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Archive for March, 2009

The New Birth

I found your Web Site by Google. And I wish you the best you can get, the peace of God through Jesus Christ.

Allan S

Sweden

The New Birth

“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” John 6:44-45.

“And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.” (6:65).

The Father draws people to Jesus. Jesus baptizes them by the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit gives them the new life in Christ so that they become born again. We become new creations in Christ. When God created the first man, Adam, he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man becomes a living soul. Genesis 2:7. When Jesus baptizes us by the Holy Spirit it is a new creating act.  The Spirit gives us the new life in Christ and makes us to new creations. “So then if anyone is in Christ, that one is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have come to be new!” 2 Cor. 5:17.

Earlier we have been only created beings, now we are relatives to the Creator. Jesus’ Father becomes our Father, and we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.  The new birth is no adoption as it says in the English Bible. In that case we would not be God’s children, only God’s adoptive children. And God would be only our adoptive father. Who is then our real Father? In Swedish we have also the word ‘adoption’ with the same spelling, but it occurs nowhere in the Bible.

Through the new birth we enter the Assembly of God, God’s family. This has nothing to do with churches and denominations. The Bible describes the Assembly of God as the Body of Christ. Accordingly, a living Body. Rom. 12:4-5. 1 Cor. 10:17. 12:27. “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” 1 Cor. 12:18. We cannot by men be selected to members of the Assembly of God.

The Pentecostal preachers use to speak so proudly about the baptism by the Holy Spirit, and they mean that the “Pentecostal Revival” has conveyed this truth. However, what did the “Pentecostal Revival” do? The “Pentecostal Revival” censored away a big part of the truth of the baptism by the Holy Spirit, so that this truth has been preached and understood only partly.

As a result of this, the truth of the baptism by the Holy Spirit has never been preached within the Pentecostal movement. They have learnt only a little part of this truth, and this they have turned back to front.

Because of this false doctrine about the baptism by the Holy Spirit, people have not understood the connection between the baptism by the Holy Spirit and the new birth. They do not understand that it is when Jesus baptizes us by the Holy Spirit we get the new life in Christ and we become born again.  The Holy Spirit gives us the new life in Christ and make the new birth. We are born of the Spirit. John 3:3-8.

They have preached that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is only for those who are born again. Yet, on the day of Pentecost the apostle Peter promised people, which were not born again, that they would get the Holy Spirit as a gift when they did repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Consider, that Peter promised the Holy Spirit to people who had not been born again! And when they received the Holy Spirit, what happened then? Well, then they got the new life in Christ and became born again!

In the Assembly of God (the Body of Christ) we are all baptized by the Holy Spirit, but not all are speaking with tongues. 1 Kor. 12:12-31. The Pentecostal preachers have turned this back to front. They say that only those who can speak with tongues are baptized by the Holy Spirit, and the speaking with tongues is the only certain sign of that someone is baptized by the Holy Spirit. This is a dangerous denying of a work that Jesus and the Holy Spirit have done, and legalization of false speaking with tongues.

Jesus is born again

Jesus was the first one who was born again. He is the Firstbegotten among many brothers. Rom. 8:29. Hebr. 2:11-18. Before Jesus was born again, nobody could be born again.

When was Jesus born again?  When he rose from the death.  His resurrection was also his new birth.

“He is the Head of the body, the Assembly, who is the Beginning, the Firstborn out of the dead ones that He having first place in all things.” Col. 1:18. “… the First-begotten out of the dead ones.” Rev.1:5. “… the One designated the Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of dead ones, Jesus Christ our Lord;” Rom. 1:4. And again, when He brought the Firstbegotten into the world, He said, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.” Hebr. 1:6.

Jesus is the firstborn in double meaning.  He is the Firstbegotten of all creation.  For all things were created in Him, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, the visible and the invisible; whether thrones, or lordships, or rulers, or authorities, all things have been created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and all things have subsisted in Him. Col. 1:15-17.  In the verse 18 we see that he is also the Firstborn out of the dead ones.

Allan S

Sweden

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Dear Allan.

I was impressed with how well you could explain some of the simple truths of Christ.  God has clearly helped your understanding.  It was good to read your email.  I would love to meet and talk with you sometime.

