The Bride Reborn
uestions about baptism are quite common in Christianity today; issues ranging from how essential it is, to the methods by which it is to be carried out abound. The matter of rebaptism is also an important one, and most denominations have their various criteria for this as well. The CSDA, of course, not being one of these, won’t have a set standard for that other than what is implicit in the Word, and what flows naturally from the Victory doctrine which is the central theme of the Gospel Itself. We will examine what these Biblical criteria are in a short while.
We should start first with a definition of what baptism is, and then go from there. Strong’s documentation declares that “Baptism,” from the Greek baptisma means:
1) immersion, submersion
1a) of calamities and afflictions with which one is quite overwhelmed
1b) of John’s baptism, that purification rite by which men on confessing their sins were bound to spiritual reformation, obtained the pardon of their past sins and became qualified for the benefits of the Messiah’s kingdom soon to be set up. This was valid Christian baptism, as this was the only baptism the apostles received and it is not recorded anywhere that they were ever rebaptised after Pentecost.
1c) of Christian baptism; a rite of immersion in water as commanded by Christ, by which one after confessing his sins and professing his faith in Christ, having been born again by the Holy Spirit unto a new life, identifies publicly with the fellowship of Christ and the church.
All of these sub-definitions are important, and we will look at all of the main points discussed here. It is, of course, important to note that the very meaning of the word implies that the method of baptism was to “dip” someone under water. Because of a misunderstanding of baptism, thinking that it was a replacement for circumcision in both meaning and method, many churches will baptize infants, since circumcision was done on children that were eight days old. Due to the age of the child, such practices as baptism by sprinkling or pouring water over the head of a baby crept into the Church. However, the problems with this should become obvious at once.
For one thing, circumcision can only be performed on male children. ALL are commanded to be baptized, both male and female. “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” (Acts 8:12) This leads to the next obvious flaw in the doctrine of infant baptism: people are not just commanded to get dipped as some kind of sign that they are a Christian – we are supposed to “repent and be baptized” for the remission of sins. (Acts 2:38) What sin has a baby committed? “Original sin,” some will say, because he has been born with a sinful nature. Granted, humans are born with a sin nature, but as far as individual sins go, a child is innocent. This is quite clear in Scripture too: “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Eze 18:4) “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” (Deu 24:16)
The only baptism ever commanded or even mentioned in the Bible is following this path: an intelligent individual, conscious of his need to be saved from his fallen, sinful nature, repents of his previous wrongdoings, and is immersed under the water as a public, visible sign that he considers himself dead to self (buried in a watery grave). He then rises out as a symbol of his acceptance of the promise to be raised again at the return of Yahshua. He is now a “new creature” and all things old and sinful and dark are passed away. He may yet reside in flesh that is inclined to sin, but he will henceforth consider that part of himself dead (Rom 6:11) and walk in the newness of everlasting life. This new life is everlasting in terms of quality, and is a down-payment on the redemption of our bodies also, which will result in both complete and endless existence in the resurrection or in the translation spoken of by Paul in 1 Cor 15:54 and 1 Th 4:15-18.
In fact, the only baptism that did NOT follow that exact pattern was Yahshua’s. He had no previous sins or sin nature to repent of, yet even then, He was immersed at the facilitation of John the Baptist.
So for everyone other than Christ Himself, baptism has this threefold meaning: it is for the remission of sins (Mark 1:5), it is for a sign that we are dead to self and alive in Christ (Rom 6:3, Col 2:12), and there is a third reason as well. The third meaning of baptism is that it is an entrance into the Bride of Yahshua. “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.” (Acts 2:41,42,46)
For now, I would like to establish a most important point. The baptism of John was a baptism into the very same Victory over sin taught by the Creation Seventh-Day Adventist Church. In fact, the CSDA is the only church which teaches that we not only should have it, but that our baptized members do have it. In fact it is the only church that CAN teach this, and there is a very important reason for that. We will look at what that reason is presently, as well as what it means that the new converts continued “in the apostles’ doctrine” and with “singleness of heart,” as we discuss the difference between the “church invisible” and the “Church of Yahshua.”
First, let us show that John’s baptism was that of full victory, then we will look at why only one church in the world today follows that light. It can be shown that John taught complete victory over the sin nature both from within the Bible and without. Let’s deal with the Scriptural evidence first. “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” (Mark 1:4) John’s immersion was called the “baptism of repentance,” that is to say, a baptism of turning away from sin. Does that mean they “turned away” only from the sins they were already doing, or was it more? Was it a commitment to continue to live that life, turning away from sins even at a future time, should more unrighteousness be revealed in them?
