Saturday, May 31, 2014

A TIME OF CRISIS - By Charles W. Wages

Life is sometimes described as one crisis after another. We often think of a crisis as being an emotionally significant event that causes a radical change in that persons life. Sometimes the crisis is caused by events outside our control, such as accidents, wars, recessions, severe illness of self or loved ones. The causes of crisis are so numerous that we are all affected whether a believer in Christ or not. What is the answer to a victorious life in time of crisis? 

It shouldn't take a severe crisis to bring a person to Christ, but often it does.

From Crisis to Christ

Sometimes a person needs a crisis in their life to see their need of salvation. Often, self dependant, successfully active people are blind to the fact that they are sinners by nature and practice. They are self-sufficient and self-reliant and never think of being blind and lost. The crisis often causes a person to see how helpless they really are and their need for Someone to help. The crisis doesn't save them, but their turning from self to the Saviour and trusting Him as Saviour and Lord results in salvation. The gospel of Gods grace is sufficient to save from the guttermost to the uttermost all who believe.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Sometimes, a crisis turns believing people to greater service for the Lord. We could speak of this as,

From Crisis to Challenge

The apostle Paul spoke of a door being opened unto him to serve the Lord.

For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. (1 Corinthians 16:9)

However, he was quick to write, and there are many adversaries. The devil is quick to respond every time an opportunity is offered the child of God to serve in some manner or capacity. The needed advice is given in verses, 13-14,

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with love.

We are also admonished in Galatians 6:10,

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

In 1 Thessalonians, chapter 1, the apostle Paul thanks God for the believers and their faithful work for the Lord. In verses 2 and 3, he writes,

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.

Note how the service of these saints is listed,

. work of faith 
. labor of love 
. patience of hope. 

We must remember these saints were ministering in a time of great crisis and challenge. Also, it is . . . wonderful that these three virtues of service are those familiar three virtues found in 1 Corinthians 13:13,

And now abideth faith, hope, and charity (love); but the greatest of these is charity.

These three should be the basis for our service for the Lord in time of crisis, not the love of money or fame. Someone wrote,

Shamger had an ox-goad;
David had a sling;
Dorcas had a needle;
Rachel had a string;
Samson had a jawbone;
Aaron had a rod;
Mary had some ointment;
But all were used of God.

One thing is sure, that if we turn to the Lord in times of crisis, it will become a

Crisis to Victory

Who could forget or not be moved by the apostles cry of victory in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57,

 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.    But   thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

We read much today about victories on the battlefront, and in the air, but to the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, the spiritual victories are the most important. A soul saved; a prayer answered; a fallen believer reclaimed; the understanding of Scripture; the fellowship with other believers, etc. These are spiritual victories that build us up in the faith. We then can explain and proclaim,

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)

These are the things that bring victory out of every crisis. The saying of an enlightened saint is true today. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life; I was given life that I might enjoy all things. In times of crisis let us turn to Christ, prevail in service.

How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.

Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4

(A 10 Minute Video)

Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
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Friday, May 30, 2014

It's All In the Bible - by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

We couldn't help hearing it! This woman had a voice that could be heard at considerable distance and we distinctly heard her say: "I doped it all out from the Bible."

"Well, at least somebody's interested in the Bible," we said to each other.

But as she prattled on it turned out that she had used the records in an old family Bible to establish her claim to part of an estate. These records, introduced in court, had won the case for her.

There was, after all, no indication that she was interested in the Bible - only in those pages between the Old and New Testaments which, in some editions of the Bible, are kept for family records.

Actually she was no different from the masses about us who go about from day to day interested only in the things of this life and ignoring almost completely the things that really matter: God, heaven, hell and their own eternal destiny.

If these people only knew what treasures are to be found in the Bible! Among these are "riches of mercy" (Ephesians 2:4), "riches of grace" (Ephesians 1:7), "riches of glory" (Phil. 4:19), "riches of wisdom and knowledge" (Romans 11:33), "the riches of the full assurance of understanding" (Colossians 2:2), "the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8). And the best part of it is that anyone may have these riches simply for the asking:

"For there is no difference… for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him,

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:12,13).

How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4

(A 10 Minute Video)

 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey

E-mail this BIBLE STUDY to all your friends 


The Church or the Rock? - By Pastor Ivan L. Burgener

  The Church or the Rock? 
By Pastor Ivan L. Burgener  

   "And I also, I say unto thee that thou are Peter and upon this rock will I build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18 revised)

   The Lord spoke to Peter about a rock and a church and said the "gates of hell" would not prevail. But what does that mean? 
   To many this is the foundation passage upon which to base the teaching that Peter is the head of the church and that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. But that interpretation is based upon assumptions. 
   First, is Peter the rock? Peter's Greek name is PETROS, a masculine name meaning a "stone," such as a pebble one might toss or throw. The Greek word for "rock" is PETRA, a feminine noun meaning a massive rock or boulder-something that cannot be lifted or that will not budge. The Lord said one could build a house on a "rock" and even carve a tomb therein. See Matthew 7:24 & 27:60. Peter was not the rock and able commentators who read the Greek Language have known better.

