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1Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
2Let us pray. Dear Gracious and Merciful Father. We have read that we are dead and our Lives are hid with Christ in God. Help us to understand what it means to die to ourselves. Help us to understand why we are buried in baptism. Help us to understand what this is all about in Jesus Christ's Name we pray. Amen.
3Notice the Apostle Paul the said we are dead. Not that we are pretending we die when we are baptized in water. But we are dead, that is a present tense statement. Just Like when he said "I am crucified with Christ". I am is present tense. Not I was, but I am.
4And brother Branham said, Questions and answers COD - 59-1223 You're born in sin, shaped in iniquity, come to the world speaking lies. When you're born in this world, you are a liar, you're a thief, you're everything there is, just all the sin, not a thief, 'cause you haven't stole. But you're--but you're having... You're not a liar, because you've not lied. But that spirit is in you when you're born, because you're of the world. That's the reason that you can't have reformation, to reform; you've got to die and be born. And you cannot have birth without crucifixion. You can't have resurrection; you must be crucified to the things of the world in order to be resurrected in Christ.
5Now listen to what he says next because this is very important, because there are some who say my experience is listening to tapes. But brother Branham said, 84. If you're going to depend upon your intellectual's conceptions and so forth, you'll never be born of the Spirit of God. You've got to forget, like Paul did, all that he ever knowed, and know nothing among you except Christ Jesus, born anew, afresh.
6We read in Colossians 3 where Paul said we are dead, and then he says and if we are really dead then we should mortify the deeds of the flesh with it. Now, what he is saying here is that dead men do not sin. Dead men do not drink, Dead men do not fornicate, dead men do not lust, dead men do not lie, and backbite, and gossip, and all the things that living men who are not filled with the spirit do.
8Water of separation - 55-0121 You've got to absolutely accept the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. And not only that, but you've got to die yourself. you've got to die to every thought of the flesh so that you can receive the mind of Christ and walk from henceforth, not of your own, but of His mind: the mind of Christ in you. That's the only way you can stay alive. That's the only way I can stay alive. That's all I live by, is by the Holy Spirit.
9Years ago we had a young man come to our church when we were in Kentucky. The parents had said, if you wish to see our daughter you need to come to church, so come to church he did. But coming to church and being born again are two different things. And so he came and with it he said he wished to be baptized, and I explained to him what it meant and he went through all the motions, and so I could not deny him baptism, so we went to the licking River in Kentucky and there we baptized him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I immersed him under representing the burial, and as soon as I brought him up out of the water, up popped a bear can right in front of him, and as though it was full of air. Almost looked like it had been planted there just for the incident, because it was so obvious that this boy went down a dry sinner and came up a wet one. It was as though the Lord was showing us his new life, what it would be, that of a drunk, just because he never truly died to self. Eventually he left the church, went to drinking and then drugs.
10Now, the Apostle Paul said in Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
12Paul said in Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Now, as it holds true in the natural that no man should be buried until he is certifiably dead, thus it is also true that we should not bury anyone in baptism until we can certify that they indeed have died to self.
13This same Apostle said in Romans 6:3-4 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.
14There is a real symbolism in baptism that we do not focus well enough on among preachers and among the Christian Churches. And that is the importance of the baptism as a symbol of our burial and resurrection.
15The Baptism which we set in the church as one of the ordinances that must take place in the life of a Christian believer, shows forth not only the death and burial of the person being baptized, but should also show forth the resurrection of Christ, and therefore our own participation in His resurrection.
17First, we are identifying ourselves with Christ in His entirety, which means not only His death, but also His resurrection as well. In other words, when he died and was buried it was on our behalf, he did it for us, and thus when we die to our self, our baptism shows forth our burial with him in hopes of our raising with him as well.
18Where we have missed it in the way we present baptism is more of just a repentance and then the ritual of the water experience. But what is missing, is that this repentance Peter talked about should not just be a feeling sorry for our past life, but a desire to extricate ourselves completely from what we were to what we can be in Christ. And the only way to do that is to die, and to die means you are dead, dead, dead. Thus in baptism we show the dying because we show the burial and then the rising up out of the water as a new life in Christ.
