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

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Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1632
Scotland, UK


I understand what Robert is trying to say

Quote: I see the Baptism in the Holy Spirit as a means of getting folk out of Adam and into Christ in such a way that they are TRULY dead to Sin, buried with Him by baptism into death, not in the flesh, etc. (ed.) They that have BEGUN in the Spirit are enabled from that moment to be led of the Spirit so as to be sons of God.

But I can also understand the difficulty in trying to piece it all together.

Small testimony.. It started when I asked God in a prayer to change me when I lay down on the bed a wind came and blew into my body then I sat up and spoke in lounges. Three months later I attend my first “church meeting” and from there start going to church and I got baptized in Water

A few years later after attending Bible school I leave the church for different reasons and haven’t been back to church since.

A few years later while seeking God during a time of fasting and prayer, God opened my eye to my condition that was within me. I saw that attached to my self was sin and it hadn’t been dealt with but through Duncan Campbell’s testimony and the testimony of another to let me know that there was a way out.

Please understand the church I attended wasn’t a church that promoted a second blessing and up to the point of hearing Duncan Campbell’s testimony I had never heard of it. It is not a doctrine introduced to me by a man.

So in my life it seems what God has done a things a bit differently, why I don’t know.

1. Filled with the Spirit and spoke in tongues
2. Attended Church
3. Got baptized
4. Left church
5. Find out that within me attached to my self was sin and it hadn’t been dealt with and there was “A Baptism into Christ”

At the time and to this day I know I am alive to God, I know I was forgiven of my sins and I could talk in tongues and that the violent, drunk, drug taking womanizing fisherman was changed.

Now although I was changed and new it, when God began to talk to me about the calling on my life, when I considered what he was calling me to and looked at myself I used to think, God will have to do another work in me as I am just not ready for that. So in a sense I knew even then that there was something that remained in me that wasn’t Godly and it is something that brings shame to the Christian but I knew that I shouldn’t be like this but praise God he opened my eyes to the truth.

After digging through scriptures trying to piece it all together I have come to the conclusion that my first experience was not the Baptism into Christ, it was a forgiveness of sins, I was alive to God, I could take in tongues, I could and did operate in the gifts of the Spirit but Sin remained in me.

Colin Murray

 2012/10/30 14:18Profile


Whatever our experience or knowledge of God may be before we are born again; our understanding will be very different afterwards. We ought to find that what we understood before was ill conceived in our imaginations and that which we understood afterwards was the fruit of a new life. Before we get saved we can only truly comprehend in our natural minds. Afterwards we know the truth at least in part through our spirit’. The difference is a difference of life. If we once begin to say that salvation is comprehended in the natural mind then we will live in the mind only. On the other hand if we can accept that it is the spirit that is born of The Spirit our minds must in that arrangement become subordinate to our spirit’. If the mind is not subordinate we will continue to live in the natural mind. If the mind is subordinate then we will be renewed in our minds and find that we are able to keep ourselves some of the time soundly understanding God’s will, and at other times God Himself will keep us, because He soundly understands what we are yet in this body of sin. In the end we will even comprehend that if we are born again we have the mind of Christ as well as a renewing of the mind.

As far as I know everyone who has been born again bears witness to the fact that when in the spirit, they can think and speak as well as think and do, good works that are pleasing to God without any effort at all. At other times the mind and the body are a hindrance and the things that we say and the things that we do are fleshy and natural and disappointing. Yet we get up and confess our sins before God trusting that what we believed in the beginning is still true, even Christ crucified for our sins; believing in this precious truth we are draw into a fuller and more profitable understanding that apart from works, we are justified before God through the shed blood of Christ. To the unbelieving mind this covenant with God may be vulgar and a thing to be rejected. To others it is a thing to be believed in like a talisman of magical charm. To the one born again it is a constant reminder that we walk by faith and a thing to be laid hold of daily.

