GETTING SALVATION RIGHT - ALBERT ELISHA OBERDORFER

holyspirit10x

It is vital that we follow the doctrine of the first apostles.
In particular, when it comes to bringing people to the Lord.
What do we see in Acts?
We see the disciples preaching the gospel with Holy Spirit firepower.
We see people, who believe, get baptized.
WE SEE PEOPLE GETTING FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.
We see them speak in other tongues.
And in cases where people do not believe yet, or they haven’t got baptized yet, or they haven’t received the Holy Spirit yet, we see the first disciples help those people.
- By preaching to them, as Paul preached to the Ephesians in Acts 19.
- By baptizing them, as Philip baptized the Samarians in Acts 8.
- By praying for them to receive the Holy Spirit, as Peter and John prayed for the Samarians in Acts 8.
And what terminology do the apostles use when they talk about those events later?
Get a crystal-clear picture of how to bring a person to the Lord.
SO THAT YOU CAN GIVE NEW BELIEVERS A GOOD HEAD START IN THEIR WALK WITH THE LORD.

GETTING

SALVATION

RIGHT

What Do You Say and Do

When You Bring People

to the Lord?

ALBERT ELISHA OBERDORFER

1


2


NORMAL.

WHAT WE see in Acts is normal.

Take the case of the Samarians in Acts 8.

Phillip had gone to the city of Samaria and

[Acts 8:5]

PREACHED CHRIST unto them ...

Phillip preached

[1 Corinthians 2:4]

not with persuasive words of human

wisdom, but IN DEMONSTRATION

OF THE SPIRIT AND OF POWER ...

That is why the people listened to him.

We read,

[Acts 8:6]

And the multitudes with one accord

heeded the things spoken by Philip,

HEARING AND SEEING THE

MIRACLES WHICH HE DID.

What kind of miracles?

Miracles of healing.

Philip did what Jesus said in Mark 16 that

believers would do.

3


Jesus said,

[Mark 16:17-18]

16 In My name THEY WILL CAST

OUT DEMONS ...

17 ... THEY WILL LAY HANDS ON

THE SICK, and they will recover.

So this is also what Philip did.

We read,

[Acts 8:7]

For UNCLEAN SPIRITS, CRYING

WITH A LOUD VOICE, CAME OUT

OF MANY WHO WERE POSSESSED;

and MANY WHO WERE PARALYZED

AND LAME WERE HEALED.

So the people listened because they saw

the miracles.

And then, they went a step further.

When they believed, they got baptized.

We read,

[Acts 8:12]

12 But when they believed Philip as

he preached the things concerning the

kingdom of God and the name of Jesus

Christ, both men and women were

baptized.

4


The Samarians had been under the

influence of a sorcer for a long time.

He had operated in witchcraft.

Demonic power.

Manipulation.

Deception.

[Acts 8:9-11]

9 But there was a certain man called

Simon, who previously practiced

sorcery in the city and astonished the

people of Samaria, claiming that he

was someone great,

10 to whom they all gave heed, from

the least to the greatest, saying, “This

man is the great power of God.”

11 And they heeded him because

he had astonished them with his

SORCERIES for a long time.

But then Philip exposed them to real Holy

Spirit ministry.

He also preached to them.

So the Samarians then made a step

towards God.

Philip preached the things concerning the

kingdom of God.

The basilea of God.

5


The reign and the rule of God.

He would have explained how to come

under the rule of the kingdom of God.

Through what Jesus Christ has done for

us.

Jesus died for us, He was buried for us,

and He rose for us.

To bring us out from under the rule of the

kingdom of darkness, so that we could

enter the kingdom of light.

The kingdom of God.

And then, the people responded.

How?

[Acts 8:12]

... WHEN THEY BELIEVED ...

BOTH MEN AND WOMEN WERE

BAPTIZED.

This is the clear pattern we see in Acts.

When people believed the gospel they got

baptized.

This was apostolic doctrine.

Normal.

Peter laid this out on the day of Pentecost.

Peter was the first to preach Christ, after

His resurrection.

6


And then, when the people believed, they

asked him,

[Acts 2:37]

“Men and brethren, what shall we do?

This is what Peter told them:

[Acts 2:38-39]

38 Then Peter said to them, “REPENT,

AND LET EVERY ONE OF YOU BE

BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS

CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF

SINS; and you shall receive the gift of

the Holy Spirit.

39 For the promise is to you and to

your children, and to all who are afar

off, as many as the Lord our God will

call.”

This is apostolic doctrine.

This is what we see in the book of Acts.

This is normal.

So when the Samarians believed, they also

got baptized.

Even Simon the sorcer.

But he wasn’t sincere. His heart wasn’t

right. (We will see this in a minute.)

7


8


NOT YET ...

THERE was an issue with the Samarian

believers.

They didn’t receive the Holy Spirit when

they got baptized.

Not yet.

This happens sometimes.

So the apostles in Jerusalem heard about

it.

And they send Peter and John along.

To help the Samarians receive the Holy

Spirit.

This is very clear from scripture.

The Samarians did not yet receive the

Holy Spirit when they got baptized.

They received the Holy Spirit when Peter

and John laid hands on them.

This is what it says.

9


[Acts 8:14-17]

14 Now when the apostles who were

at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had

received the word of God, they sent

Peter and John to them,

15 who, when they had come down,

PRAYED FOR THEM THAT THEY

MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT.

