Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Lies Religious Tradition Taught Us: There is no such experience as the Baptism In the Holy Ghost

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:5 KJV 

13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” Mark 7:13 NKJV

 We've been an ongoing study looking at the lies the religious tradition of men have taught the Church. Ideas, concepts, and views that seem to be so right that it almost seems blasphemous to question them. Teachings that have been heard for so long they have formed and fashioned strongholds in the minds of many.

 We want to take the Scriptures and pull down these strongholds. So far we've exposed the insidious lies that God makes people sick or disease-ridden. That He is the creator of storms and disasters. That He is ordaining all things for our good, that He desires our poverty and to live in insufficiency and lack. 

 Today, I want to expose an age-old lie from traditional religious mindsets. This idea that there exists no such experience as the Baptism in the Spirit. If you've been with this blog for some time you may recall we've studied the Baptism in the Spirit in light of Grace. Today, we are going to go further and expose this lie that there is no "subsequent experience" after initial salvation. 

 In the Gospels, we see the first mention of the Baptism in the Spirit. Then in the book of Acts Jesus, Himself speaks of this Baptism in the Spirit. So this begs the question, what is the Baptism in the Spirit? Is it another name for the salvation experience? 

 No, it is not just another name expressing salvation. For how do we explain this passage?
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. John 20:21-22 NKJV

 If the Holy Spirit was not given until Pentecost what happened here? Was Jesus merely saying, "hey when the Spirit comes be welcoming and hospitable to Him"? No, Jesus breathed on them. What does that remind you of? Genesis! When God made Adam He breathed upon him and life came. These disciples were born again at this moment. Jesus had died and rose again and therefore New Covenant salvation was made available to all who would receive. 

 So, with this understanding, what did Jesus tell the Apostles in Acts 1? Did He say wait in Jerusalem to be born again? Wait in Jerusalem until you be converted? Wait in Jerusalem until you get saved? No, He said to wait for the promised Holy Ghost, wait for the promise He had spoken of. 

 If the disciples and Apostles needed to wait for conversion, then we have another problem. How will any future generation know for certain they too were saved when they believed? There was no rushing mighty wind, no cloven tongues of fire. Nothing spectacular. No, this event was the first time the Spirit came and filled God's people to the overflow. 

There is no such subsequent experience as the Baptism in the Spirit? Then how do we explain these passages?
And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Acts 8:6,12 NKJV
 So we see here, the Gospel preached, Jesus and His great Grace is shared, the result? The masses are born again and baptized in water. So according to tradition, we get all there is at initial salvation, no subsequent experience, no filling with the Spirit. No Baptism in the Spirit, no need to receive the Spirit. Let's keep reading.
14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:14-17 NKJV 
 Wait, why did they need the Apostles to come to lay hands on them to receive the Spirit? I thought we got it all at initial salvation? I have seen explanations used to excuse away what was clear and obvious that these believers were saved already and had the Spirit within but the Apostles came to pray they receive the Spirit upon.

 Some religious leaders say because the Samarians had an unfriendly relationship historically with the Jews they needed the Apostles to come and lay hands to receive the Spirit. Wait, wasn't Philip a Jew? He already won the hearts of the people. He was one of the seven chosen in Acts 6. So this explanation falls short. Again, this opens up doubt that some today may not genuinely be born again, no Apostle laid hands on them, 

 Let's look at Paul. Surely he who wrote 2/3rds of the New Testament would know what salvation entails. 
And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”                Acts 19:1-2 NKJV
 Paul, come on brother, don't you know you get it all at initial conversion? Why did Paul even ask this then? Didn't he know the truth of it all comes at once? 

 The obvious conclusion we must reach with these two passages is that there is, in fact, a subsequent experience called the Baptism in the Spirit. Still unconvinced? Let's look at Paul's conversion experience. Paul acknowledges the Lordship of Christ, lost people don't do that. Let's continue reading.
17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 9:17
 Why does Ananias need to lay hands on Paul for him to be filled with the Spirit? Again I thought we got it all at initial salvation?
When we lay aside bias, preconceived notions, traditions of men, and personal experience and just read the Scriptures we are opened to a whole realm of relationship with God that is so freeing and fulfilling. 

 If one was never exposed to traditional religion and just read the New Covenant, they'd come away believing God is good all the time. That healing is for all, and God isn't the author of evil. That the infilling of the Spirit is a valid experience for all, and the Gifts of the Spirit are for today. 

 I am certain some reading may be objecting on the basis of the New Covenant and the fact that we are complete in Christ when we are saved. I have addressed this concern in an entire study here

 What is this Baptism in the Spirit? The Baptism in the Spirit is when Jesus immerses the believer into the Spirit for the purpose of empowerment for works of service. These works are for the advancement of the kingdom. To further the Gospel message with power and demonstration. 

 Look at Peter, when Jesus was led away to be crucified, he denied Christ three times. He couldn't even name the name of Jesus to a little maid warming herself by the fire. The fear of Roman persecution and death was greater than his faith in Jesus. Yet, after Peter's conversion and being filled with the Spirit, he proclaimed Jesus in front of thousands and saw many believe. Bold, demonstrative Faith was his testimony.

 In summation, relinquish the lies of the traditions of men. Men make excuses for their lack of spiritual power and timidness in the eyes of this fallen world. They demote Faith and spiritual power and exalt unbelief and skepticism. If they can explain away the Baptism in the Spirit, and the Gifts of the Spirit, they can excuse away their powerless proclamation of Christ. Don't align with tradition, align with all God has for you and receive His present power in your life. 
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

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