Pentecostal Empowerment Vs. Liberty & Empowerment for Living by Grace
The prophesied work of the Holy Spirit in connection with His people of the Nation of Israel needs to be clearly understood as to its time and place… as compared with how it differs from His work today in connection with the members of “the body of Christ.”
In Joel 2:28-29 God promised to supernaturally cause the believers of Israel to prophesy, etc., but in Ezek. 36:26-27, He also promised to supernaturally cause them to do His will.
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. AND I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT WITHIN YOU, AND CAUSE YOU TO WALK IN MY STATUTES, AND YE SHALL KEEP MY JUDGMENTS, AND DO THEM.”
Thus God would show that the only way in which even His own people of the Nation Israel can perfectly obey Him is when He takes possession of them and causes them to do His will, just as they did in the early Acts period. But as we know, after “the fall of them (Israel)” (Rom 11:10-11, 25) Israel’s program diminished (Rom 11:12). This then issued in a new age of pure grace as seen in Paul’s offer of the new gospel called “gospel of the grace of God” (Act 20:24) for “ALL men” (Eph 3:9, Jews and Gentiles, cf. Gal 3:28) took off.
At the Lord’s second coming, He will set up His Millennial Kingdom on earth. Israel’s believing survivors of the Tribulation will be converted “in a day” (Rom 11:26). Then the Lord will again fulfill Ezekiel’s prophecy; “(I will) put my (his) spirit within you (Israel), and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Israel will then co-reign with Him in the Kingdom on earth, and be a blessing to all nations, forever (cf. Rev 5:10, 20:6).
Today we as members of “the church, the body of Christ” have all the advantages and blessings of “the dispensation of the grace of God” (cf. Eph 1:3). We live by Christ “Spirit of life” dwelling with us, and though we desire most earnestly to obey and serve God as we ought, we still continually fall short. We today are not caused to walk in union with the indwelling Christ… but we are being trained to walk in accord with Him and His will, moment by moment.
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:16, 25 (KJV)
This is because, contrary to popular opinion among ‘Pentecostalists,’ none of us today has been “baptized with the Holy Ghost (Spirit)” as they were in the early acts period for that time. That time has ended until it is restored in the Millennial Kingdom on earth.
How can I say this?
Note that in Acts 1 and 2 the Messianic believers of Israel’s “gospel of the kingdom” were “baptized with the Spirit,” but by contrast those of “the body of Christ” today are baptized “by one spirit” into Christ’s “one body” (Acts 1:5 and cf. I Cor. 12:13 – “by one spirit”). Neither of these are water baptisms. “In Christ” we have all the liberty and empowerment we need to live the Christian life… under grace.
Israel’s believers were “caused” and empowered to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” just as Jesus had instructed them to. (cf. Matt. 10:5-6).
We must be careful to notice the immediate miraculous change that took place in the behavior of the Pentecostal believers of Israel, when the Holy Spirit came to take possession of them. Not only did they speak with tongues and prophesy and work miracles, but also uniquely they all began living for one another.
“And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul; neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common” (Acts 4:32).
We have not observed this way of life among those who call themselves ‘Pentecostalists’ today because this experience of being baptized with the Spirit was only for a time… for the proclamation of “the gospel of the Kingdom” only to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 10:5-6 (KJV)
Today the members of the body of Christ are not “caused” to do anything. But, we today have been set free from the dominion of Sin’s tyranny by the cross… where we died to Sin with Christ (cf. Rom 6:3, Gal 2:20). Thus we are free and empowered by Christ’s “Spirit of life” deposited into us (Col 1:27). Thus we are free and able to make the proper free-will choices and walk with the Lord according to our union with Him in Spirit. We are called to walk, endure, and trust the Lord in all things… in faith, in the face of all circumstances.
Why did the Lord do it this way for the members of “the body of Christ”; why doesn’t He cause us to walk in accord with Him?
Today the Lord is training us to live by faith and trust in His indwelling life with a view to the eternal, toward reigning eternally in heaven (cf. 2Cor 5:1b).
“If we suffer (endure), we shall also reign (co-reign) with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us (of reigning with Him)” Timothy 2:12 (KJV).
As we learn to successfully endure this life of adversity we are being trained to co-reign with him… in heaven.
Paul counted it all joy when he came into troubles. Note below why sufferings came to Paul and also come to us.
“For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: 9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, (so) that we should NOT trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: (2 Corinthians 1:8-9 (KJV)
“… The just shall live by faith.” Galatians 3:11 (KJV)