The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Understanding Salvation: Getting the Holy Spirit

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

The Holy Spirit (aka the Holy Ghost) is God Almighty, not some random force of energy. Like Yahweh and Jesus, the Holy Spirit is omnipresent, which means He is everywhere at once. So if we want to be technically correct, no one is ever without the Holy Spirit. Both the saved and the unsaved are continuously benefiting from the Holy Spirit’s protection.

Simply put, salvation is a matter of submission. We must submit to our three Creators as the Supreme Authorities that They are. We can’t just submit to One while ignoring the other Two. Followers of Judaism claim to be obeying Yahweh as God while they reject the Divinity of Christ. Well, it was Yahweh who ordered us all to revere Jesus as a second God. As long as you’re blowing off Yahweh’s command and acting like His entire New Covenant is irrelevant, you are hardly obeying Him. Once the real Gods educate you on who They are and what They want, you will be judged by how your soul responds to Them.

Now does the Holy Spirit technically reside within your actual body or is this just a happy metaphor that our Gods use to help us feel secure? It’s a metaphor.  The Holy Spirit is an omnipresent Being, so there is nowhere that He doesn’t exist.  If you’re on good terms with Him, then His constant presence is a comforting thing. If you’re not on good terms with Him, then His constant nearness becomes very distressing.

Rather than get hung up on geographical details, you need to focus on the more important issue of whether or not your Creators consider you to be in a right relationship with Them. We acquire salvation through sufficient reverential submission to the real Gods.  Salvation is about spending eternity in Heaven instead of Hell.  Christians often talk about acquiring “eternal life” when they are saved, but this term is misleading because all human souls go on living after death.  So we all already have eternal life–the question is what kind of quality of existence we will experience once we move on from this world.

Now today when Christians talk about “getting the Holy Spirit,” they’re really talking about “getting sensual confirmation that my Creators have eternally accepted me.” Then they read the book of Acts and get all jealous of those early Christians who all seemed to have very dramatic conversion experiences.

Let’s talk about those believers in Acts for a moment. The majority of the early Christians were Jews who had been raised under the Old Covenant—a Covenant in which it was unheard of for the Holy Spirit to dwell within every random bumpkin who followed Yahweh. The Holy Spirit only came on the “special people” under the Old Covenant, and the Jews didn’t even recognize the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit—instead, they called Him the Spirit of Yahweh (which is translated as the Spirit of the LORD in your bible) and He was considered to be an extension of Yahweh Himself. Well, the Holy Spirit is certainly not Yahweh, just as you aren’t your neighbor. The Holy Spirit is a separate and distinct Being. He is awesome in His own right and, like Jesus and Yahweh, the Holy Spirit never tires of talking about how fabulous He is. What can we say? All three of our Creators have raging egos.

Now there’s nothing comfortable about trying to change Covenants with Yahweh when you’ve grown up believing that Yahweh despises polytheism—the belief that there are multiple gods. For centuries, Yahweh said polytheism was outrageous blasphemy deserving of immediate execution. Then He suddenly reversed positions and began demanding polytheism from everyone after the introduction of Jesus as a second God. Then Jesus introduced the Holy Spirit as a third God, and there were those New Testament Jews: caught in one mother of a theological crisis. In their unique situation, there was a super desperate need for Yahweh to communicate that He actually approved of His followers treating Jesus as a second God. This is why we find the Holy Spirit making such a circus out of His arrival on Pentecost.

In those early years of the Church, we find a lot of people having very dramatic, sensual conversion experiences. Often when the Holy Spirit comes on them, they start speaking in tongues. Imagine if you found yourself suddenly babbling in some language that you didn’t understand, and then your friend identifies the language for you and tells you, “Hey, you’re speaking Swahili right now!” Then you’d ask, “Really? What was I saying?” And your friend might say, “You were saying ‘Jesus is Lord’ and praising Him.” How would you interpret this event? You’d see it as a sign of Divine favor and you’d feel really secure about your standing with God. This was the point of the dramatic conversion experiences in Acts: the Holy Spirit was giving the first Christians much needed assurance that they were on the right track by switching over to Yahweh’s New Covenant. Where we go wrong today is by trying to act like those early believers were showing us an example of how God will always work in every life.

