If So Be That the Spirit of God Dwell in You :: By Mark A. Becker

Recently, we have embarked on a journey that included five study articles that had a similar theme threaded throughout them all. I do know that I never planned it that way; it just happened.

This article seeks to summarize what we have learned and how we can apply those lessons to our own Scripture studies, along with an urgent emphasis on assessing our individual personal salvation and standing in Jesus Christ. Thus, the content and information provided at the end of this article should be found to be extremely vital for the professing Christians in evaluating their own spiritual lives.

We will begin by briefly reviewing these five previous study articles.

All underlined Scripture passages are my own emphasis.

Matthew 25:1-13 – The Parable of the 10 Virgins

Our trek began with our investigation into this wonderful parable of Messiah Yeshua.

We found that the 10 Virgins represented two different categories of professing Christians – true Spirit-filled Christians and False Converts. The differences between the two groups are quite striking and their destinies concerning the Marriage was contrary one to the other. The five wise virgins were allowed in, while the five foolish virgins were not.

As the five foolish virgins pleaded their case, our Lord simply replied to them, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” Matthew 25:12

Summarizing this verse, we observed the following:

These same Words from our Lord will be heard from these foolish false convert virgins at The Great White Throne Judgment if they do not truly come to Christ in the Tribulation:

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” – Matthew 7:21-23

As in Matthew 25:11, where we read of the foolish false convert virgins exclaiming, “Lord, Lord,” these false converts in Matthew 7:21-23 who are judged at The Great White Throne Judgment also cry out, “Lord, Lord.”

Four of the saddest words anyone could ever hear from the Creator and Savior is, “I know you not” and/or “I never knew you.” Here is an important truth: Not only is it vitally important that any professing Christian comes to the real Jesus of Scripture in faith and to know Him personally, it is equally of vital importance that the real Jesus of Scripture personally knows you!

Ashamed at the Rapture?

In this article, we reflected on three different passages. Two were declaring that there would be those who would be Ashamed at the Rapture, and the other was two complimentary passages concerning those who would be ashamed of Christ and Christ would, therefore, be ashamed of them.

I truly appreciate those who responded to the questions I raised within the article, but interestingly, only one person answered the questions as they were posed.

Here were the three passages and the questions we submitted in this article:

“And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.”1 John 2:28

Who will “be ashamed before [Christ] at His coming?” Just who are these people who will be Ashamed at the Rapture?

What is their immediate fate?

Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” Revelation 16:15

[Note: In Ashamed at the Rapture we gave many reasons for why this verse is a rapture passage.]

Who is it that will “walk naked” and have “shame” at the rapture?

What will be their immediate fate?

Are these the same people in 1 John 2:28?

“For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.”Luke 9:26

“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”Mark 8:38

Who will be ashamed of Christ and His Words? Just as they were ashamed of Christ and His Words, Jesus said He will be ashamed of them when “He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

What will be these people’s immediate fate?

Here are the four candidates we offered for consideration on who would be Ashamed at the Rapture:

  1. True, Spirit-filled Believers

True born-again Spirit-filled believers are those who walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh, and are fruitful in all aspects of their lives in their service to Christ and His Salvation Kingdom. They love and serve Christ and love and serve others.

  1. Carnal Christians

Carnal Christians – sometimes referred to as Laodicean Christians – have accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ in their hearts; however, they are often led by their flesh and seldom walk in the Spirit. Consequently, these professing Christians are, at times, very uncertain of their salvation. This is a scary place for any professing Christian to be. Carnal Christians need to urgently attempt to evaluate their standing with the Lord, make their calling and election certain, and begin to walk exclusively in the Spirit.

  1. False Converts

Simply put, False Converts do not believe the true gospel of Jesus Christ in their hearts or believe in a false Jesus and/or a false gospel. Therefore, False Converts are not saved and obviously do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit.

  1. Christians Who Do Not Believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture (Self-Defined)

Personally, I have my own Biblical interpretive answers to these questions, but I am still leaving the questions open so I may hear the opinions of others – Bible students, teachers, and writers alike.

Honestly, I just love to hear from my brothers and sisters!

John 15: The Divine Vine

In this article, a major focus on the entire passage concerned “abiding in Christ” and what that involved according to the analogy Jesus posed of Him being The Divine Vine, His Father the Husbandman, and all others being the branches.

We concluded that “abiding in Christ” is necessarily achieved only by those who are truly saved and have the indwelling Holy Spirit in their lives.

