If You Seek Baptism
We are told that we are buried with Yahshua through baptism to the end that we walk in a new life, Romans 6:4. That means that we undergo a unique transformation. Before you take the important step of immersion, you must understand all its ramifications for your present and future life.
When a person is called to the Truth, he or she is convicted to do all that Yahweh requires. A desire wells up inside to be obedient in everything that the Scriptures command.
Key to that obedience is the ordinance of baptism. The Scriptures teach baptism; the Apostles performed it; Yahshua Himself submitted to it as an example to us; and the Holy Spirit is given as a direct result of it, Acts 2:38. Whether or not to submit to baptism into Yahshua’s Name to become a son or daughter of Yahweh Almighty is the most important decision you as a Believer will make.
To think of immersion as a mere formality or just an outward sign of an inward change is to trivialize what is an essential act of salvation for every True Worshiper seeking the Kingdom.
Neither is the rite of baptism like some incantation that automatically changes your life. Baptism results from deep faith, sincere repentance, and a total commitment to real change in the life you live, while learning Yahweh’s truths.
Baptism is a prerequisite to salvation itself. Therefore, immersion in the baptismal waters is no small matter. We read Yahshua’s words in Mark 16:16: “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned.” He also said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of Elohim,” John 3:5.
Are You Willing to Permanently Change?
A principal truth of Yahweh’s Word is the simple fact that Yahweh will bar those from His Kingdom who are still in their natural, sinful, human condition. We must first be changed in heart to take on the mind of Yahshua. He told a parable of the man who was ejected from the wedding of Yahshua and His chosen Bride because he lacked a wedding garment. The spiritual message is that we cannot approach Him unprepared and unchanged in heart (Matt. 22:12-14).
In order to be considered one of Yahweh’s sons or daughters a dynamic transformation in your very thinking must first occur. That change includes the desire to put sin out of your life by leaving behind the old nature in the burial waters of baptism. You come out of the water a new person, a new creation with a different way of looking at life. See Ezekiel 18:31.
As a result, instead of living for yourself and seeking always to satisfy personal wants and ambitions, you as a converted child of Yahweh desire above all else to obey Him and live for Him for the remainder of your life.
What was once important to you as a carnal individual now takes a backseat to pleasing Yahweh in everything. It means nothing less than surrendering your very life to your Creator. It comes down to saying, “All that you have said in your Word I will do and be obedient.” Paul describes it as “putting on Messiah,” Galatians 3:27.
Yahshua now rules your thoughts and your actions. His life becomes the pattern for your life. Through Yahweh’s Spirit you see the world and look at your life through His eyes. You see your earthly existence as nothing less than training for an everlasting Kingdom.
Before you commit to baptism and submit to the waters of immersion, you must be absolutely sure of your decision. You must be aware that there are severe consequences if you do not following through in your commitment to Yahweh after your baptism. The irrevocable promise you make at immersion includes complete obedience to Yahweh.
No Turning Back
At baptism you make an irrevocable vow to Yahweh to be faithful until death. Through immersion you enter into a unique New Covenant promise with Him.
A vow in Yahweh’s eyes is a binding pledge with an extremely high price for going back on your commitment. Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 warns, “When you vow a vow unto Yahweh, defer not to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools: pay that which you have vowed. Better is it that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay.” The language of Numbers 30:2 is very clear: “If a man vow a vow unto Yahweh, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.”
Immediately after Yahshua was immersed by John, He underwent trials from the Adversary, Matthew 4, Luke 4. He was tempted three separate times to be unfaithful to His commitment to Yahweh His Father.
Similarly, once you repent and submit to Yahweh through the waters of immersion, you will be tried and tempted in some fashion. Satan never gives up in his unholy efforts because he wants you — Yahweh’s very own son or daughter — as a prize for himself.
In a moment of weakness you may at some point stumble and make a mistake. But Yahshua is our Advocate with the Father and Yahweh will forgive us if we truly, sincerely, and with our whole heart turn back to Him in humble submission, seeking His forgiveness.
Yahweh will show mercy to the humble and sincere person who honestly seeks His forgiveness and promises to not repeat the sin. However, if after you are baptized you turn completely away from the Truth and reject His Word, then you are in dire straits. At that point repentance is no longer possible, Hebrews 6:6, Exodus 15:2-3. With no access to forgiveness of his sin, the heretic backslider faces eternal death, James 1:15. Before you take the irrevocable step of immersion you must ask yourself, am I willing to be obedient in all things for the sake of the Kingdom? Do I desire with my whole being:
· To put Yahweh first in my life through my worship, my time, and my tithe and to place Him before my spouse, family, friends and job?