   But what about the church? Did the Lord really say "the gates of hell would not prevail against the church"? His words were, "the gates of hell shall not prevail against IT." We all know "it" is a pronoun, but we do not all know that "it" refers to the church. Many have assumed so just like they assumed the Peter or his confession was the rock. But are we reading into or out of the verse? 
   One cannot tell by any English translation but the Greek pronoun here translated "it" is not neuter, but feminine and singular. Our word "her" would be the equivalent, but that would not be good English. 
   Since every pronoun must have its antecedant, our question is. Which noun in the sentence is both feminine and singular? There are two candidates: rock and church! Since both appear to be equally qualified, we must consider which fits the text and the context. 
   What would it mean to say, "the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church"? Or, what would it mean to say, "the gates of hell shall not prevail against the rock"? And to what does the term "rock" refer? Surely Christ was the Rock that followed Israel in the wilderness and the Messiah was to be the Rock of their salvation. People want to make Peter's confession to be the rock, but which is greater, his confession or the Rock Himself? 
   What are "the gates of hell"? In either case, what would it mean for them to "prevail"? Would you know the gates of hell if you saw them? What do they look like? Are they double-wide doors with hinges and latches? These questions are posed to help us consider what the Lord was talking about. 
   Pursuing the word "gates," from Genesis 19:1 we learn that "Lot sat in the gate" of the city of Sodom and in verse 9, they said he was a judge indicating a position of authority. In Proverbs 31:23 the virtuous woman's husband was "known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land." Further tracing of figurative uses of "gates" will confirm that this word indicates authority or power, such as one might have in government. 
   Our word "hell" comes from the Greek "hades" and its Hebrew equivalent "sheol." But both these words are often translated death or grave. For example in I Corinthians 15:55 this same word, HADES, is alternatively translated "death" and "grave." But when one combines these two words, "gates" and "hell," the phrase "gates of hell" becomes the "power of death" or "authority of the grave." 
   The idea of the "power of death" failing to prevail against the church is vague and uncertain. But to say that "the power of death" will not prevail against the Rock (Christ) clearly announces His resurrection! For the "power of death (or grave)" to prevail against Christ, would mean that the grave would hold Him and not let Him rise! That could not be! 

Recovery Of Truth - O'Hair - YouTube

How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4

(A 10 Minute Video)

 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Coming To The Land - By: Fern Cambell

After recording the events of the Flood and the scattering of mankind at the Tower of Babel, the book of capitalGenesis gives us the genealogy of Shem, the son of Noah. Out of Shem's lineage, would come God's chosen people, Israel.

In running the figures in the book of Genesis, we calculate that the Flood occurred in 1656 BV (approximately). Two years after the Flood, Shem was one hundred years old Shem then continued to live for five hundred more years after the Flood. He continued his life at the pre-Flood life span level. Shem was a living witness to the post-Flood generations of the severity of God's judgment upon sin. Shem lived to tell nine generations of people living after the Flood about the seriousness of disobeying God. Shem lived almost up to the time of the death of Abraham!

We continue the story in Genesis chapter 11 with the recording of the genealogy of the line of Shem. The record ends with the detailed record of Terah begetting three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran (the father Lot) died in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldees.

The name of Ur is a purely phonetic rendering of the place name and has no relationship to the actual spelling of the word. In Hebrew, the word is exactly the same letters as the Hebrew word which means light. Gesenius, in his Lexicon, says that the word might mean lucid region or the East.

The issue at hand is: Where was this Ur where Abraham was born? Archaeologists have claimed to have found a city by the name of Ur near the mouth of the great Euphrates River near the Persian Gulf. Of course, almost all of the religious world promptly jumped on the bandwagon and glorified this ruin as the birthplace of Abraham. But is it?

Now look at the map. On which side of the Euphrates River is this city of Ur shown? Yes, it is on the west side of the Euphrates River. Now, find Canaan on the map. With your finger, trace the so-called migration route of Terah and family if they were traveling to Canaan on the west side of the river. Would they have come naturally to a stopping place at Haran? No! Haron is on the wrong side of the Euphrates River, and, even if they had waded across it at this point, Haran would not have been a natural stopping point, for it would have been many miles out of the way. There is a another ancient city by the name of Ur on the eastern side of the Euphrates River, north of Haran, in Turkish Asia Minor The Turks believe that this city is the proper Ur, and they have a sign welcoming visitors to "Ur, the city of Abraham." Scholars, with recognized high academic degrees, believe that this city is the Ur mentioned in the Bible.

In Genesis chapter 12, we read that God told Abraham to go "from your land and from your kindred, and from the house of your father to the land which I will show you." Abraham clearly understood this land to be the land of Canaan, for he took Sarah and Lot and all his possessions, including his servants and "departed to go to the land of Canaan."

The land of Canaan was named after its early inhabitants, the Canaanites, and idolatrous people. Although God gave this and to Abraham and to his descendants, saying, "To your descendants I will give this land," Abraham realized clearly that God did not want Abraham's descendants to intermarry with the Canaanites. When the time came for Abraham to choose a wife for his son Isaac, he commanded his servant to go to his family home, Haran, where his brother's (Nahor's) family had settled, to get a wife for his son. Abraham said, "You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanits--among whom I dwell!"

God, with sovereign authority, gave this land of Canaan to His servant, Abraham, an "to his Seed," his descendants. God said to Abraham, "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant to be God to you and to our descendants after you. Also I give to you and to your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger --all the land of Canaan for an
everlasting possession, and I will be their God" (Gen. 17:7-8--Emphsis added)

We should be sure that, in today's confusing political world in which we live, we stay on God's side in relationship to the land of God's people, Israel.

How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.

Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4

(A 10 Minute Video)

Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
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God's Faithfulness And Ours - by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

Many people suppose that salvation is God’s reward to those who do their best to live good lives. This is not so, for God’s Word says of those who are saved:

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (II Tim. 1:9).

Referring to this “salvation which is in Christ Jesus,” St. Paul says:

“It is a faithful saying, for if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him” (II Tim. 2:10,11).

