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    Posted by Dion Todd
    Deep calls to deep at the noise of your waterfalls. All your waves and your billows have swept over me. Psalms 42:7 WEB.Moments before, the water was still and quiet as they drifted down the stream in their raft. They were lazily relaxing in the warm sunshine and missed the low roar that was growing...
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    Posted by Dion Todd
    Moses said to the people, "Don't be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of Yahweh, which he will work for you today: for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall never see them again. Yahweh will fight for you, and you shall be still." Exodus 14:13'14 WEB.Standing by the Red Sea with...
  • Wed at 3:01 AM
    Posted by Dion Todd
    The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore when your eye is good, your whole body is also full of light; but when it is evil, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore see whether the light that is in you isn't darkness. If therefore your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will...
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On Baptism

  • On Baptism from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Luke 3:16 WEB John answered them all, “I indeed baptize you with water, but he comes who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to loosen. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire”

    Baptism typically means to "dip" or "immerse." There are many types of baptisms mentioned in the Scriptures. Ephesians 4:5 states there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism," yet Paul spoke of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in much of his writing. Consider this verse where Paul mentions God, His Son, and the Holy Spirit in one sentence:

    Galatians 4:6 WEB And because you are children, God sent out the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!”

    So Paul was teaching unification, but not limitation. In the same way, there are also other baptisms mentioned in Scripture. Hebrews 6:2 speaks of "the doctrine of baptisms," and the word used there is plural. For example, there is a baptism of fire mentioned in Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16. While the baptism of the Holy Spirit is mentioned seven times in the New Testament: (Mark 1:8; Matt 3:11; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; Acts 11:15–16; 1 Cor 12:13).

    The most common baptism today is water baptism, which is known in Scripture as “the baptism of John,” but it is not the only kind:

    Matthew 3:11 WEB “I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.”

    Water baptism is considered a public testimony that demonstrates one's faith in Jesus Christ. It can symbolize the washing away of sins, also the death of the old, and the rising of the new. John immersed people in the water of the Jordan river as a sign of repentance.

    Many types of water baptism are used by denominations today that range from full immersion in a river to being sprinkled with water in a church. Personally, I think that either is fine, though full immersion underwater is how they did it then. Being baptized in a church, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost would be a public baptism. It is a public display of your faith in Jesus Christ. But if this were not possible, I would baptize myself in a bathtub and live happily ever after for it is Jesus who does the actual baptizing.

    If you want to be a Sister-Bertha-better-than-you about the details of baptism, please note that the Apostolic traditions from 200 AD require you first to fast for a while. You were then stripped buck naked in front of a crowd, just as Jesus was exposed on the cross, and submerged in cold water. Women were allowed to be baptized at night for modesty.

    I have been baptized in water several times, because I felt like I needed it. I started out as a Baptist and have been dunked in cold rivers, as well as heated pools. But it was the baptism that I received later that changed my life. John the Baptist prophesied the One who came after him, Jesus, would baptize us in the Holy Spirit and fire. Jesus also confirmed this in Acts chapter 1, when He told the disciples this: 

    Acts 1:4-5 WEB “Don’t depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which you heard from me. For John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

    The disciples of Jesus had all been baptized in water already, but something came after John’s baptism: the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Fifty days after the crucifixion, on the day of Pentecost, the promise of the Father descended on the 120 disciples in the upper room. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages. Mother Mary, Peter, and many others were baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues:

    Acts 2:1 WEB “Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 Tongues like fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them. 4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak.”

    The Holy Spirit swept into the room and immersed them in the very breath of God. They were “filled” with the presence of the Lord, and He began speaking through them in a new language. Peter went outside and preached a sermon that led 3,000 people to Jesus. They were now “hyper-effective” witnesses filled with the Holy Spirit. Yet there were believers scattered everywhere who did not yet receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit:

    Acts 18:24 WEB Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by race, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus. He was mighty in the Scriptures. 25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, although he knew only the baptism of John.

    Apollos was on fire for Jesus, but he only knew the baptism of John we covered above. In other words, he had been baptized in water. There were pockets of believers like this scattered about. Paul found another group of them in Acts 19:1-7:

    Acts 19:1-7 WEB While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper country, came to Ephesus and found certain disciples. 2 He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They said to him, “No, we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 He said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.”

