Christian Baptism and Kingdom Consecration
Sermon Delivered by
John G. Lake
Published by Zion Apostolic Church
Price 25 cents
Personal Experience Is Priceless
Personal Christian experience is the basis of all religious faith. I am thinking just now of old Jacob, who had been looking after his father-in-law’s cattle for fourteen years. He was a shrewd fellow and a real old Jew. He had been practicing a law of suggestion on his father-in-law’s cattle, until he practically owned the herd. When they were to separate and Jacob had his things started down the road, I guess his father-in-law thought he had about all there was on the farm. He also started down the road and overtook Jacob, and in the course of conversation Jacob said, “I know by experience that the Lord hath blessed me.” No doubt about it. He had the cattle. HE was in possession of the herd.
So personal experience is the great basis of all faith and growth in God. It is good and blessed to see what God does with others and for others, but the only satisfying thing, and the only thing that satisfies your own nature, is that which God accomplishes within your own heart and that which you yourself are cognizant of, whether it be in salvation, sanctification, consecration, Christian baptism, baptism of the Spirit, or any other Christian experience.
The Ordinance of Baptism
It has been a great joy to me in these last few years to realize that God is revealing once again, by the Holy Ghost, the real revelation of the purpose of the ordinances that Jesus Christ established, particularly the ordinance of baptism. This ordinance, in the beginning of the Church’s history, was a great and blessed and dignified ordinance of God which caused men and women to come deliberately forward and commit themselves to the Lord as disciples of Jesus, notwithstanding that the mere fact of that deed meant that their names would be taken by a Roman officer. (K speak now of the time of the great and terrible persecution of the Christians after Christ, and which continues until the Third Century.)
A Roman officer would take the names of the Christians who were baptized, and these were baptized, and these were forwarded to Rome. Instantly, they ceased to have any further right or protection of law under the Roman government. Their estates were confiscated, and they were counted as enemies of the State, They themselves were left as a prey to the avarice of the populace. It certainly meant something to be baptized, and certainly there was something, an inner something, that these Christians understood was vital and so necessary that it could not be avoided. Otherwise, no such public baptism would have taken place.
I am looking forward and rejoicing in the return of the old time Christianity and note that when the Holy Ghost began to move afresh in the latter days He brought back the old time spirit of real sacrifice, not only the giving up of that which a man possesses, but the giving up of himself and entire committing of himself, to the Lord his God. And this is the point that I want to speak to you about this afternoon. A real kingdom consecration of all you have and all you are - property and person; body and soul and spirit to Christ and the kingdom.
The presentation of ourselves to God was the great original fundamental issue that underlaid the whole subject of baptism in the beginning, when Jesus gave the command that constituted Christian baptism; for there is only one command in the entire Word of God that constitutes Christian baptism and gives instructions as to its mode.
Now you notice what I say, that there is only one command in the entire Word of God that gives instructions concerning Christian baptism and its mode. No other command deals with the mode of baptism-just that one command in Matthew 28:19, given by the Lord Himself.
Coming from the Lord, it is absolutely official and binding, not to be discussed or disputed, but obeyed. Indeed, this was His final command ere He was borne upward by the power of God as He stood on the Mount of Olives about to be separated from the disciples. He said to them:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in (into) the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
One of the blessed things I feel the Lord is laying on our hearts today is a return to that ancient practice and mode of baptism instituted by Christ, practiced by the apostles and the Church officially for eight hundred years or until the official introduction of single immersion by the edict of Pope Gregory. Not only in the name of, or by the authority of, but there is an inner meaning, a better one. Into the nature of, into the character of, into the life of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Baptism is not an act of obedience. It is ten-thousand times more. It is and induction into the nature and character and the life of God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. In other words, induct them into the life of the Father, induct them into the life of the Son, induct them into the life of the Holy Ghost.
Baptism into the Son
The climax of salvation is the reproduction in the human family of the Christ of God, the real Christ of God reproduced in you, in me, as members of the great whole. Just as Jesus Himself was the reproduction of the Father, so the collective Body of Christ, the Church, is the reproduction of Christ in the world.
“Baptizing them into the nature of the Son,” into the sacrifice of the Son, who gave Himself; the Son who died even that we might live. The Son who yielded Himself unto death in order that he life which He gave forth might be transplanted into the human nature and mind. That is the great purpose of he Gospel-the reproduction of the Christ, the Son of God, in the family, the Body, the saints, the bride of Christ.