In other words: The believer, viewing Calvary aright, has “died with Christ.” Viewing the Cross, he has said: “This is not Christ’s death. He was no sinner. He had no death to die. He is dying my death!” And so by faith he is “crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20). The penalty for all his sins has been fully paid, for he died — in Christ, and thus has also risen with Christ “to walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:3,4).

This is all God’s doing, and only now is the believer in a position to do good works that will please God. Thus the Apostle writes of believers, in II Tim. 2: “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us” (Ver. 12). When the believer’s service for Christ is reviewed some, indeed, will “receive a reward,” but others will “suffer loss,” though they themselves will “be saved, yet so as by fire” (I Cor. 3:14,15).

It will be deeply embarrassing, in that day, for unfaithful Christians to face empty-handed the One who gave His all, Himself, to save them. Yet salvation is by grace, thus the Apostle hastens to conclude his statement in II Timothy 2, with the words:

“If we are unfaithful, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself” (Ver. 13)

Thus our rewards as believers depend upon our faithfulness, but our salvation, thank God, on His

Read Also
The Revelation of The Mystery - Pastor J. C. O'Hair

How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.

Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4

(A 10 Minute Video)

Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
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Glorious Liberty Of The Children Of God by Pastor C. R. Stam

       We Americans have, for over two hundred years,celebrated our liberty  as an independent nation on the Fourth of July.

 It does not follow from this however, that all Americans are now free. Far from it! Think of the millions of alcoholics and drug addicts,  bound with chains they only wish they could break. Think of the slaves  to immoral passions, to violent tempers, to malicious backbiting, not  to mention smoking and other habits they cannot control. No, the vast majority of Americans are slaves to–well, sum it all up in one word: sin.

 If God is a righteous Judge — and He is — He must of course, punish  sin. Romans 6:23 says: “the wages of sin is death”, but on the other  hand, thank God, I Corinthians 15:3 says:“Christ died for our sins”.

 The Lord Jesus Christ was no sinner; He had committed no crimes; there was no wrong He had to pay for; He had no death to die. It was our  death He died at Calvary, and we are saved from the penalty as we look  at Calvary and say: “This is not His death He is dying; it is mine. He is paying for my sin. I will accept this gift of God and trust Him as  my Saviour”.

 This is a wonderful truth: Death, the penalty of the Law, was inflicted on us — in Christ. Therefore the Law (i.e., the Ten Commandments) has no further claim on us. If it did, we would be  condemned all over again. This is why Paul says in Galatians 2:19: “I  through the Law am dead to the Law”. The Law may put a man to death,  but after that what can it do? Nothing. The Law has put him to death  (in Christ) and set him free from its own dominion.

 Unsaved friend, God wants you to be free, really free. He Himself, paid sin’s penalty for you and wants you to rejoice in what Paul calls, “the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom.8:21),  freedom from the condemnation of the Law!

 Place your trust in the Christ who died your death and you will find how gloriously true it is that “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed”.

How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.

Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4

(A 10 Minute Video)

Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Buy the Truth and Sell It Not - by Pastor C. R. Stam

Every true Christian should understand that the truth costs. If you don’t think so, make it your own, value it, defend it, stand for it, and see if it doesn’t cost. Before you are through it may cost you far more than you had thought — hours of ease and pleasure, friends and money. Yes, the truth costs. Salvation is gloriously free but the truth costs — that is, if you want it for yourself. Many who know the truth won’t buy it. They won’t pay what it costs to say: “This is what I believe. This is my conviction.” The truth isn’t worth that much to them.

But in Prov.  God’s Word urges us: “Buy the truth”  ! Not, “Buy it if you can get it at a bargain; if the price is not too great.” No, “Buy the truth” ! Buy it at any price. It is worth far more than anything you can give in exchange for it.

And when you have bought it: “sell it not.” How many, alas, have bought the truth only to sell out again! For a while they valued and defended some God-given light from His Word, but presently they sold it again for something that seemed more valuable. Perhaps it was peace with others, or position, or popularity or some other temporal gain. They still gave mental assent to it but it formed no part of them. It was no longer a conviction.

Such should read again the Spirit’s counsel: “Buy the truth,and sell it not.” He does not say: “Don’t sell it unless you can get a very good price for it.” He says: “Sell it not.” Sell it not at any price. Buy it, no matter what it costs and when it is yours do not sell it for any price or under any consideration.

It is because the truth is so little valued in this indifferent age, that many of God’s people have become so spiritually powerless. They hold opinions instead of convictions, because they have given the infallible, unchangeable Word of God little place in their lives. God blesses and uses those who “buy the truth and sell it not.”

Read Also

Recovery Of Truth - O'Hair - YouTube

How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.

Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4

(A 10 Minute Video)

Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Confessing Instead of {Concess-Our Sins} By - Kevin Coonan

Do we need to confess our sins each day Apostle Paul, tell us he was dead to the Law (Galatians2:19-20) then how could  he confess his sins? day by day, So Listened to what he telling  us in the age of Grace, and how he was saved.
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long suffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.  (1 Timothy 1:16)
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans (10:17)
In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.(Romans 2:16)
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:17-18)
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they wouldnot have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2:8)
we are saved by the faith of Christ (Romans3:22) Who can separate Love of Christ (Romans 8:32-39)
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of thisworld hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:( Ephessians 2:8)                  
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. (1 Timothy 2:4-7)
 For  God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 2. Cor. 5:19                                                                                                                                                                               For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.( 2 Corinthians 5:21)
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism intodeath: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness ofhis resurrection: (Romans 6:3-5)
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.( 1 Corinthians 12:13)
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, beingdead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;( Colossians 2:10-13   In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace (Ephesians 1:7)
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation (Ephesians 1:12-13)
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:( Ephesians 2:4-6)
Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; (Titus 1:1
If we Fail to listened to our Gospel We have denied the Faith of Christ.

