CHAPTER TWO: THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, REPENTANCE, BAPTISM, REMISSION, IMPUTE, RECEIVING THE HOLY GHOST, REDEMPTION, SANCTIFICATION-REGENERATION!
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THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
THE ROCK AND THE KEYS
One Sunday I was leaving to go to church and realized there was a crowd at the church a block from my house. The church I was attending at the time had services starting at 10 am and this church started at 11 am. It suddenly dawned on me that we had switched to daylight savings time and it was 10:30 instead of 9:30 so I decided to go to the church on the corner. They had a visiting preacher and I don't remember what his message was, but he used Matthew 16:13-19 as the scripture reference and God used this opportunity to teach me “The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.”
“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Phillipi, He asked His disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am? And they said, some say that thou are John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others Jeremias or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in Heaven.
And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven:” The Rock or truth that the church was going to be built on was that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Messiah.
In verse 19 Jesus adds, “and whatsoever thou shalt bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on Earth shall be loosed in Heaven.” This was in addition to the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and can also be found in Matthew 18:18 and are very important in our every day spiritual battle.
Jesus has just told Peter He is going to give him the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and when Jesus gives anybody anything it is to be shared with others. Keeping this in mind, we need to keep up with Peter to see where Jesus is going to share the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven with Peter, so that Peter can share them with us. The very next series of verses, Matthew 16:21-23, is where Jesus is telling the disciples about His death and resurrection and Peter rebukes Him and Jesus rebukes the devil that spoke through Peter. In Matthew 17, Peter, James and John went with Jesus to the Mountains to pray and Jesus is transfigured with Moses and Elias. In Matthew 26:36-45, Peter, James and John can't stay awake long enough to help Jesus pray and later in verses 69-75 Peter denies Jesus three times, just like Jesus said he would in Matthew 26:34.
We find in John 21:15-17, “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto Him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”
Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him. Peter tells Him the first two times that he loves Him and by the third time he tells Him that He knows all things and that He knows he loves Him. All three times Jesus tells him to feed His sheep and since we are Jesus’ sheep we need to find out where Jesus is going to give Peter the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven so Peter can feed them to us.
In Luke 24:49 Jesus tells the disciples to go to Jerusalem and to wait for the promise of the Father and they will be endued with power from on high. In Acts 1:4-5 Jesus tells the disciples to not depart from Jerusalem until the promise of the Father, the Holy Ghost had come upon them and in Acts 1:8, Jesus tells them they shall receive power to become witnesses after the Holy Ghost comes upon them.
Acts 1:13-15 tells us that there were about 120 people praying together in one accord that included the twelve disciples, after they had chosen Matthias to replace Judas, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus and His brothers. In Acts 2:1-4 we see where the day of Pentecost had finally come and the 120 are all in one accord and in one place. The Lord wanted everybody else in town to know something was happening, so He sent a mighty rushing wind to get their attention and in verse 4 we see where the 120 were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance just as Jesus promised in Acts 1:4-5.
Acts 2:1-4, “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.”
In verses 5-13 we are told that a multitude came together and heard the 120 speaking in the various dialects of the people in the crowd. These were devout people out of every nation under Heaven that were gathered in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost and spoke every language under Heaven. They heard the 120 speak about the wonderful works of God in their own native language although they knew the 120 were all Galileans.
Acts 2:5-13, “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under Heaven. Now when this was noised abroad the multitude came together and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.”
They were all amazed and didn't know what it meant and some people in the crowd began to say they were drunk, so Peter, now that he is endued with power from on high, stands up and becomes the first person to fulfill Acts 1:2, talking about Jesus, “Until the day He [Jesus] was taken up, after that, He [Jesus] through the Holy Ghost, had given commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen.” This is the same Peter that Jesus chose in Matthew 4:18-20 and told in Matthew 16:18 that He was going to give him the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and was told to feed Jesus’ sheep in John 21:15-17.
Peter stands up and tells the crowd that these are not drunk as they suppose, but this is what was spoken of by the prophet Joel, that God would pour out His Spirit on His people. Acts 2:14-18, “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; [Joel 2:28-29] And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:”
Peter tells them about Jesus, that He was the Christ and David's prophecy from God that He would raise up the Christ to sit on David’s throne as the King of Israel and that Jesus was now seated on the right hand of God.
In verse 33, Peter tells them that what they now see and hear is the promise of the Father, the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:22-36, “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.
Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in Hell, neither His flesh did see corruption.
This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
Verses 37, “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?
In verse 38, Peter gives not only them, but also us, the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, “Then Peter said unto them, REPENT, and be BAPTIZED everyone of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the HOLY GHOST.”
·Key two-Baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.
·Key three-Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost
Acts 2:39-47, “For the promise [of the Holy Ghost-verse 33] 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 stedfastly 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. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
REVIEW OF REPENTANCE
Let’s review what we have already learned about repentance and see if there is anything else we can find out about this most vital key to the Kingdom of Heaven. The other two keys won’t work without repentance, but once you repent you will not be an effective warrior for God until you are baptized in the Name of Jesus for the remission of your sins and receive the Holy Ghost, because God designed them to work together.
The first thing Acts 2:38 says is just plain old repent and it is then followed by a comma and then it says and, which means also, in addition to. We must repent to be born again and become God’s child and enter into His Kingdom and be able to see [understand] His Kingdom. John 3:3, “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.”
I have had people tell me that you must confess every sin you ever committed and shed tears of repentance, but at the age of 43 it was too late for me to remember all my sins. When I was born again I didn’t realize I was being born again or repenting, I just knew my way wasn’t working and I wanted to do things God’s way. There are literally millions of people have joined churches to become Christians and have determined to do things a churches way instead of God’s way and have never been born again. I tried three times to become a Christian by joining churches. Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Once I determined on October 18, 1983 to do things God’s way the Holy Spirit put into my mind that I was born again as I had no idea what born again meant and I immediately began to tell people I was born again. No one had given me the definition of born again or repentance, I just knew I was born again and I didn’t know an apostle from an epistle which was a good thing in the sense that God could slowly begin to fill this empty vessel with the truth from His Word, the Bible.
