Fourth Essential: The Holy Ghost
By Elder B. E. Echols
This chapter deals with the fourth and last essential unto salvation the “birth of the Spirit” or the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which Jesus referred to as “the promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4, 5 and Luke 24:49). The baptism of the Holy Ghost could be called “the crowning act” or “the finish-touch” of our salvation. See Titus 3:8 and St. John 3:5 with Acts 19:1-7; Eph. 1:13, 14 and 4:30. Though many are aware of their need of the Holy Ghost or their being filled with the Spirit, it is nevertheless a very essential thing for every person to have or experience. Paul informs us, “If ANY MAN have not the Spirit of Christ he is NONE OF HIS,” or “does not belong to Him”- Weymouth.
Something Not Intentionally Ignored
The application of the blood of Jesus Christ is taken care of by the Lord, as we Scripturally and properly comply with the four essential requirements of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:37, 38; 22:16 and I John 5:8). Though we have not written a chapter in this book concerning the essentiality of an application of the blood of Jesus Christ, for the cleansing of the soul from all defilement of sin, we do not believe in or teach a bloodless religion. We know that it is a definite fact that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin to be obtained any other way (Hebrews 9:22). A whole book could be written about the blood of Jesus Christ; but we see no need of giving it a lot of space in this book, since the blood is automatically applied by the Lord as we comply with these four essentials of the gospel. Some writers and preachers try to stress the importance of the blood to the point that it is the only essential unto salvation which is a very serious mistake and a very unscriptural presentation. See Hebrews 11:6; Luke 13:5; Mark 16:15, 16 with Acts 2:37, 38 and St. John 3:1-7.
The Essentiality of the Holy Ghost
We just touched on the essentiality of the Holy Ghost, or the “birth of the Spirit,” in the introductory paragraph of this chapter. We want to help you to see, by the Scriptures, that the “baptism of the Holy Ghost” is absolutely essential to salvation. How can anyone think or teach that one can be saved without being filled or baptized with the Holy Ghost when Jesus told Nicodemus, that Jew of noble character and excellent reputation, “that unless A MAN is born of . . . the Spirit, he CANNOT enter the Kingdom of God” Weymouth’s Translation of St. John 3:5.
Some critics want to claim that the “birth of the Spirit” (St. John 3:5), the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:5), or being filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:4) are not all identical experiences. If such were true, when were Peter’s converts, of Acts 2:14-41, “born of the Spirit?” They were convicted, baptized in water, and filled with the Holy Ghost the same day, or you might say, in the same service. About the same thing is true with Peter’s converts of Acts 10:34-48. There is no reference in the Scripture to either of these groups which show that they were “born of the Spirit,” either before or after those memorial days when they believed, repented, were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and received the Holy Ghost which was evidenced by speaking with tongues, as the Spirit gave the utterance.
Jesus Christ was not the only one who taught the essentiality of “the birth of the Spirit.” Peter certainly stressed it as something which was essential as he instructed his congregation at Jerusalem, on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:37-39), and Paul likewise presented it as one of the foremost needs for John’s disciples at Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7). The Apostle Paul taught that it was the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, or Spirit, that would quicken the mortal bodies of the saints and prepare them for “that glorious exit to the skies” (Romans 8:11), “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (I Cor. 15:50-54). He also wrote Titus, that it was “Not by works of righteousness which we have done (that saved us), but according to His mercy He saved us, (how?) by the watching of regeneration, and (the) renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Paul made it very plain and definite that it takes the Holy Ghost to save anyone (Rom 8:9, 11 and Titus 3:5)
That Water of Life
The Holy Ghost is essential to salvation for other reasons and due to the fact that it is that living water which quenches the thirst of the unsaved soul. Jesus informed the Samaritan woman, at Jacob;’s well, that Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give Him (The Holy Ghost, se St. John 7:37-39) shall never thirst; but the water that IU shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (St. John 4:14). This is the same living water that He preached about at the “Feast of Tabernacles,” as recorded in St. John 7:37-39. He told them, then and there, that He was speaking of the Holy Ghost which was not yet given, but which they would receive after He was glorified.