How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.

Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4

(A 10 Minute Video)

Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
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The Holy Spirit His Mission and Ministry By Ike T. Sidebottom

The Holy Spirit

The personality of the Holy Spirit stands out on the pages of the Scriptures. Only the quickened minds of the new creatures in Christ are able to see and appreciate this divine personality as they read the one Book which He, Himself, wrote through "holy men of God."
We see Him in Hebrews 9:14 as the Eternal One, while Psalms 139:7-13 reveals His omnipresence. I Corinthians 2:10 tells us that He is omniscient, and Luke 1:35 proves His omnipotence. This means that He is the uncreated God of glory, who has no beginning and no ending. He is everywhere present at the same time, has infinite knowledge, and unlimited, universal power.
His Incorporeal Existence

The Holy Spirit is incorporeal. That is He doesn't have a physical body that can be touched or handled. When God the Son became the Son of God, He lived among men in a divinely prepared body (Hebrews 10:5), but God the Holy Spirit lives among men without a body of His own. The Son could not have done His work without a body; the Holy Spirit could not do His work with a body. The Son came to die in His own body that He might deliver us from the guilt and penalty of sin. The Holy Spirit came to live in our bodies that He might deliver us from the power of sin. The fact that the Holy Spirit is incorporeal does not in anyway diminish His personality. His work is distinctively personal. He is not a mere force. He is a distinguishable personality, definitely marked as such by the various attributes ascribed to Him by the Holy Scriptures. He speaks through men; He ministers through His servants; He creates and gives life; He strives with sinners, and He pleads with saints.
His Power to Speak Through Men

David, "The sweet Psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was in my tongue" (II Samuel 23:1-2).
The Holy Spirit has no tongue of His own, yet He has spoken His Word to the sons of men. David had no power of his own to speak forth the Word of God, but his tongue could become an instrument for the Holy Spirit to speak through. The same is true of other men who were "moved by the Holy Ghost" (II Peter 1:21) to speak and to write the very words of God.
The prophets are known to have "inquired and searched diligently" into their own prophecies concerning "what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow" (I Peter 1:10-11). In other words, the testimony of the Holy Spirit through the prophets was more than the prophets themselves could understand without the aid of the Spirit. They wrote the message and then the Holy Spirit "revealed" unto them the meaning of the things they had written (I Peter 1:12).
These men were fallen sons of Adam, such as we are. However, during the moments that they were writing down God's words they were so completely dominated by the Holy Spirit that they were absolutely powerless to exercise their own wills. Therefore they could write only the very words of God, even to the jot and the tittle.
While it is true that God has moved upon the writers of the Bible as He has never moved upon any other man or set of men to write any other book, either before or since, and while it is true the Bible, with its sixty-six books, is the complete Word of God, and not one other syllable can ever be added to it, yet, it is also true that the Holy Spirit is still working and is still using human instrumentality.
The Holy Spirit is not putting His Word into the tongues of the present day men of God. He is not inspiring men of this age to write His Word. However, the Holy Spirit is using the tongues and the pens of present day saints to proclaim and publish the Word which He gave through "holy men of God" in days gone by.
His Plea for Our Bodies

The Holy Spirit, having no body of His own, needs sanctified (set apart) bodies through whom He may minister to the material and spiritual needs of the church and through whom He may preach the gospel to a lost world.
God is able to feed His church today, even as He gave quails to the church in the wilderness; yet, He instructs the churches of Galatia and Corinth to set apart certain offerings "upon the first day of the week," as God had prospered them, for the benefit of the poor saints ( I Corinthians 16:1-2).
The Holy Spirit was able to interest the Ethiopian eunuch in the 53rd chapter of Isaiah, but He needed Philip to begin at that same Scripture and preach "unto him Jesus" ( Acts 8:26-39). The Holy Spirit, knowing that the "last days" of the church age would be marked by "perilous times" (II Timothy 3:1-7) and that the desire on the part of the people would be for "fables" instead of "truth," made His appeal for "faithful men" who would "preach the word" and "be instant in season" and "out of season," reproving, rebuking and exhorting "with all longsuffering and doctrine" ( II Timothy 2:1-2 and 4:1-5).
The great need of the hour in the church of this age is a yielding, on the part of both preachers and people alike, to the tender appeal of the Holy Spirit as set forth in Romans 12:1-2—"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
His Creaive Work

"The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" which once covered the earth upon which we now live (Genesis 1:2 with II Peter 3:7). And God said, "Let there be light" and there was light (Genesis 1:3).
First, the moving (brooding) of the Holy Spirit; then, the "Word of God" enters, and then, light takes the place of darkness, order takes the place of chaos and the earth becomes a fit dwelling place for man. So it is with the "new creation." The Holy Spirit moves or broods over the confused soul of the benighted sinner and draws him to Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and, as the sinner believes, the "light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God," shines forth in his soul. He becomes a "new creature" in Christ: "Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (John 3:5-8 with Psalms 119:130, II Corinthians 4:6 and  Corinthians 5:17).

