Baptism by Water, the Disciple's Initiation

Baptism is "a ceremonial immersion in water, or application of water, as an initiatory rite or Christian sacrament, any similar ceremony or action of initiation, dedication, etc., a trying or purifying experience or initiation."

On the Via Christa, a Baptism by Water is the initiation of the second Degree of the Disciple. The candidate for ascension must "walk on water" to conquer the emotions. You do this by lifting and sacrificing your personal self-will to achieve a state of calm under trial.

Any emotionally upsetting event is a Baptism by Water in some degree. All emotional trials help you to overcome fears and threats to self.

You must take initiations on conquering your emotions to strengthen you so that you will not wilt or lose your poise under fire. Emotional maturity is crucial if you want the world or God to take you seriously.



















Edna Lister on the Baptism by Water

First, you are baptized with water on your "lower parts" of self. Baptism by Water establishes your covenant with God to surrender and ascend. Baptism by Water is a rite of purification that leads you to nonresistance, and protects you from the world. – Edna Lister, Surrender and Transfiguration, July 12, 1953.


You move from Baptism by Water, which is the soul ascending under sacrifice to reach for spiritual water, to Baptism by Fire, which is the descent of the Holy Spirit. – Edna Lister, Your Life's Practice, May 23, 1954.


Under Baptism by Water, you can give up self-pity, tears of self, and the taint of martyrdom. – Edna Lister, Jesus, the Ascended Creator God, December 19, 1954.


The Disciple undergoes Baptism by Water, symbolizing emotions; you begin to conquer self, starting with self-control. – Edna Lister, The Wheels of Ezekiel, December 17, 1957.


As a Disciple, you undergo Baptism by Water, using self control for the first conquering of emotions. – Edna Lister, February 13, 1958.


To fulfill the law of Baptism by Water, you must conquer your emotions and "walk on water." Water represents the emotional life. Walking on water symbolizes conquering your emotions. – Edna Lister, The Pioneering Mystic, May 5, 1959.


Baptism by Water is an outer baptism, or a new understanding that you cannot live by the standards of old emotional life. You must learn to agree with God that "This is good," and adjust to others, saying, "Let there be Light." – Edna Lister, Heaven, a Place to Fill, April 10, 1962.


You undergo a Baptism by Water to be cleansed and purified for the Power to use you; spiritual waters represent three levels of cleansing, emotional, spiritual and cleansing power for the world. – Edna Lister, The Water and the Fire, June 16, 1963.


Through Baptism by Water you stabilize emotions into the Christ-life by surrendering emotional "jags" and reactions to balance the emotional expression. Emotional reactions include opinions, prejudice, resentment blame, guilt and all old, worn-out memories. – Edna Lister, Eight Great Powers of Being, October 18, 1966.

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Baptism and Its Authority

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated October 14, 1934, Buffalo, New York. Acts 8:26-39.

"And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.

"Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.

"And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

"And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing." – Acts 8:26-39.

This scripture is loaded with action. It begins as an angel of the Lord orders Philip to go southward, down from Jerusalem, symbolizing heavenly peace, to Gaza, representing worldly power, a stronghold, a fortified place of strength.

Some people believe that spiritual action means to sit in peace, meditate and play with the idea. A place of power is a place of action where everything else is added because of your "right-use-ness," which implies that you must use something.

You may not sit and just think, contemplate and dream. You must use your resources and act. Philip used his resources to baptize the eunuch, who was a servant to Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians.

The Ethiopians represent darkness within, dark emotions and desires such as greed, passion, etc. The Egyptians represent dark thinking. The eunuch represents thoughts from which all outer desire has been lifted, absolutely selfless thoughts, but without any desire to create behind them. You do not accomplish real contemplation by sitting, but by activity.

The eunuch's study of Isaiah with Philip led him to understand the thoughts that were standing highest in rank of their purity. Philip teaches that baptism can come only by the Power of the Holy Spirit. Power is the life of Light. Power incites words. Words are the carrier media for Power.