Beloved, it is my conviction that the time has come when from the Body of Christ, or Church, from the bride of Christ, who is the chosen of Christ, there shall come forth that which the Scripture portrays, the man-child, or one born out of the bride, just as Jesus was born out of the virgin, filled with power and dignity and purity. Not an individual, but a company of the saints of God who are born to rule; to whom God has given by the Spirit ability to govern. Who will be partakers and rulers with the Lord Himself in His kingdom on earth.
Baptism into the Holy Ghost
Once again, there is a phase of baptism that you and I have commonly not recognized. “Baptizing them into the Holy Ghost.” As Jesus uttered that command as He stood on the Mount of Olives, He included a name. The Holy Ghost, into which no man had been baptized before. We see the Fathergood of God, we recognize the Son ship of God, the Word speaks to us about the household of God, but we fail to recognize the characteristics of the Spirit of God.
They are the characteristics of motherhood. The Spirit that broods, the Spirit that yearns, the Spirit that endeavors to draw us back to God, the Spirit that reaches forth, that hovers over us, that sustains, that blesses, that comforts, that guides, that controls.
So we see the family of God: The fatherhood of God, the motherhood of God, the son ship of God, the household of God.
So in the life of the real Christian, there should, there must be apparent in our character, the characteristics of the triune God. There should be evidence that inborn in the Christian, are the God-qualities of construction, creation, character building, cementing together, and comforting crowned with sacrifice and obedience. It is the mind of God that everyone, who by the blood of Jesus is admitted to membership in the Body of Christ, should reproduce in others the qualities that God has planted in them. Blessed be His precious name!
Following His Example
Beloved, you and I as sons of God by virtue of our sins having been washed away, after we have yielded ourselves to God, stand before mankind to present ourselves to the Lord, even as Jesus Himself presented Himself to God, a complete consecration “unto all righteousness”.
The Great Blunder
Now may I call you attention to one thing? The question of baptism has usually been presented to the world from the sixth of Romans, which in itself is not a discussion of baptism at all. The subject of baptism in the sixth of Romans is only used as an illustration of the deeper death-life of the Christian. No mention is made whatever of baptism, either into the Father, or the Spirit. Paul deals only with death of sin, the subject he was emphasizing, which is demonstrated in our one immersion, into the Son, while Jesus commanded an immersion into each separate name of the Trinity. Paul’s teaching all the way through is filled with the subject of the death-life of the Christian.
For years and years, as I have gone into the Word of God and prayed over these questions and heard men teach on the subject of baptism, there was something in my spirit that always revolted against the cross-death being taught as the Christian’s death. The cross-death is the death of the old man, and our sis are nailed to the cross and are done with.
Therefore, the man who comes to present himself for baptism ought to be considered, and should consider, and reckon himself as finished with sin. It is past and done and gone and now he stands before the world to himself as one who is finished with sin in all its aspects. He presents himself as a saved man that he may come forth a new man in Christ Jesus, declaring himself forevermore committed unto God the Father, unto God the Son, unto God the Holy Ghost.
In going into this question of the death-life, my spirit recently has been drawn out to observe that in the Old Testament there is a type and evidence of the real death-life. I in the sixteenth of Leviticus we have that wonderful picture of the Atonement and life-death and physical cross-death of the Lord. The one goat was to be slain; its blood to be sprinkled on behalf of the people; its body to be burned, consumed, and destroyed with the camp.
The one goat, the one I especially want to call you attention to now, is the one that was taken on the towrope by a Levite, three days into the barren sands of the wilderness, until worn and weary of exhaustion and starvation it was left to die. This was the other phase of sacrifice- not the giving of its blood and the burning of its body, but the working out of God in its own being until in real life it dies.
Jesus on the Towrope
We come to the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, who presented Himself at the River Jordan that all the righteousness of God might be fulfilled in Him, and immediately following, we read that He was driven, or led, by the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted by the devil. We see that after His baptism, He was under the control of the Spirit of God.
Being under control of the Spirit of God, just like the goat that was led by the Levites, so our Jesus by the Holy Ghost, God’s Levite, was led three days, God’s time, which is three years (a day for a year) into the wilderness, just as the original goat had been led, until He dies out to the claims of this three-fold nature. For three years, not by the death of the cross, but by a living death, the yielding of Himself moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day, unto His Father’s will, He demonstrated to God and man that He was an overcomer and was the one man who had triumphed over sin and over self.