    4 Paul said, “John indeed baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe in the one who would come after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke with other languages and prophesied. 7 They were about twelve men in all.

    I have been where Apollos and the other believers Paul found were. I was saved, baptized in the Waccamaw River, and on fire for God about 1987. I read the Bible from cover to cover in a couple of different translations. I attended church every time the doors were opened. Sometimes I listened to the Bible twenty-four hours a day. I was extremely zealous about learning everything I could about Jesus.

    About a year later, I was invited to a Charismatic church by a friend. I learned about the Holy Spirit's baptism. At first, I was suspicious, as speaking in tongues was considered "evil" at the church I had been attending. So like the Berean Christians, I studied the Bible to see if these things were so, and I found it was so. I began to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It wasn't long before I received it, and I started to speak in tongues myself. I have never looked back. It is my opinion that real life begins with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Before that, I was an empty shell. I was first baptized in water, then later baptized in the Holy Spirit, but that order can happen in reverse.

    When Peter spoke at Cornelius's house in Acts 10, a large group of Gentiles gathered together to listen. When these unbelievers "believed" Peter's words, the Holy Spirit fell on all of them, and they began speaking in tongues:

    Acts 10:44-46 WEB While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the word. 45 They of the circumcision who believed were amazed, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was also poured out on the Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in other languages and magnifying God.

    While Peter was speaking, an invisible transformation began to take place inside of those people. Their faith began to grow, and Cornelius and his entire household began to believe. There was no altar call given. There was no invitation. The people simply believed, and they were born again on the spot. The moment of a person's salvation isn't when they raise their hand in church or come forward at an altar call. It is the moment they surrender their hearts to God and embrace Jesus. The people walking to the altar made their decision before they stood up.

    Acts 10:46-48 WEB Then Peter answered, 47 “Can anyone forbid these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just like us.” 48 He commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay some days.

    The Holy Spirit came on all those listening in the house, and they began to speak in other languages, magnifying God. The people received the Holy Spirit's baptism with the evidence of speaking in tongues, which caused Peter to say: "They have received the Holy Spirit just like us." When Peter saw they already had the Holy Spirit, he said: "Can anyone forbid these people from being baptized with water?" They were then baptized in water. So these were two separate events, receiving the Holy Spirit and being baptized in water. Today you can have one without the other, or you can have both just as they did.

    What began on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 has never ended. The dark ages and a thousand years of a backslidden church lost many of the beautiful truths that the Apostles walked in. But those gifts and baptisms are still available today. The Apostle Paul told us to "earnestly seek" them out:

    1 Corinthians 14:1 WEB “Follow after love and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.”

    The Apostle Paul was a second-generation Christian. He came to know Christ after His crucifixion, just as we have today. Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus after Jesus had already ascended to heaven.

    Paul received the baptism of the Holy Spirit when a spirit-filled believer named Ananias laid his hands on him and prayed. This is typical and how I received it. But a cousin of mine went into her room alone, prayed, and received it within 15 minutes, while her husband prayed and fasted 10 days before he received it. The methods can be diverse, it can seem elusive, but it is available if you seek it. Jesus said it this way:

    Luke 11:9–13 WEB I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you. 10  For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.

    11  “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he won’t give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12  Or if he asks for an egg, he won’t give him a scorpion, will he? 13  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?

    Nowhere does Scripture tell us the baptism of the Holy Spirit, or the spiritual gifts He brought with Him, were taken away. Any teaching that tells you otherwise is false, and like the Bereans, you should examine the Scriptures yourself to see if these things are real. Why don't we see more of it? James summed it up nicely: We don't have, because we don't ask God (James 4:2).

    You can pray this with me if you like:

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, please fill me with Your Holy Spirit and help me learn to use the gifts You have put in my life. Teach me what I need to know. Speak to me in a way that I understand. Let me live an overcoming life. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!

    (If you would like to find out more about the Holy Spirit, you are welcome to study our Holy Spirit series, listed on the Pastor's Corner page.)


