The Reality of the Logos
In ancient times, if a slave found himself forced into an act of rebellion against his taskmaster, he had legitimate reason to fear for his life, and so it was with the descendants of Jacob. Fear gripped the hearts of many, as mothers carefully gathered the children into the safety of their humble dwellings, and each man diligently labored to prepare his chosen lamb. The death angel was to pass over at midnight, freeing them from a lifetime of hard bondage wherein they served.
They must kill the lamb and smear the blood on each doorpost and lintel, or so the prophet of Yahweh had said. The question loomed in the minds of many, “Can the blood of animals save us from slavery?” Lamb’s blood was so common; had it not been poured out regularly ever since they had been in bondage? How could it now have power to deliver? But the prophet had promised freedom if they were faithful in obeying his instructions.
Faith was stirred in their hearts as they remembered the things they heard from their parents. Yahweh had promised that their forefather, Abraham, would bring his descendants out in the fourth generation; the timing was right. They had always believed a savior would some day come to save them, yet the question remained, “Should they not simply trust in Yahweh to save them by his Spirit, rather than trust in the flesh and blood of a dead animal?”
They must have been reminded of another people in another age that had faced a similar catastrophe. The prophet in that sad day had also offered a simple solution, “Come into my ark,” Noah cried. “A flood is coming over the whole earth; everyone outside the ark will be destroyed.”
Some may have proclaimed, “Isn’t Yahweh our Savior, shouldn’t we trust only in his Spirit and word to save us? Let us ignore this foolish babbling. Yahweh loves us, he wants us to be free and enjoy life. We have no need of an ark or its silly builder.”
Then the rain began to fall and the people sought for higher grounds and the water prevailed upon the earth. The people must have complained, saying, “But the Lord loves his creation, how can he allow this flood to swallow us up? Why has he refused to save us himself? Why did he offer something as simple as walking up a gangplank into the door of a crudely built ark? Surely our salvation will come through Yahweh, and not through this man-made ark!”
At last the blood had been applied. The death angel had passed and faithless men marched forward, but only to face the death angel again in a desert experience. Their ears were dull of hearing and their eyes could not look beyond the lifeless form of that animal to see the saving power of Yahweh in the reality of the word.
Two men, Caleb and Joshua, were the only adults of the older generation to receive the promise of Canaan. The rest fell in the wilderness, but faithful Joshua led many of their children across Jordan. Time and time again their flesh rose up against the leadership of the Spirit, and just as often judgment fell, until at last Yahweh sent his messenger to prepare the way for the Savior (see Malachi 4:5).
John the Baptizer and messenger of Yahweh came announcing the impending judgment, and once again Yahweh was offering a simple solution. “He that believes (in the reality of the manifest word) and is baptized shall be saved,” Mark 16:16.
And again the solution seemed to be too simple. They must have wondered, “If there was to be a judgment, should we not depend on the Spirit to save us?” Why should there be a judgment? Were they not Abraham’s seed, and as such, the blesser of the nations? Had not the prophets called them Yahweh’s chosen people? This river had done nothing to save them when, as children, they dipped in its cool waters. How could they believe that deliverance from bondage and remission of sins were available through dipping in it now? But this is what the prophet was proclaiming.
Many were baptized in that day, just as many had left Egypt with Moses. But too few believed in the reality of water baptism, Yahweh’s holy covenant with the New Testament Church. “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.”
Is baptism in water only an outward work to be casually observed or rejected at will? Does not the Scripture admonish us to believe and be baptized, and the results would be salvation? Very few people look beyond the natural appearance of dipping in water to comprehend the reality in the covenant of water baptism.
Yasha said, “Truly, truly I say to you, except one receive birth of water and Spirit, not he is able to enter into the kingdom of Yahweh,” John 3:5 (Interlinear Bible).
The blood of animals never possessed saving power, neither did circumcision of the flesh. That is, it did not until our Creator chose it as an instrument of a covenant of promise to mankind. Yahweh says “Do this and live—you act, I fulfill.” Neither the ark made of wood, nor the shed blood of animals have power to save us, because we were never required to enter into those covenants with Yahweh, and those who were, could not profit by them without exhibiting faith and obedience in following the directions of the Spirit through the spoken word. The Spirit never disannuls the spoken covenant as long as it is in force.
A positive reaction of obedience to the covenant brought deliverance from bondage; Spirit and word (truth) lead them to their promised destination, but many were unable to react to the letter of the word, and their wonderings and blunderings were recorded for our admonition. But do we profit by their mistakes?
