July 25, 2024

Eagle Eye Community

A PURE HEART – HOW CAN WE HAVE IT?

THE NEW TESTAMENT/COVENANT & ITS ONE BAPTISM

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By Bro. Andrew Murray Durano

Introduction

This article is an aftermath of my engagements and discussions with fellow minister in the End Time Message movement over the internet. I was a little bit shocked to know that what I considered as basic to every minister in the End Time Message Movement (ETM) have eluded him. And to think that he has been in the Message for years.

The above unexpected “discovery” made me paused awhile and I thought of letting the issues just pass by my consciousness until they would just dissipate and disappear into oblivion. Inside of me, however, the longing to share what God, in His grace, has showed me over the years has prevailed and has pushed me to write this article with the hope that this would deal the issues surrounding this subject, and with the yearning that this could be a jumpstart and a stepping stone to the serious students of the Word to dig deeper into God’s Truth and have a more precise and clearer revelation of this subject in the future.

It has always been and still is my position that whatever is written in the Scriptures will be the absolute basis of, and the final arbiter of all controversies concerning, doctrines, beliefs, and conducts of believers. All other understanding, opinions, and interpretations must be subjugated and must be superseded by the Scriptures.

Lastly, let God have all the credit, honor, and glory and let it be me who would take responsibility of all the shortcomings and errors of both facts and opinions all throughout this writeups.

It is my prayer that God would show the readers His revelation on the issues surrounding the subject of this article. Amen.

Issues that will be dealt with by this Article

To my surprise and disbelief, a minister in the End Time Message Movement (ETM) believes and argued the following:

  1. The New Testament started at John the Baptist or his ministry, making John the Baptist and his ministry part of the New Testament;
  2. The baptism of John the Baptist was not done away with but is being carried over to the New Testament only that it was just modified;
  3. There are more than one “baptisms” of the believers in the New Testament; and,
  4. Water Baptism is a revelation and is an indispensable and integral part of the Gospel, thus, preaching the Gospel always incorporates Water Baptism.

This article aims to deal with these issues and find out what the Scriptures say about them. I am not into much travel to attend church fellowships and ministers’ meetings. Thus, my actual exposure to the different teachings of ministers in the ETM on every Scriptural issue is very limited. I may have read over the internet how diverse the views of the ETM’s ministers on certain issues are, but to have experienced it firsthand is a sort of a shock to me.I just couldn’t believe that things I considered very basic in our Faith seem alien to them. And when they started to ridicule you in a condescending manner in their congregation (of course, without naming names), I then realized the need to let the truth be known to dispel the aforesaid unscriptural and even out-of-this-world understanding. The following are the issues I am dealing with in this article:

  1. The culmination of the Old Testament/Covenant
  2. The start of the New Testament/Covenant
  3. The preaching of the Gospel
  4. Baptism of John the Baptist
  5. The ONE Baptism in the New Testament
  6. Is Water Baptism an integral part of the Gospel and is commanded by the Lord Jesus to be preached along the preaching of the Gospel?
  7. The Baptism with the Holy Spirit and with Fire

THE OLD & NEW TESTAMENTS/COVENANTS IN THE BIBLE

Many people are confused as to what the New Testament/Covenant is because of the division of the Books in the Bible. The last book of the Old Testament in the Bible is Malachi. And the first book of the New Testament is the book of Matthew. Thus, many automatically considered all the events, happenings, and even people found starting from the book of Matthew up to the book of Revelation as under the New Testament/Covenant of God to the people.

But Is that accurate?

Let us examine some Scriptures and see for ourselves when the Old Testament ended and what the New Testament/Covenant is and when it started.

The Old Testament and When It is Consummated

There are Two Major Division of the Old Testament. They are the Law and the Prophets. The Law or Law of Moses is composed of the first five books in the Old Testament Moses wrote. In Hebrew it is called the Torah and in Greek is called the Pentateuch. The Prophets consists of several books grouped into different arrangements according to Jewish or Christian tradition. The groupings include:

(a) Joshua, Judges, I and II Samuel, and I and II Kings;

(b) Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel; and

(c) Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

But the term “Law and the prophets” does not only refer to the two major division of the books in the Old Testament, it also refers to the Old Testament itself as shown in

Matthew 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

We can now determine WHEN the Old Testament ended. The succeeding Scriptures clearly tells us about it.

