Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
How Can You Be Saved?
What's All This About Water Baptism?
Is 'baptism" necessary for salvation? Just what is baptism, anyway? What about different forms of "baptism"? Is sprinkling, pouring, baptism of babies, all right? What is the Biblical, inspired method of baptism? What is the PURPOSE of baptism? Is it necessary for salvation? Here is VITAL TRUTH every one needs to know and understand!
by HOIM Staff
To most people, today, baptism seems like an archaic, ancient custom with no relevance to modern life. It seems like some mysterious ritual performed in various churches -- and different churches teach different methods of baptism. I heard of one church in Harlem which used fire hoses to "douse" people with water in the streets, and this was called "baptism."
What is baptism, anyway? What relevance does it have to you, your life -- your eternal salvation? Is baptism necessary to be "saved"? What does "saved" mean, anyway? What is this thing we call "salvation"? Why do we need it? When do we "get" it? What does baptism have to do with it? Can a person enter the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God without being "baptized"? What did YESHUA teach? What is the TRUTH of YEHOVAH God on this subject?
It is time we cleared away the cobwebs, and took a NEW LOOK at this thing called "water baptism"! Your eternal life and destiny could be at stake!
The Baptism of John
The first mention of baptism in the Word of YEHOVAH God occurs in the gospel of Matthew. We read that John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying to the crowds, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matt. 3:2, NIV). His fiery message attracted a great deal of attention. "People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River" (Matt. 3:5-6).
Notice, first of all, that this "baptism" was done in a river -- not a church, synagogue, or building. But now notice further. "But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: 'You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. . . . The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. -- I baptize you with WATER for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than 1, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire'" (verses 7-12).
The purpose of baptism was to show a person's repentance from sin and wickedness. But self-righteous hypocrites were not to be baptized. Only those who truly repented of their sins, and sincerely wanted to serve YEHOVAH God and give their lives to Him -- and who sought the kingdom of YEHOVAH God. Those seeking baptism, so they could enter the kingdom of YEHOVAH God, were warned by John to bring forth "fruits" in their lives to prove their repentance was sincere and wholehearted. Those who do not do so, he warned, would be burned up like chaff in the day of Judgment!
The Baptism of Yeshua
Shortly after this, we read an astonishing thing. Notice! "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, 'I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?' Jesus replied, 'Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.' Then John consented.
"As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased'" (Matt. 3:13-17).
First of all, let's ask ourselves, Why did YESHUA baptize himself? As John said, he needed to be baptized in Yeshua's presence, not the other way around. The Son of God, who was perfect, did not have any sins to repent of. So why did he get baptized? Yeshua explained that it was proper for him to be baptized "to fulfill all righteousness." What did he mean?
The answer is given by Peter. He writes, "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an EXAMPLE, that you should FOLLOW IN HIS STEPS" (I Pet. 2:21). The apostle John adds, "This is how we know we are IN him: Whoever claims to live in him must WALK AS JESUS DID" (I John 2:6).
Yeshua baptized himself in water, in the Jordan River, SETTING US AN EXAMPLE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS! He did this for our sakes -- to show us plainly that WE MUST BE BAPTIZED, IF WE INTEND TO FOLLOW HIM!
Notice, further, that when Yeshua was baptized, He "went UP out of the water." This implies very plainly that to be baptized, he went down into the water -- his body was submerged into the river, and then he came up out of the river. This shows us plainly that such things as "pouring," "sprinkling," and so forth are NOT BIBLICAL FORMS OF BAPTISM! The Greek word for "baptize" is "baptizo" and means, literally: "to dip repeatedly, IMMERSE, SUBMERGE (of vessels sunk); to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water." It means literally to be "overwhelmed with water."
What Yeshua Commanded
After Yeshua began his ministry, we read, "After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, BECAUSE THERE WAS PLENTY OF WATER, and people were constantly coming to be baptized. This was before John was put in prison" (John 3:22-24).