As for the new birth and the resurrection:  Several times in the NT, Psalm 2:7 is quoted as referring to the resurrection of the Lord, and so, I understand how you can say that he was born again at his resurrection.  Jesus even went so far as to say that those who will be raised from the dead into eternal life will be “the children of God, being the children of the resurrection” (Lk. 20:36).  But we can take that too far if we are not careful, Allan.  Be careful.  Some men have unwisely done so and foolishly teach that there is no new birth at all until the resurrection.

But Paul said that the saints are already raised with Christ through the baptism of the Spirit (Col. 2:12), and so, with THAT resurrection, yes, we can say we are born again.  John said that we are now called the sons of God (1Jn. 3:1).  Our sonship does not yet appear because Jesus has not returned yet to restore all things, but our sonship is, nevertheless, a reality.  Peter, too, mentioned that the saints have been born of the incorruptible blood, the Spirit, (1Pet. 1:23).  He obviously means that we are born again now, not at the resurrection of the just.

I was deeply disappointed that you do not understand that speaking in tongues, or “stammering lips”, is the evidence of the spiritual rest that Jesus gives.  On the web site, www.GoingtoJesus.com you will find my book, Speaking in Tongues at Spirit Baptism“.  I would like for you to read that little book and let me know what you think.

Your servant,

jdc

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I read the email from the man in Sweden.  No matter how “close” people get to the truth, even if they go so far as to say that one needs “Spirit baptism”, it always comes back to do you need “tongues”.

“This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.  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.”

People will speak well of the Father, and the Son… they can’t see them.  They just don’t want tongues – it’s too “visible”.

Gary

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Speaking in tongues does seem to be a stumblingblock.  God is so wise.  He knows how to weed things out and to gather in the wheat.

jdc

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Stuart – Holy

Hi Pastor John

On my way into work this morning I was listening to the Wednesday night gathering 3/04/09 1 Thessalonians 4 & 5 you ask a question “Why must we believe on Jesus?”   You were talking about how holy God is, and how that the holiness of God has to be transferred from God to us by the spirit.  There is no other way to be holy.  While I was listening, before you gave us that answer, I was thinking, “I don’t know what holy is; I don’t know what that means.”

To me, “holy” was just the same as the word “fellowship” or “God”.  But just like fellowship and knowing God, holiness is something that God has to do for us by His Spirit, or we can’t have it.  It is not of this world, and beyond anything in this flesh.

I thought about the scripture in Isaiah 6:5, where Isaiah said, “I am a man with unclean lips!” and one of the Seraphim flew over and got a hot coal off of the altar and placed it on his lips.  God has to do something for us or we can’t stand in His presence.  It is far above me!  Our God is Holy.

God help us stand on that Day.

Bro. Stuart

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Only by His grace will we be able to stand on that day, Stuart.  But He has promised us that he will hold us up!

jdc

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From the Web

Name: SANDRA M.

comments:     PLEASE TELL ME HOW IS IT THAT A WOMAN CAN BE A BISHOP?  THE SCRIPTURE STATES THAT A BISHOP MUST BE A MAN WITH ONE WIFE.  HOW CAN A WOMAN HAVE A WIFE?

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Well now, Sandra, that reasoning is hard to argue against.

However, according to many Christians nowadays, a woman CAN have a wife.  What do we do with that?

Thanks for writing.
Pastor John

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The Jailor’s Baptism

Pastor John,

A verse jumped out at me the other day while reading Acts. Acts 16:33 reads:

33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. NKJV

33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. KJV.

33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, immediately. ASV

The word that led me to do more research in Strong’s is immediately/straightway.  The way I read it is, after Paul preached the good news, God rewarded the jail keeper and his family for their sincerity and humble spirit with the baptism of the holy ghost.  The use of the Greek and Hebrew word in this case (which from what I gather was only use two other times, both describing immediate action) was used to describe the wonder and authority of Jesus outpouring of his spirit on the humble, and not to describe Paul and Silas quick discernment that they were worthy.  Have you taught anything on this passage?

I can only suppose that Christian doctrine would teach that no, the word straightway/immediately was used to denote Paul’s urgency in administering water baptism while time was limited and water was available during the washing of their stripes.

In Greek and Hebrew is there two different words for baptism, one that describes John’s water baptism and one describes the baptism where those speak in tongues?  If so which was used in Acts 16:33?

