Ac 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
Those that know me are aware that I was taught many false doctrines while growing up in the hills of Kentucky. One of those false doctrines concerned the Godhead. They told me we were Trinitarians, but in actuality we were Arian. They taught me that the Father was God; Jesus was created and less than the Father; and the Holy Ghost was less than Jesus. Most of those around me were under the impression that the Holy Ghost was not a person, but merely the presence, or force of God! Needless to say, I was shocked when I came face to face with the fact that God is a Trinity! I think most people in those churches would come to the truth if they were just taught the truth.
Although they believed innumerable false doctrines, I suppose their most cherished belief was the Tongues or Nothing Doctrine which is the belief a person has to speak in an unknown tongue to be saved. This is also a champion doctrine of the Jesus Only. When people found out that I was coming away from the Tongues or Nothing Doctrine they would call me Jesus Only. I have laughed more than once after finding out that the Jesus Only believed almost identical to them!
As I begin this seventh, and last, lesson I want you to know that I am a Pentecostal Holiness preacher. I believe in the baptism in the Holy Ghost. I believe that the initial evidence of that baptism is speaking in an unknown tongue. I also believe that unless you have spoken in an unknown tongue you have not been baptized in the Holy Ghost. I refer to the second, tenth, and nineteenth chapters of Acts as our modern day pattern for this experience.
I believe the baptism in the Holy Ghost is for every man and every woman that comes to Jesus. I believe that for a Christian to live a truly fruitful and victorious life they must be baptized in the Holy Ghost. I also believe that unless a person is diligently seeking the Holy Ghost baptism, they are in danger of losing heaven. A genuine experience in salvation produces an insatiable hunger for more of God’s power and love. They that hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled!
With that said, I want you to know that I also believe that there is a Biblically correct manner in which all this takes place. My objective with this lesson is not to bash or attack the Holy Ghost in any form or fashion. Brothers and Sisters, God the Holy Ghost (the 3rd person of the Trinity) is mighty and I could not live without Him. My intention is to show you that the Holy Ghost draws a person and comes into their life before they ever speak in an unknown tongue. I want you to know that God does not give sinners the baptism of the Holy Ghost. A person must be a child of God and have His Spirit dwelling within before God will ever give them something as precious as the baptism of the Holy Ghost. When a person gets saved, they get all of God, but when a person gets the baptism of the Holy Ghost, God gets all of them.
It almost appears as if the Jesus Only are teaching God gives salvation out in stages. You are 1/3 saved after repentance, 2/3 saved after water baptism, and completely saved after you speak in tongues. He gives you a little piece today and little piece tomorrow - the blood today, the Holy Ghost tomorrow. Saints! God does not distribute Himself in sections, but He does reveal His depths in stages. But once you have Him, you have Him. So, no, you cannot really get more of God than having Him in your life. Now, you can come closer to Him because the Bible says that if we draw nigh to Him He will draw nigh to us. But I do not think the issue is that we need more of God. The real issue here is that God needs more of us.
We are conceived through the word of God and faith in Christ’s sacrificial death. When we believe on Christ we become the sons of God and God’s Spirit resides in our hearts, but we are not full grown. This experience is explained in:
1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
When you get saved, the Spirit baptizes you into Christ, but the Bible says it is Christ that baptizes us into the Holy Ghost.
There is a reason that new converts are called babes in Christ and mature Christians are called men and women of God. There is a process that must be adhered to. We must learn to sit, crawl, walk and ultimately run. God knows a person’s capacity and love for Him. He may baptize whoever He wants in the Holy Ghost and whenever He wants to. I have heard of 12 year olds graduating college, so it really depends upon how quickly a person grows in Christ.
My point is that boy is still his father’s son whether he is in the mother’s womb, or the 60 year old successor to his father’s $100 billion dollar company. The son went through stages even as Christians do. We get saved. With God’s help, and a made up mind, we clean our lives up, laying down every known sin. We get rooted and established in a home church and sit under a Biblically sound pastor who will teach and preach the truth. God will baptize us in the Holy Ghost when we are ready, but not before. We then push forward into the gifts of the Spirit. Some will get called to preach. Some will be called to teach Sunday School classes. Others will be pastors and missionaries. It all comes as we grow in the grace of God! Just because I am a preacher does not mean that everyone in the world is going to hell for not preaching. Likewise, just because everyone is not at the same stage as you does not mean they are going to hell either.