If we give thought to these things ourselves and yet make a separation in God’s will concerning Christ, (being in truth fully unified and complete in His person), we will not have draw lots for His garment to preserve it as the Roman soldiers did at the foot of the Cross; we will divide it. If we do not have this same attitude we will rip it to shreds and take that part which pleases us the most. How foolish to destroy the unity that is Christ and end up with a leg or an arm, when we could have had the whole garment. The soldiers at the foot of the cross, understood that the garment of the Lord was only worth having if it was had whole hence why they caste lots. If there were five of them, then they accepted in advance that four of them would have nothing. To divide The Lord’s garment would have rendered it useless. Its value lay in the fact that it was whole and of a good quality. The value of knowing Christ Jesus lies in the fact that it is His intention that in knowing Him we would become one body, an arm or a leg, or an eye or a hand, yes. But in Him one body even the church; many living stones one temple of The Living God. We ought not to divide to a heresy the unity that is in Christ Jesus’ sufferings and resurrection from the dead. Justification if comprehended ought to produce true repentance and newness of life by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Why or how some men understand this differently is certainly a result of not laying hold of the fullness and settling for the part. Perhaps some men were even led into this understanding. The remedy is in desiring the fullness and not the part.

Of course life is not a theological class. It is real and it has to be lived as it is presented to us or else however we find it. Now that we have believed it may well be that a fuller and unified understanding of what God has done in Christ Jesus will prove to be a key to understanding how to go on and how to finally put an end to our selfish lives and truly live for God. Can any one who believes in Christ have any other mind? Or doubt that The Father so intended it?

 2012/10/30 15:43


1. but it is dis-ingenious for us to ignore what millions, indeed billions actually believe to be the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit". And not only billions today, but almost every single famous preacher on this very website, SermonIndex!!!

I could go along with that if I didn't have a radical mind to think the opposite.

When did the word of God become a democracy, where we get enough people to believe in a certain way and then we vote in a new set of rules for God to follow?

That sounds foolish I know, but gee whisakers, why does it look that way?

We are telling God when we are born again. We are telling Him when we are baptized into the Holy Spirit.

Just because every preacher on Sermon Index is saying that doesn't mean they are right. The reason why they all say the same thing is because it's a mystery to them. And a mystery to millions.

I personally am one of those believers that do not excuse verses that may cause me to think a different way. I know what it's like to be shaken up. I've been there where you stand before God with all that you know and He pulls the carpet out from under you and He strips off the clothes that I thought was truth and you stand there naked and ashamed. I do not wish that on anyone, but because I have been there, I would rather stay there naked than to endorse something that may or may not have any weight.

However, in saying all that. I know that if a man believes that he is born again by being justified by faith, than to him he is born again. There is no way that I can persuade him otherwise. As far as I am concerned he is saved by faith through grace. If he continues on in that way, God bless him, but that doesn't mean that he is born again.

There is a thought that I would like to interject though in another thread as an offshoot from this thread that may be of interest to some, as there may be a reason for those that are not born again but believe by faith and those that are born again by the Spirit of God. I think there might be an explanation but it will require much thought.

God Bless and thank you for sharing your thoughts........Brothers and Sisters!

 2012/10/30 17:19

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2048
Joplin, Missouri


Wow! I was away from the computer for the weekend, and what a discussion.

Since I know a little bit about the Robert's roots, and since I am very close to those roots myself, I understand what he has been saying. Perhaps I can boil it down (and he can correct me if I misrepresent what he is saying).

I was raised from a doctrinal viewpoint that justification and regeneration (being born again) were two different events and , although they could happen simultaneously, they did not necessarily have to occur at the same time. Many early American Pentecostals believed this, as it was what Charles Parham, and subsequently Seymour taught. It was at Seymour's church in Calif. that a man by the name of Durham began to teach the finished work doctrine from which sprang, eventually, the Assemblies of God. This doctrine did not differentiate between justification and the born again experience. But the majority of the "old time" Pentecostals such as the Apostolic Faith (not the oneness people), the Church of God, the Pentecostal Holiness people, the Full Gospel churches, as well as others still held to what they considered the "more orthodox" teachings vein of teachings of Parham and Seymour.

As I was taught, a sinner could come to the Lord by faith in repentance of sin and be justified by faith. This meant that the person was justified in God's sight, but the person was not yet born again. To be born again, the person must pray through to, or receive the work of sanctification in his life. This was a second work of the Spirit of God and it gave the person a new nature and a power over sin. So justification dealt with past sins and their penalty, and regeneration (sanctification or being born again) dealt with the sin nature and made the man a new creature.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit was a third work that empowered a man with the Holy Spirit of God so that he might have the power of God for ministry, boldness, etc.

I can recall as a youth hearing older ministers who knew and loved Charles Parham be pretty hard on the AoG. They felt like the AoG had gone into error in believing that sanctification was an ongoing work of the Spirit rather than a specific one-time work of the Holy Spirit that makes the believer Holy. I can recall the AoG mentioned in a not so friendly light several times. I even made a statement once that I did not agree with all that Parham taught. I did not mention any specific doctrine and an older minister immediately accused me of abandoning the doctrine of sanctification (of not believing that justification and regeneration were separate experiences).

