Chapter 11: Holy Spirit
11.1 Your church claims that baptism can cleanse
sins (Acts ),
sanctify and justify (1Cor ),
regenerate (Tit 3:5), raise to life (Col) and save (1Pet -21). Then why do we need to
receive the Holy Spirit at all? Baptism would be sufficient.
The saving effects of both water baptism and the
Holy Spirit are closely related; neither one should replace the other. While
baptism is essential for salvation, receiving the Holy Spirit is also a
necessary step of salvation. One must be born of the water and of the Spirit to
enter the kingdom
of God (Jn 3:5; see Tit
Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ
(Holy Spirit) does not belong to Christ (Rom 8:9). The Holy Spirit also
testifies that we are the children and heirs of God (Rom -17; Gal 4:6-7). He is a seal of our future
inheritance (Eph -14).
A person who is dead spiritually must be revived
by the Holy Spirit (Ezek 37:14; Rom ).
The Holy Spirit will also raise the believers from the dead and transform them
into spiritual beings on the last day (cf Rom ; 1Cor -23).
God has given us the Holy Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing our future
resurrection (2Cor 5:1-5).
11.2 The phrase, “be born of the Spirit” in John
3:5 does not refer to receiving the Holy Spirit.
“Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you,
unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God’” (Jn 3:5). It is clear that being
born of the Spirit is essential for salvation. From other parts of the
Scripture, we also see that receiving the Holy Spirit is a requisite for
salvation. For example, Titus 3:5 states that we are saved by the washing of
rebirth and the renewal of the Holy Spirit; in verse 6 it explains that this
Holy Spirit has been poured out on us generously.
Similarly in Eph 1:13 it discusses that the believers have been marked with the
seal of the promised Holy Spirit (i.e. received the promised Holy Spirit), who
is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance. So to be born of the Spirit does
indeed refer to receiving the Holy Spirit, which is necessary for salvation.
To be born of the spirit involves receiving a
new spiritual life. A person who has died spiritually must be revived. That is
why “to be born of the spirit” is also referred to as being born again. This
spiritual resurrection occurs when God’s Spirit (Holy Spirit) lives in and
renews a believer in his daily life (Rom ;
see also Ezek 37:14).
11.3 The New Testament never instructs believers to
pray for the Holy Spirit. God has complete authority to give His Holy Spirit to
anyone He pleases. The Holy Spirit is given, not acquired.
In Luke 11:13, the Lord Jesus clearly states,
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how
much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
In John 4:10, the Lord said to the Samaritan
woman, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a
drink’; you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water”
(living water refers to the Holy Spirit; see Jn 7:37-39).
The Lord Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given
to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For
everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it
will be opened” (Mt 7:7-8; Lk 11:9-10). Does this statement contradict or deny
the authority of God as the giver of all blessings? (Of course not.)
In addition to being the promise of God,
receiving the Holy Spirit also requires prayer and asking on the part of human
beings. This point is clearly illustrated in Lk 11:13 and Jn 4:10 (quoted
above). The pouring out of the Holy Spirit is also contingent upon the
obedience of the Lord’s instructions (see Mt 28:20; Acts ). Praying for the Holy Spirit does not deny
the authority of God; instead, it is a natural expression of our faith (Mt -28; Rom ), earnesty (Lk 11:5-8), and persistence
11.4 After the ascension of the Lord, the disciples
“continued with one accord in prayer and supplication” in the upper room (Acts -14). Verse 14 only says that
they prayed together and does not say that they were praying for the Holy
Spirit. In fact, the disciples would have received the Holy Spirit anyway even
if they had not prayed, since the Lord’s promise never fails.
The Lord Jesus had told the disciples the
importance of receiving the Holy Spirit and specifically instructed them not to
leave Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit (Lk 24:49; Acts
1:4-5,8). The disciples themselves must have been eager to receive the Holy
Spirit; that is why they prayed constantly. The only logical conclusion was
that they were praying for the Holy Spirit. If they weren’t praying for the
Holy Spirit, what were they praying for?
Waiting involves prayer and asking (see Ps
40:1). To say that the disciples would have received the Holy Spirit without
prayer because it was the Lord’s promise would also imply that we do not need
to pray for anything that the Lord has promised.
For example, in Lk 18:1-8, Jesus promised that
God would see that His chosen gets justice, and quickly (v. 8). If this promise
were to fulfill anyhow without prayer, why did Jesus give the parable to show
that the disciple should always pray and not give up (v. 1)?
