death and rebirth: baptisms in water, fire and spirit

Several things happened in my daily life recently, and in my dreams, to point me toward the topic of today’s post about death and rebirth: baptisms in water, fire and spirit.
Historically, it has not been easy for God’s messengers, as the Bible amply demonstrates. In fact, often as not, God’s messengers are not radiant and pretty. They are, well, grubby and not pretty.
There is a reason for this. Two reasons, actually.
The messengers themselves are being put through hell to get to heaven, a beleaguered homeless lady friend said the other day, after I told her she is being put through God’s purification fire, whether she liked it or not, and somebody had to tell her that, whether she liked it or not.
The second reason is, the people the messengers are sent, such as the city officials in the city where my homeless lady friend lives, need to hear what the messengers have to say, to give them a chance to move closer to God, or not. And, the messengers are grubby, and not pretty, to give those people a chance to get over themselves and see just how grubby and not pretty they also are.
I have in my “orbit” several close friends being put through hell by God’s angels.  Each of them is struggling. Each of them is being stretched. Each of them is not happy with it. My observation of them is, the more highly they think of themselves, the harder it is for them to submit to the … training. The harder it is for them to … see themselves accurately. The harder it is for them to … become obedient.
One of them told me yesterday, that he was briefly visited by the war angel Khamael earlier in the day. Khamael told him that he was going to have a really rough go of it. He, in fact, was having a really rough go of it already. He tried to brush the visit off. Then, he was visited by the archangel Michael, who told him the same thing, and that he will have as rough a go of it as my homeless lady friend. Then, his day got a lot rougher, which is saying something, because it already was horrible for him.

I told my friend the angels do this to some people out of great love, and I wonder why the angels don’t do it to everyone? I said it is important to try not to react, and while sometimes a tantrum is appropriate, per Jesus in the temple with the money changers and merchants, it’s best to not throw tantrums.
In the Gospels, John the Baptist said one greater than he would come, who would baptize in fire and spirit. When that one came to John the Baptist, to be baptized in water, John said this was that one.
The Gospels say John the Baptist’s baptism was of repentance and a fresh start. I can imagine there would be some, or a lot of tears, depending on the depth and sincerity of the repentance.
Once upon a time, I read somewhere that John the Baptist nearly drowned people, to induce near-death experiences, which produced spiritual shifts. I found several links online just now to several articles saying same about John the Baptist’s baptism.
Nowhere in the Gospels do I see Jesus baptized anyone in water. He did just what John the Baptist said he would do. He challenged people ongoing. He told his disciples they would be stretched and some of them would be killed. He put them into fire, and then at Pentecost the Holy Spirit came to them and, using fire and spirit, grew them from children into adults, who could serve God. I can imagine along the way they shed lots of tears.
The disciples, the twelve and the secret ones, died while still alive and became something else entirely. That is what Jesus meant by dying and being reborn. He himself experienced the fire and spirit baptism before he died physically, according to the Gospels. And perhaps he experienced a NDE when he was baptized by John the Baptist?
Not a new philosophy, actually. Death and rebirth was in spiritual traditions before Jesus’ time, and it was part of spiritual traditions after his time. The water and spirit parts always were more popular than the fire part, though. A lot more popular, actually.
I hated the fire part. I still don’t like it. But if the angels had not provided it, they would have shortchanged me. Robbed me. That’s what I keep telling my friends, and anyone else who offers me the opportunity to say it to them.
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