Precious hearts, the Holy Ghost that people are not receiving or being baptized with which is being evidenced by speaking in tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance is the same living water that Jesus introduced to the folk at the “Feast of Tabernacles, and to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. It is also what Revelation 22:17 refers to in that final invitation of God’s Holy Writ And the Spirit and the bride say, Come And whosoever will, let him take THE WATER OF LIFE freely.”Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to THE WATERS (of life that has that life giving flow), and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat” (Isaiah 55:1). Oh, thank God! For this wonderful “life giving water.” The writer began to drink of this water forty-one years ago, dating back from October 23rd, 1962, and is still freely drinking of it. Oh, Hallelujah! There is nothing like it in all this religious world of ours to be purchased at any price.
I wish you, who are without God in your soul, were as hungry and anxious to find something to satisfy your thirsty and never-dying soul as I was, when I began to seek God for salvation. You would obey Acts 2:38 without further delay and REPENT of all your sins. You would BE BAPTIZED in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins, and TARRY UNTIL you were filled with the Holy Ghost. This would definitely put you in God’s Church; “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into ONE BODY” (I Cor. 12:13), “which is the Church” (Col. 1:24). Actually, there is no other way to get into God’s Church other than by obeying Acts 2:38 which fully constitutes “the new birth” of St. John 3:5. You would then be ready to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, or die and go home to glory.
The Seal of God Affixed
No one has the “Seal of God” affixed to his soul or claim (deed) to eternal life until he is baptized with the Holy Ghost. Paul, when exhorting the Ephesians concerning their reverence for the Holy Spirit, said: “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30). In Ephesians, chapter one, verses 13 and 14, we read: “after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation … ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise” (Luke 24:49 with Acts 1:4, 5 and 2:1-4), which is the Holy Ghost.
People are going to see their need of the “seal of God” upon their foreheads, or be thrown into a ‘horrible plight’ by not having the Holy Ghost dwelling in their souls, when the judgments of God begin to visit man at the consummation of this age. “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having THE SEAL of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea saying, “Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we HAVE SEALED the servants of our God in their foreheads” (Rev. 7:2, 3). It is certainly going to be too bad then for those who have failed to obey Acts 2:38.
We further read in Revelations 9:3-6, “And there came out of the smoke, locust upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; BUT ONLY those men which HAVE NOT the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them (those folks who did not have God’s seal in their foreheads), but that they should be tormented FIVE months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death (due to their suffering being so painful), and shall not find it (or any means by which to commit suicide); and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. So they will have to continue to suffer at the mercy of those merciless and tormenting locusts for FIVE months. Just think of it, NO ONE who does not have the “seal of God” in their foreheads shall escape the tormenting punishment of those terrible locusts. This will include ALL lukewarm church folk, the backsliders, those professed Christians and hypocrites, and ALL these poor sinners who have never sought God or repented and been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38 with Luke 24:45-47), and who have NOT been filled with the Holy Ghost (Rom. 8:9 with St. John 3:3-7) according to Acts 2:1-4 and 10:44-46.
Powerless and Powerful Christians
No person, it matters not how much he tries, is able to live a victorious life over sin, the world of ungodliness we face today, and the devil without Christ IN him in the power of the Holy Ghost (St. John 15:5). Church folk without the Holy Ghost dwelling in their hearts are powerless for witnessing living an overcoming life. They are also powerless when it comes to helping and encouraging the sick, the weak brother and sister, or when endeavoring to restore the way- ward and backsliding ones. Has not Jesus said,… for with- out Me ye can do nothing”? Then, on the other hand, He said: “But ye shall receive power AFTER that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and (then) ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
It was the Spirit of God that enabled Samson to accomplish so many wonderful and mighty things in his day (Judges 13:25). By reading accounts of Samson you will notice that “the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him” when he slew that young lion (Judges 14:5, 6), when he slew a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass (Judges 15:14-16), and when he pulled those doors and posts from the walls of Gaza and carried them to a bill before Hebron which is a city about forty miles east of Gaza. Brother, those doors and posts in the gate of that city oust have weighed several tons! I do not believe such exploits could ever be performed by any ‘hocus-pocus’ or ‘black art’ methods. We too, can… be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph. 6:19).