11.5 In Acts 8, the Samaritans did not join
together to pray for the Holy Spirit. Similarly, in Chapter 10, Cornelius and
his relatives and friends received the Holy Spirit without even asking or
The believers in Samaria received the Holy Spirit when the
apostles prayed and laid hands on them (Acts ,17). The passage does not record that the believers
prayed for the Holy Spirit; but neither does it say that the believers just sat
there to watch Peter and John pray for them. It is only logical that they must
have been praying constantly for the Holy Spirit just as the disciples had once
been in the upper room. Peter and John were there only to assist them in
The miracle at Cornelius’ house was God’s direct
sign that He “has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life” (Acts ). Several miracles occurred to
show the apostles and other circumcised Jewish brothers that God also gave his
grace to Gentiles: 1. Cornelius was told in a vision to send for Peter 2. Peter
was revealed in a vision that he should not regard the gentiles as unclean 3.
The listeners received the Holy Spirit without the laying of hands.
This event is a special case, and
this special case in no way implies that believers should not pray for the Holy
Spirit or receive the laying of hands.
11.6 The baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of
Pentecost would never reoccur. The Holy Spirit was given once for all and has
been staying in all the believers ever since.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit reoccurred over
and over again during the period of the early rain. We can find individual
cases throughout the Book of Acts to show that receiving the Holy Spirit is an
The Holy Spirit came upon the believers in Samaria when Peter and
John laid hands on them (Acts 8:14-17).
Cornelius and his relatives and friends received
the Holy Spirit while listening to Peter’s preaching (Acts 10:44-48).
The disciples in Ephesus received the Holy Spirit after being
baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 19:1-7).
The apostle Peter confirmed that the household
of Cornelius had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit just as the disciples
had on Pentecost (Acts ;
The Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of truth” (Jn -17). The Holy Spirit would
abide in the church as long as the church teaches and obeys the truth (see Mt
28:20; Acts ). Yet
church history shows that heresies prevailed in Christendom a few generations
after the apostles; so we do not read about the experience of receiving the
Holy Spirit in church history. But in the last days, during the period of the
latter rain, the Holy Spirit will again be poured out (Zech 10:1; Jer ; Joel ; Hos 6:3). This promise has been fulfilled
in the true church today.
11.7 In John 20:21-23, Jesus breathed on the
disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” At this point, the disciples
received the Holy Spirit and the Lord’s promise of the Holy Spirit in John and 16:7 was fulfilled.
The Lord Jesus said, “for if I do not go away,
the Helper will not come to you” (Jn 16:7). At this point the Lord Jesus had
not yet ascended to heaven, thus he could not have yet given the Holy Spirit to
The apostle John writes, “for the Holy Spirit
was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (Jn ). The Lord Jesus had not yet
been glorified when he appeared to the disciples (being glorified refers to
ascension and exaltation; Acts ;
; Phil 2:9-10); so he
could not have given them the Holy Spirit at this point.
If the disciples had already received the Holy
Spirit here, why then did the Lord Jesus tell them to wait for the coming of
the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem?
(Lk 24:49; Acts 1:4-5). The Holy Spirit was actually given to the disciples on
the day of Pentecost—a few days after Jesus ascended to heaven (Acts 2:1-4,33).
The words, “receive the Holy Spirit” is a
promise and an assurance, not a fulfillment. The same sentence structure is
found in “Peace be with you” (vv. 19, 21), which is also an assurance and
11.8 Everyone who says “Jesus is Lord” has already
received the Holy Spirit (1Cor 12:3).
The verse reads, “no one can say that Jesus is
Lord except by the Holy Spirit” (1Cor 12:3). It does not say that anyone who
acknowledges Jesus as Lord has received the Holy Spirit. A person who has not
received the Holy Spirit may also be moved by the Holy Spirit to acknowledge
Christ as Lord.
If everyone who can say “Jesus is Lord” has
received the Holy Spirit, why then is it that the people in Samaria did not receive the Holy Spirit even
when they had accepted the word of God and had been baptized? (Acts 8:12-17).
Were they still not able to say, “Jesus is Lord”?
The disciples in Ephesus had not received or even heard of the
Holy Spirit when they had already believed in the Lord. It was not until Paul
laid hands on them that the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 19:1-6).
11.9 The Lord Jesus said, “He who believes in Me,
as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”
(Jn -39). Paul asked
the Galatians, “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the
hearing of faith?” (Gal 3:2) He also wrote to the Ephesians, “…having believed,
you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph ). So anyone who believes in the Lord,
regardless of his race or status, has received the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor ).