Matthew 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

Luke 16:16  The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. The Old Testament, therefore, is CONSUMMATED upon John the Baptist and/or his ministry

Figure 1.0 The Consummation of the Old Testament

The New Testament and When It Started

When did the New Testament begin?  Let us look into the Scriptures and determine when the New Testament took effect. The prophet Jeremiah prophesied of the New Covenant that God would institute upon His people.

Jeremiah 31:31-34 

31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah

32  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 

33  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

34  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

And the author of the book of Hebrews quoted the prophet Jeremiah, to wit:

Hebrews 8:8-13 

8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 

9  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 

10  For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 

11  And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 

12  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 

13  In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away

The New Covenant is different from the Old Covenant because in the New Covenant the laws of God are put in the mind of His people and written in their hearts. It is a paradigm shift from the Old Covenant. In the New Covenant the Laws of God became inherent nature and attributes of God’s people! But when did that started to happen?

Hebrews 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 

Hebrews 7:22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

Hebrews 9:15-20

15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

16  For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

17  For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

19  For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 

18  Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.

20  Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.

It is now becoming evident that the New Testament became in effect ONLY AFTER Jesus’ death. When specifically?

2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

The New Testament STARTED when the Spirit of God was first POURED OUT to the believers at Pentecost!

Figure 2.0 Timeline of the Old Testament and New Testament

 

John the Baptist and His Baptism

I have shown above that John the Baptist is PART of the Old Testament. He was sent to forerun and to prepare the way of the Messiah. His baptism, therefore, is exactly just that, “a baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus” (Acts 19:4). Thus, John the Baptist’s baptism is never part of the New Testament. Let us examine closely what apostle Paul said concerning this in Acts 19:1-7.

Acts 19:1-7

1  And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 

2  He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 

3  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 

4  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 

5  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 

6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 

7  And all the men were about twelve. 

Apostle Paul found some believers in Ephesus that had not received the Holy Ghost. Take note, apostle Paul’s conversation with them centered on receiving the Holy Ghost. Paul did not preach water baptism as one minister claimed. When Paul knew that they have not yet received the Holy Ghost nor heard of it, he asked them “unto what were ye baptized?”. If we have eyes to see, we can now see that Paul linked the water baptism to the receiving/baptism of the Holy Ghost. As to what the link or connection is, let us continue reading the Biblical account.

The believers said they were baptized unto John’s baptism. Paul explained that John’s baptism is just a PREPARATORY rite and a POINTER to the COMING ONE, that is, Jesus Christ. You see, Paul is now saying that John the Baptist’s baptism has nothing to do with the baptism of the Holy Ghost and it is done away with… it was just PREPARATORY, a Prologue. What did the believers do? And when they heard Paul’s teaching/preaching, they were baptized (in water) in the name of the Lord Jesus… after which Paul laid his hands upon them and the Holy Ghost came on them and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Those 12 believers declared their identification with Christ and the Gospel publicly by way of Water Baptism as a TYPE of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that would happen to them shortly. And indeed, after they were water baptized, apostle Paul laid his hands on them and they were baptized with the Holy Ghost. They now have the ANTI-TYPE!

Water baptism is done or performed by men, Christ’s disciples/ministers. But the Baptism of Holy Spirit is done and performed by Jesus Christ Himself!

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Matthew 28:19-20 

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 

20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen

Mark 16:15-16 

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 

16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 

Jesus commanded His disciples to PREACH THE GOSPEL. And those who believe and are baptized shall be saved. What is being preached is the Gospel, NOT Water Baptism. When people believe, that’s the time they should be baptized in water. Yet some preachers would insist that water baptism must be preached as it is an indispensable and integral part of the Gospel. That is not true. If water baptism must be preached and performed at all times when preaching the Gospel, because water baptism is an indispensable and integral part of the Gospel, then apostle Paul erred terribly.

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me NOT TO BAPTIZE, but TO PREACH THE GOSPEL: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

Paul is clearly distinguishing the preaching of the Gospel from water baptism. Christ sent him to preach the Gospel, but he was not sent to baptize. How clearer can that be!

Even Peter’s preaching during Pentecost did not incorporate water baptism in it. He only instructed the people to be baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ WHEN HE WAS ASKED by the people what they should do. Let us examine it.

Peter’s Sermon at Pentecost

Acts 2:14-36

14  But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 

15  For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 

16  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 

17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 

18  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 

19  And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 

20  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 

21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

22  Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 

23  Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 

24  Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 

25  For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 

26  Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 

27  Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 

28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. 

29  Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 

30  Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 

31  He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 

32  This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 

33  Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 

34  For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 

35  Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 

36  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. 

