We can learn much from the failure of Simon Magus in Acts, chapter eight. Simon was baptized in water through immersion by the disciple Philip. However, Philip did not have the authority to lay hands on anyone. The apostles, Peter and John, were sent from Jerusalem to perform the laying on of hands for those Philip had immersed.
Simon observed the importance of the laying on of hands. We are told more about this in Acts 8:18: “And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money.” Simon’s mistake was to offer to buy the Holy Spirit, which is freely given by the Father. Because of this, the apostle Peter refused to lay hands on him. Therefore, Simon did not have a valid baptism. He was immersed, but was not given the Father’s Spirit by the laying on of hands of an apostle or Elder.
Abraham also was not baptized, but he did follow Yahweh’s command to be circumcised of the flesh. We are told more about this in Genesis 17:11: “And ye shall circumcise the flesh in your foreskin; and it shall be a token [Strong’s 226, a sign] of the covenant betwixt me and you.”
Paul informs us that the circumcision required under the old covenant was replaced in the new covenant by circumcision made without hands. We learn more about this in Colossians 2:11: “In whom ye are also circumcised with this circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Messiah.” The firstfruits were no longer required to be circumcised of the flesh. They were to follow the example of Messiah’s baptism.
Paul continues to give us more information about the circumcision of Abraham in Romans 4:11: “And he[Abraham] received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also.” Baptism by water and the laying on of hands allows us to walk in the footsteps of Abraham.
In Genesis 17:11, we are told that circumcision was a token of the covenant. We learn that the word token can also be translated as sign. In Romans 4:11, we are told that the sign [Strong’s 4592] of circumcision was also a seal. (Strong’s 4973)
Through baptism, we have a similar sign and seal to that which Abraham received. Baptism allows us to become one with Messiah and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29)
Baptism became the seal of righteousness under the new covenant. Why is this important? Paul explains this in Romans 8:10: “And if Messiah be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
The word, seal, in Romans 4:11 is from the Greek word, sphragis, which is Strong’s number 4973. This word describes an instrument that makes the seal. It is only the firstfruits, Messiah, and those that are his, who receive the seal. Those that are sealed include the firstfruits from the new covenant, but also many under the old covenant. This is revealed in John 10:16: “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” Abraham and others from the old covenant are able to join the firstfruits when Messiah returns.
For those under the new covenant, this seal is applied through baptism and the laying on of hands. You must have this seal to be able to comply with Messiah’s requirements to overcome. (Revelation 2:25; 3:5, 12, 20) To be in the resurrection when Messiah returns, you must overcome. Baptism is the first step, while overcoming is the goal of all those who are baptized.
In Ephesians 1:13 Paul confirms that the firstfruits of the new covenant have been sealed: “In whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the good news of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, ye[the firstfruits] were sealed[by baptism and laying on of the hands] with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
Baptism itself is an act of faith. The firstfruits are following in the footsteps of those listed In Hebrews 11. Why is this? We are baptized in a name we cannot find written in the Scriptures. We are told it exists, but this name is not recorded. (Hebrews 1:4) Let us recall how faith is defined in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
To follow the declaration given by Peter in Acts 2:38, we have to manifest faith:
“Then Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name_________ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The name that you read in all translations is incorrect. The translations use the birth name of Messiah. The firstfruits do not believe this is correct. We insert the inherited name, YahwehShua.
Messiah’s birth name did not survive his death in sin. No matter what name you choose, it is not the name of salvation. According to the old covenant scripture, Deuteronomy 29:20, his name was blotted out. We have addressed this in other articles. Messiah was born under the old covenant and also died under the old covenant. (Galatians 4:4) He had to lose his birth name because he was under the power of the old covenant. We are no longer under the old covenant, and have been given a revelation of the new covenant which is the name of salvation, YahwehShua.
To inherit the promise of age-abiding life and be resurrected when Messiah returns, you must be a firstfruit. Baptism in the inherited name of Messiah is a necessary first step. It is not optional. It is mandatory before you can begin to overcome, according to Messiah’s direction in the book of Revelation. Your success in overcoming will result in being with Messiah when he returns.
When we are sealed through baptism, we are walking in Messiah’s footsteps. He was the first one to be sealed. John confirms this in John 6:27: “Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endures unto age-abiding life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you: for him hath Yahweh the father sealed.”
We are not sealed because of anything we have done. As long as we retain the Spirit of Messiah, we are sealed and therefore able to overcome. What we must do is demonstrate the faith of Abraham, and be baptized in a name we cannot see. Abraham demonstrated his faith by looking for a city that he did not find in this life. (Hebrews 11:10)
When one is baptized in the name of YahwehShua, as proclaimed by Peter, the Father’s Spirit is freely given and with that gift is the down payment of the Spirit of Messiah. Below are three relevant scriptures given by Paul that confirm the existence of the earnest, or down payment, of the Spirit of Messiah:
2 Corinthians 1:22:
“Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest[Strong’s 728] of the Spirit in our hearts.”
