Revelation 2:11, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." There is not one church age where this verse is not mentioned. Every single age has the same admonition to the people of every age. "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith." But it is absolutely impossible for all men to hear what the Spirit says to the different ages. I Corinthians 2:6-16, "Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught; but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit Which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth; but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are Spiritually discerned. But he that is Spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." Matthew 13:13-16, "Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing, see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear." John 8:42-44, "Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God: neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My Word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." It is most evident from these Scriptures that no man of himself can hear God. That ability has to be given him of God. Matthew 16:17, "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona; for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father Which is in heaven." Putting these verses together we see that there is only one group of people, and that a very special group of people who are able to hear what the Spirit says in each age. It is one special group that receives the revelation for each age. That group is of God, because the group that cannot hear is not of God. (John 8:42-44.) The group that can and does hear what the Spirit is saying and receives the revelation thereof is that group described in I Corinthians 2:6-16. They are the ones who have the Spirit of God. They are the ones that are born of God. They are baptized into the body of the Lord Jesus Christ by His Spirit. They are baptized with the Holy Ghost.
To further bring out what we have just said, and to also use a Scripture that should be borne in mind as we talk about who it is that is baptized with the Holy Ghost, see what Jesus says in John 6:45, "It is written in the prophets, And they shall All be taught of God." But turn to Isaiah 54:13 whence this is taken and it reads, "And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord." The ALL of God are the CHILDREN of God. Thus it is that the evidence of being a true child of God, (he whom the Spirit has come upon and in-dwells) is again set forth as one taught the Word by the Holy Ghost.
Now you can begin to see why tongues is not the evidence of being baptized with the Holy Ghost. It doesn't say in any age that "he that hath a tongue let him say what the Spirit is saying." That puts tongues, interpretation thereof, and prophecy, etc. aside as an evidence. The evidence is HEARING what the Spirit says. The Spirit is talking. Yes, the Spirit is teaching. That is exactly what Jesus said He would do when He came. John 14:26, "He will teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you." And that is just what happened. That is how the Gospels were written. These men had recalled to their minds by the Holy Ghost the very Words that Jesus spake. That is why the Gospels are accurate. They are perfect. But the Spirit did not only bring all things to their minds but He taught them further on the truth they already had. That is how Paul received his revelations. He said concerning it, "But I certify you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it (of man) but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." Galatians 1:11-12. He was taught by the Holy Ghost.
One day when Jesus was upon earth, a certain important man came to visit Him. This man said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher sent from God." But you will notice that Jesus cut him short. He turned to Nicodemus and the words He spoke may well be paraphrased thusly, "I am NOT a teacher. I am the Sacrificial Lamb for sin. I am making possible the New Birth by My Spirit. But there is a coming One Who is the Teacher. He is the Holy Spirit." When Jesus was upon the earth He came as the Lamb, and as the Prophet. But when He came back upon the church by His Spirit He became the Teacher.
And to every age we hear the same truth. "He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches." But only a Spirit-filled man can hear the revelation for that age. None other can. No sir. They cannot because that is exactly what Paul said in I Corinthians 2:6-16.
Now this ought to make you rejoice. There is a most peculiar doctrine in the air that is causing much misunderstanding and hard feelings. For when the Pentecostals say you MUST speak in tongues or you haven't been baptized with the Holy Ghost, they are either denying that great men like Knox, Moody, Taylor, Goforth and others did not receive the Holy Ghost, or saying that they all secretly spoke in tongues and were not aware of what was going on. Now that is not true. No sir. That is gross error. Tongues are not the evidence of being Spirit-filled. It is simply one of the nine manifestations mentioned in I Corinthians 12. There is no Scripture that says you receive the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues or that you receive the Holy Spirit by speaking in tongues. But it does say that "After they were all filled with the Holy Ghost they spake in tongues," and later on it says that they prophesied.