The Apostle Paul was enabled by the Holy Ghost to smite a man with blindness, who was undertaking to hinder the deputy on the isle of Paphos (Acts 13:6-12). Oh, brother, it is “‘Not by might (of great learning) nor by (great oratorical) power, but by My Spirit,’ saith the Lord of hosts (Zech. 4:6) that we poor creatures are enabled to do exploits in His name, and to testify of His goodness and of this “so great salvation” (Heb. 2:3).
“How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord God, seeing thou doest all these things … People who have a weak heart, spiritually speaking, need a filling or refilling of the Holy Ghost. The Lord will endue us with power from on high if we will comply with His requirements and tarry in His presence long enough. See Luke 24:49, 52, 53; Acts 2:1-4 and 4:31, 83. We will then have the needed grace and power to resist evil and quit the sinning business. A weak-hearted person is easily defeated by the lust of the flesh and Satan. If you are one of those church members who is a “spiritual weakling” and all the time being overcome by sin, the devil, and the world “why don’t you obey Acts 2:38 and get filled with the Holy Ghost? You will then discover the difference between being a nominal Christian and being one who has experienced “the new birth,” according to Acts 2:4 and 2:38. This being filled with the Holy Ghost where “old things are passed away; (and) behold, ALL things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17) “is a most wonderful experience, praise the Lord!
The Secret of Divine Anointings and Utterances
Maybe you are one of those denominational church members who has never been blessed with divine utterances or anointings. It is simply wonderful to be inspired of God (1 John 2:20). When thus inspired one does not necessarily have to think up or plan what he is going to write, say, or do the Holy Ghost takes care of that. See Luke 12:11, 12; Acts 4:7-13 and 2 Peter 1:20, 21. People who always have been backward, subject to stage fright, or were never able to testify or speak fluently are liberated by the Holy Ghost and given such ease and freedom of utterance until they are amazed themselves, as well as others, and thus enabled to far outclass many who have been trained and educated by special instructors for public speaking. It is just like Zechariah prophesied It would be, “‘Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ saith the Lord of hosts.” These anointings will continue as long as one obeys God and stays filled with the Holy Ghost. Yea, if anyone will do this he will have the needed grace and anointings poured into his heart and lips, by the Holy Ghost. See Psalms 45:2 with Acts 1:8 and 4:7-13.
Another point of special interest and great value, in reference to being divinely inspired and anointed to pray, sing, play instruments, testify, worship the Lord, preach, teach, etc., is the wonderful and amazing effect it produces upon those present to inspire them to believe, pray, seek God, worship Him, etc., in harmony with God’s Word and will (St. John 4:23, 24). Did not Jesus say, “If I be lifted up from the earth (by the anointings and blessings of My Spirit) I will draw all men unto Me”?
Other Noted Benefits of the Holy Ghost
1. Divine guidance is another special and valuable benefit of the Holy Ghost. Jesus assured His disciples, and us as well (2 Tim. 3:16, 17), of this valuable benefit that would be administered to them by His Spirit, as recorded in St. John 16:13: “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth … and He will shew you things to come.” How interested we should be in obtaining and making use of this benefit, of being divinely guided by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. 2:9-16).
One is constantly in need of divine guidance, both in his church work and for that which pertains to his every day living whether it be in the making of decisions concerning material or spiritual things; for, “It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps,” so says Jeremiah (Jer. 10:23). So we must seek to obtain “divine guidance” from the Lord, via the Holy Ghost which is always in harmony with God’s Word.
The Apostle Paul assures us that “As many as are LED by the Spirit of God are the SONS of God” (Rom. 8:14). Therefore, one must obey Acts 2:38 and be “born of water and of the Spirit” and thus become a son or daughter of the Almighty God, if he is to have the privilege of being continually led by the Holy Ghost. God’s servants and children have often been blessed and greatly benefited by this token of His goodness all down through the “Church Age Dispensation” (Acts 8:26-31, 29; 10:17-23 and 16:6-10).
For one to be divinely led by the Lord, AFTER he has been filled with the Holy Ghost, he must believe and ask God for such guidance as is needed. See Hebrews 11:6; Matt. 7:7, 8 and James 4:3. He should also follow the instructions of the “wise man,” as given in Proverbs 3:5, 6, and not lean to his own understanding but acknowledge God by seeking His guidance in everything.
