Earth Shaking, Doors Opening, & Breaking Free! Acts16:26


 The Gift Of The Holy Ghost


Millions have received this experience. Have you?


This subject is probably having more effect on the religious complex of America today than any other. Recently, men and women of all persuasions and from all walks of life have become interested enough to search for greater understanding of this phenomenal spiritual experience. Capturing headlines, dominating the context of many religious periodicals, and generally creating excitement, this canon of Apostolic faith deserves a sincere appraisal.


The Facts


The Holy Spirit is God. “God is a Spirit…”(John 4:24). “There is…one Spirit” (Ephesians 4:4). To become a subject in the kingdom of God, Jesus said one must be “born again, of the water and of the Spirit…”(John 3:3-5). The birth of the Spirit and the baptism of the Spirit are synonymous terms. The Apostle Peter understood this as he spoke to the multitude in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost: “…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” (Acts2:38).

          This was an experience received by the Jews on Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), the Samaritans (Acts 8:15-17, the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-48), plainly indicating that is was meant for all peoples, regardless of race, creed, color, or station in life. The new birth, consisting of water and Spirit, was never set forth as being optional or unessential. “Ye must…” are the words of Jesus in John 3:5. Until one is born of the Spirit, he cannot be called a “son” of God.


The Privilege


          But why concentrate only on the absoluteness of the command? It is a blessed privilege to experience a release of spirit, finding freedom of soul and expression in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. There is no other experience similar to it. “Incomparable” is the only adequate description of this infilling. The transition is to an entirely new realm and way of life. A complete transformation takes place. The soul has an empty place “in the shape of God,” where nothing else will fit or satisfy. The baptism of the Spirit completely satisfies every longing of the soul. In this experience is fulfillment.


The Evidence


There are two major evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The initial outward evidence is “speaking with tongues.”

          Speaking with other tongues has been an experience connected with Spirit baptism since the beginning of the church age. On the “birth-day” of the church, the day of Pentecost in 33 A.D., approximately one hundred twenty disciples of Christ were inundated by the Spirit of God, and “began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4). In Acts 10:44-48, the household of an Italian centurion received a like spiritual experience, also speaking in tongues. Again in Acts 19:1-6, a group of John the Baptist’s disciples heard about the Holy Ghost from the Apostle Paul and were filled, “…and they spake with tongues.”

          There are no human words that can give expression to the ecstasy experienced in the baptism of the Spirit. Only through unaccustomed words of heavenly coherence can we utter that which our souls would express.

          There are perhaps several other reasons why God chose this spiritual baptism. It is an external evidence, whereby other are aware of the infilling (Acts 10:46). It is a uniform evidence – all the disciples on Pentecost did, all the household of Cornelius did, all the believers in Ephesus did. “So is everyone that is born of the Spirit”, are the words of Jesus in His description of this spiritual new birth. Speaking in tongues also indicated the complete control of the Spirit over our human wills. The tongue is the most unruly member of the body, and its being tamed by God is evidence of His complete control.

          Further evidence of the Spirit’s abiding presence in our lives is “the fruit of the Spirit,” which Paul mentions in Galatians 5:22, 23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”


The Promise


Was the baptism of the Holy Spirit for the Apostles or early disciples only? Is it today available to only a select few who are “super-spiritual”?

          The obvious answer to these questions is NO. The Apostle Peter made it very plain in his message on the Day of Pentecost that the gift of the Holy Ghost was for everyone: “Repent, and be baptized everyone 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 2:38, 39). Our obedience and submission to the Lord Jesus and the terms of His gospel qualifies us for this most joyous of all experiences.” “With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3).

          Seek Him today for “…He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters…” (Isaiah 55:1). This means You!