Having included the practice of laying hands on people should draw our attention, for it would not be among the list of elementary doctrine if it did not have spiritual significance. Although it formed an essential part of the ministry of our Messiah, it was also well understood and practiced by the Apostles and early believers . . .
Baptisms, it seems, would become one of the greatest controversies in the Body of Messiah. There are two extreme doctrines on water baptism, marginalizing Believers into those who believe that baby baptism seals children into the covenant of salvation, and those who immerge repentant Believers into water as a testimony of their identification with the death and resurrection of Messiah. Many sincere Believers assert . . .
What separates the five wise virgins form the five foolish virgins in this parable is not the lamps, but the oil! They all kept their lamps ready, but half of the virgins were ready to enter the time of distress with ‘extra oil,’ while the other half had none to trim their lamps. This parable calls all virgins . . .
No one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of the Spirit (John 3:5-8), and shortly after His resurrection, we see that Jesus “breathed” on His disciples, saying to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit,’ (John 20:22).
The gifts of the Spirit are given to the body not to draw attention to the one who received such a gift, on the contrary, the gifts are distributed among the members of the Body for the purpose to serve. The attitude in the Body should thus be to . . .
We asserted that Paul made a clear distinction between the gifts (ministries) of Christ (Messiah) and the gifts of the Holy Spirit in his epistle to the church in Corinth, (1 Cor 12:4-5). More clarity can be gained from the passage in Ephesians qualifying and distinguishing the gifts of Christ, for as He would ascend into heaven as our Priest-King to be our Advocate in the heavenly Tabernacle, He simultaneously bestowed on His Body gifts of ministries in order to equip them and build them for the sole purpose of attaining unity as a Body and individual maturity, namely the full stature of a mature man in Christ Jesus. These ministries . . .
Not only was the gift of the Holy Spirit a future promise of a spiritual birth (John 3:5-8); the Holy Spirit was also a promise of a new and living way to serve and worship God, (Jer 31:32-34; Heb 8:7-13). Messiah distinctly educated His disciples in preparation of this promised gift saying, ‘And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive . . .
Abraham believed, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness, (Gen 15:6; Rom 4:13-16; Gal 3:6-9). Also, it is stated, ‘The righteous shall live by faith,’ (Rom 1:17; Hab 2:4). We thus emphatically state that our righteousness is based on faith and faith only. Yet, in the administration of the Kingdom of God, our sovereign Father willed to establish His covenant with Abraham at first through a Household under the care of Moses, (Heb 3:1-6). This administration . . .
John the Baptist made an amazing statement to his disciples, saying, ‘As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire,’ (Luke 3:16). This gift, namely that ‘every believer’ could be baptized in the Holy Spirit, was foretold by the Hebrew prophets of old, (Joel 2:28-29; Is 44:3; Ezek 39:29), and the early believers were commanded by Messiah to wait in Jerusalem for this promised ‘gift,’ saying, ‘And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high, (Luke 24:49) [See also Acts 1:3-5.]