Difference Between “Saved” and “Filled With the Holy Spirit”

Can a Christian Be Demon Possessed?

We know the thief on the cross was saved. In Luke 23:43 Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” The Eleven were saved before the crucifixion. John 18:9: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.” – Jesus. We can assume that from the time of the crucifixion until the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (the thanksgiving for the first fruits of the wheat [bread] harvest) some believers died without receiving the Holy Spirit.

In John 20:22 Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” But the Holy Spirit did not come upon the Eleven or other believers until 50 days later.

In Matthew 28:19 Jesus commanded the Eleven (and possibly other disciples not named), “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The implication is that baptizing them in the name / nature / manner of the Father and of the Son is the baptism of John the Baptist — water. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is, “The Holy Sealing. It is a sacrament through which the believer, through the laying on of hands and the prayer of an apostle, receives the gift of the Holy Spirit. The death out of water and spirit, which was begun in the Holy Baptism with water, is completed through the Holy Sealing.”

I like to explain the two baptisms this way: Water baptism is the wedding. Holy Spirit baptism is the wedding night — the union of ourselves with Christ. Holy Spirit baptism is often a deeply emotional, intimate experience. For me, it was not something I would have wished others to witness. The vulnerability, joy, tears, and warmth, was “holy.” In the same way, sex between a new bride and groom is intimate, receiving the Holy Spirit is the consummation of the covenant between a person and Christ that forever binds us together. The two become one. We go into Christ. He comes into us.

Baptize. Ask. Receive.

Let us look again at the instructions of Jesus:
“Go! Baptize them into the Holy Spirit.”
Receive the Holy Spirit.”
“Your Father in heaven will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13)

In Luke 24:49 Jesus tells us he will send us the Holy Spirit, but in order to receive his Spirit, the Eleven and others were to remain in a certain place. “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; the Holy Spirit. But stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

The receiving of the gift was not some mystical, ambiguous event, without date and time and evidence but a historical occurrence for the individual. The Holy Spirit IS the Spirit of Jesus. He is coming INTO us. In the same way the Eleven lived in awe of the power and authority of Jesus, so too when we encounter the Holy Spirit coming into us, we should also be moved in a mighty way.

Jesus makes clear that baptism with water is not the same as baptism of the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:5 “John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 11:15–17 Paul recounts how Gentiles were saved: “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”

Paul, simply by being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking with power and authority, bestowed (poured out) the Holy Spirit on the audience. For Paul, the Holy Spirit is a gift from God. Jesus confirmed that the Father in heaven gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask.

Thus, this gift is to be received. And to receive a gift we must be willing to accept the gift. In Acts 8:15-17 we read:

When they arrived, they prayed for the NEW BELIEVERS there that they might receive the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them. No, in fact, they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (saved). Then Peter and John PLACED THEIR HANDS ON THEM, AND THEY RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT.

The gift came by the laying on of hands and pouring out of the Spirit.

There were other occasions where some were saved but had not received the Holy Spirit. In Acts 19:2 Paul asks: “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

Here the believers were saved but not filled with the Spirit.

It would appear that unity in spirit comes by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13 says, “We were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”

This same Spirit allows us to be unified in the body, in thought, in deed. If we do not all share in the same Spirit — if some are saved but still filled with other spirits — then there will be division. We see this today in the modern church and we see such divisions throughout Paul’s letters and in Jesus’ message to the seven churches. Without the Holy Spirit’s leading we will listen to deceiving spirits. 

Until we receive the Holy Spirit we can be both saved and yet weak. Romans 8:26 says: The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

And yet there will be times when even those who do not have the Holy Spirit will testify about Jesus. Such events are New Testament examples of the Old Testament’s temporary influence of the Holy Spirit in someone’s life. In 1 Corinthians 12:3 Paul writes: Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

This is why it is possible for someone who is saved or unsaved to speak words of the Spirit. We see this when Caiaphas says, “It is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” We can assume that Caiaphas was not filled with the Holy Spirit or born again. The Holy Spirit simply prompted Caiaphas to speak God’s word.

If we lack the Holy Spirit we will sin and stray from Christ. Ephesians 5:18 says, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” “Be filled with the Spirit,” is a command and requires action. The key word is “filled.” Not a single drop of the Spirit. Not a taste, but a complete filling so there is NO ROOM for any other spirits, no wicked thoughts, or influence from the enemy.

Romans 15:13 By the power of the Holy Spirit, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope. “Fill you” so that you may “overflow.”

Romans 8:9 says: If the Spirit of God LIVES IN YOU, you are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit. And IF ANYONE DOES NOT HAVE THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST, they do not belong to Christ. “Belong to Christ” is to be in His Body, in union with Christ. This makes perfect sense, for in the same way we would not wish to have a cancerous cell in our body, neither does Christ wish to have cancerous cells in His Body.

Here is a description of how cancer works.

Cells mature so that they are able to carry out their function in the body. This process of maturing is called differentiation. Each cell is created for a specific purpose. In cancer, the cells often reproduce very quickly and DON’T HAVE A CHANCE TO MATURE. Because the cells aren’t mature, THEY DON’T WORK PROPERLY.

