This-morning I thought we'd look at the new birth, which is the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Lord Jesus told Nicodemus, "Unless a man is born-again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).
Paul said, "No man can say that Jesus is the Christ, but by the revelation of the Holy Ghost," or, a clear understanding of the revealed Word (I Corinthians 12:3). So the word 'see' means to understand.
"Unless a man is born-again, he cannot understand the kingdom of God".
We can tie this in with what Jesus said is the infallible evidence of the new birth, or baptism of the Holy Ghost. In John 16:13 He said, "When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the revealed truth [for your day]: He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things that will come to pass (in your day)".
So the Holy Spirit brings Spiritual Light or understanding. And understanding is seeing, or faith. When we're born-again, we can see, or understand, what God's Bible promised He would do in our day. We recognize our day and its Message.
God is the Word. And when we're born-again we know the living God because we understand the Word for our day. Most church-goers know of God, the historical God, Who manifested as a Man and wrestled with Jacob; Who met with Moses on Mount Horeb in thunderings and lightnings, and the noise of a trumpet, the God Who served His apprenticeship as a carpenter, stilled the sea, and hung on Calvary's cruel Cross.
That was the Word yesterday. That was the God of history. What of the living Word? What of the Word for this day? What is God doing now? How would we recognize Him today? What should we expect? What are we supposed to be looking for?
If I were flying in to Mascot from my old home of Hongkong and you were asked to meet the plane. Unless you knew what I looked like, you wouldn't know who to look for. A photograph would be helpful, but not if it was one of my baby photos. Not if it showed me in my school uniform. Sure, that IS me, but I've changed quite a bit since those shots were taken. I don't wear knitted woolen shoes anymore, and I'd look foolish wearing that little knitted bonnet, or the straw boater hat I wore as a school boy; unless I was a reincarnation of Maurice Chevalier!
That was me yesterday. But unless you know what me looks like today, you'll never recognize me. And we must learn what God promised to do today and look for that part of the Word or we will never recognize Jesus. We must look for the part of the Word He is fulfilling now.
We certainly won't find God wrestling with Jacob or any other man. That was for a day gone by. And we won't recognize Him by watching Cecil B. de Mille's film 'The Ten Commandments', which pictures lightning, thunder and earthquake on the Mount. Neither would we spot him in any furniture factory that may be in Nazareth today. And He won't be swinging a door. He's probably not even in the Carpenter's Union. And we won't catch Him walking on the Sea of Galilee in this day, if we set a 24-hour watch.
If ever we are going to see Jesus we will first need to understand what His Word promised He would He doing in this day. For He is the Word. Jesus said, "Search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal Life. They are they that testify of Me." We must lift Him up out of history, because if we would see Jesus today we will see the Living Word, not past history. And unless we know what to look for we will fail to see, or recognize Him.
Israel failed to see Jesus because they were looking for the wrong thing, the wrong Coming. Israel was looking for the third Coming. That's the Millennium, when God destroys Rome, and re-establishes the kingdom of Israel, with Jesus ruling from the Throne of David. Israel was looking for a General, when God promised them a Baby.
What are you looking for today? What did the Bible tell you the Word would do today? Unless we know what to look for, we will reject Him when we see Him because we won't know Him, the Living Word. We must understand the Word. Faith is a clear understanding of the revealed Word of God.
Jesus asked his disciples, saying, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am"?
And they said, "Some say you're John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets".
He said, "But whom do you say that I am"?
Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God".
Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jona: for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father which is in heaven has revealed who I am. And I say, that you are Peter, and on this rock of the spiritual revelation of Who I am I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against spiritual revelation of the Word, or faith."
"And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven: and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven".
The "keys of the kingdom of heaven" are a clear understanding of the Word God promised He would fulfill in your day, that is, faith in what Peter called "the present Truth" . . . what Jesus is doing now" (II Peter 1:12 and I John 1:7). Spiritual understanding or faith in the Word for your day unlocks the kingdom of heaven to you and to me and is the new-birth or baptism of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 16:13-19).
So seeing is understanding, and understanding is faith. "Unless a man is born-again, he cannot understand the kingdom of God." But what does Jesus mean by the kingdom of God?
The Pharisees demanded, "When should the kingdom of God should come?" Jesus answered them, "The Kingdom of God comes not with observation: neither shall they say, It's over here or there! for the Kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20-21).
Wow! The kingdom of God is not a place, not something that could be physically observed with the eye, and it was already in them before Calvary. So what is the kingdom of God?
Jesus said it cannot be seen with our natural eyes, but if we are born-again it can be seen or understood by the eyes of faith. So the kingdom of God is the Word. Not "the letter only" but the revealed Word. What was potentially in the hearts of the Pharisees, was faith. Jesus is building His Church on the rock of Spiritual revelation of the Word. The gates of hell certainly withstood Peter, but nothing can withstand FAITH.
So unless we are born-again, we will never understand the Word of God.
A wise man once wrote, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1). We must search the Scripture to discover what season of God's Word we are living in, and see that part of the Word living through us.