Continuing the account, we read, "The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee" (John 4:1-3).
Like John the Baptist, who went before him, Yeshua came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God, telling people, "The time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news" (Mark 1:15). When people accepted the message from YEHOVAH, and repented of their sins, they were baptized. Yeshua himself did not supervise the actual baptizing, but his disciples whom he had called to be leaders in the Church did it under his guidance. Clearly, baptism was part of the message Yeshua brought -- it was an outward sign of the inward repentance of the people who accepted the truth of YEHOVAH God and repented of their sins.
After his resurrection, as he gave his final instructions to his disciples, he told them: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, BAPTIZING THEM in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age'" (Matt. 28:18-20).
The gospel of Marks records Yeshua's final commands, "He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is BAPTIZED will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned [judged]'" (Mark 16:15-16).
It should be obvious that water baptism is VERY IMPORTANT! It is not something to be taken lightly, or dismissed as unnecessary. Yeshua commanded it! And he is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior!
If YOU desire salvation, and entrance into the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God, THEN YOU MUST BE BAPTIZED! If you desire to be among the saints, in the First Resurrection, on whom the second death has no power, and to rule with YEHOVAH God and His Messiah, THEN YOU MUST BE BAPTIZED! Repentance from sin, and from going your own way, like a lost sheep, must be followed by WATER BAPTISM, as the outward sign of your inward repentance!
Baptism in the Early Ecclesia
In the first sermon given in the early Ecclesia, on the day of Pentecost, when the Ecclesia was founded, and the spirit of YEHOVAH God came upon all the disciples, Peter addressed the unconverted crowds who had witnessed the miracles of the holy spirit empowering people to speak in various languages (Acts 2:1-14). He told the gathered crowd that these disciples were not drunk with wine, but that the prophecy of Joel was fulfilled, and the spirit of YEHOVAH God had descended upon men. He then told them that Yeshua was the Messiah, sent by YEHOVAH, and had been resurrected from the dead, and the one they had crucified was now made both Lord and Messiah (verse 36).
The people were so shaken by the miracles they had just witnessed, and this powerful testimony of Peter, and his indictment of their sins, that they cried out to him, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
Peter replied, in timeless words, that apply to you and to me, "REPENT AND BE BAPTIZED, EVERY ONE OF YOU, in the name of Yeshua the Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins. And YOU will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for YOU and YOUR CHILDREN and for all who are far off -- for all whom the Lord our God will call" (Acts 2:36-39).
With many other words, Peter spoke to the crowd, and exhorted them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation" (Acts 2:40). Luke, the author of the book of Acts, records, "Those who accepted his message were BAPTIZED, and about three thousand were added to their number that day" (v.41).
Those who come to see themselves as sinful and filthy in the sight of YEHOVAH God, covered with sins, and who want to be SAVED, and to be a part of YEHOVAH's coming Kingdom, and to be spared from the WRATH OF YEHOVAH GOD which is shortly coming upon this wicked world, must REPENT of their sins, in humble and sincere contrition and humiliation, and TURN TO YEHOVAH GOD, asking for His forgiveness. And as the outward SIGN of this deep, sincere, inner repentance, THEY MUST BE BAPTIZED! Those who are NOT baptized, Yeshua said to his disciples, WILL BE JUDGED! That is, they will be judged by YEHOVAH God, and they will suffer the wrath of YEHOVAH poured out on this world, and this end-time generation! Millions will suffer grievously, and will die, because they refused to repent when they had a chance, when the message of the Messiah's salvation and YEHOVAH's merciful love came to them! Those who ignore it and reject it will perish!
Baptism is not merely a "doctrine" of YEHOVAH God which we are to give intellectual belief or mental agreement with, it is something we must DO -- something we must determine to TAKE ACTION to ACCOMPLISH! It is a physical act that we must fulfill, even as Yeshua HIMSELF fulfilled setting us an example! No matter how "foolish" it may seem to some people, in this modern perverse generation, it is a simple ritual which YEHOVAH God Almighty has commanded and REQUIRES for salvation -- the outward SIGN of our inward REPENTANCE!