16 FOR AS YET HE HAD FALLEN

UPON NONE OF THEM. THEY HAD

ONLY BEEN BAPTIZED IN THE

NAME OF THE LORD JESUS.

17 Then they laid hands on them, and

THEY RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT.

Peter and John understood this point very

well.

The Samarians had repented and got

baptized. Yes.

So they should also receive the Holy

Spirit.

This is God’s promise.

They should have received God’s promise.

This is what Peter had affirmed on the day

of Pentecost.

10


[Acts 2:38-39]

38 ... “Repent, and let every one of you

be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ

for the remission of sins; AND YOU

SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE

HOLY SPIRIT.

39 For the promise is to you and to

your children, and to all who are afar

off, as many as the Lord our God will

call.”

The promise of the Holy Spirit was for the

Samarians as well.

So when Peter and John laid hands on

them, they finally received the Holy Spirit.

But Simon the sorcer did not. Because his

heart was not right.

When he saw what was happening, he

tried to bribe the apostles.

[Acts 8:18-19]

18 And when Simon saw that through

the laying on of the apostles’ hands the

Holy Spirit was given, HE OFFERED

THEM MONEY,

19 saying, “Give me this power also,

that anyone on whom I lay hands may

receive the Holy Spirit.”

Amazing!

11


Simon was interested in power.

But his heart wasn’t right!

So he didn’t receive the Holy Spirit from

God.

You can trick men.

But you can’t trick God.

He knows people’s hearts.

And Peter does the right thing.

He rebukes Simon sharply.

Peter tells it as it is.

There’s no diplomacy here.

[Acts 8:20-23]

20 But Peter said to him, “Your money

perish with you, because you thought

that the gift of God could be purchased

with money!

21 You have neither part nor portion in

this matter, for YOUR HEART IS NOT

RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD.

22 Repent therefore of this your

wickedness, and pray God if perhaps

the thought of your heart may be

forgiven you.

23 For I see that you are poisoned by

bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

12


But Simon still doesn’t get it.

Peter says, “You pray.”

Simons says, “(No), you pray for me.”

[Acts 8:24]

Then Simon answered and said, “Pray

to the Lord for me, that none of the

things which you have spoken may

come upon me.”

When you are involved in Holy Spirit

ministry, you will see all kinds of strange

things.

But the point is: Acts 8 is an example of

the old normal.

An example of how people came to the

Lord.

And now we will look at the language that

Acts uses.

When it describes events how people

came to the Lord.

13


14


TAKE NOTE OF THE

LANGUAGE.

LANGUAGE is important.

One strategy of the devil is to twist the

language.

To create confusion.

To obfuscate God’s word.

We need to learn this lesson.

If we stick to biblical terminology, we

will be safe.

If we change biblical terminology, we will

be in danger.

So what terminology do we see the

apostles use when they talk about events

when people come to the Lord?

In Acts 8, for example.

The Samarians had believed and got

baptized. (Acts 8:12)

15


[Acts 8:12]

But when they believed Philip as he

preached the things concerning the

kingdom of God and the name of Jesus

Christ, both men and women were

baptized.

But we know that the Samarian believers

at that time had not yet received the Holy

Spirit.

Verse 16 tells us clearly,

[Acts 8:16]

For AS YET HE [=THE HOLY SPIRIT]

HAD FALLEN UPON NONE OF

THEM. They had only been baptized in

the name of the Lord Jesus.

So what terminology do the apostles use

to refer to these new believers? Verse 14

says,

[Acts 8:14]

Now when the apostles who were at

Jerusalem heard that Samaria HAD

RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD ...

This is good terminology.

[Acts 8:14]

... Samaria had received the word of

God ...

16


Now this is my point.

We should get back to using bible

terminology.

This would prevent a lot of confusion.

Because today, people often use wrangled

terminology. Terminology that is mixed

up. Terminology that is confusing.

People today would say things like,

“The Samarians got saved ...”

Or,

“The Samarians became Christians ...”

Or,

“The Samarians received faith ...”

And so on.

All these terms are not terms that the

apostles were using.

What terms then did the apostles use in

the bible? When they were refering to

people who came to the Lord?

This is the topic of this book.

17


18


We should

go back to

using bible

terminology,

then things

become

much clearer.

19


CONTENTS

NORMAL. 3

NOT YET ... 9

TAKE NOTE OF THE LANGUAGE. 15

1 SAVED? 23

2 “THEY SHALL BE SAVED ...” 29

3 OUR SALVATION WILL BE REVEALED AT THE

END. 35

4 WHAT IS OUR GUARANTEE THEN? 39

5 “YOU WERE SEALED WITH THE HOLY

SPIRIT.” 45

6 WE KNOW THAT WE ARE IN HIM BY THE SPIRIT

WHICH HE HAS GIVEN US. 49

7 THE HEART OF THE APOSTLES. 51

8 THIS IS A PROBLEM. 55

9 WHAT WE DON’T SEE IN ACTS. 61

10 SALVATION IS THE WORK OF GOD. 65

11 STEWARDS OF THE WORD OF GOD. 71

20


14 TAKE HEED TO THE DOCTRINE. 85

15 DOCTRINES OF MEN. 89

16 I CHARGE YOU. 93

OTHER BOOKS BY ALBERT ELISHA 94

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22


1 SAVED?

IN ACTS 10, the Holy Spirit falls on a

group of Italians.

On a complete household.

