United Pentecostal Church Mannheim
Short Messages
Message from the Monthly Flyer from June 2006

Truth or tradition?

The origin of foolishness begins when the Word of God is rejected. Jesus Christ says, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” That is fact, pure fact. The Bible, which is from God as He inspired holy people to write it down, is above everything.

This Word describes that there was once a time in Israel, when the people held on to its tradition, but had lost its faith in the One God. Today, it is exactly the same case. I am talking about Christians, traditional Christians, who belong to a church which has kept its tradition but has died spiritually a long time ago. Christians who have lost the faith which is meant to demonstrate the working of God. The Holy Scriptures would consider our country as being a great spiritual graveyard, just like Israel was at that time. For there is only one way which leads to LIFE, and that alone is to be found IN Jesus Christ!

He says in John 3,1-6, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

The whole gospel of Jesus Christ contains this truth. Being born again, not through philosophy or some tradition, meditation, and religion created by man. No, and neither by human wisdom and endeavours is it possible to experience this rebirth, but rather by faith and obedience to this commandment of Jesus. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried and arose on the third day from the dead. He conquered death, hell and everything in connection with it! To his disciples he said, “The world will no longer see me, but you will see me.” And that is exactly how it was, over 500 believers saw him in the time between the resurrection and his ascension into heaven. They did not see a spirit, it was no illusion, it was really HIM.

On the day of Pentecost, when 3120 believers first of all received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they were also baptized in Jesus’ name in water (Acts 2,38). The baptism of Jesus is a commandment, not an option; whoever does not believe and is not baptized in Jesus’ name will be damned. That is what God says (Mark 16,16). The water baptism is a part of the being born again “out of water”. The other part, Jesus says, is “out of Spirit”. This is referring to the baptism of the Holy Spirit, with evidence of speaking in tongues. Everywhere in the New Testament in the Book of Acts, we find this truth - a truth whereby all attempts are made to try to keep it away from you. Go and look it up for yourself. You will discover everywhere that the people who believed the gospel of Jesus were baptized IN water in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins, and God filled them with the Holy Spirit!

Today there are many religious leaders who say, “This experience is no longer for us nowadays.” Or,“ That is how everything once was and it was good for that particular time.” That is not true, for God’s Word tells us something different (Acts 2,39)! We cannot help it if these people doubt and do not believe in the Word of God as they should do. We believe in it, and God rewards our faith just like the Scripture says. People will be baptized in Jesus’ name, they will have their sins washed away and they will receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, exactly in the same way as the Scriptures describe it. Now they have been born again, they have resurrected with Christ. But how is it with you? Are you happy with that what you have got? We should only be satisfied when we have first of all obeyed the Word of God and have been born again.

Here is a report from Papua New Guinea:
Several years ago, Richard and Margaret Carver began to build a church in a remote mountain village. It took about three years until the first inhabitants received the Holy Spirit. When that happened, things really took off! The spiritual fire spread from village to village and from city to city. Revival is still going on there. Over 50 000 people have heard the whole gospel of Jesus and have experienced being born again of water and Spirit, and are now part of the worldwide church of Jesus. In the year 2005, over 2000 people received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. During Easter in 2005, 9000 people gathered for a conference in a city up in the mountains. When the conference had ended, 750 people had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and 87 were baptized in water in the name of Jesus. You can really see the results of such a conference! What God is doing there, He can also do here. The problem is not the Word of God or Jesus Christ. The problem has to do with all those who think that they do not need His Word. They ignore His promise that in the water baptism, they can have their sins washed away in His name, and can also be filled with His Holy Spirit. rw

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