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This is denial by non-experience. Those who never received the Spirit of God, and don’t believe, deny God (the Holy Spirit) and His spiritual gifts.
His gifts, however, are a manifestation of His very Nature:
“I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10 MKJV).
Some object, “Because I don’t have it, it isn’t meant for today, or it doesn’t exist.” Carnal unbelieving minds are geniuses at devising arguments to deny any truth – no different from other days when the religious resisted the Holy Spirit and those who are the Lord’s.
“O stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so you do” (Acts 7:51 MKJV).
Our spiritual experience isn’t completed with repentance. We must go on.
“And you will be hated of all men for My Name’s sake, but the one who endures to the end shall be kept safe” (Matthew 10:22 MKJV).
While confirming their faith, Paul taught believers that with much tribulation they must enter into the Kingdom. Had they or had they not already entered the Kingdom? Most evangelicals would say that one is a believer because one has entered. Obviously, Paul knew there was more involved than receiving the Passover of God by faith and being washed by the blood of the Lamb.
One must go on to receive the Holy Spirit, as did all those in Scripture – the disciples at Pentecost (Acts 2), the Samaritans (Acts 8), Saul (Acts 9), Cornelius and the Gentiles (Acts 10), and the Ephesian disciples (Acts 19). All these had repentance and Something More. That “Something More” was the Spirit of God, accompanied by His gifts (1 Corinthians 12). From there, they went on to enter rest in God (Hebrews 3 and 4). Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles – one must enter into, become, and celebrate all three Feasts.
It isn’t enough to repent. One must receive the Spirit of God, or he will be none of His (Romans 8:9). It is that simple.
Also, the Lord won’t come and make His abode in an unclean vessel. He is a holy God and will honor only those who honor and worship Him in spirit and truth.
Go ahead; push Him away, you “saved.” Hang on to your lusts and false doctrines; perish with His Name on your lips as though you knew Him. To you even now He says, “Depart from Me you workers of iniquity, I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23). Satan has succeeded in stopping you with a spurious conversion or, at best, satisfaction with partial truth, because you don’t have a love of the truth. You aren’t willing to deny yourself and take up your cross.
I have had many healings, and have personally witnessed them with others. I’ve had many visions, dreams, prophecies, and other gifts of the Spirit, as Joel said believers would have, many, if not most, of which have been fulfilled and confirmed. Several people I know have had dreams, visions, and prophecies that have come to pass.
Didn’t the Lord speak of signs following those who believed (Mark 16:17-18)? Were those signs only for that day? He didn’t say so. How then can you? Those who believe will pursue what I say, believing.
Do I boast? If I boast, it’s in the Lord and those things He has granted me by grace. I’m nothing. None of us is anything.
What Scriptural evidence is there to support the foolish notion that the gifts aren’t meant for today?
“That was a different dispensation,” some people say. I tell you that where the Spirit of God is, He manifests Himself.
Concerned about the counterfeit gifts? Yes, they exist. But do you discard your real money because thieves have counterfeited it?
Fools with lame excuses and ever so clever arguments, how will your wisdom serve you in the end? But God’s wisdom is justified of her children. I tell you that if the gifts of the Holy Spirit aren’t manifest in you, you don’t have the Spirit of God. If you resist the Holy Spirit, you resist Jesus Christ, the One you presume to love and worship, because He is the Holy Spirit.
There are those who quote this passage to refute the validity of the gifts for today:
“Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they shall pass away; whether there are tongues, they shall cease; whether there is knowledge, it shall pass away. Now we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is partial shall pass away” (1 Corinthians 13:8-10 EMTV).
I need only ask this of you: Has knowledge passed away? Is there no more need of healing? Has the perfect come? Are you perfect, you who deny the gifts?
If your answer is negative to any of these questions, how can you possibly say the gifts are no more? And if you are in need of His perfection, how would you obtain it, except by what He gives to accomplish this desirable end? To that end do His gifts and ministries serve in His Body, until all is accomplished.
“You have gone up on high; You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts for men, yes, for the rebellious also, that You might dwell among them, O Lord God” (Psalms 68:18).
If you oppose the gifts, you oppose God. And we’re not talking carnal gifts such as talents, training, or special interests, such as teaching or public speaking. No, we aren’t talking about the talents and abilities that the world has, but of the spiritual gifts, as listed in 1 Corinthians 12, all nine of them and more.
1 Corinthians 12:4-12 EMTV
(4) Now there are varieties of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit.
(5) And there are varieties of ministries, but the same Lord.
(6) And there are varieties of activities, but the same God works all in all.
(7) But to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the profit of all.
(8) For to one is given a word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another a word of knowledge according to the same Spirit,
(9) and to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,
(10) to another the working of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another discerning of spirits, and to another different kinds of tongues, and to another interpretation of tongues.
(11) But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
(12) For just as the body is one and has many parts, but all the parts of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
To the humble and repentant, I say “Go on! There’s more!” That should excite you, not discourage or anger you. Those after God will rejoice.
Consider the alternative to believing this doctrine: If I seek after God and receive the spiritual gifts, I will know and have more of God. If the gifts of the Spirit are no longer available, I will have lost nothing, provided I seek to obey God. But if the baptism in the Spirit is available, and I reject it, I’m rejecting God and, truly, salvation itself.
Many harbor the hope that because they are Christians, God will translate them from great tribulation and disaster, just as He saved Noah and Lot in the judgments of their day. What a rude awakening awaits so many! First of all, almost all who name the Name of Jesus Christ aren’t Christians. That would eliminate most hopefuls, if there were such a thing as physical rapture out of tribulation. But more to the point, the preachers and believers who seek substantiation for the escapist doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture have a tenuous foundation in the Scriptures.
The mindset that all believers have equal authority and status with God is another doctrine of devils. It breeds independence and disrespect for those God has set in His Body as leaders, making their responsibility so much more difficult and robbing those who believe this lie of the things they could have of God. They are damned by their thinking, which is prideful and rebellious.
Richard contacts us with his esoteric theories about baptism and charges that the apostles had no authority to water baptize. This gives us the opportunity to respond with the Scriptural record and sensible view of water baptism and baptism in the Spirit, the latter being the substance Christ came to give us.