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Last Updated on : November 28, 2014

The Faith In The Last Days

A Selection From The Writings of John Thomas, M.D. With an Introduction on his life and work by John Carter
PAGE 214
CHAPTER 19
BAPTISM OF SPIRIT
(i) IN APOSTOLIC TIMES

 

Here are bro. Thomas' thoughts on the subject (my thoughts are included). The relevant paragraphs are 11-12-13, but the entire article, including my understanding of bro. Thomas, can be found here for those interested. I recommend reading the entire article, so that bro. Thomas' terminology is recognized in the latter paragraphs).



Paragraph 11

Saints, and saints only whose hearts have been prepared by faith, are eligible to the baptism of spirit. Christ ascended to the right hand of power that he might receive the gifts for his own brethren to whom alone he promised them. Paul, addressing the saints thus spiritually endowed, says concerning the gifts, "Unto every one of us is given the grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ"; (Eph. 4:7) the grace which John says came by Jesus Christ: "The law was given through Moses, the grace and the truth came through Jesus Christ". (John 1:17) In Paul's quotation from the sixty- eighth Psalm, he shows that by "grace" he has reference to the gifts of the spirit; for in the next sentence to that above quoted, he says, "Wherefore he saith, Ascending into heaven he led captive captivity, and bestowed gifts upon men". He then indicates the "grace" or gifts bestowed by designating the saints who had received them by the official names they then bore (Eph. 4:7-12). He styled these saints apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers; and referring to these well known spiritual, or spiritually endowed official brethren, found in all the assemblies of the saints, he says that the ascended and glorified Jesus "gave indeed the apostles, and the prophets, and the evangelists and the pastors and teachers"; that is, he gave to these who were first saints, the gifts he had received from the Father on his ascension to glory, called in Acts 1:4, "the promise of the Father", which he had said he would send the apostles while they waited for it in Jerusalem (verse 5; John 16:7) -- he gave these gifts, I say, to qualify them for apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Now, were all apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers? Did all the saints sustain these offices in the body of Christ? No person intelligent in the word will affirm that they did. It is then certain that all the saints were not baptized with holy spirit; for Paul teaches that the grace was given "for the perfecting of the saints for a work of service for a building of the body of the Christ". (Eph. 4:12) The saints thus qualified were the builders Paul refers to in 1 Cor. 3:10. In this place he styles himself "a wise architect", who had laid the foundation for an edifice upon which others were building; to whom he saith, "Let every one take heed how he buildeth thereon". The saints in the aggregate were the building -- the temple built for the Deity to dwell in through or by the spirit. The spirituals among the saints were the builders of this holy temple; nevertheless the temple was "a building of God", (1 Cor. 3:9) "a house not made with hands", (2 Cor. 5:1) because all the power of these spirituals for the work of building was from the Deity, and consisted in the truth they taught which was from God, and which He confirmed through the gifts He had bestowed upon them; so that they "were labourers together with God". (1 Cor. 3:9)


