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What is the experience known as 'Receiving the Holy Spirit'?

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  • footwasher
    A corollary lesson to the one above is the lesson about how God gives us crosses to pick up everyday, when we pass the test, and enter His Kingdom.

    God creates darkness, made Scripture dark, difficult to understand!

    God creates evil, problems, sicknesses!

    Remember, this is God's Way. He actually created problems, made Scripture dark (difficult to understand), made people sick, as opportunities for believers He gave gifting to, to reveal the Kingdom through doing great works of being light and healing:

    Is 45
    7I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things.

    Ep 2
    10For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

    John 9
    1As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

    3“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

    John 11
    4When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

    John 3
    1Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

    3Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.

    1 Cor 14
    23Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? 24But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; 25the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.
    Last edited by footwasher; 06-06-2022, 02:18 PM.

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  • What is the experience known as 'Receiving the Holy Spirit'?

    Why do we need to receive the Holy Spirit?

    Conventional teaching says that we need to receive the Holy Spirit to confirm that we are saved. Which in turn means we can go to heaven. However, here's the thing. Many people have gone through the steps required to receive the Holy Spirit (believe in the lord Jesus) but they have no idea if they have really received the Spirit, because no one can agree what the signs of receiving Him are!

    For example, the majority of people have confessed that Jesus is the Saviour of mankind, and really believed the words (Why would it be otherwise? There was no cost, the benefits were huge, they were amongst friends, so there was no reason for their belief to be a lie). However, they never experienced what the people in Ephesus in Acts 19 experienced, speaking in tongues that strengthen faith, edify. Interestingly, those who baptise today's believers don't rule out the experience, EVEN IF THEY THEMSELVES HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED IT! The logic is that it occurs sometimes, although the occurrences can't be positively identified as the exact same experience as that of the Bible record.

    It may not be important to know if we have indeed been saved through an experiential encounter with the Holy Spirit, because the Bible says we can depend on the claim that those who believe in Jesus are saved. "All other things in the Bible are true, so why should this be different?" is the claim.

    But what if we aren't saved?

    What if we haven't indeed received the Holy Spirit?

    What if the reason we need to receive Him is not because it is positive confirmation that we are going to heaven, but because it is rain for the ground, required to produce vegetation? Food to strengthen faith?

    What if the purpose for creation is not to reach heaven, but to manifest righteousness?

    Don't gardeners grow plants because they love to see greenery, flowers, fruit? What if God created humanity so that He loves to see righteousness expressed? In making right choices, to have faith or not to have faith?

    When we read the instruction book for an appliance or a power tool, we need to do it to achieve a desired result. It's okay, if we need to make holes, to find out that we need a power drill, to buy one, and then read the instructions to achieve the results WE desire.

    What if we get instructions from a customer, to perform a service or provide goods, to be paid, and have no idea what the details are? And in our case, the situation of God being the Customer, and we being the Vendor, I'm afraid we are in that exact situation of not knowing even the basic details of what the contractor wants from the contractee.

    The conventional understanding is full of vague details, each of which can be challenged to be neither logical nor present in the Bible.

    The view goes like this:

    A. We are sinners who are going to a place where are sins will require our punishment, death.

    B. Jesus came to die for our sins, so that we don't have face death.

    C. This blessing can be received if we believe Jesus could, and did do what He claimed. He showed that it worked by rising up from the grave.

    D. The Holy Spirit is received when we believe, and experience of this state is proof that we are saved.

    E. However, even if we do not experience the receiving of the Holy Spirit, we can still believe we are saved, because that's what the Bible says.

    F. Now we can wait to pass from this life to a life in the world to come.

    The elements of the story can be placed in different configurations, to tell different stories. If we had a puzzle which is unlike a jigsaw in the sense that instead of having interlocking pieces we had square pieces which can be placed to form a picture of a white square on a black background, it may be possible to rearrange the pieces so that they form a picture of a white diamond on a black background!

    What if the pieces of the story of the Bible narrative is rearranged to say the following things:

    A. God placed people in different circumstances, to inform them that they lived lives resulting in gains that rusted and perished, hoping they would understand and turn to Him to save them from that same futility, because He is not far from them, being their Father.

