Submission and Obedience


Perhaps I'm being too dramatic, but I am concerned. The Holy Spirit impressed on my heart the important order of events that Jesus orchestrated for His own people after His resurrection and before His ascension to heaven.

To the eleven who had fallen asleep in the Garden when Jesus wanted them to watch and pray with Him; to the same eleven who deserted Jesus at the cross, He now ministered before He rose to the Father's right hand. Even while He taught them at the Last Supper before His death, Jesus said in John 14:17: "...that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides WITH you and will be IN you."

Jesus could never do for His disciples while He was with them what He did and does for His own IN them! All that centers on Pentecost.

Be Born Again

Following His resurrection from the dead, Jesus told His eleven in John 20:21-22: "'Peace be with you as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.' And when He has said this, He breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.'" The disciples were the first men on earth to be born again! The Spirit quickened them and they became new creations, spiritually alive!

Thus far, we see that first Jesus breathed on the disciples: He breathed into the first Adam at the creation and Adam became a living soul. Jesus' first action after the Resurrection as the Second Adam was to breathe on His men and they became living souls. He also commissioned them to go into the world with the news about Him!


However, before they were to fulfill their calling, Jesus commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to WAIT for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me;" Acts1:4, "for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now," pointing to the feast of Pentecost, 50 days from His resurrection.

Jesus went on to point out to them that "you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."


They were also commissioned to go, just as the Father had sent Jesus: to redeem the world from sin to eternal life in Him. Jesus reinforced His sending of the eleven as recorded by Matthew 28:19-20: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you' and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

A distinct order follows Jesus' expectations for His eleven and for us, as well. First, new life must be created in us through the Spirit, a transformation following repentance that we term being born again. Second, we have a need to wait until we are baptized in the Holy Spirit with power and fire. And, third and so importantly, we are to go as witnesses to the whole world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


II Timothy 3:5 reveals a frightening somberness in Paul's description of the practices of people in the Last Days: "...holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these." Paul warned Timothy that in the last days, people would claim to be believers in Jesus, but would deny the power of the Holy Spirit. That sounds like many evangelicals of today who talk about the Bible and proclaim its truths, but avoid any complicity with being baptized in the Holy Spirit. In other words, they believe in being born again and in evangelizing others to hear and believe the Gospel, BUT they will not submit to the infilling/baptism in the Holy Spirit. Either they say they received all they needed from God when they were born again or that what happened to the disciples in the book of Acts is no longer relevant or available to us today. Both arguments are totally false and negate God's eternal word and its truth. Jesus made plain the order we must walk in to be in obedience to Him.

When one looks today at most of the ministries that are accomplishing things for God, they fall into the camp of the Spirit-filled believers. Evangelicals are filling buildings and sharing ministries over television and pod-casts, but they lack unction and power in their messages. It appears they are unwilling to submit to the control of the Holy Spirit.


Add up what Jesus said to do: Be born again, be baptized in the Holy Spirit, and then spread the Gospel. In His teaching found in John 14:16, Jesus emphasized that those who love God keep His commandments. Conclusion: Those who do not preach that believers need to go on and be filled with the Holy Spirit soon after their conversion are walking in disobedience to God's command. They cannot and do not walk in victory because they lack obedience and submission to the will of God for them.

While it's true that some Pentecostal people have taken their beliefs and practices to extremes that make the baptism in the Holy Spirit distasteful or even a sham to those looking on, their misrepresentation of the baptism does not negate God's command for believers to seek it until they find it.

Born again believers who do not go on into the baptism act from their 'flesh' because they are not walking in God's power. It is they who bring a bad name on the Gospel often times and on believers in general, because often their actions are rash, and they say and do things that discredit Jesus and His people, the Church.

Taken in order, the steps we must take as believers as spoken by Jesus are:

  1. Be born again
  2. Be baptized in the Holy Spirit
  3. Go into all the world and make disciples of all people.

That's the order in which they are to be done. It's Jesus' command. Follow through as obedient children!

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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE ®
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