Anytime we ignore context, we end up confused by what we read in the Bible. To interpret Acts correctly, you have to pay attention to its historical context. To the Jews, Yahweh changing up His Covenants was as rare as the Flood—it was a one time event which required special handling. But today the New Covenant has been in effect for 2,000 years and we’re not all trying to convert from Judaism, so things are very different for us.

Today you’ll find that Christians have a wide variety of salvation experiences. Some experience a miraculous transformation, others feel like nothing happened. Problems abound in both cases. The guys who have a dramatic experience are notorious for declaring that their experience is the only “true” experience, and then they say all other experiences are invalid. This is how all this rot about a “baptism of the Spirit” got started. This term refers to some dramatic change that is supposed to happen to you when the Holy Spirit comes inside of you. Since a ton of people do not have dramatic salvation experiences, the Spirit baptism folks had to invent new rules for their game. Those who claim that the arrival of the Holy Spirit will always be some dramatic event say it doesn’t have to happen the moment you ask for salvation—it can happen sometime later. In other words, this group separates the act of being saved with the act of the Holy Spirit coming to dwell within you. Well, this is a mess. God does not delay in saving us, nor is the Holy Spirit dwelling in some other section of the universe ignoring us until a certain amount of time has passed. Once you meet your Creators’ requirements for salvation, They accept you. It doesn’t matter whether you feel different or not. Salvation is not an emotional event, it is about your Creators changing Their view of you.

Consider this: are you emotionally impacted by some other human secretly falling in love with you? Do you receive some internal alert anytime a stranger feels attracted towards you? No, you don’t. You’re not inside the heads of other people—you don’t know how they feel about you until they tell you. Someone’s feelings towards you could radically change in an instant over some comment you made and you could be totally unaware of what’s happening. In the same way, you are not inside the Holy Spirit’s mind, and you aren’t going to receive some mental alert the second He decides to eternally accept you. Does the fact that you’re unaware of God changing His view of you make that change irrelevant? Of course not. Once God decides to eternally accept you, that’s very significant to Him. But you’re not even going to realize that anything has changed until He works with you to help you understand how differently He now sees you.

God works with each of us in different ways. In some cases, the Holy Spirit signals people that something big has happened by causing some miraculous event to occur, such as healing or tongues. In some other cases, He gives people some emotional rush of joy. But in a ton of other cases, He doesn’t say anything the moment He accepts someone. He is so silent and secretive about it that the souls praying for salvation get very anxious and start worrying that God isn’t accepting them for some reason. A lot of Christians have this third kind of experience, even though they are just as accepted as the first two groups.

The Holy Spirit is God Almighty, not water in a cup. You can’t have more or less of Him. He’s not a side dish on your plate that you can ask for an extra helping of. You can’t escape His Presence or travel to meet Him somewhere because He’s already everywhere all of the time.  The Spirit baptism people confuse themselves by trying to use emotional feelings to measure spiritual realities. You can be depressed out of your mind the moment you get saved and that won’t make God’s acceptance of you any less real than His acceptance of the fellow who immediately breaks into a song and dance. Salvation is not an emotional event. Salvation is about your Creators voluntarily changing Their attitude towards you in response to your soul’s sincere submission to Them. There is no magic prayer you have to pray, no special words you have to say. You don’t have to speak at all, for submission is something you do with your soul, not your tongue. People pray out loud to help themselves focus, but it isn’t necessary. People use formula prayers to help them cover all of the points they want to make, but again, it isn’t necessary. Your Creators know how your soul feels about Them right now. You don’t have to explain yourself with words. They know you better than you know yourself, so there’s never the risk that They will misunderstand you or not grasp how much you want Their approval. Salvation is very easy because They make it easy. We’re the ones who make things complicated.

If you currently have any doubts about your salvation, the solution is simple.  Ask Yahweh or Jesus or the Holy Spirit or all three of Them to show you if there’s anything more you need to do to get into a right place with Them.  If They don’t point anything out to you, then you need to practice trusting that all is well between you and Them.  Remember that your Creators are far more eager to save you than you are to be saved, so there’s no way They’re going to let you slip through the cracks.  Succeeding with your Creators is very easy to do.

FURTHER READING:
Speaking in Tongues
What happens to the soul at the moment of salvation?
Songs that God Hates: Holy Spirit Come Fill This Place
Why the Holy Spirit Left You: Guidance for Panicking Christians

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