Words open the door between Power and the world without using any action beyond speech or the power to create, but you may not use force in doing so. If you lack the Spirit of baptism, often you sit without words.

You either arise or go down in consciousness. You cannot afford to go down to think in Egypt or Ethiopia, the lower self of creature consciousness. You must go as a strong, arisen son or daughter of God. Then your chariot is awaiting you. When you hear the call, you may choose to arise or go down, which is disobedient. Stand still for the answer.

First, John baptizes with water those who accept that Christ is. Philip releases the Power of the Baptism by Fire that makes you a Christed one.

Arise! You have a desert to cross all alone, to reach the Temple in the City of God. John's baptism sends you out into the desert of denial, where you find no peace.

Philip teaches praise that opens your eyes to see the glories awaiting and the chariot of fire. Philip was caught up again into peace.

The Ethiopian eunuch, who represents freedom, stood bathed in the divine radiance and said, "Here is water," which represents recognition. "Just a little way" means you, not a few, but everyone. You shall all find strength through praise, Power, poise and peace.

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Cooperation in Service

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated November 18, 1934, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Matthew 5:13-16, 1 Corinthians 12:27 and Acts 2:38-43.

"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." – Matthew 5:13-16.

"Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular." – 1 Corinthians 12:27.

"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles." – Acts 2:38-43.

"Ye are the salt of the earth." Without salt, food is insipid, tasteless. Without spiritual salt, life is boring, unattractive, nothing to live for. "Ye are the body of Christ." No human or outer agency can give you pep, ginger, effervescence, joy, enthusiasm, or point the way. All this comes from within.

"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house." – Matthew 5:14-15. You must place a lamp on a stand, on top of the table, not below or hidden from view.

You commit yourself to divine distribution because the Baptism of Spirit creates a quickened desire to serve, a quickened desire to cooperate because you wish to share, to give of the Creative Impulse itself.

"Fear came upon every soul." In this context you may interpret fear as meaning awe or obedience. "Fear of the Lord" is obedience to the law. The Father has given you the ability to choose because He has given you free will.

Only one house is ultimately attractive to you, your Father's house. God has put you on a long tether line, which Einstein says will circle back to Him.

Of course, some of us have our backs to the Light. Imagine backing all the way home. What a long, laborious process.

To turn and face Light is so easy. You may claim sanctuary under the Light, knowing that no darkness or adversity can touch the one who stands under the Light.

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." – James 1:17.

The Father of Lights is the source of all good descending from above. Just declare, "Thank You Father. You always say yes." If you plan darkness, God will say, "Yes." If you plan Light, He will always answer, "Yes."

Become fascinated with Light, obsessed with divine idea of Light. Use this Light, and appropriate more. When? Now. To whom does this apply? To you. Glorify God and He will clothe you with the sun.

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Faith Opens Christ Consciousness

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated February 10, 1935, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Acts 2:22-28 and Acts 2:36-41.

"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance." – Acts 2:22-28.

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls." – Acts 2:36-41.

This text contains three significant verses. First, "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you." – Acts 2:22. God worked miracles, wonders, and signs through Jesus.

Second, "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain." – Acts 2:23. God used lawless men as agents of His will.

Third, "Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it." – Acts 2:24. It was not possible that death should hold Jesus because God made both Lord and Christ, law and principle. You are both law and principle, as Jesus was both.

You need to reach a clear understanding of Christed consciousness. You begin the long journey by first seeking the Christ Mind restlessly until you catch a glimpse of it.

Then you repent of old ways in a change of mind and heart. When you reach the baptism of the Holy Spirit, you experience the cleansing power of Spirit, which possesses you, to saturate and infuse your mind.

Denial may mean simply ignoring something or agreeing with God that this is good, and lifting the self. When you deny the self, you are ready to "follow me." When you lift self, you "follow me."

Your soul's greatness is then 100 percent steadfast and glorious. God's greatness is 100 percent joyously enduring.

How great shall you be when you add yourself to God and He adds Himself to you? You receive a thousandfold dividend, which is God's 10 percent.