Paul explains John’s baptism thus: “Then said Paul, ‘John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.’” (Acts 19:4) We will come back to this passage for another vital point soon, but for now we should see that Paul calls even John’s repentance that which was done in Yahshua’s name. In a later place he says this: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Gal 3:27) This is the last place the word “baptism” occurs in the Scriptures, and is an apt “final word” on the subject. When we have “put on Christ,” we abide with Him and He with us, and thus does He keep us always from falling. To put on Christ signifies a joining, much like the two becoming “one flesh” at marriage. It is for this very reason that we are baptized into the body of Christ which is also called the Bride, and that is very much a commitment to a life-long, permanent state of being. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
Right after the time of Christ, a Pharisee named Flavius Josephus set about to write a definitive history of the Jewish people: from the wonderous events mentioned in the books of Moses right down to his day. Being of the Pharisees, he had little to say of Christianity, other than some passing comments, but even the little that he did say offers us amazing, and often useful insights into the early church from a source which is not only objective, but in many cases antagonistic to the Way. If therefore we can find both the pro and the con agreeing on some matter, we can be as sure of that issue as we can of few others.
Of the baptism of John, the historian Josephus wrote: “But to some Jews the destruction of Herod’s army seemed to be divine vengeance, and certainly a just vengeance, for his treatment of John, surnamed the Baptist. For Herod had put him to death, though he was a good man and had exhorted the Jews to lead righteous lives, to practice justice towards their fellows and piety towards God, and so doing to join in baptism. In his view this was a necessary preliminary if baptism was to be acceptable to God. They must not employ it to gain pardon for whatever sins they committed, but as a consecration of the body implying that the soul was already thoroughly cleansed by righteousness.” (Josephus: “Antiquities,” Book 18, Chapter 5, Paragraph 2)
Even with his faulty understanding of Christian doctrine (a convert would have understood that the baptism was not merely for the remission of sins, but was more than that, although that WAS one of the reasons for it), the Pharisee realized that John was teaching a lifelong commitment to abstain from ALL known sin, for that is the nature of a soul that is cleansed. It was not to imply that the person was made instantly perfect, but as he writes, “the soul was already thoroughly cleansed.” As the Word put it, the convert would have a “clean heart,” and was now ready to embark upon the lifelong task of sanctification (ie. being made ready in character as well as heart) for Christ’s return.
It has been concluded by many scholars, and I see no reason to doubt this, that John the Baptist had an affiliation with the Essenes, that third, ascetic sect of Jews living in Judaea at that time. It would certainly explain his attire and diet, Mark 1:6, and the fact that he lived in the wilderness. Unlike the Pharisees and Sadducees, which were also political entities under Rome, the Essenes (who were the ones from whom we eventually obtained the Dead Sea Scrolls) lived outside of the cities. They had strict standards of spiritual and physical cleanliness, and in fact would “baptize” (immerse) themselves daily in water as a means of remaining pure and clean for the coming of Messiah.
John, whether actually a member of this group or not, realized that baptism was more of a spiritual cleansing than a physical one. Being filled with the Holy Spirit from conception (Luke 1:13-15), the Baptist had more insight into what Yah was showing His people than they, and when the time had come, he went into the cities to teach all hearers that the Kingdom was at hand. How beautiful the harmony between the Bible and even worldly history! It is also interesting, and poignant, that of the Sadducees, Pharisees and Essenes, the group honored with the clearest light concerning the soon appearance of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords was the one that chose to remain separate from the political system of their world.
Have we successfully established that John taught Victory over sin even before Yahshua’s public ministry? I hope this was done to my reader’s satisfaction. Of course, if one has not read my articles on what the Victory IS, it is entirely possible that what I said before would offend, for the clear implication is this: if one was not baptized by water fully professing the Victory, he or she is not even baptized with the baptism of John, much less the baptism of Yahshua! This should be a hard pill to swallow for many, but I pray that even those cut by this teaching will continue also to the end. I always try to end with encouragement rather than merely pointing out the gaping flaws in the doctrine of modern, worldly churches.