His Daily Ministry

The Spirit of God is constantly "striving" with sinners. However, He "shall not always strive with man" (Genesis 6:3).
God loves every unsaved soul and His "longsuffering to us-ward" proves that He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9). He shall not always strive with mankind. One day He shall give His last gospel message and declare an end to the day of salvation forever. But as long as the door of salvation by grace is open to any, it is open to "whosoever" will accept the invitation. He never ceases to strive with the individual sinner of this age.
The saved person who is out of harmony with God is a source of constant grief to the indwelling Spirit (Ephesians 4:30-32). He is always striving with the weak and sinning child of God, trying to bring about growth in grace, usefulness in service, and a walk that is worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called (Ephesians 4:1-7).
Dear reader, are you unsaved? If so heed the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. Let Him conduct you to the cross of Calvary where you may behold the "Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world." Just obey His voice and His written Word. He will see you through to complete salvation. Read John 3:16-18 with Romans 10:9-10.
If you are saved, just remember that "your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Corinthians 6:19-20). He wants you, and He wants all that you have. He will use you for His glory, and He will make "all things work together for good" to you and yours as you abide in Him and in the calling wherein ye are called (Romans 8:28).
The ministry of the eternal Spirit of God is definitely different from that of the Father or that of the Son, yet the three persons of the God-head always work together.
A Dispensational Study of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary in order to understand His work during the present age. So far as the unsaved are concerned the work of the Holy Spirit never varies with the crossing of dispensational lines. He has always striven with sinners, He is now striving with them, and He will continue the same work during the future tribulation period. However, His ministry in behalf of the saved cannot be understood unless it is viewed dispensationally. We are going to examine His ministry with the saints under the law dispensation of the past; His present work under grace; and His future ministry in the days of the great tribulation.
In the Law Dispensation of the past, the Holy Spirit often came upon or entered into certain men of God performed a certain piece of work, and then departed from them. He did not enter into the Old Testament saint to abide with him forever.
Take David, for example; even though he was a "man after God's own heart" we find him pleading with God in Psalms 51:11 saying, "Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me." Imagine the Apostle Paul praying such a prayer in the light of his positive teaching—"Ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1:13-14).
In David's day, under the dispensation of the law, the Holy Spirit did oftentimes leave the believer when grieved because of his sin. However, Paul admonishes the believer of this age saying, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30)
The Present Dispensation  of grace is a time during which the Holy Spirit abides within the heart of every saved person. Just before the Lord Jesus ascended into glory He gave these positive words of assurance to those who believed on Him and were left behind—"I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:16-17).
The Holy Spirit did not come to abide in believers until after the death, resurrection, and glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ. This truth is clearly brought out in the testimony of the Lord Jesus as recorded in John 7:38-39—"He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But, this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given: because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"
After Christ finished the earthly ministry of His first advent, arose from the grave and ascended into glory, He sent the Holy Spirit to the earth. The present day ministry of the Holy Spirit, so far as the world is concerned, was suggested by the Lord Jesus just before He left earth for glory. In John 16, verses 8 to 11, speaking of the Holy Spirit, He said "When he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they believed not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." In verses 12 to 14 of the same chapter He said to His beloved disciples, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
This testimony of the Lord Jesus separates the present day ministry of the Holy Spirit to the world from that which He renders to the church.
His Mission and Ministry to the Saints in this church age calls our attention to at least seven words:
1.    The Baptism (Acts 1:5)
2.    The Indwelling I Corinthians 3:16)
3.    The Gift (Acts 2:38)
4.    The Sealing (Ephesians 4:30)
5.    The Earnest (Ephesians 1:14)
6.    The Anointing (II Corinthians 1:21)
 7.              The Fullness (Ephesians 5:18)
This seven-fold mission and ministry of the Spirit will continue until the very last member is added to the Body of Christ, the church. After which, the church will be presented to Christ in glory, where Christ, the Head, and His Body, the church, will be united together never to be separated again. After the Holy Spirit conducts the church into the presence of Jesus Christ, His present work within the membership will be completed. However, His earthly ministry will not, at that time, be completed. The church which is His Body, having been glorified, the Holy Spirit will then turn His attention to the tribulation saints
During the Tribulation Period the Holy Spirit will begin working in behalf of God's chosen people, national Israel. So far as God's time is concerned, He will begin with them at the close of the sixty-ninth week of Daniel, chapter 9. This period of His earthly ministry will begin the seventieth week of Daniel's prophecy. Between these two weeks of years, set forth by the prophet Daniel, God has not and will not count time on national Israel.
During this future seventieth week, the Holy Spirit will strive with the unsaved on the basis of the "kingdom message." It will be a time when the Israelites shall be afflicted and many shall be killed because they will be hated by "all nations." Many false prophets shall arise, and "because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:9-14).
This will be the time when the Holy Spirit will speak through His messengers to the seven churches of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, saying:
"To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." (2:7)
"He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." (2:11)
"To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna." (2:17)
"And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron." (2:26-29).
"He that overcometh the same shall be clothed with white raiment; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life." (3:5)
"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and He shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God." (3:12)
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in His throne." (3:21)
I also call your attention to verses 16 and 17 of the closing chapter of Revelation—"I, Jesus, have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches, I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely."
Such is the testimony of the risen and glorified Christ just before "His enemies be made His footstool." In giving this testimony through the Holy Spirit, He was preparing the way for His glorious appearing and millennial reign. Note His closing words in the Revelation: "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so come Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a subject that is receiving considerable attention at the present time. The "gift of tongues" and "anointing with oil" are closely associated with Holy Spirit baptism among certain ranks of believers. These people, and many of them are sincere, God fearing Christians, are making great claims with respect to their "sanctification" and their ability to "heal the sick." These claims are usually based upon the manifestations in connection with the work of the Holy Spirit at "Pentecost" and during the transition period covered by the book of Acts when God bore witness "both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will."
A careful application of II Timothy 2:15 to the work of the Holy Spirit in the different dispensations will help the honest, open-minded, searcher of the Scriptures to understand the Scriptural meaning of the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit." He was ministering among men before the ascension of Christ, and He will minister among men after the return of Christ to the earth, but this past and future ministry was not and will not be the same as that which He is performing in this dispensation of grace between the ascension and the revelation of our Lord.
In this particular study we are going to examine the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" from three different view points, namely the Prophetic viewpoint, the Doctrinal viewpoint, and the Historical viewpoint.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Viewed Prophetically

