The Holy Spirit is stirring people to make their commitment to the Messiah, the Son of God, Yeshua/Jesus. The first step of obedience to the faith is baptism, not very long after Holy Spirit new-birth, just as Israeli boys are circumcised into the covenant not long after their natural births. God was not very happy with Moses when he had not done that for his two sons, yet was called to serve the LORD. How simple and painless He has made it for males and females now who are brought into New Covenant relationship with our Father and our Savior! The baptisms in the Book of Acts were all after Yeshua had returned to His glory in Heaven, and the Holy Spirit was poured out on the new believers. Being baptized in the Spirit does not cancel out being baptized in water. This “ordinance” was first given to the Jews, and passed on to the Gentile believers. It is Messianic/Christian, identifying with the Messiah/Christ! We died and will live forever, because He died and rose again!
What keeps so many back from that simple act of identification with Yeshua/Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection? This is not the same as a Jewish mikveh , which is just a ritual cleansing from impurity, whether by women monthly, or by men and women who have converted to Orthodox Judaism. Baptism by immersion is based upon it, but goes beyond it. There are roots to the faith, but the flower and fruit are much more glorious to behold and enjoy! The “whole plant” is essential, but what a difference our resurrection bodies will be from our natural!
The one new man in Messiah is more glorious to God than each of us is of our own particular, but separate, self and culture. which, if we remain there, can not glorify our Father in the same way; for that is temporal, but that which is eternal is “in Christ”, which we were not before we were born-again from Above. We died with Him, and now are to live unto Him who bought us at a very great price. We are still here in these bodies, in our worldly cultures and identities, but the Kingdom of God is not of this world. The Law and the Prophets are still being fulfilled, and will all be fully fulfilled before these heavens and this Earth pass away. Glory to God and to the Lamb upon the throne!
I have to admit that I am a bit shocked at how many professing believers do not believe in the deity of Jesus, the Son of God. It is like so many other things today that are openly and loudly proclaimed, when just a few short years ago would have been kept under wraps. I know that in our own congregation there are those who are not certain, and neither do they think it really matters so much. I remember a few years ago, a group of local Jewish Israelis were taking an Old City walking tour on a Shabbat, and stopped by while we were having a service. I went out to meet them, and one of the locals asked me if we teach that Yeshua is the Messiah, or the Son of God. I said, “both”. I said that we teach that, but I don’t know if everyone believes it. This secular Jewish man understood that being the Son of God is different from just being the Messiah (like a Bar Kochva, for example, who was a false messiah).
Some do not believe in the “Trinity/Triune God”, because they say it is “not Jewish”. There are also those who do believe in YHVH as a triune God, but that the relationship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit within the “Godhead” are not from before the Creation. Those who do believe, and those who do not both say that the other is heretical, idolatrous, pagan, blasphemous, and other academic names given by theological scholars for different viewpoints. What is clear from the Scriptures is that the Father is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and truth, and that YHVH does not accept idolatry in our approach to Him. So, it is definitely a serious matter, and both the fear and the love of God should compel us to KNOW who our God and Savior is/are! We are not to carry YHVH’s Name in vain! We are Jesus’/Yeshua’s witnesses in this world.
This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, June 19, 2022, and reposted with permission.