The world looks on, perhaps thinking you have done this on your own power. No! God's Power is forever the greatest, and you are only the channel for that Power.

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This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated January 5, 1936, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: John 1:32-42 and Mark 1:14-18.

"John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone." – John 1:32-42.

"Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him." – Mark 1:14-18.

This lesson highlights two ideas necessary to faith, which are receptivity, the listening attitude, which is greater than just hearing, and discernment, the ability to see with acute spiritual perception.

John, who represents intellect, proclaims the way, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God." John waited for the Messiah until he saw the dove descending. Two of John's disciples, who were receptive to truth, followed Jesus to discover where he was staying when he said, "Come and see."

When you stand under Light, you stand where the prophet Hosea stood when he said, "I am become rich. I have found me out substance." – Hosea 12:8. You begin to cast your nets to catch abundance.

Jesus told faith (Peter) and discernment (Andrew), "Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men." Immediately they followed. Discernment of truth always has its nets ready.

When God commanded Joshua to take the Promised Land, He told him to hold every foot of ground as a fortress, to hold as common ground, in the world.

The Light now is greater than in Jesus' time. Every foot of ground you have gained is "holy ground." So hold your standard, your banner of Light aloft.

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand – beautiful, perfect, complete.

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Confirmation

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated April 5, 1936, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: Acts 8:14-17.

"Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost." – Acts 8:14-17.

Peter represents the faculties of power and faith. John represents love and understanding.

A minister lays hands on the candidate in Confirmation, as a symbol of the soul's covenant of Baptism. Thus, Confirmation is a spiritual act to confirm a state of consciousness and strength.

The Father sees perfection and your inner heart. He is perfect, and you reflect and echo His image and likeness.

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The Sacraments

This Edna Lister Bible study outline is dated March 1, 1937, Buffalo, New York. Scriptures: Matthew 3:13-17, Matthew 26:26-28 and John 6:53-54.

"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." – Matthew 3:13-17.

"As they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." – Matthew 26:26-28.

"Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." – John 6:53-54.

A sacrament is an outward acknowledgment of inward power, an outer visible sign of a sacred symbol. Jesus Christ ordained two sacraments on behalf of God the Father, Baptism with Confirmation, and the Lord's Supper.

Each sacrament has two parts, the outward visible expression, and an inward invisible spiritual state of grace.

You experience the sacraments in two ways, the outward by water in baptism, for example. You experience the inward grace by ascending into the Light, by being positive. To live in a state of grace requires that all negative emotions, symbolized by water, be washed and cleansed.

The Lord's Supper was made a sacrament for continual remembrance of his sacrifice that you do not have to suffer, personally. All that you are required to do is to stand under his Light and live by the faith Christ Jesus left for you.

Baptism makes one a member of Christ's congregation, and an heir to the throne of heaven.

I believe in God the Father and Mother of us all. I believe Jesus Christ was the son of God. I believe he was crucified, that he died, that he was buried. I believe he descended into darkness. I believe the third day he arose again and ascended into heaven. I believe he has made us our own judge, according to the understanding of what God is to us. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the temple of holiness, the forgiveness of sins, the Resurrection and Ascension of the life everlasting.

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The Word Made Flesh

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated March 7, 1937, Buffalo, New York. Scripture: John 1:1-34.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe." – John 1:1-7.

The first idea is that the Word is both life and Light. Thus, principle is established. The second idea is that principle establishes your method for finding your identity.

"The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." – John 1:14-16. These verses establish your identity with God.

"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God." – John 1:29-34.

These verses reveal that you must know who you are and to whom you belong.

God sent John to establish recognition of the Master's identity. "Behold the Lamb of God" reveals his purity and innocence of soul as the Father's offering of redemption. The Master was the spiritual individualized phase of the "Word made flesh."

As Jesus approached John, he said of him, "I knew him not," yet "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him." The dove never lights upon the unworthy, but upon him who carries the precious gift of peace.

"He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." – John 1:11-13.