John 15:4 in this study seemed to sum up this truth very well:

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”John 15:4

We must abide in The Divine Vine of Jesus Christ, as He also abides in us by His Holy Spirit, so we may bear much fruit for His Salvation Kingdom. A true Spirit-filled believer can never not abide in our Lord and Savior. They can never deny the One who bought them with such a high price. We are His purchased possession.

Blameless and Shameless at the Rapture

In this article, we contrasted those who would be Ashamed at the Rapture with passages that speak of those who eagerly anticipate their blessed hope and what the Word of God declares their characteristics to be.

Two primary passages of the many we examined were the following:

“That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”1 Corinthians 1:5-8

“As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”Romans 9:33

Two different groups of professing Christians are cogently presented in Scripture regarding the return of our Lord for His bride — those that would be Ashamed at the Rapture are in one category, and those who would be Blameless and Shameless at the Rapture are in the other.

The distinctions could not be more clearly delineated, and it behooves all professing Christians to truly examine themselves to make their calling and election sure.

Hebrews 6:4-6 – ‘It Is Impossible!’

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If [literally, “and“] they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”Hebrews 6:4-6

Lastly, in this article, we analyzed Hebrews 6:4-6 and discovered that this passage confirms the Biblical doctrine of Eternal Security – “Once Saved, Always Saved” – and not the erroneously fatal teaching that a true Spirit-filled Christian can lose their salvation.

Admittedly, this can be a confusing passage for the Western mind’s linear thinking and comprehension abilities. We tend to want to read this passage as stating that one can fall away and then it would be impossible to renew them again. If the writer of Hebrews wanted to project this line of thinking – which would go against the rest of the revealed Word of God that the born-again Spirit-filled believer is eternally secure in Christ – then he would have omitted the “it is impossible” declaration at the beginning of the passage and inserted it into the portion of the text concerning renewing them again.

The passage would look like this:

“For [“it is impossible” would be omitted here] those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, and they shall fall away, [“it is impossible” would be inserted here] to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”Hebrews 6:4-6

But this is not how the writer of Hebrews orders this passage. Instead, he emphasizes at the onset that the entire premise of a born-again Spirit-filled believer “falling away” and “renewing them again unto repentance” is entirely impossible by his introductory declaration.

Since we published this article, we would like to offer another way of looking at this passage – with the Western mind in view – that may be of some help in better understanding that both clauses in the text are impossible:

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come — and they [should] fall away. [Just as it would be impossible] to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they [would] crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

A truly reborn Spirit-filled believer could never fall away in denying the Lord and abandoning Him, and even if they could, they could never be restored again — it is all impossible!

Moreover, for the student of Scripture, this passage – and the entire Bible, for that matter – requires comparing Scripture with Scripture along with logical and rational thought in attempting to come to a proper interpretation.

Thus, in Hebrews 6:4-6 – ‘It Is Impossible!’, we compared other passages of Scripture that declare succinctly that all truly born-again Christians are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30), are firmly in the hands of both the Father and the Son (John 10:28-30), and that our sovereign God would never and could never error when giving out His indwelling Holy Spirit to those who sincerely and truly come to Him in saving faith. To think that God could ever or would error in this regard – or in any regard, for that matter – would be nothing short of blasphemous.

As the Author and Finisher of our faith, He which hath begun a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). Therefore, the truly reborn child of God, indwelt by His Holy Spirit, is eternally secure in His plan of redemption and reconciliation through His immense love for us. He will never let us go.

So, can a true Christian who has the indwelling Holy Spirit become spiritually unborn after being spiritually reborn? Absolutely not. No more than a human being can be physically unborn after their physical birth.

In case we misunderstood the writer of Hebrews when he said that it was impossible for a truly born-again believer to ever fall away and then to be renewed again, later in the same chapter, he declares:

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”Hebrews 6:17-20

And as the writer builds upon Yeshua being “a High Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec,” he proclaimed:

“But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.Hebrews 7:24-25

This is His work on behalf of those who have come to Him in saving faith by His grace. They have received His Holy Spirit and are sealed and secured in His holy hands.

Though a Spirit-filled Christian can, at times, grieve and/or quench the Holy Spirit – thus falling out of fellowship for a time with their Lord – they can never fall away and deny their Savior.

A False Convert, however, should have serious concerns regarding this passage.

For a False Convert will inevitably find themselves never to have been enlightened, never to have been a partaker of the Holy Spirit, never to have truly tasted of the good Word of God, nor the powers of the world to come. They will, when the time comes – if they do not come to true repentance and faith beforehand – horrifically realize that they were never saved to begin with, deceiving themselves and others, just as the five foolish false convert virgins in The Parable of the 10 Virgins.