It should be said at this point, however, that this article deals a lot with the “meat of Christianity.” Yah says in His Word, “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” (1 Cor 3:2) But the time is short now, dear reader... and the end is truly at hand; the time is now to see who IS able or not, for these are the ones our Father is calling. And just as those who have not yet been convicted on the Victory may take issue with what I read so far, so will those who do not yet fully grasp the concept of the Tribes and the last true church be stung with what I say in the rest of this article. This IS, however, the job of the Christian, to defend the true, earthly church, and so I will pipe for you. (Mat 11:17) I pray that many will dance.
Now that we see what John’s baptism is, we should be able to move on to what it means to “join the Bride.” Scripture teaches that there are in fact three kinds of baptism. Two of them meet in Christ, and the third is that “sanctification process” we spoke of before (definition 1a from the Strong’s). The first two are of this kind: John the Baptist said, “I indeed have baptized you with water: but [Messiah] shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” (Mark 1:8) Again we find, “John answered, saying unto them all, ‘I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.’” (Luke 3:16) The Authority on the matter speaks, as Yahshua Himself said to His disciples, “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” (Acts 1:5)
There is a baptism by water (previously we have called this “the baptism of John”) and there is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The first is for the remission of sins, and entrance into the Victorious Life that Yahshua died to give us. The second is for this reason: Yahshua said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) The baptism of the Holy Ghost makes you a witness, not only to the doctrine of Christ, but also His power. That is when you are truly a worker for His kingdom; truly a member of His Bride. Peter, we know, was baptized of John, but as I pointed out in a previous article, was not fully “converted” until Acts and the reception of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 22:32, Acts 2:1) It is not said that Peter was rebaptized in water after this, and indeed in his case it was not necessary, for he was already a member of the one complete organization of his day. Rebaptism for those already a member of the true Church is a separate matter.
Now, some knew only of the baptism of John, and were good teachers nonetheless (Acts 18:25), but there is more to essential Christianity than that. We will look at that verse and others in defense of this statement shortly. The other thing that the baptism of the Holy Spirit does is to release spiritual gifts! “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, ‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people.’” (Luke 1:67, 68)
When one has the baptism of the Holy Spirit, he then has the authority to use the gifts that Yah would have us gain for the proclaiming of His Gospel: “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.” (1 Cor 12:8-11) Prophecy, speaking in different languages, miracles of faith and healing... all of these are unlocked at or after the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Some modern Christians will say that when one is baptized with the Holy Spirit, one MUST manifest a particular one of these gifts – that is: speaking in Tongues. It should be well noted, however, that at Pentecost and in one questionable reference at the end of the Gospel of Mark, the “tongues” mentioned were clearly for evangelism, and were therefore understood by the hearers that spoke those languages. The only place a possible speaking in tongues unknown to any man is mentioned is 1 Corinthians, and it was mentioned because it was a problem in that carnally minded church. I deal with the issue of tongues extensively in another article, but for now it is enough that we understand that the effect of the baptism of the Holy Spirit will not necessarily release a visible and “supernatural” display of power. Most often, it is only the quiet and everlasting blossoming of the fruits of the Spirit in one’s soul: “...love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance...” (Gal 5:22,23) The list I mentioned before were the gifts of the Spirit, something that might be given to the believer, this latter list are the fruits of the Spirit, the qualities which WILL be displayed, regardless of which, if any, visible gifts are also given.
Now this can happen both before OR after baptism in water. For the disciples, it happened in Acts 2, after their watery confession. For the gentile Cornelius, it happened to him and his household before. When Peter saw them displaying these spiritual gifts, he said, “‘Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?’ And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.” (Acts 10:47,48) In these last days, however, as we await the “latter rain,” of Joel 2:23 and James 5:7, the ideal is that they both happen at the same time.
In the true baptism of Yahshua, the two baptisms meet. The Apostles had to receive theirs after the water because they did not fully understand what it meant to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The gentiles upon whom the Spirit fell first had not had the opportunity, because they were not Jews, to be baptized in water yet. In both kinds of cases, where they don’t happen at the same time, there was some external factor delaying one of the baptisms. In Christ, with all else being equal, the two meet. “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, ‘Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.’” (Luke 3:21,22) Yahshua, who understood fully the nature of the Spirit, received this symbol of the spiritual baptism at the same time He was baptized in water. In the same way He had no real need to be baptized in water for the remission of sins, so He had no first “baptism” of the Spirit at that time (He was conceived of It and filled with It from the womb) – BUT a symbol of it was given at His watery immersion to etch out the pattern for His followers, just as with everything else He did.