A good deal of this doctrine, as far as I can tell, came out of Parham's Methodist roots. They believed in an event called the "second blessing". Research the Cain Ridge Revival in 1801 for some early instances of this teaching. In 1801 this "second blessing" was apart from salvation and empowered a person to live an overcoming and holy life. Interestingly enough, in 1801 there were instances of manifestations that we often associate with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Yet by 1901 Parham was hungry for more than he has seen and was convinced that God wanted to pour out the Holy Spirit as was seen in Acts 2. So, when he and others in Topeka received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, they hung onto the "second blessing", and simply added a third.

I have never been totally convinced. To me there are too many scriptures that indicate that the rebirth and justification are part and parcel of the same thing. It is received by faith, as is everything we receive from God. Whether it is being justified, born again, baptized in the Holy Spirit, all are received by faith. Yet it is a gift as it given by God's grace apart from us being able to earn it. Yet is it not possible that there is any change in us apart from the working of the Holy Spirit in one fashion or another. If we are born again, it is by the Spirit of God.

Hope this bit of history, and my perspective can add a little to the discussion. I hope I have not misrepresented what Robert is saying, but that is what I boiled it down to as I read the posts. It is my experience, however, and I do think it is entirely worth while to discuss. We are to study to show ourselves approved, right?


 2012/10/30 18:29Profile

Joined: 2007/2/3
Posts: 835
Alberta, Canada


I enjoyed reading your "history lesson," Travis, thanks for that. I thought I’d add my own thoughts to this thread now. First off, I don’t think it wrong to raise the bar of the “born of the Spirit” or “born again” experience a little higher than it has been set in our day. Countless Christians of all stripes claim to be born again—yet all too often there is not much real difference in their lives from those born in Adam. And so I’m inclined to agree with what Robert has been saying.

John the Baptist was certainly a believer in Jesus Christ. But John the Baptist was not yet in the kingdom of God. “He that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he” (Lk. 7.28). And how is it that John the Baptist wasn’t in the kingdom of God? It has to be because he had not yet been born again. For Jesus said, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3.5).

Again, John the Baptist was “filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb” (Lk. 1.15). Even so, he was not born of the Spirit. For, according to Jesus, he had not yet entered the kingdom of God.

Yet John the Baptist was a believer in Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Jesus’ first disciples too were certainly believers. Peter, speaking on behalf of the others, said, “And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Jn. 6.69). Yet, like John the Baptist, they had not entered the kingdom of God either. For these men had not yet received the gift of the Holy Spirit—which Peter says is what happened to them at Pentecost (Acts 11.17)—and so could not yet have been born of the Spirit.

It appears, then, that it was possible before Jesus ascended to be a believer, and even be filled with the Holy Spirit, and still not have been born again (that is, to have entered the kingdom of God).

Does the same thing apply now that He has ascended? I think it does. It is certainly a work of the Spirit to bring a person to repentance and the receiving of “Christ our Passover, who is sacrificed for us” (1 Cor. 5.7). But there is a further feast—the feast of Pentecost (called the feast of firstfruits, Ex. 23.16, which, it seems to me, is why Paul spoke of having received “the firstfruits of the Spirit, Rom. 8.23). And so we need to enter into this feast as a further step in God’s purposes—receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit as the first disciples did at Pentecost. (And of course even with this we have not yet arrived; we are still just on our way.)

But I think this is what Jesus has in mind when he says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mk. 16.1). Not just, “he that believeth...” And in my opinion, the baptism Jesus is speaking of here is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, of which water baptism is a figure (1 Pt. 3.21). In other words, the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not optional to salvation; it is as integral and indispensible to our salvation as repentance and faith toward God.

And so... many men and women had interactions with the Holy Spirit prior to Jesus being glorified. “These all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise...” (Heb. 11.39). (I leave it to the faithful God to see that these ones, having died in faith, don’t miss out on anything.) But a watershed division took place when Christ ascended and received “the promise of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2.33). Now that Jesus is glorified, this baptism of the Holy Spirit is available. He said on the occasion of the feast of tabernacles, “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 Spirit was not yet [given] because that Jesus was not yet glorified” (Jn. 7.39).

While the word “given” is not there in the original, it’s not possible this can mean that prior to Jesus being glorified there was no such thing as the Holy Spirit. This must mean, then, “the promise of the Spirit” for which Jesus endured the Cross. This had not yet been given.

“Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear” (Acts 2.33). What happened at Pentecost was evidence that the Lord Jesus Christ had been glorified, and had received “the promise of the Spirit.” Jesus the Son of God was born of the Spirit (Lk. 1.35). Further to this, after being baptized with John’s baptism, the Holy Spirit came upon Him in the form of a dove (Lk. 3.22). Yet there was still a baptism He had to be baptized with before He could receive “the promise of the Father” in a way that would release Him from all confinement. “But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how I am straitened till it be accomplished” (Lk. 12.50). This, I believe, was the joy that was set before Him for which He endured the Cross—the joy of now beginning His ministry at the right hand of God and now being able to baptize in the Holy Spirit, the joy of sending the Holy Spirit to those He loved—now not just by way of an empowering for service (which it certainly was) but to birth them into the kingdom of God.

And so for those who are concerned that this teaching may undermine the faith of those who believe themselves to be born again solely on the basis of their believing that Jesus is the Son of God... please let’s embrace all that the Scriptures have to say... and get seeking God. Let’s not sell ourselves short. I know Scripture says clearly, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” (1 Jn. 5.1). That used to settle it for me at one time, but I’m not so sure anymore. I don’t think John is viewing this as the one single stand-alone criterion for being born again. There are too many other scriptures that show the need for being baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit. Why should this frighten us? Is God going to deny the Holy Spirit from any who sincerely ask Him, and keep asking till they receive? Certainly not (Lk. 11.13). In fact I think it would be good for all of us Christians to be seeking a deeper reality of the baptism of the Holy Spirit—something more in line with the threshing floor wind and fire experience John the Baptist spoke of, and which the early disciples experienced on the day of Pentecost. Then maybe we too would see our world being turned upside down they way they did.

...And so, as Robert likes to say, so say I now. “Just my thoughts.” This is where I’m at in my journey—the way I see things in my present measure of light. I hope we can all continue to show good spiritual generosity one to another as we explore these wondrous things till the day when we all see not in part, but face to face.

Allan Halton

Allan Halton

 2012/10/30 19:37Profile

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


Thanks to all of you men for your helpful contributions!

Travis mentioned some of the early Pentecostal beliefs, as they are similar to my current understanding, I have come to view the last two experience as one. In fact, I think if a person were really serious with God they may come into the whole lot at one time, then get water baptized and be ready to go.

I think that since the days of C. Parham main stream Pentecostalism has moved away from the notion of second blessing for holiness. It's all about power for service now. The old timers did not hold this view. They believed that if a person was struggling with sin that they needed the 'baptism in the Holy Ghost'. This is why so many old Pentecostal preachers were called 2X4 (two by four) preachers; they believed Acts 2:4 was the cure for everything. They could start out on Moses and end up in Acts 2:4. Because they saw it as the cure for everything.

Many old school Pentecostals were not theologians. Many old timey preachers barely had any education. But they knew that if a person truly surrendered to God He would pour His Spirit out.

But then we started to see people thinking that ALL a person needed to do was pray until the spoke with tongues. I have heard men talk about folk receiving tongues that had not even repented yet. I have seen folk trying to seek to receive the Spirit and they were not surrendered to God. This is where my saying, "you can't receive and resist at the same time" came from. Folk wanted to receive power- while simultaneously resisting His Lordship. No telling what a person might receive doing that. This is why I think Pentecostals in many cases have lost a step; they bought into the sinners prayer method of evengelism and then tried to pray folk through to the Holy Spirit baptism. Some would utter unintelligable words and think they had 'got it'. But then there was little or no change in behavior. Now imagine the madness of this, a person says the sinners prayer and then utters unintelligable words and believes that they are saved and filled with the Spirit. Where did the Born Again experience go?

Speaking in tongues does not impress me, per-se. I think if the Spirit gives the utterance it is wonderful. But what I think what is needed is that we be led of the Spirit, yielding the fruit of the Spirit, as sons of God. I think the gifts of the Spirit should be in operation, but only as we bear fruit unto holiness.

What happened? At some point certain of the Oneness Pentecostals suggested we must have the Holy Spirit to be saved. In their view the initial evidence was tongues. Many other Pentecostal groups sought to distance themselves from such a requirement for salvation (tongues=saved). There were also issues with their view of the Trinity I won't go into. But to split the difference Pentecostals were almost forced into a doctrinal accomidation saying that if a person is 'saved' (born again) then they have the Spirit of Christ, are baptized into His Body, etc. This could happen as easy as saying a repeat type prayer.