Peter and 6 other Jewish believers are

involved in this event.

They see these Italians receive the Holy

Spirit.

This is what the Scripture says.

[Acts 10:44-46]

44 While Peter was still speaking these

words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all

those who heard the word.

45 And those of the circumcision who

believed were astonished, as many as

came with Peter, because the gift of

the Holy Spirit had been poured out on

the Gentiles also.

46 For they heard them speak with

tongues and magnify God.

How then did Peter react when this

happened?

He ordered them to get baptized.

23


[Acts 10:46-48]

(46) Then Peter answered,

47 “Can anyone forbid water, that

these should not be baptized who have

received the Holy Spirit just as we

have?”

48 And he commanded them to be

baptized in the name of the Lord. ...

We see this same picture as in Acts 8.

Someone qualified—someone who has

received the Holy Spirit—preaches

the gospel of Jesus’ death, burial, and

resurrection.

Because of that, the listeners believe.

And in that case, they receive the Holy

Spirit first.

Even before they get baptized.

There is the accompanying sign of

speaking in other tongues.

That is how Peter and those believers

who had come with Peter know what had

happened.

They are all familiar with this.

Because that is how they also received the

Holy Spirit.

In the beginning.

24


Peter then commands the

people to get baptized.

So we see these elements.

We see that the gospel is

preached.

By someone who is

qualified—someone who

has the Holy Spirit.

We see people believing.

We see people receiving

the Holy Spirit.

With the accompanying

sign of speaking in other

tongues.

And we see people getting

baptized in the name of

the Lord Jesus.

Why get baptized?

Because that links them to the burial of

Jesus. (Romans 6:5)

This is all straightforward bible

terminology.

But what we are interested in now is this:

what do the apostles say about this event?

We want to see what the bible says.

We are interested in bible terminology.

25


First, we can see this.

When the Holy Spirit fell on the

household of Cornelius, they all began to

speak in tongues.

Peter the apostle then said, “they

[Acts 10:47]

HAVE RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT

just as we have.”

He didn’t use terminology that we so

often hear today.

Today, people may say,

“These people got saved.’

“These people received faith.”

“Or

“They became Christians.”

And so on.

But we can ask a question.

Were these believers who had just

received the Holy Spirit saved?

What did the apostles say about this?

26


27


28


2 “THEY SHALL BE

SAVED ...”

ACTS 10 IS a great passage to study in

detail.

Because the bible talks about this event 2

more times. In Acts 11 and Acts 15.

Let’s see what terminology the bible uses.

In Acts 11, we read that the believers in

Jerusalem were a critical about what had

happened in Acts 10. They say to Peter,

[Acts 11:13]

“You went in to uncircumcised men and

ate with them!”

This is what a Jewish believer would not

normally do.

Even Peter would not have done it.

So God had to show Peter first in a vision

that when it comes to preaching the

gospel, the gospel is for everyone.

Jews and Gentiles.

God shows favoritism to no one.

29


So Peter then explains this to his brethren

in Jerusalem.

And he re-tells the whole story from the

beginning.

This is what he says.

We will pay close attention to the

terminology that he uses, starting with

verse 15.

So Peter says,

[Acts 11:15-18]

15 And as I began to speak, the Holy

Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the

beginning.

16 Then I remembered the word of

the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed

baptized with water, but you shall be

baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

17 If therefore GOD GAVE THEM THE

SAME GIFT AS HE GAVE US when we

believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who

was I that I could withstand God?”

18 When they heard these things they

became silent; and they glorified God,

saying, “Then God has also GRANTED

to the Gentiles REPENTANCE TO

LIFE.”

And in Acts 15, Peter re-tells the same

story.

30


Because they are discussing an issue.

Whether Gentile believers (that is,

non-Jewish believers) should also be told

to keep the law of Moses. Peter says,

[Acts 15:7-11]

7 And when there had been much

dispute, Peter rose up and said to

them: “Men and brethren, you know

that a good while ago God chose

among us, that by my mouth the

Gentiles should hear the word of the

gospel and believe.

8 So God, who knows the heart,

acknowledged them by giving them the

Holy Spirit, just as He did to us,

9 and made no distinction between

us and them, purifying their hearts by

faith.

10 Now therefore, why do you test God

by putting a yoke on the neck of the

disciples which neither our fathers nor

we were able to bear?

11 But we believe that through the

grace of the Lord Jesus Christ WE

SHALL BE SAVED in the same manner

as they.”

But pay attention to the language Peter

uses. He says,

31


[Acts 15:11]

11 But we believe that through the

grace of the Lord Jesus Christ WE

SHALL BE SAVED in the same manner

as they.”

Notice this phrase,

WE SHALL BE SAVED ...

32


33


34


3 OUR SALVATION WILL

BE REVEALED AT THE

END.

LET’S STICK with Peter.

The apostle.

Let’s see what he says about salvation.

In his letter, in 1 Peter chapter 1, he

writes:

[1 Peter 1:3-5]

3 Blessed be the God and Father of

our Lord Jesus Christ, who according

to His abundant mercy has begotten

us again to a living hope through the

resurrection of Jesus Christ from the

dead,

4 to an inheritance incorruptible and

undefiled and that does not fade away,

reserved in heaven for you,

5 who are kept by the power of God

through faith for SALVATION READY

TO BE REVEALED IN THE LAST

TIME.

35


Peter says our salvation will be

REVEALED IN THE LAST TIME.