The idea, of course, is, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism,” (Eph 4:5) for if the new believer is fully instructed in Yahshua and the Spirit’s workings in his life, both baptisms would occur at once. Consider that the baptism of John was, as quoted in Acts 19:4, baptism in the name of the “One to come.” Yahshua has indeed come, and therefore it is now baptism “in the name of One who has died for us.” “Then Peter said unto them, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins [i.e., in water], and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.’” (Acts 2:38)
I say all this to demonstrate that both the baptism by water AND the Holy Spirit are necessary to become truly a member of the number of the redeemed. “Jesus answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) The baptism of water, therefore, is the baptism of repentance (i.e., the Victory). The baptism of the Holy Spirit is what makes you a true witness for Christ (ie. a member of the Bride), displaying the fruit of the Spirit and possibly the gifts also of that same Spirit.
So if we have seen what the prerequisites for entering the Bride are, we should now look at another most central issue: What is the Bride? Well, obviously the Bride is the Church of Yahshua, (Mat 9:15, Rev 21:2,9,10) but what does that MEAN? What is the Church? The Strong’s definition is rather lengthy, but for all that, a “church” according to the diverse meanings, has two main qualities: 1) It is a people (not building or denomination or organization) that are “called out.” 2) It is an assembling together of these same people for the worship of Yah.
Well, the world has certainly gotten the first part down! Never before have there been so many divisions, traditions and opinions keeping humans from worshipping the Father in Spirit and in truth. Some say this diversity is our strength; I wholeheartedly disagree. Diversity, not to be confused with individuality, is absolutely antithetical to the unity inherent in the true faith of Yahshua. And we wonder why we do not have more of the “great men” of earth with us... of course not! Even if they would seriously consider our faith, how would they know where to go? These days, it seems a man is converted to whatever form of Christianity “gets to him” first. This was NEVER the plan of our Heavenly father! Diversity can be seen as the strength of a democracy. The Kingdom of Yah is a KINGDOM, not a democracy: there is one King, and He has one law book: the Bible.
The more worldly-minded Christians believe that we can actually use this diversity to help the cause of Christ, so they open their doors to a “non-denominational” audience, a motley crew of believers from all spiritual backgrounds, some cherishing the most abominable of errors, but of course these errors will never be brought to light in such a setting: the leaders would lose their congregations! In the last days, Yahshua will again cast these leaders, these money-changers and thieves, out of His Father’s House. I do not say some of these men are not sincere, but if they will not hold up the Standard of Righteousness, they, like the Pharisees of the Messiah’s day, will receive the greater condemnation than the helpless sheep they lead into the pits of hell. (Mat 23:14)
Let us follow rather the teachings of Yahshua rather than the pride and folly of men. He told us just what would occur in the last days: “Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, “Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?” He said unto them, “An enemy hath done this.” The servants said unto him, “Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?” But he said, “Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” (Mat 13:24-30)
From this, it should be apparent that at one time the wheat was scattered all over the field. Indeed, it was good that this was so, for we are the “salt of the earth,” and salt must be scattered to preserve. In the last days, however, there is a GATHERING. There are faithful Christians in every denomination in the world. In every non-denominational gathering, there are those who are grieved for the things they see (and would be more so, for the things they do not yet see), but have nowhere else they know of to go. In every nation, country, continent, the faithful children of Yah reside. They speak with every tongue, but they all have this in common: they are waiting.
There are two “churches.” One is the “Church Invisible,” which is that which I describe above, that number of true, sincere Christians who, despite previous religious and spiritual experience, are honest seekers of Yahshua’s grace, mercy and everlasting life. Now, however, there is a “Church of Yahshua,” a visible, physical and united Church which completes Messiah’s prayers to the Father, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21) Let the reader be very clear on this point... the reason why Yahshua wanted us to be united was “that the world may believe” that He was the Christ. Does the world in general believe in Yahshua? No. And why? Well... because we are NOT one! Non-denominationals say, “Yes we are! We are one in Spirit!” If that were true, the world would believe, for Yahshua cannot lie. No, we are not one in membership OR in Spirit, else the world would believe, and He would have returned already. To say we are one in Spirit, yet we hold to different beliefs, is a senseless error.
