|I Am Truly Born Again|
|Written by arkwriter|
|Thursday, 07 April 2011 15:15|
I Am Truly Born Again
I started keeping the Sabbath 41 years ago, when I was seven years old (1958). My family attended what was then called the Radio Church of God, which later became the Worldwide Church of God (WCG). I saw the church grow and nourish, and years later my wife and I went to Big Sandy, Texas and I received a second Bachelor's Degree from Ambassador College in 1977. I went to work for the Feast Office in Big Sandy, and was later transferred to Pasadena, California when the college closed and all festival operations were moved to the church headquarters. We arrived one month before the church went into receivership, and saw firsthand many things that made us question where the church had gone over the previous 20 plus years. We moved back to Missouri a year later, and knew something was missing in the church, and after much study and prayer realized it was the Holy Spirit that was missing.
The Holy Spirit was and is a highly controversial subject among WCG and the many splinter groups that came out of that organization. It is also a highly controversial subject among many other non-Sabbatarian churches, and causes arguments and debates which are usually never resolved, and therefore the subject goes dormant, only to be resurrected later in some other location where people know something is missing, and are seeking the truth. I would like to briefly describe my experience in seeking the Holy Spirit:
In 1983 we left the WCG because of doctrinal differences. We became members of the Church of God, lnternational (CGI), and I was ordained a minister in that organization in 1984. Several years later we realized there was no basic difference between CGI and the WCG, and started having services in our home. During this time, we knew the gifts of the Spirit as listed in I Corinthians 12 were missing in the churches and in our lives. After much prayer and study we realized that the old thought and teaching that these were "done away" at the end of the first century, which was not Biblically true. It was a man-made doctrine cunningly devised to explain the fact that he Spirit was not in evidence in the church today. We then did as Luke II says:
10 "For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (KJV)
Contrary to what we had been taught in the WCG, regarding the Holy Spirit being an impersonal force, energy or essence, I carne to understand the Holy Spirit is in truth God Himself. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of the Son. The Holy Spirit is the same Spiritual Being as God. I discovered that without the true understanding of who the Holy Spirit is, it is impossible to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. In addition to this, I learned the truth of the Sabbath was not "revealed" initially to the WCG in this end time. In fact, the True Jesus Church originated in China in 1917, and the truth of the Sabbath was given to them through direct revelation of the Holy Spirit. The history of the True Jesus Church is fascinating, and I would recommend any Sabbath keeping people to contact them and find out how they originated and what they believe and why.
After numerous e-mails with Brother Wong, and having come to the conclusion that we needed not only Ihe Holy Spirit, but needed also to be re-baptized, and receive the laying on of hands for the Holy Spirit, according to Scripture. We invited Brother Wong to come to our home in Orange Beach, Alabama, where we could pray and study the subject in more detail first. He agreed, and the visit was arranged. When Brother Wong arrived, we had some very good preliminary discussions, and decided to get up the next morning (Sabbath) to fast and pray and discuss the subject in greater depth. The next morning Brother Wong told us that he could not pray in his room because of some objectionable posters and pictures that our youngest daughter had left there when she moved out. In retrospect we can see how it was much like what happened in the camp of Israel when Achan had an "accursed thing" in his tent, and caused a curse to come upon the whole camp. For those unfamiliar with the story, please read Joshua chapter 7. We removed the objectionable objects from our home, and it was like a veil had been lifted - we were able to understand the Scriptures in a way we had not been able to for years.
To summarize. we studied, fasted and prayed, and made sure everything was based on the Word of God, NOT on traditions of men or man-made doctrines. We studied water baptism and found it is for salvation, remission of sins, regeneration, and entrance into the Kingdom of God. According to Peter's sermon on the Day of Pentecost, one needs to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins in order to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. I had only been baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Hoi}, Spirit, which are not names, but merely titles. Throughout my experience with other churches, there was not a single teaching of the blood of Jesus Christ in connection with water baptism. Throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, there are references concerning redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ. I have beard people "pleading" the blood, which is not scnpturral. The Bible instead talks about redemption and washing by the blood. On tile cross, the blood and water flowed from the side of Jesus, and this connects water baptism and His death on the cross and washing by the blood. Brother Wong showed several tapes and gave us several books concerning the correct mode of water baptism with head bowed in the likeness of Jesus' death. He also showed us that baptism must be in living waters, which is natural bodies of water created.by God. I recall the minister that baptized me did not have the Holy Spirit. According to the mandate of Jesus Christ, he did not have any power or authority to baptize anyone (John 20:21-23). After much prayer and fasting, my family (wife and 22 year old son) decided we needed to be rebaptized.
May God bless You
This Testimony was written by Rick Eckert after he
had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in his home
|Last Updated on Friday, 08 April 2011 03:23|