It is not revealed yet.

It will be.

And when is that going to be?

At the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is what Peter clearly tells us.

Along the way, we will need to be facing

some trials.

Those trials will test if our faith is real.

And if our faith is real, there will be a

reward for us—at the end.

At the revelation of Jesus Christ, we will

receive the end of our faith.

The salvation of our souls.

This is what Peter says.

[1 Peter 1:6-9]

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though

now for a little while, if need be, you

have been grieved by various trials,

7 that the genuineness of your faith,

being much more precious than gold

that perishes, though it is tested by

fire, may be found to praise, honor, and

glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

36


8 whom having not seen you love.

Though now you do not see Him,

yet believing, you rejoice with joy

inexpressible and full of glory,

9 RECEIVING THE END OF YOUR

FAITH—THE SALVATION OF YOUR

SOULS.

37


38


4 WHAT IS OUR

GUARANTEE THEN?

IS THERE any guarantee for us?

That we are included when Jesus comes

back and our salvation will be revealed?

Yes. There is.

Our guarantee is the Holy Spirit.

When we have received the Holy Spirit,

then we have the guarantee.

This is what we can learn from Acts 19.

Acts 19 tells us how Paul met Ephesian

disciples.

But they did not believe in Jesus Christ

yet. At least not in a manner that enabled

them to receive the Holy Spirit.

Why is that? They had not heard the clear

gospel yet.

So Paul, when he meets them, asks them

this fundamental question:

[Acts 19:2]

“DID YOU RECEIVE THE HOLY

SPIRIT WHEN YOU BELIEVED?”

39


They say, no.

[Acts 19:2]

“We have not so much as heard

whether there is a Holy Spirit.”

Pay attention to Paul’s next question. He

says,

[Acts 19:3]

“INTO WHAT THEN WERE YOU

BAPTIZED?”

Paul brings up the issue of baptism.

Why is that?

Because when someone has heard the

clear gospel—the gospel of the kingdom

of God and the name of Jesus Christ—the

biblical response is that they get baptized.

Peter instructs his listeners so clearly.

On the day of Pentecost, Peter preaches

the gospel of Jesus’ death, burial, and

resurrection.

Then his listeners ask,

“What shall we do?”

[Acts 2:37]

40


Peter’s response is:

[Acts 2:38]

“Repent, and LET EVERY ONE OF

YOU BE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF

JESUS CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION

OF SINS; and you shall receive the gift

of the Holy Spirit.”

Peter’s response is crystal clear.

So this explains Pauls’ question,

[Acts 19:3]

“Into what then were you baptized?”

The Ephesians say,

“Into John’s baptism.”

[Acts 19:3]

So they had been baptized already.

But John’s baptism was not yet the

baptism unto Jesus Christ. It was not the

baptism unto Jesus’ death.

So we read that the Ephesians then got

baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

And what happened?

They received the Holy Spirit.

41


We read,

[Acts 19:5-6]

5 When they heard this, THEY WERE

BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE

LORD JESUS.

6 AND WHEN PAUL HAD LAID

HANDS ON THEM, THE HOLY

SPIRIT CAME UPON THEM, and they

spoke with tongues and prophesied.

Wonderful Jesus!

Paul then clarifies things for us in his

letter to the Ephesians.

42


43


44


5 “YOU WERE SEALED

WITH THE HOLY

SPIRIT.”

IN HIS letter to the Ephesians, Paul

reminded them how they came to the

Lord.

He says,

[Ephesians 1:12-13]

12 We who first trusted in Christ ...

13 In Him you also trusted, AFTER

YOU HEARD THE WORD OF TRUTH,

THE GOSPEL OF YOUR SALVATION ...

This was when Paul preached to them.

Before, they didn’t know the truth yet.

So they couldn’t receive the Holy Spirit

yet.

But when Paul came and preached to them

the truth, then they could believe.

And then they could act on their belief

by getting baptized, and then receive the

Holy Spirit.

45


So this is what Paul writes to them:

[Ephesians 1:13-14]

13 ... in whom also, HAVING

BELIEVED, YOU WERE SEALED WITH

THE HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE,

14 Who is the guarantee of our

inheritance until the redemption of the

purchased possession, to the praise of

His glory.

46

The Holy Spirit is the guarantee.

It is like a deposit that someone pays.

Once the deposit has been paid, that

person has the right to the goods.

Others can no longer buy them.

This is the same with us.

Once we have received the Holy Spirit,

we belong to the Lord.

And when will our salvation be revealed?

At the coming of the Lord.

Paul words it like this. He says the Holy

Spirit is

[Ephesians 1:14]

THE GUARANTEE OF OUR

INHERITANCE UNTIL THE

REDEMPTION OF THE PURCHASED

POSSESSION, to the praise of His

glory.


In other words, when Jesus comes and

collects the goods that he has paid for.

Us.

So, only when we have received the Holy

Spirit, do we have the guarantee that we

belong to the Lord.

This is what the apostles repeat many

times in their writings.

47


48


6 WE KNOW THAT WE

ARE IN HIM BY THE

SPIRIT WHICH HE HAS

GIVEN US.

JOHN, FOR example, puts it like this.

[1 John 4:13]

By this we know that we abide in Him,

and He in us, BECAUSE HE HAS

GIVEN US OF HIS SPIRIT.