Those who ARE one in Spirit will not hesitate long to go where they find the truth to be. They will come OUT from these “mixed multitudes,” anxious for their souls lest they be leavened by the errors they are fed on every week. Even knowing this message of Victory over sin, and rest in the Sabbath, some still struggle with making it a reality in their lives. And why? Because they are not yet a member of the Visible Bride, they have not been baptized in the name of Yahshua, nor have they consciously, purposely made a decision to renounce their faulty organizations in favor of the Pure Woman.
Yes, there is a true invisible church scattered throughout the world. Understand that I accuse no one, and would never think to belittle anyone’s Christian experience: BUT, I say this, that the time of the gathering is now. The wheat will be taken to ONE barn, and the tares will all be gathered into ONE oven. Have you been a member of a church who’s theology you did not FULLY agree with? Have you fallen victim to the Satanic lie that “no one church has all the truth?” If so, be comforted, but at the same time, “the times of this ignorance Yah winked at; but NOW commandeth all men every where to repent.” (Acts 17:30) “Repent of what?” you might ask in anger. “I’ve done nothing wrong, even if I don’t fully agree with or understand the errors that my church may or may not teach.” Now we shall look at the Biblical criteria for rebaptism.
Referring to the crossing of the Red Sea, Paul writes, “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” (1 Cor 10:1-3,6) Why were the Israelites in Egypt in the first place? Yah Himself had made them go there. “And Elohim spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, ‘Jacob, Jacob.’ And he said, ‘Here am I.’ And He said, ‘I am Elohim, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation.’” (Gen 46:2,3)
Yah Himself, because of the conditions in the rest of the world, had His people go down into Egypt for a time. They flourished there for a while, but at the same time, that was not to be their final resting place! Yah had a nation for them, and so even then to Israel He said, “I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.” (Gen 46:3) So it is, that a Christian’s previous experience is not invalidated by this teaching in any way. The fact that there is now the final Gathering sets aside NONE of what the believer has learned in a “foreign land,” but when he or she receives the call, there will be an Exodus to the true Land. It is NO coincidence that Paul writes that those being called out were “baptized” into Moses. So it is when a people find their place, they will publicly and visibly renounce their errors (if there were any) or understandable ignorance (if that be the case), with a baptism in the name of YAHSHUA, which they had previously misunderstood.
Let us look at some New Testament examples also. “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, ‘Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, ‘We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.’ And he said unto them, ‘Unto what then were ye baptized?’ And they said, ‘Unto John’s baptism.’ Then said Paul, ‘John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.’ When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus [YAHSHUA]. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (Acts 19:1-6)
That was the most important paragraph of all this lengthy article. Here are the relevant points: these believers had already been baptized. Moreover, they were baptized in the name of Yahshua. Having received the baptism of John, and what it meant in those days, they were also professing the Victory already! Even so, when they realized they had been so deficient in their learning, even though they had been baptized in the name of the Messiah, even though they were professing Victory, they STILL had to be rebaptized as a public display that they were living up to this new light. Of course it is not the case that every time we learn something new we are re-immersed. Not at all, but when we learn something SO new, when we discover something that makes us realize that our previous way of worship was missing the mark altogether, or that we were not members of the True Bride, certainly, a rebaptism is called for.
It is not that the previous experience was meaningless, not by any means. There was no error in the theology of these men mentioned here. They simply did not know the full truth, and when they leaned it, they hastened to rededicate themselves in the appropriate manner. A sincere heart is not enough, even the Victory is not enough – one must be baptized in the name of Yahshua (fully understanding what that means), and then work together with the unified body of Christ for the gathering of the rest of the Wheat. Only then can one truly take on the Names that the Bride has held from the beginning: Sons of God => Children of Abraham => Israel => Christians => Protestants => SDAs => Creation Seventh-Day Adventists.
In regards to memberships with organizations, Paul writes this: “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.” (Rom 7:2) Only death (and some very specific instances of divorce) can truly dissolve a marriage. The fallen, worldly churches are already spiritually dead, but because of their continued existence, those professing membership are still bound to them by Heaven’s law. Are you convinced that the Victory is true, yet still struggling? Are you seeing the light of the Sabbath, yet not fully resting in soul as well as spirit? You are yet bound to a false husband.