Thus, He became the author of eternal salvation, and so our Christ, our Lord, could come and present Himself at the cross as the second goat, for destruction of the body, that His physical life might be poured out, that His blood might be shed for the salvation of man.
Need of Proper Teaching
Beloved, let me tell you, there has been a superficiality in our dealings with men. We say, “Brother, come and kneel at the altar and die, and yield yourself on the cross,” etc. and the individual comes and he finds that when he goes away the operation of death has not taken place in him, as he had desired.
[Editor’s note: Two pages of text are missing here.]
...Spirit, in His soul, in His body, to the claims of His own nature-wholly yielded unto God.
Tempting the Body
Then just as the goat, who yielded himself to the control of the Levite and was taken on the towrope three days into the wilderness to die, so Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Mind you, HE was led by the Spirit. He did not get there by accident. It was in the purpose of God that He should be tested and tried in order to demonstrate that His consecration was genuine and in God.
The temptation begins. First Satan presents to Him a temptation peculiar to the demands of the body alone. He had fasted forty days and forty nights, ad “was an hungered.” God says so. Satan says, “Command that these stones be made bread.” But Jesus our Lord remembered that at the Jordan He had committed His body and all its claims unto God, and rejected the temptation and put it from Him by the Word of God. God’s glory and man’s salvation were more to Him than the hunger calls of His body. Bless God.
Tempting the Soul
Once again, Satan seeing that the temptation had failed, makes a claim to the higher realm of his nature-His mind, or soul. He takes Him to a pinnacle of the temple, and says, “Cast thyself down” before these unbelieving Jews so that they, seeing you are able to cast yourself from such a height, will recognize you as their prince, and crown you as king. It is all right, do not be afraid, “He will give His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways.” But our Jesus, remembering that HE had committed His self-life, His soul, His mind unto God, rejected the temptation; the tempter is turned aside.
No crossless crowning for the Lord. No bloodless glory for the Lord. He had committed Himself to God. God had given Him as a ransom 582 for many. He, the Father, gave His only begotten Son, so there was no way for our Lord to go but to go the way the Father had mapped out. Jesus knew no will of His own-only the Father’s will. Bless God.
How abundantly this is demonstrated in the Garden of Gethsemane, when the great climax of the great earth-life, or that death-life, had arrived. Jesus went into the garden when the sorrows of mankind, the consciousness of sin, came upon Him with such abundant power that from His person there began to flow great drops of blood, falling down unto the ground. Reason, science, everything, demonstrates that when such a thing becomes possible death is very near.
I knew a man who sweat blood. For a time, about three month, blood would ooze out of his pores, and when he would awake his pillow would be dotted with blood because of the tremendous burden of sorrow that he then lived under. That was judge ___of___, during Dr. Dowie’s breakdown. His wife told me that for three months she would have to a napkin over his pillow. Beloved, I tell you there are some hearts, there are some lives that feel the sorrows of man.
Reason, everything, demonstrates that when such a thing in any measure becomes possible in a human life, that death is apparent. IN the case of our Lord it was not a little drop or two, but great drops of blood oozed from His person, so that the Lord Himself, understanding and knowing and being convinced that even His life was passing out, prayed that wonderful prayer in the Garden, “Lord, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.”
Jesus was not a coward. He was not praying for fear of the cross, Instead, He was a hero. HE was praying in an agony of fear that HE would not reach the cross. God had designed what His end should be, and He by the consent of His own nature, for you and me, had likewise designed that there could only be one end and that was that He should die on the cross. His prayer was heard. Angels came and 583 strengthened Him, and then with joy and gladness our Lord went on to the cross and poured out His life’s blood.
So we see the temptation to cast Himself from the pinnacle of the temple, making an exhibition of His power and thereby getting the acclaim of mankind, was not God’s way nor God’s will. He had committed His being, His mind, His soul to God. He could not go that way, and He did not.
Tempting the Spirit
Once again, He has committed His spirit unto God. Satan, realizing that the appeal to the animal consciousness of the man had failed, realizing that the appeal to His mind, His soul, His reason had failed, presents a new temptation, a spiritual one. He says “Now Jesus look.” And by a supernatural power Jesus is permitted in a glance, in a moment of time, “to see all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.” Then Satan said, “Jesus, all these will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”
But bless God, Jesus had committed Himself at the river Jordan unto all the will of God. He could not worship at the feet of the devil, nor acknowledge him ruler. This life-death and His reliance of the Word of God gave victory. He spurned the temptation and the tempter and went God’s way, His own choice likewise, to the bloody cross.
