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Part 5 of 6

Killing The Wrong Man?

Without trying to sound offensive or be an offense to anyone, I'm afraid in some cases those who teach two cleansings insist that the Lord kill the new man. As we have shown, when a person is converted (saved), or justified before God, the old man of sin is instantly put to death, and the new man comes to live within us. At the time of the supposed second cleansing, many preachers are often heard yelling and screaming in an emotional frenzy "Kill him Lord!" "Crucify him!". In some cases, I have been made to wonder if the new man didn't get crucified during this experience, because after this unscriptural practice, many "entirely sanctified" people, who at one time had a very sweet spirit about them, later turned bitter. Some have even manifested the old man's fruits of anger, wrath, hatred, and malice towards others and openly manifest bitter attitudes and spirits. How sad. These evil deeds definitely are not the fruit of the new man. Apparently, in some cases, he was killed in the second work and the old man revived again because the Bible says that these deeds are the fruit of the old man (Col 3:8). Carnality is not only expressed by outward adornment, but it is reflected in what we do and say to others. It is also expressed by how we treat others, even though we may not always agree on every technical detail. I'm afraid that some of these people may need to recrucify the old man and ask the new man to come back in again! May God help us to live by the golden rule and always treat others as we would like to be treated. Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. May God help us to always bear more of the fruit of the Spirit of God in everything we say and do.

Receiving The Spirit Of God.

It is in this area, I believe, that most of the controversy of God's redeeming plan for mankind exists. This is hard for me to personally understand because the Bible is so plain on this subject. Before we determine when we receive the Holy Spirit, we should know what the Biblical requirements for obtaining the Spirit are, and what the Holy Spirit does for us.

Biblical Requirements For Receiving God's Spirit:

1. Repent and confess our sins: 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.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2. A cleansing from all sin and a new heart: Ezekiel 36:25-26 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.

3. Forsake our ways: Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

4. Ask God (through His Spirit) to come into our new hearts: Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

If a person will meet these Bible requirements for salvation, God will give him His Holy Spirit. He will then be born of God's Holy Spirit and adopted into His family.

What Does The Spirit Of God Do For Us?

We could write a complete separate booklet on this subject alone. As saints of God, we are so dependent on the Spirit of God because of what He does for us. The following scriptures just give us an outline of what God sent His Spirit to do for us:

The Spirit brings life: 2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

The Spirit causes us to produce Godly fruit: Galatians 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

As Children of God, the Spirit allows us access to the Father: Galatians 4:6-7 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

The Spirit strengthens the inner man (the new man): Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.

The Spirit teaches us about the things of God: 1 Corinthians 2:11-13 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.

The Spirit brings us under the "Lordship" of God: 1 Corinthians 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

The Spirit writes the laws of God on our hearts: 2 Corinthians 3:3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

The Spirit plays a significant role in our cleansing from sin, our sanctification, and our justification: 1 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, and by the Spirit of our God.

The Spirit translates our body from mere flesh and blood to the temple of God: 1 Corinthians 6:19 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?

1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

The Spirit inhabits every one of God's children: Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

The Spirit quickens us: Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

The Spirit seals us: Ephesians 1:13 In whom 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.

The Spirit renews us: Titus 3:5 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.

The Spirit makes intercession for us: Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: 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.

Being aware of the significance of the Spirit of God in our lives and how dependent we are on Him, it is hard to understand how anyone could claim that a Christian can live a holy life without the Holy Spirit dwelling in their hearts. After all, it is the Spirit of God that initially brings spiritual life to the heart of the believer. He also sustains that spiritual life. Until He takes up His abode in our heart, we are not even spiritually alive without Him (see Rom 8:10, John 6:63, John 14:6, & 2 Cor 3:6).

When Do We Receive The Holy Spirit?

The following scriptures best answer the question about when we receive the Spirit of God:

1) Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Prior to the indwelling of the Spirit of God, the Bible says that we are "in the flesh", i.e. unsaved and unable to please God. Romans 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

2) We receive the Spirit of God when we become one of God's children, or when we are born into His family. "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba. Father" (Gal. 4:6). Here it is stated that the Holy Spirit has been sent into the hearts of sons of God, those who have been born again, "crying, Abba, Father." Without the spiritual birth, man is outside of the family of God.

3) Furthermore, receiving the Spirit of God must happen prior to entering the Kingdom of God. John 3:5-6 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

4) The Bible also says in Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing (renovation or complete change) of the Holy Ghost. According to the Bible, to be saved, we must first experience:

a) the washing from sin by the blood of Jesus, and

b) the renewing work of the Holy Ghost. We are not saved nor are we children of God until the Spirit renews us (purifies our hearts from all that defiles, Acts 15:9) by His indwelling presence.

