Baptism – by Pastor Don Moore

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Baptism by Pastor Don

All four gospels mention the Baptism of Jesus, so we began by looking at each of these accounts.

Mark 1:7-11 And he (John the Baptist) preached, saying, “there comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

John the Baptist was a wilderness prophet who baptized the people to cleanse them of sins. He was considered a prophet by all the people, not just Jesus.

Matthew 3:11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

The people repent of their sins and are baptized in water. This flies in the face of what Jewish tradition thought of baptism.

A question was raised about Messianic Jews, and Pastor Don pointed out that they were Jews who accepted Jesus – New Testament Jews, Completed Jews. They are not taking on a new faith, they are adding Messiah to their faith. We are grafted in Jews. In the Old Testament God stated that his purpose was to make the the Israelite’s  life so attractive that it would attract gentiles to worship Him. For He wanted all to come to Him. Christianity at its root is Jewish, our Messiah was a Jewish Carpenter. Approximately 70,000 Jews a year accept Yeshua as the Messiah. They have seen the 300 plus prophesies about Yeshua have come true.

John the Baptist clearly states that he was not the Messiah, not the Prince of Peace, that he just gave the baptism of repentance.

Living life in a selfish way leads to the heavy weight of sin. When we die, God shows us our lives and we will say, “I wish I had made other choices.” We all make dumb choices. People come to church not only to worship, but to pull out some weeds in their lives, to feel the love of God. To put us into position to receive the good things of God that He has planned for us requires repentance.

The baptism of repentance is with water, the promise in faith that follows the baptism of water is the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 3:16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Notice again that Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit and fire.

John 1:30-34 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me. I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.” And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “Upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”

God had promised the Israelites a Messiah to come as early as the book of Deuteronomy. Jesus made a promise that he would send a comforter, that we would be baptized with the Holy Spirit and with fire. It is a different baptism than the baptism of repentance.

Baptism for the Israelites at that time consisted of a bath called a Mikveh and it was used to initiate a gentile into the tribe of Israel and before a wedding. Men were circumcised as a sign of the covenant of Abraham. So they were puzzled when John the Baptist started baptizing people. They probably thought that they were favored by God and did not need to repent of sin. John was doing something that was unusual and unpopular with the powers that be.

Someone asked how, being Jesus’s cousin that John did not know Him. Pastor Don pointed out that travel in those times was difficult, so people did not see each other often – as cousins they might have crossed paths at the High Holy Day visits to the temple, but have little social contact outside of that. Also, John may not have known that Jesus was the Messiah until God revealed it to Him.

We have seen in all four of the gospels that there was a baptism of repentance with water, and that the promise of God, to send the Messiah, was fulfilled. But people were not filled with the Holy Spirit until they were born again. The Holy Spirit rested on Jesus, but not on the disciples until after Jesus died and rose again, and after He went to His father, then the Comforter (Holy Spirit) came to those in the upper room.

Many Christians believe that being born again and receiving the Holy Spirit are simultaneous, but this is not shown in the Bible, it is a separate baptism, not of water.

Pastor Don then pointed out that people who argue faith questions have not read the Bible through. There  is no way to read the Bible through and not be impacted by God. People can be scientifically accurate, details accurate, and have it be just head knowledge, without making it all the way to the heart. Some people think they are born again because they made a decision for Christ in their minds, but the decision was an intellectual decision. Only when the person also decides with their heart are they born again, then they are never the same, for the fire of the Holy Spirit will burn away all that is not of God.  It purifies and cleanses a person.

When the Holy Spirit comes, you can never be the same and if you go back to a life of sin, you will not be content with it, the Holy Spirit will not let you rest in the life of sin.

John 3:5-6  Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.

Remember that water is also a metaphor of the Word as well as H 2 O. We can see that if we look at Ephesians 5:18-19  And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing, and making melody in your heart to the Lord.  or 1 Peter 2:1-3  Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

 We are born again by the enduring, imperishable Word of God. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.  We hear the Word of God and it washes us.

Jesus did not baptize anyone with water, He baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire. Paul only physically baptized a few people, he too baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Does that mean that we don’t need water baptism to be born again? The thief on the cross was not baptized in water, but he was born again. Water baptism is a external sign of an inward change. It shows a willingness to be obedient. In a way it is for us a test by God, for if you are not willing to obey God in the little thing of water baptism, you are testing how far you can disobey God and get away with it.

Jesus baptized with the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit shows us how we are not as yielded as we think. Jesus knows how hard headed we are.

Luke 11:1  Now it came to pass as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

The disciples are just like us, wanting God (Jesus) to show them shortcuts. They wanted a prayer to memorize, but if we look at Matthew 5, 6, and 7 we see that Jesus gives a whole discourse on prayer, not to have repetitious prayers, to pray in secret, etc. So what Jesus will teach the disciples here is a model prayer. Jesus will tell them to pray in THIS manner, not pray these EXACT words from memory. The first part of the prayer we know as the Lord’s Prayer starts out with acknowledging that God is God, and that His name is hallowed. Realize that God is in Heaven and we are still on earth. God is able to take care of our needs. Later, we are reminded that for God to be able to operate fully in our lives, we need to forgive. Blessings of God can be withheld if we disobey Him and do not forgive those who need forgiving by us. Remember, vengeance is God’s. Only He can justly judge and deal with an infraction.

We are unholy, and sinful, in need of forgiveness ourselves. Only Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice for our sins makes us able to go boldly to God, to be righteous IN CHRIST JESUS.

We also need to remember that Jesus taught the disciples this prayer BEFORE He was crucified. And at that time His kingdom had not come on earth. He defeated satan through death on he cross and His resurrection. Then He commissioned us, His disciples, for now we are ambassadors of His kingdom on earth.

Remember it is satan’s purpose to keep us in unforgiveness and disobedience, because then we are not in the right position to receive His blessings. We have been delivered from death and the grave because of His sacrifice. And Jesus would not have needed to pray, “Forgive us our trespasses” for Jesus did not sin. Jesus would also not lead us into temptation, He will permit temptation and tests to come across our paths to try us, but He will not lead us to sin. And so often it is not, “The devil made me do it,” it is we who choose to disobey. But Jesus’s sacrifice for us has delivered us.

Regarding our victory, Jesus already did it, we don’t do anything but accept His gift. Remember that Jesus told God that He had not lost anyone whom God had given Him.

When the Holy Ghost rises up in us, fire burns out what is not of God.

Luke 11:9 So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you.

We can ask the Holy Ghost’s help to know what to ask, what to seek, and where to knock.

Luke 11:10-13 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Amplified Bible Luke 11:13 If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!

Notice, CONTINUE to ask Him. As we continue to ask, we will see greater and greater Holy Spirit fire and experiences. It is not just ask once and that is enough, but CONTINUE.

Two of John the Baptist’s disciples asked John if they could follow Jesus. John knew that Jesus must increase and he must decrease.

The Body of Christ needs to ask, to get all that the Holy Ghost has to offer.  Many have never asked Jesus to baptize them in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit baptism.

We, in this day and age, need the Holy Spirit so much. Just look at the situation in the world. As things disintegrate more and more, we will need to rely on the Holy Spirit. When Christians start being persecuted, when they refuse to take the mark, when things that we take for granted are not available to us, such as penicillin, or when diseases arise that can’t be fought with medicine that we have today, we will need the healing power of the Holy Spirit.

We need to have boldness in the day of judgment, knowing that perfect love casteth out all fear.

Praying for you,

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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