Today amongst many folks it is taken for granted that all who claim to receive the Holy Ghost by speaking in tongues speak in a genuine Spiritual tongue. But this is not so for many people speak in a known tongue but under the influence of a wrong spirit. Now let's say we are in a meeting and people are all speaking in tongues. How can you know which tongue is from the Spirit and which is from the devil? I have been amongst the heathen where their wizards drank blood out of a skull, spoke in tongues and interpreted and prophesied. They can even write in tongues. Now if tongues is THE evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost, then every tongue would have to be of God. But it has been admitted by tongues evidence people that there are false and true tongues for God has the genuine and Satan has the false. So my question is, "Who knows what is real? Who understood the language to know what was spoken? Who has the gift of discernment to know?" Now when we get those answers we will have something to go on, but until then, we have to wonder about the source of the tongues. You can see right now that if you back up a tongues evidence and don't know what is being said, you have to finally come to the place where all tongues have to be of God. That would lead us then to believe that the devil cannot speak in tongues. That is not so; no, not for a minute. Any true missionary on a foreign field knows only too well that devils speak in other tongues, the same as I know it by experience.
Pentecostal theologians admit that they have no Scripture setting forth that people speak with tongues when baptized by the Holy Ghost. They admit that they infer it from the experiences set forth in the Book of Acts wherein three out of five times the people spoke with tongues. And they also say without any Scripture that there are two kinds of tongues. One is the tongue you speak in while receiving the Holy Ghost and it is the 'evidence', while later on if you believe, you can receive the gift of tongues whereby you may speak often. However, they say, once having spoken in tongues as the evidence of receiving, you may never speak again. Once more we are anxious to know where this is found in the Word. If it isn't there, then God hath not spoken it and woe unto him who would add to that Word. But there is something in the Word about this very subject that they ignore completely. I Corinthians 13. It mentions tongues of men and angels. These would be known and unknown tongues. Modern Pentecostals say that they can receive the Holy Ghost speaking in unknown or angelic tongues. They have the cart before the horse, for in Acts 2 the people spoke in a perfect dialect which even unbelievers heard and understood.
Now when God is silent we had better be silent. But where He has spoken we had better speak, too, and say what He has already said. He told us the evidence, or what would happen after being baptized with the Holy Ghost was that we would have the Teacher come and teach all truth. But that Teacher was an INSIDE teacher, not an outside teacher. If the Spirit wasn't inside, you wouldn't hear the truth and receive it by revelation if you heard it every moment of the day. That was the sign of the indwelling Spirit in the days of Paul. Those who were filled with the Holy Ghost heard the Word, received it and lived by it. Those who did not have the Spirit heard it only as carnal men, put a wrong interpretation on it and went into sin.
In every age, (and every age is the age of the Holy Ghost for the true believer) - I say, in every age the evidence was the same. Those who had the Spirit, the Teacher, heard the Word, and that Spirit in them took the Word and taught it (revealed it) to them; and they were of the group that heard the messenger and his message and took it and lived it.
I know it is a great temptation to refer back to the day of Pentecost and also to the day when the Holy Ghost fell in the house of Cornelius and then set those two identical experiences as the evidence of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. But on each occasion the tongues were understood by the listeners. This is a far cry from the modern babel of confusion of Pentecostal meetings. And if this were not enough to persuade us to leave off such reasoning, what will we do when we are confronted with the fact that people who have never spoken in tongues have some of the other eight manifestations in their lives, such as word of wisdom, the discerning of spirits, a word of knowledge, faith, healing and even miracles? And this observation is even more interesting in the light that tongues is the least of the nine gifts; so when we see people who do not, nor ever have spoken in tongues, use greater gifts than those who do speak in tongues, we must discount such a doctrine even more completely than before.
So you can see now, that we can not afford to say what the Bible has not said. When Scripture teaches us that the work of the Holy Spirit, and the manifestation of that Blessed Person is to bring the truth of each age to the true seed of that age, then we know that the Spirit has to be abiding in the person or he cannot receive the truth for that time. Amen. That is exactly correct. And if these ages bring out anything, they surely bring and bear out this truth.
Now before we leave this subject I want to make myself very clear on what the Baptism with the Holy Ghost is according to the Word. It is not according to me, and it is not according to you. It has to be according to "Thus saith the Lord," or we are falsely led. Amen.
