), which is the Word of God.

We must study His Word (2 Tim. 2:15) to renew our minds (Rom. 12:2) to fulfill the will of the Father by allowing Christ’s thinking to become our thinking (Eph. 1:17-23).

Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 2:12, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God…” Why? So “that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” The Holy Spirit uses His Word to teach us everything we are now in Christ, to show us all the many ways in which God has “blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3), and by teaching us the spiritual reality of our new lives in Christ and the hope and glory to come, He gives us strength and empowerment. His Word reveals not only the means of salvation by His grace but also all the grace that’s abounded toward us to such a degree that we now always have “all sufficiency in all things” (2 Cor. 9:8), and we’re made able to serve Him by “faith with power” (2 Thess. 1:11). God wants us to know all the things He’s freely given to us, because He empowers us when we gain that knowledge in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.

The Holy Spirit energizes us with those truths. He renews our minds, and all these beautiful grace truths become a practical reality in our walk. When we take in His Word of grace, we build up that edifice of grace doctrine in our souls. When His grace is understood, it works in us. It takes root in us. It builds us up in Him. It establishes us in the faith, and it transforms us into the image of Christ, so that His love becomes our love, His peace becomes our peace, and His thinking becomes our thinking.

When Christ spoke of the living water and the water of life, He was illustrating a spiritual concept using a physical need – being thirsty. If you come to Christ with your deepest spiritual needs, if you accept by faith what is written in the Word of God to you, then you’ll never be spiritually thirsty again. Like a thirsty man who shall never thirst again, the man who comes to Christ with all of his spiritual needs will not only be filled to the full but the truth of God shall also become in him a well of water, because nothing less than the fountain of life springs out of His Word. So the living word (Heb. 4:12) is also called the water of life because His life is in His Word and His Word produces His life in you, which then produces His life in others because you’re now exhibiting and sharing His life and His gospel that gave you life. His Word is a living fountain. Alive. Living water, running water, because it’s always in motion, always producing life.

I loved what Henry Clarence Thiessen once wrote about the Word of God. He said, “The Bible is a Hammer (Jer. 23:29) with which to break the hard heart; it is a Critic/Discerner (Heb. 4:12) of the ‘thoughts and intents of the heart’; it is a Mirror (2 Cor. 3:18; Jas. 1:25) to reveal the true condition of man; it is a Laver (Eph. 5:26; Ps. 119:11; John 15:3) for the washing of the defiled; it is Seed (Luke 8:11; 1 Pet. 1:23) for the soil; it is the Sun (Ps. 19:1-6) for the seed sown; it is the Rain and the Snow (Isa. 55:10,11) for the seed sown; it is Food (Job 23:12) for the hungry,–milk for babes (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, 13) bread for the more mature (Deut. 8:3; Isa. 55:1, 2), strong meat for the full grown (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5: 12-14), and Honey for all (Ps. 19:10); it is Gold (Ps. 19:10; 119:72) for the poor; it is a Lamp (Ps. 119:105; Prov. 6:23; 2 Cor. 4:6; 2 Pet. 1:19) for the traveler; it is a Sword (Eph. 6:17; Heb. 4:12; Rev. 19:15) for the soldier; and it is Fire (Jer. 20:9; 23:29; Ps. 39:3) to impel the believer to service.”

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Máire Íde says:

    Where to begin?
    Ok Joel.
    Talk to me about the concept of authority from a Biblical point of view and in the spiritual realm. Then talk to me about the apostles and what their election by Jesus signifies.


    1. Joel Hayes says:

      Hello! That is a superb question! I genuinely hope you seriously and prayerfully consider this answer.

      Perhaps I could use the “Great Commission” and water baptism to illustrate. Tell me. In the “Great Commission,” Peter and the 12 were told, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost…” Right? Matt. 28:19. Yet, Paul said in 1 Cor. 1:17 that “Christ sent me not to baptize.” How do you explain that? Do you think Peter and the 12 could say that? They were SPECIFICALLY told to baptize, were they not? If they were all operating under the same “commission,” then why would Paul say, “Christ sent me not to baptize”?

      Here’s another question. How many different types of baptism are there in the Bible? You probably know that Matt. 3:11 showcases three different types of baptism: water, Spirit, and fire. Yet, Paul says in Eph. 4:4-5 that “there is” only “One Lord, one faith, ONE BAPTISM.” Does not one mean one? How can this one baptism not be the baptism of the Spirit that takes place the moment we believe (1 Cor. 12:13)?

      Here’s another one. In the Gospels, forgiving others was a requirement to receive forgiveness from God the Father. The Lord said in Matt. 6:14-15, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Paul says that we’ve already been forgiven! Eph. 4:32 tells us, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake HATH forgiven you.” Plus, Col. 2:13 tells us, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you ALL TRESPASSES.”

      How do you reconcile these contradictions? There’s only one answer. Paul is our apostle for today. Prayerfully consider that what the Lord revealed to us through Paul was entirely different than what had been taught before him, which is why Paul three times talks about “my gospel” (Rom. 2:16; 16:25; 2 Tim. 2:8), because his good news was different than the good news of the kingdom being “at hand.” This is why Paul three times under inspiration of the Holy Spirit tells us to “be ye followers of me” (1 Cor. 4:16; 1 Cor. 11:1; Phil. 3:17). Does he say those things because he’s some kind of weirdo egomaniac? No. He said those things because HE is our God-given apostle for today, not the 12 disciples.

      Why? Because we are in a new “dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:2), an interruption in the prophetic program in which God is now dispensing His grace to all, Jew and Gentile alike, who come to Him by faith trusting in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ as a payment for all our sins. God revealed this to Paul in a “mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:25-27).

      We, therefore, must “rightly divide the Word of Truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). In the Majority Text manuscripts, which is the written Word of God, rightly dividing was accurately translated in the King James Bible from the Greek word, orthotomeo, which means to dissect correctly, or to make a straight cut, or to rightly divide. We must make a straight cut in the Bible between what is spoken to us and what isn’t, between God’s kingdom program for Israel and God’s grace program for us, between prophecy and mystery, between Israel and the church today, the Body of Christ.

      Which brings us back to the point of the article. What Paul taught was the all-sufficiency of Christ’s atoning work on that cross at Calvary and anything you add to it is an affront the cross itself.


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