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Receiving the Spirit of God – Not a Salvation Issue?

“… Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9).

We received this note in response to How the Lord Exposed Billy Graham:

While I respect your difference of opinion about the gifts of the Spirit and their application today, I cannot subscribe to teachings that would take these differences and create division within the Body of Christ. This is not a salvation issue. This does not go into areas of unorthodoxy. I pray that you would seek to edify and unify the Body of Christ rather than tear it down by attacking leaders who are reaching thousands of lost souls with the gospel. Once saved, as these Christians mature, they can make their own decisions about such things as gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Eph 4.

Doug Lowe

Victor’s reply:

Doug,

Here you are at a “theological” center [Liberty University], in whatever capacity, expressing gross ignorance of the Lord and of the Scriptures. So much for “Christian training” and Bible schools. There are several things you say in just this one short letter that are simply not true, and therefore unsupported in Scripture. Allow me to point some out, along with matters of God of which you are not aware.

One matter is that you think us to be giving mere opinion, which, by the way, contrary to your words, you do not at all respect. So admit it. Nor do we respect your opinion. We find that people in formal training schools for “Christians” and “ministry” lack the Reality of the Lord Jesus Christ, Whom they presume and profess to worship and serve. You do not love the Lord Jesus, do you Doug? Why not admit that, above all things? And do not think that your religious works will suffice as a substitute for your sins before God. It won’t work.

What right do you have to make the judgment that we are giving our opinion? We know that when it comes to matters of the Lord Jesus Christ, none of us is entitled to opinion. We solemnly walk in that knowledge. Either we know and speak the truth in Christ, or we do not. In order that one can speak the truth, one must know Him Who is the Truth. Until then, as with you and millions of others, it is merely a matter of religion and opinion, which often constitute not just error, but also evil surmisings, and even blasphemy, though to unregenerate hearts, it is simply “godly conversation” and “business as usual.”

You accuse us of dividing the Body of Christ. How do you know who is of the Body and who is not? On what basis do you make that judgment? You are not in the Body of Christ yourself, so how should you know? How do you know that the Lord is not now exposing the false and manifesting the true, dividing the sheep from the goats, placing one on the right hand and the other on the left? How do you know that we, in Christ, are not making a difference between the true and the false, and between wheat and tares? You don’t know, Doug. That is your problem, and with that beam in your eye, you judge in blindness and ignorance, presuming to know and to judge, with nothing but opinion to substantiate your accusations.

You do not make the argument that there are no gifts for today, though we know full well that you speak against them with Falwell, or you would not be able to be there. However, the true gifts of the Spirit as outlined in First Corinthians 12 are here today, as the Spirit is here today. One of those gifts is the discerning of spirits. We discern your spirit, Doug, and know that you have never received the Spirit of Christ. We discern Billy Graham’s spirit as well, and the two of you are in the same place, professing, as did the religious of Jesus’ day in the flesh, yet opposing Him all the way. That is where you, Jerry and Billy are. Has he indeed led thousands to Christ? Do you really know? Do you believe that simply because they went forward at his invitation to “accept Christ into their hearts”? Are you not judging after the appearance? Jesus said to “judge righteous judgment.” That can only happen by the Spirit of God, Whom you do not have. How then can you do anything but judge after the appearance, which you do? As it is written:

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:14-16).

I can guarantee you that the receiving of the Spirit is indeed a salvation issue. I will prove it by Scripture. Cornelius puts you people to shame with his lifestyle before God. If you read Acts 10, you will find that he was devout, feared God with his house, prayed, gave alms, treated God’s people well, fasted, saw visions of God, and obeyed God when God spoke to him. His own servants described him as a just man who feared God, having a good report among the Jews. When Peter arrived, Cornelius, though he was a man of authority, a centurion, fell at Peter’s feet, knowing he was a man sent of God. He feared God. Here we are, and you are indignant with us, scorning the truth, and accusing us of great evil. There is no question that you do not even come close to measuring up to the rest of the description given of Cornelius. Am I right, Doug? Yes, you know I am. In spite of all this, Cornelius yet needed to be saved, yes, saved! Of Cornelius, Peter testified:

“And he declared to us how he had seen an angel in his house, who stood and said to him, Send men to Joppa and call for Simon whose last name is Peter, who will tell you words by which you and all your house shall be saved” (Acts 11:13-14).

In spite of his exemplary spiritual life, Cornelius yet had to be saved. How was he saved? He was saved by receiving the Spirit, along with the gifts that ever accompany the Spirit upon reception. Receiving the Spirit is indeed a matter of salvation, and if you had the Spirit, you would not argue as you do, in foolishness and ignorance, contrary to Christ.

