November 26, 2001 (edited January 22, 2007)
On Monday Gary shared concerning Priscilla and Aquila. Gary quoted this Scripture:
Acts 18:24-25 "And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John."
This is such an important scripture. This shows how powerful John the Baptist's ministry was. Apollos was able to go about preaching and winning folks to the Lord without knowing the ultimate results of Jesus' ministry. This man had only the gospel of repentance and salvation. Repentance and Salvation are wonderful truths that will get people into the Kingdom and on their way to Heaven, if they will receive Jesus Christ as their Lord.
It is very important for us all to notice that Apollos was born again. He was a believer, and on his way to Heaven. He was "fervent in the spirit." Interestingly when he received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, Apollos didn't automatically receive the FULLNESS of the Holy Spirit, as some Christians proclaim is the norm! He received the Spirit of God into his being...but not the fullness of the Spirit. And so Apollos was "fervent", but not full of the Spirit of God. We need to understand that no new convert to Christ receives the total array of the fullness of the Holy Spirit at the very instant of their conversion. A few have received that fullness shortly thereafter. But, for most of us that fullness must wait for a later time.
Apollos had another obstacle to overcome. He did not know or understand anything about the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. Somehow he had not been in touch with the disciples following Pentecost. He had not heard the news of how the Holy Ghost came down and cleansed, empowered, filled, anointed and overflowed upon the 120 in Jerusalem at the Feast of Pentecost 40 days after Jesus' departure to Heaven.
As gifted as Apollos was in preaching, he was severely limited in the move of the Spirit of God. He was without all the tools and weapons of the Holy Ghost. He didn't realize that trying to minister and resist the enemy of our souls without the in-filling of the Holy Ghost is very dangerous. He didn't realize that an un-sanctified, non-overflowing Christian convert is easy prey for Satan to work against. A long time believer without the fullness of the Spirit of God is in a vulnerable and weakened condition. This is the same condition many believers are in today. Many believers today are taught that the in-filling of the Holy Spirit is an automatic occurrence that just happens the moment you are converted. They are taught that the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost (which ever title you prefer) works automatically. He has to fully assist you, if you are a Christian, no matter what.
I suppose I shouldn't be impolite, but this error is so serious that I must say that those who teach this are robbing the children of God and doing great harm. This harm can possibly lead to them being lost forever in eternal death because Satan can overtake babes in Christ who become hardened and carnal, not having the fullness of the Spirit of God. Many babes in Christ have died and been lost to the clutches of Hell. I know a believer who was escorted into Hell by an angel where he saw a great company of backslidden and fallen Christians. It is breaking the heart of God that the modern churches do this awful thing to new believers. They rob them of the truth of the fullness of the Holy Spirit and how to receive this fullness.
Thank God for the Pricillas and Aquilas who introduce us to our need to be Holy Spirit Baptized. Apollos was like that group of Ephesian Christians that Paul ran into that did not even know there was a Holy Spirit. [See Acts 19:1 and following] Sad to say, much of the Church today is in the condition of Apollos. They have been stunted, kept from the deeper things and the safer things of the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
They may know that the Holy Spirit can purify us. They may know that the Holy Spirit can separate us for God's purposes. But they don't often understand that the Holy Spirit desires to in-fill, overtake, and baptize us, so that we operate as Jesus operated and walked. They have little or no understanding of what it is to move in the Spirit of God, to have access to the many gifts and callings that are only available to believers, when they are overtaken by the Holy Spirit. These limited ones often think that their mind is the doorway to their spirit. They try to educate themselves and Bible study themselves into the deeper life. In reality the mind will never come into proper alignment with God until the spirit is immersed in God's Spirit, through the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. God wants our spirit to be full of HIM so that our God-controlled spirit can have a holy upper hand in all that goes on, in and about us.
Dear believer when you get saved you get all of the Holy Spirit...but the Holy Spirit doesn't get all of you. Apollos's story clearly reveals to us that born again people are not forced into a marriage with God. Conversion is only getting engaged to the Lord God Almighty. God is NOT a manipulator. God is not a trickster. God doesn't do "shotgun" weddings!
When you come to Jesus and ask for forgiveness, that is what you get. God doesn't take advantage of you when you open the door of your heart. He doesn't come into you and sneak into all of your private rooms and private areas. The Holy Spirit is way beyond and above any human gentlemen! HE is a very respectful guest in your heart. And so, being saved is something like getting engaged to be married. It is a very, very deep step. (Engagement in our society today is a very shallow step. But in Jesus' day that was not the case!!! Remember how serious Mary and Joseph's engagement was. Joseph would have had to have gotten a divorce in order to brake his engagement to Mary!)
