Many Christian churches exist; all preaching a message that they claim is Biblical and accurate. Men and women enter these churches with the sincere desire to learn, “What must they do to be saved?” And the answers they receive are as varied as are the forms of worship these various churches engage in. Today the question remains, however. What must an individual do to be saved? Is the Bible clear on this matter? It is my contention that the Word of God is most clear, although it has been polluted and diluted by many organizations and sects to make it easier and easier for people to become part of these different denominations so that church growth and numbers have become far more important than a genuine Biblical and accurate Born Again experience. As a minister of the apostolic faith, I do not seek today to grow any denomination, or even my own local church for that matter. Instead, I sincerely seek to proclaim the whole truth that is able to set mankind free and usher us into the true, universal, mystical body of Christ. If those who hear me do not wish to obey the apostolic plan of salvation as clearly articulated in God’s Word, and choose instead to embrace and rely upon some diluted doctrine taught by another, I have done my job in representing the truth. I cannot compromise that truth in the interests of building a church or organization. To do so would be to condemn men’s souls at the expense of temporal satisfaction and a misplaced sense of success and accomplishment.
On the birthday of God’s church, the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), the apostle Peter arose and preached the very first message ever preached within the brand new infant church. After he had declared the truth of Jesus Christ, Son of God, and promised Messiah, Peter and the other apostles were asked, “What must we do?” This same question ought to be on the heart and mind of every individual whose mind has been made to turn toward God by the preaching of the gospel of Christ. Peter’s answer was clear, specific, and universal in its application. The same plan of salvation that he articulated on the day of Pentecost is the same plan of salvation that every man, woman, boy, and girl throughout time should believe, embrace, and believe.
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 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. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.
Peter's answer left absolutely nothing to interpretation as no point was left the least bit unexplained or ambiguous! His answer clearly articulated that this plan is meant to be embraced and obeyed by EVERYONE ("every one of you"). He also makes it clear how baptism is to be administered ("in the name of Jesus Christ") and for what purpose it is to be administered ("for the remission of sins").
Firstly, What Is Repentance?
Peter declared that day, before an audience of Jews who had come to Jerusalem from the four corners of the earth, that one could be saved by taking three steps upward into the kingdom of God. The steps he articulated were; Repentance, Water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Repentance has its foundation in faith. When one has heard the gospel message and comes to believe and accept it in their heart, it is first necessary that they do something that indicates they are no longer walking in unbelief, but now in faith and belief in a real and living God. Repentance implies that one turn around. Where our words and actions once showed no evidence of our belief in God and a higher moral and spiritual ideal, we now speak and behave as one who embraces the reality that God exists and that He would lead us into a better way of life where we are concerned for our fellow man and seek to walk in peace and harmony within our world. We simply change our path, turn around, and walk opposite of the way we walked before we believed.
The Bible teaches that good works or religious behaviors cannot save. “Works” cannot save. To be saved, one must have a genuine experience with our living Lord. Faith is the prerequisite to repentance. Repentance is the prerequisite to obedience. We cannot obey the apostolic mandate to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ unless we have first repented.
What Is Water Baptism?
Peter made the matter of water baptism very clear. When we have heard and believed the gospel of Jesus Christ, we must first repent, or in simpler terms, turn around from unbelief and walk in faith and obedience (believing). Secondly, Peter declared that faith must be followed by deed. In James chapter two, the apostle James expounded upon the truth that, “faith without works is dead.” When we have genuinely embraced the gospel of Christ, it is no great thing to ask that we put legs on our newfound faith by entering the waters of baptism, where a minister of the gospel will assist us in being symbolically lowered beneath the surface of the water, identifying us with the Lord Jesus Christ who was buried in the earth three days. He then will quickly lift us back up again above the surface, symbolizing our new life as we are resurrected from symbolic death even as Christ was raised from the dead.
Baptism is an ordinance (prescribed ritual), which allows us to exhibit our faith in Jesus Christ by symbolically sharing in His death and resurrection. According to Peter, it is only when we act in faith and submit to water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ that our sins are remitted (pardoned, washed away, removed). The water is an important ingredient in this ordinance, but more important is the use of the name of Jesus Christ. For the Bible declares plainly that “There is no other name given among men under heaven whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) The apostle Paul also plainly admonished the church to do all things, both involving word and deed, “in the name of the Lord.” (Colossians 3:17) Baptism is an act that includes both “word” and “deed.” Biblical baptism requires that an individual be fully lowered into the water, or immersed. Sprinkling or pouring water over one's forehead is not biblical and has no foundation whatsoever in biblical record or apostolic example, but is rather a man-made tradition which makes void the Word of God rather than honoring it. The very Greek word "baptizo," which is translated "baptize" from original Greek biblical texts, is literally translated "to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk), to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one's self, bathe, to overwhelm." It can clearly then be seen that biblical baptism requires one be fully immersed in water.