Unless we repent of our sins, and are baptized, we CANNOT RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT which YEHOVAH God promises to those who OBEY Him (Acts 5:32).
After persecution came upon the early Church, and Stephen was martyred in Jerusalem, the Church became scattered, and those who fled to other regions preached the word of YEHOVAH God wherever they went (Acts 8:1-4). Philip, one of the original deacons in the Church, went to Samaria and preached the Messiah there (verse 5), and many believed. "But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of YEHOVAH God and the name of Yeshua the Messiah, they were BAPTIZED, both men and women" (v.12).
Later, YEHOVAH God sent Philip to meet an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of the treasury of the queen of Ethiopia, as he traveled in a chariot through the Judean desert. Philip joined him, in his chariot, and preached the Word of YEHOVAH God to him (Acts 8:26-35). We read: "As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, 'Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?' Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you may.' The eunuch answered, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.' And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down INTO the water and Philip baptized him. When they CAME UP OUT OF THE WATER, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:36-39).
Notice that when this man was counseled about baptism by Philip, there was no long and lengthy "third degree" session involved. He did not have to come back for meeting after meeting, and 'prove himself' to Philip. There was no long dissertation on legalistic principles and lengthy interrogations concerning a multitude of doctrines, such as Church government, tithing, ministerial "authority," and so forth. This man had been in Jerusalem. He no doubt was a believer in the laws of YEHOVAH God, and the prophets, and was reading the book of Isaiah when Philip stopped him. He was undoubtedly an Ethiopian convert to Judaism, or at least a "righteous Gentile" or "God-fearer" who had been in Jerusalem, worshipping YEHOVAH God. He had a basic understanding of the Old Testament and the laws of YEHOVAH God. When he heard the truth about the Messiah explained, he accepted it, believed it, and was ready for baptism at that very moment!
How unlike so many Churches today, which go far afield when they counsel new prospective members about baptism! Far too many churches today, when they counsel about baptism, are like the Pharisees of whom Yeshua spoke, saying, 'Woe to you . . . you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are" (Matt. 23:15).
The First Gentiles Baptized
In Acts, chapter 10, we find that YEHOVAH God miraculously opened the door of salvation to the Gentiles by calling into His truth Cornelius, a Roman centurion. Cornelius was a devout God-fearing man, and YEHOVAH sent him a vision that he should send to Joppa for one Simon Peter (Acts 10:1-8). Meanwhile, YEHOVAH also gave a vision to Peter of a sheet of unclean animals which YEHOVAH had cleansed. In the dream, YEHOVAH told Peter to rise up and kill and eat the animals, but Peter replied, "Surely not, Lord," since the animals were unclean. YEHOVAH replied, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean" (Acts 10:9-17).
The spirit then informed Peter that three men were looking for him, and that he was to go with them (vs. 17-23). Peter went with them to Caesarea, to the house of Cornelius, even though Judeans were, according to Pharisaic custom and rules, generally forbidden to associate with Gentiles. However, Peter knew that YEHOVAH God had shown him he should go with these Gentiles, and accompany them. After hearing why Cornelius had sent for him, Peter replied, "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right" (vs. 34-35). As Peter spoke to them of the gospel of the Messiah, suddenly "the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.
"Then Peter said, 'Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.' So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ." (Acts 10:44-48).
In this rare exception, YEHOVAH God gave His spirit BEFORE the ordinance of baptism was carried out. Under normal conditions, however, the individual must first be baptized, and then YEHOVAH gives the holy spirit.
The Symbolism of Baptism
What is the real meaning of baptism? Why is it that the person who is baptized goes down into water, is immersed in it, and then rises up out of it, as happened with Philip who supervised the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch? What does this act signify?