You say you have Christ and Cornelius did not. I say, “Look at his life,” and see that he had repentance, and subsequent honor of God. “You shall know them by their fruits,” said Jesus. “Beware of false prophets,” said Jesus. Those fruits are discerned spiritually. They cannot be determined by outward appearance, as you suppose. Do you have repentance, Doug? You have a profession of faith, you have religion, you have church, you have “Christian fellowship,” you witness, you have works, you have some Bible knowledge, although only in the letter, but do you know the Lord? I know that you do not, because you would not speak as you do if you did know Him. You would not be condemning us without substance or justice.

I can also guarantee you that “once saved,” as you put it, people will have no mind to make up about the gifts because they will have begun to have the Mind of Christ, and not their own. They will automatically have the gifts of the Spirit, which the Spirit comes to give. They will never speak against the gifts or Him, as does Billy Graham, and as do you. Billy is sober, presentable, simple yet powerful in delivery, charismatic, lovable, and he apparently preaches the gospel of Christ from the Bible. He deceives many. He preaches a false gospel, as does Falwell and all at Liberty. What did you expect? A man with horns, evil smirk, dressed in camel hair, leather girdle, long hair, calling the multitudes that come to him in the wilderness a generation of vipers (Luke 3:7), speaking perfectly obvious lies? Doug, being a phony yourself, how can you discern? How can you possibly discern?

Receiving the Spirit of God and teaching others to do so is about as “orthodox” as it can get before God, don’t you think? Speaking against the Spirit, as does Billy Graham, who has never received the Spirit, is about as “unorthodox” before God as it can get, Doug. You blaspheme and stand with blasphemers, opening wide the mouth in great ignorance before God, drinking damnation. “That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination with God,” said Jesus. Tell me, Doug: Do you highly esteem Billy Graham? Do you think there are any others who do? Case closed. Repent; you are included in the generation of vipers. You would do well to read Our Testimonies, The Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Counterfeit Christianity, and this one for certain: The True Marks of a Cult. By Scripture and by the example of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will find this document accurate, incisive and so applicable to you and your environment.

Unless you change your mind, by the grace of God only, we do hereby unsubscribe you from The Issues of Life.

Earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints, which is now misrepresented by the tares and is substituted by another faith, through another gospel preaching another Jesus,

Victor Hafichuk

Paul’s reply:

Doug, Paul here.

The Scriptures tell us that without the Spirit of Christ, a man is not His. Would you not then call receiving the Spirit a salvation issue? The problem for evangelicals is that they promulgate a false teaching, which is that one has the Spirit of Christ at conversion, or worse yet, by reciting “the sinner’s prayer.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

You must receive the baptism of the Spirit of God, not for the sake of manifesting gifts, but to be made into the likeness of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, being born not only of flesh, but also of the Spirit. Peter was a different man after receiving the Spirit of God. So will you be when you receive His Spirit. Until then, you are not yet in a place where you hear His voice, or know Him as you need to. Presently you do not know Him at all, or you would not strive with those who do.

I assure you we are not attacking the Body of Christ. The whole point of what God revealed to Victor, and what all the saints of God see clearly in Him, is that such as Billy Graham have nothing to do with His Body. Graham was never the Lord’s to begin with. He follows another Jesus, and another god, which is the god of this world. That is why Graham is such a good friend to presidents and religious men of all kinds, including the pope, who is the incarnation of the presumptuous man of sin, vaunting himself in the face of God. But Graham is not a friend who speaks truth to the pope, or anyone else for that matter. He is a friend of the world, one who saves the flesh (his own firstly), rather than crucifying it.

Will Billy Graham be saved? Yes, as with all men, whether in this life or the next, he will be brought to the place where he will see the Lord and mourn for his sins, which are many, and will yet confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, as God has promised (Isaiah 45:23). Otherwise Jesus Christ is not the Saviour of all men, as it is written:

“For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, Who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe” (1 Timothy 4:10).

My friend, you are drowning in a sea of falsehood, and there is no way I can empty the ocean for you. But I am telling you the truth, which is a life-saver that will bring you to land safely if you can receive it from God.

The gospel that you refer to that is reaching thousands is a false gospel. The fact that you can talk about those hearing this gospel being saved and thereafter making their own decisions about the gifts of the Spirit is evidence of the falsehood. It is the fruit of a lawless gospel, which does not teach that Jesus Christ is Lord, but rather that men decide their fates as they will, while giving Him lip service. Better to do your own thing and leave Him out of it. Better to be cold than lukewarm. To such as you, the Lord’s words apply:

“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people draws near to Me with their mouth, and honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men'” (Matthew 15:7-9).