The third idea is that those who "believe on his name" are born "not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

Once you are born again, you receive the Baptism by Water, and the Baptism by Fire. You then take the three steps described above to faith, hope, charity, to joy, as your practical application of the "Word made flesh."

To establish your identity through principle, you must know that Power is both life and Light. Second, you must be aware of your identity as an ambassador and witness of Light twenty-four hours a day. The method is to be "born again," but how? You must settle your debts to law. Can you pay them all now?

Once you know the Master is still the Lamb of God, still taking away "sins of the world," still walking as he did by the Sea of Galilee, and is still being wounded by your flippant, indifferent remarks – you realize that you must do as he has done. He pays no attention to what you say. He does not judge, but suffers the hurts of those you wound. He is forever pointing the way for you to follow.

The world needs life as Light. The world needs to know that Christ is here. You must bear witness daily, hourly for others to know this. How many souls, disciples have you brought him this year? You are glorious, victorious, and triumphant as all Light and all Power.

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Baptism and Christening

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated April 3, 1938, Cleveland, Ohio. Scripture: John 1:25-36.

"And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; he it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!" – John 1:25-36.

The method of Baptism for adults and older children is either to immerse or to sprinkle. Both methods symbolize purification or initiation for admission to the Church.

We Christen babies, a word meaning "of the Christ," physically elevating them in the process, to make them Christians. To Christen means to seal a soul for Christ and to dedicate the child to his service.

The baby must have a sponsor or sponsors who promise in the child's name to influence the child toward Christed living. Adults who stand as sponsors to a child also serve as additional parents, whose direction is to be followed.

Sponsors must always ask of self, Where have I led this child? How have I taught this child to live?

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Baptism

This Edna Lister Bible study outline is dated September 28, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: Matthew 3:13-17.

"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." – Matthew 3:13-17.

Baptism is the first sacrament of religion in the churches. The original sacraments numbered seven: They are baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist (communion), penance (repentance), communion for the dying, ordination (Holy Orders) and matrimony.

Baptism is the most necessary sacrament, whether it is by sprinkling, dipping or full immersion. Communion in some form has been considered an absolute essential in all religions.

We recognize two baptisms, by water and by fire, or the Holy Ghost. Baptism by Water represents repentance and the letting go of the past. Baptism by Fire symbolizes remission, renewing your mission, in which you receive orders to preach and to teach.

Sacraments are ordinances, authoritative directions. People generally regard sacraments as the decrees of authority.

Repentance means "to go back, to turn around" and the destination is your "penthouse" of soul, your tower room of Christed consciousness. Remission is to return to your original mission as a son or daughter of God.

Thus, sacraments are ordinances, authoritative decrees and directions that are necessary to keep your heart and mind healthy.

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Confirmation of Illumination

This Edna Lister Bible study outline is dated October 6, 1946, Tacoma, Washington. Scripture: John 1:32-34.

"And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God." – John 1:32-34.

The sign by which we may know that a teacher is authentic and of God is whether his works follow his words. The true teacher devotes himself to be and to do the right and good.

For the sacrament of baptism, we are given sponsors. For the sacrament of confirmation, we ourselves become personally responsible.

During a baptism, the individual is sprinkled or immersed in water, symbolizing Jesus' experience in the Jordan River with John. The Holy Ghost descends as a dove and the Holy Spirit as fiery clouds of glory.

Confirmation is an acknowledgment of Light. Optimally, the embodied finds his confirmation of Light in the first forty-nine years of life, in seven times seven stages of illumination as the Light of the Oversoul Star descends.

During the first seven years of life, Light descends the rod of Power, the sponsored child's spine. During the second seven years, until about the age of fourteen, the Light, which had descended to the sacrum, ascends the spine again.

During the third period, from age fourteen to twenty-one, the Light again descends the spine to water the Land of Egypt, everything below the diaphragm. This is the zenith of physical fertility.

In the fourth period, from age twenty-one to twenty-eight, the Light again rises to the crown, and the embodied soul experiences full physical maturity. Ideally, the soul moves up in consciousness on its accomplishments and outer success.

