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Chapter 9. The Holy Spirit, Baptisms, and Fillings
Premise: God would not dedicate so much of the Bible to the gifts of the Holy Spirit if the gifts are no longer needed, as some denominations teach.
Premise: Operating in the gifts helps you develop your spiritual ear to hear rhema words.
While it is true that some of the Old Testament is no longer valid, such as animal sacrifice, it doesn’t make sense for the New Testament to have stuff that’s no longer needed. Why even include something that was no longer valid? That doesn’t sound like God’s nature to me. (This is also why I believe the Book of Revelation describes actual events. God wouldn't take up that much of the Bible with allegory.)
While the baptism in the Holy Spirit is seen differently by various denominations, I believe it is critical to at least boil it down to some essentials that hopefully all denominations can agree on. The reason I think it is so important is that I feel it ties in with how well we can understand God’s nature and hear His rhema words, which is basically what this booklet is about.
When we are saved, we are born (baptized, translated) into the body of Christ, the church. When we are saved, Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit, or, if you prefer, filled with the Spirit. Both events require the relinquishing of control, whether they are one event, or separate, as some believe. I feel that the concept of “relinquishing control” is one of the essentials that all denominations can accept, whatever name you want to call it.
To be born again, the person must, of their own free will, relinquish control of their life to God, and follow Jesus. The sign this has occurred is a changed life. These changes should have outward manifestations such as a person publicly confessing Jesus and changed behaviors, among others.
To be baptized with the Spirit (filled with the Spirit), the person must relinquish control of their life to the Holy Spirit, whether it happens at salvation or is a subsequent event. The outward sign of this is a supernatural (from God) ability to follow God’s commands. These supernatural abilities should be observable to others such as heightened ability to sense the Holy Spirit. The gifts and signs mentioned in Corinthians are one indication, but also an increased ability to walk in love is an even greater indication.
I personally believe a person can relinquish control to Jesus and be saved, but not relinquish control to the Holy Spirit, either through ignorance or wrong teaching. So I hope another essential we can agree on is that the baptism/filling is a deliberate choice of the will.
I strongly encourage the reader to accept the premise given at the beginning of this article and allow the Holy Spirit to flow through you with tongues and other of His gifts as He chooses. I am concerned that the body of Christ has gotten away from operating in the gifts of the Spirit. We must recapture a willingness and boldness to do so.
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