However, let me inform you that the coming in of the “Holy Ghost Dispensation,” on the Day of Pentecost, forever set aside the necessity and Scriptural practice of “casting of lots” by the sons and daughters of “God’s Royal Family” to obtain guidance in any matter. The last record of such is found in Acts 1:23-26, just prior to the “Day of Pentecost.” We now have something better and more reliable to which to resort. See Acts 16:13 with 1 Cor. 2:10-12. I think, that the reason some folk err in this manner is that they do not know the Scriptures as they should (Matt. 22:29).
Precious hearts, let us be careful and not become critical and always be condemning someone who might resort to the “casting of lots” to obtain guidance. Let them alone! Experience should soon teach them that it is not safe to rely on such `outdated methods.’ About the first time they run into a cow (or something else), as two brethren I know of did AFTER they had cast lots to see which place they should go that night for some revival services they will likely forsake same as those brethren did, seeing it is not safe to resort to such methods for guidance.
Another thing, it does not seem to be good practice, Scripturally speaking, for anyone to be “fleecing the Lord” about everything he is led to do. Such practices may lead one into error or prove to be a waste of time and delay progress. There is no need of delaying action, in order to “fleece the Lord,” when one feels in his heart that it is God’s will for him to do something.
2. The Holy Ghost gives one a better understanding of God’s Word: for “The natural man receiveth not the things of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” “For … the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Cor. 2:14, 11-13).
Anyone who has the Holy Ghost and wants to increase his understanding may do so by increasing his spirituality; for the more spiritual one is the better he understands the things of God, or the instructions of His Word. However, this does not discredit or discount the worth and need of our studying the Scriptures (2 Tim. 2:15 and St. John 5:39). It only makes one’s studying more profitable and fruitful as he peruses (reads with care and attention) the pages of Holy Writ (St. John 16:13).
Job’s friend, Elihu, was conscious of the assistance the Holy Spirit afforded man, in giving him a better understanding of things. He had this to say, in reference to same: “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty (which is supplied by His Spirit) giveth them understanding” (Job 32:8).
3. The Holy Ghost places God’s attributes and graces in one’s heart. Everything that is listed in Galatians 5:22, 23 is brought into one’s life by the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God. We do not have space to comment on each of these graces and attributes of God, but we will introduce some of them to you. Paul says (Weymouth’s Translation), “The Spirit brings a harvest of love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience or long-suffering), kindness (gentleness), benevolence (goodness), good faith, meekness, self-restraint (temperance or “self-control” Berkeley). Against such things there is no law.” And what “a harvest” one reaps, for his own benefit and the welfare of others, from all these God-given graces and attributes, when he is filled with the Holy Ghost and continues to live a Spirit-filled life (Gal. 5:16).
We also have such attributes and characteristics of God as humility, holiness, compassion, meekness, liberality, impartiality, forbearance, truthfulness, honesty, sincerity, mercifulness, gratitude, perseverance, etc., all supplied by the Holy Ghost (St. John 16:13-15). There is nothing that will change one’s life like a “born-again experience” (St. John 3:5) and that continuous indwelling of the Holy Ghost. See 2 Corinthians 5:17 with Romans 7:14-25; 8:1-14 and note the difference in Paul’s spiritual condition under “the law dispensation” and AFTER he became a Spirit-filled Christian.
4. One is saved and sanctified by the Holy Ghost (Titus 3:5 and Romans 1:16) and thus enabled to live a holy consecrated life apart from all sin, worldliness, and anything and everything that is defiling to the soul of man. Paul prayed that the Thessalonian Christians might be kept and “preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23). Such can only be accomplished by the Holy Ghost (St. John 12:5; 16:13-15 and Romans 15:13 with 8:1-4). Berkeley translates the latter part of Romans 15:16, as follows:
“Whereby the Gentiles may become an acceptable offering, made holy (or sanctified) by the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit does things for us that we cannot accomplish without Him in our lives. It will pay everyone, who desires to live a Christ-like life and thus assure himself of eternal life in the world to come (1 John 3:1-3), to obey Acts 2:38 and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
Actually, the Holy Ghost is our salvation; for the simple reason that it… is Christ IN YOU, the HOPE of glory” (Col. 1:27). This would not be true if the Holy Ghost was “the third person in the Holy Trinity,” as some theologians claim. But, thank God! The Spirit of Christ and the Holy Spirit are one and the selfsame Spirit; for… the Spirit of Christ … was in the Old Testament prophets long before the man Christ Jesus was born (2 Peter 1:10, 11). Yea, Jesus testified Himself of His pre-existence (St. John 8:56-58).