This lesson will bear a resemblance to our lesson on Baptismal Regeneration. Since I covered the fact that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ I will not exhaust that subject again. I want to predominantly show that a Christian is born again and has the indwelling Spirit of God before he speaks in tongues.
I. Believing Before the Baptism In the Holy Ghost.
A. Ephesian Disciples - Acts 19:2.
I want to share with you the verse that brought me out of the Tongues or Nothing movement.
Ac 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
I can remember sitting there, looking at those precious words, and for the first time, I decided to deal with what I was reading. You see, up until that time, I would read this chapter and flip by it as if it did not exist because I could not explain what it meant. It went against my little doctrine and ideology. It went against my teachings. It went against nearly all my family. It went against every church that I attended. It was definitely a crisis period in my life. For me, to honestly interpret that passage like I knew it should be, was to confess every thing I had been taught, as well as everyone that had taught it - was blinded by false doctrine! And what really made it bad was the thought, if they are wrong about that, what else are they wrong about?
What was so disturbing about this passage of Scripture? Let us examine it a little closer:
Ac 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
The first thing that I admitted was that Luke called them disciples. Now, it is important that you do not forget that this was several years after Pentecost, so there had been many people receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost by this time. These men did not have the baptism, yet they were called disciples.
I did a study on what it meant to be a disciple; this is what I discovered: A disciple of Christ is one who; 1) believes Christ’s doctrine; 2) rests on Jesus’ sacrifice; 3) draws sustenance from His spirit; and 4) imitates his example. I had been taught, and had been preaching that these men were hell bound, yet Luke, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, called them disciples! My heart began to ache from guilt of what I had been preaching, yet it began fluttering with excitement knowing that God was showing me something profound!
Ac 19:2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye
The second thing that I admitted about this passage of Scripture was that Luke
called them believers! They did not have the baptism in the Holy Ghost, yet they were called believers! That is right! I had been taught, and had been preaching that these men were hell bound, yet Paul and Luke, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost called them believers!
Brothers and Sisters! I may have been engulfed in numerous false doctrines, but I had memorized a whole lot of Scripture and definitely knew what John 3:16-18 said:
Joh 3:16 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.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Here is another one:
Joh 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
I also knew what Romans 10:9-11 stated:
Ro 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Then to top it off, I came across 1 John 5:1 which states:
1Jo 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ IS BORN OF GOD: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ IS BORN OF GOD!
Then there was:
1Jo 5:13 These things have I written unto you THAT BELIEVE on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye HAVE eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Ac 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
In Acts 19, Luke and Paul called those Ephesian disciples “believers”, but by their own confession they had not received the baptism in the Holy Ghost. I want you to get a real good look at this man the Jesus Only say is unsaved and hell bound. The Bible tells us that believers have remission of sins (Act 10:43); they are saved (Ro 10:9), will not perish, have eternal life (Jo 3:15-16), are born again (1 Jo 5:1), will never die (Jn 11:26), should not be ashamed (Ro 9:33); are justified (Acts 13:39); and should not abide in darkness (Jn 12:46)! Are you going to tell me that this man will go to hell simply because he has not spoken in tongues?
How can you go to hell being a disciple? How can you go to hell being a believer? How can you go to hell with everlasting life? How can you go to hell being saved? How can you go to hell being born of God?
B. The House of Cornelius.
Ac 11:14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.
I want to share another very significant happening that took place during the time that God was bringing me out of the Tongues or Nothing doctrine.
It was during a very troubling time, when everything that I had been taught and believed was being challenged. God was speaking things to me that I knew was going to cost me dearly. I was already torn in two by what God was showing me and what my mind and heart was saying to me. I was sitting in a little church in Rockcastle County, Ky. when a woman stood up and said something to the effect of, “Over there where Peter went to Cornelius’ house, God told Peter to tell Cornelius words whereby he might be saved. He went there and preached and they got the Holy Ghost. So it was the Holy Ghost that saved them.”
The passage of scripture she was referring to was Luke’s account of Peter rehearsing what had happened in chapter 10 at Cornelius’ house with his fellow disciples. You see, God showing His grace and mercy upon the Gentiles was still very new to these Jewish Christians. Up until Christ’s crucifixion the Gentiles were considered less than dogs, so he was telling them about what God did.
What she said stumped me, and troubled me badly. I went home with a heavy heart, not understanding how it fit in with what I thought God was showing me. I thought about everything that woman had said and it seemed to make sense. God did tell Peter to go and tell Cornelius words whereby he might be saved. He preached to them and they got the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. It had to be! Maybe a person did have to speak in tongues to be saved. Maybe I was just being deceived like people were accusing me of.