20You must be born again - 61-1231M Now, the approach to this birth, there is approach to it. And to approach this birth, you have to go through a process, just like anything that lives. Anything that lives again's got to die first. And you cannot keep your same spirit. You cannot keep your same habits. You cannot keep your same thoughts. You got to die. You've got to die like He died. You got to die on His altar, like Abel did with his lamb. You got to die with your Lamb. You got to die, die to your own thinking to be born to His thinking. Let the mind that was in Christ be in you. You got to think His thoughts. And now, brother, sister, let me say this as intelligent as I know how to say it. How can you think His thoughts and deny His Word, and yet claim you're born again? Just ask yourself that question. How can you do it? You can't. If you're born again, you got His thoughts. If the mind of Christ is in you, then you are a new creature. The Bible teaches that.
21I am thoroughly convinced that the majority of people who have been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ have not died because they have not been taught how to die. Now, in the natural you do not have to be taught how to die. In the natural when you are dead you are dead, and there is no pretending what you are or are not.
Brother Branham said in his sermon, Having conferences - 60-0608 Men all down through the age has stumbled at that, so simple: Just accept the Blood. You can't cover yourself; take God's covering. You can't learn how to do it; there's no learning about it. God does it Himself, it's supernatural! It's through life; God does the covering. You can't do it. And not as much as you try to do it, you can no more clean yourself from sin by joining churches and taking creeds, then a leopard could lick his own spots of him. No, sir. The more he licks them, the brighter they get. you've got to die to yourself, your own thoughts. Give up, and let the Holy Spirit cover you with His Presence and His power. That's God's decision.
23Perfect strength 61-1119 P:32 But the thing of it is, is having nothing that you can depend on in your own self or anything that you can do, just a complete, total surrender of your weaknesses unto God, and say, "Here I am." Have nothing, no ability that you can trust in.
24We don't bury living men do we? Then why would any go to the burial of water if indeed they are not dead. Our burial with Christ in the water identifies us with his death, and that means He not only died for us, but also it means we died to ourselves with Him. Therefore, the baptism shows that my death with him, needs a burial with him. Jesus died for me that I might become him.
25From his sermon, Forsaking All 62-0123 P:86 brother Branham said, He forsaken His Sonship and became sin and took our sins, that He might take sinners and make them sons. He became me that I might become Him. He become a sinner that I might become a son of God. Oh, it's striking what He done. See, He taken your place that you might take His place. You're joint heirs with Him in the Kingdom. He become a sinner like you, your sins placed upon Him that He might take you and make you a fellow citizen of heaven and set you with Him in God's Kingdom. There you are: put His Spirit in you. And if His Spirit's in you, the works that He did you'll do also.
26In other words, he took on himself our punishment for our sins which penalty for that is our own death. So He stepped in and died for you and thus He was buried for you, so when we can come to understand what he did for us, we in turn identify with him so much that we ourselves become willing to lay down our own lives, and become willing to die to our own self, and thus we are buried with him in baptism, showing that we wish to come forth living His Life out of our own vessel. That's identification.
27Then how could a dead man who has truly died because of what he did in the flesh, how would he ever want to come back from the dead and live the same life again that caused him to have to receive the punishment that placed him in the grave in the first place.
As Paul said, "How shall we who are dead to sin live any longer therein?" How could we that have passed under the curse of death, and endured its terrible penalty, wish to do it all over again?
31He promised, "Behold I will be with you always", so your willingness to die to go where he went, shows you are also willing to go where He ascended to. And since he is the first fruit, he died, we die, he was buried we are buried, and thus he ascended and we ascend.
32If we are baptized by one spirit into one body, the body of Christ, then where he goes we must go. When he suffers, we suffer, when he is glorified, we are glorified. Thus we become one with him in his death, and one with him in his burial, and thus we must become one with him in his resurrection.
34In one sense you are dead to self, but in another sense you have become a new creature in Christ Jesus. Didn't the Apostle Paul say, "For ye are dead"; but notice he went on to say, "For your life is hid with Christ in God"; and how can you then be in reality a dead man when you have a hidden life? It's not possible.
35But since I have become one body by being baptized into one spirit then I am one with Christ, am I not? Then I am what Christ is: as the Life i am now living in this flesh, I am living by the Life of Christ in Me.
36I am crucified with Christ, that's what I have done to the old man. I have killed it off. But Paul went on to say, that although I am crucified with Christ, yet nevertheless, I am living, I am alive, but it's not me that living, but Christ himself that is living in me. And as brother Branham said, if he is living in me then the works he does I will do.
