Process Of Conversion First Begin?

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Hi M____,
You quote these verses:

Joh 20:20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
Joh 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
Joh 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

Then you ask:

The answer is that we all receive a measure of faith long before we are truly converted. That is what the entire story of Christ’s disciples being with Him for three and one half years in an unconverted state demonstrates for us. Those disciples in their unconverted state after coming to know Christ, are the same as the Corinthian “carnal babes in Christ.” Look at what Christ says to Peter after three and one half years of being a disciple under Christ:

Luk 22:32  But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Compare this with what Paul says to the Corinthian brothers whom he says “are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints… coming behind in no gift:

1Co 1:1  Paul, called [ to be] an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes [ our] brother,
1Co 1:2  Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called [ to be] saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
1Co 1:3  Grace [ be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and [ from] the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 1:4  I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;
1Co 1:5  That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and [ in] all knowledge;
1Co 1:6  Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
1Co 1:7  So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

“You come behind in no gift,” but look at what is their true spiritual condition:

1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able [ to bear it], neither yet now are ye able.
1Co 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas [ there is] among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I [ am] of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

When Christ “breathed on them and said, Receive you the holy spirit,” He did not say ‘You have received the holy spirit.” That, as we are plainly told, did not take place until the day of Pentecost.

Luk 24:49  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

When Christ breathed on the apostles and said “Receive you the holy spirit”, they were and continued to stay behind locked doors “for fear of the Jews.” The “power from on high” did not come upon them until the day of Pentecost. Christ was simply “preparing their hearts for what was to happen on that day.
So it is with us. When God’s spirit takes over our minds then, and not until then, we lose all fear of what men can do to us and accept the real truth that it is God who is working all things after the counsel of His own will. Only then can we, too, come out from behind locked doors and fearlessly proclaim that Christ is the Lord of our lives, and we will fear no man, and no man will come between us and our God:

Act 2:1  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Act 2:2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Act 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

“They were all filled with the holy ghost” includes the twelve apostles who were also there. But now they had come out from behind locked doors to proclaim what they had until then feared to proclaim:

Act 2:14  But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all [ ye] that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

What was going on with Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother? What was going on was the same thing that was going on with King David and with Samson.
First, let’s look at King David and how the holy spirit was with him:

Psa 51:11  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

How did King David have God’s holy spirit? He had it in type and in shadow just as the “bread from heaven” was merely a type and shadow of the true bread from heaven. Is it called bread from heaven? Yes, it is. Was it really? No, it was not – not in the spiritual sense:

Exo 16:4  Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no

There it is; the Lord Himself saying “I will rain bread from heaven for you.” But what does “the sum of thy word” say concerning the true bread from heaven? Here is the sum and the truth of what is the true bread from heaven:

Joh 6:29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Joh 6:30  They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
Joh 6:31  Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
Joh 6:32  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
Joh 6:33  For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
Joh 6:34  Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
Joh 6:35  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Christ admits what He had told Moses but with no explanation about “comparing spiritual with spiritual.” He simply states that “He is the true bread from heaven.”
So it is with the entire Old Testament economy, and the entire history of Israel. Nothing said or done in that period was said or done for those who were involved at that time. It will, in the long run be for them, but at this time, God has something better, not for them but ” for us,” and “they without us will not be made perfect,” and “they ministered not unto themselves…”

Heb 11:39  And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
Heb 11:40  God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

“These all” is at the end of a list of all the great Old Testament men of faith. And we are plainly told that “God has provided some better thing for us.” Peter adds this little bit of truth to the mix, for those who can receive it:

1Pe 1:9  Receiving the end of your faith, [ even] the salvation of [ your] souls.
1Pe 1:10  Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
1Pe 1:11  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1Pe 1:12  Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
1Pe 1:13  Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

That is what “the revelation of Jesus Christ” is all about. All of the great men of faith in the Old Testament were like the “bread from heaven” and the “holy spirit with King David.” The entire history and economy of Israel and all of the Old Testament men of faith were a type and a shadow of “some better thing for us.” The truth be known “they were not even ministering to themselves, but unto us” for whom “some better thing has been provided,” and that “better thing” is “brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ” in us. That is the secret which was hidden from all of the Old Testament prophets and has been hidden from generations:

Col 1:24  Who [ Paul, you and me] now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
Col 1:25  Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
Col 1:26  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Col 1:28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
Col 1:29  Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

Christ was in Paul and in Peter and in John and in all of His apostles and in you and me, working mightily if we “believe on Him whom He hath sent:”

Joh 6:28  Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Joh 6:29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

That is a very worthwhile question, and Christ gave a very direct answer. The work of God is to “believe on Him whom He hath sent.” But who does that? There are many who think they do, but when confronted with His words they utterly despise and reject them.
We have so much for which to be grateful. God “has made known to us what are the riches of the glory of this secret among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you the hope of glory.”
But we must be vigilant and sober to know the Christ of scripture and not a false Christ who has over two million false doctrines with which to deceive and mislead those who would come to know God and Jesus Christ.

Rev 9:13  And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
Rev 9:14  Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.
Rev 9:15  And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.
Rev 9:16  And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.

I hope this has helped you to see what was going on in the Old Testament right up to even John the Baptist:

Luk 16:16  The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

So Elizabeth, the mother of John the baptist, did not receive the holy ghost when John was “filled with the holy ghost from his mother’s womb” in the sense it was given on Pentecost. John’s filling was for the purpose of proclaiming the coming kingdom in which the holy spirit would be placed into the hearts and minds of God’s people of His new spiritual kingdom of God within us:
No one before Christ’s death and resurrection had ever been given the holy spirit as it was given after the death and resurrection of Christ. Here is how we know this to be true:

Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Who is this “comforter” who will not come if Christ does not first “go away” and die to His flesh?

Joh 14:26  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Your brother in Christ,

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