Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Promise of my Father...(a study of two baptisms)

Before His ascension to heaven Christ declared He would send the promise of His Father. Within that promise was an enduement of power from a resurrected Lord that would come upon the Apostles and the entire family of believers that followed. Christ’s instruction to the Apostles was to tarry in Jerusalem until the promise of the Father came.

• Luke 24:49…And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
In the first chapter of Acts the enduement of power from the Promise of the Father was described by Christ himself. After His resurrection Christ walked among men and was seen of them for forty days. During this time frame Christ described how the promise of the Father was actually…a baptism.

• Acts 1:5…For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence

The Apostles all being Jewish had knowledge of the Old Testament records. Although vague in their understanding of prophetic truth the Apostles remembered the ministry of John the Baptist who also professed Jesus would become a Baptizer. John the Baptist made this statement:

• Matt 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
As promised by the Father and performed by Christ from heaven, the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire came upon the Apostles in the Upper Room. (Within that promise three distinct personalities of God can be seen...1.The Father 2.Christ 3.The Holy Ghost.) The promise of the Father deals specifically with the outpouring and sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost.

The prophetic description of a Spiritual outpouring is twofold in meaning. First…the Sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit that deals with the human soul; second…the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that deals with a restoration to the Kingdom in Israel. In relation to the second reason this is why the Apostles asked the following question before the day of Pentecost.

• Acts 1:6…Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

Jesus clarified His answer by explaining first that the time had not yet come for the restoration to Israel. He further described how an inner power would come upon the Apostles to become witnesses for Him in a godless world.

• Acts 1:7-8…It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
The promise of the Father was an enduement of power upon believers...not unbelievers. Remember, the Apostles who believed in Christ had already received the new birth experience.

• John 14:17…Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

The above verse makes reference to the Apostles who believed and knew Christ. Note how Christ mentioned to these men that the Spirit “shall be in you”. This made reference to the Indwelling Spirit. The Indwelling Spirit came through a baptism which Christ Himself performed on and after the day of Pentecost. This part of the promise dealt specifically with the gift of the Holy Ghost that believers receive after they have experienced the new birth. Inside the gift is the Sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost that cleanses the human soul from the Old Man not dealt with at regeneration? The cleansing work which comes from Christ’s baptism deals with the inherited sinful nature of man… not the acts of sin which were forgiven at regeneration through the new birth.

Many people misunderstand this part of Sanctification as it relates directly to baptism. Two baptisms are pertinent to sanctification through the Spirit of God in Salvation. First is the baptism into the body of Christ performed by the Holy Spirit when a penitent sinner trusts in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Man is thus delivered by the Holy Spirit from the bondage of sin. This initial baptism offers the experience of a new birth. It baptizes man into the name of Jesus Christ. The new birth is the Spirit’s directive in a new life centered on Christ however; a conflict has arisen between the old carnal nature and the new divine nature. The Holy Spirits baptism into the body of Christ keeps the believer conscious to right and holy living. This baptism is relevant to Salvation yet has no reference to water baptism. It is an initial baptism of the Holy Spirit that puts a man into Salvation…by faith in Christ alone, for the forgiveness of sins.

• Mark 16:16…He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved

• 1 Cor 12:13…For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body

The purpose of the subsequent baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire deals with the conflicting nature within a believer. This baptism is the promise of the Father performed by Christ not only on the day Pentecost but now, presently in the Church Age we live in. Fifty days after Christ’s resurrection when Pentecost was fully come the dispensation of the Holy Spirit formed the body of Christ. Prior to Pentecost the Holy Spirit had not yet been given because Christ had not yet been glorified.

• John 7:39…But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.
On the day of Pentecost the promise of the Father came upon men as they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues.

• Acts 2:4…And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

When man is filled with the indwelling Spirit indwelling sin must be removed. The mind, will, and intellect can then be controlled by the Spirit of God without a conflict. A filling of the Holy Spirit takes place when man empties himself from all that he is. (Self is crucified as the Holy Spirit reveals Calvary to the heart of a believer.) The inner make-up of a believer is purged from all the dross of a carnal nature that conflicts with the Divine. The evidence of the Sanctifying power of the baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire is two-fold.

• The first evidence is a crucified life where the Spirit of God destroys the body of sin and takes away the inner conflict of a believer. A totally surrendered life of holiness with subjection to Christ is the result.

• The second evidence is speaking in tongues where the entire anatomy of man is controlled by the Spirit of God through a believer’s subjection to Christ.

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