Thanks,
Michael

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Hi Michael:

There is no Hebrew in the NT, to speak of.  It is all written in Greek.  The Greek word here is used a number of other times by Luke (in his gospel and then in Acts).  Outside of that, Matthew is the only writer who uses it, and he does so only once.  Still, it is not what would be considered a rare word, and it simply means “at once”; that is, immediately following an action.

You are right about Xns assuming that a water baptism is intended here.  But, as you know, it would make no sense for Paul to baptize Gentiles with water.  The gospel Jesus gave Paul included just “one baptism” (Eph. 4:4-6), and he told us which baptism that was in 1Corinthians 12:13.  It was Jesus’ baptism with the Spirit, not John’s baptism with water.  There was absolutely no need for these Gentiles to even know about John’s baptism for the Jews, much less for Paul to administer it to them.

Finally, to my knowledge, there is no Hebrew word for baptism in the Bible.  There were no baptisms in the OT, unless we were to count Moses sprinkling Aaron and his sons in Leviticus 8-9, when he consecrated them for the priesthood.  But even then, it was a one-time thing.

Thanks for the question.

Pastor John

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Christ’s Time

Good Morning..I accepted Jesus as my savior when i was 8 yrs old,Im now 36..  i know others that do speak in tongues and their relationship with God seems so different than mine..different as in better.  I love to read the Bible and study and when i saw the ad for free copy i was so happy.  it was amazing how i was just wondering where i could learn about speaking in tongues, and then i saw your ad on my favorite website.  I want to have a closer relationship with the Lord.  My brother is a baptist preacher, and i laugh how not much is taught in his church concerning the Holy Spirit and I want to know..  i was always taught that speaking in tongues was not for our time..  it was for in christ’s time.  the more im learning, the more i disagree.  i want to learn how to pray in the spirit and speak in tongues..  God bless you for doing this for free.  God sees what you do.

carol

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Hi Carol,

Thank you for taking the time to write.

You may be surprised to learn that I agree whole-heartedly with what you have always been taught, that speaking in tongues was intended only for the time of Christ.  The thing is, THIS is the time of Christ.  He is Lord of an eternal kingdom.

Ask Jesus for grace to be filled with his Spirit.  In spite of what you have always heard, you will never see the face of God without it.

Please let me know what you get from the Speaking in Tongues at Spirit Baptism book.  I hope that what you get is what you are longing for, the baptism of the Spirit.  Carol, please believe me; you will never see the face of God without it.

God bless.

Pastor John

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John’s Baptism Continued

John,

A question.  I was reading in John last night, where it talks about Jesus’ disciples baptising.  There, it seemed to say that John was not yet beheaded at that time.  I remembered a section in the Chapter 11 of the Father and Son book where you mentioned that the disciples had to take up John’s work.  Would it be better to say there that they had to continue his work?  Just curious and wanted to mention it.

Thank you.

Lyn

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Hi Lyn:

The disciples were still finishing up John’s work in the book of Acts; so, regardless of when John died in the Gospels, they had to take over and do it.  I don’t see a need to change anything in Chapter 11, based on that.  Do you agree?

jdc

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Hello Pastor John,

What does the word “God” mean?

Bro JOE

Lagos, Nigeria

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Hi Brother JOE.

Excellent question!

The word “god” originates, apparently, from a word in the ancient Teutonic language, passing through Old English to us, but there is conflict among etymologists as to what the original the Teutonic word meant. Some suggestions are, “what is invoked” and “what is worshiped by sacrifice”, which makes sense, but no one really knows.

Biblically, “god” is a word that refers to a being who has authority over other beings. It can refer to God the Creator, or to the Son of God (Ps. 45:6-7; Heb. 1:8), or to rulers among God’s chosen people (Ex. 7:1; 22:28), or anyone to whom the word of God comes (Ps. 82:6; Jn. 10:34-35). I speak on this issue in some detail in the book I am completing now, God Had a Son Before Mary Did. I will be sure to send you a copy.

Of course, people in the ancient world also imagined that there were beings other than the true God who had authority over the circumstances of their lives, and so, they worshiped them as “gods”. But those gods were either (1) nothing but man’s imagination run wild, or (2) demons. There are many verses in the Bible that refer to those two possibilities.

Hope that helps, JOE. Thanks for writing, Brother.

Pastor John

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I think that to ask this question (and receive the only right answer), a person is really asking, “WHO does the word God mean?”

Gary

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That is right, Gary!  Actually, that is the only way the question can be rightly answered.

jdc

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