4. BAPTISM AND CONFIRMATION
in the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)
4.1. What instruction did Peter (Kefa) give to the Judeans (Jews) who were under conviction following his sermon at Pentecost? (Acts 2:37-38)
4.2. What did Yah'shua (Jesus) tell His disciples to do before they went into the world to preach repentance? (Luke 24:47-53)
4.3. What was the "promise of the Father" they were to receive? (Acts 1:4-5)
4.4. What did Yah'shua (Jesus) say would happen when the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) came upon them? (Acts 1:8)
Notice that this empowering produces the ability to be a witness; that is, it gives the ability to live the Christian life and the power to preach the Gospel.
4.5. How did Yah'shua (Jesus) fulfil His ministry? (Acts 10:38)
4.6. What type of proof had the disciples been given of Yah'shua's (Jesus') resurrection? (Acts 1:3)
It is interesting to notice that although the disciples had been taught by Yah'shua (Jesus) over a period of three years, had seen the resurrected Messiah in all His glory and power over a period of 40 days, and had fellowshipped intensely with Him, they were not allowed to go and preach the Gospel until after they had received the baptism of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) and had been clothed with power from on High. Yet, how many "born again" believers attempt to go and preach the Gospel without it?
4.7. What did Yah'shua (Jesus) say about the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) that He would send? (John 14:16-17)
The Hebrew Ruach and the Aramaic Rucha (Spirit), unlike the Greek equivalent (which is neuter), are, without exception, gramatically feminine, as is the phrase Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit).
4.8. What are the two other names for the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)? (John 14:16-17)
The Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit), Herself feminine, is matched by Her rôle as "Comforter" and by the identification of the "Comforter" with Yahweh- Elohim acting as "Mother" (Is.66:13). Unfortunately in English the Ruach (Spirit) is often referred to as "he" or "it" (the Greek translation of the original Hebrew/Aramaic is always 'it'), something which seems very odd to the Semitic mind. In the Peshitta, an Aramaic version of the Bible, Romans 8:16 opens with: "And She the Ruach (Spirit) gives testimony ..." Thus the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is properly seen in feminine and not male or neuter terms.
4.9. What other things did Yah'shua (Jesus) tell the disciples that the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) would do for them? (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13)
4.10. Paul (Sha'ul) also speaks of this empowering. What did he say about the Gospel which he preached? (1 Cor.2:4)
4.11. On what should the faith of men not rest? (1 Cor.2:5)
4.12. On what should their faith rest? (1 Cor.2:5)
4.13. How did Paul say that we might know the things that Yahweh has given us? (1 Cor.2:9-12)
4.14. What did Yah'shua (Jesus) say the Ruach (Spirit) would do for us when we are delivered up before governors, kings and those in authority? (Matt.10:18.20)
4.15. Consequently, what are we exhorted to do when we are delivered up for the defense of the Gospel? (Matt.10:19)
4.16. What are two other names or titles for the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)? (Matt.10:20; Gal.4:6)
All these benefits (and many more) are available to all believers when the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is received.
4.17. Besides the eleven apostles, who else was waiting to receive the promise of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)? (Acts 1:13-15)
4.18. What was the total number present on the occasion that Peter (Kefa) preached on the coming of the Comforter? (Acts 1:15)
4.19. Although these people were staying in the upper room for lodging purposes, where were they continually meeting to praise Yahweh? (Luke 24:52-53)
4.20. During this time, because of the Feast of Pentecost (Shavu'ot), who was present at Jerusalem and in the temple? (Acts 2:5)
4.21. What happened when the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) was given? (Acts 2:1-4)
In a visionary experience in 1977, Lev-Tsiyon (the Presiding Patriarch of the Chavurat Bekorot or Holy Order) relates how he saw the gathering of the first New Covenant Christians and their pentecostal endowment by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit):
"I found myself standing in a small room ... Inside the little room were several people wandering in a state of mild confusion as though blindfolded. They were all trying to sing a hymn but could not do so in harmony because no-one seemed to be aware of anyone else and all were trying to sing different hymns simultaneously. It was not especially noisy for there was a gentle spirit amongst these people.