The custom of baptism is explained by the apostle Paul most thoroughly in the epistle to the Romans. He writes: "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 BAPTIZED into Christ Jesus were baptized 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. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin -- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
"Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
"In the same way, COUNT YOURSELVES DEAD TO SIN but ALIVE TO GOD IN CHRIST JESUS. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body as to him as instruments of righteousness" (Rom. 6:1-14).
I have quoted this passage of Scripture at length, because it all deals with baptism, its meaning and significance, and its role in the Christian life. When we get baptized, for repentance of our sins, accepting the Messiah's death for us as atonement for our sins, we become reconciled to YEHOVAH God. ALL OUR SINS are washed away by the waters of baptism, figuratively. YEHOVAH God forgives every one of them. We "bury" our sins in that watery grave; we come up out of that water, CLEANSED, SIN-FREE, a "new creature" or "new CREATION" in the Messiah! YEHOVAH forgives us our filthy, evil, wicked past. It is all buried in the watery grave, because Yeshua the Messiah paid the penalty for our sins when he died on the tree. All those sins, therefore, are buried and forgotten -- completely erased -- in the sight of YEHOVAH God!
Therefore, when we go down into the water, submerged beneath it's surface, we are burying the old "self," the old "man," which was wicked and evil and lawless in YEHOVAH God's sight, which was ruled by the evil impulses of human nature (see Rom. 8:7; Jer. 17:9). When we repent of our sins, and get baptized, we are getting rid of the "old man." We come up out of that watery grave, our sins all washed away, cleansed and purified by the Messiah's shed blood. We come up a NEW CREATURE -- a NEW SPIRITUAL CREATION! We were formerly children of disobedience; but we come up out of that watery grave, children of obedience! We were children of death; we come up children of life! We were children of carnal lust and wickedness, darkness, children of the devil (John 8:44); we come up children of holiness, children of light -- children of YEHOVAH God!
Paul writes, "Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision mean anything; what counts is a NEW CREATION" (Gal. 6:15).
Paul wrote to the Ephesians what this all means. He said, "So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must NO LONGER LIVE AS THE GENTILES DO, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
"You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your FORMER WAY of life, to PUT OFF YOUR OLD SELF, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be MADE NEW IN THE ATTITUDE OF YOUR MINDS; and to PUT ON THE NEW SELF, CREATED TO BE LIKE GOD in true righteousness and holiness" (Eph. 4:17-24).
In Messiah Yeshua, we are NEW CREATIONS OF YEHOVAH GOD -- "new creatures." We put off the old self, the old man, and put on the NEW SELF, patterned after the Messiah and his holiness and righteousness.
Paul goes on, "For you were once darkness, but now you are LIGHT in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret" (Eph. 5:8-12).
The Promise of YEHOVAH God
Once we are baptized, as a symbol of our repentance from sin, and accept the Messiah as our Savior, who died for us, paying the penalty for our sins, YEHOVAH God promises to give us the holy spirit, even as He gave it to the original disciples.
As Paul wrote to the Ephesians, "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the PROMISED HOLY SPIRIT...a DEPOSIT guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession -- to the praise of his glory" (Eph. 1: 13-14).
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and PUT HIS SPIRIT IN OUR HEARTS as a DEPOSIT, guaranteeing what is to come" (II Cor. 1::21-22).
"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" (II Cor. 5:5).
Paul goes on, "So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded the Messiah in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in the Messiah, he is a NEW CREATION; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from YEHOVAH God, who reconciled us to himself through the Messiah and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that YEHOVAH was reconciling the world to himself in the Messiah -- not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
"We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (II Cor. 5:16-21).
Once we receive the spirit of YEHOVAH God, as a "deposit" as the "earnest money" of our future inheritance, we become literally a NEW CREATION -- a NEW BEING -- a NEW PERSON! YEHOVAH's spirit unites with our mind as a begettal, even as a male sperm unites with a female egg, to create a new baby, a new human being. But when YEHOVAH's spirit unites with our human spirit, in the human mind, we become A NEWLY BEGOTTEN SON OF YEHOVAH GOD!