Doug’s response:

Paul,

…Despite your reply, I stand by my reading of Ephesians 4. See especially verses 30-32.

Doug

Paul’s reply:

Doug, you are hiding your nakedness by trying to use the Bible as a fig leaf. You have not answered any of the legitimate and applicable matters that we have brought up as a result of your initial comments to us. You have not addressed the expressed need for the baptism of the Spirit, as promised by the Lord Himself (Acts 1:5) and as taught by His apostles who themselves manifested the gifts of the Spirit. You have not addressed the substantive evidence that exposes Billy Graham as a false prophet and thereby disqualifies your opinion that our correspondence divides the Body of Christ.

While we are protecting and nourishing His Body, you serve another body, and another god. You have not answered anything about your own errors and the exposure of yourself as a false teacher who says believers “can” or “should” decide for themselves what they will do regarding spiritual matters after they are saved. The very opposite is true! The risen Lord Jesus, Whose Spirit it is that we receive, so that we may be as He is, said this about what He did:

“And He Who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things which please Him” (John 8:29).

You have not dealt with the fact that you are in the error of presumption by holding to your own opinion in place of the Word of God. You have not answered about your lack of fruits compared to such as Cornelius, even before he was saved, or the unorthodoxy of your own teachings and those of Billy Graham compared to what God teaches about salvation through receiving the Spirit of Christ, and walking in Him. You have not replied to the many things in The True Marks of a Cult that expose Liberty Baptist University, the Billy Graham “Crusades,” and a host of other works as antiChrist (in place of Christ, presuming His presence and blessing while denying Him in spirit and substance).

You have not answered us in anything, except to repeat what was not valid to begin with, which we have already answered. Nevertheless, I have more to say about your assertion.

Here are the Scriptures to which you refer:

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be you kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:29-32).

By what I have just pointed out to you, Doug, is it not clear that you are the one from whom corrupt communications proceed, inasmuch as you are speaking personal opinion that denies the Word of God? It is clear to those who can see. You need to repent, so that you can see too and so that you will hate and reject the works of the flesh.

We do not grieve His Spirit by speaking the truth to you or others, but we please Him by identifying with Him in a wicked and religious world that gives Him lip service, like you do, but does not obey Him. You cannot grieve the Spirit of God because you do not have His Spirit in the first place, even denying the baptism by which you would be sealed with the Spirit of Christ. He has not committed Himself to you so that you could grieve Him.

Rather, you and your kind practice an affected Christ-likeness, thinking to project kindness and forgiveness by the power and expression of your fleshly minds and carnal passions. It may fool men (though even there many unbelievers see the phoniness), but it does not fool God. While you talk about being forgiving, it is you who, as an offender, stands in great need of forgiveness. When we, in His stead, show and tell you your error so that you could receive that forgiveness, you stiffen your neck and give us misunderstood and misapplied Scriptures, thinking yourself justified because you quote from your god, the Bible. You sit in judgment of God, using His own words to judge Him, and then tell Him, “I forgive you God, go your way and be nice like I am.”

“How naughty of God to judge people! How ungodly of Him! He surely should not say anything contrary to anyone who uses the Bible or names the Name of Christ. How dare He!” That is the foolish and wicked stance you are taking, Doug. You have loved lies told in the Name of the Lord. You have made Him out to be silent and unwilling to judge anyone, especially yourself. It is enough, praise God! You are now hearing the truth. Repent!

You apply verses to us from one of your main gods, the Bible, as the words suit your own righteousness. You must find fault with us or face your own culpability, which you are not willing or able to do. You judge us after the flesh and by the appearance, condemning us for that which you have no answer and give no substance to disprove. It is you, and not we, that is the false accuser of the brethren! We speak of the sins of men, and of the errors taught in the Name of God, as commanded by Him:

“Cry aloud, do not spare, lift up your voice like a ram’s horn, and show My people their rebellion, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1).

While we do so openly, as commanded, you hide your own bitterness and malice behind a fake “Christian” expression of kindness and forgiveness. God sends us to speak so that you would forsake your errors and the false, fleshly worship that is so offensive to Him. We are forgiving you in the place of Christ, Whose forgiveness is there for you, if, upon hearing the truth, you repent. We are kind in speaking what is hard while you are evil in speaking what sounds kind, as you reject us and the truth in Christ.

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:6).

Oh, the twisted and desperate wickedness of the human heart! You are caught in your own net, friend, and we have come to cut the cords for you, and for whomever the Lord so desires to hear the Word of life.

Contending for the faith once delivered to the saints, against that false faith which denies His coming and present judgment, as He said it would be,

Paul

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