The correct interpretation of Ephesians 1:13
must be based on Acts 19:1-7, where it tells us exactly how the Ephesians
received the Holy Spirit. They did not receive the Holy Spirit when they
believed. They did not receive the Holy Spirit when they were baptized. They
only received the Holy Spirit when Paul placed his hands on them. So the
Ephesians wouldn’t have taken Paul’s letter to mean receiving the Holy Spirit
instantaneously upon belief.
A person must believe in “the word of truth, the
gospel of salvation” in order to receive the Holy Spirit (Eph ). If a person believes in a
false gospel, he would not be able to receive the Holy Spirit.
The verse “Having believed, you were sealed with
the Holy Spirit of promise” means that every believer of the true gospel will
receive the Holy Spirit, but it does not mean that he receives the Holy Spirit
the moment he confesses Jesus as Lord.
Those who listened to Peter’s preaching on the
day of Pentecost were told to “repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus
Christ for the forgiveness of sins” before they could receive the gift of the
Holy Spirit (Acts ).
True faith consists of following the commands of the Lord Jesus (Jas , 22).
Paul was writing to the churches in Galatia and Ephesus, which were established by the Holy
Spirit and have believed in the truth. The word “you” in both passages do not
refer to all present-day professed Christians.
In 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, Paul is stressing the
unity and oneness of the believers, who are members of Christ’s body and have
received the same Spirit (v. 13). Again, verse 13 does not refer to all modern
A person does not automatically receive the Holy
Spirit the moment he believes (see previous question). The sign of receiving
the Holy Spirit is speaking of tongues (Acts -46; 19:6; 2:4).
11.10 Anyone who has love or faith, or the fruit of
the Holy Spirit, or whom God works with, has been filled with the Holy Spirit.
A person who is filled with the Holy Spirit
would naturally have love and faith, and God would work with him. However, a
person who has love and faith or whom God works with is not necessarily filled
with the Holy Spirit.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is a result of a
believer’s submission to the Spirit (Gal -18).
But we may not conclude that a person who has not received the Holy Spirit is
filled with the Holy Spirit just by looking at their good character.
Cornelius was a devout man who had both love and
faith (Acts 10:1-2; cf Acts 19:1-6); yet he did not have the Holy Spirit before
he accepted the gospel from the apostles.
Apollos was a learned man who was well-versed in
the Scriptures, and fervently preached Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, he had not
received the Holy Spirit when he met Priscilla and Aquila
because he knew of only the baptism of John (Acts 18:24-28; cf Acts 19:1-5).
Speaking in tongues is the sole basis for
discerning whether a person has received the Holy Spirit (see Acts -46; 19:6; 2:4).
11.11 We should not base a doctrine on historical
recordings. Luke simply recorded things as they happened. But he did not say
that this was the way it has to happen all the time. Nowhere in the Bible does
it say that everyone who receives the Holy Spirit will speak in tongues.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness” (italics added; 2 Tim ).
Historical writing, including Acts, make up a major portion of the Scripture.
It is not wrong to base doctrine on historical recordings as long as the
passages in question are interpreted correctly.
In 1 Corinthians 10:1-11, Paul did not hesitate
to base his teachings on history. What happened to the Israelites was recorded
for a reason. They serve as warnings for present-day believers.
In the case of speaking in tongues, Luke as well
as the apostles did interpret the occurrence of tongues in relation to
receiving the Holy Spirit:
Acts 8:16 it records, “For as yet He [the Holy
Spirit] had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name
of the Lord Jesus.” The people of Samaria
had believed in the Lord Jesus and been baptized. If tongues are not the
necessary sign of receiving the Holy Spirit, on what basis did Luke conclude
that they had not yet received the Holy Spirit?
In Acts 10:44-48, Peter knew that the people had
received the Holy Spirit just as the apostles had on the day of Pentecost.
Peter interpreted the evidence of tongues according to their own experience.
Likewise, based on the experience of the apostles, we also know that a person
today has received the Holy Spirit when he speaks in tongues.
In Acts 19:1-7, Paul asked the Ephesian
believers, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” and the
response was negative. Why did Paul have to ask such question if there is no
physical sign when a person receives the Holy Spirit, or that a person receives
the Holy Spirit the moment he believes? After they were baptized in the name of
the Lord Jesus, why didn’t Paul just tell them, “you have now received the Holy
Spirit”? When the Holy Spirit came on them, there is clear evidence of speaking
in tongues (v. 6). If the external signs were not evidence of receiving the
Holy Spirit, how did Luke conclude that the Holy Spirit came on them when Paul
placed his hands on them and not when they were baptized?
11.12 In Acts, the believers always received the
Holy Spirit in groups and never individually. If we base the necessity of
tongues on Acts, why is it that in your church, people receive the Holy Spirit
The necessity of tongues is based on the way
Luke and the apostles interpreted the occurrences of receiving the Holy Spirit.
In Acts -48, Peter
and the brothers knew that the Holy Spirit came on them when they heard them
speaking in tongues (v. 46). This was the evidence on which they based their
judgment. The Bible does not say that the Holy Spirit came on them because
entire groups received the Holy Spirit at once. Therefore, receiving the Holy
Spirit as a whole group is not a necessary evidence of receiving the Holy
It is not true that the believers never received
the Holy Spirit individually. Paul received the Holy Spirit after his
conversion when he was with Ananias (Acts ).
11.13 Speaking in tongues cannot save a person and is
as such insignificant. We should not insist that every believer should speak in
Speaking in tongues is the sign that a person
has received the Holy Spirit (Acts -48).
Every true believer of Christ must receive the Holy Spirit (evidenced by
speaking in tongues) to be saved (Jn 3:5; Eph -14; 2 Th ;
Tit 3:5). Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to
Christ (Rom 8:9).
Even though we are not saved by speaking of
tongues per se, speaking in tongues in itself is also very important. A person
who speaks in tongues speaks to God and edifies himself (1Cor 14:2,4). This
edification is derived from the intercession of the Holy Spirit expressed in
spiritual tongues (see Rom -27).
While we do not insist that every believer
should preach in tongues, we do emphasize that every believer must pray for the
Holy Spirit, who helps us to sanctify ourselves so that we may be saved (2 Th
2:13; see 1Pet 1:2). When a person receives the Holy Spirit, they will
naturally be able to speak in tongues in prayer.
11.14 If speaking in tongues is a necessary sign of
receiving the Holy Spirit, every believer must speak in tongues to be saved.
This teaching is against the Bible. Are you telling me that people such as John
Calvin, Martin Luther, Mother Teresa, and Billy Graham cannot be saved because
they couldn’t speak in tongues?
Neither the Bible nor the True Jesus Church ever
commands anyone to speak in tongues to be saved. Speaking in tongues is given
by God rather than an action to take. We cannot command anyone to speak in
tongues to receive salvation.
But the Bible does promise that everyone who
believes in the true gospel and is baptized will receive the Holy Spirit (Acts ,39; Eph ). The believer also needs to pray and ask
for the Holy Spirit (Lk ).
When he receives the Holy Spirit, he will speak in tongues.
It is our duty to preach the full gospel
according to the Bible. We are not in the position to conclude whether anyone
who has never known the full gospel or heard of the true church will be saved.
If we deny the words of the Bible based on people’s experience, then we could
even go as far as saying that believing in Christ is not necessary because
countless good people in history had died without believing in Christ; are they
not saved? What is important is personal accountability. If you have heard of
the gospel but refuse to obey it because someone else had never heard of it or
received the experience, you are still personally accountable to God.
11.15 Speaking of tongues is one of, and the least
of, the spiritual gifts (1 Cor -11).
Furthermore, not every believer must speak in tongues (1 Cor ). So speaking of tongues is
not an absolute sign of receiving the Holy Spirit.
In 1 Corinthians 12:10, Paul is referring to
preaching in tongues, which must be interpreted (see -28). The gifts mentioned in this passage
are for the edification of the church. Speaking of tongues here does not refer
to the speaking of tongues when receiving the Holy Spirit which need not be
“Do all speak with tongues?” (v. 30) also refers
to preaching in tongues because it is followed by “do all interpret?” In other
words, not everyone has the gift to preach in tongues.
Though not every believer can preach in tongues
to edify the church, everyone who has received the Holy Spirit speaks in
tongues. Speaking in tongues is definitely the sign of receiving the Holy
Spirit. The apostles received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and spoke
in tongues (Acts 2:1-4). Peter and the other disciples were certain that
Cornelius and his relatives and friends received the Holy Spirit because “they
heard them speak with tongues and magnify God” (Acts -47; see also Acts 19:6).
If Paul regarded speaking in tongues as
insignificant, why did he thank God that he spoke in tongues more than all the
believers? (see 1Cor ).
11.16 In chapter 2 of Acts, 3,000 people were
baptized. Yet we do not see any hint of speaking in tongues by these people.
Similarly, the Bible does not say that the believers in Samaria spoke in tongues when they received
the Holy Spirit (Acts -17).
The Bible does not record that the 3,000 people
received the Holy Spirit, so it is also not necessary to record that they spoke
Although the Bible does not mention that the
believers in Samaria spoke in tongues, we can infer that there was a clear sign
to show that they received the Holy Spirit, for “when Simon saw that through
the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given” (Acts 8:18; italics
The apostle Peter must have heard the believers
speak in tongues. For him, speaking in tongues was the sign of receiving the
Holy Spirit (see Acts -47).
That speaking in tongues by the believers was
not mentioned in either incident does not lead to the conclusion that they did
not speak in tongues.
11.17 On the day of Pentecost, the disciples spoke
in foreign languages, which were understood (see Acts 2:4-11). In your church,
however, people speak in tongues that are completely unintelligible even to
“For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to
men but to God, for no one understands him” (1 Cor 14:2). Prayer in tongues,
unless interpreted, cannot be understood.
The disciples did not actually speak in foreign
languages. But God opened the ears of the Jews so that they heard the disciples
speaking in their own languages (see Acts 2:8, 11).
Ordinarily if several people speak in more than
two or three languages at once, no one else can make out what is being said. On
the day of Pentecost, however, 120 people all spoke in tongues, and the Jews
from about 15 language groups were able to understand that they were “speaking
the wonderful works of God” in their own tongues (Acts 2:8-11).
The tongues were not intelligible to everyone in
the crowd. While the devout Jews understood the tongues, others thought that
the disciples had had too much wine (Acts ). If the disciples were indeed speaking foreign
languages, why then did only the devout Jews understand what was being said?
And why did the ungodly think the disciples were drunk?
God intended to save the devout Jews and
therefore allowed them to understand the tongues, which declared the wonders of
God. Consequently, many believed and were baptized into Christ (see Acts -41). The mockers, on the other
hand, could not understand.
11.18 To claim that Christians today may also speak
in tongues is to add to the Scripture. The Bible is the only divine authority
for present day Christians, and there must not be additional divine
interventions (see ).
The New Testament churches might have had the gift of tongues. However, after
the Bible was completed, all tongues and other signs had ceased.
To say that the divine work has ceased after the
Bible was completed is essentially to say that all the promises in the Bible
have ceased and do not apply to modern-day Christians. This assertion subtracts
from the Scriptures.
Revelation refers to adding teachings or claims that are beyond
or contradictory to the Bible. Receiving the Holy Spirit is a promise in the
Bible and definitely applies to Christians today.
Speaking in tongues is the evidence of receiving
the Holy Spirit (Acts -46;
19:6; 2:4). If Christians today may not speak in tongues, does it mean that
Christians today may not have the Holy Spirit in them?
The gift of the Holy Spirit is given to everyone
who believes in the Lord (Jn -39),
who is baptized (Acts ),
and who asks for the Holy Spirit (Lk 11:9-13). This promise is timeless and is
certainly given to Christians today as well.
The Lord Jesus promised his disciples, “Go
therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all
things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end
of the age” (Mt 28:19-20; italics added). This abidance of the Lord refers to
the coming of the Holy Spirit (Jn -20).
In other words, as long as the believers obey the Lord’s commands, the Holy
Spirit would be with the church to the very end of the age. Therefore, today,
believers in the true church that is established by the Holy Spirit may also
pray for and receive the promised Holy Spirit.
11.19 In 1 Corinthians 14 Paul discourages the believers
from speaking in tongues during service. He writes, “For God is not the author
of confusion but of peace” (1 Cor ).
But some churches today, in contradiction to the Bible, ask the congregation to
speak in tongues all at once during service without any interpretation.
“Yet in the church I would rather speak five
words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand
words in a tongue” (v. 19). Here Paul is referring to preaching (prophecy) in
tongues, not prayer in tongues. When there is no interpreter, the speaker
should keep quiet and “speak to himself and to God” (v. 28). Thus, Paul
discourages preaching in tongues without interpretation but never discourages
praying in tongues during service (see 1Cor )
Paul says that “God is not the author of
confusion but of peace” because during church service in Corinth, the members would preach in tongues
even when there was no interpreter and many would speak at once (see vv.
27-30). All this caused confusion and disorder.
Prayer in tongues is directed to God and needs
no interpretation (v. 2). When everyone prays in tongues during church service,
there is no confusion nor disorder. Rather, there is a spirit of unity.
11.20 If a person must receive the Holy Spirit in
addition to being baptized to be saved, then would baptized believers who pass
away before they could speak in tongues be saved? What about baptized infants
who pass away? They cannot even pray, let alone speaking in tongues.
The promise of the Holy Spirit for those who
have been baptized is also given to children (Acts -39). Children, of course, include infants.
So infants, or children in general, not only can be baptized, they can also
receive the Holy Spirit.
Since receiving the Holy Spirit is necessary for
salvation, God would give the Holy Spirit to those who have been baptized
before they pass away. There have been members in the True Jesus Church who
received the Holy Spirit shortly before they pass away (they spoke in tongues
Speaking in tongues helps us discern if a person
has received the Holy Spirit. But infants or adults who receive the Holy Spirit
immediately before they pass away might not have the opportunity to speak in
tongues. Nevertheless, they have received the Holy Spirit for a moment, however
brief it might have been.
Could infants be saved, who are not able to
“confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord”? If the answer is yes, then does
it mean that it is not necessary to confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord?
We should not use exceptions of believers who are prevented by circumstances to
speak in tongues to conclude that speaking in tongues are not necessary.
Exceptions are not rules. Those who are not in such circumstances should still
pray for the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit comes on them, they will speak
11.21 Romans 8:9 states that those who do not have
the Spirit of Christ do not belong to Christ. What about those who have been
baptized into Christ but have not yet receive the Holy Spirit? Do they not
belong to Christ?
Those who have been baptized into Christ
certainly belong to Christ (Gal -29).
As far as God’s salvation is concerned, baptism
and receiving the Holy Spirit are two sides of the same coin. The promise of
the Holy Spirit is given to everyone who accepts God’s grace through baptism
(Acts -39). Believers
who have been baptized belong to Christ, though they might not have yet
received the Holy Spirit. Through faith, they have accepted Christ and his
baptism, and the promise of the Holy Spirit is already theirs. In time, they
will receive the promise.
Romans 8:9 should not be applied to believers
who have been baptized. Yet those who do not believe in Christ and Christians
which do not seek the promised Holy Spirit must take this verse as a warning.
11.22 The Lord Jesus strictly warns us not to
repeat the same words in prayer (Mt 6:7). Yet some people teach others to pray
for the Holy Spirit by repeatedly saying “hallelujah.”
The Lord Jesus is teaching us to pray from our
hearts, for God is not persuaded by prolonged and meaningless repetitions of
words (see context: vv. 5-6, 8). But this is not to tell us that we should not
make long prayers or pray for a specific goal with similar words. The Lord
Jesus repeated the same thing when he prayed three times in Gethsemane
(Mt 26:44); he also prayed all night (Lk ).
“Hallelujah” means “praise the LORD.” This
phrase is found throughout the psalms (see Ps 104-106; 111-118; 135; 146-150)
and even in the vision of heavenly worship (Rev 19:1-6). Saying “Hallelujah” is
completely based on the Bible and is the best way to pray since God is worthy
of our praise. And a person should also pray from the heart while he praises
God with his words.
In the True Jesus Church, countless members have
received the Holy Spirit by repeating “Hallelujah” and praying with sincerity.
11.23 Could I receive evil spirit when I pray for
the Holy Spirit?
A person who sincerely yearns for the Holy
Spirit must accept the true church—the body of Christ, which is established by
the Holy Spirit. Anyone who wishes to receive the Holy Spirit must obey the
true gospel taught by the church and pray in the way that the church instructs.
The believers in Samaria (Acts 8:14-17), Paul (Acts 9:3-17), Cornelius and his
relatives and friends (Acts 10:1-8, 44-46), and the disciples in Ephesus (Acts
19:1-7) received the Holy Spirit only when they came into contact with and
obeyed the disciples of the Lord. Similarly, those who yearn to be baptized by
the Holy Spirit must also seek the true church and accept the true gospel.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth (Jn -17). A person must believe and
obey the truth to receive the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:15-16,21,23; Acts 5:32). Those
who reject the truth or refuse to accept the true church that preaches the
truth might receive evil spirit even if they pray for the Holy Spirit.
If a person prays with wrong motives or
unrepentant heart, he allows room for evil spirits to work. But anyone who
accepts the truth, follows the way of prayer instructed by the church, and
prays sincerely for the Holy Spirit will not receive evil spirit. The Heavenly
Father will not allow evil spirit to possess those who sincerely ask him (Lk -13).