In the fifth period, from age twenty-eight to thirty-five, the Light again descends the spine and the soul ascends in inner success. During the sixth period, between age thirty-five and forty-two, the Light again ascends to bring full illumination.

In the seventh period, between age forty-two and forty-nine, ideally the embodied soul experiences the completion of God consciousness, with the full ascension of the soul.

While baptism serves to open the soul to the influx of Light, confirmation is supposed to remind the soul of the spiritual dimension of life on earth. We all need to be reminded that we are personally responsible and that Light is our true nature.

Between the ages of seven and fourteen, while the Light is ascending the spine, it reinforces a personal attitude toward life. It awakens consciousness to life outside the immediate family group.

During this period, the embodied soul becomes aware of its relationship to life through its own actions and those of others. This opens the ways to a greater understanding of life.

The universal questions of this period include, What is my place in life? How am I to act? What am I to do? As the soul accepts these social conventions, he or she becomes a moral member of society.

If the embodied soul makes a new covenant with God at the confirmation, he will also make new vows. The soul will experience new devotion to service, new surrender to God and renewed responsibility toward God and humanity.

If the soul is enthralled with its possessions and the affairs of the creature self, no Light from the Oversoul Star can descend or penetrate the consciousness. No depth of character develops, and the embodied soul remains shallowly aware only of the self.

Creature consciousness is in love with the sound of its own voice and becomes a loudspeaker of self. Self is always on parade.

Soul consciousness is enthralled with God. From the first confirmation of Light, such a soul begins building its body of star dust, made of its own share of Light. Such a soul is a "radiant one."

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The Water and the Fire 1

This Edna Lister sermon outline is dated June 16, 1963. Scriptures: Matthew 3:1-3, Matthew 3:11-17, Romans 6:3-4 and Acts 2:1-4.

"In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight." – Matthew 3:1-3.

"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." – Matthew 3:11-17.

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." – Romans 6:3-4.

"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." – Acts 2:1-4.

Jesus' record opens in conflict. The Roman Empire's tax collectors and governors were cruel and demanding. They oppressed the Jews of Judea, who hated them and the rule of Rome. Yet the Jewish officials were always currying favors both ways.

The proud Sadducees, who had been trained in law intellectually, were fighting for their religion. Into this situation John the Baptist came, crying, "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

To John, repentance included being baptized. He belonged to a sect, the Nazirites,[1] similar to the Anabaptists[2] of 16th Century Europe. John had been preaching and teaching in the wilderness, outside the villages and towns.

He made no mistake about moving into public view. He knew he was chosen to open Jesus' ministry. His sect believed in full immersion and baptism of infants and for repentance as adults. (Build the full picture.)

John was "the voice of one crying in the wilderness." The wilderness represents mental confusion. So many people live in a personal wilderness of thoughts, emotion and imagination. The world today is a jungle of confused ideas.

Some John the Baptist-type preacher, teacher, leader, book, or friend is always arising to awaken and arouse the sleepers to the first Rebirth in consciousness. To come to full consciousness of life invokes Power.

Water is a symbol of purity, and represents emotions. Water is fluid, flexible and malleable. It is also a name for Spirit as the flexible, flowing "spiritual waters." Universal Spirit melts the ice of opinions and prejudices. It seeps into every cell of the body to purify, cleanse and take on new form, or to melt, dissolve, replace and repair the old form if needed. So Baptism by Water is a symbol of needed cleansing of mind, heart, body and affairs. It is the first important step after Rebirth.

The second important step is Baptism by Fire. Fire represents the consuming flame of the Spirit, a higher form of substance than water. It releases more energy, and is hot. Temperature covers a continuum ranging from the cold of outer space [2-3 degrees Kelvin] to the white point of heat in a blue white O-type star [30,000-52,000 degrees Kelvin]. Fire melts ice and vaporizes water into steam, physically and metaphysically.

Soul ascends through the four elements of earth, water, air and fire under Rebirth and the Baptisms by Water and Fire, to reach the three Emanations, Wisdom, Love and Selflessness, the Logos. The Holy Ghost is the white point of heat. All high trinities descend into the elements of fire, air, earth and water, physically and metaphysically.