That seemed to be a major setback, but that is when the Lord put the icing on the cake. I was standing in the bathroom when I heard the Lord speak to me in what I perceived to be an audible voice. He said, “What were the words?” I just about tore the shower curtain down as I ran into the living room to grab my Bible. It was the WORDS that Peter was going to deliver that would save Cornelius’ house. It was the words, not water baptism, not the tongues, not the prophesying, not the preacher, but the words! What were those words? What were the words that Peter spoke to Cornelius?
I opened my Bible to the 10th chapter of the Book of Acts and began reading Peter’s sermon. This would be the answer to what saved a man. Whatever words I was getting ready to read was the answer to my confusion. Whatever words I was getting ready to read would settle what I would believe for the rest of my life.
To my astonishment, Peter preached Jesus Christ and Him crucified. You can find this sermon in Acts 10:34-43. Please, I would like to encourage you to read it for yourself. You will find that Peter’s message was a message about Christ, His sacrificial death, and subsequent resurrection. You will also find that the person of Christ is directly mentioned 16 times, whereas the Holy Ghost is only mentioned 1 time and that being in reference to Jesus. There is no mention of having to be baptized in water. There was no mention of speaking in tongues. There was no mention of the baptism in the Holy Ghost. All that was said about the Holy Ghost was that Jesus was anointed with Him.
It was the WORDS that Peter spoke that saved those Gentiles. Peter told those men that there was one who died in their place and overcome death and hell. While Peter preached these words they fulfilled John 3:16 and Romans 10:9 by believing on Christ and inheriting eternal life. He was a Gentile that had been converted to Judaism. If you read the chapter you will find that Cornelius was already a righteous man. The Bible says that he was a devout man, but he was not a Christian; he was a Jew that did not think the Messiah had come yet.
Cornelius had not been washed in the blood of Jesus. When God told Peter to call no man common or unclean he was referring to the Jews terrible racism toward the Gentiles. God was merely telling Peter that Jesus had died for all of humanity, not just the Jew. He was telling Peter that anyone can be saved.
After accepting Jesus as the Messiah, he was a perfect candidate for the next blessing - the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. Yes, it was a unique situation in that God baptized them in the Holy Ghost the same day they believed, but it was not speaking in tongues that saved them - it was the Words (Christ Jesus crucified, buried, and raised from the dead)! Can you still argue this point without bordering stupidity or total blind, ignorance?
Ac 11:14 Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.
Read it for yourselves and tell me what were the words?
C. In essence, the Tongues or Nothing crowd believes that God baptizes sinners in the Holy Ghost.
For 19 years I was told that a person was a sinner until they spoke in tongues. The Jesus Only tell their people the same thing. They hated to call someone a sinner to their face, so they would call them seekers. “Well, he’s not a sinner, he’s a seeker.” Is he on his way to hell or not? If he is, then he is a sinner! Furthermore, are not all Christians seekers? Regardless of whether you have all 9 spiritual gifts working in your life and have raised 10 people from the dead - are not we all seekers?
Now, I beg you to stay with me here, because this could be the clearest part of my teaching.
1. God does not give the baptism in the Holy Ghost to sinners, He gives the baptism to those that obey Him, so only the obedient receive it.
Ac 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
Here, we have proof that a person must be obedient before they receive the baptism in the Holy Ghost. Does God send the obedient to hell?
How about we let Jesus settle the matter?
Joh 14:17 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.
The world cannot receive the baptism in the Holy Ghost. If you are not of the world, what are you of?
2. If God gives the Holy Ghost baptism to those that obey Him, how do you know when to obey? Well, obviously, you have to have God speak to you.
This is in alignment with:
Joh 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
Here we are told that only God’s sheep know his voice. He speaks to them and they follow Him, going wherever He tells them to go. Might I bring to your attention that He did not say, “My goats know my voice”, but “my sheep know my voice”. You must be one of His sheep to receive the baptism in the Holy Ghost, because you must be a sheep to hear his voice, and you must hear His voice to obey; and you must obey to receive the baptism in the Holy Ghost. Does God send His sheep to hell?
Listen to what the Bible says about those that are led by God.
Ro 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Is it not the Spirit of God that draws a sinner to the altar? Is it not the Spirit of God that speaks to a new convert and tells him to go to church? Was it not the Spirit of God that led you and me to lay down sin and vices long before we received the baptism in the Holy Ghost? Was it not the Holy Ghost that told us to pray, fast, and read the Bible before we ever spoke in tongues? Where did you feel that burden or conviction? Was it in your heart or on your elbow? Was in your heart or on your shoulder? You felt him and heard him speak in your heart and soul.
