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.

And yet, most in the modern church never receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Let us look again at the instructions of Jesus: “Go! Baptize them into the Holy Spirit.” “Receive the Holy Spirit.” In Luke 11:13 Jesus tells us to ask for the Holy Spirit. “Your Father in heaven will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Baptize. Ask. Receive.

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 as 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. We all know Christians who are saved but not filled with the Holy Spirit. They live lives of spiritual poverty because they are living OUTSIDE the Body of Christ and in their 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.

Paul Wrote Some Hard Things

Paul Wrote Some Hard Things

“Paul wrote to you with the wisdom that God gave him. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort. To their own destruction such people do this with other Scriptures. Dear friends, do not be carried away by the error of such lawless men. Rather, grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ” — Peter

(2 Peter 3:13-18)

if we claim we have not sinned, we make God out to be a liar

“God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all. This is the verdict: Light came into the world, but men love darkness because their deeds are evil. They walk in darkness and refuse to come into the light for fear that their deeds will be revealed as sin. Whoever lives by the truth — by the One who is the Word and the Word of life — comes into the light so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.

“If we walk in the light, Jesus’ blood purifies us from all sin. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

”But if we claim we have not sinned, we make God out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives. Jesus tells us to pray like this: ‘Forgive us our sins and lead us not into temptation.’ If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves. If we claim to be without sin, God’s truth is not in us.

“The light of man is good, true, and holy. The darkness of men is evil and false (John 3:19-21). This is how we know those who walk in the light: God’s truth and His word is in them.

John 3:19-21, 1John 1:5-10, Luke 11:4

Sent Into the Storm To Receive a Blessing

Larry the Lubber

Lubber OpinionLarry the Lubber

The opinions expressed by Larry the Lubber do not necessarily reflect the views of the crew — mostly because Larry is a pompous, sanctimonious authority on Scripture whose pontifications tend ter offend most everyone, even when he is right — which is ter often. – Staff

A good while after healing a fellow by the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem (“house of mercy” or “house of grace” and could also mean “house of shame” or “house of disgrace”), Jesus took the disciples with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida — which means “house of the fisherman / hunter.”

While there, Jesus fed 5000 men, plus women and children. The writer John makes an interesting comment prior to this feeding.

Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When Jesus looked up, he saw a large crowd coming towards him. (John 6:4)

John never comes back to this comment, never explains more about why he inserted this mention of the Passover. Only we know is that after the first Passover, when the Jews left Egypt to start toward their Promised Land, God gave them manna — “daily bread” — each day, as much as they needed. Now Jesus feeds the people from five barley loaves, multiplying the bread so that everyone had enough to eat. All ate as much as they wanted. And when the feast was over, all the remains were gather, twelve baskets full. Twelve baskets … twelve tribes marching toward a land of promises.

While Jesus dismissed the crowd, he made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to Capernaum. After the crowd left, Jesus went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Except the day before he had also been in prayer and morning the death of his cousin, John the Baptist. For Jesus, the crowd and feeding had interrupted his time of grieving and crying out to the Father. Later that night, when the boat was in the middle of the lake, Jesus sat alone on land.

When evening came, a strong wind blew and the waters grew rough. From on the mountain, Jesus saw the disciples straining at the oars, for on their west by south course, the wind was against them.

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water.

Think on this a wee little bit: after the Passover, when the Jews left Egypt and reached the Reed Sea, they found themselves trapped. The Egyptian army was pressing against them and the sea prevented them from fleeing. But God parted the Reed Sea so all the Jews could walk through on dry land. When the Egyptian army followed, the waters of the sea rushed back in and all the Egyptians drowned. Now we find Jesus walking on water as though it were dry land. So when John tells us that the Passover was near, perhaps he knew readers would think about how  God made a way for his people to walk through water without drowning — how the Father fed them daily with manna.

In order to increase our faith, sometimes Jesus will send us into a storm where the outcome appears impossible. For his disciples this was such a time. Sent into a tempest, they feared for their lives. And what did they see coming toward them?

