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We are all familiar with the traditions of baptism by what is a centrepiece of church ritual, from infant baptism to water immersion baptism for adults, and as such, their need and place is not the topic today.

Less familiar to the church in general are the baptisms of fire and of the Holy Spirit[1], which is not taught or practised in most churches except the Full Gospel and Pentecostal, and even then, these baptisms appear to be waning, particularly in the cathedral building congregations.  It is sufficient for me to remind you that it is Jesus who is the Baptiser, and not men, when it comes to baptisms of fire and of the Holy Spirit. 

What does baptism really mean, aside from the pat standard reply of cleansing and immersion of one into another?  The understanding of the process of baptism has not been fully explored and the implication of baptism has not been taught enough, and if it is taught, it has been taught erroneously in the context of confirmation of salvation.  Salvation is by faith through grace, but no ritualistic baptism with water confirms your salvation.  The confirmation of your salvation does involve baptism, not of water, but rather of the Holy Spirit into whom Jesus baptises us, and He is placed in us as Paul wrote:  Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.[2]

What is the significance of your immersion in baptism?  The clue to this is in what Paul wrote:  For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.  They were all baptised into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.  They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink…[3]  Paul did not say they were all baptised with Moses, for Moses also went through the same cloud of glory and the same sea, but that they were baptised into Moses, which means all the Israelites were immersed into Moses as Moses was immersed into them.  Great, but what does that imply?  It implies that they were made one with Moses, and being one with Moses, they were capable or rather were meant to be capable of doing all that Moses had been doing, and doing even greater things than Moses.  What Jesus said for all His believers, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father,”[4] God also planned for the Israelites.  God was going to bring glory to Himself and honour to Israel by bringing all of Israel into Moses, so that the other Israelites would be able to do what Moses did.  Imagine a nation of people, all of whom could do the signs and wonders of Moses as Moses did.  What a truly super power of a nation!

This is not my theory, but indeed God did have that on His heart, for when the Israelites were in the desert, God first came to them in Exodus 19 wanting to speak to all of them directly as He had spoken to Moses, except as we all know, the Israelites rejected this direct access to God but instead chose an indirect access to God, saying to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen.  But do not have God speak to us or we will die.”[5]  When they did that, they denied for themselves the opportunity of direct discipleship by God and with God.  When that happened, even Joshua could not do as many miracles as Moses, for Moses discipled Joshua and Joshua was not discipled directly by God as Moses was.  Because of that lack of direct discipleship, Israel’s miraculous power subsided and only when Elijah and Elisha were raised up did the miraculous manifest for a while. 

The commandments God gave them in Exodus 20 were to prepare them morally to live a miraculous life to be a morally righteous nation, to whom God could entrust a measure of miraculous power of the Mosaic measure.  However, unless you are directly discipled by God, you cannot be entrusted even with the Mosaic measure.  Elijah and Elisha were not entrusted with the Mosaic measure.  They did not have the power to bring nations to their knees, only the power to defend Israel.  Even Elisha’s blinding of the Aramean army cannot be compared to Moses’ drowning of the Egyptian army.  By the time Moses and the Israelites had crossed over, Egypt was decimated.  Elisha did not, and was not able to decimate Aram.

Thus, the baptism of Israel into Moses was the deposit that God was giving them that He would teach them and speak to them from a cloud directly, just like He did Moses, and train them up to the miraculous realm under the guidance of His moral laws of the Ten Commandments.  Israel rejected this, and we know her fate from the Books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.  Without the power they were forced to resort to eating their own sons and daughters during the sieges of Nebuchadnezzar.  How different it would have been for them had they the power to multiply the food like Elisha did.

Paul wrote:  What shall we say, then?  Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means!  We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death?  We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  If we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection.[6]  And Christ is not waiting to be resurrected, but has risen, is alive and is at the right hand of the Father.  Likewise, we do not have to wait for the resurrection event to live in that same resurrection power, but by and large, we cannot, because just like the Israelites, we rejected a direct audience and direct discipleship by the Lord and preferred Moses to speak to us on God’s behalf.