5. The Holy Ghost is that Great Paraclete or Comforter (of St. John 14:26), Consoler, Helper, Aide, Counselor, Supporter, Sustainer, “Encourager OF THE DOWNHEARTED” (Berkeley 2 Cor. 7:6), Advocate (1 John 2:1), and Intercessor (Romans 8:26, 27) who helps and assists us in so many ways. He is an ever present help and assistant at all times and for all occasions. There is no problem of life but what He can help us solve or enable us to patiently endure.
6. The Holy Ghost greatly assists one in his prayer-life. A Christian cannot pray as he should without the aid of the Holy Ghost; “For we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit ITSELF maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Yea, “He (the Spirit) maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:2, 27). The Holy Ghost will even speak to our hearts and tell us to pray for certain things or persons BEFORE we have any knowledge of their need or circumstances. Such becomes an often repeated experience of those who are filled with the Holy Ghost.
7. The Holy Ghost is the only thing that can prepare and enables us to do God’s will at all times and places. Man may try ever so hard to do God’s will but without the assistance of the Holy Ghost the Spirit of Christ within him (Romans 8:9 and 1 Peter 1:11) he will never be able to do it. Jesus informed His disciples that “…without Me ye can do nothing.” Paul also wrote, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; …Because the carnal mind (of the unsaved and backslidden person) is enmity (or definitely) against God (and contrary to His will): for it is not subject to the law of God (God’s will), neither indeed can be” even though there might be a measure of desire to comply with it. See Romans 7:14-21. It is like Paul wrote the Philippians at Philippi, “For it is God which worketh in you (by the power of the Holy Ghost Eph. 3:20 and Acts 1:8) both to will (or have a mind to obey God) and TO DO (perform) of His good will” (Phil. 2:13). The carnal man, who is never spiritual until after he is filled with the Holy Ghost, will never be able to please God ; for “they that are in the flesh (who are living to satisfy their carnal desires) cannot please God” (Rom. 8:8). So Paul knew that it was impossible for any person, who did not have the Holy Ghost dwelling in his heart, to live a life free from sin and do God’s will (Rom. 7:14, 15, 17, 19, 21).
8. The Holy Ghost gives definite testimony of Christ in our hearts, when He comes to abide. One does not have to guess if he is saved, or has Christ in his heart. “At that day (when the comforter comes in, which is the Holy Ghost St. John 14:16-20, 26) ye SHALL KNOW (what?) that I am IN YOU; for, When the Comforter (the Holy Ghost) is come” He shall testify of Me.
5. The Holy Ghost gives definite testimony of Christ in our hearts, when He comes to abide. One does not have to guess if he is saved, or has Christ in his heart. “At that day (when the Comforter comes in, which is the Holy Ghost St. John 14:16-20, 26) ye SHALL KNOW (what?) that I am … IN YOU;” for, “When the Comforter (the Holy Ghost) is come” He shall testify of Me.”
In what way will the Holy Ghost definitely testify, when He comes to abide in one’s soul? Just like He did on the “Day of Pentecost” (Acts 2:1-4), to the Gentile assembled with Cornelius (Acts 10:44-47), and to the disciples of John at Ephesus (Acts 19:1-6). They all spoke “with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” My friend, this is in harmony with what Isaiah prophesied about seven hundred and fifty years before “the Day of Pentecost”: “For with stammering lips and another tongue (or language Acts 2:4-18) will He speak to this people” (Isaiah 28:11, 12). It is also according to Mark 16:17, “And these signs shall follow them that believe they shall speak with new tongues.