Or:

[1 John 2:27]

But THE ANOINTING WHICH YOU

HAVE RECEIVED FROM HIM ABIDES

IN YOU, and you do not need that

anyone teach you; but as the same

anointing teaches you concerning all

things, and is true, and is not a lie, and

just as it has taught you, you will abide

in Him.

All these expressions tell us one thing.

When we have received the Holy Spirit,

then we have the guarantee that we belong

to Jesus.

This is then what we should focus on.

49


50


7 THE HEART OF THE

APOSTLES.

THIS IS what was on the heart of the

apostles.

When they met people who, for some

reason, had not yet received the Holy

Spirit, they tried to help them.

Help with what?

Help them to receive the Holy Spirit.

In the case of the Samarian believers in

Acts 8, for example. We read,

[Acts 8:14-16]

14 Now when the apostles who were

at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had

received the word of God, they sent

Peter and John to them,

15 Who, when they had come down,

PRAYED FOR THEM THAT THEY

MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT.

16 For as yet He had fallen upon none

of them. THEY HAD ONLY BEEN

BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE

LORD JESUS.

51


And they could help. Because we read,

[Acts 8:17-18]

17 Then THEY LAID HANDS ON

THEM, AND THEY RECEIVED THE

HOLY SPIRIT.

18 And when Simon saw that through

the laying on of the apostles’ hands the

Holy Spirit was given ...”

Paul, another apostle, had this clear

understanding also.

When he met the Ephesia disciples, his

first question was

[Acts 19:2]

“DID YOU RECEIVE THE HOLY

SPIRIT WHEN YOU BELIEVED?”

And then he helped the Ephesians to

receive the Holy Spirit.

He preached the clear gospel to them. And

when they believed, he helped them to

get appropriately baptized (unto the name

of Jesus). And then he helped them to

receive the Holy Spirit, which they did.

[Acts 19:6]

And WHEN PAUL HAD LAID HANDS

ON THEM, THE HOLY SPIRIT CAME

UPON THEM, and they spoke with

tongues and prophesied.

52


We should do the same today.

But today there is a common problem.

53


54


8 THIS IS A PROBLEM.

THE PROBLEM today is this.

People have substituted biblical

terminology with extra-biblical

terminology.

They talk about “people receiving Jesus

into their hearts.”

Or they talk about “people ‘receiving

faith’” (in Thai ‘rap tschua’).

They talk about people “become

Christians.”

By this, they often mean that a person

has become a Christian after praying a

“prayer of salvation.”

This is often called “praying a Sinner’s

Prayer.”

The problem is that often preachers would

give a sermon first on an entirely different

topic.

So in that sermon, they would not preach

the gospel of the Kingdom of God and the

name of Jesus Christ.

They preach about other things.

Yummy!

55


And then at the end, they would add on an

altar call.

In that altar call, they would tell people

who have listened to their sermon to pray

a sinner’s prayer.

They would lead them into such a prayer,

and then, when the prayer has finished,

they would say,

“Congratulations. You are now born

again.”

But such practices do not produce real

conversions, in my experience.

We don’t know peoples’ hearts.

Only God knows.

But one thing we can say for sure.

If God acknowledges people, by giving

them the Holy Spirit, then something is

very right.

This is how Peter argued. He said,

[Acts 11:15-17]

15 And as I began to speak, the Holy

Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the

beginning.

16 Then I remembered the word of

the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed

baptized with water, but you shall be

baptized with the Holy Spirit.’

56


17 IF THEREFORE GOD GAVE THEM

THE SAME GIFT AS HE GAVE US

WHEN WE BELIEVED ON THE LORD

JESUS CHRIST, WHO WAS I THAT I

COULD WITHSTAND GOD?”

We should follow his argument.

When Peter said this, he referred back to

an even in Acts 10.

It was controversial.

Because at that time, many of the Jewish

believers believed that the gospel of the

Kingdom of God was reserved for Jews

only.

So, when God sent Peter with the gospel

to the gentiles, this created a stir.

But see how Peter argues. Peter says,

[Acts 11:17]

If therefore God gave them the same

gift as He gave us when we believed on

the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I

could withstand God?”

This is what I like to see, as well.

I love it when I see people receive the

Holy Spirit.

Because then I know that it is God who

acknowledges them.

57


God, who knows their hearts.

This is what Peter says in Acts 15.

He is referring to the same event in Acts

10.

[Acts 15:7-9]

7 “Men and brethren, you know that

a good while ago God chose among

us, that by my mouth the Gentiles

should hear the word of the gospel and

believe.

8 So God, WHO KNOWS THE

HEART, ACKNOWLEDGED THEM BY

GIVING THEM THE HOLY SPIRIT, just

as He did to us,

9 And made no distinction between

us and them, purifying their hearts by

faith.”

This is what we also should be looking at.

God knows the hearts of people.

And He is the One who acknowledges

people.

When He gives them the Holy Spirit.

We should also have this thinking.

If God, who knows the hearts, gives

people the Holy Spirit, there must be

something very right.

58


If he doesn’t, then there is something not

right yet.

Like in the case of Simon in Acts 8.

His heart wasn’t right yet.

I think we should have the same point of

view.

When people receive the Holy Spirit,

something is very right.

If they don’t, something is not right, yet.

We should get rid of practices and

terminology that are not directly based on

what we see in the bible.

We should go back to what we see in the

book of Acts.

And adopt the standard, terminology, and

practices that we see in Acts.