"Quite suddenly there was the sound of wind rushing through the room and those people who had seemingly been totally unaware of each other saw one another for the first time. Every man and woman turned to face in an easterly direction and immediately began to sing the most beautiful hymn of praise and adoration that I had ever heard. I was filled with unspeakable joy and an overwhelming peace. And the voice of Yahweh came to me for the third, and last, time, saying: "This is the celestial (heavenly) portion of the Church. These are they who are redeemed in the blood of the Lamb."" (Recollections of Lev-Tsiyon, 16 October 1992, Bergen, Norway).
The first gathering of Judeans (Jews) in Jesus' (ca. A.D. 30-33) day was very much like the first gathering of New Covenant Christians (1988-1992). There was little understanding of what the Gospel was, there were many different interpretations of it, and generally a lack of spiritual consciousness despite the personal ministry of Yah'shua (Jesus) in the New Testament period and the presence of so many revelations (the Olive Branch). The baptism of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) therefore transforms a people and does so in power.
Note that Yah'shua (Jesus) had to physically leave the disciples before the Comforter would come to them so that they would not lean on the visible but on the invisible. Similarly, just as the disciples fell by running away from Yah'shua (Jesus) and returning to their former professions after His death, so too did the many of the first New Covenant Christians run away from Yahweh's messengers and revealed truths, returning to their old ways of thinking after the precursor Church fell and was withdrawn in April 1992.
A Church/Community cannot be built or survive without the baptism of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). This truth had to be learned by the New Testament Christians just as the modern New Covenant Christians must learn. Similarly, just as the Comforter brought the teachings of Yah'shua (Jesus) back to the memory of the first Christians, so also will the Comforter teach that which has been revealed in the end-times to those New Covenant Christians who may never have seen the Olive Branch revelations. In this way Christians are taught to be built up on living revelation as Peter (Kefa) was and not just that which is written.
Just as the first Christians had no idea how the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) would endow them at Pentecost (Shavu'ot), so also individual New Covenant Christians have no idea how the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) will endow them in their own latter-day "Pentecost". The children of Yahweh live by faith and in expectation of the fulfillment of His promises.
4.22. What happened when this sound occurred? (Acts 2:6)
This out-pouring of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) did not take place in a small room somewhere behind locked doors. This thing was not done in a corner but in the temple before the eyes of all Israel. Similar endowments take place today amongst gatherings of New Covenant Christians, the nature of which depend on the kind of witness that Yahweh desires to give. No two out-pourings are entirely alike.
4.23. How did Peter (Kefa) explain what was happening? (Acts 2:14-21)
4.24. What did the tongues of fire that rested upon the believers represent? (Matt.3:11-12)
This fire of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) represents the cleansing and purifying work of the Ruach (Spirit) in the lives of believers. Though some Christians have reported seeing this outward manifestation of tongues of fire, it is not an essential manifestation for the contemporary work of the Ruach (Spirit).
4.25. How does John (Yochanan) describe this cleansing work? (Matt.3:12)
4.26. The prophet Malachi (Mal'aki) speaks of these cleansing fires. Describe this refining and purifying work that is to be done by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)? (Mal.3:1-3)
This cleansing and purifying work does not take place overnight. It is a process that only begins when we are baptised with the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). A refiner of silver heats the silver over a burning fire. As the silver becomes hot, all the dross and impurities rise to the top. He then skims off the impurities. He continues heating and skimming off the dross again and again until he can see his image reflected clearly in the silver. So also the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) through trials and tests skims off all the dross and impurities from our lives that the image of Yah'shua (Jesus) may be seen in us. This is usually a painful process that tests the Christian to the very limit of his endurance.