God's Word, which has been apportioned through the ages, has never returned to Him void but has accomplished the purpose for which it was sent, because the saints received the Portion of Word sent for their day, and acted it out in their lives.
Jesus was the Word made flesh. Christians are flesh becoming Word. A life lived by the Word is the Word expressed. If our lives are manifesting what God's Word promised to do in this day, we can say like Paul, "The life that I live is no longer myself but Christ in me, the hope of glory".
God has allotted His Word throughout the six thousand years that man has been on this earth: here a little, and there a little. By His foreknowledge of how individual men would apply their own free will, He could predestinate a people who would by faith receive and become the manifestation of the Portion of Word allotted to their day.
In every Age there was a Portion of Word and a people foreknown of God who would become written epistles of that Word. In the days of Noah, God delivered a salvation Message and predestinated Noah and his family to receive it. In the days of Moses, God had a Message of deliverance, and a people foreknown and prepared to receive it. In the days of John the Baptist, God called for repentance, and once again, there was a tiny group foreknown and foreordained to receive his Message.
Looking back, we see that few received grace through the ministry of any of God's great servants. Jesus accused Israel of rejecting and killing all of God's holy prophets from Abel to His day. This should cause us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. If the righteous are scarcely saved . . . five souls in the days of Noah(Mrs. Noah, Ham and his wife were afterwards lost); three in the days of Moseshimself, Joshua and Calebthe adult Israelites were removed from the Book of Life through unbelief; and not too many from the preaching of John, or Jesusmost of those Israelites were also blotted from the Book of Life (Psalm 69:28).
What made the difference and separated the people of God from the world, was understanding in the Word for their day. Noah's family recognized their day and its Message. Faith in that Message saved their lives. But what if Moses had assembled the children of Israel and said, "I'm a deliverer. I was born a peculiar child, I'm the prophet Abraham foretold."
"Oh yes, Moses, we all believe that. How're you going to deliver us, Moses?"
"Well, we're going to build a big boat and float down the Nile".
That was the vindicated Word of God. It worked for Noah, but it would not have worked for Moses. Moses lived in another day, with another part of Word predestinated to be fulfilled under different circumstances by a different people. Moses had to fulfill the Word for His day.
Likewise Moses' Message would not work for John the Baptist. And John's Message would not have worked for Luther. Neither would Luther's Message work for Wesley, or Wesley's Message work for the Pentecostals. Nor will the Pentecostal or any of these other Messages produce the new birth for us in this day. we now have the fullness of the Word.
When God sent Martin Luther with the Message of Justification by grace through faith alone, it kindled a world-wide Reformation. Yet only a small percentage of Christendom received it by faith. But to those who did receive it in that Age, God gave the power to become His sons, because it was faith or understanding of Luther's Message that produced the new birth for that Age (John 1:12).
In the next Age, God added another line. Further revelation of the Word by John Wesley's Message of Sanctification added to Luther's Message of Justification. Still less received it. But the Body was building and those who received were born-again and become "written epistles" of the Word for their day.
And do you know that although Luther's Message gave the new birth to the saints of the Sardis Age, it could not regenerate or give a new birth to the saints of the Philadelphian Age. Those Methodist and Baptist saints had to recognize their day and its Message.
You see, Christ is building His Church, also known as His body, or Wife. His Body is not all legs or all nose anymore than your wife or husband is all legs or all nose. It's made up of many different parts, just like your body. His Body is a Spoken Word Body made up by the foolishness of preachingby faith in the Word. Part of it was predestinated to be made up by Luther's Message; that Part was finished hundreds of years ago. Another part was predestinated to be made up by Wesley's Message. Those members were all baptized into the Body before the First World War! Another Part of the Body was preached into Christ by the Pentecostal Message.
ALL those parts of the Church or Body of Christ have been made up. There is absolutely NO possibility of those Messages baptizing anyone into Christ today. The only way into the Body of Christ in this day is to recognize the Word God promised to fulfill in this day and become a written epistle of that part of His Word.
Today Christ is making up His end-time Bride by the fullness of the Word.
We do NOT live in the Age of Luther's Message. We are NOT living in the Wesleyan (or Philadelphian) Age. And neither are we living in the Pentecostal Revival. These things have passed into history. There can never be another Revival, anymore than there can be another Calvary. We live in the age of the apostasy of the church, the days of the God's last Message to the Gentiles.
I John 1:7 is one of the most important yet least understood verses of Scripture. It's Message becomes more apparent when it is paraphrased: "Unless we walk in the Light God is manifesting now, we are not and cannot come under the blood, or be born-again".
We must recognize our Part of the Word, and when we see that part of the Bible coming to pass in our lives, we know we are written epistlesLiving BiblesHis Word in our flesh willing and doing what He prophesied it would do in this day. When we see that, we know we are truly born-again"by faith, we see Christ in us, the hope of glory".
How can I be born-again?
By joining church? ....No!
By studying the Bible? ....No!
By praying? ....No!
By speaking with tongues? ....Definitely not! Though all of these things are commendable.
Then how can I be born-again?