    B. People understand and want a different life, a situation, land, country, kingdom to live in, so that their new lives result in gains that do NOT rust and perish.

    C. God is happy to be their God, because these believers are not shallow, shortsighted,only thinking of immediate gratification, and promises them a different country, situation, where gains indeed do not rust and perish, provided they have faith that He can bring them into that situation.

    D. People believe that God is able to bring them into that situation, and immediately God gives them experiences that teach them He can carry them through any situation without harm. This is called receiving the Holy Spirit, drinking from the Holy Spirit.

    E. Some people drink from the Holy Spirit, and profit from it. They gradually realise what God's plan is. He would give them difficult tasks to do, prepared in advance, so that the believers would walk in them. When believers picked up these tasks/crosses, but did not die/fail, but were lifted up, others would be drawn to God, since it becomes evident that the believers had God with them. This is what happened to Nicodemus. He was drawn to God, because he saw that God was with Jesus and enabled Him to be a light drawing others to God. He understood that this was how believers would be blessings to the world as promised to Abraham. In turn, being useful to God earned a reward of gains that were eternal, did not perish. The believer who had God with Him had an eternal type of life.

    F. However, not everyone who drank from the Spirit was automatically strengthened. Some drank, but did not profit from the experience. Ground that drinks but does not profit from it is rejected by God. This is because if we do not learn from the experience, we will be scared to pick up crosses and manifest God's rescuing work in our lives. And if we do not manifest that work, we will not be lights guiding others to God, others who also want to be lights and earn eternal rewards. That's why God tests to see if we have strengthened our faith like Abraham and Caleb, who passed, or strengthened our fear, like the rest of Israel, who failed and were not allowed to enter Rest.

    What makes this view more likely than the conventional one?

    As I mentioned in another thread, views need to have continuity with the Biblical record. They also need to be supported strongly, be repeatedly taught by that Biblical record. Is this view falling in the category of a strongly supported view?

    Abraham was unhappy with the revelation that his life was futile, like the rest of creation, which was also trapped in futility. Work resulted in gains that rusted and perished. God promised him a different situation, and his first instruction was to enter a new land. Abraham knew that the new land was not the situation God had actually promised, so he did not put down roots in it, preferring to behave like a nomad, someone in transit, in it.

    When Abraham believed God's claim to be able to bring him into a better situation, Abraham received the Holy Spirit, teaching that God could deliver. God put him in danger at the hands of King Abhimelek and Pharoah, and rescued him. After seeing God's rescue, Abraham stopped looking out for himself, and put himself totally in the hands of God.

    So when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham unhesitatingly obeyed. He realised this was how the new situation of being a blessing to the world, leading to eternal gains, was going to be fulfilled. He would pick up a cross, God would lift him up from the earth, and others would be drawn to God. He really fully expected God to return Isaac back to him.

    Abraham passed the test to see if he had drank from the Holy Spirit and profited from it, had his faith strengthened. So did Caleb, in obeying to face the Canaanites in war.

    However, most of Israel did not similarly profit. Ground that drinks rain and does not produce vegetation is rejected by God. It is impossible to bring again to repentance those who experience the power of the world to come and reject the gift. Only Caleb changed, learned obedience from suffering, had had a different spirit, was born again, changed from a murmuring follower to an encouraging leader, was allowed to enter Rest, the situation where he could always pick up crosses and be lifted up, because God was with him.

    As you see, Abraham's and Caleb's experiences fully support the alternate view.

    An issue which needs to be highlighted is the matter of what receiving the Holy Spirit means.

    Would all agree that belief in God's ability to bring us into the Kingdom will result in Him giving us experiences that edify, strengthen our faith, because in the Kingdom we will be asked to pick up crosses everyday, so that when we are rescued, we will draw others to God, by being lights?

    Are we overcomplicating things just for the sake of academic interest?

    Or are we being judicious in checking instructions, maps, to ensure we achieve correct results, reach the right destinations?

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