Only by death can you find release to “legally” be remarried to Yahshua. Only by being “buried” in baptism can you be resurrected to live forever as a member of the Bride of the Lamb which lives and receives praise forever and ever.” (Rev 5:13) Are you not yet a member of Christ’s true Church? Remember that from the earliest times, a “Bride,” would take the NAME of her Husband! Even if you are already doing the “works” of a Christian, and even if you already profess the Victory, still “the Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’” (Rev 22:17)
One question remains now: What IS the One True Church of Yahshua? How can you be sure you know what it is? How can I be so sure I am a member of it? I can speak of the Victory I have found: the complete and utter rest I have experienced, which manifests itself not only in my “inner man,” but also in a physical way, that even those around me can see it. But a personal testimony is only so relevant over the internet. I cannot easily say, “Come and see.” (Rev 6:1,3,5,7) We will have to rely on the Word’s evidence for this part – but that is no small thing. There is no disadvantage at all in falling to the Bible for truth and instruction.
The True Church will teach the Gospel.
What is the Gospel of Christ? “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the Everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Rev 14:6,7) If my reader has not yet read my articles on “The Inheritance,” and “The Victory,” that would be a good course of action to pursue in order to realize that this is the message you are hearing NOW, that Yah is the Creator, and that to worship the Creator is to be free from sin. “And [the woman] shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name YAHSHUA: for He shall save His people from their sins.” (Mat 1:21) “That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:15) “Whosoever believeth that Yahshua is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat loveth Him also that is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments.” (1 John 5:1,2) “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” (1 John 5:18)
This is not only a response that is Scripturally sound, but also contextually sound, if my reader will read all those verses in their original settings. The Gospel of Christ is that there is a people who have received grace from the Father through the Son, and as a result they will keep the commandments of Yah and will keep themselves from all known sin. Furthermore, they will be a joyful, peaceful and happy people, for in another place it is written that “His commandments are not grievous,” and these are they which we delight to do. Not one other church on earth teaches this in anything like its full strength. Not one other church is innocent of having diluted the salvation of Yahshua. Not one other church “knows that they know Him,” by keeping His commandments in both letter AND spirit. “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.” (1 John 5:19)
Is this an arrogant boast? Do the people of Yah hold up their heads and say, “We have the right day, the true Church and the full doctrine, and too bad for the rest of you!” Let not a hint of such sin be found among us. Let us rather with love and tender mercy say, “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Yah be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.” (1 Kings 18:21) Fear will keep a man in a burning city. Pride will keep a man in a burning city. The prophets are on the outside, weeping and calling. Will we be stoned for this message? Absolutely, but neither shall we be silent. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another,” said Christ once. How can we forbear to sound the voice of warning? Jerusalem burns even now, and salvation lies without: be then called out, and join the Bride, as we move forward in Victory to call all of Yah’s children home.
This is what I meant at the start, when I said I would explain what it meant in Acts 2:43,36 about the converts “continuing in the apostles’ doctrine in singleness of heart.” Only those working in unity of Spirit WITH a single, complete doctrine and understanding of Yah and His workings with us on earth can function properly for the salvation of not only themselves, but others as well. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)
The “woman” of denominationalism rides a seven-headed beast (Rev 17:3) which is heading for destruction. Only the Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church has the true Gospel of Yahshua as described above, and only it can rightly protest the Mark of this Beast: salvation in sin, a false Sabbath, spiritual discontent and so on. In an earthly sense, beasts are not in themselves bad, for Yah Himself created them. But even so, a woman should not lie with a beast, or even approach one to lie with it (Lev 20:16), else both would be put to death. So it is in the last days, when we see the true, spiritual application of the Old Testament. If any woman (church) has communion with a beast (governmental power, leadership by men, pagan errors), or even flirts with such a thing, both she and it will be cast into the lake of fire. (Rev 19:20)
The True Church will protest these errors, not create them or embrace them! She is a pure woman, and only a pure Woman will be wed to the Lamb who is Himself “without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.” When the beast of error is cast into hell, we will be as Paul, of whom it was said, “And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.” (Acts 28:5) Let ANY who are in a denomination, or a member of a “mixed multitude” hear the prophets “sighing and crying for the abominations” in Jerusalem. Let them shake the beast into the fire, be it a false day of worship, a smooth and watered-down message of sanctification, a trademark. Join the only remaining “protestants” this world knows, the Bride Reborn, for we have one last work to do before Creation can finally rest.
“And all the people that heard [Yahshua], and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.” (Luke 7:29, 30) “The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know His will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of His mouth. For thou shalt be His witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of Yah.” (Acts 22:14-16)