The Baptism of Repentance
The act of baptizing and being baptized is used dozens of times in both testaments. However, there is one occasion in which this word appears in the plural.
"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Messiah, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."
According to Paul there is only one baptism.
"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One YHVH, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."
I believe that the writer of Ivrim is speaking of the various and sundry ways in which some one can be immersed in something, whether that be water, the Spirit of God, fire, or the Messiah. I believe that there is only one immersion into the body of Messiah, and it is this immersion that Paul is referring to. It is this immersion that everyone who has called upon the God of Israel from the beginning have been placed in. The scriptures are clear that the Messiah was the Word of God made flesh and has eternally existed. There is only one Seed, which is the Word of God, so there can be only one baptism into that Word. All other baptisms are 'experienced' in our walk with the Word of God. For example, Yochanan the immerser tells us that he baptized with water unto repentance. This, as we discussed last time, is a faithful human experience with water appropriately representing repentance. But, he says, there is one after me (Messiah) who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. I contend that this is also a faithful human experience that the Messiah appropriates. In other words, outside of the Word of God (Messiah) there can be no receiving of this baptism. I believe it is an experience which many encounter after having received the Word of God, and an event in which others encounter at the same time they receive the Word of God. A casual reading of the book of Acts will demonstrate that every occurrence and experience concerning the Holy Spirit is a different experience with different manifestations. While it appears in Acts 2:38-39, that water baptism seems to precede the receiving of the Holy Spirit, later on in Acts 10:44-48, water baptism follows the receiving of the Holy Spirit. I believe that the seminal act of God is the planting of His Word into our hearts. After that, it is different for all of us, depending on where our walk is at.
Only that which is eternal (unseen) can change or cleanse that which is temporal (seen). When someone receives the Messiah by faith, he or she receives the Word or Seed of God. Now this Seed is planted in order to produce fruit, and that Seed, by law, can only produce the fruit of the Seed that is planted. Our fruit, according to the scriptures, is the things we say and the things we do.
"But his delight is in the Torah of YHVH; and in his Torah doth he meditate day and night.And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
"Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:"
"But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."
"Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit."
I could have quoted a massive amount of verse dealing with the Word of God and fruit, but God in His awesome foreknowledge knew that men are capable of messing with His Word. So, in anticipation of that, He revealed the meaning of our fruit in the actual Hebrew letters that make of the word for fruit. The Hebrew word for fruit is periy. The consonants that make up this word are a peh, a resh and a yod. The peh is the letter for the mouth, the resh is the letter for the head, and the yod is the letter for the hand. The word for fruit means the things you say (mouth) and the things you do (hand). The resh lies in the heart of the word and means the 'head of' or that which directs. The Seed is the Word of God or His instructions and teaching, which is His Torah. It is what determines the kind of fruit God's people are to produce. When we receive the Word of God, we receive God Himself, according to Yochanan 1:1-14. The Spirit of God comes with God, because He is God. Yochanan 14:26 tells us the purpose of the Holy Spirit:
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
The seminal function of the Holy Spirit is to bring to our remembrance all things that the Messiah has taught. Once we have received the Word of God (the Good Seed), everything else is produced by our fruit. This includes water baptism, the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and the fruit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. I will cut to the chase. Based upon the principle of the Seed, I believe that one can receive the Word of God and be saved from the wages of sin (death), and yet still receive the Holy Spirit, have the Holy Spirit fall on them. and manifest the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit (Ruach HaQodesh) is a term used to describe the active, demonstrative presence of God. It is a 'three-dimensional' word used to express God when we see Him acting, moving, rising, falling, entering, leaving, immersing, filling. grieving, rejoicing and giving. Baptism in or with the Holy Spirit is something I would desire every day of my life. Please, let us not attempt to compartmentalize the work of the Spirit of God. As a flower who has already been planted through no effort of my own, rain on me and in me O God, any time and any way you choose.