Frightened, and with Jesus about to pass them by, they called out, “It’s a ghost!”

But Jesus replied, “It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter said, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

Tell me to come to you … this is always a good prayer when we are in dire straits — when lives are at stake and we are in need of a miracle.

“Come,” Jesus said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. Of all the things man has accomplished on earth — sailing across vast seas, ascending the highest mountains, exploring jungles and lands — none compares to walking on water. Other than Jesus, Peter alone walked on water. What a blessing.

But when Peter saw the wind, he was afraid. Beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Some see these words as a rebuke, but could it not be that Jesus was paying Peter a compliment? If we have a little faith that is a foundation that can grow to greater faith. Perhaps Jesus is saying to Peter — and us: “You have faith. Why are you doubting?”

Then they were willing to take Jesus into the boat. When the pair climbed into the boat, the wind died down.  At this point John Mark adds an interesting comment:

They were completely amazed for their hearts were hardened and they had not understood about the loaves. (Mark 6:52)

Five loaves turned into enough to feed thousands … water no longer a barrier but a path to the Son of Man, a storm instantly made calm. What are we hungry for today? What barrier prevents us from drawing closer to Jesus? What blessing is he trying to give us in the midst of today’s trials? Where do we need him to give us calm, peace, and protection in the midst of harsh circumstances.

Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Immediately the boat reached the shore of Capernaum, the Plain of Gennesaret, and they anchored.

The crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread (Bethsaida) after the Lord had given thanks. Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus. As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus.

Keep in mind that when Peter stepped from the boat he risked his life. Had he sank  he quite possibly would have drowned. In fact later when he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the details of the storm, Peter did go under. Peter risked all to come to Jesus. Will we?

Consider that today’s storm may be sent by Jesus in order to increase our faith, bless us with a larger vision of his power and glory, and lead us to walk a life of miracles.

Paul’s “Thorn In My Flesh”

Lubber OpinionLarry the Lubber

The opinions expressed by Larry the Lubber do not necessarily reflect the views of the crew — mostly because Larry is a pompous, sanctimonious authority on Scripture whose pontifications tend ter offend most everyone, even when he is right — which is ter often. – Staff

An Expanded View of How to Understand Paul’s Thorn

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God: I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness, but you are already putting up with a little foolishness.

For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or you receive a different spirit from our Lord’s Holy Spirit, or you accept a different gospel from the gospel we preach, you prove that your minds are led astray.

I may not be a trained speaker like some, but I do have knowledge. Was I wrong to keep from being a burden to you? Was it a sin for me to lower myself in your eyes in order to cut the ground from under those false apostles and deceitful workmen who masquerade as apostles of Christ? Remember, Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, that Satan’s servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness.

Let no one take me for a fool. My concern is for all the churches. Who among you is weak, and I do not myself feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I myself do not inwardly burn with sin?

I could boast of the surpassingly great revelations I saw, but instead I will gladly boast in my weakness for you in order that Christ’s power may rest on me. For I do not wish for anyone to think more highly of me than is warranted. Even if I should boast, I would be speaking the truth.

To keep me humble, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, an angel of Satan—a messenger of Satan to torment me.

My brothers, I remind you, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I know what is written in the Law and the Prophets and I remind you of how in the past others became “thorns in the flesh” to my people.

“Because you have disobeyed me, I will not drive out your enemies before you. They will be thorns in your sides. Their gods will be a snare to you.” (Judges 2:3) Are you not becoming ensnared by the lies of these false apostles?

“Because you allied yourself with the nations around you, they will become snares and traps for you, whips on your backs and thorns in your eyes.” (Joshua 23:13) Are you not even now blinded by those masquerading as light?

“Because you did not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allowed to remain became barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They gave you trouble.” (Numbers 33:55) Am I not now troubled by those deceitful workmen who preach the gospel for profit?

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take away the “thorn in my flesh.” But Christ said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness for you, in order that Christ’s power may rest on me. For the sake of my Lord, I delight in insults, hardships, persecutions, difficulties, and yes, even in my weakness for all the churches.

Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. With regard to the gospel, he and Hymenaeushave shipwreck their faith. I have handed both over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme. (2 Timothy 4:14, 1 Timothy 1:19-20)

Since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me, on my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others. Chris is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you.

If I have made a fool of myself, you drove me to it.
2 Corinthians 11-13, Acts 22:3

Twice Paul goes about healing others. Only once do we read of Paul suffering from an illness. Paul may have dealt with poor eyesight—getting hit in the head with rocks during a stoning could have that affect—but only in rare cases (blindness) is poor eyesight (Galatians 4:15, Galatians 6:11) called an affliction.

God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out. (Acts 19:11-12)

“You know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself.” (Galatians 4:13)

And it happened that the father of Publius was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery; and Paul went in to see him and after he had prayed, he laid his hands on him and healed him. After this had happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases were coming to him and getting cured. (Acts 28:8)

If Paul did, in fact, suffer in a physical sense, let’s examine the cause, symptoms, condition, and outcome of his affliction.

Cause: “To keep me from becoming conceited.”
Symptoms: “weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, difficulties”
Condition: “torment”
Outcome: “delight, weakness”
Judge for yourself if you can identify a physical condition that is caused by a vain and proud attitude—one that results in significant difficulties, persecutions, hardships, insults, and weakness and leaves you feeling tormented. An affliction that, despite all of these negative effects, becomes a source of delight. Does this describe your sickness, affliction, condition? If not, perhaps it is time to consider that Paul used the phrase “thorn in my flesh” to reference how those who insult and ridicule us will always be in our midst and that in Christ we have enough grace to ignore their barbs without lashing out. Rather, let us pray for those who persecute us.

Use of the Word Angel in the New Testament

Only in 2 Corinthians 12:7 “a messenger of Satan” is ἄγγελος (angelos) translated “messenger.” In all other cases the word is translated as angel. Never in Scripture is ἄγγελος used to reference a physical affliction.

Matthew 1:20
Matthew 1:24
Matthew 2:13
Matthew 2:19
Matthew 28:2
Matthew 28:5
Luke 1:11
Luke 1:13
Luke 1:19
Luke 1:26
Luke 1:30
Luke 1:35
Luke 1:38
Luke 2:9
Luke 2:10
Luke 22:43
John 5:4
John 12:29
Acts 5:19
Acts 7:30
Acts 8:26
Acts 10:7
Acts 12:7
Acts 12:8
Acts 12:10
Acts 12:15
Acts 12:23
Acts 23:9
Acts 27:23
(Only in 2 Corinthians 12:7 is this word translated “messenger”)
GRK: τῇ σαρκί ἄγγελος Σατανᾶ ἵνα
NAS: in the flesh, a messenger of Satan
KJV: in the flesh, the messenger of Satan
INT: for the flesh a messenger of Satan that
Galatians 1:8
Galatians 4:14
Revelation 8:3
Revelation 8:5
Revelation 8:8
Revelation 8:10
Revelation 8:12
Revelation 9:1
Revelation 9:13
Revelation 10:5
Revelation 11:15
Revelation 14:8
Revelation 14:9
Revelation 14:15
Revelation 14:17
Revelation 14:18
Revelation 14:19
Revelation 17:7
Revelation 18:21

Korah’s Rebels Among Us

Separate Yourselves and Be Holy

Lubber OpinionLarry the Lubber

The opinions expressed by Larry the Lubber do not necessarily reflect the views of the crew — mostly because Larry is a pompous, sanctimonious authority on Scripture whose pontifications tend ter offend most everyone, even when he is right — which is ter often. – Staff

Judas (Jude), the brother of James and slave of Jesus the Anointed One warns, “Certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our Father into a license to practice immorality and deny our blessed Anointed One, our only Sovereign and Lord. I remind you that at one time our Father delivered his people, but later 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders, were appointed members of the council. They rose up and came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron. ‘The whole community is holy,’ they said, ‘every one of us. The Lord is with us!’

