Restoration of All Things
This book is part of a series of books written to address important issues on the cutting-edge of the restorative work of the Holy Spirit in the Church before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The series is called: "The Restoration of all things to the Church - Book Collection".
This book is the first in the series and addresses the three basic subjects of Salvation, Christian growth, and Backsliding. The Holy Spirit has been in the process of slowly restoring "the Spirit" of the Scriptures on these three subjects over several centuries. But in this final closing period, He is bringing all the disparate or scattered revelations together so that the Church can become single minded in what He is saying. There is supernatural power ready to be released as soon as the message that is preached truly conveys "the Spirit" of the Scriptures.
When one fully appreciates what is written in these pages of this series, they will realise that the implications for much of what is taught today will mean a radical change. A radical change from the demonstration of words to a kingdom based on the demonstration of the power of God.
In this book, the current understanding of the word "Salvation" will be shown to have been too narrow, and that there is, in fact, three witnesses to salvation that need to be kept in mind when that word is used. In the section on Christian growth, it will be shown that only when you appreciate the tripartite make of man can you then ensure that each part receives the right kinds of nourishment. The final part on Backsliding addresses the causes and reasons for Christians falling away, and how they can avoid doing so.
" For there are three who bear witness in Heaven: The Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
And there are three that bear witness on the earth: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and these three agree as one. In the case of the three witnesses on earth it is very clear from the Scriptures that:
The Spirit refers to Baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire (Matt. 3:11; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; 11:15-16) ("Guarantee" of our salvation- Eph. 1:13; II Cor. 1:21-22").
The water refers to the Baptism in water (Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:41; Mark 16:16)("death and resurrection symbolised").
The blood refers to the blood of Jesus Christ -- a type of " Baptism in the blood of Jesus " ("new birth/born-again/new creation") (Rev. 7:14; I John 1:7; II Cor. 5:17).
It is, therefore, very important to ensure that ALL Born-again Christians have the three witnesses attesting to their salvation. Our understanding of the word "Salvation" has been restricted to mean being born-again or saved. The Scriptures, however, point out that it is only one of the witnesses associated with salvation. We also need to be baptised in the Holy Spirit and baptised in water; they are not optional extras as is so frequently taught.
In this section on misconceptions about the new-birth and the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we will discuss how these two witnesses have been confused and therefore their significance misplaced. This has led, on the one hand, to the undermining of the significance of the baptism in the Holy Spirit while, on the other, giving too much importance to the new birth.
My spirit has always been dissatisfied with the explanations given to people concerning the need for the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which is the second necessary experience after the new birth.
I was blessed, when I was presented the gospel by a one month old Christian in high school, not to have had any hang-ups about the need for the baptism in the Holy Spirit. I had never heard about the Pentecostal movement nor criticisms levelled against it. I was therefore very open to the Gospel and simply believed; was led to acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ over my life and immediately afterwards to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
At that time I was made to understand that the two experiences were part of becoming a Christian, and that the Holy Sprit's indwelling was to empower the Christian to be an effective witness for Jesus Christ as well as helping the Christians in times of need such as when praying, and when faced with persecutors, etc.
Although I was not satisfied with various explanations given regarding the baptism in the Holy Spirit, nevertheless it did not stop me from enjoying the experience and using it to extend the Gospel.
What I have explained in this article first came to me by revelation in the month of May, 1985. At first it was like a little light and I got excited and started to think on it even writing a few Scriptures down that seemed to prove it. When, however, I reflected on its implications on the current understanding and the presentation of the gospel World-wide by ALL preachers (to my knowledge without exception), I got quite frightened and abandoned the writing, but filed the notes away, arguing that if it was from God, the Spirit would bring it back again to my mind.
In fact, I successfully, for a little while, forced the thoughts out of my mind until the month of June, 1985, when it all came back to my mind completely intact as well as additional insights. This happened in a flash when I least expected and was not in the least thinking about it. This time I was given a greater understanding and clarity. Moreover, the original fears were no longer there any more, but rather peace and a sense of freedom in the mind from many years of confusion on the subject.
I would, however, emphasise that the message presented here is very bold and challenges conventional wisdom on what happens at the 'new birth', and greatly amplifies the urgent need for ALL born-again Christians to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. I sincerely believe that this was the original understanding as taught in the New Testament Church, but was lost over the last 2000 years.
