Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
July 7, 1997
Last Updated :
March 21, 2018
Bondage And Extremism In The Modern Churches, Our Liberty In Christ, It Is This Simple: Believe On The Lord And Be Saved, A Question Of Sealed Or Filled, Extra Power For The Hour, Jesus Was Given The Spirit Without Measure, Spiritual Strain Of Ministry, Dependence Upon The Holy Spirit, Dead Religion: Judaism And Modern Christianity, Move People By The Spirit, My Personal Experiences, Know That Your Salvation Is Sure, Jesus Will Never Forsake You, Closing Remarks, Reading List
Continuing our discussion, as some of you will already know, there are certain churches which take their level of bondage and extremism even further than that. They view themselves as being so very spiritual, that they erroneously claim that unless one speaks in tongues and prophesies, they don't even have the Spirit of God. Well, if there is one thing I know, it is that our God is not the author of confusion. He made everything simple so that everyone can understand. It is only modern religion with its modern churches who have complicated things so that they can maintain a firm grip on and control of their members. This is a religion of bondage. It is not the one of liberty to which we the Children of God have been called. Consider the following verses:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,"
Luke 4:18, KJV
"Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."
Romans 8:21, KJV
"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
2 Corinthians 3:17, KJV
"And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:"
Galatians 2:4, KJV
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."
Galatians 5:1, KJV
"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage."
2 Peter 2:19, KJV
Personally, I do not need a religion of bondage; and this is what many modern churches are. They do exactly what the above verses say, just like the Scribes and Pharisees of old. They try to put their foot on your neck and bring you under their submission. Some of them claim that if one does not belong to their particular denomination, then he is not really saved. Others claim to be God's Endtime church. Still others claim that their leader -- whether pope, apostle, or prophet -- is God's final authoritative voice regarding matters of faith. As we have seen in this series, some claim that one must be water-baptized by them in order to be saved. Rules, rules, rules. Bondage, bondage, bondage. It certainly is not what Jesus preached or advocated; at least not in my Bible. My Bible simply states the following:
". . . Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."
Acts 16:31, KJV
Regarding this whole affair of being sealed by and filled with the Holy Spirit, there is only one concession I might be willing to make here. As I mentioned earlier, there is a possibility that being sealed by the Spirit and being filled with the Spirit, might be two separate things. Perhaps we are sealed with the Spirit of redemption at the moment we accept Christ's Atonement for our sins. However, unless we have intentions of dedicating our lives to Christ, perhaps we don't need to actually be filled with the Spirit through a secondary experience. After all, the primary purpose for being filled with the Holy Spirit -- in other words, a full indwelling of the Spirit -- is to receive additional power and anointing above and beyond the norm. It is to give us power for the hour.
That is precisely why the Spirit was given to Jesus without measure, as we see by the following verses. Jesus needed the extra power in order to perform so many different kinds of miracles, to cast out demons, etc. A lot of "virtue" was constantly leaving His body, as we see here:
"For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him."
John 3:34, KJV
"And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?"
Mark 5:30, KJV
"And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all."
Luke 6:19, KJV
"And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me."
Luke 8:46, KJV
When we minister to others in some way, we are expending a lot of spiritual energy. Those of you like myself who engage in these types of ministries will know exactly what I am talking about. It is both a spiritual and a physical drain to keep pouring out to others on a continual basis. Personally, I have become quite sick on a number of occasions. As some of you will know, last year I spent eleven days in the hospital due to complications arising from pushing myself to hard, and not taking proper care of myself. We cannot do it on our own. We need the power, strength, wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
But that is not all. There is another danger. Without that added spark of inspiration and the power of the Holy Spirit flowing through us like light through a prism, our words and our work will become cold and dead, and they will not move anyone. This is what happened to ancient Israel. Judaism became a cold, spiritually-dry religion which was marked by self-righteous works, and its leaders were blind on top of it all. Sadly, in some regards, this has happened with modern Christianity as well. Of course, there are certain churches and denominations which have gone to the opposite extreme, and which manifest spirits which are definitely not of the Lord, in my view. I discuss this subject in a few articles which are listed at the end of this series.
But the main point to consider here is that if what we say or do does not move anyone to accept the Lord, or to dedicate themselves to Him, or if it does not at least prick their conscience in some way, or shake them up and wake them up to some truth, then perhaps we are lacking the Holy Spirit and just working in our own strength and wisdom. It is definitely something worth praying about if you are not seeing any clear results in your chosen ministry.
In my particular case, many years ago, I did go through the process of the laying on of hands to receive the Holy Ghost as a secondary experience. This occurred several months after I had acknowledged the Lord through a Salvation prayer with some "Jesus People" in San Jose, California. That was in July of 1971. However, as occurred in the Book of Acts, there was no water baptism involved. As a young boy, I do recall being water-baptized in a Roman Catholic Church, but I seriously doubt that it had any real or lasting effect on me. It was just a dry ritual.
On a final note, in looking back to past experiences in my own life, I do recall instances where I prayed with persons who may have undergone water baptism in some church, but who were not absolutely sure if they had accepted the Lord, or if they had been filled with the Holy Spirit. In most instances, these were Catholics in Latin America who had been baptized as small children. We are told in the Scriptures that we are to make certain that we know that we are saved. Consider the following two verses:
"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
1 John 5:13, KJV
"Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast . . ."
Hebrews 6:19, KJV
We should all be sure of our Salvation. If you are not sure you are saved, well, pray again and rededicate yourself to the Lord, and make sure. Equally important, make sure that someone gives you a strong foundation in the Word so that you know that you are saved. After all, as the Apostle Paul writes:
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Romans 10:17, KJV
Once you open your heart and life to Jesus, you belong to Him forever. You have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, so you do not need to keep praying over and over again, fearing that you have lost your Salvation. As I explain in a number of other articles, Salvation is not a matter of good works. It is a matter of faith in what Jesus did for you. Once you believe in your heart, accept His Word as truth, receive Him, and confess Him before others, Jesus promises to never cast you out. You are saved, and you are His. Consider the following verses which confirm this point:
"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
John 6:37, KJV
". . . for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
Hebrews 13:5, KJV
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
Romans 10:9-10, KJV
With these thoughts I will bring this series to a close. It is my hope that you have found it to be both informative and enlightening, and I pray that it has been a blessing in your life as well. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or any other social network, I would appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, you may want to refer to the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this series, or which contain topics which are related to this series, and which are likewise located on the Bill's Bible Basics web server.
A Treasure in Earthen Vessels: God's Promise of the Spirit
Are the Gifts of the Spirit for Today?
Fifty Days Which Changed the World
God's Golden Teeth, Or Satan's Delusion?
Have You Been Slain in the Spirit?
OSAS: Are We Once Saved, Always Saved?
Roman Catholicism, Water Baptism and the Holy Trinity
The Blood Atonement: In Jesus' Own Words