When my friend Dolly asked me: “Were you baptized in the name of Jesus or were you baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost?” my immediate thought was: “What difference does it make?” I had been baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost in a local church soon after I received the Lord as my Savior, and saw no need to be baptized again.
Dolly, who was a very anointed minister, emphasized that she believed it was important for me to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, but I thought my baptism was good enough and didn’t give it a second thought. She brought up the subject to me again, and the third time, she told the Lord: “This is the last time I’m telling her: If she doesn’t get it now, I’m not telling her again!“ I didn’t get it, but a short while after when I was randomly reading the Bible, one word leapt out of Matthew 28: 19: “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” The Spirit of truth pointed out to me that it didn’t say “names,” and then as I thought about how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are not names,…. that if we signed a check “mother,” or “father,” or “son,” or “daughter,” it wouldn’t get cashed. Our given personal name would have to be used, and likewise, the name, not names, of Jesus was what the scripture meant.
So off to Jericho I went (in this case to a near-by lake) to be baptized by Dolly. A new convert just happened to stop by my house that day, and when he found out that I was going to be baptized, he wanted to be, too. There was another man as well, and at the time the bapism took place, God brought two witnesses on horseback to watch the ceremony. I was first, but no hands were laid on me…. When it was time for Dolly to dunk me, I was slain in the Spirit and came up out of the water prophesying. When Dolly dunked the new convert, he came up speaking in tongues for the first time. Whoo whee!
The Bible states that God confirms His Word with signs and wonders, and we sure had them that day letting us know how important the name of Jesus was and is! God provided the witnesses, the sign of speaking in tongues and the wonder of being slain in the Spirit. When I was baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, there was nothing…no anointing or presence of God was there. What a contrast and what a difference one word makes!
Oh brethren, we must be led by the Holy Spirit to do the things we do…. My first baptism was done out of duty following the letter of the Word. The second baptism was done out of my heart’s desire because the anointing led me and made me ready…. Such a huge difference! The first baptism was a ritual that had no power, but the true one was a “WOW”! Horses symbolize power and God’s holy power showed up! Hallelujah!
Oh that every Christian realizes that we are not called to follow “form”….The Word of God is living, and we are called not to walk in the dead letter of the word, but be LIVE expressions of it. Even my being slain in the Spirit was a living testimony that I died with the Lord when He died, and when I rose up out of the water, it testified I was risen with Him. I don’t remember the words I prophesied, but this I know: “The testimony of Jesus Christ is the spirit of prophecy,” (Revelation 19: 10) and this is the testimony of my “dunken” time!
Dunken and drunken in the Spirit: That’s me! How about YOU?!
I think that we sometimes get too caught up in performing rituals and ignore the relationship. Without a relationship with Father, Son & Holy Spirit, the rituals mean nothing.
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So true Barbara! 🌟How we need to be led by God in everything we do! Thanks and bless you for such a good reminder!