To begin with you will notice that in my meetings when I have finished preaching an evangelistic service, or some teaching message, I cast the net and invite a response from the people. I ask them to come forward and receive the Holy Spirit. My Pentecostal friends, upon hearing me say this believe that I am inviting people to come forward to be baptized with the Holy Ghost because they are already born again. So when I invite those who are Spirit-filled to come and deal with those who have answered the invitation to receive the Spirit, these dear ones surge forward and deal with the people in such manner as to encourage them to yield to God and believe to speak in tongues. This has caused a great deal of confusion and I want to tell you exactly what I mean. I mean for the sinner to come forward and be born again, which is to be baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Ghost which is exactly what took place at Pentecost when the church was launched. In other words, to be born of the Spirit is to be truly baptized with the Holy Ghost. It is one and the same.
Now I realize that it is going to be confusing for a moment here, as most people know that I was ordained a Baptist preacher and I have steadfastly declared that the Baptists have missed it for saying you receive the Holy Ghost WHEN you believe, for that is not so. You receive Him "SINCE you believed." Acts 19:2-6. "He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him Which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came upon them: and they spake with tongues, and prophesied." There it is. Paul asked, "Have you received SINCE, NOT WHEN you believed." And there is a great difference there, for it is AFTER we believe that we receive. Ephesians 1:13 is an exact word repeat of what happened in Ephesus according to Acts 19, "In Whom ye also trusted, AFTER that ye heard the Word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in Whom also AFTER that ye believed (not when ye believed), ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." Now here is my point. Too many of our modernists and even our fundamentalists (so-called) believe unto salvation at a certain specific time which in many cases is called "making a decision," and that has been called receiving Christ or being born again. Now to receive Christ is to receive His Spirit. To receive His Spirit is to be born again. To receive His Spirit is to be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Amen. These folks believe. That is wonderful. But they stop there. You receive the Holy Ghost AFTER you believe. It has always been that way and always will be. The very first word of direction to the people was by Peter at Pentecost and he said, "Repent and be baptized everyone of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you 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."
These directions came as a direct answer from Peter relative to what had actually happened at Pentecost. What came to pass was that God according to Joel was pouring out the promised Holy Spirit upon all flesh. He was not poured out before that time or given before that time. This was it. But THIS was to come from now on by repenting, being baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and then God was duty bound to fill the ones who came. Peter, or any of the apostles never said, "Ye must be born again, and then filled with the Spirit."
That this is the pattern of experience relative to receiving the Holy Spirit, note carefully the very next time that the Spirit fell upon a people. Acts 8:5-17, "Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain man, called Simon, which before-time in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the Name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also; and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet He was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. According to verse 12, THEY BELIEVED THE WORD. They were then baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus. But according to verse 16, in spite of all that, they had STILL NOT RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT. It was only AFTER believing and being baptized correctly that they received the Holy Ghost. That is the exact pattern as set forth by Peter in Acts 2:38-39.
Another Scripture that casts wondrous light on this is found in Galatians 3:13-14, "Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that (in order that) we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." Now by no means can it be said that the "blessing of Abraham" is the rebirth, and that the "promise of the Spirit" is the Baptism with the Holy Ghost as two separate events. For the Scripture reads thus: "Jesus died on the cross, and by means of that death and resurrection, the blessing of Abraham came on the Gentiles, leaving the Jews. This transpired in order that the Spirit might become available to the Gentiles."
To understand what I have just said is to clear up why students have never ever found Paul saying at any time, "Be born again and THEN be Spirit-filled." They have inferred it is there, and they have put their own meanings to make it say it, BUT SCRIPTURE DOES NOT SAY THAT. Jesus never said it either. Look at John 7:37-39, and read it now with understanding. "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the SPIRIT, Which they that believe on Him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given: because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)" Now it says here distinctly and emphatically that the believer upon drinking by coming unto Jesus in faith would have rivers of living waters pouring out of him. And it places this experience at Pentecost. Now keeping this thought in mind we read John 4: 10 & 14, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and Who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." This same living water is mentioned, but this time it is not called a river; it is called an artesian well. There is where the people make their mistake. Because it is called a well and a river, they think that in one place it is eternal life given by the Spirit and in the next place where it is called a river (implying a great dynamism) it has to be the Spirit now given as an enduement of power. Not so. It is one and the same. It is the Spirit that gives life and power, and that came at Pentecost.