The book of Acts is the only Biblical record of the history of the apostles of Jesus Christ and the early church. The book of Acts was written by the detail-oriented physician Luke, who also had written an account of the life and ministry of the Lord, as an extension to that Gospel. (Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-2) Every account of baptism in the book of Acts make it clear that the apostles of Jesus Christ and the early church always administered water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:38; 8:11-12, 16, 36-38; 9:18; 10:48; 18:7-9; 19:3-5; 22:16; Romans 6:3; I Cor. 1:13-15; Galatians 3:27) Many secular and religious historians also bear out this fact in their writings. In all reality, the formula for baptism was not effectively changed to the commonly used Trinitarian formula of “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” until the year 325AD during the Nicene Council, a meeting of men who were in fact the earliest fathers of what was to become the Roman Catholic Church.
The Roman Catholic Church has proven time and again over the centuries to be a political institution with a religious facade that has compromised and polluted the apostolic doctrines of God’s Word in an effort to appease pagan and heathen nations, so as to be able to more easily absorb these peoples into their organization, which like the Roman Empire that preceded it, has a desire to subdue and rule the world in the name of religion. Over the course of many centuries, like a militant dictatorship seeking to subdue nations, it has murdered millions who refused to accept its doctrines or decrees, as well as those who would not bow to the authority of the Pope. Many of those it has murdered were God fearing Christian souls who simply did not accept that the Roman church was indeed God’s true representative in the earth of Biblical Christianity. To this day this organization employs deceit, intimidation, threatening, and conspiracy to accomplish its own ends, not the least of which being the continuation of the “church” at whatever cost, no matter how many lives it may ruin, or how many lives may be lost.
In John’s book of Revelation, he describes a vision shown to him by the Lord of a woman and a beast which are described as being representative of an entity that has claimed to be married to Christ and yet has been extremely unfaithful, compromising His gospel at every turn in an effort to gain members and subdue nations. This entity is described as being very politically involved with national leaders of all kinds from nations around the globe. It is also described as being murderous, greedy, opulent, and wealthy beyond measure. It also states that certain vendors dealing in a very specific list of goods have become rich themselves simply through the business they have done with this one organization. And it is made clear that the woman John saw, represented a city, in which this beast had its seat (or was headquartered). That city is said to “sit upon seven hills.” Now the city of Rome is called, “the city of seven hills.” No other entity so fully and comprehensively fits the description of this entity as does the city of Rome and the Vatican, which is the seat or headquarters for the Roman Catholic Church. When you look at the murderous history of this church, its extreme wealth, opulent structures, extravagant adornments, and costly vestments; you can clearly see the list of items being purchased by her that is making merchants rich.
She, the entity described so fully by John, is also said to be the mother of harlots. Not only has she commit fornication, in a spiritual sense, not remaining at all faithful to the head of the church who is Christ, but she has also given birth to children who are separate from her, and yet who continue to share many of her characteristics. Many Protestant churches exist today, which claim to be separate from the Church of Rome, and yet they continue to embrace compromised doctrines, dogmas, and practices that were born of “mother” Rome. The Roman Catholic Church has even gone so far as to claim as her “wayward offspring” all Protestant churches who share with her the practice of baptizing converts into the Trinity, using the words in baptism, “…in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
With this in mind, we surely can know that the actions of this early body of post-apostolic clergy had no authority to introduce any teaching or doctrine which conflicts with the clear teachings and precedents set by the apostles and early church as recorded in the Biblical book of Acts. Even before the apostles departed this life they warned that men were lying in wait for them to leave the scene so that they could introduce pollutions and perversions to the true gospel of Christ Jesus. (2 Peter 2:1; I John 4:1; I Timothy 4:1-3; II Timothy 4:2-4; Ephesians 4:13-15; I Corinthians 1:10)
It is an interesting fact that this matter of Trinitarian baptism verses baptism in Jesus name was heavily debated and opposed for over two centuries! And isn’t it interesting that only after the apostles were long dead and gone, and their influence less and less directly felt within the church, that this appalling departure from the name of Jesus Christ was ever able to be adopted. No wonder the Lord speaks to the churches in Asia Minor, through the apostle John, author of the book of Revelation, of the faithfulness of those who had “not denied” His “name.” (Revelation 2:13; 3:8) Bare in mind, the book of Revelation was written nearly half way into the Trinitarian debate timetable (approximately 90-100AD).