If you ever receive the Holy Ghost, be assured of this one thing: you will talk in tongues (Mark 16:17) or speak some language that is unknown to you. That is exactly what the writer did, and millions of others have done who obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ and were filled with the Holy Ghost. So why don’t you come on and obey Acts 2:38, with faith (Heb. 11:6) in this instruction and promise, and be filled with the Holy Ghost? It is for you and your children, “even (for) as many as the Lord our God shall call.” You will never regret it, once you have received the Holy Ghost. You will then go on your way rejoicing in your “new-born experience.”
9. The Holy Ghost supplies one with abiding faith: also with the “gift of faith,” in some cases or to some individuals (1 Cor. 12:9, 11). “Holy Ghost given faith” was partially explained in ‘Chapter Two’ of this book. This “fruit of the Spirit faith” is the best ‘degree of faith’ for the individual that I know anything about. It enables one to believe God for his personal needs (Mark 9:23 with 11:22-24); also to believe God for the needs of others (Mark 16:17 with James 5:14, 15).
This ABIDING faith is strictly reserved for those who will obey the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38) and GET filled and STAY filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 6:5, 6 and 11:22-24). This “degree of faith” is placed in our hearts by the indwelling Spirit of Christ, AFTER He has come to ABIDE in our hearts and lives (Gal. 5:21). Then, it will abide or stay there if we will “walk in the Spirit” as Paul admonished the Galatian Christians (Gal. 5:16, 25). This Holy Ghost inspired faith will enable us to be “… RICH in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him” (James 2:5). See also I Timothy 6:17 and Colossians 3:14-16 for proof that we can be well-supplied with the riches of God’s kingdom, which includes faith.
10. Spiritual gifts are bestowed and operated by the Holy Ghost. See 1 Cor. 12:1, 8-11 and Hebrews 2:4. So if one wishes to be used of God for any special work in His kingdom or vineyard, he must get filled and stay filled with the Holy Ghost (St. John 15:5 with Acts 1:8). Though “Spiritual Gifts” may operate in or through any of us who are filled with His Spirit, they are always controlled by the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. 12:6, 11).
11. The Holy Ghost will help one to always be truthful (Rom. 9:1). Lying is one thing that will keep anyone out of heaven and send his soul to the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8). And there shall in no wise enter into it (the Holy City John saw coming down from God out of heaven) anything that . . . worketh abomination or maketh a lie …” (Rev. 21:27). So it is evident that one must be truthful or he will never make it into God’s heaven and dwell in that Holy City. See Psalms 15:1, 2; 101:7; Prov. 19:5 and Eph. 4:25.
The Holy Ghost is sent to help us be truthful and will guide one into all truth (John 16:13). Therefore, we all need the Holy Ghost for this purpose, if for none other, amen!
12. The Holy Ghost enables one to be an overcomer. One cannot live an overcoming life until after he receives the Holy Ghost. The Bible only assures those who “walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16) or “after the Spirit” (Romans 8-1, 2-6) that they will have a victorious life free from condemnation. It was definitely “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” that made Paul “free from the law of sin and death.” “The righteousness of the law” is only “fulfilled in us who walk . . . after the Spirit.” Did you not know, that “to be spiritually minded is life and peace”? Paul assured the church folk of his day that the life he was living, after he became a Christian, was not of his own wit or power; but due to the fact that “Christ liveth IN me” (Gal. 2:20), in the power of the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:8 and Rom. 8:2-4). Therefore, it is the Holy Ghost that brings us into that overcoming life which is “a glorious life of victory” over (1) the flesh, (2) the world, and (3) the devil (1 John 4:4 with Luke 10:18, 19) praise the Lord!
Remember this, all the worthwhile promises for this life and the world to come, for God’s people, are made to the over-corners. Yea, “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” (Rev. 2:10) and “He that overcometh shall inherit all things: and I will be his God, and he shall be My son” (Rev. 21:7). Read Revelations 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21 and take note of other things the Lord has in store for “the overcomers.” If you will receive that needed power WITHIN your soul you will soon be an overcomer (Eph. 3:20); for “greater is He that is in you (when you receive the Holy Ghost), than he (the devil 1 Peter 5:8) that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). We also have this assurance from our Lord, “… be of good cheer; (why?) I have overcome the world.” If He overcome the world, we are safe as long as we have Him in our lives and hearts, in the power of the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:8, Phil. 4:13).