Men have magnified the sacrifice of the cross, but have minimized, or have failed to see the magnitude of the victory attained by Jesus in His life-death of three years, which left His body, His soul, His spirit so completely surrendered to all the will of God that the cross, the death of the body, was but a fitting climax.
Therefore our Christ, having committed His spirit unto God, rejected the temptation of the devil and started from that hour to demonstrate by His daily life and His daily living, that He was dead to all the claims of His nature. Thus He could say,
The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works.
I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.
Bless God! There was one life surrendered unto God. The only life in all the race of man that was able to present itself unto God, obedient even unto death; dead to every part of His nature, His spirit, His soul, His body. Blessed be the name of Jesus!
Beloved, God has designed for you and me that same blessed, wonderful, triune consecration typified in a triune baptism into the nature of the Father and into the nature of the Son and into the nature of the Holy Ghost.
When these dear one who are to be baptized go down into the water let it be with this consciousness that you have committed yourself-your body, your soul, your spirit- unto God. That you voluntarily take the hand of the Spirit of God to be led into the wilderness, or out of the wilderness, on the towrope of the Holy Ghost, whithersoever He leads. Bless God.
Holy Ghost Conviction
I believe in triune immersion. There is no doubt about it. I believe it with all my heart. I believe, as any honest student can see, that the teaching of single immersion is only a partial revelation of the wonderful subject of baptism.
Triune immersion the Holy Ghost revelation of the subject. It is according to the Word of God and the only form of baptism 585 according to the Word of God. Everywhere I go I find that God is revealing this fact to the saints, the real ones. The superficial may continue to baptize by other modes, but the real kingdom Christian will find satisfaction and gratification and consciousness of full obedience only in fulfilling the entire command of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is the end of all discussion on the subject of baptism. Christians who have been baptized by single immersion are convicted of the truthfulness of triune immersion, because of its greater truth and fuller obedience. But no man having been baptized by triune immersion, could be convicted of single immersion except he be a fool. No more than one having been immersed once, could be convicted of the need of being sprinkled.
I am looking forward to the day when the Church of God will recognize that they have robbed mankind of one of the most glorious privileges of the Christian life, that of a clear, definite committing of all their triune being unto a triune God, that a triune operation may take place in the heart- death to sin, life to God, and power for service. Yea more, that you commit yourself even unto death as Jesus did-your body, your soul, your spirit-that when Satan appears to tempt you, as he will, you will be able to say even as the Lord did and as the Lord showed by His action, that your triune being is committed unto God, and you refuse the offers of Satan because you belong to God. Yea more. That the all things of every day and the everything of each day may be the means by which your life is demonstrated to be in the hands of God and that you are yielded, body and soul and spirit, unto Him.
Permit me to emphasize this fact, that the disciples baptized men according to the command of the Lord. When Paul dealt with the death-life of the Christian, in the sixth of Romans, he used the subject of baptism (into Jesus Christ) as an illustration, singling out the one act from a complete triune baptism, the one that best illustrated the subject he was discussing. He said, “You having been baptized into the name of Jesus Christ, have been baptized into His 586 death,” into the death of Christ, “that like as He was raised up, so you too shall be raised up to the life of purity, holiness, virtue, and truth.” God bless you.
Recently I had the great pleasure of visiting with Dr. Kolvoord, the eminent Dutch scholar and authority on technical interpretations of Scripture, a scholar of scholars and teacher of teachers. Dr. Kolvoord has been a Baptist all his life, practicing single immersion. My beloved friend and brother in Christ, Archibald Fairley, in discussing with him the subject of baptism in the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20, asked him to analyze the words “baptizing them” from the Greek, saying to him, “I believe you will find, as I have, that the words mean to immerse repeatedly,” for the Greek word used is not the word “bapto,” to immerse, but “baptize” to immerse repeatedly.
Dr. Kolvoord examined it in the literal Greek, then in the classical. At the conclusion he said to Brother Fairley, “I am amazed. You are right.”
And Brother Fairley said, “Now Brother, you have seen the truth. How about it?”
So we rejoice that the illumination of the Holy Ghost makes clear to the spirit many things that the profoundest minds have failed to see and through the unilluminated still continue to practice baptism by single immersion, some even by sprinkling, again we rejoice that God through the Holy Ghost is establishing worldwide, a real kingdom triune baptism into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost-three immersions, constituting one baptism. Amen.
