We...Beholding...The Lord Are Changed In the the Same Image (continued)
Well, if we take the Lord Jesus as our example, these two things really are inseparable.
But, even if it takes time, I must try to make this helpful to you. You will understand that I am not here to try to give a full explanation of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. However, because baptisms are going to take place today; there are those who have said: 'Oh, I wish I could be baptized again! I did not understand when I was baptized all that I see now. Should I not be baptized again? Should I not bring my baptism right up in line with my present knowledge?' Well, if we were to adopt that procedure, every bit of fresh knowledge that you received would require a new baptism! If when you were baptized you really meant to give your life to the Lord, and your heart was right with Him, then God knew all that it meant, even if you did not. I do not think anyone could have known much less about the meaning of baptism than I did when I was baptized. I wanted to belong to the Lord and to go on with Him, so I was told that I ought to be baptized. There were other people who wanted me to be baptized more than I did myself so, in my simple way, I just yielded to their wishes. The only thing was that I wanted to love the Lord. Years afterwards I came to understand a great deal more about the meaning of baptism, so I went to the Lord about whether I ought to be baptized again, and He just showed me that it was not what I understood, but what He understood, and that into the first simple step that I took He put all the meaning of that step and said, 'I will lead you through your whole life into the meaning of that simple step.'
I hope that is helpful. Of course, it would be another matter if you were not definitely saved when you were baptized.
I think we must leave that there and return to our Pattern: These are the first things that have been shown in the Pattern: the meaning of baptism as changing our ground, leaving the whole ground of the flesh and taking the ground of the Spirit, and, by so doing, coming under the direct and complete government of the Holy Spirit. By doing this we become marked out by God - "This is My beloved Son." Thus we are distinguished by heaven and among men as being in a new relationship with God. It is a very important thing that every Christian should be a distinguished Christian.
When we went out to the Far East this year and arrived at the airport in Manila, we were given a little card by the airport authorities and on it were three letters: V.I.P. 'Very Important Person.' Of course, that was not true, and was just a courtesy on their part, but it may serve as an illustration.
When Jesus stepped on to that new ground after His baptism God gave Him that ticket: 'Very Important Person,' and that was what He was in the eyes of heaven, though not in the eyes of men and of this world.
Now, do you notice the first thing that distinguished Jesus as heaven's Very Important Person? "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil" (Matthew 4:1). If men did not recognize Who He was, hell did. satan said: 'This is a Very Important Person,' and he paid Him very great attention all His life. At the end of these temptations in the wilderness it says: "he (satan) departed from Him for a season" (Luke 4:13). It was as though satan said: 'You have defeated me now, but I will be back again' - and how true that was!
Heaven's Important Persons are known by the enemy, and he will do everything he can against that anointing. He will do it by persecution, or he will try it be deception. There is no numbering of the ways in which the enemy tries to counter that anointing. But it is the anointing of the Holy Spirit which gives us our importance - we are not important in ourselves.
(continued with # 15)