Rebirth and the Baptisms by Water and Fire are ways of saying that you must and do ascend in consciousness to become Light and life in your expression of love. You move from asking "who" and "where" to "how" and "when." Plant your feet solidly on earth, become flexible as water, breath air as inspiration and burn your dross of self by fire.

As the head of the process of Ascension, Jesus led creatively. He never tore down anything good, but invoked Power as Light to conquer evil. He stood on principle firmly, holding fast to God and knowing truth.

John taught that the way to heaven is to repent. Repentance consists in regret and remorse, then contrition and penitence. Thus, you become conscious of the need for Baptism by Water.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines repentance in botanical terms, as something creeping, crawling, and growing along just under the surface of the ground. When you repent, you become conscious of things creeping around in your you and subconscious mind.

You find this idea in these verses about Baptism by Water: "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." – Romans 6:3-4. In other words, as Jesus was raised from the dead, so shall you be raised to new life, eventually.

Endnotes

"When the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." – Acts 2:1-4.

The flames of the Holy Ghost were the highest vibration of Light as life that had come to earth. Holy Spirit is always the highest vibration that manifests. It melts crystallization in the mental body lotus centers, and lifts the veils of illusion, which are belts of Light between each level of consciousness. Thus, Spirit dissolves old "human nature" to free it.

The crystallized twins of selfishness and blame walk hand in hand. So, under the Baptisms by Water and Fire, you move through the wilderness of blame and finally arrive at the Promised Land, and enter the Holy City.

1^ Nazirite, person who vows for a specific period to abstain from partaking of grapes or any of its products whether intoxicating or not, cutting his hair, and touching a corpse (6:3-9). Such a person is called a Nazirite (Hebrew nazir) from the root nzr, meaning to separate or dedicate oneself.

2^ Anabaptist, (from Greek ana, "again") a member of a fringe, or radical, movement of the Protestant Reformation and spiritual ancestor of modern Baptists, Mennonites, and Quakers. The movement's most distinctive tenet was adult baptism.

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The Water and the Fire 2

This Edna Lister sermon transcript is dated June 16, 1963. Scribes: Ruth Johnson, Lotus Landis and Irene White. Scriptures: Matthew 3:1-3, Matthew 3:11-17, Romans 6:3-4 and Acts 2:1-4.

You need to know so much before you can understand the Bible. Matthew describes the beginning of Jesus' ministry, and how his teachings on love brought evil into the open.

Jesus began his ministry during a time of bitter conflict. The Roman Empire had been crushing its provinces economically with taxes for decades. Pontius Pilate and his Roman Centuries had to produce greater tax revenues for Rome annually.

The Jews in Judea hated Rome. They resented their enslaved position since Pompey Magnus had desecrated their temple.

Herod, whose family Rome had authorized to rule Judea, hated being subservient to Pilate. Behind his back Herod sent emissaries to Rome to plead for help and to better his own position with Caesar.

Then came John, who had been preaching repentance to the common people in the rural areas, but had not entered the public eye before he baptized Jesus. John headed a sect that prophesied that the end was near, because they believed the Messiah was coming.

When John saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he called them a "brood of vipers." Both sects had trained in law at their level, believed their opinions about law were right, and defended their religion with all their souls. The Pharisees held to the most rigid interpretation of Jewish laws regarding piety.

The Sadducees, who dominated the temple priesthood, insisted that Jewish religious life was centered in the temple at Jerusalem. They persecuted less observant Jews and the poor people, demanding that each should live and act in their image and likeness.

Yet the Sadducees had added so many small laws to the Talmud that no one could keep them all without becoming a master of their law. They made laws to explain Mosaic laws, and had multiplied the entire body of their oral and written law. We do the same today in our courts and justice system.

Then John the Baptist came, crying, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." – Matthew 3:11-12.

The Sadducees and Pharisees feared that John's message would arouse the people into Messianic fervor again because it gave them hope. John challenged the Sadducees, who feared another uprising among the poor people. They then plotted privately for another three years.

