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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Were the disciples born again before or after Pentecost?

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Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

Question for RobertW & Approved

We read in Acts that almost every time (apart from Cornelius' houshold) people we baptised in water BEFORE receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. Now we understand that water baptism in the name of Christ is an identification and recognition of the fact that we are united with Christ into His death and also into His resurected life. Therefore it would not make sense for anyone to be baptised in water if they had not already be born again of the Spirit and come into this reality.

So my question is when do you think believers should be baptised, on believing or after receiving the Spirit?

I do think there is a confusion being made between the indwelling Spirit that all who believe receive and the 'baptism of the Spirit' for empowerment for witness.

Very shortly after Pentecost when they were all 'filled with the Spirit' you find the disciples being 'filled withthe Spirit' again (Acts 4:31). It is very similar to Pentecost and for what purpose? To have boldness to Witness!


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Dave

 2012/10/28 13:15Profile
ADisciple
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Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada

 Re:

Things are flying thick and fast on this thread, but I thought I would highlight a portion of the article by Ron Bailey that RobertW posted a couple of pages back.

QUOTE from the article:

"When Peter justified his entering into Cornelius' house he did so in terms of the Holy Spirit's leading. He went on to justify Cornelius' experience by using the language of 'baptism in Spirit'; And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. (Act 11:15­16 KJV) This is a rich passage; it includes:

1. the sense of suddenness; the Holy Spirit fell on them

2. a tie into their own unquestionable experience in Acts 2; as on us at the beginning

3. the identification of this experience with the phrase 'baptism in Spirit'. This is clearly a repeat of Acts 2 but without the wind and fire. The language used to describe the narrative is very wide." END OF QUOTE

My own comment now: This clearly shows that Peter saw the experience of Acts 2:1-4 as the fulfillment of John the Baptist's prophecy about Christ baptizing in the Holy Spirit. Whatever the significance of John 20:22 (at which time, by the way, Thomas was not present), Peter calls the Acts experience "the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 11:17). And so it has to be this, in my opinion, that fulfills Jesus' words, "...He dwelleth WITH you, and shall be IN you" (Jn. 14.18).

Allan


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Allan Halton

 2012/10/28 13:51Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Heydave,

Quote:
So my question is when do you think believers should be baptised, on believing or after receiving the Spirit?



My view of water baptism is that it is a public declaration of faith, obedience and submission to God, pointing either forward or backwards to the One Baptism into Christ by the Spirit.

Sometimes folks are water baptized and then receive the Spirit and sometimes God has fallen on folks and they received the Spirit and were water baptized later. I have also heard of people receiving the Spirit at the same time they were water baptized. I see it as an act of obedience to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus did not need to be baptized, but He did so because it was a pattern God was establishing for everyone to follow, as a public act of submission and obedience to God.

If a person knows something is God's will and will not do it then I question any experience that a person may have had or allegedly had. Just my take on it. Here is an example:

Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
(Acts 8:35-38)

Here the eunuch is chomping at the bit to obey God. This is faith. He believes God in a way that God can believe him. A lot of experiences a Christian have are just that, experiences. But the key to everything is a willingness to obey God. A person can say they received the Spirit, but that may or may not be true no matter what manifestation of evidence happens. So I see water baptism of an act of faith authenticating a persons willingness to obey God publicly. Blessings.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2012/10/28 17:39Profile
murrcolr
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Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1529
Scotland, UK

 Re:

Quote: When we give ourselves over to Jesus Christ by faith the blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed us from all unrighteousness and we have been justified before God as righteous but we are not born again, nor are we in the Kingdom of God. We have been forgiven and cleansed and now the vessel is ready to be born again from above, or to be immersed into the Holy Ghost.

Well by what you’re saying above I see two different blessings, justification and sanctification, however I wouldn’t agree with you that we are not born again when we are justified.

Quote: If we call the Holy Ghost the "Second Blessing", than so be it, but lets not look at it as something that is an option, but something that we should not only want but need.

That correct it has been described by many different names over the years, but the most important thing is that it should be considered as something we need.

