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HOLY GHOST and
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit has been in the world from the beginning. When "the earth was without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Gen.1:1), the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the Old Testament for, "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:21).
He came upon individuals at different periods and empowered them for special services and occasions—as in the case of Noah, Moses, Samson, David, Daniel, and many others. The Old Testament distinctly mentions this baptism of the Spirit as one of the blessings to be enjoyed under the Gospel dispensation (see Isa. 44:3; Ez. 36:27; Joel 2:28, 29). Under the Old Dispensation, the Holy Spirit, except that small measure of His influence and light which is given to all men in all ages of the world, was only imparted to certain individuals, and on special occasions; but under the Gospel, it is the gracious purpose that the Spirit should be poured out universally and generally upon all His children and that He should abide with them forever. Hence, we conclude from these facts that the Holy Spirit was given under the Old Dispensation, but was imparted only to certain individuals, and on special occasions, and NOT TILL THE DAY OF PENTECOST—according to the prophecy of Joel, DID GOD GRACIOUSLY POUR OUT HIS SPIRIT UNIVERSALLY AND GENERALLY UPON ALL HIS CHILDREN—TO ABIDE WITH THEM FOREVER. THE COMFORTER
“AND I WILL PRAY the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter that he may abide with you for ever; Even the spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 15:16-18).
When Jesus was about to leave His disciples, He promised that after His departure, the Father would send in His Name another Comforter who should abide with them forever; and He told them plainly that this Comforter should be the Holy Spirit who should be in them, in His fullness, and with the endued gift of divine power (Acts 15:8, 9; 1:8). In the following passages, the Comforter/the Holy Ghost is promised to the disciples (John 14:16; 26:15; 26:16; 7:13). The baptism of the Holy Spirit was not confined to the apostles and those in the apostolic times only; if so, He would not be given to all Christians at conversion. Peter told the multitude on the day of Pentecost that the promise of the Spirit was to “you and your children” (Acts 2:38, 39). Is not this Spirit received now by all Christians at the time of their conversion? The Pentecostal baptism of the Holy Spirit was not received by the Church of 120 plus souls; nor by Samaritans who accepted the Word of God through Phillip’s preaching until after their conversion (Acts 2:1; 8:1). The fact is that every one receiveth the Holy Spirit in a certain sense at the time of conversion: For "the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us" (Rom. 5:5). Whoever receives the Son has The Father and the Spirit also. No man can say Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Spirit, for"if any man has not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His" (Rom 8:9). Every justified and converted person is to be the temple of the Holy Ghost. Holiness has begun, and the Spirit—who is the Sanctifier—dwelleth within. There is also a certain measure endued of the Spirit's power, but [there is also] the fullness of the Pentecostal baptism, to which all believers are called.
The Holy Spirit was not to present Himself to the Christian Church in a different way than He presented Himself to the ancient Church of the Old Testament, yet we call this "the dispensation of the Spirit"—as if the Old Dispensation was not a dispensation of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit acts the same with the soul today—as He did in David's time, and the holy men of old times. The Spirit came upon Moses, Samuel, David, Elijah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Amos, etc.—as He came upon John the Baptist, Peter, John, Paul, etc. GOD'S PLAN OF SALVATION HAS NOT CHANGED.
PROMISE of THE FATHER
WHY THEN is the promise of the spirit called "the promise of the Father" in Acts 1:4? Plainly speaking, the Pentecostal gift of the Holy Spirit to the apostles was the power given for the witnessing of the truth, which is confirmed in the New Testament Scriptures, and for them to be endued with divine power to work miracles, as well as to confer supernatural gifts on all converts; hence, the special gift of the Holy Spirit to the Christian Church in the New Testament. That is the only distinguishing feature in the New Dispensation. The Spirit's relation to us is the same as to the old Church of Moses, David, and the apostles. John 14, 15, and 16 were addressed to the apostles especially, though general truths are found in them—which belong to every believer. For instance, our Lord says:"Have I been so long time with you" (John 14:9); "He shall bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26); "Arise, let us go hence" (John 14:31); "Ye have been with me from the beginning" (John 15:27); "They shall put you out of the synagogues" (John 16:2); "A little while and ye shall not see me" (John 16:16). Such and many more expressions are meant only for the apostles; they can not refer to any other.