59


60


9 WHAT WE DON’T SEE

IN ACTS.

IN ACTS, we don’t see the Sinner’s

Prayer.

The closest we come to a confession of

faith is in Acts 8.

There we see the eunuch from Ethiopia,

making a confession of faith.

But mind you, this is in the context of

getting baptized.

We read,

[Acts 8:35-37]

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and

beginning at this Scripture, preached

Jesus to him. Now as they went down

the road, they came to some water.

And the eunuch said, “See, here is

water. What hinders me from being

baptized?”

36 Then Philip said, “If you believe with

all your heart, you may.”

37 And he answered and said, “I

BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE

SON OF GOD.”

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And then we read that Philip baptized

him.

[Acts 8:38]

So he commanded the chariot to stand

still. And both Philip and the eunuch

went down into the water, AND HE

BAPTIZED HIM.

After this, Philip was then transported

from this place.

In Acts, we also don’t see the apostles talk

about believers having received faith (in

Thai: ‘rap tschua’).

In Acts, we don’t see the apostles

preaching a message to the saints, and

then add on an invitation for unbelievers

to say a prayer of salvation.

We see them preach specifically to

unbelievers the gospel of the Kingdom of

God and the name of Jesus Christ.

And when those people who have heard

the right message, from the right person

(someone who is filled with the Holy

Spirit) believe, they baptize them in the

name of Jesus.

And they then pray for them to receive the

Holy Spirit.

And we see believers receiving the Holy

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Spirit with the accompanying sign of

speaking in other tongues.

As Jesus said in Mark 16 that signs will

accompany them who believe.

63


64


10 SALVATION IS THE

WORK OF GOD.

SALVATION is of God.

It is God’s initiative.

A cosmic initiative.

Man cannot contribute to salvation.

It is not 50 / 50.

Fifty percent the work of God, and fifty

percent the work of man.,

Salvation is all of God.

It’s like when you are born.

You can’t decide one day, I will get born

now.

Your parents decide.

You are born because of their will.

Not your will.

John 1:12-13 says,

12 But as many as received Him, to

them He gave the right to become

children of God, to those who believe in

His name:

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13 WHO WERE BORN, not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the

will of man, but OF GOD.”

We were born of our human parents,

because of the will of our parents.

We are born of God because of the will of

God.

This brings us to the subject of faith.

The faith to be saved is not our faith

either.

It is God’s faith.

His faith that is imparted to us.

We can’t boast in it.

It is His faith that saves us.

Paul writes to the Ephesians,

[Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV]

8 FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED

THROUGH FAITH; AND THAT NOT

OF YOURSELVES: IT IS THE GIFT OF

GOD:

9 Not of works, lest any man should

boast.

How then us this faith imparted to us?

When we hear the gospel preached by

someone qualified to preach.

66


That is why Peter talks about

[1 Peter 1:12]

Those who have preached the gospel

to you by the Holy Spirit sent from

heaven—things which angels desire to

look into.

This is God’s way of saving people.

[1 Corinthians 1:21]

It pleased God by the foolishness of

preaching to save them that believe.

The preaching of the gospel comes first.

But those who preach need to be qualified.

That is why Jesus commanded his

disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they

would be endued with power from on

high. Jesus said,

[Luke 24:47-49]

47 “Repentance and remission of sins

should be preached in His name to all

nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

48 And you are witnesses of these

things.

49 Behold, I send the Promise of My

Father upon you; but tarry in the city

of Jerusalem until you are ENDUED

WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH.”

67


This is what qualifies a preacher of the

gospel.

He or she needs to have received the Holy

Spirit.

It needs to be someone who is

[Luke 24:49]

endued with power from on high.

It needs to be someone who is a flame of

fire.

Hebrews 1:7 says,

Who makes His angels spirits and HIS

MINISTERS A FLAME OF FIRE.

Nothing less will do.

Cold preaching by a cold minister who

is not endued with Holy Ghost firepower

doesn’t do any good.

Only if a person is endued with Holy

Ghost firepower, that person is qualified to

preach.

68


69


70


11 STEWARDS OF THE

WORD OF GOD.

THE WORD of God can be twisted.

Misconstrued.

Handled deceitfully.

Such is the work of the devil.

He is a crafty fellow.

A cunning creature of hell.

And many fall prey to his wiles.

Notably, in these last days.

Paul was not of that kind.

He was straightforward.

Sometimes, unpleasantly so.

So he could write to the Corinthians:

[2 Corinthians 4:2]

Therefore, since we have this ministry,

as we have received mercy, we do not

lose heart. But we have renounced the

hidden things of shame, not walking

in craftiness NOR HANDLING THE

WORD OF GOD DECEITFULLY, but by

71


manifestation of the truth commending

ourselves to every man’s conscience in

the sight of God.

The Word can be handled deceitfully.

It can be twisted.

Peter warns us that there are people who

twist Paul’s letters and the rest of the

Scriptures.

He says,

[2 Peter 3:15-16]

15 ... consider that the longsuffering

of our Lord is salvation—as also our

beloved brother Paul, according to the

wisdom given to him, has written to

you,

16 As also in all his epistles, speaking

in them of these things, in which

are some things hard to understand,

WHICH UNTAUGHT AND UNSTABLE

PEOPLE TWIST TO THEIR OWN

DESTRUCTION, AS THEY DO ALSO

THE REST OF THE SCRIPTURES.

Paul even says many twist the Word of

God.