TWO QUESTIONS RAISED
I want you to notice that NO WHERE is there any mention in the Scriptures that an unbeliever should ask or invite Jesus Christ into their heart in order that they might be saved, as is commonly taught. This fact should not be dismissed or taken lightly because the Holy Spirit was the one who inspired the Apostles to write the Scriptures in the manner they did and for a good reason. The error Christians have made was to force Revelations 3:20 about Jesus standing at the door and knocking and waiting to be invited into the heart. This verse, however, will be clearly shown to be more accurately interpreted in a context that is consistent with other Scriptures. We will show this later.
This raises the question: What happens then when a person has believed in his/her heart and confessed with the mouth the Lordship of Jesus Christ over their lives?
Secondly, we know that Jesus does enter the heart. If He does not do so at the point of the new-birth, when then? Let us consider the first question.
GOD WITH THEM BUT NOT IN THEM
The word of God clearly teaches what happens at the re-birth/new-birth and it is spelt out in II Cor. 5:17,
John 3:5-6 reads,
These two Scriptures tell us that the human spirit experiences a miraculous transformation or re-creation (note: the creation is found in Gen. 1 and 2) so that the sinful heart is removed and a new heart or spirit is given (Ezek. 11:19-20) born of the Holy Spirit. The newly born-again Christian has been removed from the kingdom of Satan and darkness to the Kingdom of God and light (Colossians 1:13). Furthermore, this new creation man has become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (II Cor. 5:21 and Eph. 4:24).
We could look at it from another point of view also. The new birth restores the individual to the spiritual state like Adam and Eve enjoyed before the fall into sin. The account in Gen. 1 and 2 makes it clear that God WAS WITH THEM, BUT NOT IN THEM. God used to visit them in the Garden of Eden. They were righteous, and they had eternal life.
We could also understand it from the situation of the disciples before the Holy Spirit was sent at Pentecost. They WERE BELIEVERS as John 17:7-8,12 tells us. They even performed miracles - read Matt. 10:1, 8. Jesus was WITH them and the Holy Spirit was WITH them, BUT NOT in them (John 14:17). From Jesus' point of view, He called them believers. Born-again, they had to be because the Holy Spirit was to be poured out on those who had experienced the new birth (Acts 2:38.
I want you to note carefully that God was WITH them, that is, Jesus was, at that material time, WITH them, BUT NOT IN them, and yet they WERE BORN-AGAIN. It is therefore, very clear that when a person experiences the re-birth Jesus is NOT yet in them, but is WITH them. They have, however, become children of God (John 1:12), and HAVE eternal life (John 3:16) just like Adam and Eve had before the fall into sin.
GOD WITH AND ALSO IN THEM
We shall now answer the second question -- Who do we receive into our hearts when we receive the Holy Spirit?
Let us again look at the Scriptures and set aside our traditional interpretations and it will spare us all confusion.
First, I want us to notice that the word "RECEIVE" when used in the New Testament in connection with receiving FROM God INTO OUR HEARTS (or SPIRIT) is only used for the Scriptures (the Logos or written word) and THE HOLY SPIRIT.
a) To RECEIVE the word into our hearts.
Acts 2:41, 8:10; John 17:8; Mark 4:14-15; Rom. 10:8ff; Col. 3:16; James 1:21.
b) To RECEIVE the Holy Spirit into the heart.
John 14:16-17; 7:38-39; 20:22; Acts 2:14, 38; 19:2; 8:15.
The Scriptures also clearly tells us that when we receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts we immediately become the temple of the Living God
(I Cor. 3:16; II Cor. 6:16). We also see from the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit is received ONLY AFTER THE NEW BIRTH in a second experience as illustrated in the Book of Acts.
We also understand from John 14:23 that Jesus promises that He and The Father will indwell the believer (also see Rev. 3:20). This occurs when the Holy Spirit enters the believer because God is a Spirit (John 4:24) and when He enters into our hearts we become His temple.
It is very clear from this understanding that Jesus, as God in the flesh, will only enter the heart when the born-again Christian experiences the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This clearly shows that Jesus WAS NOT IN THE HEART OF THE BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN PRIOR TO THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT as is conventionally taught.
** An important point to note here is that ALL the letters that were written by the Apostles and addressed to the Churches, assumed them to have Christians who had ALL been baptised in the Holy Spirit. In fact, it was the NORMAL experience of all Christians in those days, rather than the exception as it is today. In which case any reference to "God indwelt", or "Christ in you", or "the Spirit of Christ in you", etc., assumed or took it for granted that it was the expected experience since Jesus had instructed that they were to wait for the Holy Spirit and that all who become new born Christians were promised the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This would enable God to dwell not only with them but also more importantly IN THEM (See I JOHN 3:24b).
