The Dunamis Word 2

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Upholding The Light Of Jesus In A Dark World

Commonly Asked Questions Re: Holy Ghost Synopsis Pg.’s 1 & 2

1. Is there a difference between being filled with the Holy Ghost and receiving the Baptism of the Holy Ghost?

This question was rendered early on and due to it’s repetition I’ve decided to deal with it here in a more exclusive manner.

As noted in the synopsis, I believe that scripture teaches that when one is brought into Christ through saving faith one is baptized into Jesus. By virtue of that statement one cannot be baptized into Jesus without also being baptized into the Holy Ghost. That baptism is one of identification with Christ. (John 3:3, Mark 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, Gal. 2:20), but NOT one of being filled with the spirit or being baptized with the Holy Ghost in the sense in which scripture lays it out.

Being baptized in the Holy Ghost is a process that occurs with the act of regeneration. Now there is much debate over when regeneration actually occurs. I would agree that regeneration of the Spirit is an act of God that begins at the moment of salvation or when saving faith is exercised in the propitiation of Jesus atonement on the Cross. (Rom 5:1, Rom.10: 9-10, 2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 6:15) Being in Christ is an instantaneous act of God (1 Cor. 1:2, 1 Cor. 6:10, Heb 10:9) This is the act of spiritual identification, however this (being in Christ) is NOT the act of being filled with the Spirit (Acts 2:4) although elements of being filled occur at that moment in the life of the believer (Ephesians 5:17, Gal. 5:22-23). Being or coming into Christ is not the act of being Baptized with Holy Ghost (Acts 11:16, Mark 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16) although elements of Spirit Baptism exist in the life of the believer at that moment and beyond (Gal. 3:27).

So to answer the question, distinctions must be made. There is a spiritual baptism that covers both identification with Christ (Rom.10: 9-10, 2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 6:15) and leads to the empowerment of the believer (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:4, Acts 11:16). So being baptized and filled although technically are not one in the same, are yet used synonymously within scripture.{Contrast Acts 2:4 to Acts 11:16}. Therefore, for the church to preach a “Spirit Baptism” with “the evidence of speaking in tongues” is scriptural according to Mark 16:17, Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44, Acts 8:14-17, and Acts 19: 5-6.

Those who believe that one is not saved until one is filled with the Spirit (or speaks in tongues), or that one is filled with the Spirit upon exercising saving faith would not agree with my statements. Although I would believe in the validity of their confession, (1 Cor. 13:7) I would also believe that my statements are more biblically accurate and scripturally sound for the following reasons:

  1. Sinners cannot be filled with the Spirit or baptized in the Holy Ghost as demonstrated under the New Covenant established through Jesus.
  2. Identification with Christ occurs through the act of salvation but the New Testament teaches by precept and example that the work of the Spirit is ongoing and all believers are instructed to receive power as a natural part of that process. (Mark 16:17, Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8, Acts 8: 15-17, Acts 9:17, Acts 10:34-46, Acts 19:5-6)
  3. The reception of that power as specified in Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8 is more than a tongue. It is coupled with a sanctified or holy lifestyle which should have already begun as a part of the regenerative process at salvation (Gal. 5:22-23, 1 John 3:3, 2 Peter 3:11, 1 Thess. 4:4, 2 Tim. 2:21, Heb. 12:14) as evidence of such fruitful work of the Spirit within the believer’s life and empowerment.

2. Why is there a need for the sign gifts in the modern New Testament Church? Shouldn’t the revelation of the word be sufficient?

This subject looses many who rely on the strict “letter” of the word scriptural interpretive. (2 Cor. 3:6) This is known as a “fundamentalist” or a historical literalist approach. The precept is this, God moves among HIS people as HE chooses and demonstrates HIS precept through scripture. Doctrine and scriptural learning is not solely confined to the scriptural didactic. Two examples of preceptual learning is the use of the Sabbath. Jesus changed the whole understanding of God’s word on the Sabbath around in Mark 2:27-28. Another is the Trinity. Although never taught by God or any prophet, the precept is DEMONSTRATED throughout the word of God from Genesis to Revelation. So to say that something is not of God unless it is exclusively taught within holy writ is far beyond what either holy writ teaches or what scripture demonstrates.

The “sign gifts” were observed in the early church as a demonstration and display of God’s hand among God’s people. Hebrews 2:4 teaches that the signs and wonders bore witness of God among the people. Paul even taught that the people had experienced exceptional signs of power to confirm his Apostleship (2 Cor. 2:12). However scripture also demonstrates that not all signs and wonders were limited to the Apostles or Apostolic authority. In fact Acts 6:8 specifies that Deacon Stephen did “great wonders and miracles” among the people. Later Deacon Philip, (not the Apostle) (Acts 8:6-7,13) was used in great signs, miracles and even was able to cast out devils. Ephes. 4:8 says that when he (Jesus) ascended he gave “gifts unto men” this was later evidenced in Acts 2:4 and 1 Cor. 12.