Historical evidence exists which indicates that the apostle’s use of the term, “they that call upon the name of the Lord,” and similar sayings, actually were in specific reference to individuals who had been publicly baptized with the name of the Lord Jesus Christ being “called out” as they were lowered beneath the waters surface. Understanding this, we have a brand new understanding of many Bible verses. (Romans 10:13; I Corinthians 1:2)
Water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is an essential act of obedience and faith. Jesus Christ Himself declared, “Whosoever believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” (Mark 16:16) When we submit to baptism in water, we are baptized into the body of Christ. (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27) When we are baptized with the Holy Ghost, Christ is infused into our spirit and body. (Romans 8:8-10; 1 Corinthians 6:17; I Corinthians 12:12-14; Ephesians 4:3-5)
But didn’t Jesus Himself command us to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost?” (Matthew 28:19) He most certainly did. The task now becomes, how do we reconcile the words of Jesus in Matthew with the clear preaching, teaching, and practice of the apostles found throughout the book of Acts and within the epistles? It’s really not at all difficult.
“In the name…” No one is named Father. No one names his or her child “Son.” And most certainly the term “Holy Ghost” is a title, as are “Father” and “Son.” The Lord Jesus Christ clearly mandated that we baptize “in the name.” This implies ONE singular name. He did not say, “in the names of,” but rather He clearly stated that one name is applicable to these three manifestations of our one God. And what would that one name be? The name of Jesus, of course! The Lord stated plainly that He had come “in His Father’s name.” (John 5:43; Isaiah 9:6; John 14:7-9) He also stated that the Holy Ghost would be “sent in His name.” (John 14:17-19, 26) As an apostolic people who understand and proclaim the Oneness of God, we know that there is not but one God. (Deuteronomy 6:4) God is a Spirit. (John 4:24) That Spirit took on the robe of human flesh and was declared to be the Son of God. (Romans 1:4; I Timothy 3:16)
No Jew would ever plainly declare a human being to be God. But when they believed a man to be God in human form, they would employ the term “Son of God,” or God-man, which clearly recognized His divinity. (Daniel 3:24-25; John 5:18; Philippians 2:6; Mark 3:11) After the physical man Jesus Christ ascended up to heaven, to wait for the day that He would physically return to earth to complete His eternal plan, He returned in an invisible form to His church. (John 14:17) We call this manifestation of His presence and person a variety of titles, including; “Spirit of God,” (Genesis 1:2; Matthew 12:28; Romans 8:9) “Holy Spirit,” (Psalm 51:11; Luke 11:13) “Holy Ghost,” (Luke 4:1; John 1:33) “Spirit of Truth,” (John 14:17; 16:13; I John 4:6) “Spirit of the Lord God,” (Isaiah 61:1) “Spirit of the Lord,” (Isaiah 11:2; 40:13; Luke 4:18; Acts 5:9; 2 Corinthians 3:17) “Spirit of grace,” (Hebrews 10:29) “Spirit of Christ,” (Romans 8:9) “Spirit of the living God,” (2 Corinthians 3:3) Spirit of His Son,” (Galatians 4:6) etc. All of these titles speak of one and the same Spirit, but each title implies a different application or operation of that Spirit within our lives. If “Holy Ghost” were indeed a name, it would have been used more consistently. The bottom line regarding this issue lie in this truth, “Father,” ”Son,” and “Holy Ghost” are but three manifestations of one singular God. Man consists of body, soul, and spirit. We are each single individuals, but there are three manifestations of our one person.
WHAT IS THE HOLY GHOST BAPTISM?
The Pentecostal revivals of the early twentieth century revived within the church worldwide the reality of the Holy Ghost Baptism experience. Many individuals and Christian sects actually experienced the Holy Ghost baptism over the centuries, but few made the specific connection between what they had experienced and what the apostles had experienced in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:1-18) It was at the turn of the twentieth century that the experience by divine design began to manifest itself in the lives of sincere believers around the world, simultaneously. Communications then were not what they are today; so many groups and individuals were unaware for years that others had also received an outpouring of God’s wonderful Spirit, as had they.