When James the younger proposed that we Gentiles should abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood, for Moses has been preached,[7] he turned us all away from listening to the Lord directly and back to listening to Moses.  So like the Israelites, the second generation of the church and onwards saw believers being disciplined by disciples who listened to Moses and not to Jesus in many parts of the church, with the historically recorded loss of miraculous power in the church until miracles became an oddity rather than a staple act of the church.  We were reduced to a worship of saints and relics that are as much an affront to God as the idols of Baal were in Israel.  For when we were told to listen to Moses, we no longer listened to Jesus who had asked the Father to give us another Counsellor, the Holy Spirit.

Just as the Father desired to speak directly to the Israelites from Mount Sinai, so the Lord Jesus wanted us to hear directly from the Father through the Holy Spirit, after the Lord Himself had ascended to Heaven.  Jesus wants us who were baptised into Him to be with Him where He is and to see His glory.[8]  He said that, knowing that He would be at the right hand of the Father, alive because of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Glory.  As it was the Holy Spirit whose power allowed Jesus to overcome all the elements, even death, so Jesus wanted us who were baptised into Him to have that same power.  The commands, decrees and words of Jesus were to teach us to live the morally worthy life… life that was worthy of God’s trust, so that the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit would be entrusted to the church as it has been entrusted to Jesus.  So that indeed, we who believe in Him would do the things that He has been doing, but also go on to do the greater things.[9]  So much did Jesus want for us what He had, and to do what He could do, that He baptised us with the Holy Spirit as He said to the early church, “For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”[10]

Indeed, they were and we have been baptised into Christ by faith, and Christ has baptised us with the Holy Spirit.  Baptised, so that we could do what He did by being discipled by the Holy Spirit, as the Holy Spirit would remind us of all that Jesus had said,[11] and make known to us all that belongs to the Lord.[12]

Concerning the Law, Paul said, before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.  So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ [Or charge until Christ came] that we might be justified by faith.  Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.[13]  So that we who are baptised into Christ, are no longer under the supervision of the Law, but under the supervision of Christ, just as the Israelites, who were baptised into Moses, were to be put under the supervision of the Law of Exodus 20.  Thus the words of Christ, His decrees, His laws and His commands that the Father commanded us to listen to when He said, “Listen to Him,”[14] were to supervise us until perfection came.  The words of Jesus were to supervise us to live a life worthy for crucifixion with Him and in Him, and not just crucifixion, but for resurrection in Him and to manifest a life of superior morality, superior to that demanded by the Law, so that we would love our enemies, turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, bless when we are cursed… a superior morality that would make us worthy of being entrusted with the power to do what He had been doing as He said in John 14:12.  However, you are only in need of a supervisor until your growth is complete and your maturity is complete, and indeed, your perfection is complete.

The words of Jesus supervised us, as the Law supervised the Israelites, until we came to the place where we could be fit to hear the words of the Holy Spirit, just as the Jews came to the place where some were found fit to listen to the words of Jesus.  Those among the Jews who were found fit to listen to Jesus were not those who were sure of their success in their observance of the Law like the rich young man or the Pharisees, but those who by their own assessment of themselves had so failed the standards of the day, that they were not allowed to listen to the words of Moses that came out of mouths sanctified by self righteousness, but sat at the feet of the One they had rejected and had called ‘Beelzebub’, ‘mad’, ‘demon-possessed’ and ‘a friend of sinners’.  Ones, such as Mary, sister of Martha and sinners like Matthew, John and Peter.

So, likewise now among those who have been under the supervision of the words of Jesus Christ, there are some who are fit and worthy of listening to the words of the Holy Spirit.  In the same way, they are not the rich or the high official ones of the church who are sure of their observance of the words of Jesus in the apostolic fashion, but those who are not worthy of the church’s version of the apostolic fashion who will be privileged to hear the words of the Holy Spirit and be put under the supervision of the Law of the Spirit of Life, against which there is no condemnation.  What is the Law of the Spirit of Life, except the words that come directly from the Holy Spirit Himself, words that are not of the Father or of the Son, but His words?  It is the Law that, as Paul said, through Christ Jesus the Law of the Spirit of Life set me free from the law of sin and death.[15]  Indeed, Paul was not always in agreement with apostolic traditions and came into conflict with the apostles, Peter and James, and the teachings of James.  Yet Paul knew that there was no condemnation for him for all that he had done and said, for Paul was one who had not only passed over from supervision by the Law to supervision by Christ, to be hand picked and set aside by the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”[16]

Our brother Paul was our forefather as an elect of the Holy Spirit, and he was baptised not only with the Holy Spirit, but into the Holy Spirit through whom he was caught up to the third heavens and heard inexpressible things, things which man is not permitted to tell.[17]  In the same way, John, “On the Lord’s Day, was in the Spirit,”[18] and was shown what is written in the Book of Revelation.

