Preparation for Baptism -- Study #1
NO.1 Romans 6:1,4,13,16,19 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Yahshua was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto Yah, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto Yah. Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your member's servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your member's servants to righteousness unto holiness.
All who enter upon the new life should understand, prior to their baptism, that Yah requires our undivided affections. Enter ye at the straight gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few be there which find it and walk in it.
NO.2 Hosea 10:2-4 Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images. For now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the Creator; what then should a king do to us? They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus judgement springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.
Deuteronomy 23:21-23 When thou shalt vow a vow unto Yah thy Creator, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for Yah thy Creator will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee. That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto Yah thy Creator, which thou hast promised with thy mouth.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 A new heart also will I give you, a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements, and do them.
Satan does not want anyone to see the necessity of the entire surrender of self unto Yah. When the soul fails to make this entire surrender, sin is not forsaken; appetites and passions are continuing to strive for the mastery of the soul; temptation will confuse the senses, not allowing the true conversion to take place in the heart and mind and body. When one is truly renouncing sin, which is transgression of the known laws of Yah, our life will be brought into conformity and perfect obedience to the mind and will of Yahshua, thanks be to the Holy Spirit.
NO.3 I Corinthians 15:33-34 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of Yah: I speak this to your shame.
Romans 13:11-14 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk in honesty, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on Yahshua the Messiah, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Before baptism, there should be a thorough inquiry as to the experience of the candidate. Let this inquiry be made in a kind and tender way, pointing the new child of Yah to the Lamb of Yah, who died to take away the sins of the world. Therefore our sins of selfishness, of temper, laziness, all known wrong habits and practices, are to be firmly and positively put away and out of our lives forever.
NO.4 I Peter 3:2-4 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of Yah of great price.
II Peter 1:2-4 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of Yah, and of Yahshua our Messiah, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
It is by conformity to the will of Yah in our words, our deportment and in our daily character that we prove to fellow man and the angels of record that we have a living, growing connection with the Father through the blood of the Lamb and the power of the Holy Spirit. We cannot depend on any other person to do our work for us. We must perform the duties and commandments for ourselves. When delight reigns in us, we are leaning on no other but Yahshua for support and efficiency.
The Savior desires that all his children put away all their worldly appearances. The ornamentation of the physical body with jewels and expensive clothing is none-the-less, a sign of inward spiritual poverty. Satan has laid a snare to bring captive unwary souls by leading them to give more attention to outward adorning. If the enemy can keep the mind on these things, he is well pleased. Let us instead, make gain of the inward display the fruits borne of the tree of life.
NO.5 II Corinthians 3:2-3 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. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
John 14:22-24 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, "Master, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?" Yahshua answered and said unto them, "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me."
As those who claim to believe the truth give expression to the truth in appropriate dress and in their words and conduct, they are living examples of Yah, known and read by all who come into contact with them. Their chaste conversation is a sign of inward adorning. Their influence is greatly enlarged, a field of usefulness for the Father is ever open before them. We are as signs in the world, cultivating, as salt scattered throughout that has kept its savor.
NO.6 Romans 14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Creator; and he that regardeth not the day, to Yah he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Creator, for he giveth Yah thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Creator he eateth not, and giveth Yah thanks.
Romans 14:17-19 For the kingdom of Yah is not meat and drink; but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Yahshua is acceptable to Yah, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
Ephesians 4:11-15 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Yahshua: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of Yahshua the Messiah, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Yahshua: that we, henceforth, be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Yahshua...
Through his own life in human nature, Yahshua has revealed to us his methods of usefulness in saving souls. His character is to be alive and emanating from within and without his followers. The reception of truth, in these the last days, never makes the receivers of these great truths coarse, rough, and uncourteous, neither harsh in conversation nor spirit. The truth never degrades, but instead refines, purifies, elevates, and ennobles the receiver of those truths. Through sanctification of the Holy Spirit we are made an agent through whom the unseen angles of Yah work out his holy precepts.
NO.7 Matthew 25:32-34 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world..."
Ezra 10:11-12 Now therefore make confession unto Yah, the Creator of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives. Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, "As thou hast said, so must we do."