He calls it

[2 Corinthians 2:17]

PEDDLING THE WORD OF GOD.

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[2 Corinthians 2:17]

For we are not, as so many, peddling

the word of God; but as of sincerity,

but as from God, we speak in the sight

of God in Christ.

Paul was a steward of the Word of God.

A faithful steward.

And so were the other writers of Scripture.

Like Luke who faithfully recorded the

events in the book of Acts.With medical

accuracy. Paul says,

[1 Corinthians 4:1-2]

1 Let a man so consider us, as servants

of Christ and STEWARDS OF THE

MYSTERIES OF GOD.

2 Moreover it is required in stewards

that one be found FAITHFUL.

73


We can trust Paul’s writings as we can

trust the writings of the other apostles.

And we should approach their writings

without a preconceived idea.

We should focus on what is written and

then base our doctrine on what is written.

Not on what can be implied.

People who interpret Scripture often make

a mistake.

They come to a piece of writing with a

preconceived idea.

They are already wearing specific lenses

through which they read the Scriptures.

I mean, they already have some

preconceived ideas about what a particular

Scripture is supposed to mean.

But that is no the right way to interpret

Scripture.

We should read it first and see what is

written.

First.

Without interjecting our preconceived

notions.

For example, when we read Acts 8.

We read that

74


[Acts 8:12]

When they believed Philip as he

preached the things concerning the

kingdom of God and the name of Jesus

Christ, both men and women were

baptized.

And then what do the apostles in

Jerusalem say about this event?

We read,

[Acts 8:14]

Now when the apostles who were at

Jerusalem heard thaT SAMARIA HAD

RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD ...

That is what they said about this event:

Samaria had received the word of God.

What the apostles did not say was what

many people would say today:

“The Samarians got saved.”

Or: “The Samarians got born again.”

Or: “The Samarians had ‘received faith.’”

Acts doesn’t use any of these expressions.

It doesn’t even use the phrase, “They were

written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

75


But what we know is that the apostles

were eager to help the Samarians go

further in their walk with God.

Because they had not yet received the

Holy Spirit.

Now, this is clear from Scripture.

Verse 15-16 says, Peter and John,

[Acts 8:15-16]

15 When they had come down,

PRAYED FOR THEM THAT THEY

MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT.

16 For as yet He had fallen upon none

of them. They had only been baptized

in n the name of the Lord Jesus.

76

Did the Samarian believers receive the

Holy Spirit when they believed?

No.

That’s clear.

Because this is what the Word explicitly

says.

But you will find people today who will

say unscriptural things like,

“Yes, these Samarians already had the

Holy Spirit in them.”

“It happened when they believed. But the

Holy Spirit was not yet resting on them.”


Or other things like that.

But this would be adding to the Scriptures.

This is not what the Scriptures say.

And then we read that the Samarians

finally did receive the Holy Spirit.

[Acts 8:17-18]

17 Then they laid hands on them, and

they received the Holy Spirit.

18 And when Simon saw that through

the laying on of the apostles’ hands the

Holy Spirit was given ...

Let us look at one more event in Acts 10.

Let’s see what the apostles said when they

talked about people receiving the Holy

Spirit.

This is now what happened at the house of

Cornelius in Acts 10.

We read how the Holy Spirit fell on a

whole household and what happened next.

[Acts 10:44-48]

44 While Peter was still speaking these

words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all

those who heard the word.

77


45 And those of the circumcision who

believed were astonished, as many as

came with Peter, because the gift of

the Holy Spirit had been poured out on

the Gentiles also.

46 For they heard them speak with

tongues and magnify God.

47 Then Peter answered, “Can anyone

forbid water, that these should not be

baptized who have received the Holy

Spirit just as we have?”

This is another clear event.

The whole household of Cornelius

received the Holy Spirit.

That is what Peter said:

[Acts 10:47]

“Can anyone forbid water, that these

should not be baptized WHO HAVE

RECEIVED THE HOLY SPIRIT JUST AS

WE HAVE?”

How did Peter and the 6 brethren who had

come with him know?

This is also very clear.

[Acts 10:46]

FOR THEY HEARD THEM SPEAK

WITH TONGUES AND MAGNIFY

GOD.

78


So there were signs following.

Accompanying signs.

Jesus spoke about accompanying signs

that follow those who believe in Mark 16.

Including

[Mark 16:17]

“speak[ing] with new tongues.”

But now, let’s see what the apostles said

about this event?

What did they say about the Samarian

receiving the Holy Spirit?

This is what they said. In Acts 11.

Peter retells the story.

[Acts 11:15-18]

15 And as I began to speak, the Holy

Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the

beginning.

16 Then I remembered the word of the

Lord, how He said, ‘JOHN INDEED

BAPTIZED WITH WATER, BUT YOU

SHALL BE BAPTIZED WITH THE

HOLY SPIRIT.’

17 If therefore God gave them the

same gift as He gave us when we

believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who

was I that I could withstand God?”

79


18 When they heard these things they

became silent; and they glorified God,

saying, “Then God has also granted

to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

tongues and magnify God.

In Acts 15, Peter retells the story a second

time. He says,

[Acts 15:7-9]

7 “Men and brethren, you know that

a good while ago God chose among

us, that by my mouth the Gentiles

should hear the word of the gospel and

believe.

8 So God, who knows the heart,

acknowledged them by GIVING THEM

THE HOLY SPIRIT, just as He did to

us,

9 And made no distinction between

us and them, purifying their hearts by

faith.”

