Before I begin you should know a few things. First, I want to warn you to know that teaching this doctrine has cost me friendships, ministry partners, a promotion at a Christian book store, and more. You should count the cost before you build. I have. The Lord told us that He did not come to bring peace to the earth, but a sword and His followers would have enemies from our own home ( Matthew 10:34 – 39). The Truth-His Word- is this sword. This double edged sword cuts both the listener and the speaker, and when taught it must divide ( Hebrews 4:12) I say this so that you will know that religious systems are not very kind to anyone who tries overturn the systems and the source of their power i.e, their doctrines.
Before you go any further let’s make a deal. How about you carefully read through what I’ve written below and do so with you bible open. Also don’t read just the verses I’ve written but read above and below them to get an idea of the context of the verse. If you find that you disagree download the worksheet I’ve attached at the bottom of the page. See if you can prove any contrary doctrine you have with clear and multiple witnesses from the Word, and where the Word leads follow it with your life.
What You Have Almost Certainly Been Taught
More than likely, if you have been taught about when you received the Holy Spirit you were taught you received the Holy Spirit at either the same time you were born again or when you were water baptized. Both are wrong, completely wrong. Both disagree with the clear word.
Why Does This Matter?
Jesus commanded us to receive the Holy Spirit ( Acts 1:5). Without the Holy Spirit we are not fully saved ( Titus 3:5) Being born again we are promised eternity (John 3:16) but we are not promised is a resurrection of our bodies if we do not have the Holy Spirit ( Romans 8:11). Those who do not accept the baptism of the Holy Spirit do not attain to the first resurrection, do not walk in obedience, do not remain a tri-part being made in the image of God ( I Thessalonians 5:23), and enter heaven only as a spirit like the angels ( Hebrews 12:24) More on this later.
What Happens When I Become Born Again?
The bible does say wonderful things about those who are born again. (But you must know that the bible says so much more about receiving the Holy Spirit.) In the simplest terms when you are born again the following wondrous and incredible miracles happen.
1- You receive the 7 sprinklings (works) of the blood of Christ Jesus on your soul. Read more about this miracle here WBCJ.
2- You are delivered from a category of demons called the powers. Read more about these demons here. COD.
3- You then receive Jesus also known as the eternal, implanted Word of God. Read more about this below.
4- Angels Rejoice. (Luke 15:7)
5- The Holy Spirit is with you and overshadows you. Read more about this below and here. BBA.
Here are the verses describing exactly what happens when you are born again.
…having been born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.
– I Peter 1:23
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
– James 1:19
In the above verse we see that contrary to what many of us were/are taught, we do NOT receive the Holy Spirit when we are born again. When we are born again we receive the Word of God- Jesus. The word of God is implanted within us just as it was within Mary, the mother of Jesus. We also see from the James that when we are born again, it is just our souls that are saved. If you do not go on, as commanded by Jesus in Acts, to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit you will not attain to the resurrection of your body.
When Do We Receive the Holy Spirit
You receive the Holy Spirit when you are baptized into the Holy Spirit. This is not water baptism or when you are born again. Holy Spirit baptism is a consistently separate event in the bible. The onus of responsibility to prove this point isn’t just on me. If you disagree you must also prove your point with the Word.
Look to the book of the bible Acts of the Apostles. When did a single individual become born again and also receive the Holy Spirit at the same time? Also, where in this book did they receive the Holy Spirit and not also speak in tongues? We must be so very careful to not make the bible fit what we already believe. Rather we must look to it to be changed in word, thought, deed and nature.