by Ruth Greene
The gathering of disciples of the Messiah needs to follow the words of Yahshua [Jesus]. When Yahshua [Jesus] was baptized, He did not compete with the ministry of John the Baptist. John’s ministry pointed to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy through Yahshua [Jesus] as the Messiah. As far as standards of the time, John was fully qualified for Yahshua [Jesus] to symbolize His dedication to His earthly ministry before a crowd of witnesses. Yahshua [Jesus] didn’t need repentance for sin, but His baptism was a turning point in His life, a turning aside from the past into His earthly ministry. He also served as as example to all disciples, a notice of being set apart to the Heavenly Father and His purpose, through the Holy Spirit [Sanctified, Set Apart Spirit]. In baptism, Yahshua [Jesus] fulfilled all righteousness by accomplishing obedience to YHWH’s righteousness, to divide the first part of His life from His earthly ministry, an act of divine purpose. (“Disciples: Focused on the Messiah & His Purpose“; “How to Receive the Holy Spirit“; Matthew 3; Isaiah 53)
My Fear of Baptism
“I had never been baptized, following the example that Yahshua [Jesus] set for disciples. I was doing what my Heavenly Father wanted, teaching and ministering in song for nearly 20 years. I fulfilled the role as a minister. For years, I didn’t give personal baptism a second thought. Somehow this had been missed and how convenient for me! After all, who knew whether I was baptized except for myself? Yet YHWH began to convict my heart. You need to symbolize your dedication. You need to witness before others. I had a secret. I was afraid. I had a fear of being submerged, even if for a moment. In my heart, I knew that this thinking wasn’t sound.” – RG (1 Timothy 1:7)
As soon as the Messiah was baptized and walked up out of the water, scripture tells us that the Heavens were opened and the Holy Spirit came to Him, a sacrifice for the lowliest people on earth. YHWH is three persons, yet One in essence. This is simple. The Almighty has different roles and purposes. All were present at the baptism of Yahshua [Jesus]. YHWH speaks. Yahshua [Jesus], the Son, is baptized. The Holy Spirit descended on Yahshua [Jesus] to formally establish His ministry. All were there. YHWH is One, yet functions in three roles at the same time. Much of Christianity says this is an incomprehensible mystery. This is not the case. YHWH’s children follow the Word of YHWH and understand that He is not a mystery. When His people are in the Word, they understand that the Word is dynamic and living in them through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is unique in character and ability. He is not a false god that the nations peddle. Just as your Heavenly Father is not a symbol or figment of the imagination, Satan is not a symbol or a metaphorical device. He is a real spirit person that fights against the Kingdom of YHWH. He wants to force His rule over all creation, which is easier than you might think. He wants you to live any way at all, apart from YHWH, and he aims to accomplish this goal through deception. He wants to divide and conquer, just like he sought to do with Yahshua [Jesus] in the desert. This isn’t personal. He wants to win and he wants you out of the way. (“Bible Truth That Many Christians Don’t Accept“; “What Is Washing By The Word?“; “Bible Truth: What is a Disciple?“)
After Yahshua [Jesus] was baptized, He was confronted by the devil in the desert. This period of testing lasted 40 days and nights. He was physically worn with intense hunger and fatigue. Satan wanted to stop the ministry of Yahshua [Jesus], to bring Him aside, closer to his way of thinking, to deceive or corrupt. Messiah experienced the same temptations that Adam, Eve and all of mankind continue to endure. Satan tempted Eve and she gave into his deception, which through the rebellion of Adam, has led mankind to suffer greatly. People have succumbed to temptation continually, degrading the pure knowledge of the original man and woman. Mankind has descended into a spiritual abyss apart from YHWH, almost without noticing it over the centuries. They don’t understand or seek to know that the word of YHWH involves personal active service and obedience serving Him, an example set by the Yahshua [Jesus] the Master. The Bible aptly points this out. Christians don’t serve a preacher, the pope or follow personal desires that conflict with the Word of YHWH or the conviction of His Holy Spirit. (“Christianity: A Crisis in Prayer & Spirit“; “Freedom in Messiah Despite the World“)
Yahshua was baptized twice. He was baptized with water and He was baptized with Holy Spirit, with full power and favor before the world of man. (Matthew 3:16-18) The same is required for sanctified disciples in this day to receive the Father’s full blessings. You must be set apart to Him.
