Sabbath 16/04/30/120

Dear Friends,

The biggest thing we do in our spiritual lives is to be baptised.

It is not a choice we make entirely alone. Firstly, we are brought to an understanding of the Faith through the Holy Spirit that issues a calling through the officers and work of the Faith, which are the Churches of God.

When we are called, what usually happens is that a desire for baptism is set up in the person by the Holy Spirit and the person has his/her eyes opened to see and they understand what the Scriptures actually say, and they come to a realisation that the particular religious group they are in is not in accordance with Scripture. See the paper Repentance and Baptism (No. 52).

They then begin a search for the true Faith. Many go through a series of churches finding each one deficient in some major aspect of the Faith. Usually it relates to the Godhead or the Calendar. Many are found to be Ditheist and they do not really understand that they are in error. Many are Trinitarians and many keep the Hillel Jewish Calendar. The closer the counterfeit the more difficult it is to spot from the original. The greatest danger at this point is to be sidetracked or become a religious hobbyist. These are they ever studying and never coming to an understanding of the truth. They move from church to church seeking to find fault and accuse but never in the faith that God has established His Church somewhere on the planet, and it is acting right now.

There are many who treat baptism and the Holy Spirit as a knowledge pill. They desire the knowledge but do not want the commitment that is required.

That is where the Elders of the Church come in, in the dispersal of the sacrament. They have to decide if the person is truly being called and if they genuinely want to be part of the Body of Christ.

Being baptised is a spiritual thing. You are placed into the Body of Christ. What is expected of you is a lifelong commitment to the Faith. Many of the brethren have laid down their lives for the Faith.

No person is allowed to be baptised without a commitment to the Faith. Sometimes a person will wish to be baptised but not commit to the Faith. That position is covered in the Parable of the Talents. That person is asking for the Holy Spirit to understand the Faith but not to act on it.

Christ said that is like a man being given a talent and burying it. He said that is not acceptable. The talent of each is required to be given to those who have the demonstrated talents of the Church, and those with one talent are required to give their talents to those who have demonstrated talents. In that way they achieve more.

Those who bury their talent -in other words, withhold their gifts given under the power of the Holy Spirit - are not admitted to the Kingdom of God. They are sent to the Second Resurrection as though they had never been given the Holy Spirit in the first instance. In that way they are the same as those who were called but not chosen, and indeed that is exactly what they are if they persist in that misapprehension of the operations of the Church.

In like manner it is written: How can they go if they are not sent? The Holy Spirit gives to each the gifts and the fruits of the Spirit. Knowledge is one of those gifts but there are many others which develop into specific fruit (see the paper Fruit of the Holy Spirit (No. 146)). In each instance God sets up the Church to perform a task in the particular phase or era of the Church. In the Last Days the word of God has to be taught in the correct structure and in truth. It is made obvious to those who are studying what is true, and the understanding of the One True God and His Calendar are set before the world in a clear manner for those who are genuinely being called.

Those who are called and baptized but who do not wish to perform, or who in fact work against and accuse the brethren, are those who were "called but not chosen"; and some were never even called but placed like tares in the field of the Church and are removed as they seek to affect the work.

If you have been given some understanding and wish to learn more, you will find that baptism of and by itself is not a knowledge pill. You are given small pieces of understanding at a time and as you are obedient and act on that you are given more understanding.

The Church has seen many come into it and fall by the wayside because they seek to do things on their own terms and are not obedient to the Faith. They are removed before they can do further damage. Some are set aside with others of a like mind and stay without further growth. Many become self-righteous.

Our task is to work together in the Faith. The Holy Spirit gives us wisdom and understanding in order to do the work as it directs. What is even more surprising is that it will put you to work with sinners. Our job is to overcome our own sin and do the work. We are to help those poor miserable sinners alongside us; and do not be surprised if they are thinking the same thing about us. The truly righteous among us are the ones that do not gossip and slander and do not look down on their brothers and sisters and silently get on with the task God has given us to do.

Baptism is a gift of God but there are strings attached. You have to count the cost and become part of the working Body. Our task is to explain the mysteries of God not attack others for our own deficiencies. Our task is not to sit in a room and expand our understanding without helping others.

Our job is to go where we are asked to go and baptise those who are called into the Body of Christ. Our decision is to determine if they are genuinely called.

Do not be discouraged if you are asked to do certain things to prepare yourselves. Remember this fact: You do not choose God. He chooses you and gives you to Christ. He places you in the Body of the Faith and gives you the tasks and fruits He wishes you to have. None of us get to choose our comrades. We are all sinners and we are all chosen from the weak and the base of the world. Christ does not lose one of those given to him by God. Christ has to work with you and we have to work with each other. If you think you are better than the others then you are having yourself on (or kidding yourself) and are unfit for the Kingdom of God.

God demands loyalty and service under obedience to the Law. His burden is not heavy; it is light. The elect are those who keep the Commandments of God and the Testimony or Faith of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17; 14:12). The first act of the Sacred Calendar is to sanctify the Temple having identified the Body of Christ and keep the Passover with it.

If you can't do that first task then you are better off playing golf. God will come and get you when it is time. However, you may find that it is in the Second Resurrection.

If you wish a better resurrection then get to work now.

Wade Cox
Coordinator General