Second Corinthians 7:10 says, “For Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” When I repented on October 18, 1983 that was Godly sorrow to salvation and I would never have to repent of my old life again. When I was a child of disobedience or satan, I could feel sorry about something I had done, but as long as I was only doing it for myself, it was sorrow of the world, and although I thought I could change and do better, if it wasn't for or toward God it wasn't Godly repentance. All sinners need to know Romans 5:8, “But God commandeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Ephesians 2:4-5, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) ”
There are two kinds of repentance. The word repented in Second Corinthians 7:10 is the Greek word “ametameletos”, which means “irrevocable: without repentance, not to be repented of.” The word repentance in this same scripture is the Greek word “metanoia”, which means “for guilt, including reformation; by implication, reversal of decision:-repentance.” Repentance [ametameletos] is for sinners and repentance [metanoia] is for saints like First John 1:7-10, “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.”
A counselor gave me First John 1:9 when I responded to an altar call at a charismatic church in 1980, but I didn't need to be taught First John 1:9 until I had first repented, “ametameletos.” Whenever I do something I know I shouldn't, I ask God to forgive me and then I ask Him to teach me not to do whatever I have done anymore and this is “metanoia”, the ongoing repentance. We need to know when we are doing something that gives the devil place so that we can confess, because sometimes we are so used to doing some things that we don't recognize it as a sin that needs to be confessed. Remember it is a three-step process and we only do one thing and God does the other two, we confess, God forgives, and God cleanses us in the Blood of Jesus from all unrighteousness. As we go along we will be able to recognize when we are giving the devil place and, generally, if we act like, talk like, look like, smell like or think like someone in the world we need to change and seek God's way. Ephesians 4:27, “Neither give place to the devil.” Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” I have heard church after church give an altar call and tell people to make Jesus the Lord of their life or to give their heart to Jesus. Once again, Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” It starts with repentance!!!
JESUS-THE WORD OF GOD-THE SON OF THE WORD, GOD
Once we are born again we can begin to read our Bibles and make Jesus-the Word of God-The Son Of God our Lord. John 1:1-2 tells us that God-the Word had a Son that is also the Word, “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.” God-the Word had a Son-Jesus-The Word of God-the Son of God.
One day I was reading the Bible and got to the book of Revelation. I would usually practice my speed reading when I read Revelation, because I didn't understand much of the book. As I was reading in Revelation 19, verses 11-16 the Holy Ghost showed me something that changed the way I read the Bible. John is describing what he is seeing. Revelation 19:11-16, “And I saw Heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a Name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His Name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in Heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Revelation 12:1-5, “And there appeared a great wonder in Heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in Heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of Heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a Man Child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne.”
I couldn’t and didn’t make Jesus my Lord until I realized that He is the Word of God, our Bible, and then I could begin to read the Bible and make Jesus my Lord and have Him in my heart as God filled me with His Word. When I realized who Jesus is the Bible took on a new importance and became a solution to anything as long as I would believe. I could then take Romans 10:9-11, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.”, and use this scripture to claim God’s promises in His Word. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Word of God and shalt believe it in thine heart for with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Salvation is the Greek word's “soteria” and “soterion” and is different from born again, “gennao.” The combination of the meanings is rescue or safety (physically or morally):-deliver, health, salvation, save, saving. Defender or by implication defense:-salvation. Salvation is more than being born again, it is learning how to defend ourselves against the wiles of the devil just like Jesus did in Luke 4:1-14. Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Our testimony is very important to help others overcome the works of the devil when we combine it with the works of the cross where He shed His Blood for the remission of our sins and the Word of God.
REVIEW OF WISDOM
As John 3:3 says, “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.” We must have repented and been born again to see or understand God’s Kingdom, First Corinthians 1:30, “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:” Second Corinthians 5:17-18, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. And all things are of God.” Colossians 1:9, “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that you be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in all good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God." James 1:5, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth [rebukes] not; and it shall be given him.” Don't be afraid to ask for wisdom, because God's way is the best way and might not be what we want to hear, but it is still the best way.
AND BE BAPTIZED EVERYONE OF YOU IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS
On to baptism! God had to devise a way to get rid of, remit, wash away the sins that we committed when we were serving the devil and He accomplished that with the second key to the Kingdom of Heaven, and be BAPTIZED everyone of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.
In the natural or physical world baptism seems like a very simple thing to do, but what does it mean in the spiritual realm? Romans 6:1-12, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Know ye not, that so many of us that 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. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we also live with Him. Knowing that 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. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof."
When we are baptized into Christ in the Name of Jesus for the remission of our sins we are crucified, buried and resurrected just like Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected. He took our place and took our pain and suffering so that we can walk in newness of life. He was taking every sin that we ever committed in our entire lives so that we could become dead to sin and alive unto God.
Galatians 3:26-27 says, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” We are baptized in the Name of Jesus so we can be identified with Jesus in the spiritual realm. The spirit world knows who is baptized into Christ and who isn't because we become the property of Jesus, but only the baptized person can tell in the physical realm. It is like putting on a uniform that identifies for what army you are fighting when we are identified with Jesus in the spiritual realm and it is like having the biggest kid in school as your best friend, or even better, as your Brother. Blessed is he who comes in the Name of Jesus and when we study the authority of the believer, we will find that we must do anything we do in the Name of Jesus, Colossians 3:17, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.”
First Peter 3:20-21 is comparing the eight souls that were saved by water in Noah's ark with being baptized, “Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” By being baptized we can have a good conscience toward God!
Hebrews 10:21-23, “And having an High Priest over the house of God. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised).”
After I was born again satan came daily to remind me of the things that happened in my past life. In October of 1986 the Lord used Brother Greg Bradley to lead me to a two-day Bible study at the Pentecostal Church in Crosby, Texas and during the Bible study I felt the strongest urging in my spirit to be baptized. We immediately left and went to the Pentecostal Church in Huffman, Texas where I was baptized by the pastor of the Crosby Church, Brother Ray Lester. This was three years after I had been born again. God wanted to re-take the ground I had given in my past by remitting every sin I had committed in my entire life and I no longer had a guilty conscience about what had happened in my past just like First Peter 3:21 and Hebrews 10:22 says. We must accept God’s forgiveness and realize that we are forgiven of our past and any sin we feel like we commit in the future is covered by First John 1:9 because God knows and understands the warfare we are going through. That is why He sent His Son, First John 3:8 says, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”
WHY IN THE NAME OF JESUS?
We serve a God that is very thorough. In early 1984 I was reading my Bible one Sunday and as I read Acts 2:38 I felt as if I needed to be baptized. When I went to church I told them I wanted to be baptized and they baptized me before the service. Why was I led to be baptized again almost three years later? The church I was attending in 1984 used Matthew 28:19 as scriptural basis for baptism and I didn't think anything about it until late 2002 when I met a lady from Little Rock that talked about being baptized in the Name of Jesus all the time. I would tell her about a church or person and she immediately wanted to know if they believed in being baptized in the Name of Jesus. I definitely believed in being baptized in the Name of Jesus just like Acts 2:38 says, but had never realized how important it was until God put her in my life. Let us look at the two scriptures and see what the difference is between the two.
Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Acts 2:38, “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.”
Remember that Acts 2:38 is the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus told Peter He would give him in Matthew 16:19. The only way we find in the Bible that anyone was baptized once Jesus ascended in Acts 1:1-11 was in the Name of Jesus. Other than Acts 2:38 we find Acts 8:14-16, “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.)” Acts 10:48, “And he commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord.” Acts 19:5, “When they heard this, they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.” Romans 6:3, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? “ Galatians 3:27, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Colossians 3:17 sums it up, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him"
The most important difference between Acts 2:38 and Matthew 28:19 is that the scripture in Matthew says nothing about remission and the scripture in Acts does and having our sins remitted is extremely important. What Jesus was saying in Matthew was to go and teach all nations.
REMISSION OF OUR SINS
John 19:33, “But when they came to Jesus, and saw that He was dead already, they brake not His legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.” Matthew 26:26-28, “And 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."
Hebrews 10:14-20, “For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that He had said before, This is the covenant I will make with them in those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities I will remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. By a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to say His flesh.”
Remission is the Greek word “aphesis”, freedom; (figuratively) pardon:-deliverance, forgiveness, liberty, remission. If satan comes to harass you about your past remind him that you have had all of your sins from your past forgiven and you are a new creature that has had your sins not just forgiven, but pardoned, washed away and they are gone forever. You are delivered, forgiven and liberated from your past. Everything the devil talked you into before you became God’s child has been pardoned and if you are being harassed about your past you may need to be baptized. It also helps when you understand what you are doing and don't just get baptized anywhere, let God show you where and lead you to be baptized by a righteous man and that could be more important than you think. Always be sure you are being baptized in the Name of Jesus for the remission of your sins just like Acts 2:38 says and I can walk into a church and tell you how they baptize. If they look like their sins haven't been remitted they use Matthew and if they look like they are no longer under the burden of their sins they use Acts 2:38. It became much easier to practice holiness after I had my sins remitted.
I have been baptized four times in my lifetime. I have met people that say that being baptized once is all that you need and that is true if it is done in accordance to the Word of God and you know what you are doing. Acts 19:3-5, Paul speaking, “And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.” They were re-baptized. Number one, I needed to be born again, number two, I needed to understand baptism is for the remission of sins and to be identified with the Lord Jesus Christ and number three, I needed to obey the Word of God, Acts 2:38, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus for the remission of my sins. I can’t stress the importance of having your sins remitted through baptism enough. Hebrews 10:18-20, “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. By a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to say His flesh.”
The word impute in the Greek is “logizomai”, to take an inventory, i.e., to estimate. Second Corinthians 5:19, “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them;” Romans 4:6-8, “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” We have had all our sins pardoned and He will not charge any new one's to our account. Second Corinthians 5:21, “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
One Sunday I was in church and we were having communion and I had sinned, what I consider, big time the day before and as we read Matthew 26:26-28, “And 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.”, communion took on a new meaning as I was actually remembering that He shed His blood for the remission of my sins and I was forgiven of the sin I had committed. When we broke the bread and ate it and then drank the symbolic blood I was never more aware of His forgiveness than I was at that point and from that day on communion has been a continuation of baptism.
First Corinthians 11:23-26, “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till He come.”
One of my favorite songs is “At The Cross” and is a perfect song to sing after communion. My favorite part is “At the Cross I bow my knee where Your Blood was shed for me.” I will be listening to my recording of the song and I will hear “At the Cross where your LOVE was shed for me.” Remember His broken and stripped body and His pierced side when you take communion and go forth and fulfill Revelation 12:11, “And they [the brethren, us] overcame him [satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their [our] testimony;”
WALK IN THE SPIRIT AND HAVE CONFIDENCE TOWARD GOD
What happens after we have been baptized and then we get back into our old way of doing things and sin? In chapter one I stated that the Bible from Romans to Revelation exhorts us not to sin and in Galatians 5:19-21 alone we find adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like and this was written to Christians.
First John 3:20-24, “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the Name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment. And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.” Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
Any time I am in the flesh and feel as if I am not obeying His commandments I have less and less confidence toward God. As we read earlier in Romans 6:1-11 we have already crucified Jesus and He has taken our sins away through baptism, but what happens after we have been baptized and then we get back into our old way of doing things and sin?
We must learn to have confidence in God and remember John 6:35-40, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, that ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from Heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which He hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:44. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Always remember that God chose you and drew you to Him and
understands your spiritual battle and go to First John 1:7-10 and remember that
the your Word says that if we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves and
the truth is not in us and when we confess our sins God will forgive us our
trespasses, sins and debts as we forgive those who trespass and sin against us
and our debtors and we are forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness by the
blood of Jesus and therefore are the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus.
Second Corinthians 5:21, “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no
sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” “The
blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that
we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we
confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have
not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.” First John 2:1-2,
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if
any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also
for the sins of the whole world.”
The definition of propitiation from Strong's is [“hilastrin” which means an expiatory, an atoning victim, or specifically the lid of the ark (in the Temple):-mercy seat, propitiation. Expiatory is to expiate which means to make amends for (wrongdoing or guilt); atone for.] Jesus is the mercy seat where we deposit our sins.
Hebrews 10:14-20, “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. By a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to say His flesh.”
When we get to chapter five we will study “faith without works is dead.” I have found that the best way to avoid sin is to let God show you where you can go to help and serve others. God has a plan and purpose for your life and when we draw close to Him He will draw close to us and lead us unto good works. Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
To be delivered from unrighteousness through the regenerating power of the Holy Ghost and not have to use First John 1:9 all the time we must have the next key of the Kingdom of God, the Holy Ghost. Second Corinthians 13:14, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.”
The word “blaspheme” means abuse against someone and denotes the very worst type of slander mentioned in Matthew 15:19 with false witness; wounding one's reputation by evil reports, evil speaking. To bear false witness against thy neighbor is one of the Ten Commandments and is different from lying. I have lied and I have lied about someone and there is a terrific difference. I realize we are to try to keep from getting into situations where we feel like we have to lie, but falsely attacking someone's moral reputation or public image is what “thou shalt not bear false witness” means.
Jesus said in Matthew 12:31-32, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”
Mark 3:28-29 says, Jesus speaking, “Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: but he that blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath neither forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation."
