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The Holy Spirit That Takes Away All Fear

John Collins01/16/2013In Acts 1, the promise of the Holy Spirit that was about to come as our Helper and Guide is reassured by Jesus before He ascended into heaven.  This promise, this ascension, is the heart of our story as Christians.  It is the beginning of the New Covenant of Grace.  As Christ was lifted up into Heaven, so will we be lifted up with Him.  Death, hell, and the grave are defeated.

It is this very chapter that Oneness ministers and false prophets avoid.  While they focus on the second chapter of Acts, the part that defies their theology is omitted.  It also is omitted by false teachers who teach that a certain formula of water baptism is required for salvation.  Jesus tells them that while some were baptized with the water baptism of John, they would soon be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

They asked Jesus if this was also the time that the Gospel of the Kingdom would be fulfilled, but Jesus told them it was not to know the secrets of The Father.  Instead, they were to be ready, because He was soon sending the Holy Spirit.  

The Oneness struggle with this, because in their theology of the Holy Spirit being Jesus while Jesus is also the Father, we find the two witnesses in white robes telling a different story.  Jesus would return in the same manner that He ascended into heaven, while the Holy Spirit would soon fall at Pentecost.  All while Jesus could not tell them the secrets of The Father.  Instead, false teachers and false prophets like William Branham find extra-biblical stories to fill the gap.  

Rather than a celebration that the Holy Spirit was soon coming, Branham chose to play upon the emotion of fear.  He describes the people waiting on the Holy Spirit as 'cowards'!

When a hundred and twenty little, cowardly people, who had walked with Jesus for three and a half years, on earth, had seen Him raise the dead, and perform miracles, and signs, so forth... They were afraid of the threat of the Jews. They climbed up into the upper room on the outside of the building, the steps that went up the temple, to a little upper room, a little prayer room of a thing on the outside, where some little olive oil candles was burning, or lamps with a wick in it. And they climbed up there and barred the doors, because they was afraid of the Jews.  "And then when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, there came a sound from Heaven like a rushing mighty Wind, and It filled all the house where they were setting." Doors flew open, windows flew open, out into the street, testifying under the power, the impact of the Holy Spirit. Why? God's Word had been made manifest to them. God kept His Word. No cowardliness then, when the Word anchors.
Branham, 63-0606

The people were filled with anticipation of what was soon coming, joining together in prayer in preparation for the Holy Spirit.  They were not cowardly hiding from Jews -- the group was mostly comprised of Jewish people.  Also in preparation, they chose Matthias to replace Judas who betrayed Jesus.  Peter stood up before the group and reminded them of the scripture that foretold of that very hour, and they made sure they were ready for the ministry they would soon proclaim.

Let us take a look at those faithful ones at Pentecost. They were all in the upper room there, and they was all scared. They had, they had the--the title, alright, but they were afraid. "And all at once there came a sound from Heaven," the abstract sent down to them, "like a rushing mighty wind, filled all the house where they were sitting." And they were so quickened by That, till all their cowardliness they were... One of them was even afraid, they even denied he wasn't a Pharisee yet, or he wasn't a Sadducee yet. But when that Holy Ghost fell and baptized him into Jesus Christ, he became flesh of His flesh, bone of His bone, Word of His Word. He was a new creation. He was a new person. It quickened his body.
Branham, 65-0425

For a minister, directing focus away from certain chapters of the Bible is a statement that either the minister does not know the scriptures or is uncertain of his own theology.  But for a man proclaiming to be a prophet of God, this is an abomination.  Compounded by the extra-biblical teaching that called the early Christians 'cowards.'

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Have we let wolves in sheep's clothing call the great men of the Bible 'cowards?'  Do we stand for extra-biblical teachings that are contrary to Scripture?  Have we replaced the baptism of the Holy Ghost with an 'enchantment' by teaching others that certain words are required during the outward confession of our faith in Jesus Christ?  Have we accepted the Holy Spirit, or have we accepted another spirit from realms below?