When temptation seems strong, you may think that you can rationalize by giving in. That is where the importance of personal spiritual maturity and the prompting of the Holy Spirit comes into action. When you continually build spiritual maturity you gain discernment, especially as the Holy Spirit is quickened within you and you learn to hear YHWH over time. This quickening, an open heart to YHWH and spiritual maturity can enable you to consider whether Satan is attempting to block YHWH’s purpose for your life. (“Discernment 101: Learning to be Discerning“; “Discernment: Having an Ear to Deeper Understanding“)
In the same way, the temptation of Messiah shows everyone that Yahshua [Jesus] was human while on earth. His victory over extreme physical adversity and temptation reaffirmed YHWH’s plans for His earthly ministry. (Acts 14:22) Temptations will come your way in many forms and degrees. Yahshua [Jesus] gives you a physical and spiritual example to follow as you are tempted. Open up your Bible and read how Yahshua [Jesus] overcame the temptations during a very trying time, as well as proof of his refusal to sin, to comply with Satan and the world. He faced temptation and trials of the world, even as YHWH and the Holy Spirit resided with Him. Remember that temptation is not sin. Sin is giving in to temptation when any action disobeys YHWH. Knowing what disobedience actually consists of is vital! (“Being Set Apart Makes You Aware of Sin“; “Understanding Sin“)
“When I was baptized with water, it took 20 years for that to occur. I already had the Holy Spirit. My Father was merciful. He didn’t punish me when I finally overcame my fear. The devil tempted me about the water of baptism. That fear kept me away from YHWH’s desire for me. The Holy Spirit taught me and impressed on me how important it was to destroy a stronghold of fear that prevented me from acting in line with YHWH’s Word. It was a personal witness to me as well.” – RG
Baptism is designed to be more than a single act of contrition or an act of devotion to a ‘church.’ Baptism opens the door to a new lifestyle in front of the world, beginning the process of building a new man through the Messiah and the Counselor, the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:12) This is in opposition to the world. That opposition is real just as Satan and deceived mankind are real. Satan and complicit mankind want to keep you off of YHWH’s track of righteousness. (“YHWH’s Track of Righteousness“) The goal of this opposition seeks to deceive you. This deception says that you should live your own way or seeks to entice you to live the way someone else says. (Philippians 4:13; “Deceptions of Ages: How People are Deceived“; “Filling Your Life with Truth Instead of Deception“)
Eve did not regard Satan with fear. He made himself attraction and the idolatry he proposed against YHWH would make others like Him. When the original couple disobeyed and followed after the shining deception of Satan, they were removed from the garden of life in Eden. Everything that goes on today in modern society is a result of that disobedience. All corruption springs from that event through inherited sin. (“Source & Solution of Temptation”; “Temptations & Tough Choices“; “Are You Rejecting YHWH’s Holy Spirit?”) Today, it seems to many that corruption is simply part of life and nothing to be alarmed about. In fact, many are so deceived that deciding what corruption actually is has become a real dilemma.
Yahshua [Jesus] was able to resist all of the devil’s temptations because He knew scripture and He obeyed scripture. The Bible says that Yahshua [Jesus] is the Word. He came to cleanse the world. (Ephesians 6:17; Matthew 3:11-12, 4:16-17) YHWH’s Word is a sword to be used in spiritual combat, not only to study, but to boldly speak. Knowing Bible verses is an important step in helping you to resist attacks of the devil. Head knowledge isn’t enough. A disciple needs to obey and needs the power of YHWH’s Holy Spirit. A disciple needs discernment like Yahshua [Jesus] exercised in the face of Satan. (Matthew 4) When He was tempted, He knew that Satan was twisting scripture in the hope of tripping Him up or getting Him to agree. Instead, Yahshua [Jesus] quoted the Word. Do what your Master did. Tell your opponents the Word and your commitment to it. (1 Peter 1:18-20; “YHWH’s Prayer Shawl of Protection“)
“For though we do live an earthly life, yet we do not serve worldly things; for the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but of the power of YAHWEH to the demolition of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every false thing lifting up itself against the knowledge of Elohim, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Messiah, and we are prepared to seek vengeance on those who are disobedient, whenever your obedience is fulfilled.” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, HRB
Consider this. Satan did not really have a kingdom to give to Yahshua [Jesus]. Yahshua [Jesus] knew this. Satan has wrestled a measure of control from YHWH’s Kingdom, influence over the world of mankind, which changed the nature of the world. YHWH, the Creator of the world actually has control. When Satan tempted Yahshua [Jesus], he wanted control, agreement with YHWH to His ways. Satan sought vindication. In the same way, temptation will take you out of the Presence of your Heavenly Father if you follow it. When you remove yourself from His Presence, you are giving the devil reign over your life. Instead, disciples must seek repentance, turning aside from things of the devil, pulling down strongholds and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Messiah. That is the personal call of the disciple, as disciples fulfill spreading the good news of the Kingdom as they fulfill YHWH’s will in the Last Days of this dark kingdom. (Matthew 4:23, 6:33, 7:21, 24:14, 28:18-20; Mark 1:38; Luke 4:43, 8:1, 10:1; 2 Peter 1:10-11; Acts 2:22-24, 36; “Seeking a New Spirit“; “Which Shepherd Do You Believe?“)