The Authority to Baptize

Acts 10:34 "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:"

Deuteronomy 10:17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.

2 Chronicles 19:7 Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery."

Job 34:19 who shows no partiality to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the work of his hands?

Acts 15:9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.

Romans 2:11 For God does not show favoritism. (KJV) For there is no respect of persons with God.

Galatians 2:6 As for those who seemed to be important--whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance--those men added nothing to my message.

James 2:1 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism.

James 2:9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.

1 Peter 1:17 Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.

"I saw those who have been baptized as a door into the churches, would have to be baptized again as a door into the faith. Those who have not been baptized since 1844 will have to be before Jesus comes. And some I saw would not make progress till the duty was performed." Spalding and Magan Collection, p. 3.8

"The angel said, some tried too hard to believe. Faith is so simple they look above it. Satan has deceived some, and got them to looking at their own unworthiness. I saw they must look away from self to the worthiness of Jesus, and throw themselves just as they are, needy, dependent upon His mercy, and draw by faith strength and nourishment from Him." --Ellen G. White Ms. 16, 1850, p. 2. (July 20, 1850.)

Rebaptized

In the Name of Jesus
There is still another lesson for us in the experience of those Jewish converts. When they received baptism at the hand of John they did not fully comprehend the mission of Jesus as the Sin Bearer. They were holding serious errors. But with clearer light, they gladly accepted Christ as their Redeemer, and with this step of advance came a change in their obligations. As they received a purer faith, there was a corresponding change in their life. In token of this change, and as an acknowledgment of their faith in Christ, they wererebaptized in the name of Jesus. {AA 285.1}

As a Door into the Faith
Said the angel, Can ye stand in the battle in the day of the Lord? Ye need to be washed, and live in nearness of life to God. {SpM 3.6}
Then I saw those whose hands are engaged in making up the breach and are standing in the gap, that have formerly since 1844 broken the commandments, and have so far followed the pope as to keep the first day instead of the seventh, and who have since the light shone out of the Most Holy Place, changed their course, given up the institution of the pope, and are keeping God's Sabbath, would have to go down into the water, and be baptized in the faith of the sanctuary, andkeeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. {SpM 3.7}
I saw those who have been baptized as a door into the churches, would have to be baptized again as a door into the faith. Those who have not been baptized since 1844 will have to be before Jesus comes. And some I saw would not make progress till the duty was performed. {SpM 3.8}
The angel said, some tried too hard to believeFaith is so simple they look above it. Satan has deceived some, and got them to looking at their own unworthiness. I saw they must look away from self to the worthiness of Jesus, and throw themselves just as they are, needy, dependent upon His mercy, and draw by faith strength and nourishment from Him. {SpM 4.1}
Said the angel, The desolations of Zion are accomplished -- the scattering time is past. Should the living go to the dead for knowledge? The dead know not anything. They have departed from the living God to converse with the dead. I saw that our minds must be stayed upon God, and we must not fear the fear of the wicked. Evil angels are around us trying to invent a new way to destroy us. The Lord would lift up a standard against him (the devil). We must take the shield of faith.

Washington, N. H., September, 1852. {SpM 4.2}
You are getting the coming of the Lord too far off. I saw the latter rain was coming as [suddenly as] the midnightcry, and with ten times the power. {SpM 4.3}


In the faith of the shut door and keeping the commandments of God
Said the angel, "Jesus has nearly finished His work in the sanctuary. It is no time to be stupid now. A quick work will the Lord do upon the earth. The four angels will soon let go the four winds." Said the angel, "Beware how thou treadest enchanted ground all around the east and west, north and south. If Satan can get thee to slumbernow, he is sure of his prey." I saw [that] some in Israel had been half starved for food, and when the present truth was presented to them they ate it with thankfulness and gratitude like half-starved children. Said the angel, "Can ye stand in the battle in the day of the Lord? Ye need to be washed, and live in newness of life." Then I saw [that] those whose hands are now engaged inmaking up the breach and are standing in the gaps, but that have formally since '44 broken the commandments of God and have so far followed the pope as to keep the first day instead of the seventh, would have to go down into the water and be baptized in the faith of the shut door and keeping the commandments of God, and in thefaith of Jesus [who is] coming to sit on the throne of His father David, and to redeem Israel. I also saw [that] those who have been baptized as a door into the professed churches will have to be baptized out of that door againand into the faith mentioned above; and all who have not been baptized since '44 will have to be baptized before Jesus comes, and some will not gain progress now until that duty is done, and then they mustlive anew unto God and serve Him faithfully. {18MR 11.4}

