Denomination Or Salvation?
By Aaron H. Redd, Sr.
1. Do all men have to have the gift of the Holy Ghost to be saved, and go to Heaven?
(1) Because of the unbelief of Israel to keep the ten commandments written in stone by God himself, and the hardness of their hearts, God spoke through his prophets and predicted that the time would come when He would take away their stony hearts and give them a heart of flesh–that is, a heart that can be touched (Ezekiel 11:19); also make a new heart (Ezekiel 18:31); one of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). A direct reference is made to this by the apostle Paul in II Corinthians 3:13, these words “written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.”
(2) Because it was also predicted through the prophet (Joel 2:28) and quoted by Peter the first day that the Holy Ghost was poured out–or, if you please, the birthday of the true and only church (Acts 2:17). “In the last days saith Lord, I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy [i.e., preach].”
Yes, notice all must have it. Paul declares in Romans 8:9, “if we have not the spirit of Christ we are none of His.” Not his–can’t go to heaven–right?
2. Is there only one way? Meaning what about different beliefs held by different denominations?
ANSWER: There is only one way for anyone to be saved to enter into heaven. Jesus declared this to his eleven disciples (soon to be apostles) in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father [that is, eternal God, Heaven, eternal life] but by me.”
(1) How can you get into this one way–Christ? Note St. John 3:1-16. Jesus expounds the entrance requirements. Nicodemus states: “We know that thou art a teacher come from God” . . . and . . . “except God be with him.” But if he could have only lifted his sight more heavenward, he would have known that Jesus was God. So first, you must believe Jesus, that he is God and Savior. Many different beliefs say, “Believe on the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved.” This is true, but you receive the Holy Ghost when you believe. Note John 7:37-39. Jesus said, “If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture bath said, out of his belly [or innermost being] shall flow rivers of living water.” Now note: “(But this he spake 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.)”
Back to Nicodemus. His talk to Jesus was to lead to the must requirement. Jesus answered and said unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
“You must be born again.” Your first birth is taught in the scriptures. You were born in sin. Because of Adam when he disobeyed in the Garden of Eden, sin passed down to every man that is born in the world; therefore Jesus’ much needed declaration: “You must be born from above.” For Jesus says: “that which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.” Jesus even describes how the spirit, i.e. the Holy Ghost, would come–not at the direction of any human agency, but it would be compared to the wind which (notice) “bloweth where it listeth,”–without anyone to tell it where or when “and thou hearest the sound thereof,”the Holy Ghost comes with a sound “but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” Continue to read John 3:1-16.
Can you give scriptural proof of all saved receiving the Holy Ghost?
ANSWER: Yes, Jesus told his disciples, and that included his mother and the other women and all his followers, in Luke 24:47, “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are my witness of these things. And, behold I send the promise [What was the promise? –the Holy Ghost–read John 14:16,17; also Acts 1:8, Acts 2:17] of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.”
Continuing in the Acts of the Apostles, chapter 1, verses 3-8, Jesus told all his followers not to depart from Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Father, which “ye have heard of me…. but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” Skip to the 8th verse where he says, “ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.”
Note: In Acts 1:12-14 you will note that Mary, the mother of Jesus, as good a woman as she was, was waiting for and needing the Holy Ghost. She received it, too, on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2:1-4.
But just as sure as God’s promise, the Holy Ghost fell on the day of Pentecost. All the 120 gathered in the upper room (Acts 1:15) were filled with the Holy Ghost and fire. I want you to notice the first time the Holy Ghost fell. Just as Jesus had told Nicodemus “ye hear the sound”, verse 2 says “suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind.” They saw something–make perception more than eyesight, “appeared unto them cloven tongues” and each one of them–not all at once or at one time–but on each one–because each person must be filled of the Holy Ghost himself–not belonging to a whole church and because they claim the spirit that you automatically have it–not because your mother or father had it – but you must be filled your individual self. Notice: “they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” This speaking with tongues has been criticized more than any other thing in the Bible, but it was predicted from old time prophecy (Isaiah 28:11,12), and Jesus said this would be one of the signs that would follow them that believe. Mark 16: 17 “they shall speak with new tongues.” Read all.
