“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matthew 3:11
What is an Immersion Programme?
The objective is to immerse the participant into a certain culture, system or language, etc. Through the kingdom message of John the Baptist, we have explored the themes of returning and repentance, fire (wrath, judgment, refinement, separation), stones to sons (father, faith, fruitfulness). The kingdom of God also has an Immersion Programme.
Unlike the other gospels, like Luke and John, the Holy Spirit is mentioned only five times in the book of Matthew. Two out of the five verses, the reference is made to baptism. To baptize, baptizo, from bapto, is to immerse, to dye, to saturate.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18).
But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20).
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matthew 3:11).
Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come (Matthew 12:32).
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:19–20
In the Great Commission, Jesus instructs His disciples to make more disciples, baptizing (immersing) these in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. I believe this is a different baptism in the name/authority of the Triune God. In the context of John’s message and baptism of repentance and purification, already established in past teachings, the Holy Spirit deals with past sin (repentance and restoration) and also with ongoing sin (refinement). The Holy Spirit regenerates and renews us (Titus 3:4-7).
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:4–7).
But that is not all. That is only the start. There is more. As believers and kingdom people, the King wants to baptise (immerse) us with His Holy Spirit, the King’s and the kingdom’s Immersion Programme.
Take the example of Jesus and His disciples. The disciples received the Holy Spirit when Jesus breathed upon them (John 20:22). Jesus teaches about the kingdom (Act 1:3). Jesus says to wait for the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5). The disciples ask for the kingdom (Acts 1:6). Jesus emphasizes the importance of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:7-8). The Holy Spirit is poured out on disciples (Acts 2:1-4). The disciples declare and demonstrate the kingdom (entire book of Acts).
The Holy Spirit: Kingdom Immersion Programme
Constitution of Kingdom Community
By one Spirit, we were baptized into One Body (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). There are different functions by faith according to grace (1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:7-16; Romans 12:3-7). The Holy Spirit enables all to coordinate with one another, bringing growth to the Body. The Spiritual chiropractor enables us to be aligned with the Spirit.
Enablement of Kingdom Assignments
The enablement of the Spirit is on the Old Testament kings, prophets, priests and judges as well as Bezalel and Aholiab (Exodus 35:30-35) for their assignments. In the account of Moses and the 70 elders in Numbers 11:16-30, the Spirit rested on Medad and Eldad and Joshua protested. Moses asked, “Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all of the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them (Numbers 11:29). It is interesting to note that this account is sandwiched between the people craving for quail and God sending quail that killed them. Is your craving for the material or for the Spirit? John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit for his assignment as the forerunner. He moved in the power and spirit of Elijah, and pointed others to Jesus, the baptizer of the Holy Spirit. In the New Testament, the promise is to all believers: all are to be born again by the Spirit to see and enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3-8). All are to be immersed with the Spirit for kingdom assignments. About 120 were in the Upper Room, 10% were named, 90% were unnamed, but all were baptized and immersed in the Holy Spirit. Sadly, we still depend on the 10% to do all the work.
Implementation of Kingdom Statutes (Law of the Spirit)
Having the Spirit of the King to live the ways of the King, we need both the Word of the King and the Spirit of the King. Examples of being trained by the word of the Law to live out the Spirit of the Law; from a young child to a matured son. Do we keep the Law, doing because we have to, or do we love others as an act of will for the good of the other? Are we served not so we can be spoilt, but that we in turn learn to serve others?
Advancement through Kingdom Culture
The world runs by a different spirit. The days are evil. Be filled with the Spirit and led by Spirit (Ephesians 5:15-18). Kingdom behaviour is described after that. In relating to the world, give praise and thanks to the Lord instead of complaining and grumbling. In church relationships, submitting to one another, willing to give way to one another for a higher kingdom purpose. Kingdom behaviour is also described in marital relationship between husbands and wives, family relationships between children and parents and work relationships between slaves and masters. Kingdom culture is often counter cultural, hence the battle and warfare is described in Ephesians 6:10-20. We advance the kingdom through our lives, through our assignments in these relationships.