And again in Luke 12:10, “And whosoever shall speak a word against the son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.”
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is very important to God and we need to know what we are talking about and be able to back it up with The Word of God when we teach or witness to someone about the Holy Ghost.
THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST
Keeping this in mind lets begin our study on the Holy Ghost. On to the third and final key to the Kingdom of Heaven, “And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
In John 14:16-18, Jesus said, “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another comforter, that He may abide with you forever. Even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him, for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.”
John 14:26, Jesus talking, “But the comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my Name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
John 16:12-15, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” Acts 1:2, “Until the day in which He [Jesus] was taken up, after that He through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen:”
First Corinthians 2:9-16, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
The Holy Ghost is the Comforter and Teacher that abides with us forever and is the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of God, that cannot be received by anyone but a child of God, someone who has determined to do things God's way. The Holy Ghost will teach us all things and bring everything Jesus has said to us to our remembrance and the more we read our Bible, the more He will have to bring to our remembrance. He will show us things to come and speak that He hears and allow us to have spiritual discernment to understand the mind of the Lord. When I was first born again I would be upset about something and it just seemed the more I fussed the calmer I would get on the inside and I understood that the Holy Ghost is truly a Comforter.
My daughter, Maureen, wrote a poem that describes the Holy Ghost calm. It is titled, “Inside, Outside.” How can you be inside and outside? /Looking in, not knowing how to get out/Looking for that place inside that is calm/You get glimpses and then scared/A pot of gold waits inside wanting to get out/You realize you have to get in to be out/Don't look outside for the safety net/Once you feel safe inside, you can go from inside to outside.
RECEIVING THE HOLY GHOST
When I was born again I knew it, because I became dead to sin and could no longer enjoy sin and I could try, and even sin, but I couldn’t enjoy it. When I was baptized I knew it because I no longer had a guilty conscience about my past because my sins were remitted and now God has to have a way for us to know for sure that we have received the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Luke 24:45-49, “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.” Jesus was telling His disciples to wait in Jerusalem to receive the promise of the Father which, we have already learned, is the Holy Ghost. “Father, in the Name of Jesus, thank You for opening our understanding so we can begin to fulfill Your plan and purpose for our lives.” Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
Acts 1:4-5, “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
In Acts 19:1-7, The Word of God tells us, “And it came to pass, that while Apollos was at Cornith, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus; and finding certain disciples he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard that there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, unto what then were ye baptized? And they said unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Jesus Christ, When they heard this, they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them: and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.”
In Acts chapter 10 the Word tells us that a very devout Italian man named Cornelius was told by an angel in a vision to send for Peter and that Peter would tell him what to do. God had just shown Peter in a vision that he should call no man common or unclean. It was unlawful for a Jew to keep company with someone of another nation, but God had shown Peter that He was not a respecter of persons and that salvation was for people of all nations. Cornelius sent for Peter and when Peter arrived at Cornelius’ house he found many that were come together.
In Acts 10:38-48, Peter tells them, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and showed Him openly; Not to all people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead.
And He commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead. To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His Name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.
While Peter yet spake these words the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision [the Jews] which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because on the gentiles [anybody that wasn't a Jew] also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.” He needed to stay a few days and teach them the truth and get them rooted and grounded in the Word of God.
Acts 1:12-14, “Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren.”
Acts 2:1-12, speaking of the 120 who were gathered together for the day of Pentecost, “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.
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men out of every nation under Heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?”
In verses 16-18 Peter tells them, “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:” In verses 32 and 33 Peter tells them, “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” That what they now see and hear is the promise of the Father that was spoken of by the prophet Joel, God's Spirit, the Holy Spirit.
Joel 2:28-29, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”
The one and only way that they could tell in Acts 2, 10 and 19 that the people had received the Holy Ghost was that they spoke in tongues. The language that they spoke was a language that the Holy Spirit gave them that they didn’t ordinarily speak and is spoken somewhere in a nation on earth. We need to remember that we speak as the Spirit gives us utterance. In Acts 2:4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues [languages] as the Spirit gave them utterance.” We speak and the Holy Spirit gives us a language that we don’t ordinarily speak.
I received the gift of the Holy Ghost on Saturday, November 26, 1983 sometime between 10 pm and twelve midnight after a convention at the Houston City Coliseum that Lakewood Church sponsored. I can't remember who the preacher was, but he was teaching about what is called the baptism in the Holy Ghost that comes from the scripture we read earlier, Matthew 3:11, where John the Baptist is saying that Jesus will baptize us with the Holy Ghost and fire, but I like to call it the gift of the Holy Ghost like in Acts 2:38. He gave an altar call so that he could lay hands on anyone that wanted the Holy Ghost and as usual, I didn't want to go down in front of all those people, so, in my car, on the freeway, on the way home, I received the Holy Ghost as I spoke in a language I didn’t ordinarily speak and it was just me and God and Jesus and the Holy Ghost.
The language I speak just came up out of me and I began to speak as the Holy Spirit gave the utterance. I have also been in churches that put too much emphasis on speaking in tongues when they should have been emphasizing repentance and being born again as Acts 20:21 tells us, “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ”, not speaking speaking in tongues.
Acts 2:38 says that the Holy Ghost is a gift that we receive and I have heard of people that think that you have to tarry to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and some have tarried for literally years, like 30 or more. Isn't that horrible! This, I presume, comes from Luke 24:49 where Jesus told the disciples to tarry in Jerusalem for the Holy Ghost, but the people in Acts 10 and 19 didn't tarry. If I offer you a gift and stick a package out for you to receive, if you never take it I can't give it to you. God gives the language and we take our “child-like” faith [Chapter Five] and receive by speaking the language and it is safe to say that tarrying is just another of the devil's “wiles” like Ephesians 6:11 teaches us.
I have heard people talk about receiving the Holy Ghost and that they would get a special feeling, but the only way I knew I had received the Holy Ghost was that I spoke in a language I couldn't understand just like in the book of Acts. It would take me several years to even begin to understand and appreciate the gift of the Holy Ghost and I still don't think I fully comprehend it or totally appreciate what God has given me.
To put it simple, to know that you have received the Holy Ghost so that you will not doubt whether or not you have received. Remember in Acts 19, Paul asked certain disciples if they had received the Holy Ghost since they believed. Verses 1 and 2, “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” and verses 6 and 7, “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.”