This is clear.

God knows the hearts.

And when people receive the Holy Spirit,

it is God acknowledging them. God is the

one who is purifying their hearts by faith.

Whose faith?

His faith.

80


God gave them a gift.

Which gift?

The gift of the Holy Spirit.

The same gift (the Holy Spirit) that He

gave to the apostles in the beginning.

That’s what Peter said,

[Acts 11:17]

17 If therefore GOD GAVE THEM

THE SAME GIFT [THE HOLY SPIRIT]

as He gave us when we believed on

the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I

could withstand God?”

And this is connected to being baptized

with the Holy Spirit.

In other words, receiving the Holy Spirit

is the same thing as being baptized with

the Holy Spirit.

That’s what Peter says.

He says when the Holy Spirit fell on the

household of Cornelius, he remembered

Jesus ‘ promise:

[Acts 11:16]

‘John indeed baptized with water, but

you shall be baptized with the Holy

Spirit.’

81


And how do the other believers in

Jerusalem respond to this?

They say,

[Acts 11:18]

“Then God has also granted to the

Gentiles repentance to life.”

We should be using the same logic and the

same phraseology as these first believers.

82


83


84


14 TAKE HEED TO THE

DOCTRINE.

DOCTRINE is important.

We are, after all, build on the apostles and

prophets with Jesus Christ being the chief

cornerstone.

We follow apostolic doctrine.

What did the apostles believe?

What did they teach?

In other words, what did they write about

in their letters?

What did they do in the book of Acts?

We do have enough evidence from the

Scriptures.

The Scriptures are bearing testimony.

And if a point is clear, the Scriptures will

repeat this point at least 2 or 3 times/.

So that by the testimony of 2 or 3

witnesses, everything is established. (See:

2 Corinthians 13:1.)

Doctrine is important.

85


That is why Paul admonished Timothy to

pay attention to the doctrine.

He writes,

[1 Timothy 4:16]

TAKE HEED TO YOURSELF AND TO

THE DOCTRINE. Continue in them,

for in doing this you will save both

yourself and those who hear you.

There are people out there who twist the

Word of God.

They handle it deceitfully.

Not so Paul.

He says,

[2 Corinthians 2:17]

For WE ARE NOT, AS SO MANY,

PEDDLING THE WORD OF GOD; but

as of sincerity, but as from God, we

speak in the sight of God in Christ.

We should follow Paul’s insights and

arguments that he shares with us.

He wrote many letters to the churches.

To warn them, to edify them, to correct

them, and so on.

So even though Paul is no longer with us

in the flesh, we can still benefit from his

revelation knowledge.

86


Peter also understood this point.

That is why he wrote,

[2 Peter 1:13-15 ]

13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as

I am in this tent, to stir you up by

reminding you,

14 knowing that shortly I must put off

my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ

showed me.

15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure

that you always HAVE A REMINDER

of these things after my decease.

So we should pay attention to doctrine.

It is important.

Particularly when it comes to salvation.

Why not preach and practice as the

apostles did?

Say what they said? Use their

terminology? Follow their examples?

87


88


15 DOCTRINES OF MEN.

IN EPHESIANS, Paul talks about

[Ephesians 4:14]

The sleight of men, and cunning

craftiness, whereby they LIE IN WAIT

TO DECEIVE ...

The devil is a cunning fellow.

He is not so much interested—at first—to

directly oppose the Word of God.

At first, he is interested in twisting it.

Replacing the Word of God with the word

of man.

This is what Jesus was referring to when

he reprimanded the Pharisees.

For twisting the Word of God.

Jesus said you are

[Mark 7:8]

“LAYING ASIDE THE

COMMANDMENT OF GOD, YOU

HOLD THE TRADITION OF MEN.”

And thereby rendering the Word of God

powerless.

89


Jesus said to the Pharisees, you are

[Mark 7:7]

“TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE

COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.”

This is still his strategy.

The devil doesn’t change tactics.

If his tactics are working, he will come up

with new variants of the same strategy.

We need to oppose him with the direct

Word of God.

The Word of God is a lamp and a light.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a

light to my path.

Psalm 119, verse 105 says,

This is our strategy. We hold unto the

Word.

As Peter tell us to do so:

90

[2 Peter 1:19-21]

19 And so we have the prophetic word

confirmed, which YOU DO WELL TO

HEED AS A LIGHT THAT SHINES IN

A DARK PLACE, until the day dawns

and the morning star rises in your

hearts;


20 Knowing this first, that no

prophecy of Scripture is of any private

interpretation,

21 For prophecy never came by the will

of man, but holy men of God spoke as

they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

This is our simple strategy.

91


92


16 I CHARGE YOU.

PAUL HAD an assignment for Timothy.

He charged him to correct some people

who were preaching other doctrines.

[1 Timothy 1:3-4]

3 As I urged you when I went into

Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that

you may charge some that they TEACH

NO OTHER DOCTRINE,

4 Nor give heed to fables and endless

genealogies, which cause disputes

rather than godly edification which is in

faith.

Paul gave this instruction to Timothy.

So for Paul, doctrine was important.

Particularly, when it came to preserving

the doctrine of the grace of God.

93


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Getting Salvation Right: What Do You Say and Do

When You Bring People to the Lord?

Copyright 2020 © Albert L. Oberdorfer

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be

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