Demonstration of Kingdom Power
The power is demonstrated through the different gifts of the Holy Spirit – word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healings, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues. Yet there is a more excellent way: Love (1 Corinthians 12:31). The gifts are not for show, not for pride, not for personal glory but for the profit of all and the well-being of all. The gifts are to be matched by the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
Connection to Kingdom Resources
Once dead, but now our spirits are made alive. There is a Spirit to spirit connection with the Lord, who is Spirit. We have a direct line to the head office, to the command centre: My sheep hear My voice (John 10:27). Our prayer language is in the Spirit to edify self, building up holy faith (Jude 20-21). We can cry out to the Lord in times of desperation, when no words can express in times of weakness (Romans 8:26). We worship Him from the depths of our spirits. It releases kingdom resources in ways we cannot imagine. We can access strength, comfort, encouragement, provision, and spiritual resources.
Revelation of the Kingdom’s King
The kingdom is good news because there is a good King. He is wise, loving, leads the people in and out. He is strong, mighty, powerful. He provides, protects, cares for the well-being of His people. He rules consistently and justly in righteousness. There is peace and joy in the land. To be ruled by the King is to have righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). There is love, restoration, freedom, provision, power, protection. Our lives are changed to impact others. That is good news. We grow in Christlikeness and spiritual maturity. Like Jesus who was the express image of His person (Hebrews 1:3) and who revealed the Father, so should we. The Holy Spirit reveals Christ who reveals the Father. He brings to remembrance everything about Jesus. As we become more and more like Him, we reveal the kingdom’s King to everyone around us.
What an Immersion Programme by the Holy Spirit.
But because of doctrinal differences and certain excesses and abuses, many shun the Person and work of the Holy Spirit, missing out on this critical Immersion Programme. Instead, we get immersed in religious practices and rituals.
We learn how to talk Christian and behave Christian: when in church, do this. That is called the Christian or Church subculture. There is no Holy Spirit at all. Is there kingdom then? Whatever our understanding of the Holy Spirit, or the lack of, we can all agree on one thing: We need the Holy Spirit. The Body of Christ must have the Spirit of Christ (James 2:26). What is the kingdom of God without the Spirit of God?
Two ways to be immersed, to be absolutely soaking wet:
Jump in the River (Ezekiel 47)
Too many are cautious and so we tread slowly. We cannot control the Holy Spirit and that is why it is uncomfortable and scary. How do we reconcile God as a God of order (1 Corinthians 12:14:40) and God the Holy Spirit who is like the wind that blows where it wishes (John 3:8)? Some are still standing on the banks of the river of the Spirit.
Stand in the Rain (Joel 2:23)
God timed this message with a prophetic word for Archippus Awakening: This ministry will go nowhere if we do not have the Holy Spirit. The Lord has given us an assignment to awaken the saints because the saints are in slumber. This cannot be achieved without the Holy Spirit. Archippus Awakening is a kingdom initiative that requires the power of the Holy Spirit. As an Archippus, to be on kingdom assignment, you need the Holy Spirit. Every Archippus needs to go through the kingdom Immersion Programme by the Holy Spirit. This is not just a one time baptism, but a constant immersing in the things and ways of the Spirit.
The Seed Needs the Rain.
Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him (Psalm 126:5–6).
Before birthing Archippus Awakening last year, the Lord prepared Henson with Psalm 126:5-6: A farmer needs to work hard if he hopes to have a harvest at the end of the season. The hard work is in the sowing and that is what we are doing with every opportunity the Lord presents.
Then He will give the rain for your seed With which you sow the ground, And bread of the increase of the earth; It will be fat and plentiful. In that day your cattle will feed In large pastures (Isaiah 30:23).
The Lord will give the RAIN for the seed. Without rain, there will be no growth.
We Do The Sowing. God Does The Growing.
Be like little children who have no issue with being drenched in the rain.
“Ask for rain, in the time of the latter rain.” (Zechariah 10:1)
Are you in the Lord’s Kingdom Immersion Programme? How are you hoping to know or fulfil your kingdom assignments? Do you need a refresher course through the refreshing of the Holy Spirit? Do you require a re-immersion to fully understand and embrace the King and His kingdom?