During the Old Testament times God the Father was the one who revealed Himself the most upon the earth. Then one day John that Baptist said those famous words, "Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world," and the ministry work of Jesus Christ, the son of God began, (John 1:29). Jesus revealed to humanity who the second part of the trinity was by ministering in the work of God for the kingdom of heaven for about three and one-half years. Then just before Jesus ascended up into heaven He promised to send us the Holy Spirit to guide us in all truth and fill us with his power, (Acts 1:8; John 16:13). Jesus would then be gone from the earth and mankind would not have any part of the Trinity abiding with them any longer. To keep from this taking place, Jesus promised his disciples in John 14:18 that he would not leave us as orphans, and he promised to send us the comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, (John 14:16 and 26; 15:26; 16:7). Once the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost, the third part of the Trinity was now doing his work upon the earth.
Pentecost, Harvest of the Spirit
Acts Chapter 2 begins with, "When the day of Pentecost had fully come they were all with one accord, in one place."
What was the day of Pentecost?
The word "Pentecost" is the Greek word meaning "the fiftieth day." This Jewish feast was fifty days after the Passover, and it was in celebration of a completed harvest. Celebrated as the First Fruits in the Feast of Weeks, this festival took place fifty days after the Passover (Leviticus 23:15-17). Nothing can be more symbolic for the harvest of the Holy Spirit upon man than the Spirit to come on the same day that celebrated the completed harvest of the land. Fifty is the number for Jubilee. Fifty days after Jesus became our Passover, came humanity's Jubilee through the power of the Holy Spirit.
They were still in the upper room. Seven days had passed since Jesus ascended into heaven, and the entire one hundred and twenty committed disciples of Jesus was following His command to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit.
And suddenly. . . There came a sound from heaven!!!!
In describing what took place the apostles told Luke the sound was like a mighty rushing wind. This is not a surprise since Jesus described the Spirit as being like the wind when he was talking with Nicodemus,
"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." [John 3:8]
If the Spirit of God is showing up in great power, He would show as a mighty wind. The room was filled with this wind and the whole house they were in. Then the most bazaar thing took place, fire. Not a consuming fire of heat, but one of power and ability to have divided dialects and languages. As am image over them, each person had a flam over them, as they were filled with the Holy Spirit of God. They were able to speak utterances that did not necessarily make sense to them, but the sounds made sense to people of other languages. The sounds from the wind were so loud that crowds of people came running to see what was happening. As they gathered around the house the disciples were in, these people could hear as the disciples were speaking and praising God. Somehow the crowds knew the people in this house were not capable of speaking all the languages that were coming out to this house. There were people from all over the Mediterranean who had come to Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost. Many of these were hearing the disciples as they cried out in praise for what just happened. The power of the Holy Spirit that was upon them was taking their utterances and making them languages and dialects that could be understood by the people. As the room was filled with wind, so was the disciple filled with God's Holy Spirit. They began prophecy and praising God with every language and dialect that was present on the streets of Jerusalem.
I personally had difficulty understanding these verses for many years because most Christian ministries in the world do not recognize what took place in Jerusalem that day. For years I thought they were just speaking in their own language and the power of the Holy Spirit changed their words into the language of the ones hearing the words. But verse 4 tells us they began speaking other tongues (languages) as the Spirit gave them utterances. Why utterances instead of other tongues or languages? I found that the Holy Spirit gave them utterances, so no one could claim it was people who already knew these languages. In this way, all people would know the power they were witnessing came from the Holy Spirit and what they heard as other languages came from the Holy Spirit also. If someone is speaking out useless sounds that do not makeup words and another person hears these words as their own language, this is the work of something greater than any human can do.