1) Those who are born-again, but who have not received the gift of the Holy Spirit or who oppose the teaching on the subject do not realise they are rejecting the very Saviour, Jesus Christ, who they have believed in, from indwelling them.
I am sure that if such people are made to understand the Scriptures as revealed in this article they will fall on their knees to receive the Holy Spirit because they would genuinely love to have their beloved Saviour indwell them as He promised.
2) There are two urgent responsibilities that all Pentecostal/charismatic or Spirit-filled Christians must undertake:
a) They MUST clearly explain the difference between the new birth, where only the new creation or re-creation takes place, but Jesus is not indwelling as yet (that is, they have God with them but not in them). When they subsequently receive God (The Father, Son and Holy Spirit) through the baptism in the Holy Spirit then they have God in them and NOT before that.
b) A new fervour in preaching the need for all would be believers to receive the Holy Spirit immediately after their new birth so that Jesus and The Father will indwell them through the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
QUESTION 1. What about the commonly prayed "sinner's prayer"?
The prayer which goes something like this:
"Oh God, I fully acknowledge my sinfulness before You. Please forgive and wash way my sins. I believe that the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross is all sufficient to pay for all my sins. I also believe that ONLY in the name of the risen Lord Jesus can I be saved. I willing acknowledge Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. I invite Jesus to come into my heart now and take control over my life forever. Thank you, Jesus for forgiving me and coming into me heart now, Amen."
The sceptic may argue as follows: Since the person asks, in the above prayer, Jesus to enter into their heart; and we know from Luke 11:11-13 that if we ask for fish we get fish rather than a snake or a scorpion, it implies that Jesus has really entered into that person's heart. If, therefore, Jesus has entered it automatically means God has also entered in since we cannot have only one Person of the God-head entering a person's heart - it would be unscriptural. Therefore, it means that the Holy Spirit has also come in, and so the talk about the baptism is not as relevant as is made out by the Pentecostal/Charismatics.
ANSWER: We can reply to this argument as follows:
In order to receive anything from God we have to pray asking IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SCRIPTURES. Undoubtedly, it is common experience to all who have ever prayed, that sometimes when you prayed for what seemed like being correct and proper, it turned out not to have been in accordance with the Scriptures so you got no answers, much to your frustration. Furthermore, the Scriptures clearly warn us in Rom. 8:26 that we do not know WHAT to pray for or HOW to pray.
In regard to "the sinner's prayer", we can say that whenever a person prays the prayer of repentance and acknowledges the Lordship of Jesus over their lives God answers that prayer because it is in accordance with Rom. 10:9ff; John 3:16, etc. However, when they pray that Jesus should come into their hearts as part of the sinner's prayer they are, in fact, confusing their prayer with that for receiving the gift of (or baptism in) the Holy Spirit. According to the Scriptures that is the ONLY WAY that Jesus will enter their hearts (I John 3:24). Therefore, in reality this prayer goes unanswered until they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
This may be a hard fact for some to accept, but only a study of the Scriptures, NOT through the teachings of traditionalists will lead to a clear understanding of what was an obvious truth during the New Testament times.
QUESTION 2. What about the Scriptures which states that,
Are you, therefore, saying that those who are Born-again, but have not been baptised in the Holy Spirit do not belong to Christ? Wouldn’t that be unscriptural?
There are two angles to answer this question:
a) Firstly, one must understand that in the New Testament Church it was taken for granted that those who repented would seek to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It was NOT the exception or the optional extra as it is today. For anyone to resist the gift of the Holy Spirit would have been, to the Apostles, tantamount to rejecting Jesus Christ Himself! It was, therefore, clear that ALL those who had come to repentance would have also been prayed for to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The above Scripture therefore assumes that to be the case.
b) Secondly, the Scriptures clearly point out that the gift of the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of a person's salvation (II Cor. 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14). To reject the gift of the Holy Spirit (through baptism in the Holy Spirit) is to live a Christian life without a guarantee! While you, being Born-again have eternal life, just like Adam and Eve had before the fall, as result of the new birth; it is very unwise to reject the guarantor of that eternal life. Those who reject
The Holy Spirit baptism after coming to an understanding of this fact, insult the Spirit of Grace, and are therefore in real danger of being cast away by God on Judgement Day.
QUESTION 3. What about the teaching from the Scriptures which says,
“The Word of God = Jesus Christ".