Repent and be Reconverted
Those who have been baptized can claim the help of the three great Worthies of heaven to keep them from falling, and to reveal through them a character that is after the divine similitude. This is what we claim to be --followers of Jesus. We must be molded and fashioned in accordance with the divine pattern; and if you have lost your Christlikeness, my brethren and sisters, you cannevernever come into communion with God again until you are reconverted and rebaptized. You want to repent and to be rebaptized, and to come into the love and communion and harmony of Christ. Then you will have spiritual discernment which will enable you to see those things that are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. There is enough to contemplate regarding heavenly things, to fill every heart and mind, every congregation that is in the land, with rejoicing and praise and thanksgiving to God. {1SAT 366.1}

Baptism may be repeated over and over again
Baptism may be repeated over and over again, but of itself it has no power to change the human heart. Theheart must be united with Christ's heart, the will must besubmerged in his will, the mind must become one with his mind, the thoughts must be brought into captivity to him. A man may be baptized, and his name be placed on the church roll, and yet his heart be unchanged. Hereditary and cultivated tendencies may still work evil in his character. {RH, September 18, 1900 par. 4}


When Rebaptism Is Appropriate
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Acts 22:16. {FLB 148.1}
There are many at the present day who have unwittinglyviolated one of the precepts of God's law. When the understanding is enlightened, and the claims of the fourth commandment are urged upon the conscience, they see themselves sinners in the sight of God. "Sin is the transgression of the law" and he that shall "offend in one point, he is guilty of all." 1 John 3:4; James 2:10. {FLB 148.2} (also the first commandment)
The honest seeker after truth will not plead ignorance of the law as an excuse for transgression. Light was within his reach. God's Word is plain, and Christ has bidden him search the Scriptures. He reveres God's law as holy, just, and good, and he repents of his transgression. By faith he pleads the atoning blood of Christ, and grasps the promise of pardon. His former baptism does not satisfy him now. He has seen himself a sinner, condemned by the law of God. He has experienced anew a death to sin, and he desires again to be buried with Christ by baptism, that he may rise to walk in newness of life.... {FLB 148.3}
This is a subject which each individual must conscientiously take his position upon in the fear of God.... The duty of urging belongs to no one but God; give God a chance to work with His Holy Spirit upon the minds, so that the individual will be perfectly convinced and satisfied in regard to this advanced step.... {FLB 148.4}
It [rebaptism] is a matter to be treated as a great privilege and blessing, and all who are rebaptized, if they have the right ideas upon this subject, will thus consider it. {FLB 148.5}
It is the privilege and the duty of every Christian to have a rich and abundant experience in the things of God. "I am the light of the world," said Jesus. "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12. . . . Every step of faith and obedience brings the soul into closer connection with the Light of the world, in whom there "is no darkness at all." {FLB 148.6}

Those who have been baptized can claim the help of the three great Worthies of heaven to keep them from falling, and to reveal through them a character that is after the divine similitude. This is what we claim to be --followers of Jesus. We must be molded and fashioned in accordance with the divine pattern; and if you have lost your Christlikeness, my brethren and sisters, you can nevernever come into communion with God again until you are reconverted and rebaptized. You want to repentand to be rebaptized, and to come into the love andcommunion and harmony of Christ. Then you will have spiritual discernment which will enable you to see those things that are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. There is enough to contemplate regarding heavenly things, to fill every heart and mind, every congregation that is in the land, with rejoicing and praise and thanksgiving to God. {1SAT 366.1}


Received a purer faith a clearer understanding of God's will
There is still another lesson for us in the experience of those Jewish converts. When they received baptism at the hand of John, they were holding serious errors. But with clearer light they gladly accepted Christ as their Redeemer; and with this advance step came a change in their obligations. As they received a purer faith, there was a corresponding change in their life and character. In token of this change, and as an acknowledgment of their faith in Christthey were rebaptizedin the name of Jesus. {3SP 419.1} LP 132.1}
Many a sincere follower of Christ has had a similar experience. A clearer understanding of God's will,places man in a new relation to himNew duties are revealed. Much which before appeared innocent, or even praiseworthy, is now seen to be sinful. The apostle Paul states that though he had, as he supposed, rendered obedience to the law of God, yet when the commandment was urged upon his conscience by the Holy Spirit, "sin revived, and I died." He saw himself a sinner, and conscience concurred with the sentence of the law. {3SP 419.2} {LP 132.2}

There is still another lesson for us in the experience of those Jewish converts. When they received baptism at the hand of John, they did not fully comprehend the mission of Jesus as the sin-bearer. They were holding serious errorsbut with clearer light, they gladly accepted Christ as their Redeemer, and with this step of advance came a change in their obligations. As theyreceived a purer faith, there was a corresponding change in their life. In token of this change, and as an acknowledgment of their faith in Christ, they wererebaptized in the name of Jesus. {RH, August 31, 1911 par. 12}

Wrong Spirit has been cherished
I speak to our leading brethren, to our ministers, and especially to our physicians. Just as long as you allowpride to dwell in your hearts, so long will you lack power in your work. For years a wrong spirit has been cherished, a spirit of pride, a desire for preeminence. In this Satan is served, and God is dishonored. The Lord calls for a decided reformation. And when a soul is truly reconvertedlet him be rebaptized. Let him renew his covenant with God, and God will renew His covenant with him. My brethren, show true repentance for departure from God. Let angels and men see that there is forgiveness of sin with God. Extraordinary power from God must take hold of Seventh-day Adventist churches.Reconversion must take place among the members, that as God's witnesses they may testify to the authoritative power of the truth that sanctifies the soul. Renewed,purifiedsanctified, the church must be, else the wrath of God will fall upon them with much greater power than upon those who have never professed to be saints. {7MR 262.2}




Danger of overestimating your own value
You are in danger of overestimating your own value. So long have you followed plans of the enemy's devising, that you seem powerless to break the spell, or to resistevil influences. In the name of the Lord I ask to seek the Lord with all the power at your command. Repent, andbe rebaptized, that you may act a part in union with Christ as a laborer together with God. Just as long as you seek to have your own way, trying to serve God and mammon, you will continue your record of mistakes and failures. You have now an opportunity to redeem the past, but nothing will avail you short of a complete surrender to God. Do not continue to make war against those whom you suppose ought to help you and favor you. Those who cherish a spirit of warfare against those who might help them will never find their way out of perplexities, or be free from the deception of Satan. Why should you continue in an evil way, even though others may have treated you unjustly? . . . {7MR 271.4}

Drink of the Spiritual Rock
I saw that the workers in the cause need now to be wide awake. Many need to be converted anew and rebaptized. When they learn to drink of the Spiritual Rock which followed the army of Israel in the wilderness, when they partake daily of the heavenly manna, how their experience will change! What the food we eat is to our physical needs, Christ is to our spiritual necessities. He is the Bread of life. "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood," Christ declared, "ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth His flesh and drinketh His blood, hath eternal life. When Christ is formed within the soul, His presence will be as a well of water, springing up unto everlasting life.--Letter 332, 1907, pp. 1, 2. (To the Workers in Nashville, October 9, 1907.)
Released March 16, 1976. {7MR 273.1}