The first five passages quoted are promises to the apostles, and to the Church through them. The Comforter was "the Spirit of truth," i.e., the Spirit to guide the apostles (and also the Church) into all truth. The Father—who sent the Spirit to Moses and David, would send Him to the apostles in Christ's name (i.e., [and they were] full of the story of Christ, testifying of Christ, and bringing all the facts and words of Christ to their remembrance), and they should become the witnesses to the Church and world forever (Acts 1:8). How? By the New Testament, which they, as inspired by the Spirit, would write. The Comforter's promise to the Church came on Pentecost to the apostles, and the work there inaugurated is confirmed in the New Testament. That the disciples were justified, and regenerated, and the Holy Spirit was dwelling with them before Pentecost, cannot be denied, but they had not yet realized "the purifying of their hearts by faith" (Acts 15:8, 9), or the indwelling of the Holy Spirit's fullness, or the offices they hadn’t experienced.
DENOMINATION OR EXPERIENCE ?
“AND WHEN THE DAY of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).
The Pentecostal Baptism
THE WORD "PENTECOST" indicates “fiftieth,” and refers to a Jewish feast held fifty days after the Passover—a feast held for certain important purposes, as a day of general thanksgiving for harvest, as a solemn festival to commemorate the deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, and to remind them of the giving of the law on Mount Sinai.
Pentecost in the New Testament dispensation indicates the feast of the Holy Spirit, and the organization of the Christian Church. THE CHURCH WAS BORN OF THE SPIRIT. IT SHALL LIVE IN THE SPIRIT, TO WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT, AND BE THE BEARER OF THIS SPIRIT.
The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Godhead (1 John 5:7; Matt. 28:19), and co-equal with the Father and the Son, of one being, one power, and one glory. The Holy Spirit is not the breath of God, nor the abstract power of God, nor the life of God, nor the life of Christ, but God Himself. The Holy Spirit is not an influence, nor an attribute, nor an emanation, but a person, as He is known by the personal pronouns, He, Him, and Himself in the Holy Scriptures.
This Holy Spirit is the agent of divine baptism. According to the Word of God, He is now to dispense the divine baptism upon all flesh (Joel 2:28; Matt. 3:11). Since the day of Pentecost, the baptism of the Holy Spirit took place in Jerusalem; hence, the term "Pentecostal Baptism" is used. Now, as then, the Pentecostal baptism was necessary because it was a divine promise. Joel of old said: "Thus saith the Lord. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit" (Joel 2:28). This prophecy was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when Peter, the apostle, confirmed it before the multitude of people at the time of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
John the Baptist as he traveled to and fro in the wilderness preached the baptism of the Holy Ghost and with fire as necessity (Matt. 3:11). Christ, our Lord, necessarily promised His disciples the baptism of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7; Acts 1:4, 5). The Pentecostal baptism is a necessity in order to obtain the purification of the heart. Before Pentecost, the apostles had not yet obtained the purification of their hearts by faith—[even though] they had [already] experienced true conversion long before Pentecost.
If we read and examine closely the lives of the apostles, we will find that their hearts had not yet been purified before Pentecost. Take the case of Peter, whose heart was not pure before Pentecost. Nevertheless, he was active and energetic in his Master's cause. He had been impulsive, forward, and loud in His service, and attempted to do many things but failed. Once he had attempted to walk upon the sea, but failed [because of a lack] of faith (Matt. 14:28-30); he had also boastfully asserted that he would never forsake his Lord, but had fled with the others when he was bidden to put up his sword (Matt. 26:52-56); another time, he had declared that he would die rather than deny his Saviour, but was afraid to confess Him in the presence of a servant maid (Mark 14:28-31). But, how changed was Peter on the day of Pentecost after his heart had been purified by faith. Still active and devoted in his Master's cause, he was no longer timid and impulsive, but full of holy enthusiasm and boldness.