About eight hundred years before Christ, Joel prophesied to Israel saying, "And it shall come to pass afterwards, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call. For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land" (Joel 2:28-3:2).
Another Old Testament prophet by the name of John the Baptist spoke to the same people on the same subject saying, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire" (Matthew 3:11). He goes on to say in John 1:29-34—"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore I am come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."
The risen Lord, Himself, prophesied, according to Acts 1:5, saying, "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."
On the day of Pentecost the Holy Ghost came in fulfillment of the three above mentioned prophecies. He manifested His presence and power by causing them which were filled with the Holy Ghost to "speak with other tongues." Peter explained to the amazed multitude the full meaning of this sudden appearance of the Holy Spirit when He said, "This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel" and then quoted Joel 2:28-32. Carefully read Acts 2:1-21. It is easy to see that this Pentecostal demonstration was the fulfillment of prophecy and not the "mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints. Compare Acts 2:16-21 with Colossians 1:24-29.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Viewed Doctrinally

We know that only "Jews " and "Proselytes" were present on the day of Pentecost. It is generally agreed that an uncircumcised Gentile could not have gotten into the fellowship of those who received the Holy Spirit on that day. One only has to read Acts 2, verses 14, 22 and 36 to see that Peter's message was addressed to Israelites only. As we carefully compare Acts 8:1-4 with Acts 11:19 we see that the members of the Jerusalem church who were "scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria "went forth preaching the word to none but Jews only."
Naturally the question arises—"What did the baptism of the Holy Spirit mean to these believing Jews and Proselytes of the Pentecostal period?" As I understand the Word, the baptism of the Holy Spirit was the act of God which added the individual believer to the church of Acts 2:47, and this was equivalent to adding the said believer to the Lord (Acts 5:14).
Thousands of believing Jews and Proselytes were thus added to the Lord between the 2nd and the 10th chapters of Acts. However, Cornelius and his household were the first uncircumcised Gentiles to be added to this Jewish church (Acts 10:1-48). A careful study of Acts 11:15 with Acts 15:7-11 certainly suggests that these newly converted Gentiles received the Holy Ghost just as circumcised Jews had received Him on the day of Pentecost. The testimony of Simeon, recorded in Acts 15:14-18, further suggests that the bringing in of these Gentiles was according to prophecy, and that their calling was in connection with the building again of the "Tabernacle of David." Again I call your attention to the need of referring once more to Paul's testimony in Colossians l:24-29. The Gentiles of Acts 15:14-18 were brought in according to prophecy, those of Colossians 1:24-29 are being brought in "according to the dispensation of God" which was given to Paul to "fulfill the Word of God; even the mystery which hath been hidden from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints." The Gentiles of Acts 15:14-18 were identified with the "Tabernacle of David, "an earthy proposition, while the Gentiles of Colossians 1:24-29 are identified with the Body of Christ, a heavenly company. The Gentiles referred to in Acts 15:14-18 were brought in through Peter, who had the "keys to the kingdom of heaven," but the Gentiles of Colossians 1:24-29 are being brought in through the testimony of Paul, who was made a minister according to the dispensation of the "Mystery."
Following the conversion of Cornelius, the Apostle Paul was sent forth as the apostle and preacher and teacher of the Gentiles. However, it is definitely understood that his testimony was "to the Jew first and also to the Gentile." He followed this program to the Jew first until the setting aside of national Israel, according to Acts 28:28. During his Acts period ministry, he recognized the "middle wall of partition" between the believing Jew and the believing Gentile. (Acts 21:18-26). During this period the believing Jews were "zealous of the law" and the believing Gentiles were to "observe no such things."
Even though Paul recognized his own freedom from all men, yet he made himself servant unto all, that he might gain the more. During that transition period, he became a Jew unto the Jews and under the law to them that were under the law. He was made "all things to all men" that he might by all means save some (I Corinthians 9:19-22). It was during this transition period that Paul gave the following doctrinal statement concerning the baptism of the Holy Spirit—"For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one spirit" (I Corinthians 12:13).
In the 27th verse of this same chapter, Paul addresses these baptized ones saying, "Now ye are the Body of Christ, and members in particular." Paul continues this same doctrine in Galatians 3:27-28, Romans 6:3-4, Ephesians 4:4-6, and Colossians 2:9-15.
In the light of these Scriptures it seems clear that the church which is the Body of Christ was certainly in the making during Paul's Acts period ministry. Indeed it was revealed as an organism in the above testimony of Paul to the Corinthian believers. This can be true and still not contradict Paul's testimony concerning the "mystery, which hath been hid from ages and from generations" as recorded in Colossians 1:24-29. However, it does seem to me that it would be difficult to establish a doctrine which begins the Body of Christ at Pentecost. Such a doctrine seems to be contrary to the teachings of Paul's emphatic statements in Ephesians 3:1-7 and Colossians 1:24-29.
Another question must be dealt with by those who would believe that the Body of Christ did not begin until the days of Paul's ministry. The question is: "Into what company of saints did the Holy Spirit baptize the believers between Pentecost and Paul's ministry?" If He baptized them into the Lord would they not be members of His Body? Strange as it may seem, this last question can be Scripturally answered—"Yes" and "No."
We are told that Christ has a "Body." We are told also that Christ has a "Bride." Just for argument's sake, let us say that the Body and the Bride are two different companies of saints. (We can easily do this because many of our outstanding Bible teachers are not agreed on the question). Then the Body of Christ, when completed, will become the "perfect man" of Ephesians 4:13, and will, therefore, be the Body of the Bridegroom when He comes in glory. The Bride, on the other hand, is spoken of as the "great city, the Holy Jerusalem" (Revelation 21:9-10). When she is joined to the Bridegroom, she will be one with Him. This is in keeping with Genesis 2:24 and Ephesians 5:31. Thus we see that the Body is of Christ and the Bride is of Christ. Therefore, to be added to the Bride is to be added to the Lord; and to be added to the Body is to be added to the Lord, but this would not make the Body and the Bride one and the same organism. Let me illustrate. My wife and I are one, yet she has her separate body and is now about her work in our home at 1125 S. Adams Street; I have my separate body, and I am here in my office at 615 College Avenue dictating this Bible message. The fact that we are one in the sight of God does not alter the fact that we are separate organisms and functioning in different capacities for the glory of the Lord.
If this be true, and it is, then the Lord could have baptized the believers of the Pentecostal period into the Bride of Christ, and the believers of a later date into the Body of Christ. Even though it may seem difficult to establish a definite Scriptural date for the beginning of the Body of Christ, it is very consoling to know that, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the believers of our present day are certainly members of it and that we will be in that number when the Body is caught into glory and changed into the glorious likeness of our Lord and Head.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Viewed Historically