Self-sent messengers
These self-sent messengers are a curse to the cause. Honest souls put confidence in them, thinking that they are moving in the counsel of God and that they are in union with the church, and therefore suffer them to administer the ordinances, and, as duty is made plain that they must do their first works, allow themselves to be baptized by them. But when light comes, as it surely will, and they are aware that these men are not what they understood them to be, God's called and chosen messengers, they are thrown into trial and doubt as to the truth they have received and feel that they must learn it all over again; they are troubled and perplexed by the enemy about all their experience, whether God has led them or not, and are not satisfied until they are again baptized and begin anew. It is much more wearing to the spirits of God's messengers to go into places where those have been who have exerted this wrong influence than to enter new fields. God's servants have to deal plainly, act openly, and not cover up wrongs; for they are standing between the living and the dead and must render an account of their faithfulness, their mission, and the influence they exert over the flock of which the Lord has made them overseers. {EW 99.1}
Church Members Taught to Stand Alone
Church Members Taught to Stand Alone.--As I traveled through the South on my way to the conference, I saw city after city that was unworked. What is the matter? The ministers are hovering over churches which know the truth while thousands are perishing out of Christ. {Ev 381.2}
If the proper instruction were given, if the proper methods were followed, every church member would do his work as a member of the body. He would do Christian missionary work. But the churches are dying, and they want a minister to preach to them. {Ev 381.3}
They should be taught to bring a faithful tithe to God, that He may strengthen and bless them. They should bebrought into working orderthat the breath of God may come to them. They should be taught that unless they can stand alone, without a minister, they need to be converted anewand baptized anew. They need to be born again.--Manuscript 150, 1901. {Ev 381.4}

Not a test, it is a matter to be treated as a great privilege and blessing
Now let it be distinctly understood, from time to time all through our experience, God has given me testimonies of caution to our brethren in regard to handling the subject of rebaptism. Our good Brother _____ and several others of our ministers I was shown were making a mistake at some point in their experience in putting in the front and making a test question of rebaptism. This is not the way that the subject should be treated. It is a matter to be treated as a great privilege and blessing, and all who are rebaptized, if they have the right ideas upon this subject, will thus consider it. These good brethren were not bringing those newly come to the faith along step by step, cautiously and guardedly, and the result was that some were turned from the truth, when a little time and tender, careful dealing with them would have prevented all such sad results.--Letter 56, 1886. {Ev 375.1}
Reconversion and Rebaptism of Seventh-day Adventists.--The Lord calls for a decided reformation. And when a soul is truly reconvertedlet him be rebaptized. Let him renew his covenant with God, and God will renew His covenant with him. . . . Reconversion must take place among the members, that as God's witnesses they may testify to the authoritative power of the truth that sanctifies the soul.-- Letter 63, 1903. {Ev 375.2}


 
Within a very short time of deep Bible study, a sincere seeker of Bible truth feels an inner compulsion to be baptized. Baptism is an obligation we eagerly fulfill. The example of the Savior shows that He Himself was baptized by John the Baptist as the ultimate example for us:

    “And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer [it to be so] now: for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of Elohim descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:15-17)

    Jesus Himself submitted to baptism as the pattern for us. We are to walk in His footsteps, 1Peter 2:21. We are to do what He did. Even though He was sinless, Jesus requested baptism by John who was of the priesthood. John protested that it should be the other way around. Jesus should baptize John. Our Savior insisted that for now it was proper that He should be baptized by John.

    At His baptism Jesus was publicly recognized by Jehovah as His beloved Son. This obviously is also a sign for us that upon being immersed into Jehovah’s Name we also are acknowledged as Jehovah’s sons and daughters! We also are known as the “bride of the Messiah,” and henceforth are sealed with His Name. Notice: “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made herself ready.” (Rev. 19:7)

 

The Proper Name

    An age-old question arises as to the Name into which we are to be baptized. Most churches baptize “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” However, none of these is a name, but a mere title. All human beings have a father, and the boys are sons. The “Holy Spirit” is not a name, but a descriptive title.

Serious questions have been raised about Matthew 28:19-20, and many Bible scholars look upon this as a spurious verse as it is not in harmony with Scriptural practices. (Write for our mini-study on Matthew 28:19)

    Significantly, when one is baptized in the proper Name of His Son Jesus Christ, notice that the spirit will indwell the individual:

    And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him; but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:16-17)

    Paul is quite clear in his writings that the formula for baptism is immersion into the saving Name of Jesus Christ. He is the One Who is the head of the Body, the Captain of our salvation:

    “Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus the Messiah were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Messiah was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is impaled with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” (Romans 6:3-6)

    Paul again clarifies that we are baptized into the Name of Jesus the Messiah. We belong to the Messiah and are joined to Him along with those who have been sealed in His Name through baptism:

    Now this I say, that every one of you says, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Messiah. Is Messiah divided: was Paul impaled for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank Jehovah that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.” (1Cor. 1:12-15)

 

Then Who Baptizes?