In 1 Corinthians 12:4 Paul says: There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. If we have the Holy Spirit, we are cells in the Body of Christ.

Those who have the Spirit of Jesus are his and — in time — grow to maturity. Over time they grow and carry out their function as His Body dictates. Romans 14:8 says: If we (as cells) live, we live for the Lord (to make the Body of Christ healthy). And if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we (good cells destined for good words) belong to the Lord.

Galatians 2:20 says: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. (The Spirit of Jesus lives in us.) The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

By faith and with the Spirit of Jesus we live and work, but only IF we have the Holy Spirit. Lacking His Spirit, we are simply saved and  live lives of spiritual poverty. By living OUTSIDE the Body of Christ, we live in our own strength.

How can you tell if someone is FILLED with the Holy Spirit? Look for fruit. Galatians 5:22-23: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Always, every day we should evaluate our actions and fruit. If our fruit is hate, apathy toward others, sadness, conflict and division, impatience, cruelty, wickedness, unfaithfulness, harshness, and unbridled emotions, we can be sure that in such times we are NOT FILLED with the Holy Spirit. Saved, perhaps, but not FULL of Christ.

Ephesians 3:17: May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith so you will be rooted and established in love.

Ephesians 2:10: We are created in Christ Jesus to do good works.

Filling of the Holy Spirit starts with baptism IN the Holy Spirit. Then, each day, we are to ask to be filled anew. We do this because in the flesh our earthy vessel leaks. We cannot assume that one filling is enough. In the same way, we daily eat and drink to keep our physical bodies healthy, we must feed on the word of God and drink in the Holy Spirit of Jesus to remain healthy.

Can someone who is saved by Jesus be possessed by other spirits? Yes. In Acts 5:1-11 we find Ananias and Sapphira, a couple who we might think to be saved but not filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter asks, “How is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit.

In Acts 8:18-24 we find Simon the Sorcerer: When he saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, Simon offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

Like many in today’s churches, Simon’s good intentions would have blessed many. Judas seemed to be concerned about the poor and as the one in charge of the money, no doubt, his actions led many to consider Judas a noble, caring disciple of Jesus. But good intentions without the Holy Spirit means we are open to attack and destruction by the enemy.

Peter answered Simon the Socrerer: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”

Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.” Simon believed Jesus had the power to bring good or ill. Simon believed the Lord answered prayer. And Simon didn’t want to suffer God’s wrath. Is this not the position of many who are “saved” and yet not filled with the Holy Spirit? They believe in Jesus and can even preach and teach his message. But does the Spirit of Jesus live IN THEM? If not, they are, as Simon was, full of bitterness, wickedness, envy, lust, greed, and captive to sin. They leave themselves open to demonic spirits. They do not believe the words of Jesus, the Father, or the Holy Spirit’s inspired message given through all that was spoken by the prophets.

Here is the end of the matter: God through Jesus and by the Holy Spirit created all things, including angels. Satan and demons are fallen angels. The created will never have the power of the Creator. At any time the Creator can exert force on the creation and destroy, cast out, or bind. For this reason, all demons tremble in the presence of Jesus. Demons fear Jesus. The only way a demon can be in full control of a saved believer is if that person does not have the presence of Jesus inside them. But as we have seen, it is possible to be saved and not have the Spirit of Jesus.

If we cannot recall when we were baptized with water, with Jesus’ Holy Spirit, then get baptized. Hold the wedding. Enjoy the honeymoon night. Know in your heart for sure you are living in Christ and he is living in you. Do this and you never need to fear being possessed by any other spirit than that of Christ.

Be filled with the Holy Spirit . . . daily.

Protected By God’s Peace-Keeping Force

Galatians 4:6-9

Galatians 4:6-9God’s peace-keeping force will guard your hearts and minds. Galatians 4:7

Think about whatever is true. Focus on what is noble. Give your full attention to what is lovely. If you see something admirable, think on it. If anything is excellent or deserves praise, give a shoutout. Consider and promote such things. Galatians 4:8

Put into practice whatever you have learned, received, heard, or seen in the writings of the Apostle Paul (specifically) and in God’s word in general. Galatians 4:9

With what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Matthew 7:2

This statement is not some haphazard theory, but it is an eternal law of God. The way you pay is the very way life will pay you back. Who of us would dare to stand before God and say, “My God, judge me as I have judged others?” If you have been shrewd in finding out the shortcomings of others, remember that will be exactly how you will be measured. Oswald Chambers

God’s Law of Love

Saved From Sin Through Christ

God’s Law of Love

Saved From Sin Through Christ

(all typos are the original work of the author and for the entertainment of others)

God's Law of Love

In his letter to the church in Galatia–a town in modern Turkey, not a planet far, far away–the Apostle Paul writes, “Clearly no one is justified (not guilty of sin) before God by keeping his law.” 3:11. Which is to say, that God gave his people laws and commands but no one has ever been able to keep all God’s law. Some do better than others but all of us fall short–and not by a little, but by a lot.