John helped Jesus to open his ministry with a bang, as a challenge to evil, to "burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." His teachings on love brought the hidden treachery into the open. The fan in Jesus' hand was law.

This is the background of the conflict that Jesus entered as a catalyst, like being squeezed between the angered members of a family. He kept the Sadducees' laws, but since they lived outside God's pure law, they misused the Wisdom principle as opinion and the Love principle as soul substance.

Jesus came from Galilee to be baptized by John at the Jordan River, but John, who was his cousin, knew about his mission. He said he could not, but Jesus replied, "Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." – Matthew 3:15. A lesser man "suffers" when he so initiates a high one. John obeyed because he knew they must fulfill law. Then John baptized him, as he did all whom he had converted to repentance.

As Jesus emerged from the water, exaltation came: "'The heavens were opened unto him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon him." – Matthew 3:16. Some people must have heard the Voice of God saying, "This is my Son, the Beloved, in whom I am well pleased." – Matthew 3:17. Imagine the awe, the ecstasy at this revelation.

The first step of initiation is always a rebirth. You walk with the twins, blame and selfishness, until your rebirth. Life always informs you when it comes.

The second step is to submit to spiritual discipline to be cleansed and purified for the Power to use. Baptism by Water symbolizes the purifying, clarifying Power of God, and the emotions.

Spiritual waters represent three levels of cleansing, emotional, spiritual and cleansing Power for the world. Spiritual waters seep through every cell in the body to cushion and feed it.

Water is fluid and flexible and must be contained to be useful, or it is destructive. You must give water a sheath or form to do its necessary work of purifying mind, thinking and emotions. The percentage of body water is about 60 to 65% in men and 50 to 60% in women. Eighty-five percent of your brain is water, which creates the electrical potential shared by your neurons and neurotransmitters.

The body's water is carried by the lymph system, and you must feed it enough fluids to let it maintain its cleansing system. Illness results when lymph becomes too thick. Sufficient water enables your brain to think. Your conscious mind is a recording system. You cannot repress the subconscious and sit in an overstuffed chair mentally. Instead, recognize its drivel and lift it to the Father.

The subconscious mind does not bother you when you engage it in constructive action. You can experience a much better silence doing dishes, vacuuming, or working than if you sit in a chair.

The Baptism by Fire begins as you emerge from the spiritual waters, and divine fire descends to burn out the dross. Fire is higher in vibration than water because it is nearer to the Source.

Under a Baptism by Fire, you ascend to the Emanations, Wisdom, Love and Energy form the River of Life flowing through the universes. The Emanations are ready to fulfill your needs and become whatever you declare. Life sparks are the primordial unit of life substance.

A handful of air holds as much life as the three Emanations that form the River of Life containing all that is. Its quantity is not great, but its quality counts.

Conscious mind must activate an unconscious faith, for faith must be conscious. This is the meaning of "the three falls into the four."

Do not lose your contact with God. Plant your feet firmly on earth and hold onto your rod of Power. Stand, and reach up in consciousness.

Part of the River of Life is always flowing home, and you stand in its spiritual waters, which must immerse you constantly, as though you were a screen moving in water. Unless you are fluid and flexible as the water runs through your screen, you push 14.7 pounds per square inch ahead of you, and feel heavy.

You feel differently when spiritual waters immerse you constantly as you reach for the stars. Aging is nothing more than a drought of spiritual and physical waters, and you need at least three quarts a day for health. You either are open to the River of Life, or age.

When you blame, criticize or use idle words, you have left the spiritual waters behind. Grab subconscious negativity as chaff to burn in the fires of love, and stand with the fire moving through you. Let the Breath of God's life inspire you. Use the four elements, earth, air, fire and water to tie your earth to heaven.

John came, saying, "Repent for the kingdom is at hand." Repentance has four stages, regret, remorse, contrition, and penitence. Before you can repent, you must know about what you need to turn from. Someone must tell you: Repent of the creeping, crawling things under the surface, misused law, opinions and prejudices.