Quote: I am thinking of the Children of Israel in Egypt. It was there that the blood was put on the lintels over the door. Remember they were in Egypt which represents the old man Adam, they had not yet stepped over to where God wanted them to be. Old things have not yet passed away for they were still under the bondage of their masters. Yet in the midst of that God covers them with the blood of a lamb. Egypt represents unregenerate man.

We should also consider is that when Israel came out of Egypt they didn’t directly go into the Promised Land they went into the wilderness.

While Israel was in the Wilderness we find that Egypt remained in Israel.

They wanted The Safety Of Egypt - Ex. 14:10-11 They wanted the Supplies Of Egypt - Ex. 16:2-3; Ex. 17:3; Num. 20:4 They wanted the Spirits Of Egypt - Ex. 32:1-8 They wanted the Stability Of Egypt - Num. 21:4-5 They Despised Their Savior From Egypt - Deut. 1:27

There hearts wanted Egypt, there minds wanted Egypt they remained one with Egypt. Israel’s failure was that they didn’t put off their former way of life they there were Egyptian by nature. There old Egyptian nature was not put to death…

Israel in there time of testing in the wilderness harden there hearts and rebelled against God Heb 3:8 and God swore that they wouldn’t enter into his rest. Heb 3:18 The writer to the Hebrews exhorts his readers to “enter in” to the Sabbath rest provided by Christ.

The writer also begs us not to make the same mistake by rejecting God’s Sabbath rest in Jesus Christ. “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience” Heb 4:9-11


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Colin Murray

 2012/10/28 17:51Profile
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

RobertW wrote: "Sometimes folks are water baptized and then receive the Spirit and sometimes God has fallen on folks and they received the Spirit and were water baptized later. I have also heard of people receiving the Spirit at the same time they were water baptized. I see it as an act of obedience to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus did not need to be baptized, but He did so because it was a pattern God was establishing for everyone to follow, as a public act of submission and obedience to God."

Robert, I would agree with this if we define the 'comming upon of the Spirit' as endument with power (as per Acts 1:8). However the point I am pressing to understand is that you are saying that this 'coming on of the Spirit' is the point that someone is 'born again' and baptised into Christ. If this is the case then the act of water baptism would not make sense for someone for who is not born again. Are you advocating that unregenerate people should be baptised in water?

Maybe I am not understaning your position here. Do you think it is enevitable that someone who is justified by faith WILL come into regeneration by the Spirit, or do you think that there are some who are only justified, but never get born again? If so what position do they have in God's plan? I don't see two groups (or classes) of believers in heaven. Please clarify. Thanks.


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Dave

 2012/10/29 5:34Profile
RobertW
Member



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Heydave,

Quote:
you advocating that unregenerate people should be baptised in water?



Again, keep in mind that there are only two passages in the NT that use the term 'regeneration', which I dealt with earlier. What I advocate is that all sinners:

1.Repent and believe the Gospel
2.Be baptized (baptised) in water
3.Receive the Holy Spirit (as a conscious experience)

This is the pattern in acts although 2 and 3 may be reversed.

Quote:
Maybe I am not understaning your position here. Do you think it is enevitable that someone who is justified by faith WILL come into regeneration by the Spirit, or do you think that there are some who are only justified, but never get born again? If so what position do they have in God's plan? I don't see two groups (or classes) of believers in heaven. Please clarify. Thanks.



These are common concerns that I have wrestled with over the years. Let me first say that 'saying' a person is regenerated or creating a doctrinal construct, based on logical deductions and proof texts, is not the solution here. Either a person is truly regenerated or they are not. My theology cannot change what they really are one way or the other.

And I have known a great many people that have named the name of Christ and had no appetite for God, no real fruit unto holiness in their life, etc. They may have prayed a prayer, etc. and they may believe all the tenants of the faith, but there are no real MARKS of the New Birth. Some teachers/preachers will then proceed to try and disciple these folks by imposing institutional law upon them, but that institutional law (biblical principals, etc.) is contrary to their constitutional nature. Like sending my pet dog Zook to obedience school, it may make him act more civilized, but at certain times (such as when he sees a cat) his constitutional nature is going to override the institutional laws I have imposed on him. This is why I tell people all the time (and get lots of funny looks) that you cannot TEACH a person to be a Christian.