And if they do not continue to deceive themselves up to the very end, they will inevitably be those who fall away from their profession of faith and deny the Lord Jesus Christ they once confessed – as has been the case throughout church history and is predictably accelerating in these last days – if they neglect to get truly saved by grace through faith.

Summarizing Our Findings

Messiah Yeshua as the Creator and our Lord and Savior is the only One who can know another’s salvation:

Those who belong to Him…

“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture… I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”John 10:9, 14

… and those who do not belong to Him…

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”Matthew 7:21-23

Everyone else on the other hand – and this includes Christ’s Apostles in their ministries and writings – cannot know for certain who is saved and who is not. This is why many perplexing passages in Scripture seem orientated to others found within the church who may not be Spirit-filled Christians.

Paul’s statement in Romans 8:9 seems best in declaring the overall message of our five study articles in this regard.

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”Romans 8:9

Peter, as well, used similar language.

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”1 Peter 2:2-3

In the same vein, Paul also admonished those within the professing church at Corinth to…

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”2 Corinthians 13:5

Peter, in keeping with our theme, urged his readers to…

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure…”2 Peter 1:10

Our theme emphasizes to professing Christians within the churches of Jesus Christ to seriously evaluate their standing in their profession of faith. What this conveys to us is that many professing Christians are not actually true converts at all, while others, by living carnally, are in serious jeopardy in knowing for sure whether or not they are truly saved as well. Therefore, the indwelling Holy Spirit within a professing Christian appears to be key to us knowing for certain.

Knowing For Certain

But here is the practical question in all of this: How do we know for sure whether the Holy Spirit truly resides in us or not?

Fundamentally, the greatest mystery any professing Christian must ever solve is whether the Holy Spirit indwells them or not. Salvation absolutely hinges on the accuracy of knowing for certain.

I have confessed to others that I personally would have never had known the Holy Spirit indwelt me if it was not for the Scriptures declaring to me that He does. I imagine that many others have the same experience. Hence the many warnings in Scripture to professing Christians within the church that we alluded to above.

I do not know if the reader is truly saved any more than the reader knows if I am truly saved. The salvation of any individual can only be truly known by our Lord Himself.

So, what is the answer to our question of how to know if the Holy Spirit actually indwells us individually?

Well, 1 John is a great place to start.

John gives many evident characteristics consistent with a truly saved Spirit-filled individual, and we are admonished to carefully observe these attributes, whether they be found in us or not, as a ready-guide to evaluate ourselves spiritually.

Also, in my article QFTBOC: Can We Know Another’s Salvation?, I offer some characteristics that one can evaluate in their own lives and in the lives of others that would highly suggest one has the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Examples might include:

Unfortunately, through visible human experience, even these character traits cannot, in and of themselves, prove one’s salvation. Salvation is a product of the individual human heart, by grace through faith, and nobody but God Himself intimately knows the human heart of every human being He has ever created.

Lessons Prayerfully Learned

Christ and His Apostles were clearly speaking to all groups of people found within the churches – True Spirit-filled Christians, Carnal Christians, and False Converts – at diverse times and divergent circumstances, using various approaches and methods within their teachings. Consequently, it is imperative for the Bible student to rightly divide the Word of Truth and to rightly discern who is being addressed in any Biblical passage.

In probing through diligent study many of the difficult and perplexing passages of the Brit Chadashah (New Testament), and when properly and contextually applying these truths to those seemingly problematical passages, many of our misunderstandings and confusions should begin to wane.

We submitted this truth in the following way in Ashamed at the Rapture?

I have discovered that when one reads the New Testament Scriptures, knowing that these three people groups (True Believers, Carnal Christians, and False Converts) all reside within the church – and that our Lord and His Apostles would necessarily address all three groups in differing situations – that many of the seemingly difficult passages a believer will come across should begin to make much more sense when applied properly.

I pray that the reader has enjoyed this journey we have encountered and that through the process they have learned valuable Scriptural and practical spiritual insights.

I also sincerely pray that the information provided within these studies – now six articles – will help them, through conscientious personal spiritual evaluation, in confirming to themselves that they are truly indwelt by our Lord’s Holy Spirit and eternally secure in His mighty and loving hands. Nothing is more important for the professing believer in Messiah Jesus. Nothing.

May we all keep Answering the Call of The Great Commission, and giving an answer to every man and woman who so desperately needs Jesus and asks us, “Why Am I Here and What Is It All About?

Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!

Email: mab10666@yahoo.com – I would love to hear from you!

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