All who accept Yahshua as their personal Saviour must count themselves in the number of the dead; dead to all things in their conduct that he could not give his approval. We newborn children of Yah must have sufficient instruction, not left to ourselves, for we are now often tempted, and our discernment of the evil behind the temptation is undeveloped. Let us as newly born feel it is our privilege to seek counsel. If we seek the fellowship of those who can help us, we will soon possess the refined taste that will always choose the company of people who love and fear Yah.
NO.8 I John 3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of Yah, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
I Peter 1:22-23 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of Yah, which liveth and abideth for ever.
All who study the life of Yahshua and begin to practice his teachings will become like him, a son of Yah. Our influence will be like his. We reveal soundness of character. We are established in faith, and will not be overcome by the devil, because vanity and pride are destroyed in our lives by the indwelling of his life. We seek to walk the humble path of obedience, doing the will of Yah. Our character exerts an influence that hopes for the advancement of the cause of Yah and the healthful purity of his work.
NO.9 II Peter 3:11-14 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of Yah, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
James 1:26-27 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before Yah and the Yahshua is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
By the reception of the doctrines of Yah and the performance of the duties required in the word, we the professed followers, are then witnesses to the world of unity of Yahshua with our flesh. We must show that we have been given to Yahshua by the Father, and are overcomers through the Blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony. We love him who redeemed us. We increase in knowledge of Yahshua by exampling his character as our very own character by the power of the Holy Spirit. We cherish expectations that will not be disappointed, we expect to see his face and to rejoice in the sunshine of his countenance.
NO.10 I John 3:6-10 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose Yahshua the Messiah was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of Yah doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of Yah. In this, the children of Yah are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of Yah, neither he that loveth not his brother.
Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
The line of demarcation is distinct. All who obey Yah's commandments are kept by his mighty power amid the corrupting influence of the breakers of his laws. From the lowest subject to the highest in positions of trust, we are all kept by the power of Yah through faith unto salvation.
NO.11 II Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Yahshua the Messiah is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Galatians 6:4-5 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.
The knowledge of Yah and Yahshua expressed in our characters is esteemed above everything in earth and heaven. It is the very highest education. Not one should be buried with Yahshua in baptism until they are examined to be sure they have ceased to sin, making sure their moral principles are fixed on Yahshua, and whether or not they understand what sin is, and whether or not they have any moral defilement which Yah abhors. We must be sure of true conversion before baptism and find out, with close questioning, if one is really ceasing to commit sin. If they can, from the heart say, and with their actions testify, that they hate sin with a perfect hate that Yah gives, they now may be buried in the watery grave.
NO.12 Colossians 3:1-6 If ye then be risen with Yahshua, seek those things which are above, where Yahshua sitteth on the right hand of Yah. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Yahshua in Yah. When Yahshua, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things' the wrath of Yah cometh on the children of disobedience...
I Peter 4:1-2 Forasmuch then as Yahshua hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of Yah.
Those of us who have taken part in the solemn rite of baptism have pledged ourselves to seek for those things above. We have pledged ourselves to labor earnestly for the saving of sinners. Yah asks us, who name his name, how are we using the powers that have been redeemed by the death of his son? Are we doing all in our power to rise to a greater height in spiritual understanding? Are we adjusting our interests and actions in harmony with our momentous claims of eternal life?
NO.13 Titus 1:10-11 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.
II John 7-9 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Yahshua the Messiah is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Yahshua, hath not Yah. He that abideth in the doctrine of Yahshua, he hath both the Father and the Son.
Our burden is to preach the gospel truth as to what really constitutes true conversion. We are not to lead down in the watery grave those who are not understanding and living the true gospel conversion. Let us not be, as a church, composed of those who do not realize the sinfulness of sin.
NO.14 I John 5:18-21 We know that whosoever is born of Yah sinneth not; but he that is begotten of Yah keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. And we know that we are of Yah, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know that Yahshua the Messiah is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in His Son Yahshua the Messiah. This is the true Almighty One, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
I Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but Yah is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
In receiving the rite of baptism, our human heart, now a living agent for Yah, with all new and holy purposes, we do pledge that we are dead to the world and alive in obedience to Yahshua. Now the Father and the Son, through their Holy Spirit, will supply the power that makes us victorious in every single conflict with the prince of darkness and the "god of this world." By their giving grace and power we will perform the will of him who rent open the sepulcher and declared to the universe that he is the resurrection and the life.
II Timothy 4:18 And the Creator shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory forever and ever! AMEN!