Since John 1:1-5, 14, clearly refers to Jesus and you argue that the words "receive into the heart" only refers to the Word of God and the Holy Spirit; doesn't that contradict with what you said all along regarding what happens at the new birth?
To answer, let us look again carefully at what the Scriptures says and not the traditions of men.
The following Scriptures, among others, tell us that God spoke things into existence out of nothing: Genesis chapter 1; I Cor. 8:6; Psalm 33:66.
The following Scriptures reveal to us the established relationship between God and His words that He spoke and is recorded: Heb. 11:3; Rom. 4:7; Psalm 107:20; Mark 11:12-14, 19-24.
The following Scriptures clearly tell us that God ensures that what He has commanded, or promised will come to pass. In other words, He is as good as His words: Num. 23:19; I Kings 8:56; Psalms 119:89; Jer. 1:12; Isaiah 9:7.
a) THE LIVING WORD -- We also understand that John 1:3 says everything was made through Christ, both things seen and unseen. The Scriptures tell us that when God speaks a promise, it is through Christ that they are fulfilled. In other words, the Word of God is ONLY operative through Christ. Therefore, Jesus is the Living Word of God (John 1:14) and that is why John 1:1-3 is very true.
b) THE WORD THAT IS PREACHED -- Rom. 10:17 reads,
“So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God."
Note: faith is spiritual, that is, it is born of 'RHEMA' (In John 6:63, Jesus pointed out that His words are Spirit and Life) because it comes from believing the word of God which is spiritual.
We also know that the word of God (that is, the RHEMA not 'logos') must be received into the heart and believed before it can produce eternal life. This is clearly illustrated by Jesus Christ in Mark 4:3-20 in the parable of the sower. From this we can see that the word of God that is preached must be received before it can give us eternal life (the new-birth) when we believe its message about the Lordship and saving work of Christ Jesus in accordance with Rom. 10:9ff; John 3:16, etc. This then makes us eligible to receive the Living Word (that is, Jesus Christ) through the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
The two major truths put forward are:
1) At the new birth, when a person confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, according to Rom. 10:9ff, they are:
a) Restored back to the state, SPIRITUALLY (that is, in their spirit according to II Cor. 5:17) to when Adam and Eve were before they sinned. They had
GOD WITH THEM, BUT NOT IN THEM.
b) Very importantly-- the born-again Christians, WHO HAVE NOT RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT, have got GOD WITH THEM BUT NOT IN THEM. In other words, THEY DO NOT HAVE JESUS CHRIST IN THEM BUT WITH THEM.
What really happens at the new-birth is that they are recreated in their spirit, miraculously by the working of the Holy Spirit through the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ. They have become the righteousness of God in Christ (II Cor. 5:21) and HAVE ETERNAL LIFE according to John 3:16.
The second truth answers the question: When does Jesus and The Father enter the human spirit, given John 14:23 and Revelation 3:20 are true?
2) For God to dwell in the born-again Christian, he/she MUST RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. "God is a SPIRIT", Jesus said in John 4:24. He is holy and His dwelling place is holy (II Cor. 6:16). As the born-again Christian is baptised into (or receives) the Holy Spirit, "THEN AND ONLY THEN" (and" NOT" before that) does The Father, Son and Holy Spirit for the FIRST TIME ENTER INTO THEIR HEARTS TO DWELL IN FULFILMENT OF JESUS' PROMISE OF JOHN 14:23. From then on God is not only WITH THEM, BUT IS ALSO IN THEM. (Also see I John 3:24b Amplified Bible).
NOTE: Regarding Rev. 3:20, Jesus was addressing the Church and NOT unbelievers as it is frequently assumed and taught.
Among others, the implications of this understanding clearly shows why, in general, ONLY Holy Spirit filled Christians (both ministers and laity) are ON DOCUMENTED RECORD as having the greatest demonstrations of the power of God in their life's experiences and ministries. The reason is that THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES WITH GOD IN THEM, WHO inwardly empowers them much more effectively. This is in contrast to those who are born-again, but have not yet received the gift of the Holy Spirit. They are also on record as demonstrating very limited workings of God's power in their life and ministries because God is WITH THEM, BUT NOT IN THEM.
NOTE: The disciples performed signs and wonders when Jesus sent them two by two, although they had not been baptised in the Holy Spirit. THEY WERE BELIEVERS AND GOD WAS WITH THEM, BUT NOT IN THEM. In the book of Acts after Pentecost we see much more powerful signs and wonders were performed by them.
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