    Baptisms into titles or the wrong name are improper. Once we recognize that a baptism performed in Yahshua’s saving Name is the only true baptism, the question becomes, who does the baptizing?

    Should only the ordained ministers do the baptizing? Or can anyone who has been immersed into Yahshua’s Name go out and baptize others? What do examples of baptism tell us?

    The first baptism for the remission of sins recorded in the New Testament is found in Acts 2. Peter gave a rousing sermon to the gathered house of Israel that resulted in the baptism of 3,000 by the chosen Apostles who had been instructed by the Savior, Acts 2:38-42.

    However, Phillip, a recognized deacon, was actively concerned with the Samaritans and evidently was the first to proclaim the Good News: “But when they believed Phillip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of Jehovah , and the name of Jesus Messiah, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12.

    Phillip did baptize the Samaritans, but he could not lay hands on them. We are not told the reason Phillip was pressed to immerse these Samaritans. It may have been necessary for this deacon to act on behalf of the Samaritans, for not being Jews, the Elders perhaps did not consider them worthy of baptism and ignored them. They likely were not aware that Jehovah was calling both Jew and Gentile as well as Samaritans into the “Ekklesia.” Phillip also baptized the Ethiopian eunuch, we read in Acts 8:38.

 

Elders Sent to Lay on Hands

    Phillip was given extra miraculous power to convince the multitude that his work was of Jehovah. Powerful miracles were not a part of other baptisms, however.

Baptism by a deacon (Phillip) is the exception and not the rule. Baptisms were done by the ordained ministers who also were responsible for the laying on of hands following immersion for the giving of the Holy Spirit.

    Elders Peter and John were sent from Jerusalem to Samaria for this very purpose:

    “Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of Jehovah, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Master Yahshua). Then laid they [their] hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:14-17)

    The laying on of hands plays a very important part in Jehovah’s scheme of things, for thereby the Holy Spirit was given, Acts 8 and 19. The laying on of hands is to confirm a spiritual communion for spiritual gifts, healing, and ordination. It is to strengthen the spiritual bond among believers, much as the spiritual blessing was passed on in the days of the Old Testament. (See 1Tim.4:14; 2Tim. 1:6)

    Take note that Peter was active in baptizing the assembled Jews in Jerusalem , and later took part with John in laying hands upon those of Samaria . Next we read of Peter’s participation with the Gentiles who were given the Holy Spirit even before they were baptized.

    The acceptance of Gentiles occurred ten years after Pentecost when Cornelius, a centurion, desired to see Peter. Having been given a special vision of clean and unclean, Peter soon understood that the vision was not a lesson on clean or unclean foods, but that believing Gentiles were to be a part of the “ekklesia,” the called-out-ones.

    Ten years after the ascension of the Savior, Peter said he had eaten nothing common or unclean. That was not the issue, for Peter had continued to avoid unclean foods.

    Notice Peter’s declaration: “Of a truth I perceive that Elohim is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that fears Him, and works righteousness, is accepted with Him.” (Acts 10:34-35)

After understanding the vision, Peter came and spoke to the centurion assembled with his kinsmen and friends (Acts 10:24-25). While he was speaking the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard his words, verse 44. This convinced the gathered Jews that Jehovah was calling not only Israelites and Samaritans, but also Gentiles, to be a part of the Body of believers. Notice that even though the Gentiles had already received the Holy Spirit, they were nevertheless baptized into Yahshua’s Name.

    Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Spirit as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of [Yahshua]. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.”(Acts 10:47-48)

    It is clear that baptism into Yahshua’s Name has a great depth of meaning. Not only are we given a portion (earnest) of the Holy Spirit, but we also become a part of the spiritual body of believers. Being baptized into the Body of Messiah means joining the body, the koinonia, the fellowship, the union of kindred minds and attitudes. We become one in the Spirit.