13. The Holy Ghost will deliver you from all kinds of tormenting fear. One who GETS filled and STAYS filled with the Holy Ghost will be delivered from the fear of storms, of earthquakes, of death, of what might happen, of starving for food, of all kinds of pestilences and contagious diseases, of war, of being killed by some murderous-hearted person in some sneaking way or brutish method, of car wrecks, etc. Paul informs us, that “God bath not given us the spirit of fear (when He gave us the Holy Ghost); but (it is a Spirit) of power (that assures us of victory over all fear) and of love (in which there is no fear; for “there is NO fear IN love) and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7). Be assured, that “perfect love,” that is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost (Rom. 5:5), “casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18). Actually, among church folk, it is “The sinners (and hypocrites) in Zion (who) are afraid” (Isa. 33:14, 15).
Oh, thank God! The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy (and PEACE) (where?) in the Holy Ghost (Rom. 14:17). The One who spoke peace be still to that stormy wind and raging sea, the night His disciples were afraid of drowning can speak peace to our fearful and troubled hearts; for He is The Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).
14. One’s name is not in “the book of life” until AFTER he receives the Holy Ghost which is evidenced by speaking with tongues, as the Spirit gives the utterance. Would you like to know, upon what Scriptural authority I make such a positive statement as this, that a man’s name is not in “the book of life” until he receives the Holy Ghost and is thus “born again (“anew” Weymouth) of . . . the Spirit”? Here it is, as foretold by one of the prophets in Psalms 87:5, 6 “And of Zion (the church in prophecy) it shall be said, ‘This and that man was BORN in her: and . . . the Lord shall count (or reckon), when He WRITETH UP the people, that this man (whose name He is placing in “the book of life” or on His family record) was BORN there.’ Selah!”
Next, we turn to Hebrews 12:22, 23 and read: “But ye are come unto Mount Zion (referred to as the church in the 23rd verse) . . . to the general assembly and church (what kind of a church?) of the FIRST born, (and, what about these folk who are BORN into this church “of the firstborn?”) which ARE WRITTEN in heaven … ” I think this should be “the conclusion of the whole matter” (Eccl. 12:12), as for whose names are written in heaven in “the book of life.” Please read Revelations 20:15 and 21:27 and see what is going to become of people who do not properly and thoroughly obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, and thus get their names written in “the book of life.”
I would also like to call your attention to the fact that God removes anyone’s name from “the book of life,” His Family Record Book, when they sin against Him. “And the Lord said unto Moses, ‘Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I BLOT OUT of My book'” (Exodus 32:33). See also Psalms 69:27, 28 with 1 John 3:8, 10 and 1 Cor. 6:9-11 for further proof along this line.
15. Only Spirit-filled church folk are ready for the rapture of the church, whether dead or alive. This statement is substantiated by more than one Scriptural reference, or the required amount (2 Cor. 13:1). First, we read, ” … He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (give life to) your mortal (or decaying) bodies (how?) by His Spirit that DWELLETH in you.” And “If ye through (or by the help of) the Spirit do mortify (or subdue) the deeds of the body: ye shall live” (Rom. 8:11, 13). Yea, we also read in Romans 15:13, that we “abound in hope (of eternal life), through the power of the Holy Ghost.” In conclusion, you may read about and study “the parable of the ten virgins,” as given in Matthew 25:1-13, and see where the “five foolish virgins” missed the rapture due to their not having OIL (which typifies the Holy Ghost) in their vessels (bodies : 1 Cor. 3:13 and 6:19).
16. Actually and Scripturally, Spirit-filled or baptized saints are the only ones who are in God’s Church! Anyone who has not received the Holy Ghost, and spoken with tongues according to Acts 2:4 and 10:44-47, is not in the Lord’s Church; “For by ONE Spirit are WE ALL baptized into ONE BODY” which is His Church (1 Cor. 12:13 with Col. 1:24). If one is not in God’s Church he certainly is not going to be raptured with it. My friends, you who have never been “born again of water and of the Spirit” and thus been filled with the Holy Ghost, have something here that should cause you to pray and think more seriously than you ever have before concerning your need of being filled with the Spirit and prepared for that “glorious exit,” when “The Old Ship of Zion” (the Church) sets sail for the ‘Grand Domain’ or the Golden Shores.