By recognizing your day and its Message! A life lived by the Word is the Holy Spirit in you! That is the new-birth!
Let's take a look at some of the recent topics that have been discussed on Bible Believers:
Brother Anthony, Ministers and friends tell me all three persons of the Godhead were present at the baptism of Jesus. Please explain this to me.
We must recognize that the Bible is the story of God changing His form, from Elohim, the Eternal Spirit alone with His thoughts, through the spoken Word, to the manifestation of those thoughts in the flesh of His Familythe many membered Body of Christ.
God's thoughts are eternal, they are REAL and His Word is those thoughts expressed. God's Word is Spirit in a Form we can receive by faith. This is HOW we receive the Holy Spirit. And as we now know, a life lived by the Word is the WorD expressed in your flesh and my flesh.
Jesus is the beginning of God creating Himself in human FORM, the first God-man. Christians or New Testament saints are the continuation of the same creation as Eve was a continuation or by-product of the creation of the first Adam and not a separate creation(I Corinthians 6:17; Ephesians 1:21-23).
Once God dwelt alone between the cherubim, and in the Tabernacle, and in the Temple; then in Jesus, His firstborn. Since Pentecost, He dwells in all His New Testament saints, that is, in every genuine born-again Christian.
When Moses dedicated the Tabernacle, the Glory of God was seen to enter in the FORM of a Pillar of Fire. The unchanging God exhibited the same SIGN when He took residence in Solomon's Temple (Exodus 40:33-38; I Kings 8:10-11).
John the Baptist was the Elijah of Malachi 3 who introduced Messiah's FIRST Coming. God told him He would identify Messiah by the same SIGN.
Preaching repentance and preparing Israel to receive the True LambJohn knew Messiah was in their midst, and was watching for the promised sign to IDENTIFY Him. When the Pillar of Fire descended upon Jesus as a dove, John knew the Angel of the Covenant had entered His Temple, as God confirmed, "THIS is My beloved Son, in whom I am pleased to dwell in" (Malachi 3:1; John 1:25-37; Revelation 3:14).
The dove was a SIGN to John, who alone, saw the Shekinah and heard the Words of the Voice.
Matthew 3:16-17 does not speak of three persons but the one and only Person of God revealing Himself the same yesterday, today, and forever, as He took residence in the Temple of Jesus who at that time became the Christ or anointed One (Malachi 3:1, 6; I Timothy 3:16; I John 1; Colossians 2:9).
When God took up residence in His Church He gave the SAME sign. On the Day of Pentecost when Peter, Matthew, Mary and 120 souls were born-again, "there appeared divided tongues like Fire, and sat upon each one of them." And if the Spirit of God dwells in youyou too are the Temple of God (Acts 2:1-3; I Corinthians 3:16).
Brother Anthony, is glossalalia or speaking with other tongues the EVIDENCE of the baptism with the Holy Ghost?
Not according to the Bible! Remember, the Holy Spirit falls upon ALL flesh, the just AND the unjust, believers, make believers AND unbelievers. The SAME rain that God sends for the wheat falls also upon the tares.
Today multitudes of tongues speakers and sign-workers REFUSE the Holy Spirit or Word as Balaam, Caiaphas, Judas, the ten spies and St. Augustine (so-called) refused it. To refuse the Word for your day is to refuse the Holy Ghost and shall never be forgiven in this world, or in the world to come. So it IS possible to be baptized with the GENUINE Holy Spirit, exercise all of the gifts and miracles and be lost (I Corinthians 13).
Satan can impersonate all nine gifts of the Spirit, and the five-fold ministry, but he cannot impersonate the true evidence of the New Birth, which according to Jesus, is Faith or the righteousness of a life lived by a clear understanding of the Word for your day (John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-16; I John 1:7; 4:1-6).
The True baptism with the Holy Ghost is the New Birth. And the evidence is not "speaking" but "hearing" (Acts 2:41; Romans 10:17; Galatians 3:5) what the Spirit is saying to the True and nominal churches, and manifesting what Scripture prophesied for the saints of this present hour. Not impersonating the Word already fulfilled in the dispensations of Luther, Wesley, or the Pentecostals.
On the Day of Pentecost, Peter spoke in Galilean, yet everyone "heard" in him in their own tongue. They did not speak, they heard what the Spirit was speaking (Acts 2;10-11). So did believers of five nationalities who lived in the house of Cornelius and spoke five different languages.
The foolish virgin often speak with other tongues, but they do not receive the Holy Spirit. So search the Scriptures and find what God prophesied for this day, and ensure your life is the fulfillment of the Word for this hour.
This is a sample of thousands of messages we receive each week.
It's wonderful to read of the heroes of faith, the Miracles of Jesus, and what God did in ages past. But what is He doing now?
God is only making epistles of the present Truth. We must recognize our day and its Message, because as Christians, we can only manifest the Word He is fulfilling now. When we can see the "present Truth" coming to pass in our lives we have found our position in the Body of Christ. We KNOW we are born again and sealed to the day of our redemption. radio003.htm