The apostle Peter preached the baptism of the Holy Ghost as the third element in a tri-fold salvation plan. According to his message on the day of Pentecost, in order for one to be saved they must believe, obey, and receive. Read again his exact words in Acts 2:38.
The Holy Ghost baptism is the most important experience a human being can ever have. Jesus Christ purchased our salvation on the cross of Calvary. When we have believed the gospel and have obeyed the Biblical mandate to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, all that remains for our salvation to be secured in full is our welcoming the presence and power of God Himself into our hearts and lives. The Bible tells us plainly; “God is a Spirit.” (John 4:24) Jesus Christ came, not only to die on Calvary’s cross as a satisfaction for our debt of sin, but He also intended from the beginning that those who would believe in Him should experience His own Spirit marrying with theirs so that His power, presence, and peace could be manifest in their lives as His Spirit dwelt within. (Acts 1:8) This is not an experience to be feared, but a wonderful gift to be treasured and earnestly desired. (Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 11:9-13)
HOW IMPORTANT IS THIS EXPERIENCE?
From the earliest days of His ministry, John the Baptist proclaimed with boldness the promise that Messiah was about to come and He would baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire. (Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16; Acts 1:5) If this experience were not at the highest levels of priority, why would God anoint His forerunner to preach this message of anticipation and expectation? Why would this great prophet, greater than any other who had ever lived according to the testimony of Jesus, make such an issue of this promised blessing of the actual infilling of God’s Spirit?
Jesus Christ, speaking with Nicodemus, a religious leader and sincere seeker of truth, articulated the necessity of one’s being “Born Again” if they are to see or enter the kingdom of God. The Lord said, “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.” (John 3:1-7) Some religious organizations try to say that the Lord’s inference to being born of water in this passage speaks of man’s natural birth, whereas, the second birth is implied by the second aspect of this statement, “and of the Spirit.” This interpretation is incorrect. It is easily seen by reading this passage that the Lord is clearly saying there are two requirements for a man to become “Born Again.” He/she must be born of (literal translation - brought forth from) water (water baptism) and of the Spirit (Holy Ghost baptism). The apostle Paul states clearly in Hebrews chapter six that there are plural (more than one) baptisms in the Christian faith. (Hebrews 6:1-2) The Bible declares, in other of Paul’s writings that there is “One Lord, one faith, one baptism;” but this specifically speaks of the one singular Holy Ghost baptism whereby we are all baptized, or immersed, into the universal body of Christ. When we read the full text in context and compare it with other of Paul’s writings on this subject, we can see that this is a correct and responsible interpretation of this particular passage.
The truth is; the Holy Spirit of God is a necessary ingredient to the resurrection of the saints. According to the Bible, it was the Spirit of God, which dwelled in Christ Jesus, which quickened His body that resurrection morning and caused Him to victoriously emerge from the tomb. And, according to the Word of God, it is the indwelling Spirit of God within the hearts and lives of God’s people that will enable them to emerge from their graves on that resurrection day. (Romans 8:11) Without the Spirit of God within, we are like a marvelous automobile, beautiful to look upon and comfortable to occupy, but without gasoline we are going nowhere.
The invisible Spirit of God is the mystical unifying force that brings all humanity to one level playing field upon our embracing the gospel and receiving God’s Spirit. The Spirit of God within His people is like a blood transfusion. “We all are baptized into one body by one Spirit,” regardless of any differences in the flesh relative to age, race, gender, skin color, sexual orientation, nationality, heritage, culture, socioeconomic status, occupation, etc. Without the Spirit within, we remain outside the mystical (invisible, spiritual) body of Christ. (I Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:4) Paul declared plainly, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” (Romans 8:9) It is possible to be baptized into the church by water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, and yet not be baptized into the Body of Christ, that universal mystical body which joins all believers together through the indwelling Spirit of God.
The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit is the agent whereby we become adopted sons and daughters of God. (Romans 8:15-16) When we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Lord literally adopts us as His own children by infusing His own Spirit with ours. And it is this indwelling Spirit that gives us direct, unencumbered access to our Father in worship, prayer, and meditation. (Romans 8:26-27)
Who Is Supposed To Receive This Gift?