But our Father replied, ‘The Lord will show who belongs to me and who is holy. Separate yourselves from this assembly so I can put an end to them.’

Though you already know this, I remind you that fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men. Those destroyed in Korah’s rebellion serve as a warning to us, for the spirit of Korah is among us. People eat at our love feasts, the Lord’s table, without the slightest qualm. They are blemishes among us—shepherds who feed only themselves

If our Father caused the earth to open and swallow men, women, wives, children, and little ones— sending them down to their graves alive—how will he treat those among us who act with contempt towards him? Should we not also come out from among those who, showing no fear or reverence for our Father, rally men to themselves in order to defy our Lord?

Therefore, in agreement with Judas, the brother of our Lord, and the Apostle Paul, let us, come out from these rebellious people who pervert the grace of our Father, turning it into a license to practice immorality. May we be holy as our Lord Jesus is holy.

Jude 1:4-11, Numbers 16:5, 20, 35, Corinthians 6:17, Isaiah 52:11

The Pope, the Pharisees, and the Question: “Who Is a Child of God?”

Lubber OpinionLarry the Lubber

The opinions expressed by Larry the Lubber do not necessarily reflect the views of the crew — mostly because Larry is a pompous, sanctimonious authority on Scripture whose pontifications tend ter offend most everyone, even when he is right — which is ter often. – Staff

“VATICAN CITY (AP News) — In a recent interview, Pope Francis said,  “We are all children of God, and God loves us as we are.”

But is everyone really a child of God? Does he love us as we are? Or do the words of Jesus, “Repent and believe the good news!” still hold today as they did two thousand years ago?

Based on the Pope’s comment, it appears his understand of mankind’s sin, and need for a savior, seems to be more aligned with that of the Pharisees than the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

“We are not illegitimate children,” the Pharisees protested to Jesus. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

This belief that we’re all God’s children can be found in many churches today.

We are all children of God.” – Darryl W. Stephens, director of United Methodist studies at Lancaster Theological Seminary.

“We believe that all people are children of God.” – Collister United Methodist Church.

“Everyone is a child of god,” Becky Hall, Executive Director of Christ United Methodist Church in Chattanooga and a delegate to the UMC Conference.

Seabold United Methodist Church believes that everyone is a child of God.”

But What Does Jesus Say to the Pharisees . . . And to Us?

If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

“This is eternal life: that they may know the only true God. I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They have obeyed your word. I am not praying for the world. Rather, I pray for those you have given me, for they are yours. They are not of this world even as I am not of the world. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.” (John 8:40-44,17:3, 6, 9, 14, 16, 20)

These are not the words of a savior who believe everyone in the world is a child of God. So who are the children of God? Jesus says:

(Matthew 13:38-39) “The field is the world and the good seed are the children of the Kingdom. The darnel weeds are the children of the evil one. The enemy, the devil, sowed the bad seed. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.”

(Matthew 25:31-33) “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”

(Matthew 13:47-50) “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

If everyone were a child of God, then there would be no good or bad harvest, no good or bad fish, for God is holy and his children are righteous through life in Jesus.

What Do the Gospel Writers Say?

(John 1:12) To all who did receive Jesus, to those who believed in his name, Jesus gave the right to become children of God.

(Philippians 2:14-15) Be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. Hold fast to the word of life.

(Ephesians 1:5) God predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ.

(Galatians 3:26) In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.

(Romans 8:14-17) All who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have received a spirit of adoption as sons. The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. And if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.

While it might sound loving and inclusive to say that we are all children of God, if that were true, there would have been no need for Jesus to come and die for our sins. If we are all children of God, then his suffering and resurrection from the grave was in vain. Jesus and the word of God is clear: we are all born outside the kingdom of heaven. Only through Jesus can we be welcomed into the kingdom of God.

Confess your sins. Ask Christ to become your savior. Then believe he is. Become baptized with water as an outward sign that you are marked as a child of God. Finally, be baptized with the Spirit of Christ so you can be transformed into his image. This is the fulfillment of Jesus’ commission to his followers to: Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. — even the leaders of churches and denominations, if necessary.