The fullness of the Christian faith must therefore be clearly understood to be one of intense trial and tribulation whilst the Christian's character is perfected. The New Covenant Path is not an easy one. There are far too many counterfeit Christian churches / Messianic assemblies and teachings that neglect to teach this fundamental doctrine of refinement and teach believers that the road to heaven involves little more than accepting Yah'shua (Jesus) as Saviour and/or certain doctrinal propositions. The truth Christian faith will always, as the Scriptures teach, test and try the Christian to his very core until he knows himself, His Saviour, and His God. Yah'shua (Jesus) calls this knowledge "life eternal" (John 17:3). And such is only possible with the baptism of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit).
4.27. In fact, what does Paul (Sha'ul) say the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) has come to do? (2 Cor.3:18)
4.28. How did the Gentiles (Goyim) receive the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)? (Acts 10:45-46)
4.29. How did the believers at Samaria receive the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)? (Acts 8:17)
4.30. How did the believers at Ephesus receive the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)? (Acts 19:6)
We see here that the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is received either through the laying on of hands or without any physical ordinance at all. This is the experience of New Covenant Christians. Ordinances are made spiritually effective by faith only and are given both to teach sacred patterns as well as to be points of focus through which faith can be released. Just as physical baptism is not required for salvation, so also a laying on of hands is not required to receive the gift of baptism of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). Nevertheless, both baptism and the laying on of hands (chrism/confirmation) are commanded by Yahweh and must be obeyed (Heb.6:1-3). Whether the remission of sins and the baptism of fire take place before, during, or after the ordinances is not important so long as they take place. For ordinances in and of themselves are dead, being merely outward forms or pointers.
It is also important to understand that there is no difference between the Gift of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) and the Baptism (immersion) of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). There is a false teaching that the "Gift of the Holy Spirit" is given as a kind of "special offer" to selected people who follow a particular church denomination and its leaders and that it is available to no-one else even though others may occasionally be touched by the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) to bring them to that particular church where they can then get the "gift" through the laying on of hands of specially authorised ministers. Such a teaching is not Biblical. Rather, we find Luke reporting that the gift of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) was not only given and "received" (Acts 2:38) but that it was also "poured out" on believers (Acts 10:45). Since a "pouring out" of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) must refer to a baptism of fire and of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) and not just to something which is simply "given" and "received" as a precursor to a later baptism of fire, the "gift" of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) and the Baptism of Fire and of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) must be one and the same, for this baptism is a gift of Yahweh through faith, repentance, and the remission of sins.
It is a false and heretical doctrine to claim that only one church denomination or group of people controls the giving out of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) through some ordinance. The gift of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) comes supernaturally from Yahweh and whether it comes when hands are laid upon a believer's head or separate from this ordinance is not important so long as it happens! The activity of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) in a person's life is in any case an infinitely more powerful testimony than a legalistic claim arrogantly made by those who claim to be the sole dispensers of Yahweh's supernatural powers. "Yahweh gives, and Yahweh takes away" is the testimony of the Bible (Job 1:21). And we should praise Yahweh for it, and not the arm of flesh or an organisation.
4.31. What happened when the believers received the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)? (Acts 19:6)
4.32. What does the prophet Ezekiel (Yehezqel) say about the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) when he is prophesying about the New Covenant (B'rit Chadashah)? (Ezek.36:26-27)
4.33. To whom is the promised gift of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) made available? (Acts 2:39)
4.34. To whom will the Father give the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit)? (Luke 11:13)
The Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is a free gift to anyone who meets Yahweh's conditions for receiving it, namely repentance and the washing away of sin. It is not dispensed by men, churches, priesthoods, or any other organisation, but by Yahweh's own supernatural activity. This is the testimony of all Christians who have been born again of the Ruach (Spirit) and who bring forth the fruits of that Spirit. (See Lesson 5, The Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) -- the Gift of Yahweh).
Write and memorise the following scripture: Acts 2:38-39
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