When Paul confronts Peter and other Christian Jews of the “circumcision group” regarding the segregation of uncircumcised Christian Gentiles he writes, “You who (call yourselves saved in Christ) are trying to be found not guilty of sin by keeping the law. In doing so you have separated (segregated) yourself from Christ and fallen away from grace.” 5:4

By claiming that being saved from sin requires Christ PLUS–in this case keeping the law–Paul makes clear that if such faulty arithmetic is true then “Christ died for nothing.” 2:21

So what are we to do with God’s law? Ignore it? Jesus answers the question in this way. “Until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” Clearly the earth remains, thus the law remains. But not to save us from sin, for Paul has already explained that no person can keep all the law. So the law remains, as does the Spirit of the law. Only now, in Christ and through his Spirit, we are able to keep the law. Not to be saved, but to produce fruit that comes from being saved. Fruit like: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, and loyalty to God.

If you accept Christ will you still sin? Yes. Should you feel guilty about this? No. Guilt comes from the law and we are free from the law. Regret is fine. Wishing you could do better is okay. But never let guilt make you think you are “less-than” in God’s eyes. Never assume that when you sin God loves you less. He loves you the same when you sin and when you don’t, because when he sees you, he sees Christ in you, not your sins.

Think of it this way. Once you accept Christ you are on God’s team. Nothing you do can get you kicked off his team. If you have a batting average of zero, can’t catch, or throw the ball into the street, God will not boot you from his team. Your jersey and ball cap say Jesus and that lets God know with certainty that you are on his team.

And because God is a loving and patient general manager and owner, and because his Holy Spirit is your batting coach, bench coach, and pitching coach, you will, over time, get better. If you need an example, Christ is there to demonstrate how to play the game to perfection.

Now with all that going for you, why would you ever want to take off the uniform, quit the team, and go back to playing with the old gang you fled?  Paul offers this warning. “Do not use your freedom to indulge in the sinful nature.” 5:13. But you will. We all do. The key is to acknowledge you would prefer NOT to misbehave, cut up, and slack off during team practices and games. But there are some days when we will slip up. But God still loves that you’re on his team.

Paul says, “Live by the Spirit.” If you live/play by the Spirit’s leading, when the old gang comes around and asks you to skip out and do those things God says in his law are wrong, you will make the choice to stick with the team.

Sticking with the team won’t always be easy. “The sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit. The Spirit desires what is contrary to the sinful nature. You ARE NOT TO DO whatever you want.” 5:16-17

Bottom line? Keep in step with the Spirit. 5:25 But if you fall out of step, don’t beat yourself up. God still loves you. And after you apologize the Spirit of Christ will you draw you back to himself.

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Christian Owner’s Manual: Advice from and Acts of Jesus

John Chapter 8

Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness. He will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Where I go, you cannot go. You will die in your sins.” John 8:22-21

I told you that you would die in your sins IF you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be. You will indeed die in your sins.” John 8:24

If you hold to my teachings you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” John 8:34

Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil.” John 8:43-44

Christian Owner’s Manual: Advice from and Acts of Jesus

John Chapter 5

Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” John 5:14

My Father is always at his work to this very day. I am working, too.” John 5:17

Whatever the Father does, the Son does also.” John 5:19

Just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.” John 5:21

The Father judges no one.” John 5:22

The Father has entrusted all judgement to the Son. He who does not honor the Son, does not honor the Father who sent him.” John 5:22-23

Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He will not be condemned. He has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24

The dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” John 5:25

The Father has life in himself. He has granted the Son to have life in himself.” John 5:26

The Father has given theSon authority to judge because he is the Son of Adam.” John 5:27

All who are in the grave will hear his voice and come out.” John 5:28

Those who have done good will rise to live. Those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” John 5:29

I judge only as I hear. My judgement is just. I seek to please him who sent me.” John 5:30

Your accuser is Moses. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.” John 5:46

Christian Owner’s Manual: Advice from and Acts of Jesus

John Chapter 4

It was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. John 4:2

Salvation is from Jesus.” John 4:22

True worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit and his worshippers must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24

I who speak to you am he, the Christ – Messiah.” John 4:26

Jesus stayed two days in Sychar, Samaria. “We know that the man really is the Savior of the world.” – Samaritans. John 4:42

Christian Owner’s Manual: Advice from and Acts of Jesus

John Chapter 2 & 3

How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” – John 2:16

Jesus would not entrust himself to them for he knew all men. He knew what was in a man. – John 2:24-25

I tell you the truth, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” – John 3:5

So it is (the way wind moves) with everyone born of the Spirit; You cannot tell. ” – John 3:8

No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven – the Son of Adam.” – John 3:1

Whoever lives by the truth, comes into the light so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been through God.” – John 3:21

Men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” – John 3:19

Whoever does not believe in the only Son of God stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” – John 3:18

Whoever believes in the Son of God is not condemned.” – John 3:18

Whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remans on him.” – John the Baptist. “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.” – John 3:36