So what do we do? We have whole movements that try to isolate themselves and their families to create a mini-culture that will foster what I just mentioned. but this is no substitute for a person truly being transformed by the Spirit into a New Creature in which God changes the ESSENTIAL NATURE of a person. I refuse to let people think they are born again that are moving in some lesser thing. It may make everyone comfortable, but it does not fulfill God's purposes.

We have people argue all the time trying to make excuses for their carnal behavior. They say, "the sin-nature got up out of bed before the spiritual man today", so they acted like the devil all morning. I do not believe in schizophrenic Saints. I am not saying that discourage anyone, I just don't believe in it. Paul said, "we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit if so be that the Spirit dwells in us." A person cannot be in Adam and in Christ at the same time. But there are many people walking around and this is their exact experience. they are 'born again of a decision' as L. Ravenhill would say. And they are high maintenance, low impact 'believers'.

So what we are really asking here is, "is God going to save the people that have 'believed' and 'asked for forgiveness', etc., but that never come into an experience where they could say that they have 'begun in the Spirit' (Galatians 3:3). A baby may be born and have to grow up, but all the parts are there from birth under normal conditions. Nothing is born by parts. I don't believe in evolutional regeneration. A sinner does not slowly evolve over years into a Saint. When something is born it's all there, nothing lacking. When God comes in He transforms and cleanses the House into a place that He can dwell and be "at home in you". I cannot settle for some lesser thing when God has revealed in His word His design.

So I refuse to 'advocate' anything less than what God wants in man. I'm not going to call a sinner a Saint (regenerated) because they believed a few points of doctrine and can recite the apostles creed or something. This is why I see baptism in water as a real test. I have known of people to say the sinners prayer and then when offered baptism say, "not now, maybe some other time" or they simply don't sign up for it when the day comes. They don't intend on obeying, therefore I do not see them as justified by faith, much less regenerated.

So I see genuine repentance and faith as essential to justification. Some would call this being 'born again', but I see this as conversion. As in, repent ye therefore and be CONVERTED that your sins may be blotted out. I then see the next step as the "times of refreshing coming by the Spirit of God." A person may be converted and truly trying to serve Christ and fall right here into the TRAP of legalism. They may join a sect or impose on themselves a trillion laws to hem themselves in to want to do right. They work hard trying to 'put on' fruit, like a person would decorate a Christmas Tree, but it is not natural. Their 'fruit' is a 'learned behavior' that runs contrary to what they really want to do. I believe the regenerate bear the fruit of the Spirit as naturally as a sinner yields thorns and briars. If I go in the back yard I don't see the hedge ball tree straining to produce vicious thorns and hedge apples. Nor should a true child of God have to 'strain' to produce fruit unto holiness (love, etc.).

So I am saying that I believe that there are converted people that are in the process of really seeking God to do His will and they are 'justified by faith.' If they go on with God at some point they will receive that which their soul longs for. God will make it happen. But what about the people that reach out on their death-bed? I am particularly keen on this subject because one of the ministries God has stewarded me with is to the elderly. It is my view that if a person reaches out to God in genuine repentance and faith (as did the thief on the cross) then they are justified by faith and God will perfect that which is lacking in them in Heaven. We are not saved by sanctification, but by grace through faith.

Some would call what I am calling 'conversion' being born again. They will then suggest that the second blessing in Acts 2 is for power for service. I am not here to argue that point. I am simply trying to focus on what the scripture reveals without imposing theological concepts that are geared very often to favor man then to reveal God's perfect will, upon what is designed in the New Covenant. God has done a marvelous thing and given us exceeding and great and precious promises, whereby we can be partakers of the Divine Nature. Not a bunch of self-imposed rules, but Christ in you the hope of glory. if a person has truly 'begun in the Spirit', are no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit, are yielding the fruit of the Spirit unto holiness in a genuine way, are being led by the Spirit so as to be the sons of God, then however they got to that point is immaterial to me. If God wants to spin the thing around and do a 3,2,1 or 2,1,3, or 3,1,2 I really don't mind at all. But I believe that we need all of them in order to have the reality God wants for us. He is moving man to a place where He would not be ashamed to call us His brethren. That is a very powerful, sobering and glorious thought. Hope that helps. Blessings.




