I’ve been talking about how it is possible for people to know the Holy Spirit yet aren’t born again, using Jesus’ statement to his not yet born again disciples in John 14:17: “…you know Him for He lives with (among) you, and will be in you.”
They worked with the Holy Spirit to heal the sick and cast out demons
The disciples were empowered by the Holy Spirit and sent out by Jesus in Matthew 10:1-4 to heal the sick and cast out demons, so they knew Him by the healings and demons they cast out, as well as being with Jesus and watching His ministry and life. But all that was before the cross so He wasn’t yet in them.
So it is possible today for people to know the Holy Spirit because of Him being around them, or them being around Him, or the fact someone in their lives DOES know the Lord.
This could include an unsaved spouse. The other spouse is a Spirit filled Christian so the unsaved spouse knows His presence, His peace, and even answered prayer, yet He isn’t in them.
It could include non-Christian children in a home where 1 or both parents are disciples of Jesus. The kids may be church-wise, know how to pray, raise their hands and bow their heads, yet have absolutely no interest in the God of their parents – yet they recognize the peace of the Holy Spirit, answered prayers of their parents, and His presence in their home and youth meetings, but He isn’t in them.
I know of several businesses owned by Christians who have morning devotions for their staff, staff prayer meetings, Bibles laying around and Christian music playing in the background, yet I also know non-Christians who work there – they know the Holy Spirit because He is with them at work – but He isn’t in them.
This could also include any number of church-goers who participate week in and week out, and recognize the peace they find in church as being the Holy Spirit, and are believers mentally, but He isn’t in them. And I’ve known a few pastors/priests/ministers who were full time in ministry yet He isn’t in them.
Are these charismatic’s?
Last week I shared Jesus’ statements about false prophets/brethren of Matthew 7:15-23 where He said many will come to Him on the last day claiming they had prophesied, cast out demons, and done wonderful things in His name, yet He will admit to them that He never knew them, and they were workers of unrighteousness.
Did you notice that their claims of having prophesied and cast out demons are charismatic traits? What stream of the faith prophesies and casts out demons but we charismatic’s? So we see there are false brothers and sisters in our midst, even though they claim to move in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Makes you want to look around the room or church auditorium next time you gather doesn’t it?
Examples of believers but not disciples
In Acts 8 we have the example of Simon the Sorcerer from Samaria. Philip came to Samaria, preached Jesus, and many in Samaria were healed and delivered and many believed in the Lord.
Simon the Sorcerer also believed and was baptized 8:13 tells us – he believed in Jesus and was baptized! Yet when Peter and John came from Jerusalem and laid hands on the new believers to receive the Holy Spirit, Simon offered money to Peter for the ability to lay hands on people so they’d receive the Holy Spirit.
Peter told him this: “May your money perish with you because you thought the gift of God could be purchased with money. You have no part in this matter because your heart isn’t right before God! Repent therefore and perhaps God will forgive the thought of your heart, for I perceive you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” (Acts 8:20-23)
Simon the sorcerer believed and was water baptized – yet Peter said his heart wasn’t right before God and he was still captive to sin. He told him he had no part in the matter. Yet he believed and was baptized. Have you ever known anyone who said they believed, was baptized, but nothing in their life ever changed? Did they know the Holy Spirit because they’d been around you, around church, but He was never actually in them?
In John 4 Jesus talks to a Samaritan woman, so allow me a little background on Samaritans as it is important to understand what the Lord told her. After King Solomon died Israel was split into 2 kingdoms; Israel and Judah. The 2 southern tribes called “Judah”, made up of Judah and Benjamin plus remnants from the other 10, lived in Jerusalem and Judea and continued to worship according to the guidelines of Moses.
The 10 northern tribes called “Israel” didn’t want to go to Judah to worship in Jerusalem, so they set up their own priesthood in their capital city, Samaria. Years later the 10 northern tribes were captured by Assyria, and they relocated many of the Jews to elsewhere in their empire while importing people from other nations in their empire into Samaria. Over time, the Jews who remained married these foreigners, and by the time of Jesus the half-breed Jews of Samaria were hated by many of the pure-blood Jews of Jerusalem and Judea.
Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:22: “You worship you know not what, we worship what we know; for salvation is of the Jews.” Notice – she was a worshipper of what she thought was God, but she wasn’t born again. Do you know people who worship ‘they know not what’? They are spiritual, but aren’t born again.
Consider the other religions of the world filled with worshippers; they know not what they worship, for salvation as Jesus said, comes of the Jews. Jesus clearly didn’t think just because people worshipped and were good people they are saved. They don’t know what they worship, so He isn’t in them.
In Acts 16:14 Paul goes to Philippi and joins several Jewish women at the river outside of town where they were praying. One received Jesus. Of Lydia it says ‘..a seller of purple from Thyatira, who worshipped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened so that she listened to the things Paul spoke of…and when she was baptized…”
Lydia was Jewish and worshipped God. She was a praying woman it says - but she was not born again until she listened to what Paul said of Jesus and responded. But she wasn’t born again until she responded after Paul told her about Jesus. So just because a person prays and worships the God of Israel doesn’t mean they are born again.
We must ask why the Bible clearly shows people who are spiritual, worshippers even of the God of Israel yet the Holy Spirit doesn’t live in them, and why our modern church culture refuses to clearly teach these things?
Part of the reason is church culture focuses on getting a person born again when in fact, Jesus never told us to get people born again! He said to make disciples. What is the difference? That’s next week. Until then, blessings,