In the Church of God, from the time that we are small children, we are taught that we should ask Jesus to come into our hearts and be saved. This is no doubt the prayer of God-fearing parents for their children. I remember as a child singing this song and feeling the deep compassion and drawing power of Jesus:

Into my heart, Into my heart,

Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.

Come in today, Come in to stay,

Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.

True Bible salvation is in the person Jesus Christ (Luke 2:20, Luke 1:67-77). When we receive Him, we receive salvation, or the very gift of God. We are not truly saved until He dwells in our hearts by faith. The Bible says in Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ (or added to His body, the Church) have put on Christ. In reality, Jesus Himself, in bodily form, doesn't leave His throne on the right hand of the Father to come to dwell in the hearts of individual people. However, when we ask Him to come into our hearts, He does send His Spirit. Jesus said in John 14:18 &20 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. When Jesus comes in and saves us, He also baptizes us into Him (His body or His Church, Acts 2:47 ...And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. 1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit). With us in Him and He in us, we are truly saved and redeemed! His Spirit is the very witness that we are saved, and in the body of Christ. 1 John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. Without Christ in us, we are not children of God. Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

When do we receive Jesus? When we receive His Spirit. When do we receive His Spirit? When we meet the Bible requirements, truly get saved, and become a child of God, i.e. when we are born into the family of God. It is this experience makes us complete. Colossians 2:6&10 says: "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him...And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power." It is the indwelling Spirit of God that produces spiritual life and transforms an individual who is "dead in sins" to one who is "alive in Christ". Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Cleansed And Filled Within.

God, in His infinite wisdom, knew it would be crucial to our eternal salvation that He gave us His Spirit when He cleansed us on the inside. Jesus used an illustration (Luke 11:24-26, Matthew 12:43-45) of a man who was delivered of an unclean spirit. The Bible says that this man was inwardly swept and garnished, but remained empty. In other words, the man was cleansed and saved from his sin. He was cleansed and received a new heart, but he didn't receive the Spirit of God. (Keep in mind that Jesus used this illustration to show us what should not happen in the life of an individual. It illustrates the negative effects of not receiving the indwelling Holy Spirit upon conversion.) The ungodly spirit that the man was delivered from went away and teamed up with seven other evil spirits that were worst than himself. Together, when they all came back to the man, they found him clean, but empty (without the indwelling Spirit of God), and so they took their liberty and all possessed him. When it was all said and done, the man was much worse off than he was before he started because he was subsequently possessed with eight ungodly spirits. Why? Because even though the inside was swept and garnished and therefore clean, he didn't have the indwelling Holy Ghost to protect him from being overtaken by all of the ungodly spirits. The Bible says that when the eight ungodly spirits came back to the man, he was "empty". Since the man in this illustration wasn't filled with the Spirit of God, these devilish spirits were able to come right on into the man and make themselves at home. The point that Jesus was trying to make with this illustration was that we must have the indwelling Holy Spirit put into our hearts when we get cleansed inwardly (saved) or we're defeating the purpose of getting saved. Without the protection of the Holy Ghost, the devil would be able to come right back in and he most likely would bring more of his spirits with him. We would be completely powerless without the indwelling Holy Ghost. People promoting the teaching that a person can get saved and wait until sometime later in their walk with God to receive the indwelling of the Holy Ghost are promoting a very dangerous doctrine. If God truly gave them their way, they would most likely end up devil possessed! If this teaching were true, a repentant soul would no more get up from an altar of prayer before the devil would be back to reclaim his place of abode.

The Procrastination Theory.

If the devil is unable to cause people to totally deny Christ, he will try to persuade them to procrastinate receiving Christ, before or even after "salvation". Sadly, he has successfully convinced many that Jesus first wants to be with them, and will then take up His abode in them some time later on in their Christian experience. However, the Bible teaches that Jesus did not die just to send His Spirit back to simply be with us. His divine plan and desire is, and always has been, to dwell in us. Since Pentecost, nowhere in the New Testament do we read where Jesus, through His Spirit, is satisfied to merely be with the people of God. He was with His disciples when He was here in bodily form and that wasn't enough to keep them from continually falling. However today, when He saves a person, He immediately comes to dwell in them through His Spirit. Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world. We must have the Greater Person on the inside.

The Apostle John very plainly stated that a spirit that motivates this procrastination doctrine is an antichrist spirit. Why? Because it is denying Jesus of His rightful place: in His people. 1 John 4:1-4 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come (notice he said "is" come, not "did" come. He spoke of Jesus coming in the present tense) in the flesh (in our hearts and lives) is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. The big difference between the saints and the world is who is dwelling in them! There's actually a world of difference.