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Social Sharing

20 comments
  • 1
Debi Burton
Debi Burton Thank you for your word today! Yes, please fill us us with Holy Spirit and wisdom, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen
Nov 16
  • 1
Keyana Mallory
Keyana Mallory

Amen

Nov 15
  • 1
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walker

AMEN.  Thank you Pastor Dion for a teachable service. And today is my Mom's birthday, in heaven.  Miss you Mom & love you much. 

Nov 16
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Aww, praying for you, Patricia, and no doubt your mom is having a joyous celebration in heaven!

Nov 16
  • 1
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walker

Thank you Sylvia. May God bless you as well. Amen

Nov 16
  • 1
Kay Collinsworth
Kay Collinsworth

Amen Father I Thank You

Nov 16
  • 1
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson

Amen!!

Nov 16
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Lord, please bless us with a renewed spirit, with reminders to stay teachable, and with wisdom in all Your ways!

Nov 16
  • 1
Linda Clark
Linda Clark

Amen 

Nov 16
  • 1
Dave and Sue Earlywine
Dave and Sue Earlywine

Jesus, please bless us and fill us with your Holy Spirit. Amen 

Nov 16
  • 1
Yvette York
Yvette York

Amen Good Morning Everyone Have A Bless Day 

Nov 16
  • 1
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown

Father, please fill me with Your Holy Spirit! Great message Pastor Dion, Amen

Nov 16
  • 1
Yada (Wendy)
Yada (Wendy)edited: Nov 16

Considering these things personally... 

I can testify that the baptism by water is symbolic of dying with Jesus and becoming יחי alive חי with Him... in a manner of speaking, going "down" into the grave from Genesis 1 and following Him through His 3.5 years from beginning to end as a disciple. It's an echo, hebrews calls it a shadow of the patterns of heavenly realities. So its good to anticipate and seek the reality from the realization that it's pointing us towards Him from the start of our walk with Him. ♡

 

For all of the baptisms, it's really important to not like reach out to grab hold of anything pseudo convincing ourselves we have it already. Because if we think we have it, but don't understand yet, we might not see it when it comes. 

 

Then also with that ready our faith to believe truth when it appears while guarding our sound mindedness from dillusions. The narrow places where we need The Holy Spirit to help us believe Jesus all the way always while discerning carefully false images in all things.  

 

His Glory in our weaknesses ♡

Nov 16
  • 1
Jose Simo
Jose Simo

Heavenly Father I thank You for giving me the gifts I have within me,,help me to understand Your word and receive Your Holy Spirit. Give me the wisdom of the word to live a dedicated life according to Your will. In Jesus Christ name I pray, Amen. 

An awesome message Pastor, God bless you and Sylvia. 

Nov 16
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardleedited: Nov 16

Amen! Thank you Pastor Dion, blessings upon you and Sylvia! As for me, I'll continue to follow my Lord and God, my Savior, who humbled himself and took on flesh to walk on this earth for 33 years, only to suffer and die for my sins, and then return to His heavenly abode leaving His Spirit behind to fill us, teach us and comfort us!!! Lord come soon and take us home!!

Nov 16
  • 1
Susan Petho
Susan Petho

Amen!

Nov 16
  • 1
Schalk  de Beer
Schalk de Beer

Amen Lord Jesus, amen 

Nov 16
  • 1
Mari Kaufmann
Mari Kaufmann

Dear God I pray I am worthy to receive the Holy Spirit. I want God to love me and increase my faith. In the name of Jesus Amen 

Nov 16
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen!

Nov 17
  • 1
Sherry McCosh
Sherry McCosh

Thank you once again for this awesome devotion today! I am praying that I can have the gift of tongues. I have been baptized in the Holy Spirit but the tongues did not come. I am not sure what else I need to do except keep asking the Lord for this, which I am. I know I have the Holy Spirit because He speaks to me and tells me things that there is no way I could know on my own. I guess I just need to keep asking and never give up until I see this gift but maybe everyone is not given the gift of tongues because Paul says "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of Miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret ? But earnestly desire the best gifts." 1Cor 12 30-31, "I wish you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification. 1Cor  14:4 -5. Please let me know your feelings on this Pastor Dion when you get a chance. Thank you for all you do. I am so thankful for this ministry!

Nov 20