Don't let anyone tell you that you receive the Holy Ghost when you are born again or baptized and don't have to speak in tongues. There is absolutely no evidence in the Bible after Jesus ascended to substantiate this teaching. God wanted us to know for sure, without a doubt, that we had received the Holy Ghost by speaking in tongues and is the only evidence in the Bible of receiving the Holy Ghost. Jesus told His disciples in Acts 1:4-5, “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” They were already disciples and had determined to do things God’s way before they met Jesus and Jesus already had them baptizing people. John 4:1-2, “When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus had baptized and made more disciples than John. (Though Jesus Himself baptized not, but His disciples.)”
We are born of the Holy Spirit when we are born again, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit when we speak in tongues. The Holy Spirit is a gift and God wants to make sure you know that you have received the gift. As we read earlier in John 14:16-17, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” Shall be means that it hasn’t happened yet and if you show this to someone and they want to argue about it, just turn them over to God and let Him deal with them since they probably aren't looking for the truth anyway only what they believe. Acts 5:32, Peter and the other apostles speaking, “And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him."
I once met a man that said he had spoken in tongues twenty-seven years before to receive the Holy Ghost and had not spoken in tongues since. He missed one of the most important points of speaking in tongues and needed to be praying in the spirit as much as possible. God gave us tongues not only as evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost, but also to be able to pray in His will when we don't know His will Romans 8:26-28, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities [weaknesses]; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession FOR US with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” I once asked a group of men if they prayed in tongues on a regular basis and I was the only one in the group that did. Help us Jesus! Pray in tongues daily!!!!!!!!!!!
I have heard people say that receiving the Holy Ghost by speaking in tongues was only for the original church and that God did away with it and they use First Corinthians 13:8 as scriptural basis for this belief, “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” The very next chapter is the prophesy and unknown tongue chapter, First Corinthians 14, where we are taught the importance of tongues and how to conduct ourselves in the church in regards to offending unbelievers by speaking in tongues in front of them. If speaking in tongues had ceased I don’t think God would have written an entire chapter devoted to tongues. First Corinthians 13 teaches us about charity and 14 teaches us about tongues.
Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ [The Word of God] the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Jesus said in Mark 13:31, “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.” If the only evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost that we can find in the Bible is speaking in tongues then that hasn’t changed because God tells us in Revelation 22:18-21, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” These are the last scriptures in the Bible and need to be taken seriously and are the reason I have a problem with using any version of the Bible exclusively except the King James Version. A Parallel Bible with King James is okay since you can use it for clarification, but I have seen too many versions that add and take away by interpretation. God used a donkey in Numbers 22:21-35 and He certainly was in charge when King James and his 47 Bible scholars established the King James Version so we could have an English language Bible.
They also say that the Holy Ghost is not for everybody, but if we have truly repented and been born again and determined in our hearts to do things God's way and have put our trust in Jesus by obeying Acts 2:38 speaking in tongues will not be a problem. Acts 5:32, Peter and the other apostles speaking, “And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him.” I have never regretted speaking in tongues to receive the Holy Ghost and it is imperative that you defeat your negative thoughts and don't let them rob you of your opportunity to commune with your heavenly Father via the Holy Ghost and if you are still having problems maybe you need to go to chapter six “The fiery darts of the wicked” and learn about the wiles of the devil.
God wants us all to be in one accord and be conformed to the image of His Son, The Word of God, Romans 8:28-29, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He did also predestinate [determine] to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” and walk as He walked.
We will learn that the biggest obstacle to receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is the spiritual battle that surrounds it since the devil does not want you to speak in an unknown language that allows you to be indwelt by the Holy Ghost and allows you to pray in God’s perfect will and praises God. First Corinthians 6:19-20, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you. Which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit.” Ephesians 2:21-22, “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” First Corinthians 3:16, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.” The Holy Ghost indwells us and will actually guide and direct our lives if we so desire, because you can never be what God intended for you to be without the Holy Ghost. I have been privileged to actually carry on a conversation with the Holy Ghost and He has helped me over and over in my battle against the wiles of the devil.
THE GIFT OF TONGUES
I have met many, many, many, many people that have the gift of the Holy Ghost and the gift of tongues confused. The gift of tongues is found in First Corinthians 12:4-11, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
The gift of the Holy Ghost and the gift of divers kinds of tongues are not the same. Speaking in tongues to receive the Holy Ghost is the only scriptural evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost and if the Holy Spirit gives you the gift of tongues in First Corinthians 12:10 you will be able to minister to the glory of God in a language that you don't ordinarily speak. I have never known someone that has had the gift of tongues and interpretation to the glory of God and if you have the gift of tongues you would almost certainly have the gift of interpretation so when people ask questions or respond you would be able to answer them intelligently. I have the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues and pray that I will someday have the gift of tongues and interpretation to the glory of God.
The important thing to remember is that receiving the Holy Ghost is not speaking in tongues; it is receiving the Holy Ghost. Try very hard to understand the super importance of having the Holy Ghost active in your life and once you receive the Holy Ghost praying in tongues during your prayer time or when you don’t know how to pray is very important as it allows you to pray in God’s perfect will as He prays for you when you pray in tongues.
INTERCESSION BY PRAYING IN TONGUES OR THE SPIRIT
First Corinthians 14:14-15, “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also;” Romans 8:26-28, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities [weaknesses]; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession FOR US with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
When we pray in our other language, God knows what is best for us and the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us according to the will of God. He knows what is best for us, although that is usually not the way we have it figured out. Over and over again I have begun to pray about something and didn't know God's will and how to pray and the Holy Spirit would begin to impress me to pray in the spirit and let the Holy Spirit pray for me in God’s will. All things work together for good according to His purpose. I would be walking through my house and trying to pray and all I could say was, “God I don't know how to pray.” and He would always tell me to “pray in the spirit,” pray in my language He gave me to pray in so that I can pray in His perfect will. I have learned to begin to pray in my other language God gave me to pray in, and then He will show me how to pray in the natural or understanding. “First Corinthians 14:14-15, “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also;”
We should always pray in the understanding as much as possible, but praying in tongues when we don’t fully understand how to pray is very important. Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” One of the main reasons God wants us to be filled with His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, is to pray in His perfect will against an unseen enemy that He can see and we must discern, because He knows we need all the help we can get. First Corinthians 14:2 says, “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.” A mystery is something we don't understand.
Years ago I went to visit a co-worker’s husband that was in the hospital and he was in a medically induced coma. The doctor’s didn’t know what was wrong with him. As I laid hands on him I began to pray in tongues allowing the Holy Spirit to pray through me. As I prayed the Holy Spirit prompted me to bind the devil in the Name of Jesus. I prayed in tongues and then I prayed in the understanding and the man recovered and was retired and working his farm five years later. First Corinthians 14:14-15, “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also."
