Spiritual Light

instructions in the faith for spirit filled believers
This book contains perhaps the most needed understanding for God's people today. Prompted by the word of the Lord this book analyzes what the Bible says about the most fundamentally important aspects of Jesus' saving work. Precious understanding revealed by a loving God for His people!
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Book Contents
Title Page
Original Introduction
Introduction to the 3rd Printing
My Credentials
Chapter One
The Third Commandment
Credentials for Chapter One
Marriage - Taking the Name
Spiritual Adultery
Like All the Nations
For Our Admonition
Chapter Two
The Sacrifice of Christ
Credentials for Chapter Two
The Sacrifice of Christ - The Copy & the True
An Important Detail - Where was Christ Sacrificed?
The Witness
Chapter Three
Conversion and Baptism
Credentials for Chapter Three
Two Gospels
Circles - The Body of Christ
Same Wrong Error - Sufficiency of Christ
Chapter Four
Salvation and Works
Credentials for Chapter Four
Ignorant and Unstable
Hebrews - Hope - Kept by Power
Glorified - Two Rocks (Rom 10:9-10)
Acts 16 - Saved Through Faith
Error in the Name of Truth
Remnants of Works - Conclusion

Spiritual Light

Same Wrong Message

In the light of these things, consider the traditional doctrine among Pentecostal believers today concerning the baptism of the holy Ghost. As a whole, most of them are adamant that sinners must be converted before that baptism may be received. Some Pentecostals insist not only on conversion preceding Spirit baptism, but on an additional experience they call sanctification that is received between conversion and Spirit baptism. Still others, such as those of the "Oneness" faith, insist that water baptism is required before one should receive the holy Ghost baptism, just as the very earliest believers did.

So, the message that sinners receive from the body of Christ today is practically the same message that Paul spent his life in Christ opposing. That erroneous message is that sinners must become God's people in order to qualify to receive the holy Ghost baptism. Standard doctrine today among Pentecostals concerning Spirit baptism is that it is only for God's people, only for those who have already been converted. But the revelation that burned within Paul's soul was that the holy Ghost baptism was not for saints, that this baptism cannot possibly be for people in the kingdom of God, for it is by the baptism of the holy Ghost that people enter into the kingdom of God. The baptism of the Spirit cannot follow conversion for it is conversion! It can only be for people outside the body, for no one inside the body is without it.

Even at present, after so long a time, God's people are still drawing circles around the baptism of the Spirit which God has not drawn, leading sinners through all sorts of admissions, confessions, and initiations before instructing them to seek the baptism. And God is still surprising those who cling to such things, as He surprised Peter's companions at Cornelius' house, by baptizing people into the body of Christ simply because they come to Him in the name of His Son Jesus, hungering and thirsting for the "righteousness, peace, and joy of the holy Ghost".

Paul's gospel, not Peter's, fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy of a way being made that would be so simple even fools would not have to err while walking in it (Isa. 35:8). The only prerequisite for receiving the holy Spirit and being cleansed from all sin, according to Paul, is repentance in the name of Jesus. Anything else added by anyone is godless tradition. Conversion neither precedes nor post-dates spiritual baptism, for it is spiritual baptism which converts. There is not one example in the New Testament of anyone being converted before being baptized by the Spirit.11 And though there be many thousands testifying today of being born again (or "saved" as they say) before receiving the holy Ghost baptism, not one of them is with understanding. We may have a change of mind and heart, we may be touched by God's love, or be delivered of evils great or small, and yet be unconverted. There are many genuine, thrilling, and healing experiences with Jesus that we may have without being born again! But there is only one genuine experience of new birth: Pentecostal baptism.

There is no such thing as a non-Spirit-baptized member of the body of Christ, for we are made members of the body of Christ by the baptism of the Spirit. This was the major doctrinal battle of Paul's time, and it remains one of the great doctrinal battles for us to win, for the glory of God and the good of God's people.

Christ Is Sufficient

The fundamental problem with the Jews of Paul's time requiring circumcision for Gentiles, or requiring John's baptism, or any other ceremony that was under the Law God gave them, is similar to the problem caused by Christian sects in requiring their ceremonies. The problem is this: the use of any ceremonial rite implies that Christ alone is not sufficient. The holy works of the Law were made useless for obtaining salvation by what Jesus did, and if useless for salvation, then those ceremonial works became nothing but vain ritual. Isaiah boldly prophesied that the day would come when God would turn the holy works of the Law into vain, sinful exercises deserving of the death penalty:

"He who kills an ox [will be] as if he slew a man; he who sacrifices a lamb [will be] as if he cut off a dog's neck; he who offers an oblation [will be] as if he offered swine's blood; he who burns incense [will be] as if he blessed an idol."

(Isaiah 66:3)

For anyone among the Gentiles in Paul's day, and for anyone at all now, to practice ceremonial rites is to imply an insufficiency in Christ. Jesus does not need and does not use any form of water baptism to save sinners. His baptism, his circumcision, his sacrifices, his garments for worship, his communion, and all other elements of service to God in this New Covenant, are spiritual. The chapter following, which deals with the relationship between salvation and works, will examine this aspect of the gospel in detail.