 

John’s Baptism: Repentance

    Paul now comes on the scene after being struck down on the Damascus road. He wonders whether certain new believers he met from Ephesus had received the Holy Spirit. These disciples replied that they had never heard of the Holy Spirit since they believed. They had been baptized unto John’s baptism.

    Paul explained that John’s baptism was unto repentance; that is, to prepare them to receive Yahshua as Sovereign and Ruler in their lives. With this explanation they decided to be baptized unto salvation in the saving Name of Yahshua. When Paul laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in different tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:1-5)

    By this example we look upon all previous baptisms not done in Yahshua’s saving Name as a type of John’s baptism. That is, the individual has gone as far as he or she could in their incomplete understanding. But upon comprehending that we must be baptized into the only Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12), the truly repentant eagerly comply.

    There is nothing higher than being baptized into Yahshua and taking on His saving Name. This is the epitome of becoming the bride of Messiah.

    The examples in Acts establish that baptisms were done by the early Apostles who were the ministers chosen of the Savior. The example of Phillip shows that the Elders still had the responsibility to lay hands upon the candidate. There is no example of just anyone taking upon himself this authority of laying hands, but it was carried out by the Elders. Baptisms as well were done by the Elders and not lay members.

 

Into What Name?

     Note that in the following verses Paul specifically mentions Apollos and Peter (Cephas) who did the baptizing:

    “Now this I say, that every one of you says, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Messiah. Is Messiah divided? was Paul impaled for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1Cor. 1:12-13). Laying on of hands or baptisms by lay people is unknown in any of the above instances.

    Being immersed into Yahshua’s saving Name carries a significance overlooked by many. The first example in Acts (2:38) tells us that those who are baptized into the Name of Yahshua will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. That is to say, the Holy Spirit indwells that person, is within that individual.

    Yahshua explained that the Holy Spirit (the Comforter) would surround His people, but upon baptism would be placed within them: “[Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:17)

 

Gifts of the Spirit

    Through the Spirit of Jehovah indwelling us following baptism, Jehovah gives us a special gift. Paul explains:“Neglect not the gift that is in you, which was given you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” (1Tim 4:14)

    Paul goes on to state that we each are given a special gift to be used for the good of the Assembled: “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same master. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same Elohim which works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” (1Cor. 12:4-7)

    In 1Corinthians 12:8-10 Paul lists these gifts: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. Each member has his own gift that is to be used for the edification of the Assembly. “Even so you, forasmuch as you are zealous of spiritual [gifts], seek that you may excel to the edifying of the assembly.” (1Cor. 14:12)

    Being baptized into the Body of Messiah and given a spiritual gift, one is expected to use that gift to edify, build up, and strengthen His Body of believers. By using our gifts we encourage and build up others in the most holy faith.

 

Fruitbearers

  We are also to bear fruits of the Spirit as Paul describes in Galatians. Notice: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.” (Gal 5:22)

The exercising of our gifts and bearing fruits of the Spirit are not to be done in a corner. Those who think they can be a credible follower of Yahshua and avoid being a part of the Body are making a big mistake. One cannot be a hermit and develop character. The fruits of the Spirit are a result of interacting with the Body of believers. This is where the true fruits are grown and nurtured.

    We are to show love. Exhibit joy. Promote peace. Prove our patience. Show gentleness. Exercise goodness. Deepen faith. Remain meek. Be tolerant. How? Only by interacting with others.

    When baptized into the saving Name of Yahshua, we join with those who have accepted the only Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. We are among the company of believers who have been sealed with His Name. We look forward to standing on Mount Zion with the Lamb and the one hundred forty and four thousand awaiting the marriage supper.

    “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty [and] four thousand, having [His Name and] His Father’s Name written in their foreheads.” (Rev. 14:1)

    Our conclusion, according to Scripture, is that only an ordained minister should baptize. He is a recognized representative of the Body of Messiah and can better counsel one on the solemnity of the occasion. It is also from the Presbytery (body of Elders) that the gifts of the Spirit are given by laying on of hands (1Tim. 4:14).

    Perhaps you should heed the words given to the Apostle Paul as he recounts his conversation with Ananias in Acts 22:16: “And now why do you tarry? arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of Him, [the Righteous One].”

 

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