Doctrine of Christ
Baptism unto the Man of God
The Sixth of the Seven Baptisms
By: Eldon McNabb
"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat." (1 Cor. 10:1-4; Deut. 33:1)
Baptism unto The Man of God was not for Mosesí day only, or for his and Jesusí day only. This is readily seen in the light of Heb. 13:7,8,17. "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God, whose faith follow. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Obey them that have the rule over you and submit yourselves: For they watch for your souls, as they that must give account; that they may do it with joy and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."
This passage clearly shows that when God gives His word to a man, for the people, and it includes with the authority to rule over them. He is not given the responsibility to feed them only, but to lead and feed them It also shows that God worked that way under the law and continued to do so in the days of the early disciples of Christ, and that He will continue to do so forever.
Paul is making a reference here to Eccl. 3:14,15, "Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past." God never changes. (Mal. 3:6)
In Col. 1:25, Paul showed himself to have been in just such a position of stewardship. He said, "I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God".
In Numbers chapter 16, Korah challenged The Man of God, saying there was no need of a ruler because the people were holy. Because of his defiance, God caused an earthquake to swallow up him and his fellow insurgents. God then performed a miracle with Aaron's rod to certify, beyond doubt, that He had chosen Aaron to rule the people under Moses. Aaron's rod budded and brought forth almonds. Numbers chapter seventeen.
According to the testimony of Peter and Jude, God does not work any differently now, even though we are baptized with the Holy Ghost. They said, "The Lord knoweth how to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished, chiefly them that despise government. Presumptuous are they, self willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities." (2 Pet. 2:9-13) "These despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Woe unto them for they have perished in the gainsaying of (Korah)." (Jude 8,11) It would not have been possible for anyone to be referred to as "like Korah" in the day of grace unless there were someone "like Moses and Aaron."
God changes the principle a little in Joshua, but the wise can see. When the time came for Moses to pass from the scene, Moses prayed, "Let the Lord set a man over the congregation, which may lead them; that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd." In response, "The Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, (He was of the tribe of Ephraim.) and set him before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient." (Num. 27:15-20)
That event was a shadow of the time when Jesus would appoint Peter the responsibility of finishing the building of The Church and is applicable to James, Jude and the others who have had oversight of the house of God since that time. Before He ascended Jesus commanded Peter, "Simon, son of Jonas, feed My sheep." Thus He "gave him a charge in their sight," and made him ruler over His household to give them meat in due season. (Matt. 24:45-47) Jesus did that to fulfill, and set in motion certain scriptures, especially Exod. 29:29,30, Num. 27:18-23, John 14:12, and Gen. 4:25. So Peter put on the mantle of our Lord, which he wore for seven years or more, until he passed it on to James, when Jesus appeared to Peter the second time, in fulfillment of 1 Kings 9:2,3.
In Matt. 24:37-47. Jesus spoke to his Apostles about our day, and gave them to understand that He would have the same system of government, which He had set up in His Apostles and Prophets, in operation at the time of His return. He said, "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing." (Matt. 24:45-47)
In John 17:1,9-11, Jesus said to the Father, "I pray for them which Thou hast given Me; that they may be one, as We are." As He prayed, He was aware that the unity of the faith could be achieved only by the brethren submitting to the man appointed to rule over them. This is the point He made in Psa. 133:1,2. "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard." (Don't forget Numbers chapter seventeen). Therefore, a few days after Jesus was raised from the dead, He "gave authority to His servants, and commanded the porter to watch." He didnít say porters as of many, but "the porter." That is, the man who He "has made ruler over His household." (Mark 13:34) Peter was apparently one of those servants whom Jesus set to be the watchmen over them.
Jesus said to them, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore." Thereby He passed His authority on to them. (See the following passages. Matt. 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18; John 20:23; John 21:15-22, and John 20:17,26,27.)
About seven years after Peter was charged with the oversight of The Church, he finished the work of perfecting The Church for Jesus. At that time Jesus appeared to him again, and filled the house with His glory. (Exod. 29:29-30; 1 Ki. 9:1,2; Acts 4:31) While Jesus was with them at that time, He anointed His brother James ruler over the house, and Peter continued as The Apostle to the Jews and as the right hand man of James. (1 Cor. 15:7; Acts 15:7-21)
Those holy men adhered to the instructions in Deut. 17:8-13. When a matter arose which was too hard for them to settle on the local church level (the matter of the circumcision of the flesh), "They came to the place which God had chosen: unto the judge and the priest (James and Peter) that were in those days." They came together "unto the priests the Levites" (the apostles and elders) to consider the matter."
After much disputing, Peter, with the keys of the Kingdom of God, declared how that God had began the conversion of the Gentiles by him, and the Judge (James) passed sentence. Then they wrote the decrees which were to be read in the churches and to be kept by them. (Acts 15:1-20)
As he was passing sentence, James made a statement which could be for no other reason but to validate his authority to do so. He said, "For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day." (Acts 15:21)
Much is said in the scriptures about this precept: chiefly about Christ Jesus and The Man of God at the end of the age, who will restore The House of God and be ruling it when his Lord comes back. Just as they were baptized unto Moses, so must the congregation of the Lord be baptized unto The Man of God today. When the people asked Jesus, in John 6:28,29, what they needed to do to work the works of God, His answer was not concerning Him alone, nor was it about how to obtain redemption. But it was applicable to anyone whom God would send, including John the Baptist. He said "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom He hath sent." This baptism is very closely related to the Baptism Into The Body, because a person is baptized into the Body by a covenant. That covenant, together with a volume of prophecy, is given to The Man of God for them. (Col. 1:25; 2 Cor. 11:2; 1 Cor. 11:1; Mal. 3:1-3) However, as with Moses and Jesus, the Baptism is really sealed by sharing in their journey with God. With Moses it was "in the cloud and in the sea. With Jesus, in direct parallel to the shadow in Moses, it is the baptism with the Holy Ghost, and water baptism.
When the believers join together with God in a covenant, they must also do so with The Man of God whom the Lord has made ruler over His household. God shows this in the allegory of Joash, King of Judah. Jehoiada the priest "brought forth the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him. And "Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people, that they should be the Lord's People; between the king also and the people. And it came to pass, that Joash was minded to repair the house of the Lord." (2 Kings 11:12,17 and 2 Chron. 24:1-4)