Saturday, July 24, 2010

Baptism (Part IV)

By Odon Bulamba (15 February 2002)

Last time we spoke about water baptism and baptism the world gives Christians. Before Jesus reached the point of death He went through steps. Read John 19:19-22. When we are baptized in water we have to prepare a few things. Someone has to baptize us and our presence is also important. Pilate decided that Jesus would die with a crowd watching. The cross was there to crucify. This cross represents water baptism that we use. When you are baptized people are there to observe, but when you are baptized by the world they throw stones. By Jesus’ side there was a criminal who asked Him if He is the king who is going to save us. Jesus had nails in His hands and feet, a crown of thorns on His head and was tortured. When you become a Christian you accept to die for Jesus Christ, some people will think you are stupid but you will accept people to walk on your head and be humiliated. Jesus was very patient with His suffering.

Before being baptized we battle with Satan. If you were a thief Satan can tempt you and give you good opportunities to steal to see if you will accept or not.

When you go to the river your are dry but as you go into the water the body starts to experience a change. This change is to leave the drought and become wet. Your blood will not change color, your skin will not change color but what you wear will witness to people that you are wet. As Christians we have spiritual clothes that need to be wet. If we have sins the water is there to cleanse our sins for the water is the Word of God, and through this Word is sanctification through the blood of Jesus. I don’t say that when you are baptized in water you are purified, but it is a symbol that teaches you something. After your water baptism you change your clothes, and as Christians we must have the spiritual knowledge because through physical things God teaches us spiritual things that are deep. What does it mean to die with Jesus?

It is to accept to die to everything that is not God’s will. If you are taking drugs and it is not God’s will you must make the effort to change. Die to the desire of being a liar and after being resurrected with Jesus Christ you’ll have a new body. When Jesus was buried He had the same body as we have, but when He rose from the dead He had a new body, a body that was different to that of His death. The Bible says He had a pure body that could appear and disappear easily. From the time we are baptized we must have a body that can appear and disappear in the Lord.

When Thomas heard that Jesus was resurrected he went to the tomb to have a look. He tried to find the body of Christ asking, where is the body of Jesus? Many people will say this about you as a Christian, where are the lies my brother use to say? Where has the prostitution gone? There will be people like Thomas around you to find this body but will find the tomb empty. Now you can speak of the good news.

Read Joel 2:28-29. “And afterward I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions, even on My servants, both men and women, I will pour out My Spirit in those days”.

We are going to talk about the baptism of the Spirit or baptism of fire as some people call it. But before knowing about this we must think about fire. What is the definition of fire? It is hot, bright and needs fuel. What is fire? Who has never seen fire? What good is fire for our lives? It helps us understand the Holy Spirit in our lives. What is the importance of fire in our lives? It gives us light, heat, comfort, cooks food, protects us, form of energy, it burns, it can kill, refines, satisfaction, converts and transforms. Is there a fire in a car?

There are two kinds of fire, artificial and natural. From artificial fire we can also get energy. We also have two kinds of Spirits; we have the artificial Holy Spirit and the natural Holy Spirit. Natural comes from God and artificial comes from Satan. The devil disguises himself as an angel of light and that is why there are false prophets, false teaches, false apostles and evangelists today. They speak with power but have an artificial anointing that comes from the devil. Remember I talked about bank notes, there are false notes and true notes and they are hard to differentiate. If you are not aware, you can accept false bank notes by mistake. The devil uses the same principle with anointing. He knows the spirit of God is fire and that it can baptize people with miracles, so he imitates these gifts.

The Holy Spirit has different functions in the church of God and its functions are natural not artificial. The Holy Spirit gives us heat, light and prepares our spiritual food and makes it ready to eat. The Holy Spirit burns our hearts and the Holy Spirit consumes people’s lives. Everything mentioned about the Holy Spirit is correct. God made fire and wants us to study fire so we can know how the Holy Spirit works in people’s hearts. Many people don’t talk to their Christians about the baptism of fire because maybe they don’t know or where to start, or maybe they don’t know what is happening. I asked some Christians one day when they were baptized? Everybody would give a date, the name of the pool and what time, but when you ask them what day did the Holy Spirit baptize you, doubts arise. Why? Because they don’t know if they’ve been baptized by the Holy Spirit or not, and they don’t really know if the Holy Spirit baptizes people or not.

Make yourself ready and do a study on fire, it is a study that is deep and we cannot do it in one day, so to avoid confusion we will do it step by step. Without the baptism of fire you’ll never inherit the kingdom of God. You must be sealed with the Holy Spirit and it is important for every Christian. To have your name written in the Apostolic church book or the Baptist church book, will never give you the keys to heaven, to be baptized by the pope will not get you into heaven, but to be baptized by the Holy Spirit is a mark that will give you the kingdom of God. Study the Sun and what it produces as heat and power, and try to know what electricity produces, which is an artificial fire. So why did God want animals to be burned with natural fire rather than artificial fire?

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