Desiring all possible light on this subject by the Spirit of God, I asked for the privilege of a conversation with the God-anointed prophet of the Lord, Brother Archibald Fairley, which was a follows: 587
Dr. Lake: Brother, the common understanding of the subject of baptism is a single immersion. When Jesus said, “Baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” people fail to see what the Greek really indicates, that it was to be a repetition of immersions. Instead, they simply apply it in a separate manner as though Jesus was speaking to a multitude of people and that each was to be baptized. Won’t you let me have your explanation of how the Greek shows that to be a repetition of immersions?
God’s Answer Given By The Holy Ghost In The Spirit Of Prophecy
Fairley: The Spirit of the Lord gives me this. First of all, the purpose of Christian immersion is that in the act we enter into the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. His threefold nature was a reflex of the God-nature. God the Father, God the Son, and Goth the Holy Ghost, taking possession of His threefold human nature after it was subjected. This immersion into the name of the Father and of the Holy Ghost, was a threefold immersion and typifies the death of the natural spirit, the seat of God-consciousness; that it may become the abode of the Father in Spirit. That in it we recon our human soul, the seat of self-consciousness, dead; that it may become the center of Holy Ghost consciousness, the temple of the divine Spirit. Thus, the God-nature was revealed in the God-man, covering His human nature after He made consecration, the consecration of the immersion in the Jordan.
Therefore, Matthew 29:19 means this: Baptizing them into the nature of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. The act of immersion is the act whereby I reckon my human nature dead, my spirit dead to the working of the human spirit and open to the working of the divine Spirit; and the flesh, my soul, dead to the working of the self-life and open to the working of the Jesus life; and my body really dead, first in faith and finally in fact, to the power of the blood as the factor that determines health and open to the power 588 of the Holy Ghost in the flesh. So I determine the health of my body, ot by the evidence of healthy blood, but by the power of the Holy Ghost working in me as He worked in the Christ to raise Him from the dead, and set Him above all principalities and powers on the throne with God.
The great fight in the future, and this side of the glory scene, will be for the possession of the body. Not, I believe that this body will be glorified, but that the flesh will be the scene of conflict. That the sons of the Most High, who are to take the kingdom, the inner kingdom first, must walk by faith and not by sight. Must take their stand in His health, not as they feel it, not the evidence of their five senses, but must believe the record of God’s Word. Since they have made a three-fold consecration in the way before mentioned, their life is truly hid with Christ in God. In Christ in God, in the victorious Christ, the man on the throne, in the place of dominion, where the forces of the enemy are under His feet. This is the victory, even our faith.
The overcomer must begin to walk by faith and not by sight. He must reckon upon the life that now is in his Lord, in his head, and not what his five senses bring to him of life or the emotion of life through the blood.
Dr. Lake: Brother Fairley, what causes the differences of opinion and various interpretations of the same Scripture?
Fairley: Every man who interprets Scripture is biased by his size in God, by his experience in the God-life.
Dr. Lake: In my judgement, that is what causes discussion on the subject of triune immersion. Really, the persons who see only single immersion have not got the size in God, or illumination of the Spirit sufficient to use the depth and power of God’s Word to see what God teaches.
Fairley: They believe in the death that occurs in a moment or a day, but not a death that begins now and never ends until the revelation of Christ in the air.
The immersion spoken of in Matthew 28:19 is that act that begins by the subjection of my life to God and ends in my being part of the ruling God in the age to come. The best figure to use to cover our relationship with the Christ, is the figure of the bride and bridegroom. The bride has lived her simple, carefree life from babyhood, but from the moment she becomes known to the world by her other name, she professes that she is one in nature with her bridegroom, one in everything in him.
Thus, throughout the New Testament the words, “in the name of,” the Holy Ghost speaking to those who desire to be the bride class, really means into the name, or rather, into the nature of the Christ, of God’s Anointed, of the man Jesus, who at the Jordan offered Himself unto all the will of God and became the Christ, or God’s Anointed. The bride is the wife of God’s Anointed. Therefore, she is of the anointed class, the offered-up class, the poured-out class. She enters from the moment of her betrothal, of her offering herself up in a true immersion into the nature of her Lord, sharing His burden, which He now has on the throne for a lost World. The effect of this sharing His burden is that His nature displaces her nature and bit by bit the passion of His love for man possesses her and her life is poured out for the lost world.
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