2 Corinthians 5:5:
“Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing in Yahweh who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.”
“… which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession unto the praise of his glory.”
These are very important verses. Only Paul clearly revealed the existence of the down payment of Messiah’s Spirit. The Father’s Spirit is freely given during baptism, but we receive only a down payment of His Son’s Spirit. What we receive is the first installment or down payment. The Son’s Spirit must mature and develop over time. We must have a fully developed Spirit at the time of our death. Paul gives us this warning in Romans 8:9: “If any man have not the Spirit of Messiah, he is none of his.”
It is only through baptism in the name of YahwehShua that we can receive the down payment or earnest of the Son’s Spirit. Without this, you cannot become one of His. You must be one of His to be resurrected when he returns. (1 Corinthians 15:23)
The Spirit of Messiah is formed over time through obedience. (Colossians 4:19) To successfully overcome, you must not quench the Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:19) There is always the possibility that His Spirit will be quenched. You should never be complacent, but always alert to your progress in being faithful.
Who belongs to Messiah when he returns? Those who were His sheep from the fold of the old covenant and the first fruits of the new covenant.
According to Revelation 14:1, there will be 144,000 saints with him. We find in verse five of that chapter that those saints are considered firstfruits. These are all that will be resurrected when he returns. What about the rest of mankind? All mankind will eventually be resurrected. We are told this in Revelation 20:5:
“But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”
When you study the Scriptures related to the sealing of the firstfruits, you will find that only the firstfruits are to be sealed under the new covenant. The rest of mankind will not be required to be sealed. They are to be judged by those who are sealed, but will not become sealed themselves.
Revelation 14 is very helpful to learn more about the firstfruits. However, there is another chapter in Revelation that will also increase our understanding. This is in Revelation, chapter 7. Many may disagree with our interpretation, but a thorough study on sealing will reveal the truth. How do we know that Revelation 7 refers to the same firstfruits revealed in Revelation 14? Our study reveals that only firstfruits are sealed. All those who are called and chosen during this age are considered firstfruits. Paul teaches that it is only the firstfruits that are sealed.
Revelation 7:9 reveals a great multitude of mankind standing before the throne and the Lamb. They are dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands, but there is no mention of them being sealed. These are those who were judged during the last great day to be in the kingdom when the new heavens and earth are created. Those during the last great day not qualified to be in the kingdom must live outside. They must first enter the lake of fire, which is the second death. Once they complete that time they will enjoy life in the new heavens and earth. However, they will live outside the walls of the kingdom. (Revelation 21:8; 22:15)
Paul offers this insight in 2 Timothy 2:19: “Nevertheless the foundation of Yahweh standeth sure, having this seal, the sovereign knoweth them that are his. And, let everyone that nameth the name of Messiah depart from iniquity.” Which name of Messiah? His name given at birth or his more excellent inherited name? According to the Scriptures, there is only one answer. The apostle Peter knew the answer and so must you! By being baptized in the correct name, you begin the process of becoming sealed in the righteousness of the faith.
It is very important to understand who the firstfruits are and why it is desirable to be one of them. This is what is revealed in James 1:18: “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” Paul states in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that the firstfruits are a new creation. Messiah was the first of the firstfruits. (1 Corinthians 1:23) To be called and chosen as a firstfruit is the greatest opportunity that any man can receive on the earth. The fact that you are reading this article may indicate that you are being called. You have much to consider.
Messiah, as the original firstfruit, was first revealed in Genesis 1:1. The traditional translation of this verse is: “In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth.” However, if you read and study the original Hebrew, you will discover that the first word is a preposition and the second word is Strong’s number 7225. With this new information, you will find that a better translation is: “For the firstfruit Elohim [Mighty ones]created the heavens and the earth.”
We are told that the firstfruits are known from the foundation of the earth. (Ephesians 1: 4) Now we know that the original firstfruit, Messiah, is revealed in the very first verse of Genesis. In the last book, Revelation, we are allowed to learn even more about the firstfruits. We learned in Revelation 14:1 that the 144,000 firstfruits have the name of the Father and Son in their foreheads. This is the same name in which the firstfruits are baptized.
Revelation 7 adds to our understanding by noting the important fact that only the firstfruits are sealed. They have the seal of righteousness, which we have through the down payment of Messiah’s Spirit. Through baptism we obtain his righteousness, which is being formed within us.
The Father does the calling of those who are eligible to become firstfruits. (John 6:44) Messiah does the choosing. (John 15:16)
Take note of what Messiah tells us in John 14:13: “And what you shall ask in my name, that will I do.” This is why you must know which name he is referring to. By being baptized in YahwehShua and not the birth name, you have access to His power. You can have His support through the process of overcoming. He is with those that are His. If you wish to be one of those in the resurrection when he returns, then you must have his indwelling Spirit being formed. Remember what Paul tells us in Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Messiah which strengtheneth me.” This is true only if you’re calling upon the correct name.
The Light of YahwehShua is dedicated to assisting candidates in becoming firstfruits. Please contact us for more information.