Some will say: “Well, this Acts 2 was among Jews only and does not apply to us Gentiles–folk of our age.” Well, read on. Acts 2 should all be read. You would note that Peter quoted the prophet Joel in the 16th verse-18th or even thru 21. But note the prediction was that “in the last days, saith God, l will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.” And verse 21 is universal and yet individual, “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That’s all men everywhere.
Peter goes on until the hearers of the ‘pricked’ in heart and ask the eternal question, “What shall (I) do to be saved?” Verse 37. And here is the shortest formula for salvation in verse 38 – “Repent.” Number one is true repentance–godly sorrow, turning from sin, self and Satan, and fuming all the way to God. Number two is obeying this command from Jesus first: Matthew 28:19 where he commands all to be baptized in the name (notice name of Father) Father is not the name–it is personal pronoun but not proper noun–so also Son, and the Holy Ghost is God in inspiration and was given in Jesus’ name (John 14:26), so then, the name of the father is Jesus bet cause he said it himself (John 5:43): ‘l am come in my Father’s name.” And the angel announcing his birth (Matthew 1:21) says, “Thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Note Jesus is the only savior. Peter says (Acts 4:1~12), “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
The second step then continues to be obedience to this command – be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. I want you to notice the purpose God intended here “for the remission of sins.” You see, baptism in water is necessary as Jesus said to Nicodemus, “born of water and of the spirit” or you cannot enter (can’t go to heaven), so it follows then that any other baptism, whether it be dunking 3 times, sprinkling, or using some other form other than the plain teaching of the scriptures, that baptism is symbolic of burial and
resurrection and will not remit or remove your sins. Therefore, as surely as baptism in water is necessary to complete the new birth, then it is of most importance that it be carried out exactly as Jesus commanded. So then baptism should be burial–total immersion in water by God’s minister in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This will be pointed out to all in the Acts of the Apostles.
The third step in salvation is receiving the Holy Ghost, and if the other two steps are followed in total obedience God has promised to give you the Holy Ghost. All you have to do is receive it. Your reception of the Holy Ghost is entirely up to you. Earthly speaking, no one will give you a gift if they feel your attitude is not proper – is God not wiser than man?
These are the three initial steps. To enjoy and be rewarded in salvation, one must live a holy and separated from sin, life. Feast on the word of God, and live in his presence daily. Notice Acts 2:39, that this promise is “to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Three thousand souls were saved that day.
Other proofs: Phillip preaches Christ to Samaria (Acts 8:5-18). Notice they were baptized in the “name of the Lord Jesus” (v. 17). They received the Holy Ghost when the apostles laid hands on them. Paul received or was filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 9:17) and arose and was baptized (v. 18).
Some say the baptism of water and spirit was for Jews only. But look at Acts 10. Cornelius was an Italian or Gentile and all his household. But when Peter preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to him, verse 44 says that “while Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.” And Peter said in verse 45 that “on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Notice how they knew that the Gentiles had the same Holy Ghost that the Jews and Samaritans and Paul got–verse 46, “For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God” as all who are truly born again of the spirit, they all speak with tongues as the spirit gives utterance.
Now notice, their birth was not complete, so Peter tells them they must be “complete in Him” (verse 47). And in verse 48 he gives them the command to be baptized in the name of the Lord and this is not hard to see if you will refer back to verse 43.
Although there is an abundance of witness and testimony to the fact all that are born of God and belong to him, and on their way to heaven, all come by Jesus, the only way (John 10:9), and if you read John 10 with understanding there is no other way to ‘climb up.’ I now quote one more: Acts 19:1-6. These disciples were trying to be what we call “Christians” but not belonging to the Lord. In verse 2 Paul asks the most important question of all: Have you received the Holy Ghost? Like many today they had not heard about the Holy Ghost. Paul then questions how they were baptized, for if one is baptized properly he will hear about the Holy Ghost – for even John told you that Jesus, who is coming after me, will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire. Taking the words from Peter in Acts 2:38, these words, or on this wise, should be said over the repentant standing in the water, “I now baptize thee in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and upon the promise of God, ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Amen.” (Burial) Paul then explains, and “when they heard this (verse 5), they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them (verse 6), the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”
All that obey. water and spirit the Holy Ghost comes. Notice Acts 5:32, “and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him.”
The Above Material Was Published By Grace Temple Church. This Material Is Copyrighted And May Be Used For Study & Research Purposes Only.
Words “written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables.