“Revelation 3:1 (NLT) stated, “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive – but you are dead.”
Holy Spirit Is On Fire!
Luke 3:16 NLT says, ” John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am – so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be His slave and untie the straps of His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with Fire.“
John’s baptism with water symbolized the washing away of sins. His baptism coordinated with his message of repentance and reformation. Baptism was an “outward” sign of commitment. To be effective, it had to be accompanied by an “inward” change of attitude leading to a changed life. John’s baptism did not give salvation; it prepared a person to welcome the coming Messiah and receive His message and His baptism. Although John was the first genuine prophet in four hundred years, our Lord Jesus Christ the Messiah would be infinitely greater than he. So much so that John would not even be worthy to be His slave.
The coming of the Holy Spirit had been prophesied as part of the Messiah’s arrival. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire revealed the identity of the promised Messiah (see Isaiah 44:3; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:26-27; Joel 2:28-29). The Old Testament promised a time when God would demonstrate His purifying power among people (Isaiah 32:15; Ezekiel 39:29). The prophets also looked forward to a purifying fire (Isaiah 4:4; Malachi 3:2). This looked ahead to Pentecost (Acts 2). The baptism with fire also symbolizes the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing God’s judgment on those who refuse to repent. The experience would not necessarily be like that recorded in Acts 2, but the outcome would be the same. This baptism would purify and refine each believer. When Jesus Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit, the entire person would be refined by the Holy Spirit’s fire.
Quote from A. J. Gordon:
It easier to recite our prayers from a book than to read them from the tables of a prepared heart, where the finger of the Holy Spirit has silently written them, but the more difficult way is the more acceptable way to Him who seeks for worshippers who “worship in Spirit and in truth.” It is easier to get “the sense of the meeting” than to learn “the mind of the Spirit” by patient tarrying and humble surrender to God, but the more laborious way will certainly prove the more profitable way. The failure to take this way is, we are persuaded, the cause of more decay and spiritual death in the churches than we have yet imagined.
Why has then light been extinguished? What violence may have been done, by headstrong self-will, to Him who is called “the Spirit of counsel and might”? What rejection of the truth which He, “the Spirit of truth,” has appointed for the faith of God’s church until at last the word has been spoken: Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do you.” The Spirit will not be entirely withdrawn from the body of Christ indeed, but there is the Church, and there are churches. A man may yet breathe and live when cell after cell has been closed by congestion until at last only inhales and exhales with a little portion of one lung.
The Spirit is the breath of God in the body of His church. While that divine body survives, multitudes of churches have so shut out the Holy Spirit from rule and authority and supremacy in the midst of them that the ascended Lord can only say to them: “Thou hast a name to live and art dead.” Some trust in creeds, and some in ordinances; some suppose that the church’s security lies in a sound theology, and others locate it in a primitive simplicity of government and worship; but it lies in none of these, desirable as they are.
The body may be as to its organs perfect and entire, wanting nothing; but simply because the Holy Spirit has been withdrawn from it, it has passed from a church into a corpse. As one has powerfully stated it: “When the Holy Spirit withdraws … He sometimes allows the forms which He has created to remain.” The oil is exhausted, but the lamp is still there; prayer is offered and the Bible read; church-going is not given up, and to a certain degree the service is enjoyed; in a word religious habits are preserved, and like the corpses found at New York City because of this pandemic coronavirus, which were in a perfect state of preservation and in the very position in which death had surprised them, but which were reduced to ashes by contact with the air, so the blast of trial, of temptation, or of final judgment will destroy these spiritual corpses.
Do not be afraid and fear not. Be courageous, smart and vigilant against this pandemic coronavirus. God has purposes and everything is under His control.
Elias A. Busuego, Jr., PhD, DTM is self-described as “proud of the only two women in my life – my wife and my daughter (with her husband and one grandson & one granddaughter). I am also proud of my three sons: John and his family (two sons & 1 daughter); Christopher and his family (with his wife and one grandson & one daughter); and Elias Jr. IV and his family (with his wife and one son & one daughter), who are all serving in the U.S. military.” The author states that he read the Bible back-to-back, and learned the history behind it, but did not understand its deeper spiritual perspective until he experienced of being Born-Again, born in spirit.
Since he was Born-Again on March 17, 1972, he started understanding the Passage and/or Scripture on John 3:3-7 NLT.
These are most of his favorite verses. In John 3:3-7 NLT says, “3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
4 “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again? "Jesus replied, “I assure you; no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’
In John 3:5 – This statement has perplexed and divided commentators for many centuries. Some traditions have taught that the water denotes physical birth (referring to the “water” of amniotic fluid or even semen) and Spirit to spiritual birth – in which case our Lord Jesus Christ would be saying that a person has to have two births: one physical and the second, spiritual. This view builds upon the preceding context when Nicodemus referred to physical birth. It also points to the parallel our Lord Jesus Christ makes in verse 6. According to this position, our Lord Jesus Christ would have been granting the Pharisee’s point in order to highlight the nature of the second birth as spiritual. Two strengths of this interpretation are that it avoids making the physical act of water baptism a necessity and that it avoids bringing almost a “third birth” idea into the discussion. If water doesn’t refer to natural birth, say its defenders, then our Lord Jesus Christ seems to be saying that a person must be born of their parents, born of water, and born of the Spirit.
Other traditions have taught that the water refers to baptism and the Spirit to spiritual regeneration – thus, our Lord Jesus Christ would have been saying that a person must both be baptized and receive the Spirit in order to enter the Kingdom of God. This view is at times influenced by the belief that the sacrament of baptism is itself a requirement for salvation.
A parallel view makes water refer to baptism but places the emphasis on teaching two steps of baptism; one by water, the other by the Spirit. For support, these views point to the larger context in John where John the Baptist and water baptism are mentioned just preceding the events in Cana and following this encounter with Nicodemus. They also rely on the tendency of previous generations of Christians to equate the mention of water with baptism. But in the first seven chapters of John, water appears in some way (naturally or symbolically) in each chapter. To associate water and baptism too closely makes baptism a higher priority than the Scriptures give it. Here, for instance, if our Lord Jesus Christ was speaking of two completely separate acts, two baptisms, it is odd that the rest of the discussion between our Lord Jesus Christ and Nicodemus never again refers to the subject but revolves entirely around the work of God’s Spirit.
Still other traditions have taught that our Lord Jesus’ reference to water is not physical in either the sense of birth or baptism. The term water is simply another description of the Spirit – or the Spirit’s activity of cleansing and giving life (see John 7:37-39).
In John 3:6 – Humans can produce only more human beings; this answers Nicodemus’s question in verse 4. Only God the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven. At the same time God puts His Spirit into us, we are given a new regenerated human spirit. It is God’s Spirit, not our effort, that makes us children of God (John 1:12). Our Lord Jesus’ description corrects human hopes that we might somehow inherit goodness from parents or earn it by good behavior, church background, or correct associations. At some point we must be able to answer the question: Have I been born of the Spirit?
In John 3:7 – Our Lord Jesus’ statement to Nicodemus that evening has been heralded to all the world ever since. Both Jew and Gentile have heard the divine mandate: You must be born again. Without the new birth, one cannot see or enter into the Kingdom of God. In those words, millions have heard our Lord Jesus Christ speaking directly to their hearts and our hearts. Behind our Lord Jesus’ challenge is His invitation to each of us –” You must be born again; allow me to do that for you.”
Since he was born again on March 17, 1972, he started also understanding his other favorite Passage on Romans 12:2 NLT.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
When Elias offered his entire self to God, a change happened in his relation to the world. As one of Born-Again Christians, he believes we are called to a different lifestyle than what the world offers with its behavior and customs, which are usually selfish and often corrupting (Galatians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:14).
He commented that Born-Again Christians are to live as citizens of a future world. There will be pressure to conform, to continue living according to the script written by the world, but Born-Again Christian believers are forbidden to give in to that pressure.
But refusing to conform to this world’s values must go even deeper than the level of behavior and customs – it must go to the transforming of the way we think.
In Elias testimonies as a Born-Again Christian believer, he emphasized that born-again is an experience and he experienced a complete transformation from the inside out. And the change must begin in the mind, where all thoughts and actions begin. Much of the work is done by God’s Spirit in us, and the tool most frequently used is God’s Word. As we memorize and meditate upon God’s Word, our way of thinking changes. Our minds become first informed, and then conformed to the pattern of God, the pattern for which we were originally designed. When we as Born-Again Christian believers have had our minds transformed and are becoming more like our Lord Jesus Christ, we will know what God wants and we will want to do it for it is good, pleasing to God, and perfect for us.
It is from those gleanings that he was able to write this book.
View all posts by Elias A Busuego Jr PhD DTM
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