What is it that caused this misunderstanding? The answer is, "EXPERIENCE". We have gone by experience and not the Word. Away with experience as your measuring line. There is only one plumb line, only one rod, and that is the WORD. Now watch carefully and get this. Peter said, "Repent and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Paul said, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost SINCE ye believed?" This is the whole of our problem right here. People repent of their sins, they get baptized in water, BUT THEY DON'T GO ON AND RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST. YOU BELIEVE UNTO RECEIVING THE SPIRIT. Believing on Jesus is the step in the right direction which is toward the Holy Ghost. But the people stop there. They go as far as water and then stop. They believe, and then stop. The Bible does not say that you receive WHEN you believe. It is, "Have you received the Holy Ghost SINCE you believed?" The exact and literal translation is: "Did ye, having previously believed, receive the Holy Ghost?" The people believe and then stop. You don't receive the Holy Ghost when you believe UNTO Him, having repented. You go on and receive the Holy Ghost. Do you see it? That is what is wrong with our fundamentalists. They have no power for they stop short of Pentecost.
They are like the children of Israel who came out of Egypt and stopped short of the Promised Land. Now those children of Israel left Egypt about two million strong. They all journeyed together, all saw the same miracles of God, all partook of the same manna and water from the smitten rock, all followed the same cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night but ONLY TWO reached the Promised Land. ONLY TWO WERE TRUE OR REAL BELIEVERS. That is correct because the Word tells us that the rest died because of unbelief; and because of unbelief they could not enter in (Hebrews 3:19). Then since that is so, and only TWO ENTERED, then the rest were not true believers. What made the difference? Two stayed with the Word. When the hearts of the ten spies failed at Kadesh Barnea, Joshua and Caleb did not stagger for they believed the Word and said, "We are more than able to take the land." They knew they could because God had said, "I have given you the land." After all those Israelites saw of the power and goodness and deliverance of God they did not enter into rest, which is a type of the Holy Ghost. So you can see right now that very few will ever believe all the way to receiving the Spirit of God.
Alright, we have come this far. Now I want to go further, and when I do I know I am going to cause some emotions to rise. But that is something I am not responsible for. I am responsible to God and His Word and the people God has sent me to. I have to be faithful in all He gives me to say.
In John 6:37 & 44 it says, "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to me; and him that cometh to Me I shall in no wise cast out. No man can come to Me except the Father draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." John 1:12-13, "But as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, BUT OF GOD." Ephesians 1:4-5, "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him. In love having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will." Now without getting too involved in the subject of the sovereignty of God (for that would take a book in itself) let me point out here that according to these verses, Jesus Christ is choosing His own bride just the same as men choose their brides today. The bride today does not simply decide she is going to take a certain man for a husband. No sir. It is the groom who decides and chooses a certain woman for his bride. (John 15:16, "Ye have not chosen Me; but I have chosen you.") Now according to the Word of God, the bride was chosen before the foundation of the world. This choosing of the bride was purposed in Himself. Ephesians 1:9. And in Romans 9:11 it says "That the purpose of God according to election might stand." You can't read it any other way. The heart purpose, the eternal purpose of God was to take a bride of His OWN choosing, and that purpose was in Himself, and being eternal was decreed before the foundation of the world.
Watch carefully now and see this. Before there was ever a speck of star dust; before God was God (God is an object of adoration and no one was there to worship Him, so He was at that time only potentially God.) and He was known only as eternal Spirit, the bride was already in His mind. Yes, she was. She was existing in His thoughts. And what about those thoughts of God? They are eternal, are they not?
The eternal thoughts of God! Let me ask you, "Are the thoughts of God eternal?" If you can see this, you will see many things. God is unchangeable in both essence and behavior. We have studied that and proven that already. God is infinite in His abilities so therefore He as God must be omniscient. If He is omniscient, then He is not now learning, nor is He taking counsel even with Himself, nor is He at any time adding to His knowledge. If He can add to His knowledge, then He is not omniscient. The best we could say is that sometime He will be. But that is not Scriptural. He IS omniscient. He has never had a new thought about anything because all His thoughts He has always had and always will have, and knows the end from the beginning because He is God. THUS THE THOUGHTS OF GOD ARE ETERNAL. THEY ARE REAL. They are not simply like a man with a blueprint he has drawn up and which one day will be translated into substance and form, but they are already real and eternal, and part of God.