Did apostle Peter preach Water Baptism? He did not! He just preached the Lord Jesus Christ, the Gospel… how Jesus Christ suffered and died and then rose again. Then the hearts of those who listened to the preaching of Peter were pricked… they were convicted. That was the time they asked Peter and the disciples what they should do. Let us continue reading.

Acts 2:37-39

37  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 

38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 

As you can see, ONLY AFTER the Jews whose hearts were pricked asked Peter and the rest of the apostles what they should do that Peter told them to “Repent, and be baptized (in water) everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Water baptism, therefore, is a RESPONSE or an ACT of the person who believes the Gospel. What is being REVEALED to the person is the TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL. And by that REVELATION, the person RESPONDED and ACTED on it by means of water baptism! Is water baptism a revelation? No. It is an ACT, a RESPONSE of the person WHOM GOD REVEALED THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL. Here is what apostle Peter said,

1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Revelation is “unveiling”. But it is not just an ordinary unveiling in which a person can just see the matter afar off with no involvement whatsoever. In that case, what a person has is just INFORMATION, not revelation. True revelation is “unveiling plus personal involvement/connection” of what is being unveiled. Thus, revelation is a spiritual personal experience. Many people in the Churchianity think what they have are revelations, when the truth of the matter is, what they have are just head-knowledge and information. Again, true revelation is personal spiritual experience. It is not enough to know the Godhead by head-knowledge. That is just INFORMATION. But when God unveils the revelation of Godhead to you and by faith you can see it that YOU ARE PART OF THE GODHEAD by being part of the Logos even before the foundation of the world, then TRUE REVELATION OCCURRED! And when it is true revelation, it is PERMANENT… it can never be taken away from you.

Now, is Water Baptism a revelation? Hey, true revelation happened in the inner part of the heart… in the deepest part of our soul. The truth of the Gospel is the one that is being revealed by God and the person ACTED ON IT, thus, PUBLICLY IDENTIFYING HIMSELF WITH THE LORD JESUS CHRIST by subjecting himself to water baptism. I repeat, water baptism is the public RESPONSE… an ACT… of the person who has the revelation of the Truth of the Gospel… and it is a natural consequence of the revelation of the truth of the Gospel upon his soul.

A few months ago, I was a little bit shocked to hear a preacher teaching that Romans 6:3-11 refers to water baptism.

Romans 6:3-11 

3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death

4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 

5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 

6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 

7  For he that is dead is freed from sin. 

8  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 

9  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 

10  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 

11  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

In verse 3 apostle Paul uses the clause “baptized into Jesus Christ”. He did not say “baptized in water”! And if you read all the way to verse 11, apostle Paul’s discourse is actually on the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. He talks of the “old man” being crucified with Christ that henceforth we should not serve sin because we are dead and are freed from sin. What has water baptism got to do with that? Apostle Paul is talking about the CHANGED LIFE of a person. Water baptism can never change lives. It is the SPIRIT that QUICKENETH!

Paul used the same clause “baptized into Christ” in Galatians 3:27-28.

Galatians 3:27-28 

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ

28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 

Now, compare that with

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

It is now becoming obvious that what apostle Paul has been referring to in Romans 6:3-11, Galatians 3:27-28, and 1 Corinthians 12:13 is the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, not water baptism!

Yes, water baptism must be done as an answer or response to, and public declaration and identification of a believer with Christ. It is a TYPE of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Again, Water Baptism is a TYPE while Holy Ghost Baptism is the ANTI-TYPE.

The Baptism with the Holy Ghost and Baptism with Fire

I have heard and read many preaching and writings of countless preachers and ministers regarding Baptism of the Holy Ghost and Baptism of/with Fire. There are those who would just lump this into one event and there are those who are saying they are different. I have been pondering on this and somehow and found out that the Baptism with the Holy Ghost is in three parts or phases. The third or last part/phase is what is called as the Baptism with Fire. Let me elucidate it further.

The word baptize comes from the Greek word “baptize” which means:

  1. to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk).
  2. to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one’s self, bathe.
  3. to overwhelm

And apostle Paul used it once in describing an event in which the Israelites were being immersed, if not submerged, to the sea and the cloud as they went out of Egypt. Here is the Scripture:

1 Corinthians 10:1-2

Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

Paul was saying here that the Israelites were IDENTIFIED with Moses in their immersion or submersion in the cloud and in the sea. As you can see, the word baptism can also be liberally used in describing IMMERSION or SUBMERSION of people in anything.