The Spirit of God does speak on His Own.  He is the one who, with the bride, says to Jesus, “Come!”[19]  And He said, “Yes, they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”[20]  So, do not be surprised that I should tell you that some will be passed over from supervision by the Law of Christ to supervision by the Law of the Spirit.  Those who have learned to recognise His voice, the voice of the Holy Spirit, will be supervised by the Holy Spirit. 

Those who practise the words of Moses are supervised by Moses and are judged accordingly.  Those who practise the words of Jesus are supervised by Jesus, and will be judged accordingly.  Those who can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit to practise the words of the Holy Spirit will be supervised by the Holy Spirit, and will be judged accordingly.  They will be judged by the Law of the Spirit of Life, the same Spirit who gave His power to resurrect Jesus after He became the sin offering and hung as an accursed one on the cross.  Thus the Law of the Spirit of Life is the Law of Resurrection for all, and anyone who opposes the resurrection has broken the Law of the Spirit of Life, and is worthy, not for judgment by death, but worthy of judgment by the second death.

That is why the false prophet and the beast are thrown alive into the fiery Lake of Burning Sulphur.[21]  Not for them the fate of man to die and then face judgment, but they do not die and without dying are thrown into the lake without judgment, only condemnation.  Why?  Because they had opposed the word of the Holy Spirit and opposed the Resurrection Himself, thus blaspheming the Holy Spirit.  The Law of the Spirit of Life is fulfilled for all who strive to become worthy of the first resurrection, for all who desire to be beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God.  They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands.[22]

So, as an elect of the Holy Spirit who has been raised up in careful discipline to recognise the voice of the Holy Spirit, understand and know this of baptisms… as the Jews were baptised into Moses at the Red Sea, so you were baptised into Christ when you believed.  But now that you know and understand the will of God and the mind of God, you will be baptised into the Holy Spirit under whose supervision and whose Law you will live – a law that does not say you will die, but a law that sets you free from sin and death – a law that does not demand a laying down of the foundation of repentance of acts that lead to death and a law that replaced the faith in God that is based on belief by a faith in God that is based on knowing.

And just as it was God’s hope and it was in His imagination that the Israelites would be raised up to do what Moses had been doing, so now, it is the revelation that God had always hoped and imagined that those He gave to Jesus would do what Jesus had been doing, and it is in the imagination and hope of Jesus that those He called would do what the Holy Spirit had been doing for the glory and honour and praise of Their Name, the Lord God Almighty.

That is why Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in My Name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  You may ask Me for anything in My Name, and I will do it.” [23]

So ask… ask the Lord to baptise you into the Lord in His Name, so that you who are baptised into Christ by His death, and His life by His resurrection, are also baptised into the Holy Spirit in whom the fullness of perfection dwells in all power without limit.  This is for the Father’s glory.

Like the first instruction to the Jews and then to the church, prepare yourselves and wait on the Lord.  If you have not finished your preparation, continue your work and be ready, for the Lord is arriving soon!  AMEN.

Be baptised into the Holy Spirit so that you will know what to lay your hands on as the elect of the Lord, the Spirit of God.

[1] Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16

[2] 2 Corinthians 5:5

[3] 1 Corinthians 10:1-4

[4] John 14:12

[5] Exodus 20:19; Deuteronomy 5:22-27

[6] Romans 6:1-5

[7] Acts 15:20-21

[8] John 17:24

[9] John 14:12

[10] Acts 1:5

[11] John 14;26

[12] John 16:15

[13] Galatians 3:23-25

[14] Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35

[15] Romans 8:2

[16] Acts 13:2

[17] 2 Corinthians 12:2-4

[18] Revelation 1:10

[19] Revelation 22:17

[20] Revelation 14:13

[21] Revelation 19:20

[22] Revelation 20:4

[23] John 14:12-14


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