Friday, October 16, 2015

The world cannot receive the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes we need understanding about Christians being "filled with the Spirit" The scripture in John 14:16-17 says "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;  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"

This statement by Jesus is profound yet simple as a typical method of the teaching technique of Jesus. It might seem contradictory for Jesus to say the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit. But when you evaluate it you realize the great truth. This scripture is not about salvation but about receiving the Holy Spirit. Salvation requires receiving Jesus FIRST, (i.e. baptism in Jesus or baptism into the Body of Christ or  about the receiving the Word). Only after that miraculous transaction of salvation can one be filled with the Holy Spirit. Thus only saved people can receive the Holy Spirit, even one second after receiving Jesus Christ. So the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit but must first receive Jesus Christ. When you receive Jesus you are no longer a part of the world but now qualify to receive the Holy Spirit. Thus the world cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:14-17 is a classic example of how a person must FIRST receive salvation (v14 - receive the Word; v16-baptized in the name of The Lord Jesus) THEN receive the Holy Ghost.

Some may ask "What about the Old Testament where the Holy Spirit used men like Samson and Elijah to perform miracles and great acts of faith?"
Note in those cases the Holy Spirit came upon them but not "fill" them. The Holy Spirit indwells or lives in the New Testament believer but overshadows people prior to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Only Christians can be filled with the Holy Spirit.