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Robert Wurtz II

 2012/10/29 7:07Profile
Croref
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Joined: 2008/3/18
Posts: 334


 Re:



After Obedience - What?

"And straightway He constrained His disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side… ."
Mark 6:45-52

We are apt to imagine that if Jesus Christ constrains us, and we obey Him, He will lead us to great success. We must never put our dreams of success as God's purpose for us; His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal; He is not. The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident. What we call the process, God calls the end.

What is my dream of God's purpose? His purpose is that I depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay in the middle of the turmoil calm and unperplexed, that is the end of the purpose of God. God is not working towards a particular finish; His end is the process - that I see Him walking on the waves, no shore in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea. It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.

God's training is for now, not presently. His purpose is for this minute, not for something in the future. We have nothing to do with the afterwards of obedience; we get wrong when we think of the afterwards. What men call training and preparation, God calls the end.

God's end is to enable me to see that He can walk on the chaos of my life just now. If we have a further end in view, we do not pay sufficient attention to the immediate present: if we realize that obedience is the end, then each moment as it comes is precious. . . . . . Oswald Chambers

 2012/10/29 8:43Profile
Heydave
Member



Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

Hi Robert,

I really appreciate that you took time to clarify your thoughts on this. I understand much better what you are saying. I wholeheartedly agree with the points you made about the difference between coming into a realisation of justification and being born again and the new life we have in Christ. It's the whole package God planned and wants for all of us. I suppose I would probably see it more that it is more to do with a lack of teaching or understanding about the resurection life rather than not having it, but I cannot be dogmatic about that, as we do not know the heart of men.

What is important is that we make sure each individually that we know we are born of God. As Paul says in 2 Cor 13:5 "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"


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Dave

 2012/10/29 9:10Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Heydave,

Quote:
What is important is that we make sure each individually that we know we are born of God. As Paul says in 2 Cor 13:5 "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"



Contextually Paul is here speaking about the matter of Christ speaking through them. Notice how we have the passage leading to verse 5:

Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.(2 Cor. 13:3)

He then answers in verse 6, But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

Here we have the word reprobate which is the Greek adokimos. This word has had my attention for a very long time because Paul states in 1 Cor 9:27, But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. Here the Greek word for 'castaway' is adokimos. So what is he talking about. Does this mean Paul got his body into subjection lest he become a reprobate or is he saying that he got his body under subjection lest he become disqualified to minister; that is, to SPEAK on behalf of Christ.

I lean more towards the latter, although I am not sure. I certainly don't want people to have the impression that it's OK or 'safe' to be careless in our walk with the Lord. If we take the approach that Paul means 'reprobate' then we have to conclude that if we do not get our body into subjection then we risk Christ departing from us so that we become 'reprobate'. That's how I kind-of see the possibilities playing out.

If we take the strictest view of it all, again, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?", then in my view we have to ask Paul's question to the Ephesians, "have you received since you believed?" There is no way for a person to examine themselves but by experience as it relates to the scriptures. So the question would be, "Can you remember a time when Christ came INTO you?" "Is Christ, right now, 'abiding' in you?" This is not a quest for a theological deductive answer, but for reality. Examine yourself and tell me, is Christ IN you? I think those are the possibilities. Hope that helps. Blessings.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2012/10/29 9:58Profile
Heydave
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Joined: 2008/4/12
Posts: 1306
Hampshire, UK

 Re:

Robert, Interesting points you made.

Quote: "There is no way for a person to examine themselves but by experience as it relates to the scriptures. So the question would be, "Can you remember a time when Christ came INTO you?" "Is Christ, right now, 'abiding' in you?" This is not a quest for a theological deductive answer, but for reality. Examine yourself and tell me, is Christ IN you? I think those are the possibilities. Hope that helps."

I agree that it can only be by scripture that we can examine ourselves. In particular the epistle of 1 John gives a very clear definition to test ourselves as to whether we are truely 'in Christ' or born of God. For example:

" If we say we have fellowship (shared life) with Him (Christ), and walk in darkness we lie..."

"If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

"you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him."

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God."

Etc, Etc........




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Dave

 2012/10/29 10:24Profile





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