( John 7:37-39 )
“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
Is the Receiving of the Holy Spirit a Separate Experience to a Christian?
Most Christians think that believing in Jesus and receiving the Holy Spirit are two different things. This is why they are trying very hard to receive the Holy Spirit. When most of the believers in Jesus are mired in such confusion, how much frustration would God the Father have! The only way for them to escape from so much confusion is to clearly know the gospel of the water and the Spirit and believe in it.
Jesus said in John 7:38, “He who believes in Me, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” The phrase “as the Scripture has said” means that whoever believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells in the hearts of those who believe that Jesus Christ came to this earth by the water and the Spirit and has saved sinners from their iniquities.
When one knows and believes in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, the Holy Spirit then flows in his/her hearts like a river. Jesus said that anyone who thirsts should come to Him and drink. Those in whose hearts the Holy Spirit flows like a river are the ones who have received truly amazing blessings by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Like this, the Holy Spirit does not come as a separate experience to those who believe in Jesus “as the Scripture has said.”
Those who earnestly seek to receive the Holy Spirit believe that if they were only to pray ardently and blindly, He would then come down upon them. But such faith has nothing to do with the true gospel that enables us to receive the Holy Spirit given by Jesus.
Thinking that one can receive the Holy Spirit given by the Lord even as he/she rejects or ignores the gospel of the water and the Spirit is not the truth. Without believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus, we cannot receive the Spirit of God. We cannot buy Him as we buy goods with money. The Holy Spirit comes on us as a gift only when we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Why are people unable to have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in their hearts even as they believe in Jesus? The answer to this question is found in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord.
The reason why Christianity has become so murky is because many have misunderstood the Holy Spirit who, as described in Acts 2, came on the Apostles on the Day of Pentecost. Most of them think that the Apostles received the fullness of the Holy Spirit by earnest prayers.
Even though Jesus does not give the Holy Spirit to those who are sinful, there are still many people who persist in their stubbornness. When those who do not know the gospel of the water and the Spirit thirst after this Holy Spirit and insist on their own obstinacy, demons claiming to be Jesus then come into them, and they end up becoming fanatics possessed by these evil spirits. Therefore, people must not try to receive the Holy Spirit by force in their own stubbornness.
It is very dangerous for someone who has not received the remission of sin to ask for the Holy Spirit. We must realize that this is akin to asking for what is only impossible.
The Bible says that the authority of those who have received the remission of sin is great. In John 20:23, Jesus said, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” As such authority is given to those who have received the Holy Spirit. Their authority is great, and their responsibility is also great. Jesus told Peter, “I give you the keys to Heaven.” This is the authority of none of than those who have received the remission of sin through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
The authority of those who have received the remission of sin and the Holy Spirit into their hearts by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit is truly amazing. They have the authority to lead people to the way to Heaven as well to let them to be cast into hell. Therefore, if the saints do not spread the gospel of the remission of sin to sinners and leave them as they are, then they become the ones who leave these sinners to their destruction. The authority to forgive people’s sins is thus given to the saints.
We give our thanks to God for guiding us into the gospel of the water and the Spirit that has enabled us to receive the Holy Spirit. We have received the Holy Spirit by believing in the baptism of Jesus and the blood of the Cross as the remission of our sins. The gospel of the water and the Spirit is the only true gospel that enables people to receive the Holy Spirit.