We had questions after our teaching on immersion, so we thought to add them as a second chapter here.
Immersion is also a rite of passage which symbolizes several things. When we go under the water, we are symbolically dying to ourselves, and being buried with Yeshua. This is what is called “being immersed into His death.”
Romim (Romans) 6:3
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were immersed into Mashiach Yeshua were immersed into His death?
After we are immersed into His death, now we are supposed to be dead to ourselves. This means we are no longer supposed to spend time focusing on what we might want. Rather, since we are slaves who were bought with a price, now we focus exclusively on what Elohim wants. In this way we are dead to sin, yet alive to Messiah Yeshua.
Romim (Romans) 6:11
11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to Elohim in Mashiach Yeshua our Master.
It is the fact that we cultivate and encourage His Spirit within us that gives us immortality.
Romim (Romans) 8:13
13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of Elohim, these are sons of Elohim.
Immersion into Yeshua requires a commitment to no longer be fleshly, but rather to be wholly spiritual. If we turn toward Yeshua and away from corruption, this is what brings eternal life, because selfishness, sin, and death no longer have dominion.
Romim (Romans) 6:6-9
6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.
8 Now if we died with Mashiach, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
9 knowing that Mashiach, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
At one level, water immersion is technically only a ritual—yet Yeshua said it is fitting to fulfill this ritual, in order to fulfill all righteousness.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 3:15
15 But Yeshua answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
One reason it was fitting in Yeshua’s case is that Yeshua came to start a renewed Melchizedekian order. He is the High Priest of that order, and priests are always immersed before they begin their ministries (e.g., Leviticus 8:6).
Vayiqra (Leviticus) 8:6
6 Then Moshe brought Aharon and his sons and washed them with water.
However, it is not the washing that brings the infilling of the Spirit. Let us notice that in Yeshua’s case, first Yeshua was immersed, then He prayed, and it was while he was praying that the Ruach HaQodesh descended on Him.
Luqa (Luke) 3:21-22
21 When all the people were immersed, it came to pass that Yeshua also was immersed; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened.
22 And the Ruach HaQodesh descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
The washing is not only a physical cleansing, it is also a symbolic commitment to make ourselves pure and clean for our Elohim. However, after we wash, we still need to pray, and ask the Spirit to come in and take over our lives. And when the Spirit comes, we must be careful to follow her.
In Hebrew, the Spirit (Ruach) is feminine, and we can think of Her like a royal Lady. (Proverbs 8 speaks of Her in this way.) We must invite Her in, and always make Her feel welcome, or She won’t stay.
Sometimes people invite Lady Wisdom in, but then they don’t listen to Her when She speaks, or let Her lead. This is called, “quenching the Spirit”.
Thessaloniqim Aleph (1 Thessalonians) 5:19
19 Do not quench the Spirit.
What we must do instead is to submit completely to the Spirit, such that She literally leads us in all things.
Yochanan (John) 1:12-13
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of Elohim, to those who believe in His name:
13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of Elohim.
A Proverbs 31 bride gives up her life, and gives up the things that she wants, in order to help her husband succeed. When we apply this to our own case, what it speaks of is that we no longer have things we desire in the world. Rather, our hobby and our passion and our greatest desire is to help our Husband Yeshua build the kingdom that His Father Yahweh wants Him to rule over. And that kingdom effectively is His ministry, which is also His body (Nazarene Israel).
Yeshua’s body has many members, but at the same time, we are also called to act as one body unified by His Spirit (which is why we need Spirit-led order, and organization).
Qorintim Aleph (1 Corinthians) 12:13
12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Mashiach.
13 For by one Spirit we were all immersed into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.
From what I have seen, where so many believers seem to go wrong is that they do not seem to realize that Yahweh wants our complete and total dedication to His Spirit. Yahweh says to love Him with all of our hearts, all of our minds, and all of our strength (Devarim 6:4), and this is the same kind of intensity He wants us to obey His Spirit with—and He is not pleased with anything less than our utmost effort.
When our forefathers came out of Egypt after the first Pesach, Yahweh instituted the Priesthood of the Firstborn—and in that priesthood, Yahweh wanted that we all learn to hear and obey His voice (thus restoring the lost and broken connection between Elohim and man, that was severed in the Garden).
Shemote (Exodus) 19:5
5 “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine!”
After our forefathers proved themselves unwilling to hear and obey Yahweh’s voice, Yahweh took away the Priesthood of the Firstborn, and gave Israel a Levitical priesthood instead. It was as if Yahweh had said, “Too bad! If you don’t want to hear and obey My voice, now we have to do things the hard way.” So, Yahweh gave our forefathers the tabernacle service as a kind of a “paint by numbers” remedial training measure. And while Yahweh does want a restored temple, His goal has always been to have a people that submit 100% to His Spirit, and His voice. Immersion in the Spirit is critical to that.
Jeremiah also lets us know in many ways that what Yahweh wants is a people submitted to His Spirit, who are eager to hear and obey His voice.
Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 7:23
23 But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your Elohim, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’
Yeshua also emphasizes the need to hear and obey His voice.
Yochanan (John) 10:27
27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
When we come up out of the water, that is the best time to ask for the gift of His Spirit. (You will know when you have received it—and if you aren’t sure, then keep asking, praying, and knocking until you receive it.)
Ma’asei (Acts) 2:38
38 Then Kepha said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be immersed in the name of Yeshua Mashiach for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Set-apart Spirit.
As mentioned in the last chapter, immersion should be done in what is called “living water”, if it is available. “Living water” refers to natural spring water, or water that Yahweh causes to come up out of the earth. (If such natural spring water is not available, you can use what water you have.)
The main thing to remember and live is that immersion is a rite of passage from death unto life, and what we get out of our new life depends on what we put into it.
Romim (Romans) 1-7
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were immersed into Mashiach Yeshua were immersed into his death?
4 We were therefore buried with him through immersion into death in order that, just as Mashiach was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His.
6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—
7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
And now, what are we waiting for? Let us arise, and be immersed in His name and in His Spirit, so that our sins might be washed away as we call on His name.
Ma’asei (Acts) 22:16
16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be immersed and wash your sins away, calling on His name.’