As Peter wrote, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath BEGOTTEN US again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you" (I Pet. 1:3-4).
John wrote, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born [or, begotten] of God: and every one that loveth him that BEGAT loveth him also that is BEGOTTEN of him" (I John 5:1). John goes on, "We know that whosoever is born [or, begotten] of God sinneth not; but he that is BEGOTTEN of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not" (verse 18).
Yeshua the Messiah was the first begotten of the Father (Heb. 1:6; Acts 13:33). When we repent of our sins, accept the Messiah as our Savior, and are baptized, YEHOVAH gives us His holy spirit as a begettal in our minds. We become begotten children of YEHOVAH God, even as the Messiah, the first begotten, was. The spirit of YEHOVAH God, dwelling in our minds, enables us to grow up into the fulness of the Messiah (Eph. 4:13-15). The Messiah begins to be FORMED within us in his very character stamp image (Gal. 4:19). We begin to grow into and to reflect his very "express image" (compare Hebrews 1:1-3).
Paul writes concerning this, "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But IF Christ is IN you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is LIVING IN YOU, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give LIFE to your mortal bodies through his Spirit [which] lives in you" (Rom. 8:9-11).
Paul goes on, 'Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation -- but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you PUT TO DEATH the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD are sons of God" (verses 12-14).
Paul explains further, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the LIKENESS OF HIS SON, that he might be the FIRSTBORN AMONG MANY BROTHERS. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified" (Rom. 8:28-30).
What an awesome calling, and destiny, we have! Think of it! To be begotten, and later born, at the resurrection, as the literal, real, actual, SONS OF YEHOVAH GOD! Yeshua the Messiah will be our ELDER BROTHER! We will be LIKE HIM, IN EVERY WAY! Even as he is the express stamp image of the Father, WE WILL BE IN HIS VERY IMAGE, TOO, SPIRITUALLY! We will be VERY SONS OF YEHOVAH GOD, EVEN AS HE IS "THE VERY SON OF YEHOVAH GOD"! We will be his very "BROTHERS" in the resurrection, resurrected to GLORY, just as he was!!!
THINK about it!
How AWESOME, how MIND-BOGGLING, it all is!
This is what water baptism is ALL ABOUT!
How Should Baptism Be Performed?
Throughout the book of Acts, we find that baptism should be performed "in the name of Christ." What does that mean? The Greek expression for "in the name of" actually means "by the authority of." To do something in somebody else's name means to do it by their power or authority, with their approval and consent. Anyone who would claim to do something "in Jesus' name," who did not have his approval, consent, and permission, would be blaspheming his name, arrogating authority he never gave to them -- encroaching where they do not belong -- seizing power YEHOVAH God never gave to them! Such people are sinning, and will incur the wrath of YEHOVAH God (see Acts 19:13-16).
To do something, such as baptism, in the "name of Christ," means BY HIS POWER AND AUTHORITY, as his representative. Anyone doing this who is NOT his representative would be standing on very dangerous ground indeed! Unfortunately, some think they have this authority, and baptize on their own recognizance, and it is very doubtful that YEHOVAH would honor their baptisms at all. For such people, a "baptism" becomes a mere ritualistic "dunking" under the water! This would be especially true of any who have rejected YEHOVAH's truth, and the government of His Church, over themselves. Only Yeshua's true ministers really have authority to supervise the BAPTISM of others, and to delegate this authority to others, when circumstances require it. Even then, such a delegation would not be a "permanent" extension of authority, but done on a "case by case" basis, unless or until the other individual himself became a true minister of YEHOVAH God, anointed by YEHOVAH's holy spirit.
"In the Name of the Father . . ."
But Yeshua also commanded his disciples to baptize people "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19). What does this mean?