Paragraph 11 annotated

Saints, and saints only whose hearts have been prepared by faith, are eligible to the baptism of spirit (in other words, only those members who learned the Truth, obeyed it by participating in Christ's death through the waters of baptism, and allowed the Truth to develop them, were qualified for baptism of spirit). Christ ascended to the right hand of power that he might receive the gifts (spirit) for his own brethren to whom alone he promised them (Christ directly gave the Spirit to the apostles and the house of Cornelius, and from among these, those who had the gift of "inworking of powers" passed it on to others). Paul, addressing the saints thus spiritually endowed, says concerning the gifts, "Unto every one of us is given the grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ"; (Eph. 4:7) the grace which John says came by Jesus Christ: "The law was given through Moses, the grace and the truth came through Jesus Christ". (John 1:17) In Paul's quotation from the sixty- eighth Psalm ("18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men??; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them."), he shows that by "grace" he has reference to the gifts of the spirit (by the word "grace," is meant "gifts of the Holy Spirit"); for in the next sentence to that above quoted, he says, "Wherefore he saith, Ascending into heaven he led captive captivity, and bestowed gifts upon men (thus proving that "grace" and "gifts" of the Holy Spirit are interchangeable words)". He then indicates the "grace" or gifts bestowed by designating the saints who had received them by the official names they then bore (Eph. 4:7-12 ("6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity? captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill?? all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in? the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:")). He styled these saints (who had received the "grace," or the "gifts," or the "baptism of spirit," which are all identical) apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers; and referring to these well known spiritual, or spiritually endowed official brethren (and all members of the "administration"), found in all the assemblies of the saints, he says that the ascended and glorified Jesus "gave indeed the apostles, and the prophets, and the evangelists and the pastors and teachers"; that is, he gave to these who were first saints (those who had previously learned and obeyed the Truth), the gifts (baptism of spirit) he had received from the Father on his ascension to glory, called in Acts 1:4, "the promise of the Father", which he had said he would send the apostles while they waited for it in Jerusalem (verse 5 ("4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."); John 16:7 ("7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.")) — he gave these gifts, I say, to qualify them for apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (in other words, without the gifts, or "baptism of spirit," they would not qualify as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, because they would not have the complete Truth, nor the power to verify it through the miracles they performed). Now, were all apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers? Did all the saints sustain these offices in the body of Christ? No person intelligent in the word will affirm that they did. It is then certain that all the saints (who were baptized into Christ) were not baptized with holy spirit; for Paul teaches that the grace (or "baptism of spirit") was given "for the perfecting of the saints (who received the "baptism of spirit" and were thereby "perfected") for a work of service (by those saints "perfected" by the spirit) for a building of the body of the Christ" (these "perfected" saints who had received the spirit gifts, were to build the body of Christ. In other words, the saints who received the spirit, were to help and build up those who did not receive the spirit). (Eph. 4:12 ("12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:")) The saints thus qualified were the builders Paul refers to in 1 Cor. 3:10 ("10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon."). In this place he styles himself "a wise architect", who had laid the foundation for an edifice upon which others (who also possessed the Holy Spirit) were building; to whom he saith, "Let every one take heed how he buildeth thereon". The saints (all of whom were baptized into Christ, and some of these were also baptized of spirit) in the aggregate (or the total) were the building -- the temple built for the Deity to dwell in through or by the spirit. The spirituals (those who possessed the gifts) among the saints were the builders of this holy temple; nevertheless the temple was "a building of God", (1 Cor. 3:9 ("9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry?, ye are God's building.")) "a house not made with hands", (2 Cor. 5:1 ("1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.")) because all the power of these spirituals for the work of building was from the Deity (Yahweh supplied the "gifts" through Christ, to the apostles, prophets, etc., and therefore it is Yahweh's house, and one that is made without hands, even though the work is performed by those who had received the spirit), and consisted in the truth they taught which was from God (and from Whom they had received it), and which He (Yahweh) confirmed through the gifts He (Yahweh) had bestowed upon them (the "Spirituals"); so that they (the "Spirituals") "were labourers together with God". (1 Cor. 3:9 ("9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry??, ye are God's building."))

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Paragraph 12

We may remark here by the way that the holy temple these co labourers with the Deity were engaged in building in the apostolic age, has its holy and its most holy, after the pattern of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, which was "a house made with hands". The building of "the holy" resulted in the Body of Christ as manifested in Paul's day. This was "the heavenly" constituted of the holy ones, or saints, collectively. But "the most holy" is not yet manifested, nor will it be until the apocalypse of Jesus Christ in his glory. This most holy is "a house not made with hands, aionion in the heavens". (2 Cor. 5:1) Aionion, that is, belonging to the course to which the things which are not seen pertain. When this house is built (and the builder of all things is God), it will be constituted of those saints only who in the "present evil world" walk in the truth. Those saints, who since they became saints, "walk after the flesh", (2 Pet. 2:10) will be purged out of the flock, and will never be reckoned among "the most holy". Concerning these the apostle says, "If ye walk after the flesh ye shall die". (Rom. 8:13) This is the death they shall be subject to after their resurrection. They shall die out from among the most holy, and be swallowed up of mortality, being found naked. These are "the wood, hay, and stubble", (1 Cor. 3:12) which builders even in Paul's day built upon the foundation he had laid. The saints who shall constitute the most holy are "the gold and silver and the precious stones" (Rom. 8:13) of Zion, who, when the kingdom comes to her, shall be her foundations, windows, and borders (Isa. 54:11-13; Micah 4:8). The present house not made with hands is a mingled people, in which the faithful "groan being burdened; not for that they would be unclothed", or reduced to dust and ashes; "but clothed upon that mortality might be swallowed up of life". (2 Cor. 5:4)