Four historical records of the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" stand out in the Book of the Acts. I am listing the four passages of Scripture covering these records, and suggest that you study them in the light of II Timothy 2:15:

1.    "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4). These believing Jews here received that which the risen Christ promised in Acts 1:5, therefore it can Scripturally be called the Baptism of the Holy Ghost." They also spoke with "other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
2.    "Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost" (Acts 8:17). These were Samaritans who had "believed Philip preaching the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ" and had been "baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus:" yet, they did not receive the Holy Ghost until two of the Jerusalem Apostles, Peter and John, came down and prayed for them and laid their hands on them (Acts 8:4-17). There is no record that the Holy Spirit gave these believers any utterances in "other tongues."
3.    "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost, for they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God" (Acts 10:44-46). These uncircumcised Gentiles received the Holy Spirit while they were hearing the words of the gospel given by Peter. They spoke with tongues and magnified God to the utter astonishment of the Jewish Christians who were present. Peter declares that "The Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning" (Acts 11:15). It seems that it was not necessary for Peter to lay his hands on these believers before they received the Holy Ghost.
4.    "And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them and they spake with tongues, and prophesied" (Acts 19:6). These are "certain disciples" which Paul found (not made) in the upper coasts of Ephesus. They had been baptized "unto John's baptism," but they had "not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost." After that Paul had explained to them the meaning of John's "baptism of repentance" they were baptized again. This second time they were "baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." Then, after that Paul had laid his hands upon them, they received the Holy Ghost.
Now, let us go back and carefully study the contents of these four different passages of Scripture, endeavoring to find out if they offer to us a working basis for the present-day church.
If the believers of Acts 2:4 were baptized into the same church that we are members of, namely, "the church, which is his body," then the "last days" of Israel as prophesied by Joel would have to be the beginning, or the first days of the church which is Christ's Body (Acts 2:16-21). This would make our present dispensation a subject of Old Testament prophecy and contradict the statement of Paul in Colossians 1:24-26.
The believers of Acts 10:44-46 are certainly the same Gentiles spoken of in Acts 15:14-18. Their calling was in perfect agreement with the "words of the prophets." This makes them saints of a "prophetic" period and not of the "dispensation of the mystery." Therefore Colossians 1:24-26 rules them out of the Body of Christ.
The believers of Acts 8:17 could not receive the Holy Spirit until the hands of an apostle were laid on them. The gift promised through the prophets was mediated through either the twelve apostles of the New Testament church or through the Apostle Paul, while he was still an able minister of the "New Testament." The order was—first believe, then be baptized in the name of the Lord, then receive the laying on of hands, and then receive the "baptism of the Holy Spirit."
The One Baptism of Ephesians 4:5 could not be the "water baptism" of Acts 2:38, 8:12 or 19:5. This would break the "sevenfold spiritual unity" of Ephesians 4:4-6. It certainly cannot be both the water baptism and the spiritual baptism suggested in these passages of the Book of Acts. That would make "TWO" baptisms in place of one. It must be the "baptism of the Holy Spirit."
This one baptism as preached by Paul in I Corinthians 12:13, Romans 6:3-4, Colossians 2:12, Ephesians 4:5 and kindred Scriptures is the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" which baptizes the believer into the death of Christ and raises him into a newness of life in his Saviour's Body, which is the one and only Scriptural church of this dispensation.
The believing sinner is saved from the guilt and penalty of sin through faith in the finished work of Christ on Calvary; he is baptized by the Holy Spirit into the church, which is the Body of the risen Christ, he is kept by the power of the advocating Christ, and he will be glorified soon by the returning Christ—Halleluiah, what a Saviour!
The Sin Against the Holy Ghost is spoken of by our Lord. His testimony on this subject is recorded in Matthew 12:31-32 where He speaks of sins that "shall be forgiven" and one certain sin that "shall not be forgiven." Before quoting this text, let us briefly examine the context in the same chapter. The Pharisees were planning to "destroy Him" (verse 14), but the "multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all" (verse 15). He charged the multitude "that they should not make Him known" (verse 16). This was done that Isaiah's prophecy concerning Him might be fulfilled. Then He quoted from Isaiah 42:1-4:
"Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust."
Doctor C. I. Scofield has given us some helpful dispensational truth concerning the reference to the "Gentiles" in this passage. In footnote No. 2 at the bottom of page 1012 in the Scofield Bible, he says—"This too is significant. The rejected King of Israel will turn to the Gentiles (cf. Mt. 10:5,6); in fulfillment, this awaited the official rejection, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ, and the final rejection of the risen Christ (Luke 24:46,47; Acts 19:15; 13:46; 28:25-28; Rom. 11:11)."
In this note Dr. Scofield has very Scripturally called our attention to the fact that the final rejection of Christ as King of Israel was not made until Acts 28:28. This fact is very significant in the study of the unpardonable sin referred to in our text. How could Israel or anyone else commit the unpardonable sin of "blasphemy against the Holy Ghost" before the Holy Ghost was given? (John 7:39).
The context of Matthew 12:31-32 will certainly prove that Christ was addressing Jews and not Gentiles as He taught them concerning the sins that were pardonable and the one sin that was unpardonable.
