“I GOT FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT LAST NIGHT!!!” As I spoke, my high school girlfriend didn’t seem too impressed. She was driving and slowly nodding her head. She’d been the one to lead me to Jesus, and I desperately wanted her approval.
“What do you mean?” she said.
“Well, last night at the revival, we prayed at the altar and the preacher put his hand on my head. Something started stirring inside me…some kind of joy. I was overcome by it and I started to speak in tongues!”
“Like another language?”
“No…well maybe? I don’t know.”
“That’s evil, Mikey. Read 1 Corinthians 14 and you’ll see that you’re not supposed to do that.”
I went home. I read it. And she was right! It did say that!
So now what? I knew what happened to me was real, but was it wrong? Was all the people in my life; my family, my pastor, my friends, all wrong?
Let me take you on a journey that took over a decade for me to understand. Where does it begin? How was it used throughout the early church?
check out the sermon at: https://youtu.be/ULkOVIaGSWA
Let’s take a look. After the Resurrection, Jesus spends 40 days with His disciples. Near the end of John he appears to them and shows them his scars.
John 20:22– “And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit…
So they receive the Holy Spirit, but then Jesus tells them they still need to wait in Jerusalem till they get the Holy Spirit? What?
I think in John 20 when Jesus breathes on them and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit,” that is speaking to one of the functions of the Holy Spirit, which is salvation. The Holy Spirit seals us according to Ephesians and the miracle of New Birth according to John 3 in what we call “Regeneration.” Despite that, Jesus tells them they still need to wait for the Promise of the Father.
Let’s take a look shall we?
Acts 1:4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father 5. for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Earlier in Matthew, John the Baptist had said Matt. 3:11 “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me…will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire…”
And what is the Purpose of this Promise?
Acts 1:8 “…you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
So, it seems that there is this thing called the:
Acts 1:4 calls is the “Promise of the Father”
Acts 1:5 calls it the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”
Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist calls it “Baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire”
Acts 2:4 calls it being “filled with the Spirit”
Acts 2:38 calls it the “Gift of the Holy Spirit”
1 Corinthians 13:1 calls it “tongues of angels”
1 Corinthians 14:15 calls it “praying with the Spirit”
And this is something not “understood” by the person speaking it. Then we see it happen in the next chapter!
Acts 2:1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
This is the fulfillment of the promise Jesus told them about! But people think they’re drunk. Some are wondering what’s going on, and they are amazed. Peter says, “These guys aren’t drunk, it’s only the 3rd hour of the day.
Act 2:16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
What was spoken by the prophet Joel?
Joel 2:28 “…I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; and your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions…
Peter continues: Acts 2:33 “…that is what you are now seeing and hearing.” Then he lets them all in on it. he says, Acts 2:38– …‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and (then) you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”
What’s required to get this gift?
- Repentance: which leads to Salvation- through the blood of Christ
- Water Baptism: or intention to be baptized ASAP
- Openness: to receive the gift
But Mikey, I thought those gifts didn’t happen anymore? Didn’t tongues cease after the apostles died?
Let’s see what scripture says? That’s always my answer.
Acts 2:39 “For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
Let’s break that down. “The Promise,” meaning what they are seeing and hearing, is for them also! But the Promise isn’t just for them, but also their children, or the next generation. But the Promise isn’t just for them and their children, but also for “all who are far off,” meaning, everyone on the face of the earth at that time. But the Promise isn’t just for all the people of the earth at that time, and here’s the kicker….IT’S FOR “AS MANY AS THE LORD OUR GOD WILL CALL.” “will call” is future tense…and we are in the future! That means that this Promise is for us as well!
Not convinced? It’s okay. We’ll get there. Remember, we have to hold Scripture in congruence with itself and that takes some time to chip through, so hang on.
My question at this point is: Are you called? If so, then this gift is for you!!!
The Book of Acts continues to show the Baptism of the Spirit being poured out in believers. We see it in chapters 2, 8, 10, and 19. In fact, this “speaking in tongues” becomes the evidence that people have been baptized in the Spirit.
Well, think about it. How do you know when someone has been water baptized? They come up wet, right? That’s the evidence that they’ve been baptized. John the Baptist likens whatever kind of thing is going to happen in that upper room to the baptism of water. The evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, is speaking in tongues.
How do I know that? Let’s look at the pattern whenever the Promise of the Father gets poured out. In each instance, they speak in tongues…Every time…except in chapter 8
Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
So let’s pause here for a second. Peter and John get sent to some guys who “received the word of God” in Samaria. Context of the scripture says that they had “been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus,” which means that they were already saved when Peter and John go to them.
So far so good?
Acts 8:17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
How do we know they received the Holy Spirit?
Act 8:18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,” They’re like, “dude, you can’t pay for this!” And it goes on to talk more about that. But what I want to point out is that Simon saw something.
What did he see? It doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to bridge a gap if I tell you, “2, 4, 6, 8…” and then I pause, you may answer “10!” Why would you do that? Pattern. We see a clear pattern being laid out here in Acts. But a pattern alone would not be enough to base a doctrine from. No, we’d have to pair that history up with clearly repeated emphasis of the Epistles, which we will do in our next post.
So that’s Acts chapter 8. The next time the Holy Spirit is poured out is in Acts 10:44-48
Peter is preaching and, Act 10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision [the Jews] who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
How do we know?
Act 10:46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.
The last time in Acts it talks about pouring out the Holy Spirit is in Acts 19:2-6. Paul is passing through Ephesus and he finds some believers. These are people who already believe in Jesus.
Act 19:2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”
Note: It says “when you believed.” They are already believers. They are already “sealed with the Holy Spirit” like the disciples were in John 20 when he “breathed on them and said, ‘receive the Holy Spirit.”
Back to Acts 19 though.
Act 19:3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.“
Act 19:4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
But Mikey, I’ve been told all my life that speaking in tongues doesn’t exist anymore, and it isn’t for today. That’s like saying just because you’ve never been to China you don’t believe it exists.
So, that’s how the outpouring of the Holy Spirit played out in history, but what does it have to do with us today?
I think it is important to know that you can’t take Acts and separate it from 1 Corinthians. We will uncover that mystery in the next blog Post called “Holy Spirit Part 2: Operating in the Gifts of the Spirit” Until then, ask yourself, “why are some people so against this Gift of the Holy Spirit?
There are many misunderstandings about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. There are many reasons that it may not have happened to you yet.
May I submit several reasons that we will cover in “Holy Spirit Part 3: Mind Traps”
1. Isn’t this kind of thing for that “weird church down the street?”
2. I’ve always heard that speaking in tongues is evil, out of order, or chaos.”
3. But the Bible clearly says that there is “One Baptism.”
4. Does it mean I’m not saved if I don’t speak in tongues?”
5. Maybe the gift of tongues isn’t for everyone?”
6. Are you saying that if I don’t speak in tongues, I don’t have the ‘Baptism of the Spirit?'”
7. Are you saying I’m a subpar Christian if I don’t speak in tongues?
8. I prayed for it, but it didn’t happen. Does that mean there’s something wrong with me? Does God love me? Is He mad at me?
9. When I prayed for it, I felt it rising up, but then I clamped down and it went away. What now?
10. Do you just make up the words? How does this thing work?