Two of the legs to salvations tripod, as it were, are dependent upon an individual’s faith and obedience. The third, however, relies more upon God. For the promise of the Holy Ghost baptism is open to all who believe, embrace, and obey the gospel. Peter said plainly, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.” None are left out of this promise. Peter not only spoke of ascending generations, but he also included the phrase, “even as many as the Lord our God shall call” which clearly implies ALL who would ever believe this gospel throughout the annals of time.
Peter states clearly that all one need do is receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit of Christ was poured out upon His church on the Day of Pentecost, the birthday of the church. The gift was given on that day and all one need do today is receive the gift which has already been given. The church that was born on that day is the same exact church that is supposed to exist today. Many churches and organizations teach dispensational theology which erroneously claims that the miracles and Holy Ghost baptism experienced by the apostles and early church have ceased, and we today live in a different era. This theology is based upon gross abuse and mistranslation of God’s Word. Again I must repeat, Peter said on the day of Pentecost that this gift was for all, “even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”
The apostle Peter included in his first sermon on the day of Pentecost an Old Testament promise of the Holy Ghost outpouring. (Acts 2:17-18) The Lord Jesus Christ alluded to the universal application of the Holy Ghost baptism in the last chapter of mark when He said, “And these signs shall follow them that believe, in my name they shall cast out devils, they shall speak with new tongues…” (Mark 16:17)
Why Must One Speak In Tongues?
This is the issue that causes great distress for many who hear this Pentecostal message. What in the world is “speaking in tongues?” And why is it necessary that one speak in tongues when they receive the Holy Ghost baptism?
The term “speaking with other tongues” or “speaking in tongues” simply means that the individual receiving the Holy Ghost baptism will be enabled by God’s Spirit to speak in another language that they have never studied or learned. It really is not at all so mysterious an occurrence as it may seem. Too many concentrate so much on the issue of “speaking in tongues” that they do not simply surrender their heart and life to the Lord, allowing Him to fill them with His wonderful Spirit of promise. We are admonished by the Word of God to simply “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” (John 7:38-40; 20:21-23) In the history of the early church we read that it was an extremely high priority to the apostle’s that new believers become also “receivers,” by reason of their receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost baptism. (Acts 8:14-16; Acts 19:1-7) We needn’t beg or cajole the Lord, but rather we simply need to accept the gift that He has given. When you understand all the marvelous benefits of this gift, you can better understand why it is so imperative that we come to that place of total surrender where we allow the Spirit of the Lord to have full control.
Perhaps the Lord has chosen to use the phenomenon of “speaking with other tongues” as a metaphor of the new life we have in Christ Jesus. When a child is born they cry. When a child of God is born again, they too cry out, but the sound of that cry is altered by the supernatural, divine intervention of the newly indwelling Spirit of God. Speaking with other tongues is also a reversal of sorts of God’s action at the tower of Babel, where He confounded those who sought to build a tower in order to better pursue astrological understanding by causing the people to begin to speak in a variety of languages, thus hampering their ability to communicate one with another and accomplish the task to which they had set their minds. (Genesis 11:1-9) The Holy Ghost baptism literally reverses, or undoes, the effects of Babel. We are brought back together into Christian unity and harmony by God’s Spirit as one people, one nation, and one kingdom. Regardless of our heritage, age, race, gender, and a myriad of other factors which otherwise separate and divide; we are united as one people in the service of our Lord by the infilling and indwelling of His own Holy Spirit. The single most unifying, congealing force in the world is the Spirit and presence of our Creator. While the world engages in war and turmoil, the church is expected to receive and operate in the single unifying presence and power of Almighty God.
Many religions have rules and regulations that one must follow if they are to be saved. The Christian faith does not dictate a specific series of religious laws, but rather it calls all men to experience the living Christ by believing His gospel, identifying with Him in the ordinance of baptism, and then receiving His divine Spirit by reason of the Holy Ghost baptism. The Christian gospel, unlike most religions, is based upon a genuine one on one experience with the risen Christ, who was and is the God of the universe and Creator of all that exists. (John 1:10)
While it is possible for many to live the outward rudiments of a religious order, all the while inwardly embracing all kinds of ideas and thoughts contrary to that religions teachings; Christianity requires that every individual have a genuine experience with our living Lord. It’s a whole lot harder to fake an experience with God than it is to fake religious zeal or devotion. Anyone who has genuinely been filled with God’s Spirit can immediately identify when one is not genuinely filled with the Holy Ghost, even if they are somehow able to imitate the act of “speaking with other tongues.” The Bible tells us that God’s Spirit “bears witness with our Spirit (or the Spirit of God within us) that we are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:16)
The indwelling Spirit of God is able to assist us in prayer, enabling us to pray according to the perfect will of God, seeing as He most certainly knows His own will. Therefore, as we surrender ourselves to the Spirit of the Lord as we pray, He is able to supernaturally take control and cause us to pray for needs that we may not even know exist in our own or others lives. The Spirit also causes us to leave behind frivolous uncertain prayer requests in exchange for specific requests that God is fully aware we have need of before we have even asked.