· To keep all His annual Feasts every year, along with the weekly Sabbath? Am I prepared to find other employment if necessary in order to be faithful to the Feasts and the Fourth Com-mandment?
· To be an example to others of a True believer in Yahweh in my actions and behavior each day?
· To be willing to change when I am shown to be in error?
If your answer to any of these is no, or if you have reservations about any of these questions, then you may not be ready for immersion. Baptism requires a complete change of heart and life. Adhering to the Truth of the Word is all about personal change and walking a different path that leads to salvation.
We are commanded to come out of the world (2Cor. 6:17), and that means to leave error and follow Truth. You must be willing to make permanent changes in the way you live your life so that you will be found worthy of the Kingdom.
Living for Yahweh will entail difficulty at times. Paul wrote, “Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of Elohim, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of Elohim, for which you also suffer.” (NASV)
Nothing worthwhile comes easy. That is especially true of the Kingdom.
Repent and Turn Your Life Around
Every person on the planet has sinned, Romans 3:23, and sin rules in the lives of all unrepentant people. Each has racked up a grave penalty for their sins. Sin must be expunged from our lives if we hope to see the Father. Yahweh’s Spirit can’t live in the same person who has filthy, unrepented sin there as well.
The only way to remove the penalty of sin is to partake in the death and resurrection of Yahshua, which is accomplished through baptism. Colossians 2:12 explains, “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of Elohim, who has raised him from the dead.”
Repentance is central to baptism and the removal of sin. A serious introspection of one’s life must occur prior to baptism.
Repentance means more than just feeling sorry for one’s sins. It means a complete turnaround in one’s attitude and life. John gives us a wonderfully clear definition of true repentance in Matthew 3.
There was nothing about John the Baptist’s message that was warm and fuzzy. It was harsh, it was strong, it was confrontational, and it was devastating because John understood how prone the sinner is to a shallow, superficial repentance that does not save.
John knew of the kind of repentance that the sinner must have. But at the same time, because it is such a clear definition of true repentance, it also exposes false repentance, or shallow repentance, or non-saving repentance.
The common term in the Old Testament for repentance is sub. Two requisites of repentance included in sub are “to turn from evil,” and “to turn to the good.” It means turning away from evil and turning to Yahweh. Three times Ezekiel included Yahweh’s call to the people of Israel: “Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!” (14:6); “Repent! Turn away from all your offenses” (18:30); “Turn! Turn from your evil ways” (33:11).
The Septuagint underlines this idea by usually translating sub by epi (apo-)strepho (to turn about, or to turn away from). To be abandoned are both evil intentions and evil deeds, and both motive and conduct are to be radically changed. A striking example is found in Isaiah 1:16-17: “Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong. Learn to do right.” In Luke 13:3 and 5 Yahshua said, “If you don’t repent, you’ll perish.”
In the New Testament Greek repentance is the noun metanoia and means a real change of mind and attitude toward sin itself and the cause of it, not merely the consequences of it, which affects the whole life and not merely a single act. Yahweh promises that forgiveness will follow true repentance, Ezekiel 18:21-23.
You can’t dabble in the truth. You are either in or you are out. You can’t sit on the fence. You can’t be lukewarm. Yahshua said the lukewarm or only partly committed individual is going to be spewed out like a drink of warm water. You either get in the action or you sit on the sidelines.
John the Baptist said you need to do a search of your heart. You need to turn from your sins. You need to see the dark and the low and the gross and base elements of your life. You need to see the proud nature of your heart and the perverse and crooked things and every other hindrance in your life for what it is...obstacles that keep you from walking rightly with Yahweh. True repentance requires a complete and full admission of one’s sinfulness...depth and height and length and breadth.
This brochure is written with the hope that you will come to know what baptism means and how serious and permanent a decision it is for your life. Be sure that you are completely ready to commit your life to Yahweh and to be faithful in all things before you submit to the waters of immersion.
Prayerfully seek Yahweh for guidance. Repent of your sins.
And then may the angels in heaven rejoice (Luke 15:10)
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