John came preaching the baptism of repentance, but when our Lord came to fulfill his covenant responsibility, John immediately refused to perform the ritual on the grounds that the son of Yahweh was sinless. This assumption was correct. Our Savior was, of a truth, sinless, but there is more to the covenant than the sin issue. Yahweh never intended us to believe that the water cleanses us from sin. When Yahweh told Israel to apply the blood to the doorpost, that blood did not purge their conscience from sin, it was a covenant of promise.
Water baptism is a covenant of promise between Yahweh and the Church, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yasha for the remission of sins and you shall receive,” Acts 2:38. Is not water baptism essential to all members of the New Covenant Church? We go down into and come out of the water. This action is our responsibility, or our faith works. James reminds us, that faith without works is dead, James 2:17-26. As we act upon his promise by faith, our sins are forgiven, “…and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” Acts 2:38.
If we truly believe from the heart that Yasha will do as he has promised, and if we have touched the reality of the Word, the fulfillment of the Word becomes the responsibility of Yahweh. But we must act in positive faith and expectation. If we do not act in faith and truth, our works are dead and will not command a Spirit reaction, because when Yahweh spoke the principle into existence, it was to operate by faith works.
Even though the written Word is spiritual and is comprehended only by spiritual mind, it is an ever-present reality. Spiritual revelation will not set aside, destroy, or disannul the written Word. Writings should never contradict the Holy Spirit, or the Word of Truth, because if this is done, it will not ignite spiritual motion that creates the promised reality. Example: Christ was slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). The whole of his earthly experience was a spiritual and unseen operation, but until the spiritual was made manifest in the word, or natural realm, it could not produce a visible reaction effective in the earthly (the natural).
Yahweh creates all things by the power of His word. When his word is spoken and mixed with the Spirit of Life in us, and we react positive to it, that action commands a Spirit reaction from the Creator. It creates, or brings to reality, the substances of the promise.
The Creator, by speaking a creative word into existence, sets up a condition to be met. When the condition is met, the creative force is put into action and the object appears, but all the conditions must be met. There must be a positive response to the spoken or written Word.
We cannot understand how the blood of an animal stayed the hand of the death angel, no more than we understand circumcision of the flesh or dipping in water, unless we understand the power of the revealed Word and are willing to take the word of Yahweh as absolute truth and believe in its divine authority with child-like faith. “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of Yahweh, who has raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses,” Colossians 2:11-13.
Baptism can be a beautiful experience if we read all the scriptures and believe what we read. Presenting water baptism in this light does not disannul the power of the blood, which was the work that produced all other actions, but it was to be initiated by Yasha. He alone could produce that reaction, and it was a finished work. Without the shedding of blood (Yasha’s) there is no remission of sin. Yasha responded to the written or spoken word. His reaction (works) produced the condition wherein we may receive remission of our sins as we react to the Word by being baptized in water. The same is true of the Holy Spirit, or Comforter. Yasha was commanded to fulfill his works: as he did, the Spirit fulfilled the promise to send the Comforter. This act was set in motion by the creative Word that had been spoken. Without faithfulness in Yasha’s works, salvation by faith could not have been offered through water baptism. Obedience to the covenant of water baptism makes the gift of the Holy Spirit ours on a sure basis. But remember, we can receive it only if we accept it.
Water baptism is much more than a casual experience if we are operating in the spiritual realm of faith. Therefore, we are buried with him in baptism into death. See Ephesians 6:1-13.
Peter makes this statement in First Peter 3:21, “…baptism does also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh) but the answer of a good conscience toward Yahweh, by the resurrection of Yasha Anointed.”
All things are possible to those who believe. Please take notice that when the believers at Ephesus were baptized, they received the gift of the Holy Spirit.
My purpose in dealing with the covenants as I have is not to take away from the beauty and benefits of the types or shadows revealed in them. Types and shadows are deep and rewarding subjects, and each covenant symbol is given to reveal a measure of the Spirit’s redemptive work; however, we are not required to reveal the fullness of this mystery to converts before their baptism. But if we, as ministers, can instill within them a positive faith in the baptismal covenant, they will, in return, receive a positive reaction from the experience.
We can walk only in the promises we are able to envision. We, as Abraham, may possess all the land that we can walk upon or stake a claim to.
Water baptism can be a lifeless form and ritual, or it can be everything the scriptures reveal it to be. But the convert that has been baptized as an outward work of obedience, and nothing more, has been shamefully robbed of a deep and abiding Spiritual reward.