Paul told the Romans that everyone that was led by God’s Spirit was a son of God. Does God send His sons to hell? I mean if you have to obey Him, is not that the same thing as being led by Him? If you are obedient to Him you are being led by Him and according to the Bible you are His sons and daughters! Does God send his children to hell?
3. There are only 2 classes of people.
a. Sheep and Goats.
Mt 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Being a sheep of God can only be true if you are born into the family of God. So, if you are not a sheep until you speak in tongues, you must be a goat. Does God give the Holy Ghost baptism to goats?
b. Wheat and Tares.
Mt 13:29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Being the wheat of God can only be true if you are born into the family of God. So, if you are not wheat until you speak in tongues, you must be a tare. Does God give tares the Holy Ghost baptism?
c. Those Who Hate Him and Those That Love Him.
Mt 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Here, we are told that a person either loves God or hates Him. If you believe that a person is a sinner and on their way to hell until they speak in tongues, this verse gives you fits. Number one, you either believe God sends people to hell that love Him, or you think that God gives the baptism in the Holy Ghost to people that hate Him. Do you really believe that God is going to baptize someone in the Holy Ghost that hates Him? All Jesus Only people, as bad as it sounds, need to say, “Yes! God does baptize people in the Holy Ghost that hate Him. You can not love God until you speak in tongues.” The reason I say this is because if you tell me a person can love God before he receives the baptism in the Holy Ghost, you are quickly covered up in scriptures destroying your doctrine.
Let us slow down a little. Jesus says that a man who has given his life to God, goes to church faithfully, prays, reads his Bible, fasts, and lives a good clean life, yet has never spoken in tongues either loves God or hates God. Which one is it? Does he love Jesus or does he hate Jesus? Everyone of you know someone like that. Do they love God or hate God?
If you say he hates God then you are saying God gives the baptism in the Holy Ghost to those that hate Him. You can not be his sheep and hate Him at the same time, therefore the man that hates God is a goat. You can not be His wheat and hate Him at the same time, therefore the man that hates God is a tare. Does God baptize goats and tares in the Holy Ghost?
We already proved that He only gives the baptism to His sheep; to those that are led by Him, and obey Him. Can you be His wheat, sheep, be obedient to Him and led by Him and still hate Him? That is kind of stupid - is it not? But, if you say this man loves the Lord, but is still a sinner, you are in even more trouble. Let me show you why.
Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
1Jo 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
You say this man must love the Lord, but he is still a sinner and on his way to hell. Here, Jesus says that those that love Him keep His commandments. Can you keep God’s commandments and still go to hell?
Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
Here, we are told that if this man keeps God’s commandments he abides in God’s love. Now, would not keeping His commandments and being obedient be considered one and the same? We know that you have to be obedient before you get the baptism in the Holy Ghost and those that are obedient abide in Christ’s love. So, although this man is a sinner, he is keeping God’s commandments and because of that he is abiding in God’s love, but you say he is hell bound?
1Jo 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
Here, the man that loves is already born of God. But you say he is not born again until he speaks in tongues. Let us look at our fictitious character again. He has given his life to God, goes to church faithfully, prays, reads his Bible, fasts, and lives a good clean life, but has never spoken in tongues. Does he love God or hate Him? He can not be keeping God’s commandments because if he does he loves God. He can not be keeping his commandments because he would then be abiding in Christ’s love. He can not be abiding in God’s love because then he would be born again. He can not have love in his heart because the Bible says in:
Ro 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
If he has a heart full of love, it is there because the Holy Ghost put it there! Can he have the Holy Ghost indwelling without loving God? Can he have the Holy Ghost indwelling all the while hating God? Can he have the Holy Ghost indwelling all the while sinning? Can he have the indwelling Holy Ghost all the while breaking God’s commandments? You must answer “yes” because if he is faithful to God he loves God and is born again!
d. God Does Not Hear Sinners.
Obviously, the baptism in the Holy Ghost cannot be received unless you are praying. The Jesus Only believers say a man is still a sinner until he speaks in tongues, but there is an interesting verse in:
Joh 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
Here, John says that God does not even hear a sinner pray! The only people that God hears pray are those that are worshiping Him and doing His will! God does not send people to hell that are worshiping Him and doing His will!