The gifts were given to the church for the church to be edified (1 Cor. 12:7) and to receive of Jesus to HIS glorification (John 16:14) and be our comforter according to scripture in John 14, 15 and 16.The synopsis point to many other functions of the Spirit. There is NO scripture that has given an expiration date for the gifts of the Spirit.

As a reader you are probably questioning why I am speaking of the Holy Ghost and not exclusively the Spiritual Gifts. My reasoning is as such, since the gifts were given by God to the Church and the Holy Ghost is God and as God is the author of the gifts, they cannot be separated from HIS nature. To the point the question is a misunderstanding of the nature of God as it relates to the better covenant through Jesus Christ.

  • The gifts were not merely to verify Apostleship although they did.
  • The gifts were not merely to provide canonical information although they did.
  • The gifts were not merely to cause the sinner to come to saving faith although they did
  • The gifts were not merely to provide direction to the Saints although they did.
  • The gifts were not merely to build the church although they did.

The gifts were used in diverse manners within the context of the early church. Even though the word was being established, published and preached, the gifts were yet in operation even beyond 2nd and 3rd Century by verifiable historical record.

Our modern understanding hems us into thinking that there is only one way that the gifts were to be exercised and used within the church because it is comfortable for many of us to limit the experience of God to that we are comfortable in apprehending. Neither history or traditional practice are barometers for the word of God to the church. Among things that we learn through biblical history is how quickly men get off track and violate the word of God either by sins of commission or omission. When trying to understand the spiritual gifts within the context of the modern church, begin with the written record and ALL things are subject to it.

Is there anyone reading this, that can truly say that we do not need miracles, or any of the gifts specified in scripture today? Our times although more modern in convenience are marked by as much or more evil than that of the historic church. The WORD, the gifts and all that God has is essential for the individual and church survival today. Those who abuse the gifts and ministry of the Spirit SHOULD NOT be our standard for disallowing the healthy and vibrant practice of the Spiritual gifts within the context of the modern church.

3. Tongues Are Simply A sign Of Confusion And Are Not Essential To The Church Today. 

This type of sentiment is born out of the cessationist thought and view point. Many have a wrong association of tongues and mistakenly associate the experience with babel, rather than jubilee. This is a very important distinction. I have delivered a treatment on this on The Dunamis Word, available by clicking HERE.

5 Responses

  1. David says:

    I Like your synopsis on the Holy Ghost Baptism, eventthough some parts I would need a little more clarity to know if I fully agree with them or not.
    I would, however, like for you to “breakdown” your the “excersise of faith” in receiving the Holy Ghost. In other words, how do you receive the Holy Ghost by faith?

    • dunamis2 says:

      David,

      Thanks for the inquiry and giving me the opportunity to address your question. I would say that the Holy Ghost is to be received by faith like anything else that God offers. First we believe him and what he says. Secondly we receive what he does. When it comes to the Holy Ghost, people have a fear that they will do do something that either they shouldn’t do or something someone won’t like them to do. I believe because of that they approach the subject with fear. Especially as it pertains to speaking in tongues and doing that openly, because the deceitful teaching is that every tongue needs to be interpreted and that’s not the case.

      So in order to receive by faith, one believes that God has extended it, and that it’s for you. That makes it a lot more easy as you then find that it’s not an uphill battle to receive from God what he extends. It also seems that some are afraid of “experience” as if having an experience with God is the wrong thing to do. We seek God but should be unafraid of having an experience with him.

      So place all that together and that’s what I mean by receiving the Holy Ghost by faith. We walk by faith!

