jgnat yep ..forgot about the ethiopian.and found a few other mentions of water.
though i disagree that there was a set pattern clear in the bible.as you said " The bible pattern is quite clear; repentance, baptism in water, then baptism with the Holy Spirit" .i found passages where ppl recieved holy spirit before baptism. with paul for instance that repentance came after he recieved holy spirit. .and again with cornelius spirit first then although baptisum isnt done it is indicated as being on the cards.
paul and corneiulus were it seems special bt it doesnt mean they are the only ones ever, if we insist on some biblical pattern then it would be possible to deny some person who also recives holy spirit first before baptisum and attempt to correct them in ignorance. the old testement has plenty of people who received holy spirit before john and him being full of holy spirit from birth.
holy spirit isnt automatic it seems from what ive read some ppl didnt get i till they were prayed for.other till hands were layed on..and others still recieved it before baptisum from god himself or by disciples.
also you said"I don't think there is a single bible example of water being replaced by fire."
i found 2 instances where belivers who had previoulsy had the baptism of john then had to be baptised again because the baptism was not " in the lord" then recieved holy spirit when hands were layed on them.acts 8:14-16 and 19:4 .if johns hasnt been replaced or discontinued then weshould have 2 baptisms and then holy spirit.
lasty no matter how many ppl ive met who have been baptised there is no sign of holy spirit.
infact holy spirit seems to be something no one experiences any more.
in the bible the holy spirit is obvious but today theres nothing ... in the org holyspirit is suppose to choose the elected elder......yet im told they say a prayer before voting then vote..shorley all the votes would be for the same person...but thats not the case im told..so the holy spirit must have a split personality .
no similarity between holy spirit today and the biblical holy spirit..so there doesnt seem to be much of a pattern.
ppl get baptised and thats it.........unless you counted ppl falling on the floor and jabbering in supposed tounges that no one ever understands.
peacfull pete interesting thanks. ive read about the temple in the kurdish mountains that is the Zoroastrianism temple of old...very sacred place supposedly has a large pool of water thats some sacred thing.
water being a thing we all washing with im not surprised its used ritually for other religions .but you notice in judaisum that washing and cleansing is assosiated with judaic worship before john the baptists time.its not a huge leap.