See how this works. God always had His thoughts for Adam. Adam, as His thoughts, was yet unexpressed. Psalms 139:15-16 will give you a little idea of this, "My substance was not hid from Thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being un-perfect; and in Thy book were all my members written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them." That, as I said, was not written about Adam but it gives you the idea and knowledge that the thought was there in His mind, and that thought was eternal and had to be expressed. So when Adam was formed of the dust of the earth and his spiritual being created by God, then Adam became God's thought expressed, and those eternal thoughts were now manifested.
Down through the centuries we could go. We find a Moses, a Jeremiah, a John the Baptist, and each one of these were God's eternal thought expressed in its season. Then we come to Jesus the LOGOS. He was the perfect and complete THOUGHT expressed and He became known as the Word. That is what He IS, and forever WILL BE.
Now it says that "He hath chosen us IN HIM (Jesus) before the foundation of the world." That means that we were right there WITH Him in the mind and thoughts of God before the foundation of the world. That gives an ETERNAL quality to the elect. You can't get away from that.
Let me inject a thought in here. Even our natural birth is based upon election. The female ovaries produce many, many eggs. But why is it that at a certain time a certain egg comes down and not another one? And then amongst the male sperm, for no known reason a certain germ attaches itself to the egg while others that could have just as easily attached themselves, or had a better opportunity to do so did not do so and perished. There is an intelligence behind all this, otherwise what determines whether the baby is a boy or girl, blond or brunette, light or dark type of eyes, etc. With these thoughts in mind think about Joshua and Caleb. Did not Jesus say in John 6:49 "Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead?" Those parents that died were necessary as the forefathers of the people to whom Jesus was speaking. They perished, yet they were in the election of God naturally as Joshua and Caleb were Spiritually.
But to go on. These elect were not only the eternal thoughts of God which were to be expressed in flesh in their due season, but these same elect are called by another name. Romans 4:16. "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all." Romans 9:7-13, "Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, in Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebekah had also conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him That calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated." Galatians 3:16, "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." Galatians 3:29, "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise." According to Romans 4:16 we find that God has given a Sure Promise to ALL of Abraham's seed, and Paul puts himself and all believers under that designation because he says "Abraham who is the father of us ALL." Then he goes on to not only narrow down his definition, but rather to finalize it for in Galatians 3 he identified the SEED (singular) with Jesus, and counted "the seed children" as children of promise, and promise as having to do with "election", or "the choosing of God". And that is exactly what we have been saying. These who are of the Royal Seed are the elect of God; are the predestinated, fore-known of God, and were in the mind of God and His thoughts. In very plain language the True Bride of Christ was in the mind of God eternally, though not expressed until each came forth in the designated, decreed season. As each member came forth it became EXPRESSED and took its place in the body. Thus this bride is the literal SPOKEN WORD SEED BRIDE. And though she is feminine in designation she is also called the "body of Christ". It is very apparent that she ought to be called that for she was predestinated in Him, came from the same source, was eternal with Him, and is now manifesting God in a many membered body whereas once God was manifested in ONE MEMBER, even our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now then, here we are coming to a conclusion. As the eternal Logos (God) was manifest in the Son, and in Jesus dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and that Eternal One was the Father manifest in flesh, and thereby gained the title of Son, even so we, eternal in His thoughts in our turn became the many membered Spoken Word Seed, manifest in flesh, and those eternal thoughts now manifest in flesh are the sons of God, even as we are so called. WE DID NOT BECOME SEED BY THE REBIRTH, WE WERE SEED AND THEREFORE WERE REBORN FOR ONLY THE ELECT CAN BE REBORN. Because we WERE SEED is the reason we could be quickened. In NON-SEED there is nothing to quicken.
Hold this carefully in mind. Now take the next step. Redeem means to buy back. It restores to the original owner. God, by His death, the shed blood BOUGHT BACK HIS OWN. He bought back the Spoken Word Seed Bride. "My sheep hear My voice (Word) and they follow Me." You always were a sheep. You never were a pig or a dog turned into a sheep. That is impossible for every kind of life produces the same kind and there is no change in specie. As we were in the thoughts of God and then expressed in flesh, there had to come a day when we would hear His voice (the Word), and hearing that voice become aware of our Father calling us, and recognize that we are the sons of God. We heard His voice and we cried out as did the prodigal son, "Save me, Oh, my Father. I am returning to Thee."
