Chapter 4 More persuasion to receive
We have seen in the previous chapters that one must receive the Holy Spirit when they believe in Jesus Christ. We are not to assume that we have received the Spirit just because we believe in Jesus through a message from a preacher or a Bible tract etc. The Apostles made absolutely sure that anyone who believed in Jesus ALSO received the Spirit of God. He is said to fall upon us, fell upon, come upon, came upon..The act of His coming upon a person is seen and/or heard. Have a look at Romans 7 and 8 with me. In Romans 7 Paul by the Spirit says
Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death
We were(past tense) in the flesh. Then in Romans 8 he adds to this,…
Rom 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
This desribes what happens to us IF we have received the Spirit of Christ.
We go from being “in the flesh” to “in the spirit”. We were in the flesh, now we are in the Spirit.
We were in the flesh before we received the Spirit of God…our own human spirit was not in His embrace…not joined with Him yet. Our spirit was sunk down and dead to God..we were in the flesh, dwelling in death…under the law.
In the flesh we cannot please God. In other words, those who do not have the Holy Spirit cannot please God. It matters not if they go to church and say they believe in Jesus, in heaven, in Hell….IF THEY HAVE NOT THE SPIRIT OF GOD…they are in the FLESH and cannot please Him.
What pleases God? Without faith it is impossible to please Him. (Heb 11) Faith pleases God. But not any old faith! It is His faith that pleases God. Have the God kind of Faith we are told in Mark 11:22. Most versions say “Have faith in God” many have, “Have faith of God”. Faith is a gift from God…it is an attribute of the spirit. The Holy Spirit is a Person of Faith and when He joins with your spirit, you now share in His faith.
So it is, that if you receive the Spirit of God you please God because in your spirit now resides in the FAITHFUL ONE. He is full of faith…and your spirit is now full of His faith too. You are one spirit. 1 Cor 6:17 Do you follow this?
The man who is “in the flesh” may be a man who is not yet converted by the Spirit. A believer who has received the Spirit is said to be in the Spirit…but if he walks according to the flesh even though he lives in the spirit, he does not walk pleasing to God!
The man who has received the Spirit of God is termed “in the Spirit”….in other words He is born of the spirit..born again….converted from death to life…darkness to light. He pleases God. The one who believes in Jesus in head only, who HAS NOT received the Holy Spirit since believing is NOT BORN AGAIN..and cannot yet please God for His spirit remains dead.
Rom 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Rom 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
Can you see that it is possible to believe the Bible and in Jesus but not have the Spirit dwelling in you? If anyone does NOT HAVE THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST he is not His. In other words Paul knew that there were some in every congregation who had come to believe the message of the gospel, but who had NOT YET RECEIVED THE SPIRIT OF GOD. They are in the flesh still. Again I must refer back to scriptural examples of people receiving the Holy Spirit. In almost every case they spoke in tongues and prophesied and praised God. Something was seen and heard so that the Apostles knew that they had received just as they themselves had received. Today there are thousands who believe in Jesus who have NEVER received the Holy Spirit as the Apostles and early church did. Listen to Peter…
Act 11:15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. Act 11:16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ Act 11:17 If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?”
There is that wonderful Greek word again..The Holy Spirit FELL UPON them…He epipipto them.
epipipto ep-ee-pip’-to – to embrace (with affection) or seize (with more or less violence; literally or figuratively): – fall into (on, upon), lie on, press upon.
O dear one, can you see this? Have you received the Holy Spirit like they did? Did He fall upon you, seizing your spirit with violence? Did He embrace your spirit, your inner man with affection and love ? YOU WOULD KNOW FOR CERTAIN…because He can be felt by our spirit. Are you alive? Or are you still in the flesh?
This is serious and I am impelled by the spirit within me to challenge you again today. I thought I had left off this topic…but the Lord wants to challenge again. Why? Because thousands believe in Jesus…perhaps since childhood…who have never once received the HOLY SPIRIT..who is called the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Jesus.
They have been taught falsely, that when they first believed in Jesus that they received all there is to receive of the Holy Spirit…they have been warned to not listen to any message that says there is a second experience of receiving the Spirit.
Those traditions have left them unfulfilled ..they are STILL IN THE FLESH and do not HAVE THE SPIRIT in them. (Look at acts 8, 10/11 and 19 or read my last 3 posts.)
Rom 8:10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Look at all the IF’s …they are there because it is NOT an automatic thing.
Receiving the Holy Spirit is a separate thing from believing that Jesus is the Saviour.
If I preached to any gathering and at the end of the message asked who among them believes that Jesus is the Saviour?…that Jesus is the Lord?…that Jesus died for them and rose again for them? And many hands went up agreeing with the message…what then?