Paragraph 12 annotated

We may remark here by the way that the holy temple (building composed of all the saints, a.k.a. ecclesias) these co labourers (saints who possessed the spirit) with the Deity were engaged in building in the apostolic age, has its holy (mortal saints in a mixed state of worthy and unworthy members) and its most holy (immortal saints in a collective group after the judgment), after the pattern of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, which was "a house made with hands" ("1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle [the mortal ecclesias, which are a "house made without hands," unlike their type, "the holy" of the Tabernacle; which was a house "made with hands, which typified the "holy temple" Yahweh and His "co- laborers" were "building in the apostolic age," and continues to this day in the mortal ecclesias] were dissolved [died], we have a building of God, an house not made with hands ["most holy" of the Tabernacle, or immortalized faithful saints] eternal in the heavens [the immortalized, collective, faithful saints]."). The building of "the holy" (or mortal saints composed of the "public," or spirit endowed; together with the "private," or those mortals not receiving the spirit, collectively are typified by "the holy" portion of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, both the faithful and the unfaithful) resulted in the Body of Christ as manifested in Paul's day (the ecclesias composed of all the saints during their probationary, mortal days; an "earthly house of this tabernacle," so to speak). This was "the heavenly" constituted of the holy ones, or saints, collectively ("23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things (the Mosaic things, or patterns) in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things (constituting the holy ones, or saints, collectively) themselves with better sacrifices than these.24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands [the wilderness Tabernacle] which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: 25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;"). But "the most holy" (immortalized saints, both "public" and "private," who have faithfully overcome the world) is not yet manifested, nor will it be until the apocalypse (revealing) of Jesus Christ in his glory. This most holy (type of the immortalized saints collectively) is "a house not made with hands, aionion in the heavens". (2 Cor. 5:1("1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.")) Aionion, that is, belonging to the course to which the things which are not seen pertain (the Kingdom Age)( "18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Cor. 4: 18). When this house is built ("the most holy" of the Tabernacle, a house built by Yahweh and not men) (and the builder of all things is God (including the present day ecclesias in a mortal state, which also is a house built without hands, unlike its type, the Mosaic holy of the tabernacle, which was built by humans)), it will be constituted of those saints only who in the "present evil world" walk in the truth. Those saints, who since they became saints, "walk after the flesh," (2 Pet. 2:10 ("10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government?. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.")) will be purged out of the flock, and will never be reckoned among "the most holy" (this purging takes place at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and not before). Concerning these the apostle says, "If ye walk after the flesh ye shall die". (Rom. 8:13) This is the death they (the saints who "walk after the flesh") shall be subject to after their resurrection. They ("the holy" who have "walked after the flesh") shall die out from among the most holy ("the holy," who have overcome, and have their bodies fashioned like Christ's body, and become the anti-typical fulfillment of the "most holy" of the wilderness Tabernacle), and (they, the unworthy "holy" of the typical wilderness Tabernacle, shall) be swallowed up of mortality, being found naked. These (the unworthy "holy" of the wilderness Tabernacle) are "the wood, hay, and stubble", (1 Cor. 3:12 "12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.") ) which builders even in Paul's day (the "public" saints who possessed the spirit) built upon the foundation (of the mortal ecclesias) he had laid. The saints who shall constitute the most holy (those who are immortalized after they are found worthy) are "the gold and silver and the precious stones" (another type of the immortalized worthy in addition to the most holy) (Rom. 8:13 ("13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.")) of Zion, who, when the kingdom comes to her, shall be her foundations, windows, and borders (Isa. 54:11-13 ("11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. 12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. 13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children. 14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee."); Micah 4:8 ("8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem."). The present house not made with hands (the mortal ecclesias in their present state, which are made by Yahweh through the gifts He gave to the apostles and prophets) is a mingled people (composed of the faithful and the unfaithful), in which the faithful "groan being burdened; not for that they would be unclothed", or reduced to dust and ashes; "but clothed upon that mortality might be swallowed up of life". (2 Cor. 5:4 ("4 For we that are in this tabernacle ("this "tabernacle" is equal to saying, "a mingled people" in the "holy" portion of the wilderness Tabernacle, or, in other words, the faithful and unfaithful who compose the mortal ecclesias) do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed (that is, the faithful "in this tabernacle" do not groan because death is imminent in this mortal life...) , but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life (but rather, the faithful of the mortal ecclesias groan to be "clothed upon" with immortality, so that mortality will be "swallowed up" by immortality)."))