Since there is great controversy over speaking in tongues as evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost I am trying to convey to you what I do know about the Holy Ghost. Some say that it is inspired by the devil and that is true if you haven't been born again and is what God has taught me is “false tongues.” Ministers, be very sure that the person you are encouraging to speak in tongues to receive the Holy Spirit is born again and has truly determined to do things God’s way and not your way or a churches way. I have been in churches that have been trying to “teach” someone to pray in tongues. I have read books on witchcraft and the devil can speak in any language on the face of the earth as he goes about seeking whom he shall devour. Remember in Acts 2:4 it says, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues [languages] as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
HEAVENLY OR EARHTLY LANGUAGE
Why would God have us do something that seems very strange and make it one of the keys of His Kingdom? [But once you put your trust in Him praying in tongues is a very wonderful experience that I will recommend to anyone and it is essential that we pray in our heavenly language as often as possible.] God had me look up languages in the encyclopedia and I found out there are over 6,000 different languages spoken on the Earth and the other language we speak is a language that is spoken by somebody somewhere on the Earth and is a sign of God’s love for people all over the world. Jesus took away the sins of the world when He died on the cross. John 1:29, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” First John 2:1-2, “We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Acts 10:34, says, Peter speaking, “That he perceived that God was not a respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.” He is waiting with open arms and listening for a repentant cry from a repentant heart anywhere in the world just like He was waiting for me in 1973 and then He will begin to draw them by His spirit and lead them to the truth. John 6:44, “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
I have also heard preachers say that satan can't understand what is being said when someone speaks in their other language that God gives them and they feel that is the reason he flees when someone starts talking in their other language. We will learn in chapter six that satan can speak to you and me and to anybody else on the face of the Earth, so this is a language that is spoken somewhere on Earth and the reason he flees is that he can understand what is being said.
We can build up or edify ourselves when we speak in tongues. Jude 20, “But ye beloved, building up yourselves in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.” First Corinthians 14:4, “He that speaks in an unknown tongue edifieth himself.” Edifieth in the Greek is “oikodomeo” and means “to build up, embolden.”
TONGUES IN THE CHURCH
1 Corinthians 14
“Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. 2For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. 3But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. 4He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 5I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
6Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine? 7And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? 8For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? 9So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. 10There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. 11Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. 12Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. 13Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. 14For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
15What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 16Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? 17For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. 18I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: 19Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. 20Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
21In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. 22Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. 23If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? 24But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 25And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
26How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 27If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 29Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 30If anything be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. 31For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 32And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
34Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
36What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 37If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 38But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. 40Let all things be done decently and in order.”
I have taken people to church where the people in the church were speaking in tongues and when we left they wanted to know why they were talking in tongues and they shouldn't have been speaking in tongues around people that hadn’t been taught about tongues. First Corinthians 14:18-19, Paul wrote, “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousands words in an unknown tongue.” Verse 23, “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say ye are mad?” There is a time that we should speak in tongues in the church and there is a time when we shouldn't. The only time that someone is to speak in tongues in the church is by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and then only if there is someone there that can interpret what they are saying. First Corinthians 14:27-28, “If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God.”
SEALED BY THE HOLY GHOST OF PROMISE
One of the greatest things about the Holy Ghost is found in Ephesians 1:13 and we will also include verse 14, “In whom [God] ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom after also that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. Which is the earnest [guarantee] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory."
The Greek word for sealed is “sphragizo” and means to stamp (with a signet of private mark) for security or preservation and is from the word “sphragis”, a signet (as fencing in or protecting from misappropriation); By implication the stamp impressed (as a mark of privacy, or genuineness), literally or figuratively:-seal. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise so that no matter what happens we know that we are God’s child and when we study going through the “fire” you will understand how important it is to be sealed by the Holy Ghost.
I hope everyone knows the story of “The Prodigal Son” as found in Luke 15:11-32. We will use verses 22-24 to see where the Father put His seal on His son when he came back home, “But the Father said to His servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand [The ring had the Father’s seal and was like being sealed with the Holy Ghost and was a guarantee of the son’s inheritance. With the ring he could go anywhere and buy and sell and people knew that his father would pay his debts.], and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry."
We did a comparison of my spiritual life with the parable
of the sower in chapter one. When I was in stage two, or temporary faith, at the
age of eighteen after answering the altar call at the Church of Christ, I
recalled having about a year of peace. At the end of that year I just slipped
back into my old way of living even though I had earnestly responded to an altar
call and been baptized. The church I was attending, the Church of Christ,
doesn't teach about speaking in tongues as evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost,
nor do they baptize in the Name of Jesus for the remission of sins. I went back
to my old way of living because I wasn’t sealed by the Holy Ghost. At the Church
of Christ I had been born again and become “dead to sin”, but I wasn’t sealed by
the Holy Spirit of promise. After I received the Holy Ghost I could still sin,
but I was very unhappy because I was “dead to sin’ AND sealed by the Holy
What could my life have been like if I had been in a church that taught a full gospel and could have been baptized in the Name of Jesus for the remission of my sins and then been sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise? The church that I walked down the aisle of at the age of eighteen, the Church of Christ, had found the gospel that made them feel comfortable. Hosea 4:6-9, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge: because thou [the preachers] has rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shall be no priest to me: seeing thou has forgotten the law of thou God, I will also forget thou children.” God is talking to the priesthood, the preachers, in this scripture and He is telling them that God's people are being destroyed because they aren't teaching them the truth. We will learn when we study the armor of God as found in Ephesians 6:14-18 that truth is the very first part of our armor. I wonder what my life could have been like if I would have been sealed by the Holy Ghost as a child of 12 or 18?
HOLY GHOST REDEMPTION
What we are going to study now is what the Holy Ghost is all about and is far more than speaking in tongues and is one of the reasons why we must know for sure we have the Holy Ghost. Salvation is the Greek word's “soteria” and “soterion.” The combination of the meanings is rescue or safety (physically or morally):-deliver, health, salvation, save, saving. Defender or by implication defense:-salvation. Remember, born again, overcome and salvation are separate words with separate meanings. We must be born again [gennao] to learn to overcome [nikao] and obtain salvation [soteria and soterion]. As we study the scriptures we will find that the Holy Ghost is going to teach us how to obtain our defense or salvation.