Do I send them home? NO!!!
I make sure these people receive Jesus Christ. “Oh!” you say… “I received Jesus”. Really?
Did you speak in tongues? Did rivers of living water flow out of your belly? Did the Holy Spirit violently seize your spirit? Did he embrace you with affection?
That is what is meant to happen.
But no…People are often led in a prayer…Come into my heart Lord Jesus, be my Lord and Saviour amen. Or some other variation on the same thing. They are now told that they received Jesus Christ. They are told to always remember this day. The day you got saved…or born again. BUT Brethren!!
If they did not receive The Holy Spirit as we(Peter and the others)did…then they have not reveived Him at all yet.
They are still in the flesh! Where do we get off changing the way God does things, and calling it God!
Those people who said a prayer like that, and believe the things concerning Jesus Christ, NEED TO HAVE HANDS LAYED ON THEM and prayer made for them to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
They have been left with a false assurance and now live by the power of the flesh. They cannot please God. The one praying and laying on the hands needs to be full of the Holy Ghost as well. It is no use someone praying for a believer to receive the Holy Spirit, if they themselves have let the fire go out. Let your lamps be burning and your waists be girded.
How is your oil supply? Is your fire burning, is your lamp bright or dull? Has it gone out? As I shared in the last post…speaking in tongues is how you can fan into a flame the gift of God that is in you. Praise, worship, tongues, confession of the Word…all these things fan the fire.
Eph 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, Eph 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, Eph 5:20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Eph 5:21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
Not only can we do these things with the understanding and so fan our spirit man…but we can give thanks well in tongues to God…we can sing in tongues to God…we can speak and pray in tongues TO GOD…All these things edify and build up and charge up the inner man-our spirit…our lamp. But again I say, every believer MUST RECEIVE THE SPIRIT FIRST to be able to walk in the spirit and be pleasing to God.
Rom 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Rom 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
See again Paul’s emphasis on RECEIVING the Spirit. Why is that? Because He himself received the Spirit AFTER FIRST BELIEVING that Jesus is Messiah(Christ).Acts 9:17
The verses above shed light on why many, many people have no witness in their spirit that they are children of God. They will not have any witness if they have not YET RECEIVED the Holy Spirit. SO what happens is, they look at their church activities as proof to themselves and the other dead ones, that they are children of God. I don’t blame them..it is TRAGIC!!
One day God will get a hold of them and they shall receive the Spirit of Jesus and OOOOH!!! what a difference He will make! They will testify that they thought they were saved all those years, but they now know that they were in the flesh!! May God give us all the grace to humbly see whether Christ be in us or not. Not by any human standard…but by the examples laid out for us in the Book of Acts. These examples were written down for us to see that a person RECEIVES the Spirit of Christ AFTER believing…and that when RECEIVED the Spirit of God causes that person to be filled and overflow with words that can be heard…and He does things in them that can be seen.
An example from India
In India in 2009 as I preached on the main street in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, a brother came to me afterwards. This dear Indian brother told me he had just done 3 years Bible College and wanted to be an evangelist..but he said,
” I do not have the power like I see in you.”
He did not know that an hour before, I was shaking in my boots, so nervous to obey the Spirit and go and preach on the street that night. But that night was Shavuot/Pentecost. I told the brother that I would gladly pray and lay hands on him…that he can receive all the power he needs to evangelise..as I spoke with him, my hand on his shoulder…the power of God fell upon us both!! I felt the power of God press against us..he fell and I lowered him to the pavement. He immediately was bubbling over in tongues to God…tears of joy streaming down his face!! It was marvellous! Even as I write this now I weep for joy and am filled again with the power of God.
Was the brother saved already? God knows. I believe so. Had he received the Holy Spirit? If not then he was still in the flesh…ie- “unsaved” if you want to use that term. I believe he like many had really received the Holy Spirit when he believed BUT he had not had Him fall upon Him and baptise him.
Anyway…the thing is, the brother knew he had no power and God made sure that I was sent all the way from Australia to stand on the street that night, being the feast of Pentecost…and preach as he just happened to walk by. Maybe this is another moment like that for you? Maybe you just happened to read my book and here you are confronted by God with your impotence, your lack of life, joy, peace and power? Well what are you going to do?
You need to know whether you have received the Holy Spirit or not. May this word encourage to seek God about this very important thing. I would be honoured to pray for you If you do not have anyone who will do this. Just ask your Father to baptise you in the Holy Spirit. Believe that He hears your prayer and believe that you have received. Luke 11:13 Mark 11:22-24