A son of God can go a long time before he recognizes that he is a son. In fact a lot of true Christians are like the story of the baby eagle that was hatched out under a hen. You know that the eagle is a type of the true believer. Well, a farmer took an egg from an eagle's nest and he placed it under a hen. In due time all the eggs under the hen hatched out. The baby chicks got along fine with the mother hen but that little eagle could not figure out the clucking and scratching for food in the manure pile. He managed to make a living but he was pretty confused about it all. But one day, from way up in the air the mother eagle that had laid the egg spied that little eagle on the ground. She swooped down with tremendous speed and screamed at the top of her voice for him to fly up to meet her. He had never heard an eagle cry, but when he heard that first scream something in him stirred and he longed to launch out toward it. But he was afraid to try. Again that mother screamed for him to arise in the wind and follow her. He screamed back that he was afraid. Once more she called out, screaming that he try. Beating his wings he hurled himself into the air, and answering the cry of his mother, he soared off into the blue skies. You see he always was an eagle. He acted like a chicken for a little while but he could not be satisfied. But when he heard the call of the great eagle he came to his own place. And once a true son of God hears the cry of the Spirit by the Word, he too, will realize who he is and run to the Great Prophet Eagle and be with Him forever seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
NOW COMES OUR TRIUMPHAL CAPSTONE on the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. Galatians 4:4-7, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." There it is. Jesus Christ came forth, died upon the cross, and accomplished Redemption (restoring to original owner by means of purchase, or paying the price) and thereby PLACED US AS SONS. He did not make us sons, for we were already His sons, but He placed us as sons; for as long as we were in the world, in the flesh, we could not be recognized as His sons. We were held captive by the devil. But we were sons, nonetheless. And hear this: AND BECAUSE YE ARE SONS, GOD HATH SENT FORTH THE SPIRIT OF HIS SON INTO YOUR HEARTS WHEREBY YOU CRY, FATHER, FATHER." Upon whom did the Spirit fall at Pentecost? Sons. At Corinth? Upon Sons while they HEARD THE WORD.
What is the Baptism with the Holy Ghost? It is the Spirit Baptizing you into the body of Christ. It is the new birth. It is the Spirit of God coming in and filling you after you have repented, (having heard His Word) and been baptized in water as an answer of a good conscience toward God.
What we have just set forth would be much easier for all to understand if all believed the doctrine of the oneness of the Godhead. For there are not three persons in that Godhead but ONE. Thus we are NOT born again by the Spirit of Life of Jesus coming in, and then subsequent to that the Holy Spirit coming in to give us power. If that were true, why are we dishonoring the Father by not giving Him a part in our complete salvation, for if salvation is of the Lord and there are three Lords, then HE (Father) must have something to do, too. But surely it can be seen that Jesus made this very clear that it was He and He alone Who is God and it is He and He alone Who is coming into the believer. John 14:16 says that the Father will send another Comforter. But verse 17 says that He (Jesus) dwelleth with them and should be IN them later. In verse 18 He says He will come to them. In verse 23 in speaking to the disciples He said, "We (Father and Son) will come unto him." Thus it is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost all coming in at the one time for IT IS ONE PERSON comprising the Godhead. That advent took place at Pentecost. There aren't two comings of the Spirit, just one. The trouble is that people don't know the real truth, and they simply believe in Jesus for remission of sin but never go on to receive the Spirit.
Before I close this subject, I know there is a question in your minds. You will want to know if I believe in the doctrine of pre-existence. I don't believe in that Mormon doctrine of the pre-existence of souls any more than I believe in reincarnation or the transmigration of souls. Be careful here and see this. It is not the person that comes predestinated eternally from God, IT IS THE WORD, OR SEED. That is it. Way back there, too far back for the human mind to grasp, the Eternal God with eternal thoughts, thought and decreed, "JACOB HAVE I LOVED, BUT ESAU HAVE I HATED, (Romans 9:13) AND NEITHER WAS BORN, AND NEITHER HAD DONE GOOD OR EVIL." See, it was the THOUGHT, and then that thought became expressed, and God bought back Jacob, because Jacob alone was SEED. Jacob, alone had the seed; that is why he had respect to the birthright and covenant of God. If you are true seed, you will hear that Word; the Spirit will baptize you into the body of Christ, filling you and empowering you, and you will receive the Word for your day and age. See how clear the true evidence becomes when the Word is revealed to you? Again, note, Jesus was the Royal Seed. He lived in a human body. When the Spirit called to Him (the Word-Manifested Thought), He went to Jordan and was there baptized in water. Upon obeying the Word, the Holy Spirit came upon Him and the voice said, "This is My beloved Son, hear ye Him." The voice did not say, "This has become My Son," Jesus WAS the Son. The Holy Ghost positioned Him as that Son before them all. Then having been filled thus (and the same pattern holds at Pentecost and ever after), He went in demonstrated power, receiving the full revelation of God and from God, for that day.