There are many more such ones like Peter in the Christian world—whose hearts have not yet been purified by faith, whose hearts are filled with fretfulness, impatience, and unholy ambition. Who are too forward and impulsive in the service of God, and assert boastfully to do certain things, but fail for want of faith, and a pure heart.
The Pentecostal baptism implies also to be endued with the power of the Holy Spirit. The apostles needed the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts I:8). Pentecost is needed in the Christian Church today; we need the power of the Holy Spirit in the pulpit and in the pew. Where this divine power is needed, there is a lack of true religion, of more spiritual sermons, more sound conversions, and more seeking of sanctification. Many apply [/appeal] to other means to replace the power from on high. Those means may be very good in their appropriate places, but if these human means are employed in the place of the Holy Spirit's power, then all efforts will be a total failure. Many, in some places, secure the service of an Evangelist—who should revive the work of God in the conversion of many souls. THERE ARE SOME EVANGELISTS WHO HAVE NOT THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THEIR POSSESSION; CONSEQUENTLY, THEY WILL ACCOMPLISH MORE HARM THAN GOOD IN THE WORLD. But, if we invite Jesus Christ, who is the true Evangelist, and the Holy Spirit as the great Revivalist, then we can accomplish great results in the service of God. Sound conversion and loyalty to the Church [EKKLESIA] of Christ, is not achieved by human efforts, means, or methods, but by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let no one suppose that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was a blessing granted only to the apostles and others in the apostolic age. It is the privilege of the Church in all ages of the world to be filled with the Holy Spirit to the end of time.
The Power Endued
"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" (Luke 24:49).
THE POWER that is endued is an indispensable thing in the Christian life. The proclamation of the divine plan of salvation to the civilizations of the world, and to win souls for Christ, is dependent upon that divine power being endued [to the believer]. That endued power is as necessary as entire sanctification. And so, when the Holy Ghost fell upon the first Christian church at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, they received not only the purification of their hearts by faith, but also that Holy Ghost power that was endued to them.
The divine power that is endued is not the power endued in gifts, talents, abilities, or eloquence. I admit that these intellectual faculties and eloquence are very good and necessarily required in the service of God, but the power endued is something totally distinct from human gifts, talents, and eloquence. These mental faculties and qualifications are only good when consecrated to the lord and employed in His service. A man may have good talents and extraordinary abilities, but as long as the same are not consecrated and lead by the endued Holy Ghost power, all his eloquence, efforts, accomplishments, and success will be a total failure. But, it is not that power to tickle the ear, nor to please the fancy and to create pleasurable feelings in the mind, but it is simply power to impress men's hearts to be won to Christ etc.
The Holy Ghost power endued is not muscular power, not logical power, not scientific power, not social power, not human power, but divine power. IT IS THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. It is a supernatural power, omnipotent power, all-conquering power. It is the power from on high by which men's hearts are impressed, and their souls won for Christ.
That power being endued is necessary because it is a divine promise (Luke 24:49): the apostles needed the power of the Holy Spirit. They were converted men long before the day of Pentecost and had a measure of the Holy Spirit. They must have had the peace of sins forgiven, and of a justified state, but they did not have the in-filling of the power which is necessary for the accomplishment of the work assigned to them. They had the peace which Christ had given them, but not the power which He had promised; for there is a great difference between the peace, and the power, of the Holy Spirit in the soul.
THE PROMISE OF BEING FILLED WITH HIS POWER WAS NOT ONLY CONFINED TO THE APOSTLES, BUT ALSO TO ALL THE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST! It means us—just as much as it did those to whom the promise was given. It is the privilege of the church at all times to be endued with divine power.
POWER OVER SIN
THE IN-FILLING OF POWER is necessary; furthermore, it is also necessary in order to GROW in the state of divine grace. The Holy Spirit gives us power over sin, the flesh, and the devil—power to resist temptation, endure trials and losses with cheerfulness. We need power in our prayers, songs, and testimonials. We need the divine power to lead a consistent Christian life. We need power with God, and power with men.