The Holy Ghost, as I have earlier mentioned, is that agent by which we shall raised from the dead on the resurrection day. But while we are yet living, the indwelling Spirit enables us to act and speak in the first person of Jesus Christ. In other words, as a Spirit filled believer, when we command a demon to depart from some poor tormented individual, that demon hears our voice, but as we act and speak in the name of Jesus Christ, who dwells within us by His Spirit, they only see their Creator addressing them. This is why the seven sons of Sceva were unsuccessful in casting out demons. The devils responded to their rebukes saying, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” (Acts 19:14-16) They did not have the Holy Ghost within and therefore had no authority whereby to be able to cast those unclean spirits out.
The Holy Spirit is the central nervous system of the church. It allows all of God’s people to be connected with one another, without regard to time or distance. Often times the Spirit of the Lord will motivate a believer to fall to their knees and fervently intercede on behalf of another saint, anywhere in the world. (Romans 8:26)
“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.”
I have seen so many occasions where the Lord would do so, only to find out later that at the exact hour the individual for whom intercession was made became the recipient of God’s miraculous intervention or prevention of what might have been a fatal or tragic event.
With the coming of God’s Spirit into our lives also comes access to further gifts of the Spirit which operate through God’s people for the collective benefit and edification of God’s church and people in particular. (I Corinthians 12:1-11) The gifts of the Spirit can only be manifested in and operate through Spirit-filled believers. While it is true that evil forces are able to imitate the manifestations and supernatural workings of the Spirit, they do not ever do so for the same purpose as does God’s Spirit. Satan seeks only to deceive and destroy. God’s Spirit works in a constructive manner, seeking to bless, encourage, inspire, prepare, instruct in righteousness, and even rebuke or correct when necessary. Remember how Pharaoh’s priests were able to imitate the miracles performed at Moses hand by God? (Exodus 7:9-12)
Some Christian sects teach that there is a danger in seeking the baptism with the Holy Ghost in one’s receiving an evil spirit instead. However, the clear promise of the Lord is that God will not fail to honor our desire to receive His Spirit. If we sincerely seek and desire to be filled with God’s Spirit, you can be assured that it is God’s Spirit you will receive. The Lord is not so careless as to allow souls who seek more of Him to become susceptible to demonic possession. (John 7:38-40; 20:21-23)
Dear friend the bottom line and final word is this… If we have any hope of being saved, it is imperative that we believe and obey the entire plan of salvation clearly taught by the apostles of Jesus Christ. They alone had the authority to establish the foundation of God’s church. They personally walked with the Lord and heard his teachings, although much of what He taught was not fully understood by them, until after the Holy Ghost was given on the Day of Pentecost. Diluted gospels cannot save. One is not “Born Again” according to Biblical mandate until they have believed, obeyed, and received. Anything short of the fullness of God’s plan of salvation may secure you a relationship of sorts with the Savior, but His desire is not merely to be in communication with you, but by His indwelling Spirit to be in perfect, constant communion with you. There is a difference.
If you have yet to receive the precious gift of the Holy Ghost, let me encourage you today to do so. It is as easy as taking your very next breathe. Do not be concerned with “speaking in tongues.” Let God be God, and let Him have control as you wait in His presence surrendering to His will, and drinking in His wonderful presence. The Holy Ghost baptism is a positive, exhilarating, powerful, exciting, empowering, and joyful experience. You have nothing to fear, and everything to gain. Won’t you simply believe and receive God’s gift for you today? In Jesus name…
If you have yet to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, dear friend, I exhort you this hour to hear this simple undiluted message and obey it's call today. Churches that baptize in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins may be found in your community in the phone book under the heading of Apostolic or Pentecostal. You should call that church first and specifically ask them, "Do you baptize in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins?" If they stutter or answer, "No," keep looking. Church organizations which embrace this truth and practice baptism according to the apostles message include:
And there are others. Please consult the Internet or your local phone directory.