Now we have been constantly saying that the true evidence of being baptized with the Holy Ghost is for the believer to receive the Word for the age in which he lives. Let me show you most clearly.
The Seven Ages as set forth in Revelation Chapters 2 & 3 take in the whole span of the Fullness of the Gentiles, or the whole time in which God is dealing with the Gentiles unto salvation. In every single age, bar none, it says the very same thing in opening and closing the message to each age. "Unto the messenger of (Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea) write; These things saith He, etc., etc. "... He that hath an ear, let him (singular) hear what the Spirit saith to the churches." Notice here that Jesus (by the Spirit) in EVERY age addresses Himself to ONLY ONE person relative to the Word for that age. Only ONE messenger for each age receives what the Spirit has to say to that age, and that ONE MESSENGER is the messenger to the true church. He speaks for God by revelation to the "churches", both true and false. The message is then broadcast to all. But though it is broadcast for all who come within range of the message, that message is received individually by only a certain qualified group in a certain way. Each individual of that group is one who has the ability to hear what the Spirit is saying by way of the messenger. Those who hear are not getting their own private revelation, nor is a group getting their collective revelation, BUT EACH PERSON IS HEARING AND RECEIVING WHAT THE MESSENGER HAS ALREADY RECEIVED FROM GOD.
Now think it not strange that this is the case, for Paul set this pattern under the hand of God. Paul alone had the full revelation for his day as evidenced by his confrontation of the other apostles who admitted that Paul was the Prophet-Messenger to the Gentiles for that day. And also note by actual illustration in the Word, that when Paul desired to go to Asia, God forbade him, for the sheep (His children) were in Macedonia and they (the Macedonians) would hear what the Spirit had to say through Paul, while the people in Asia would not.
In every age we have exactly the same pattern. That is why the light comes through some God-given messenger in a certain area, and then from that messenger there spreads the light through the ministry of others who have been faithfully taught. But of course all those who go out don't always learn how necessary it is to speak ONLY what the messenger has spoken. (Remember, Paul warned the people to say only what he said, I Corinthians 14:37, "If any man think himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD. What? came the Word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?") They add here, or take away there, and soon the message is no longer pure, and the revival dies down. How careful we must be to hear ONE voice, for the Spirit has but one voice which is the voice of God. Paul warned them to say what he said, even as Peter did likewise. He warned them that EVEN HE (PAUL) could not change one word of what he had given by revelation. Oh, how important it is to hear the voice of God by way of His messengers, and then say what has been given them to say to the churches.
I hope you are beginning to see it now. Perhaps you can understand now why I don't hold with the fundamentalists and the Pentecostals. I have to hold to the Word the way the Lord revealed it. Now I did not cover it all. That would take a separate book, but by the help of the Lord we will get many sermons and tapes and messages on all of these points to help you to understand and dovetail all Scripture.
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches of each age." In every age it was the same cry. Hear what the Spirit says. If you are a Christian, you will get back to what the Spirit is teaching, that is, the Word of this age. Every messenger to every age will preach that Word. Every fresh and true revival will be because men have gotten back to the Word for their age. The cry of every age is the rebuke, "You have left the Word of God. Repent, and come back to the Word." From the first book in the Bible (Genesis) to the last book (Revelation) there is only one reason for God's displeasure, leaving the Word; and there is only one remedy to regain His favor - back to the Word.
In the Ephesian Age, and in this age, and in every age we contemplate we will see that this is true. And in the last age which is our age, we will find the blackout of the Word, the complete apostasy ending in the great tribulation.
If you are true seed, if you are truly baptized with the Holy Ghost you will esteem His Word above your necessary meat, and yearn to live by EVERY Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
This is my earnest prayer for all of us; may we hear what the Spirit is bringing from the Word for us today.
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