The devil always wants us to procrastinate and wait until sometime later to ask Jesus into our hearts. He hopes that if we procrastinate long enough, we will die lost or we will harden our hearts toward God and never accept Jesus as our personal Savior. Sadly, if he can't cause us to outright deny Jesus or delay accepting Him into our hearts, he will try to misconstrue scriptures to convince us to put off receiving Jesus.

The two cleansing teaching promotes the idea that it is perfectly acceptable, and indeed the divine plan of God, to put off receiving the Holy Spirit until a subsequent time later in our Christian experience. In all reality, the doctrine advances the idea that we don't need to ask Jesus into our hearts when we are born of the Spirit because He wouldn't come in anyway. Some would have us to believe that Jesus doesn't really know if a believer is really sincere or not in his or her repentance so He requires a probation period or a testing time to be sure. However, this is not the Jesus of the Bible. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ said in Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. He also said in Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Additionally in John 10:14, Jesus said: "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep". We can rest assured that "the Lord knoweth them that are his" (2 Timothy 2:19, John 6:64). The Lord doesn't save us and then send us out into the world to fight the fight of faith on our own. My friend, Jesus has a spiritual baptism that will clean you up, fill you up, set you on fire, empower you with His presence, and send you on your way a new creature! Glory to God! Not only does Jesus come in to take over our life and sit on the throne of our heart, He brings with Him the entire Godhead. Since Jesus rules and reigns over sin and the world, when He comes into our heart He grants us that same privilege. One songwriter put it this way: “I am reigning, sweetly reigning over all this world of strife, In my blessed loving Savior, I am reigning in this life”. Jesus doesn't put us on spiritual probation to see if we can make it on our own or not, but instead, Jesus is eager to abide in our hearts and give us the power that we need to live a victorious holy life. After all, He died to come in!

What Is The Seal Of Salvation?

The Holy Ghost, or the Spirit of God, is the identifying "trademark" or "seal" that we are members of God's family. It is impossible to be a child of God without the Spirit of God: Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. It takes a new birth to be in the family of God. It also takes a continual departing from iniquity to stay in the family of God. Only those persons who are sealed with the indwelling Holy Spirit have the power to overcome sin and continually depart from iniquity. 2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

God's indwelling Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we are His children. Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: Without His indwelling Spirit, we wouldn't even know if we are saved or not. We would not know if we are the children of God or the children of the devil. This alone is a strong indicator of how much we need His indwelling presence.

A New Heart And A New Spirit.

As was already noted, before we can clean up our outward lives, we must first have the inside purified (Matthew 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also). A new purified heart and a new Spirit must be placed within. This happens when we are converted, as it did after Pentecost in the days of the early morning Church. Our two cleansing brothers and sisters frequently attempt to use Acts 15:9 to "prove" a second work of entire sanctification, or “heart purification”. However, if we read verse 3 of this chapter, we can plainly see that the heart purification of the Gentiles took place at the time of their conversion, as it did with those in the upper room. Acts 15:3,8-9 And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. 8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

The Bible teaches that at the time of our conversion, or namely when we are born of the Spirit and initially saved from sin, we are given a new heart and a new Spirit. That Spirit, the Holy Ghost, is placed within us, and then causes us to keep the commandments and statutes of God. He keeps us saved. We cannot be saved and disobey the commandments and statutes of God, therefore we cannot be saved or stay saved without the Holy Ghost! John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Also, our new heart is not an old used sinful heart in need of an additional cleansing or a refurbishment, but it is a brand new pure heart that changes our very desires. When we get this new heart and new Spirit, we depart from sinful living and start living holy. We depart from worldly living, and start living godly. We depart from unrighteous living, and start living right. We are translated from the kingdom of darkness, into the kingdom of God. In simplest terms, we are transformed from a sinner to a saint! (see Ezek 11:19 & 36:25-27)

Christ Uses The Spirit To Baptize Us Into His Body.

Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

The Spirit of God is the person that Christ uses to place us into His body, the Church, when we get saved. Acts 2:47 ...And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved (also see Gal 3:27). The Bible says in Eph 4:6 that every member of the Church of God, the body of Christ, has the Spirit of God. He is above all, through all, and in all of her members. There are no such persons as Spirit-void saints in the body of Christ! There are Spirit-void members out in the man-made churches, but not in the Church of God. All saints and members of God's Church possess the same Spirit and are placed in the same body. 1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

 


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