Salvation is a very deep step in our spiritual lives. But it isn't the deepest step, by any means! You can divorce Jesus and backslide. You can then return to Jesus and ask forgiveness and be re-instated in God's Kingdom.
However, entering into the experience of the fullness of the Holy Spirit is designed to be a "ONE WAY" trip. You are NEVER to divorce the Holy Spirit!!! You don't want to enter into the deeper life of full marriage to God, through the fullness of the Holy Ghost, unless you are totally serious, unless you are totally willing to give up your old fallen nature, letting it die and receive a new life, a new nature from Heaven!
Being filled with the Holy Ghost is a death and a resurrection! When two people get married, if it is an authentic marriage, they both die to a degree. They die to their own selfish personal goals and then meld their lives together into a single united life. The old dies and a new united life begins. Sadly many marriages today are only legal unions and not the united life that God intended when God invented marriage and family, long ago.
Getting back to the Holy Spirit marriage, Jesus said that saying wicked things against the Holy Spirit is not forgivable. [See Matthew 12:31] The writer of the Book of Hebrews tells us that anyone who has gone into the deeper life of the Spirit of God and then turns away from that deeper life is in grave eternal danger. [See Hebrews 6:4-8]
It is my personal belief that the reason you can be forgiven for doing wicked things against the Father and Jesus, but you may not be forgiven for doing things against the Holy Spirit is not because God is unfair or uncaring. It is because the Holy Spirit is the carrier of God's grace, the administrator of God's goodness on Earth, the power-broker who supplies the energy for all God's wonders, miracles and signs. And if a person destroys or pollutes the work of the Holy Spirit they are effectively throwing all the life boats overboard. They are cutting all the power lines. They are burning down the police station and the fire station; running the policeman and the fireman out of town. They are letting the air out of all the life preservers at the local pool. They are putting "super glue" all around the doorway of salvation and even into the lock. And when you do that the doorway to God turns from a door into a wall! That is why Jesus warns us all to be very, very careful what we say and what we do to the precious Holy Spirit. It is very possible to destroy the door opener to the Kingdom. Jesus is the doorway to God, but the Holy Spirit is the door opener to God! So take warning my friend! Take warning! Treat the Holy Spirit with great respect. Don't speak lightly of the Spirit of God. Don't stop HIS workings. Don't speak against HIS gifts and HIS callings. Don't teach new believers that when they are saved they automatically have the fullness, in-filling and all the gifts, graces and tools of the Holy Spirit just because they prayed the sinner's prayer and came into God's Kingdom.
There are wondrous advantages to going all the way with God and getting totally taken over by the Holy Ghost and receiving all the benefits of that experience. But it is a very, very, very serious marriage in which you need to be willing to pledge "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." [Mark 10:9]
If you haven't been filled to all the fullness, if you haven't had that Spirit Baptism and the overflow of the gift of the Spirit then the Holy Spirit only has part of you and not all of you. And if HE only has part, then you are not able to walk in the fullness of the Spirit...and you are a soldier for Jesus with only a helmet of salvation while the rest of you is naked!!!
Can you image sending soldiers to a war with only a helmet and no flak jacket, no weapons, just nakedness!!! That's the non-Spirit-filled believer for you. They will quote you scriptures. They will pray for you. They will give their testimony. They may even get you saved and forgiven and on your way to Heaven. But they have only small means against a concerted attack of the enemy. They can't minister deliverance to the alcoholic or drug addict. They can hardly tell a true move of God from a mirage of Satan. They often believe miracles are not for today. They are in a dangerous and serious condition. They are an easy mark for the Devil. They are easy for Satan to deal with because they are very lightly armed. They don't hear much from the Lord. When they read their Bible they have very limited revelation. They like to use their mind to figure out the deep things of God, which doesn't work well.
Please consider whether or not you have been Baptized in the Holy Ghost. Consider whether you are serious enough in your love for the Lord that you would be willing to be totally married to God, whether you would be willing to take a ONE WAY trip that only goes forward and never again goes backward. And if you are that serious, then begin to seek for the Baptism of the Holy Ghost of God Almighty. Begin to consecrate your life to the Lord. Ask the Lord to sanctify and purify your life, that your temple might be a fitting place for the Holy Spirit to totally move into and control. Seek the fruit of the Spirit, that you might later receive the empowerment of the Spirit. Read your Bible, especially everything spoken about the Holy Spirit. Read the Bible heavily and deeply, praying that the Holy Spirit will use it to touch you. Pray more. Set times aside to be alone with God.
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