The Pardonable Sins were the "all manner of sin and blasphemy" of verse 31 and the sin "against the Son of Man" of verse 32. Paul speaks of the "Jews: who both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets and have persecuted us; and they pleased not God, and are contrary to all men: forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost" (I Thessalonians 2:14-16).
Notice the language used by the Lord Jesus as He rebuked the Jews saying, "Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" (Matthew 23:31-33). In the 38th verse of this same chapter we have these words— "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate."
The language of the Holy Spirit directed to these same Jews on the day of Pentecost is of an entirely different nature. The Spirit speaking through Peter reminds the men of Israel that they "denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto them." He also tells them that the "Prince of Life" whom they killed had been raised from the dead, and that he and his fellow disciples are witnessing in the name of the risen Christ (Acts 3:12-16). Note the tenderness in the message of Peter recorded in Acts 3:17-18—"And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled." The Jews who blasphemed the name of the "Son of Man" were called "serpents" and a "generation of vipers" by our Lord before His death on the cross. These same Jews were called "brethren" by the Holy Spirit after the finished work of Christ on the cross.
It seems clear that their blasphemy against the Son of Man was forgiven them. The prayer of Jesus, "Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do," was in behalf of the Jews, who with "wicked hands" crucified their King. The Scripture says both the Jewish nation and the "princes of this world" were ignorant of what they were doing when they crucified the Lord of glory (Acts 3:17, I Corinthians 2:7-8). Both Jew and Gentile ignorantly fulfilled the Scriptures when they crucified the one who was "delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God" (Acts 2:23). According to the prayer which Christ prayed while hanging on the cross, this terrible sin was forgiven, and therefore, the Holy Spirit could appeal to those, who before were serpents and vipers, as brethren. This He very tenderly did on the day of Pentecost and throughout the book of Acts. But national Israel stubbornly rejected their King.
Just as they had rejected the Father in the days of Samuel, and the Son in His day, so they rejected the Holy Spirit during His dispensation to them.
The Unpardonable Sin spoken of in Matthew 12:31-32 was the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. Christ declared that this sin would not be forgiven in this world, neither in the world to come. The word "world" means "age" or "dispensation." Christ was living in the law dispensation when He gave this teaching. The "this world" referred to the law dispensation. The "world to come" referred to the following age or this present dispensation of grace. Christ declared that the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost would not be forgiven in the law dispensation or in the age of grace, but He did not say that this terrible sin of Israel would not be forgiven in the yet future dispensation of the kingdom.
The Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost making His appeal to national Israel on a basis of the kingdom message. The "times of refreshing" spoken of by Peter in Acts 3:19 had reference to kingdom blessings during the earthly reign of the soon coming King, and not to heavenly blessings which the Body of Christ will enjoy after the rapture. He declared that the risen Christ must remain in heaven "until the times of the restitution of all things, which God had spoken by the mouth of all His Holy prophets since the world began." We know that God has never spoken through the mouth of the prophets concerning the dispensation of the mystery—the present age was committed to the Apostle Paul and not to men of other ages 
(Colossians 1:24-27). Therefore, we are quite sure that the Holy Spirit limited His ministry to Israel in the opening chapters of the book of Acts.
Israel's response to the Holy Spirit is clearly seen in the testimony of Stephen—"Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers" (Acts 7:51-52).

In Acts 18:5-6, we have another testimony concerning the attitude of Israel—"Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. And when they opposed themselves and blasphemed he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles."
In Acts 28:17-25, we have the final rejection of the Holy Spirit's offer of the kingdom message to Israel. Paul pronounced the final judgment upon the nation in verses 25-28 of this same chapter. Israel had committed her final sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and, as a nation, she was set aside. She had committed the sin that could not be forgiven in the age of the law or in the age of grace, but will be forgiven when "The Spirit of grace and supplications" is poured out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem and "they shall look upon him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son" (Zechariah 12:10). This will be the time when a nation shall be "born at once" (Isaiah 66:8).
"Justified by Faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). Justification means more than forgiveness or pardon. It means that our standing before God is as though we had never sinned.
"God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). This means that Christ has taken the sinner's place, borne the guilt and penalty of his sin in His own body on the tree and has died, the Just One for the unjust. This is why that God can "Be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3:26). The believing sinner of this age is justified from all sin. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and all other sins are removed as far from the sinner as the east is from the west when that sinner exercises simple, child-like faith in Jesus Christ as his sin bearer.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy house" (Acts 16:31).

Grace Bible Church

How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.

Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4

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Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey
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