What we are concerned, however, is the ONE BAPTISM mentioned by apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:4-6, in which it says (Take note of verse 5):

4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

What is that ONE BAPTISM that we, as New Testament believers, have? Verse 4 gives us a clue. It says there is only ONE BODY and ONE SPIRIT as we are CALLED in ONE HOPE of our calling. Now watch as apostle somewhat expounded it in his other epistles…

Galatians 3:27-28 

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ

28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 

1 Corinthians 12:13 

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

It is now evident that the ONE BAPTISM we have as believers in the New Testament era is the BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. By that ONE baptism, we have eternal life and is being placed in ONE Body, the Church of God! It refers actually to our SALVATION… to the NEWNESS OF LIFE we have. That is what makes us ONE.

But how that ONE BAPTISM happened to us? Is it a one-time big-time event? Let us examine how we obtained salvation and have the Holy Spirit in us.

In Ephesians 2:8-9, it says that we are saved by the Grace of God through Faith, and it is not of ourselves, but it is a GIFT of God. It is not OF WORKS, lest any man should boast. And in his epistle to Romans, Paul said these:

Romans 3:10-11

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

And in 1 Corinthians 2:14, he said,

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Thus, it is clear-cut in Pauline epistles that the condition of natural and unregenerated human beings is a hopeless case in the context of their own efforts. Not only that they do not seek God, they cannot also understand spiritual things. And the Word of God is spiritual. Faith comes by HEARING (revelation) and HEARING (revelation) by the Word of God. By their ownselves, they are dead spiritually, they can never have faith, and they are doomed!

But this is what God did in saving His children. Watch!

Baptism with the Holy Ghost – First Phase: The Quickening

Ephesians 2:5

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Colossians 2:13

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

God QUICKENED us so that we become ALIVE and can understand His Word and can HAVE FAITH! Remember, the Spirit is LIFE, thus, the quickening is the initial IMPARTATION OF LIFE to the once unregenerate. It is akin to fertilization, the union of egg cell and sperm cell, in the natural human reproduction. Only those who have the viable egg cell could be fertilized by the Word. It is actually the “Deep calls unto the Deep”. Those who do not have seed (egg cell) have nothing to be fertilized with. Only the children of God can be quickened by the Word being preached.

This can be illustrated best during the preaching of apostle Peter at Pentecost. While Peter was preaching, those who have seed were quickened. The Bible says they were PRICKED IN THEIR HEARTS. They were convicted in their hearts by the preaching of the Word by apostle Peter. That is the INITIAL IMPARTATION of life that quickened the seed in them. And they became interested in spiritual things. They asked what should they do? Apostle Peter answered REPENT and be (Water) BAPTIZED in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST. Receiving the Holy Ghost is actually the Second Phase of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost.

Baptism with the Holy Ghost – Second Phase: The New Birth

In the natural human reproduction, it takes approximately 9 months from conception for the child to be born. The fetus is already alive for months in the womb of the mother, but its life is dependent on its mother. The mother supplies its food and even the oxygen it needs. Fetus does not breath air separately from its mother. Technically, while a fetus is a potential man/person, while it is not birthed yet it is just part of the mother’s body. But when the fetus is birthed, a life from the SOURCE OF LIFE came down and INDWELT the newly-born infant, and the fetus ceases to be a fetus and now became a child… a person, a human being, a living soul.

While the fetus is in the womb of the mother, it is said that they can somewhat hear sounds from the outside world. That is why some mothers are seen to have talked to the living fetus inside their womb and even played classical music as these are found to be of positive effects on the fetus, effects of which will be carried over he grows up to be a person/human in the outside world. Yet for all those amazing discoveries, it is a fact that while a fetus is still in its mother’s womb, it cannot see the outside world, nor can it experience it firsthand and understand it.

The same is true in the spiritual rebirth. Those who were quickened need to be birthed into the kingdom of God. Jesus said to Nicodemus that except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Amen! Hence, spiritual rebirth follows the quickening. It happens when the LIFE from the SOURCE OF LIFE “indwelt” those who are already quickened and are birthed into the kingdom of God (Acts 2:38). By the new birth, we are JUSTIFIED and we have eternal life as individual persons and we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise unto the day of redemption.