  2. D.Lindsey says:

    Having been born and raised in COGIC (50+) years ago. I questioned some of the things I was told, as I was reading scripture and it was saying something different. I agree, the baptism WITH the Holy Spirit is different from being filled with the Holy Spirit. Although sometimes it takes place simultaneously. Being filled is a continual process. I capitalized “with” because being baptized IN the Holy Spirit is biblically incorrect. You wont find the term in scriptures. In Eph. 4:4-5 it says, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism”. So assuming these “ones’ deal with the essentials of the faith, which it does. The question is – which baptism is essential to salvation? Of course the BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT into Christ. 1 Cor 12:13. I used to be told, “you have to receive the Holy Spirit”. Then I read Rom.8 that if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he doesn’t belong to Christ. Understanding that there is only one Spirit, one is not saved unless they have received the Holy Spirit(Spirit of Christ). According to this scripture you cant be raised from the dead without the Holy Spirit because he raised Jesus from the dea. So that put that statement about receiving to rest. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is a constant thing – Eph.5:18-19. Not a one and done deal. On the day of Pentecost the body of Christ was created (Baptism of Holy Spirit), but also a filling took place and they spoke with other tongues (languages), not a prayer language or unknown- as I was told for many years and many have been made to believe. The disciples didn’t know the language but those that heard them them did, it was their own. This did not change in Acts 8 or 10 where Peter says it fell on them (the Gentiles) as it did on us (apostles/disciples). It would be safe to say it fell on the Samaritans the same way also. If tongues is the initial evidence as many say it is (although its not), then the criteria would have to be the same as it was on the day of Pentecost. Tongues can be A sign, not THE sign. Not slobber at the mouth gibberish, or shanda handa yabba dabba doo, but an actual language[look up the greek def. for language]. Actually the evidence of being filled(controlled) by the Holy Spirit is power to witness which is what Jesus said anyway. Which by the way, the majority of professed christians (pentecostal or otherwise)don’t really do to any great degree. Another sign could be miracles or healing etc. The fruit of the Spirit is really at the top of the list. WAAAYYY too often tongue talkers can’t control it(the tongue) in the natural. I could go on but the bottom line is – ONE baptism essential for salvation – baptism with/by/of the Spirit into Christ(the body)equivalent to receiving the Holy Spirit. Constant FILLING(control)of the Spirit for power in witnessing, service, and living the Christian life while on earth. Filling not necessary if you die right after you get saved. Be blessed and keep on sharing the word.

    • dunamis2 says:

      Thanks D. Lindsey,

      There are a couple of things to share.
      First, the Body Of Christ or the Church was actually created when Jesus died on the cross some 50 days before the day of Pentecost.

      This knowledge adds a different and more comprehensive dimension to the discussion. The mistake is that the church was created at Pentecost and that is somewhat too late as the thief on one of the other crosses was the first entrant into the eternal church and rest as a result of faith in Jesus. So the NT church existed by the faith for those who believed in the life, burial, death and resurrection of Jesus. Those 120 were saved folk who were already ready for heaven. They had already believed and received the promise of God. With this knowledge we observe that tongues or being filled in the sense of empowerment for service was not required for their salvation.

      Therefore we can identify and distinguish between the power that will raise us unto life eternal and the power that enables us to preach, teach and reach the lost in this present world and life. The same Holy Ghost will do both.

      Second point I would raise is that I believe you correctly assess that being filled is more than a particular event. It is a continuation in walk, growth and learning directed by God. With that said, however, it is not scripturally incorrect to say that a particular event marks being filled. The problem is either we play too loose with scripture or we are so literalistic that we look for chapter and verse and miss the point. I think this also applies to your directive on being baptized “in” and being “with” the Holy Ghost. This is an overly literalistic distinction that doesn’t help to clarify the subject matter neither does it determine a different level of action by God.

      Now, I don’t minimize the recognition from scripture and subsequent teaching that the Holy Ghost, when he came, in almost every instance named in the book of Acts, was recognized through and by tongues by members of HIS church and the community. Prophecy and forth telling of the word was also present. Not all tongues were interpreted neither were all languages that someone else could recognize. Paul recognizes this and states such regarding the gift. (1 Cor. 13:1, 1Cor. 14:2) So one cannot discount that acts of God as specified in the book of Acts as being coincidental or literalistically bound to a certain routine or pattern other than the pattern that when the Holy Spirit was present the church was aware of HIS presence and Jesus was glorified.

      So I really don’t buy into the thought that a didactic teaching is the only way the church can recognize the move of the Spirit of God in the NT church. The Holy Ghost is to be experienced. The NT church experienced him. Paul wasn’t saved without experience. Peter wasn’t converted without experience. Thomas didn’t believe without experience. I could go on that experience, though not the only teacher or guide, is yet a valid part of the Christian life and learning. Observing that experience shared within scripture teaches us the nature of God.

      So this is a deep and rather profound subject and one not easily summed up within a church code, doctrine or ethic or an arrangement of words.

      Blessed!

  3. dunamis2 says:

    So there is a rather profound question raised for all them that don’t believe in what they have termed a “second blessing”.

    If the NT church was not created with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, then what condition were the 120 in for 50 days? Were they saved under the Old Covenant or were they saved under the New Covenant? Or were they saved at all?

    Then before one answers that, be careful unless you believe that the Holy Ghost fills someone who is unsaved and in the process saves them…This can be sticky and we must communicate this accurately.

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