We ended up with a lot of very high maintenence/low impact professors of Christ. So in the midst of the Crusade style evangelism and the modern view of a 'baptism of Power' the whole process of regeneration has been lost. We ended up with tongue speaking, Christ professing, 'believers' that could act like Christ one minute and the devil the next. Just being honest.

So I have sought the Lord, going totally back to the drawing board, forgetting everything I was ever taught about any of the subjects and just tried to allow God's word to lead me where it went. I see a consistent pattern in Acts:

1. Repent and bring for fruits worthy of repentance
2. Be baptized in water
3. Receive the Holy Spirit

If a person truly repents and has a heart to receive- receiving the Holy Spirit will not be a fuss. But, men do always resist the Holy Ghost (Acts 7). Lots of things have been taught and there are denominational issues, but to get this train back on the rails I think we need to take a serious look at how God planted and established the church at Ephesus in the book of Acts; because it stood for some 600-700 years (it is believed). The gates of hell did not prevail against that church. Those 12 original people repented John the Baptist style and were hungry for what God had next. They met Paul and submitted to everything he said. They received the Spirit without a fuss. No arguing- they were just ready. Later people were burning all their sinful belongings and God established that church. A powerful study to undertake and I think we really need to revisit the simplicity of it. Blessings. Robert

Robert Wurtz II

 2012/10/30 21:10Profile


This thread is not finished.

Our conclusion is to agree to disagree. And that is okay because we can all agree that we are justified freely by faith through grace. Upon that we can find a common ground.

When it comes to the baptism of the Holy Ghost I can understand why it's necessary to disagree with how the scriptures speak of the Holy Ghost and the need to believe that one receives Him upon acceptance, repentance and baptism in water, for when we read the words, "If any man hath not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His" those words are frightening. So when someone comes along and says that if you are not born again unless you receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, I do understand why the guards come up. And why there is a need to protect oneself of a possible deception. When we have our eggs all neatly in a row, we cannot afford to disturb that, we need to maintain our current belief, after all I am safe among the majority of believers who believe they are born again just by believing that Jesus is the Son of God and were baptized in water.

I can understand that.

In the end, only God can manifest Himself to reveal what He wants an individual to understand and know.


 2012/10/30 22:19


Brother Robert said...

...but you asked the question and I and others have tried to give our positions.

Brother Robert, I have actually been reading and studying your positions very carefully and I was very concerned and confused by a lot of those positions.

Sorry if this seems interrogatory, but I do want to get clarity on this from you, and if possible just answer a simple yes or no, as much as you are able, thanks.

1. Do you believe that a person is baptized into Christ when they have the experience outlined in the book of Acts, which is commonly referred to as the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit". NOTE: I am saying baptized WITH the Holy Spirit, not INTO. I have read several people here change these words to read, "baptized INTO the Holy Spirit".

2. If the above answer is yes, and I think you have said this many times, are you therefore stating that when a person receives a similar "Acts 2" outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their life, that it is at this point they are born again?

3. Do you also believe that a person can be saved (justified) but not yet born again? And the way they become born again is to be "baptized into Christ" which in your view is what the disciples received on the day of Pentecost.

4. Do you also believe that those people who are saved by faith are not yet born again by the Holy Spirit? That step one is being saved and step 2 is being born again? And do you believe that the way a person knows that they have arrived at step 2, "born again" is by having an unmistakable, distinct experience akin to book of Acts 2 outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

5. Do you also believe that those who are saved by faith, but not yet born again are not actually a part of the Kingdom of God?

6. Do you also believe that all those who are saved by faith, will automatically become "born again" eventually because they are the elect and are predestined to enter the Kingdom of God?

I think I have already heard you state yes to most of these above in subsequent posts but I am truly wanting to understand with clarity your position, without a whole lot more explanation.

If you could do this I would be very appreciative.

In Christ,

 2012/10/31 1:43

Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1632
Scotland, UK


Double post sorry

Colin Murray

 2012/10/31 4:47Profile

Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1632
Scotland, UK


Quote: Hope this bit of history, and my perspective can add a little to the discussion.

I was reading last night the small book about the history of what happened around the time of Azusa Street Revival.

A very interesting read.....

I will take a look at the Cain Ridge Revival

Are there any books or articles that anyone can recommend.

Colin Murray

 2012/10/31 5:03Profile

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