But as the natural types the spiritual, many of us who are born again still needs to be taken cared of. Infants cannot survive on their own. They need to be taken cared of and supported so that they would live and may grow into adulthood. The same is true in the spiritual rebirth. Those who are new in the faith needs support. They are to be fed with milk so that they may grow. This is where much of the transformation of our souls happened. This is where SANCTIFICATION, or its process thereof, happened. Sanctification means “set aside for service”. You cannot be sent to the field for the works of God if you are not sanctified first. And you can only be “set aside for service” if you are equipped and ready for it. There should be a process of sanctification by which, we as by nature children of disobedience, will be taught by the Holy Spirit to become mature believers. There has to be a period where our bad characters and habits are being purged and getting rid out of. During this period, we can have revelations of the Truth in God’s Word, yet our character and actions may not be representative of the attributes and character of our Father in heaven. God may use you in your locality, as people in your domicile know you and are beginning to see the change in you, but you are not yet ready to be sent in the field… in the frontlines. Remember Jesus when He was 12 years old? He had revelations of the Word. The theologians of His day were confounded by His wisdom and revelation of the Word. Yet Jesus was not yet ready to be sent in the frontlines. As a man, He needed to grow or increase in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52). You see, the clause “increase in favour with God and man” is telling us that somehow Jesus was already used by God in the place where He grew up and resided. He had some influence over men in His locality. And that is prior to the beginning of His official ministry.

When the process of sanctifying (training) is done, and we became mature believers living in holiness as our Father in heaven is holy, then the Third and Last Phase of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit would happen.

Baptism with the Holy Ghost – Third Phase: The Adoption

Galatians 4:1-7

1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

The above Scriptures may confuse those who are living on this present time on the concept of adoption. It is because in our time, we only adopt a child who is not ours. But Galatians 4:1-7 is speaking of an adoption of a child, not adoption to become one’s child! Thus, he is already a child of his father yet he needs to be adopted. This fact can be verified by reading the last verses of Galatians Chapter 3. Remember, chapters and verses were not in the original manuscript, they were just added later for convenience sake. Let us read Galatians 3:26-39

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

As you can see, apostle Paul here was laying the predicate or context by which Galatians 4 is anchored upon. And he said to the saints in Galatians that they are children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Thus, it is clear. They are children first to begin with and afterwards they are adopted.

In the New Testament times, adoption is common to Romans. They would adopt, say, a barbarian, and would bring him to their family. But because the adopted son has no social etiquette the Romans know of, they would assign or hire a tutor to teach the newly adopted son the proper etiquette and behaviour as a son of a Roman citizen and to get rid of his habits as a barbarian. It may take sometime for the newly adopted son to assimilate the culture of Romans and get rid of his culture and habits as a barbarian. But when he is ready, as determined by his tutor, the adopted son is placed as a son by a ceremony accompanied with festivities.

From the foregoing context, apostle Paul used a sort of parallelism to our walk with God. But unlike what the Romans did, apostle Paul made it clear that the Galatians are already children of God. Yet they need to be adopted. And it takes a process by which they will be under tutors and governors to teach them and get rid of their bad habits and flawed characters. The process by which we, as children of God, are under tutors and governors happens right after the Second Phase of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost – the New Birth. The New Birth is what makes us children. And Adoption would happen afterwards.

The best illustration of Adoption is the Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. That day, He was adopted or placed as a Son by the Father. And there was a declaration, a voice from heaven, saying “This is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased”. From thence, Jesus’ words have authority. He became the official representative of His Father, that what He had spoken they were considered as the words of His Father. Whatever He did were considered acts of His Father.

Going back to the Third Phase of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, the Adoption, it is when God the Holy Spirit sees you as a READY and WILLING vessel to be sent by God in the frontlines. It is the DYNAMICS that is being placed and incorporated in the MECHANICS. It is when a Fire from God (baptism with Fire) comes down from heaven to set your heart ablaze. It is when God declares you to the world that you are His son. Remember water baptism? It is you declaring to the world that you are identified with Christ and, therefore, you are His son. But in Adoption, it is the other way around. It is God who will declare to the world that you are His son! Glory to God!

It is also the time when your words would have authority… because you are now placed as a son… that whatever you speak they are considered as your Father’s words, whatever you do they are considered your Father’s acts. If you are a minister, this is the time you will be sent by God to the frontlines, to the field, as you are now ready for the task before you.

In summary, the One Baptism we, as believers in the New Testament era, have is the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. And it is in Three Phases:

  1. The Quickening
  2. The New Birth
  3. The Adoption

Could these three happen simultaneously? Yes, they could, if situations demand it. What I am writing here is the general order of those three under “normal” circumstances.

I could write more on this but it would take too much space, thus, I would conclude this article here. You can always ask me questions in Messenger or in Facebook. If I can answer them, I would be willing do it. If I could not answer them, I would be honest with you and I would tell you so.

May God bless us all.

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