17. The Holy Ghost is the only thing that will prepare one for the NEW heaven, and NEW earth of Revelations 21:1-5, 9-27 and 22:1-7, 16, 17. “And He that sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I make ALL things NEW …” (Rev. 21:5). The fact that our Lord is making “all things new,” for the NEW heaven and NEW earth, makes it very evident that in order for anyone to get into God’s new creation of things he will have to be RENOVATED by the Holy Ghost and thus be made a new creature in Christ Jesus as explained by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “… if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW creature: old things are (then) passed away; behold, ALL things are become NEW.” Paul also says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a NEW creature” (Gal. 6:15). Therefore, one MUST get into Christ by way of “The New Birth,” as per St. John 3:3-7, and become a NEW creature in order to be permitted to enter the realms of God’s NEW creation. So if you are counting on going to that NEW heaven and NEW earth one day, you had better become supremely interested in a “religious experience” that will make a NEW creature of you.
Some Final Remarks
There are many people today who would like to get around believing and obeying the “gospel of Jesus Christ,” as briefly set forth in Acts 2:38 by the one to whom Christ delivered “the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” Don’t you know they are not going to make it in any other way? Jesus said, “… He that … climbeth up some other way ; the same is a thief and a robber,” and such folk are not going to heaven dead or alive.
Some folk want to get around obeying Acts 2:28 by saying and believing that such instructions and demands are not for us today. But the 39th verse reads differently and as follows: “For the promise (of the Holy Ghost verse 38) is unto you, and to your children, and (here is where we come in, it is) to ALL who are afar off, even (to) as many as the Lord our God shall call” to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Neither Jesus nor any of the apostles, Paul included, taught anything other than the gospel of Jesus Christ, that would give any one a hope of being saved. Check Mark 16:15, 16; 2 Thess. 1:7-9 and Acts 19:17 with St. John 3:1-5 and see for yourself. We are putting ourselves in line for some severe chastenings and those terrible judgments of the Almighty God (Rev. 6:12-17; 6:6-13; 16:1-21; 19:11-21 and 2 Pet. 3:10-14) if we add to or take from what they wrote and taught. See Gal. 1:6-9 and Rev. 22:18-21. May God give us ministers of the “Apostolic Faith” today, the grace to hold back nothing (Acts 20:17-27) and courage to declare the whole counsel of God, so that men and women may obey God’s Word and be saved before it is too late.
There are many people who are hearing and reading about “the gospel of Jesus Christ” today, who are going to fool around and be eternally lost for not obeying it and getting filled and STAYING filled with the Holy Ghost. “God is no respector of persons” (Acts 10:34). So what He demands of one person, as of Nicodemus in St. John 3:1-7, He demands of all. If you would be saved and enter heaven’s portals, you “MUST be born again” as Jesus demanded of that “ruler of the Jews” “of water and of the Spirit” or you will never make it (Matt. 24:35).
My Prayer for You
Dear Lord, I pray that each person who reads the contents of this book may be enlightened and enabled to see and understand Your ONLY plan of salvation (St. John 14:6 with Eph. 4:4-6). Also, that they may be inspired to believe Thy Word sufficiently to encourage them to obey it, so You may save them and keep them saved as they walk with Thee. Lord, I am expecting to meet some of these people, who read this book, on the “golden shores;” for Thou hast said, “So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of thy mouth: it shall not return unto Me void,” or without accomplishing “whereto I sent it.” Yea, may, each of them be made to: (1) believe on Thee through Thy Word that we have presented in this book; then, (2) to repent of all their sins, (3) be baptized in Thy precious name the name of Jesus Christ, and (4) be filled and thrilled with Thy Spirit as you have promised we would, if we thus obeyed your Word (Acts 1 :4, 5; 5:32; 2 :37- 39) . We ask these favors in the precious name of Jesus the only saving name of God that has been revealed to man (Matt. 1:21, 23 with Acts 4:10-12; Col. 3:17; 2 Cor. 5:19 and 1 Tim. 3:16). Amen!
The chapter “The Fourth Essential: The Holy Ghost” was written by Elder B. E. Echols was excerpted from Four Essentials unto Salvation.