37The beauty of the redemption model that God has given to us is that not only did Christ die for us have that we might have life, His life. But, also under the law since we are considered dead, we can no longer be punished for what we did in our other life, what the old man did. And since we have received new life, His Life, Eternal Life, a life after death, Which is Resurrection-Life in Christ Jesus. Then the life of the Christian is the life of Christ. No longer are we subject to the life of our flesh man, but of the new creature born from among the dead. Now we can live in newness of life, quickened to holiness and righteousness, joy and peace. The life of the flesh is still a hindrance to us; but our energy is from His Spirit. In the highest and best sense our life is now spirit centered, no longer self centered.
38And if God has given to us an entirely new life in Christ, how can that new life then follow the leading of an old life that has died. Shall that which is Spirit born live as though it is flesh born? How can you that were the servants of sin, but have been made free by His precious blood and after receiving a new spirit filled life, have any desire to go back to the slavery you were set free from? As Paul said, how can you go back to the weak and beggarly elements from which the Lord has brought you out?
39Brother Branham said in his sermon, Oneness 62-0211 P:102 What is it? You've got to get with the Word, get yourself killed out. I'm persuaded that many of us, friends, have received the Holy Ghost, but we just receive enough Holy Ghost in us to make us to a place where we don't want to lie, we don't want to steal, we don't want to do anything. But God wants to fill every fiber of His church; He wants to fill your thinking; He wants to fill your mind. He wants to fill every bit of you, just make you completely, totally dead to yourself or to your thinking, just so surrendered in God till His Word's just living right through you. You don't know nothing else but God's Word; just stay right with His Word; It is Life. "My Words are Life," said Jesus. He's placed with them, teachers believing the Bible, prophets that say the truth, that say, show the same prophecy that they've always did down through the age. What's He done? He's showing Himself alive among them, confirming His Word. His Word, the Kingdom of God is God's Word made power.
41Then with the changes we are talking about, our baptism is more of an experience than it is of mere doctrine. For first of all with the true believer there is a true, real and genuine experience of this death we talk about. Paul said, "Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?" And we know that there are no laws of any country that allow for us to bury those who are still alive. And until the man is dead, no man has a right to be buried, nor for that matter do we have a right to bury any that have not truly died. And if the ministry were more careful to bury only those who actually have died to self, the Message, in fact all of Christianity would be a much smaller Kingdom, but also a much more righteous one.
42Sin is bondage, and sin in the flesh is misery. The Apostle Paul cried "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Malachi Four was to come to restore the hearts of the children, and return our hearts to that which is good, true, and righteous making us heavenly minded, so that the real man of God will delight after the laws of God, and follows with all his heart after that which is righteous. As Paul said in Romans 6:7, "For he that is dead is freed from sin."
43And being that we are indeed dead, he said that we should mortify the deeds of the flesh. That means if you are dead you can't go on doing sinful things, but rather act like a dead man, and just let go and let God.
45Way back the - 62-1123 It takes death to produce life. you've got to die to your own thinking. you've got to die to your own theology. you've got to die to your own self, to your own human ways. You've got to be regenerated, a new creature, a new creation. You can't be two at the same time; you got to die to one in order to be born in the other. It brings a mess, and it causes a mess too. But you got new life. What difference does it make? You got to do it.
48Now, I know there have been instances in history where persons were actually buried alive. And when we think of that and cringe, why then don't we think the same when a person claims to be dead to self, and yet the nature in their bodies testifies against their claims. Why do we not cringe when we see a person who shows no signs of death be buried in baptism.
49But that is what we see so often in baptism. But if it is an unnatural thing to bury a living man, then by what right do we think it is ok to bury the unrepentant, man who shows no signs of death to self. I am afraid that for the sake of numbers the churches are too willing to bury those who are still alive in baptism, and therefore when they go down a dry sinner they come up a wet one. But if burial is truly the certificate of death, then shouldn't we wait until we see that the sinner has truly, and genuinely died to self before we commit them to the grave of baptism? "
50You see a burial is the displaying publicly that the person is indeed dead. In the natural we get a certificate from the coroner, and then we bury the person as the final act in their natural life, ending all associations with the life.
51Then why would not our burial in Baptism end all our associations from our nature flesh born self. This is what baptism ought to do. When the believer dies to self and sin, to him alone it is a secret, but when he openly confesses it by doing so he is telling all, I want you to know the old me is dead and gone, and you will never see him again. Baptism is then his funeral rite by which his death to self has been openly set forth for all men to see.
52Therefore burial separates us from the life of the old man and all he associated with in that life. Dead men no longer remain in their house, but are placed away from their homes a one who ceases to be numbered with the living. We do not welcome corpses, they are not welcomed to be around.
53Even when Abraham had lived so many years with his beloved Sarah, yet he said, "Bury my dead out of my sigh," and so they found a cave to bury her in. And such were you to your worldly friends when you actually died to self, and you became poor company for their worldly companionship. They shunned you as though dead. You know longer held in common the ways they walk in. You become an outcast, separated unto the Gospel of Christ, according to what Jesus said, "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you." They turn you out as they turned him out, "for as he was, so are we also in this world".
55The Apostle Paul said, "Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more: death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God." If God has allowed us to see what we are and to die to self, and be raised with His own Spirit to live our lives for us, do you think you would really ever go back to what you died from?
56Now, the third aspect of Baptism is that after we have died to self, and then have confirmed it by our symbolic burial the next thing that must occur is resurrection: The Apostle Paul said, "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."
57The man who is dead in Christ, and is buried in Christ, also will be raised in Christ because Jesus Christ himself is "the firstfruits of them that slept." He is the first-begotten from among the dead. Resurrection was a special work that God did upon the body of His first born son, when he was raised up Jesus from among the dead, and that same work which was begun upon the Head of the body must also be done upon the rest of the body, for whoever heard of only a head being raised from the dead. After all, Jesus is not the entire body, he is only the head of the body.
59Notice then that with resurrection we come forth with His Spirit, and therefore we must "walk in newness of life." Therefore the life of a Christian is entirely different from the life of other men, entirely different from his own life before his conversion, and when people try to make-believe that they got it, when they don't got it, it won't do them any good. even John said, he that says he has no sin only deceives Himself. Everyone else will know it.
60Greater than Solomon is here - 62-062 I believe that you've got to die so dead till you're no more yourself. That's all. And then, be born again new, a new creature in Christ, built from the very bottom of your soul all the way through, a real born again Christian. Then the Holy Spirit knows what kind of load to put in you. That's right. You'll be able to pack it. If you try to impersonate somebody else being a Christian, you're going to blow up somewhere. There's going to be a blow somewhere in it. Don't try to impersonate. Be a real genuine article of God, or don't--just stay the way you are.
61The truly born again Christian is a different person than the one that went into the grave. You are living by another Spirit, His Spirit as Paul said, I am crucified with Christ, I am dead, yet somehow I am living, yet the Life I am now living in this flesh, it is Christ that is living in me."
62And if alive, then active. Paul said in Romans 6:4 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.
63And the sign that you are alive is that you are walking in the light as he is in the light, then having fellowship one with another. Now, I didn't say talking only, but walking, in other words your life is a written epistle of what Life is living in you.
64Therefore, Your new life is no longer under the law or under sin. You see, as long as you are alive you can be accused of sin, but when you are dead there is no one that can any longer accuse you of sin.
65Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
66Did Christ have to bear any more sin after He rose from the dead? No sir, then why should you. He that has been freed is free indeed. Then do you have to fear any longer of doing that which is not pleasing to God? How can a dead man fear that he might do things, anything that would displease God? He's dead to self, and ha been resurrected in Christ, and the life now living in his flesh is the Life of the Son of God.
67Could Jesus displease His Father? It would be against his very nature to do so. Then how could you do that which displeases your father if you have indeed been buried with him and risen and been made alive by his Spirit.
68Therefore, just live for God. That is where you and I are at this evening. We have no sin to carry now; it has all been laid on Christ, and he took it to the grace with him, and when you recognized what he did, and died to your own self, and have been raised up from among the dead with His Life pulsating in yours, What must we do? Just love Him and let Him lead you. God doesn't punish a man who is dead for his sins. A dead man can not sin. Our punishment is all done over, for we have borne the capital sentence, as part of that body that went tot he cross, and we are dead and our new life is hid with Christ in God.