Foundations of the Faith
the elementary teachings in Hebrews 6
that prepare disciples in Yeshua to move on to maturity
Instruction about Washings
4: Immersion into Yeshua
In the foundation of instruction about immersions, we have now come to immersion into the Name of Yeshua. This is a spiritual transaction with G-d, in which water plays only a symbolic role.
What Immersion Really Means
When we come to know that Yeshua suffered for us to redeem us from sin, we appeal to Him to unite our sinful personality to Himself in His death for us, and from then on we begin to consider that person to have died in His death. At the same time we appeal to Him to birth within us His new living and loving personality, and we dedicate ourselves to His living of that life through us toward all. We now live as an extension of Him in this world, in union with all those who have joined themselves with Him in this way.
This is what we represent by immersion in water, as we declare His Name over us; and we spiritually begin to bear His Name before the world.
If this spiritual reality takes place, then we have been immersed into His Name. If it does not happen in spiritual reality, then no presumed authority by a church or its representative will make any difference. A form of godliness without its power is a deception which must be avoided at all costs. There is no physical water, no matter how pure or sanctified or blessed, that can cause this transformation.
Evidence of Immersion into Yeshua
We have now changed sides. Those belonging to the world who liked us will begin to dislike us. "For we are to G-d the aroma of Messiah among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life."
We now begin to share in all the benefits that Yeshua secured for us by being put to death: "I have been crucified with Messiah and I no longer live, but Messiah lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of G-d, who loved me and gave Himself for me. "
Messiah is now living in us. The Word of G-d is alive in us. He makes us alive, and we are amazed at who we are becoming. We do not know ourselves. We can be overcome with joy and gratitude.
We find that there are others who are in Him in this way as well. We naturally unite with their spirits in the Lord, and thus we begin to know the joys of living in the Bride. The specialness of each one comes alive in Him, and we each enjoy the spiritual taste of the unique gifts that He is giving to each one.
We now have the right to be immersed and filled with the Holy Spirit, and to live filled with the Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit we are now able to "taste the heavenly gift... the goodness of the word of G-d, and the powers of the coming age." This is our right by promise: "And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our G-d will call." Do not let go of the Lord until this promise has been fulfilled in you.
When it is, you will begin to taste the powers of the coming age – the gifts of the Holy Spirit: "To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He determines."
If you have some gifts, you can seek Him to give you other gifts: "Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.… Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church."
Cleansing from Spiritual Death
Immersion into the Lord Yeshua gives us continual access through Him into the Most Holy Place: "Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Yeshua, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain (that is, His body), and since we have a great Priest over the house of G-d, let us draw near to G-d with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water."
If our bodies have been washed with pure water, what then is this sprinkling of our hearts? It refers to the water of purification, containing the ashes of the Red Heifer, which as a sin offering had been burned outside the camp. This was the only purification to cleanse from contact with death: "The ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to G-d, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death."
Since the ash-water from this heifer was sprinkled using a branch of hyssop (Numbers 19:18), this symbol was present at the Lord's crucifixion: "Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Yeshua said, 'I am thirsty.' A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Yeshua's lips. When He had received the drink, Yeshua said, 'It is finished.' With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit."
Scripture references, in the order that they appear:
2 Corinthians 2:15-16
1 Corinthians 12:8-11
1 Corinthians 14:1, 12
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