Jesus taught us who we are, why we are here, where we are going, and how to do it. Sooner or later, you discover you have misused law. You have been like a Sadducee instead of as Jesus. You cannot turn off the "how" of it. For example, you feel heavy after a Sunday dinner. You feel blue on Monday. If you turn the fire beneath you up to the boiling point, you are young, free, alive, inspired and illumined. Declarations, affirmations and positive statements are not enough if you do not have any life.

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." – Romans 6:3-4.

You must die in Christ to be renewed, to have new life. New life is spiritual substance, like water or fire, which you can form into any mold you desire. Self dies a little death whenever you give up self in the spirit of forgiveness, to be baptized in water and fire. Unless you are baptized in Christ, new life could not resurrect you.

When you work to live like Jesus the Christ, it brings death to the old, the little self. Conquering grudges and selfishness is hard, and you must work at it. To be resurrected into new life, to climb in ascension, to know what you have discarded of self is a glory.

Anyone can change, be reborn, and Light can heal him. Spread a spiritual feast table for your loved ones, and God will fill it. Tell each how wonderful he is, to make him happy. Spread a table of love before your worst favorites or one who hates you.

"When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting." – Acts 2:1-2.

Imagine what Jesus' disciples, apostles and followers had been through when the Pentecost came. Think of the healing, miracles, disappearances and appearances they had seen.

Right up to the cross, they thought he would perform a miracle before the world and reveal himself as Messiah. They expected him to prove himself for their exaltation.

In their grief, they thought they had lost him, and they forgot his teachings within forty days. The disciples had been scattered and confused since Jesus' death, but now they gathered as one again.

A mighty wind from heaven filled the house till it shook, the room whirled. The flames of the Holy Spirit descended as the white wings of the Christ.

The Father wants you to witness this too, but first you must know spiritual laws to be conscious of Power using you every minute of every day. Power uses you as the Holy Spirit and white Light of the Christ and you can witness cloven tongues of fire. You must know you have made room for the Holy Spirit.

Let the purifying waters and fires of the Holy Spirit fill your aura and form a sheath around all who come your way. This can happen when you walk earth loving God enough.

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Stories that Illustrate Baptism by Water

Jesus's Baptism (Matthew's Account): [John said] I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. – Matthew 3:11-17.


Jesus's Baptism (Mark's Account): John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; and preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. – Mark 1:4-11.


Jesus's Baptism (Luke's Account): As the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people. But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison. Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. – Luke 3:15-22.


Jesus's Baptism (John's Account): John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; he it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! – John 1:26-36.


Walking on the Waters of Emotion: Straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.0 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. – Matthew 14:22-32.


Straightway [Jesus] constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened. – Mark 6:45-52.


And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, and entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went. – John 6:16-21.


Calming the Waters: Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him. – Luke 8:22-25.


The Water and Fire of Rebirth in Consciousness: There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. – John 3:1-8.


Cleansing Your Understanding: [The feet represent your understanding.] Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; he riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. – John 13:3-16.


Healing Baptism by Water: Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son. – John 5:2-22.


Jonah Swallowed by the Whale of Overwhelming Emotion: Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?

And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land. Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous. And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.

Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them. Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee. So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows. Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. – Jonah 1:1-17.

Jonah prayed to God from the fish's belly: When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord. And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. – Jonah 2:7-10.

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New Testament on Baptism

You cannot "walk on water" when you doubt: And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? – Matthew 14:25-31.


Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. – John 3:5.


Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. – John 4:14.


If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. – John 7:37-38.


There are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. – 1 John 5:8.


It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. – Revelation 21:6.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 –1971
The original Pioneering Mystic
minister, teacher, and author

Edna Lister


Etymology of baptism: Old French batesme, bapteme (11c., Modern French baptême), from Latin baptismus, from Greek baptismos.


Baptism by Water is an initiation of the Seven Degrees of Ascension.


References

The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 volumes. E.S.C. Weiner, editor. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).


Related Topic

See Disciple


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