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Paragraph 13

But "the Day shall declare it"; (1 Cor. 3:13) the day when the manifestation of the work of the builders shall be made. "The spirits of the prophets were subject to the prophets" (1 Cor. 14:32). That is, the gifts called "spirits" could be used or abused by those on whom they were bestowed. If they were abused, or misused, in disorder and the confirmation of error, the Holy Spirit would be grieved. Therefore, because of this property, Paul exhorted the spirituals, saying, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of the Deity by which ye are scaled for a day of redemption" (Eph. 4:30). But some did greatly grieve it, and went out from the apostolic community, and became "false prophets" (2 Pet. 2:1; 1 John 4:1; Matt.7:15; 24:11,24; Mark 13:22; Luke 6:26) or spirits. These became builders of wood, hay, and stubble upon the foundation; while other builders, whose teaching was scriptural, sometimes unwillingly placed on the foundation "false brethren", (2 Cor. 11:26) who "crept in at unawares". (Gal. 2:4) All this building work is unprofitable for the Master's use, who, when the day of declaration shall arrive, will be "as a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap"; (Mal. 3:2,3) for the prophet saith, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver ... But who may abide the day of his coming And who shall stand when he appeareth?" (Mal. 3:2,3) This day, now near at hand, will declare the work of all; because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every one's work of what sort it is. "If any one's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any one's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1 Cor. 3:14,15) Builders and the built will all be subjected to the fiery ordeal of the Divine scrutiny; and those only who can stand the searching examination will be saved. If a spiritual, or teacher endowed with the gifts, have built a thousand upon the foundation, and seven hundred and fifty of them turn out to be mere wood, hay, and stubble, he will only receive a reward for the two hundred and fifty jewels fit for the Master's use in the most holy "in the heavens" of the Millennial Age. This loss of his work, however, will not affect his salvation, if he be found to have held fast the name and not to have denied the faith of Jesus holding on to the truth, and walking in it, in the love of it. He shall be saved, yet so as by fire." (1 Cor. 3:14,15).


Paragraph 13 annotated

But "the Day shall declare it"; (1 Cor. 3:13 (13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.")) the day when the manifestation of the work of the builders shall be made (the work of all builders shall be tested at Christ's Judgment Seat). "The spirits of the prophets were subject to the prophets" (1 Cor. 14:32). That is, the gifts called "spirits" could be used or abused by those on whom they were bestowed (these are the two classes of "teachers" who had received the spirit Bro. Thomas had mentioned earlier; namely, the faithful "public" teachers, and the unfaithful "public" teachers) . If they (the spirit gifts) were abused, or misused, in disorder and the confirmation of error, the Holy Spirit would be grieved. Therefore, because of this property (the ability to abuse the gifts of the spirit), Paul exhorted the spirituals, saying, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of the Deity by which ye are sealed for a day of redemption" (Eph. 4:30). But some did greatly grieve it, and went out from the apostolic community, and became "false prophets" (2 Pet. 2:1 "1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."); 1 John 4:1 ("1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."); Matt.7:15 ("15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." 24:11,24 ("11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many."... 24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."); Mark 13:22 ("22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect." Luke 6:26 (25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. 26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.")) or (false) spirits. These (the unfaithful who possessed the spirit, or the "public" builders) became builders of wood, hay, and stubble (the unfaithful "public" and "private" members of the mortal ecclesias) upon the foundation (the anti-typical temple laid out by the apostles, or the faithful "public" and "private" members of the mortal ecclesias) ; while other builders (faithful "public" builders who possessed the spirit), whose teaching was scriptural, sometimes unwillingly placed on the foundation "false brethren", (2 Cor. 11:26 ("26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren";)) who "crept in at unawares". (Gal. 2:4 (4And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:") All this building work is unprofitable for the Master's use, who, when the day of declaration shall arrive, will be "as a refiner's fire and like fuller's soap"; (Mal. 3:2,3 ("2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: 3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.")) for the prophet saith, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver ... But who may abide the day of his coming And who shall stand when he appeareth?" (Mal. 3:2,3) This day (the day of judgment by Christ), now near at hand, will declare the work of all; because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every one's work of what sort it is. "If any one's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any one's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1 Cor. 3:14,15) Builders and the built (of the mortal, mingled ecclesias of the faithful and unfaithful) will all be subjected to the fiery ordeal of the Divine scrutiny; and those only who can stand the searching examination will be saved. If a spiritual, or (public) teacher endowed with the gifts, have built a thousand upon the (typical temple) foundation, and seven hundred and fifty of them turn out to be mere wood, hay, and stubble (which shall be destroyed by the fire), he will only receive a reward for the two hundred and fifty jewels fit for the Master's use in the most holy (of the typical wilderness Tabernacle) "in the heavens" of the Millennial Age. This loss of his work (the unfaithful "wood, hay, and stubble"), however, will not affect his salvation, if he be found to have held fast the name and not to have denied the faith of Jesus holding on to the truth, and walking in it, in the love of it (for he is a faithful builder of Yahweh's temple). He shall be saved, yet so as by fire." (1 Cor. 3:14, 15 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.")

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Again,we would strongly recommend that the reader review the entire annotated section in order to familiarize yourself with Dr. Thomas' unique terminology related to baptism of the spirit.

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