First Corinthians 1:30, “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” Let's look at redemption. This redemption is the Greek word “apolutrosis” which is (the act) ransom in full, i.e. (figuratively) riddance, or (specifically) Christian salvation;-deliverance, redemption or what Jesus did on the cross. Ephesians 1:7 is another scripture that illustrates the redemption Jesus obtained for us on the cross, “In whom [Jesus] we have redemption [Ransom in full] through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
Once again, there are two kinds of redemption. The Starter Kit redemption found in these and other scriptures, and the other redemption is found in Ephesians 1:13-14, “In whom [Jesus] ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. Which is the earnest [guarantee-like earnest money for a purchase] of our inheritance until the redemption [deliverance] of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.” We are redeemed by the works of the cross, sealed by the Holy Spirit and then the Holy Ghost completes our redemption through the renewing of the mind. Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” We can be fully redeemed now not after we are dead by the renewing power of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost.
HOLY GHOST SANCTIFICATION
At God's urging I began to attend a small Apostolic church in a neighboring town that taught that if you didn't speak in tongues as evidence of having the Holy Ghost you weren't saved, which I didn't understand, so I asked the pastor to meet with me and show me in God's Word where it says that. We went through all the familiar scriptures pertaining to the Holy Ghost, but I knew that wasn't what God wanted me to see. After about an hour and a half we finally got to Romans 15:16, Paul speaking, “That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the gentiles, ministering the gospel of God that the offering up of the gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.” I went by the post office on the way home and a copy of Howard Pittman's book “Placebo” was waiting for me. When I got home I began to read and on the second page of the forward he stated, “If one serves the world, in no way can that one serve God. Know this and know it well, to be a disciple of Christ, we must be separated from this world, SANCTIFIED.” God wanted me to learn about sanctification.
There are two kinds of sanctification, First Corinthians 1:30, “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” The Greek word for sanctification here is “hagiasmos”, properly purification, i.e. (the state) purity; concretely (by Hebrew) a purifier;-holiness, sanctification. We are automatically sanctified when we are born again by our Lord and this is another piece of God’s Starter Kit.
In First Corinthians 6:9-11 we read, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God.” The word sanctified as used here is the Greek word “hagiazo”, which means, to make holy, i.e. (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate:-hallow, be holy, sanctify. God sanctifies [hagiasmos] us through the works of the cross by Jesus so we can become sanctified [hagiazo] and holy as God teaches us His ways through the Holy Spirit.
John 17:19-23, “And for their sakes I sanctify [Starter Kit-hagiasmos] myself [Jesus speaking of His impending death], that they also might be sanctified [To grow with-hagiazo] by the truth. Neither I pray for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; [that's us] That they all may be one; as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory that thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” Jesus is saying that for our sakes He was sanctifying Himself and we must learn to adopt the same attitude and sanctify ourselves so that the ones we teach to believe on Him through His Word can be sanctified and become one with us and be perfect.
We are automatically sanctified when we are born again, but then the battle begins to allow God to teach us His ways through the Holy Spirit so that He can further sanctify us and get rid of all the junk we have picked up not only when we were serving the devil, but also anything we might have been erroneously taught after we were born again by some deceived church body. Remember when we studied baptism that First Peter 3:20-21 said that baptism was not the putting away of the filth of the flesh. “Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
WASHED BY THE WORD
First Corinthians 6:11, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God [The Holy Spirit].” We can see from this scripture that we are automatically washed and justified and then the Holy Ghost washes us some more and makes us just.
There are two kinds of washed. Washed is the Greek word “apolouo” to wash fully, have remitted; which simply means to have your sins remitted by baptism in the Name of Jesus just like Acts 2:38 and First Corinthians 6:11 says, and we also must wash ourselves in the Word of God as often as we can so we can complete our sanctification. Ephesians 5:25,-27 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Speaking of the church and since we are the Church, the more we read the Word and allow it to cleanse us from our old ways the quicker we will become what God wants us to be since we are justified by the works of the Cross and declared not guilty and then made innocent, or just, by the works of the Holy Ghost. The renewing of the mind and redemption can not be done without the Holy Ghost.
Titus 3:3-8, “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lust and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our saviour; That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.” James 2:17-18, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” The Holy Ghost will teach us what good works are and help us maintain good works.
Titus 2:11-15, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation [Soterion-Defender or (by implication) defense] hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”
The last sentence is telling us to not be afraid to tell people that God does have certain standards by which He expects us to live because God want us to be a peculiar people. If we look around and we are blending in with the world we need to seek God and ask Him to help us change and quit searching for a church that fits our lifestyle and search for one that fits the lifestyle that God wants us to live. satan is going to fight as hard as he can to keep us from being what God wants us to be, but always remember that grace teaches!
One of the main things God is trying to get us to do is get all the stress out of our lives and live a simple life and we have been given the Holy Ghost to be able to have our minds renewed and be sanctified. We once again are given something when we are born again, sanctification, but then we must yield to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to wash us with His Word and teach us His ways not the world's way or a worldly churches way, but God's way through the Word of God and become sanctified.
Jesus, the Word of God, was sanctified so that we could be sanctified and we are sanctified by the truth and the truth is the Word of God. We must do what the Word says to be sanctified and not pick and choose our scriptures to obey. I have been guilty of reading the Bible to find a few comfortable scriptures I could live with and then blaming the devil for anything that I read that made me uncomfortable when it was the Holy Spirit trying to lead me to the truth. We must yield our spirits to the Holy Spirit to be what God wants us to be. Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Remember, salvation is the Greek word's “soteria” and “soterion.” The combination of the meanings is rescue or safety (physically or morally):-deliver, health, salvation, save, saving. Defender or by implication defense:-salvation. We need our defense and we obtain more and more defense as we are renewed by the renewing of the Holy Ghost.
Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
THE HOLY GHOST AS OUR TEACHER
John 14:26, “But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my Name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” Jesus is saying that the Holy Ghost will remind you of everything that you have read in the Word and when we read our Bibles we are allowing the Holy Ghost to teach us and storing up knowledge for the Holy Ghost to use whenever we need it. When the battle intensifies He will bring it to our remembrance. Always remember the comfort of the Holy Ghost, Acts 9:29-31, speaking of Paul, “And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him. Which when the brethren knew, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him forth to Tarsus. Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.”
Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that,”
When I am studying the Bible the Holy Ghost will usually give me a word that I can look up in my concordance and then look up the proper scripture. When we go to church and listen to teaching we need to take notes on what is being taught and go home and sit down and let the Holy Ghost show us if the teaching lines up with God's Word. I have heard preacher after preacher take only part of a scripture and make the meaning of their message entirely different and there have been sermons that I got a very good witness about, but the preacher would just make a casual statement at the end that couldn't be substantiated by scripture and change the entire meaning of the sermon. Second Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth."
First John 2:26-27, “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.” We have no need of a man to teach us if we yield to the anointing that is in us, the Holy Ghost, and allow Him to teach us. Second Corinthians 11:13-15, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
Someone can teach or tell us something that is in the Bible, but until we are taught the truth by the Holy Ghost it will never become a part of us that can't be forgotten. There is no greater way to learn than to read scripture and let the Holy Ghost teach us as we yield ourselves to Him. We need to search the scriptures for ourselves and don't be afraid to feel convicted when we read something in the Word of God, but always remember that our Father loves us and we are called, chosen, born again and on our way to becoming an overcomer so that we can obtain salvation in whatever promise of God we need salvation. Salvation is the Greek words, “soteria” and “soterion” and the combination of the meanings is rescue or safety (physically or morally):-deliver, health, salvation, save, saving, defender or by implication defense:-salvation and then you can begin to help others to be sealed by God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, and put on their defense.
I am going to include a story as an illustration of how the Holy Ghost is involved in all aspects of our life and will teach us all things as we renew our minds. During my first year after being born again the singles group I belonged to decided to go to the beach. It was in July so I was nine months old in Jesus and took a lady from the church with me and when we got to the beach she spread her towel out and I just automatically spread my towel out next to hers just like I had always done. As soon as my towel touched her towel, I knew that my towel shouldn't be touching her towel and I immediately went over and sat down on an ice chest and decided I had better join my son in the water. That was the last time I ever went to the beach and that is something that is very foreign to me right now and I wouldn't even dream of going to the beach in the traditional sense.
The church I was attending when I went to the beach was a very liberal church and they used grace to justify sin. Galatians 5:13, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” The Apostolic church was just the opposite, they were a very conservative church and I felt like a lot of their teachings on the way that God wants us to present ourselves were very good. We need to remember that we are ambassadors for Christ and should present ourselves as such. If they only could have realized they only had to repent once, because they were constantly repenting to get to Heaven instead of repenting to grow to be a vessel profitable for the Masters’ use. I hope and pray that they all will learn that grace teaches and about the wiles of the devil and “God’s Starter Kit by Jesus” and then take it and grow to be what God wants them to be and fulfill Mark 16:15-18 and help set the captives free. God needs us and we limit God when we limit ourselves by being concerned about our eternal destiny instead of the eternal destiny of others.
THE HOLY GHOST AS OUR GUIDE
As we read the book of Acts we can see that when we are filled with the Holy Ghost He will truly guide and direct our lives so we can have a closer walk with God and be the effective minister we are called to be:
Acts 1:2, talking about Jesus, “Until the day He was taken up, after that, He through the Holy Ghost, had given commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen.”
Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me.”
Acts 4:8, “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them,”
Acts 5:32, “And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him.” [The way I obeyed was by repenting and speaking in tongues.]
Acts 6:3, “Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.”
Acts 9:17, “And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightiest receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost.” Saul later became Paul and wrote half of the New Testament by the inspiration of God through the Holy Ghost.
Acts 9:31, “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.”
Acts 11:24, speaking of Barnabas, “For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.”
Acts 13:2, “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, said, said, said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”
Acts 13:4, So they [Barnabas and Saul], being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.”
In Acts 13:6-12, Paul, being full of the Holy Ghost, struck a sorcerer named Barjesus blind, so that Sergius Paulus, the deputy of the country, could be saved.
Acts 15:28 says that it seemed good to the Holy Ghost.
Acts 16:6, says that Paul and Timotheus were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia.
Acts 20:23, Paul tells us that the Holy Ghost tells him that bonds and afflictions are waiting for him.
Acts 20:28, tells us that the Holy Ghost has made some believers overseers of a flock of believers.
Acts 21:11, tells of a prophet named Agabus who came to Paul to tell him that the Holy Ghost had said that Paul was going to be bound by the Jews in Jerusalem and given over to the gentiles so that he could get to Rome.
We must be very careful as satan is going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. First Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” We need to learn to trust God with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” When you find yourself under attack, if you don’t know how to pray or it doesn’t seem to be working, start praying in the language God has given you and be assured that the Holy Spirit is praying in the perfect will of God for you and then He will show you how to pray in the understanding. Don’t forget to bind satan and his demons over any situation. The Holy Ghost helped me tremendously raising my son. He isn't born again and when he was out with his friends the Holy Ghost had me stop and pray for him time after time and still does.
Let’s make a list of spiritual benefits of not accepting the gift of the Holy Ghost:1.Uh!Times up!
Now let's make a list of spiritual benefits we derive from accepting the gift of the Holy Ghost:
1. Comforter-John 14:16
2. Abides with you forever-John 14:16
3. Spirit of truth-John 14:17
4. Endues you with power-Luke 24:49
5. Dwells with you and in you-John 14:17
6. Teacher-John 14:26-First John 2:26-27
7. Prompter-brings things to our remembrance-John 14:26
8. Receive a language to declare the wonderful works of God-Acts 2:11
9. Receive the promise of the Father-Acts 2:16-Joel 2:28
10. Jesus gives us commandments-Acts 1:2
11. Your body becomes the temple of the Holy Ghost-First Corinthians 6:19
12. Makes intercession for us-Romans 8:27
13. Prays in the perfect will of God for us-Romans 8:27
14. We can speak to God and no person understands us-First Corinthians 14:2
15. Will show us how to pray in our understanding-First Corinthians 14:14-15
16. We are edified and built up when we pray in the spirit or our other language-First Corinthians 14:4 & Jude 20
17. We are sealed by the Holy Ghost-Ephesians 1:13-14
18. Further sanctifies us-Romans 15:16
19. Washes us in the Word-First Corinthians 6:11
20. Makes us just-First Corinthians 6:11
21. Our minds are renewed-Titus 3:5
22. Helps us become perfect-mature-Second Timothy 3:17
23. We receive power to witness-Acts 1:8
24. Is a witness to confirm our witness-Acts 5:32
25. Will guide and direct us-Acts 13:2, 13:4, 15:28, 16:6, 20:28
26. Will tell us of things to come-Acts 20:23 and 21:11
These are the ones I came up with. See if you can make an expanded list by studying the Holy Ghost in your Bible.
Romans 15:13, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
Onward to my TESTimony.