Do not tell me that God does not allow people like that die before they get the Holy Ghost baptism. There has been millions of people die without speaking in tongues. Whole movements of believers, such as the Methodists which lived holy, godly lives and gave everything they had for the gospel, died without ever spoken in tongues!
e. Praying For the Holy Ghost.
You say a man is a sinner until he speaks in tongues, but God does not hear a sinner pray. The next question is, can a man get the baptism in the Holy Ghost without praying? Does a man have to call upon the name of Jesus to get the Holy Ghost baptism? If you answered, “Yes” you are in further trouble because the Bible says in:
1 Co 12:3 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.
f. Cup of the Lord and the Cup of the Devil.
It is plain, God only gives the baptism of the Holy Ghost to His children, not the children of the devil and you can only belong to one or the other!
1Co 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.
D. What Must I Do to Be Saved?
I want to share another powerful passage of Scripture with you - Acts 16:30-34.
Ac 16:30b ...Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
Must we dispute whether Paul was a gospel preacher or not? Must we dispute whether Paul knew what a person must do to be saved? Not only Paul, but the Bible called Silas a prophet and an influential man amongst the apostles. Did he not know how this jailer was to be saved? Of course they did! They both knew how a person could be saved and they told him how!
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!!” Why did not Paul tell them to be baptized in Jesus’ Name, and receive the baptism in the Holy Ghost speaking with other tongues? If you asked a Jesus Only believer what a person must do to be saved, they would say, “Repent, be baptized in Jesus’ name, and then get the Holy Ghost.” Paul said, “Believe.” I think I will take Paul’s word for it and when I am asked what a person must do to be saved, I will answer them even as Paul and Silas, “Believe! Believe! Believe!” When I preach about what a person must do to be saved, I will preach to them as Paul and Silas did, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!” Is that hard to understand?
Oh, I can hear someone right now saying, “Oh, the Bible says that the devils believe also and tremble.”
This is very true; the Bible does say that. But do I really need to go into whether or not it is the same type of belief that a Christian has? The devil’s belief is an intellectual belief. They know that God is real. They know that Christ died for sinners. They know that He is the savior of this world. Yet they do not believe on Him to be their Lord and Savior. Paul said:
Ro 10:10 For with the heart man BELIEVETH UNTO RIGHTEOUSNESS; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
The devils know there is a God through intellect, but they can not believe unto righteousness. Only a very desperate, unskilled person would try to use that miserable approach to refute what Paul told that jailer. Why can’t we just keep it simple and believe what the man of God said and follow suit?
E. Receive Ye the Holy Ghost.
In closing, I want to say that although not one Jesus Only person can show me
where the Bible says you have to speak in tongues to go to heaven, I can show them where some people had the Spirit of God, but had not spoken in tongues.
After the resurrection of Christ, the disciples were gathered in an upper room by commandment of Christ. He had told Mary to tell His disciples to gather there. Jesus walked into their midst and this is what happened:
Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
He breathed on them, and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost!” This was the same thing He did in creation when He breathed on Adam and life came into him. He did it again in Ezekiel when breathing upon that valley of dry bones and an exceedingly great army stood up. I want you to notice, that He did not say, “You shall receive the Holy Ghost”, or “You might receive the Holy Ghost”, or “You will receive the Holy Ghost.” He said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost”, and I believe they did just that - they received the Holy Ghost. But here is the tricky part; those same people, after having Christ breath on them were told to go to the upper room to be filled, or baptized in the Holy Ghost.
Ac 1:12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.
13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
How can that be? How can they receive the Holy Ghost in John 20, but be filled with the Holy Ghost in Acts chapter 2? The answer is simple and it is the same thing that happens when a person gets saved. When Christ breathed on them they received the Holy Ghost just like He said, but it was a New Testament salvation experience, they had not spoken in tongues. They would go to the upper room and be baptized in the Holy Ghost, totally submerged in God’s Spirit to empower them for the rough road they were about to trod. So then, if the baptism of the Holy Ghost does not save us, why did Christ send it?
I think this next verse wraps it up in a nutshell:
Ac 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
The baptism in the Holy Ghost is given to empower us to tell this world about Christ. Here is another work of the baptism in the Holy Ghost:
Joh 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
There are many things the baptism in the Holy Ghost unlocks, but salvation is not one of them.
As you can see, nearly every doctrine the Jesus Only preach is erroneous and can be easily refuted. May the Lord help you and bless you to keep the faith that was once delivered unto the saints!
Copyright 2009 by David Lamb