The original Greek word for 'in" here is eis and literally means "into." Thus when people are baptized, they are baptized IN the name of [that is, by the authority of] Yeshua -- by his true representatives. But when they are baptized, they are also baptized INTO the very name of the Father, the Son, and the holy spirit -- that is, into the name of YEHOVAH GOD Himself! In other words, they are baptized into the very FAMILY NAME of YEHOVAH GOD -- the GOD FAMILY!
Thus they become a very member of the Family of YEHOVAH God!
How many ministers, and churches, understand that vital truth -- that important distinction? Not very many, for sure!
Obviously, then, baptism is a vitally important ritual or custom. It is something we must not take lightly, or pass off as of no or little importance. It is CRUCIAL to salvation and entrance into the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God, and the Family of YEHOVAH God!
Do YOU want to have a part in the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God? Do you want to share in the eternal Kingdom of YEHOVAH God Almighty, as a very member of the GOD Family, a Son of YEHOVAH God the Father, and brother of Yeshua the Messiah, IN GLORY, with the very powers of the Godhead at your disposal, to use, and to exert, FOR ALL ETERNITY? DO YOU EAGERLY DESIRE TO BE A PART OF THAT ETERNAL FAMILY AND KINGDOM?
Then heed the warnings of the gospel, the GOOD NEWS! Repent of your sins, believe the gospel, the good news, and BELIEVE on Yeshua the Messiah as your Redeemer, Savior, and the Messiah!
REPENT OF YOUR SINS!
AND BE BAPTIZED, IN THE NAME OF YESHUA THE MESSIAH!
Don't put it off! Don't procrastinate! Don't wait for a "more convenient season" which may never come!
DO THIS -- and you will receive the gift of YEHOVAH's holy spirit as a begettal, to enable you to OVERCOME, and to endure to the end, so that you can be SAVED -- saved from corruption, and eternal destruction -- saved from the DEATH PENALTY, which your sins have incurred, and which you have earned -- SAVED from the wrath of YEHOVAH God which will shortly be poured out on this wicked, corrupt world -- SAVED, by being born INTO the very KINGDOM OF YEHOVAH GOD, as a literal SON OF YEHOVAH GOD, and given eternal life, so you will live and rule as part of YEHOVAH's Family, FOR EVER AND EVER -- WITH ETERNAL LIFE, AND ETERNAL GODHOOD, AND ETERNAL POWER AND EVERLASTING GLORY!!! Paul declared, "The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are the CHILDREN OF GOD: And if children, then heirs; HEIRS OF GOD, and JOINT-HEIRS WITH CHRIST; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified TOGETHER" (Rom. 8:16-17).
Paul wrote, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the GLORY that will be REVEALED IN US. The creation waits in eager expectation for the SONS OF GOD to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the CHILDREN OF GOD" (Rom. 8:18-21).
Water baptism is the key first step on the pathway to salvation. It is not just some mindless ritual that makes no difference and has no real importance. It is VITAL REQUIREMENT for salvation! Water baptism is ESSENTIAL for salvation, for all who are physically capable of being baptized! YEHOVAH God makes no exceptions. Those who "put it off," who are dilatory, who want to wait for a more "convenient season," will find out that they foolishly neglected the most truly important thing in all human life!.
When governor Felix heard Paul preaching on "righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, 'That's enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient I will send for you'" (Acts 24:25).
Felix never found a more "convenient" time. He missed out. What about you?
Paul wrote, "We must pay more careful attention therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment HOW SHALL WE ESCAPE IF WE IGNORE SUCH A GREAT SALVATION?" (Heb. 2:1-3).
Think about it.
"Repent, and Be Baptized . . ."
"Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ [Yeshua Ha Moshiach] for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).
"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you -- even Jesus" (Acts 3:19-20).
"The time has come, the kingdom of God is near. Repent, and believe the good news!" (Mark 1:14-15).
"There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one" (Rom. 3:10-12).
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23).
"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isa. 53:6).
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
What about you?
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
Hope of Israel Ministries
|Scan with your