POWER TO TESTIFY
WE MAY KNOW all about the Bible; we may be well posted in the prophets and the law; we may be catechized from our youth; we may know and relate correctly the history of the life of Christ and be a close student of God's Word; nevertheless, we stand in need of something else—the in-filling of the Holy Ghost power! Therefore, we need the power from on high to testify of Christ (Acts 1:8), to carry on His cause successfully, and win many souls for Christ and His everlasting Kingdom.
GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
1 Cor 12:1-11
“NOW CONCERNING SPIRITUAL gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
Then, again, we must notice the fact that the Pentecostal baptism is a necessity in order to receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost. The apostles, before Pentecost, were already in possession of the Holy Spirit, but the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and His gifts they had not yet experienced.
POWER OVER THE ENEMY
"RESIST THE DEVIL and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).
"The Son of God was manifested to destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8).
"He hath spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them" (Col. 2:15).
"Behold I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you" (Luke 10:19).
"I give you power over all devils" (Luke 9:1).
SPIRITUAL POWER IS A MUST
"BE CAREFUL, WATCH OUT FOR ATTACKS FROM SATAN, YOUR GREAT ENEMY. HE PROWLS AROUND LIKE A HUNGRY, ROARING LION, LOOKING FOR SOME VICTIM TO TEAR APART." (I Peter 5:8 LB)
Satan's main strategy is to rob the Body of Christ (the true Church—EKKLESIA) of the power to witness the true gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.
True believers of Christ who have been baptized with the Holy Spirit have POWER to defeat Satan and his kingdom. Satan knows this! His strategy is to keep the Holy Spirit's POWER out of the church and away from believers. Satan accomplishes this through the weaknesses of men—primarily fear, ignorance, and religious pride. Anyone who is used to come against the Holy Spirit in any way is a blasphemer.
DEMONS - DEVILS
[THE FACT] THAT DEMONS are highly organized can be seen from the concluding passage of the apostle Paul's letter to the Ephesians: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph. 6:12).
The apostles believed firmly in the existence of demons. Matthew suggested their organization under Satan (Matt. 12:26), and spoke of their final doom (25:41). Luke described their nature (Luke 4:33, 6:18), their expulsion from human beings (9:42), and their place of dwelling (8:27-33).
Believers must have the Holy Spirit to do what Christ has commanded.
“CAST OUT DEVILS...” (Mark 16:15, 17, KJV)
THE HOLY GHOST IS A WEAPON
“THE WEAPONS of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).
We are endowed with these gifts that we might fight the good fight of faith and deliver our generation (1 Timothy 6:12).
EVERY CHILD OF GOD SHOULD BE A CHANNEL OF THE SUPERNATURAL ENERGY AND THE DIVINE GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST.
If the spiritual gifts are not operating in your life, you should stir yourself to pray and seek God. The gifts of the Spirit are the weapons of our warfare!
HOW DO WE GET THIS GIFT ?
“THEREFORE LET all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:36-39).
REPENT - GET SAVED!
"BELIEVE ON THE LORD Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house" (Acts 16:31).
"Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:13).
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth into
righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:9-10).
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
PRAYER FOR SALVATION
MY HEAVENLY FATHER,
I come now to open my heart and to receive your promise of eternal life through your Son Jesus Christ. I know that I have sinned and I repent. Please forgive my sins and cleanse me. I now confess aloud that I believe in Jesus Christ. He died for my sins and you raised Him from the dead. I receive Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of my life. I know that through the resurrection power in His name, I have forgiveness and eternal life. I receive all of this by faith in the wonderful name of Jesus. Amen!
NOW ARE YOU READY FOR MORE?
THE IMPORTANCE of being baptized by the Holy Spirit cannot be over-emphasized. Receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an essential (mandatory) step of obedience that was/is commanded by Christ.
The POWER received by the believer from the Holy Spirit is necessary (an absolute must!) to walk as a true witness for Jesus Christ in the world.