The founding pastor of my church gave us his first-hand testimony of this taking place with him when he was on a mission trip to Central America. Pastor Dick Braswell, the founding pastor of Live Church of Mobile, Alabama, shared with us how this took place with him while in one of the central American countries teaching them about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Pastor Dick did not know Spanish, so he depended upon a translator for all his sessions with these people. On this specific morning, the translator was having difficulty getting to the meeting and no one there knew how to speak English. In desperation, Pastor Dick stood before the crowd who was looking to him for answers and started speaking in tongues. After a few minutes of standing before them speaking utterances that did not sound anything like English, the people became energetic, listening to every utterance he was making. He did not understand what was taking place, but the people became very interested and started praising God for what he was saying. Trusting the power of God that was in him through the Holy Spirit, Pastor Dick kept speaking in tongues and praising God in his heart. The louder he would get the more the people were praising the Lord. After a while, the interpreter who was delayed, arrived at the meeting to find all the people lifting hands and praising God in Spanish. Pastor Dick asked the interpreter what were they all so energetic about? With surprise in her voice, she told him how thankful the people were that Pastor Dick was teaching them in Spanish. Their testimony was that he had just taught them the truths about being baptized in the Spirit.
This testimony was the first time Acts 2:4 made sense to me. I now understood how someone could make an utterance in the Spirit that makes no sense to them but is languages to those who were hearing it.
Why make utterances when we can just talk, and God can change the language?
The great thing about utterances is no one can claim the power of them but the Holy Spirit.
Believers cannot make up things if they are not able to know what is being uttered.
Satan and demons cannot understand it because it is in the spirit and they do not understand a word in the Spirit or the utterances. They cannot know what you are praying.
The Unbeliever is completely taken by surprise and they have no idea what the believer is doing. When they hear the utterances of the Holy Spirit then helps them to hear in their language and they are amazed that these utterances have been changed into a language. If they do not understand the sounds, the Spirit quickens them to understand this is supernatural. Paul explains this in 1Corinthians Chapter 14. Their response is now they want to know how this was done.
The crowds of people that were in the streets of Jerusalem were amazed and perplexed saying to each other, "Whatever could this mean?" (Acts 2:12). Some started mock, which is a natural human response, saying they were drunk with new wine.
Peter took advantage of the situations and raised his voice, so he could be heard. As he began explaining what was taking place the people quieted down to listen, (Acts 2:14-36).
For the first time since Jesus died on the cross and rose into heaven, the gospel was preached, and more than three thousand people heard it. Peter was so persuasive through the power of the Holy Spirit that was in him, the people were cut to the heart and asked what shall they do? His answer was to repent, and they would all be baptized in the name of Jesus and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, (Acts 2:37-39).
Work of the Holy Spirit
In those three verses (Acts 2:37-39) you can see what the work of the Holy Spirit is upon the earth.
When the power of the Holy Spirit comes upon someone they will be guided in the truth and they will testify of Jesus Christ. That testimony will be use by the Holy Spirit to convict sinners of their sin and they will repent. After they are baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ, by laying hands on them and speaking the Holy Spirit upon them, they too will be filled with the Holy Spirit.
This is the way God wants all people to respond to the gospel.
A person shares the gospel by sharing the truth, which is guided by the Holy Spirit, (John 16:13).
That truth is heard by those who do not believe, and the Holy Spirit uses this truth to convict them of their sin. In response to their convicted heart, they cry out for help and repent, (Acts 2:37).
The ones sharing the gospel leads them to accept Jesus as the savior, who forgives sin, (John 3:16).
The ones sharing the gospel baptizes the now repented believer in water by the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 28:19).
Laying hands on this new believer, they pray the Holy Spirit to fill them, as they are baptized in the Spirit they begin praising God and speaking in tongues, (Acts 8:17; 9:17; 19:6).
Then they grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord and they start sharing the gospel, (Acts 2:42-47; Ephesians 1:15-19).
With the above examples we can better understand what the work of the Holy Spirit is:
To Testify of Jesus Christ, (John 15:26; 16:14-15).
After those who knew Jesus had died, there would be no way anyone could know for sure their stories of the gospel were the truth. Anyone could claim all that they were saying was made up to justify their teachings. Jesus said the Holy Spirit came to testify of him. As the gospel is being preached the Holy Spirit moves in the hearts of the hears, and then they are assured that Jesus is truly the Christ.
In Acts 2:37 it says, "they were cut to the heart." These received the truth, (verse 41).
In Acts 7:54 it says, "When they heard these things they were cut to the heart." These rejected the truth, (verse 51).
Both scenarios understood the truth by the testimony we have shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, (Romans 5:5; 8:16).
To Convict of Sin, (John 16:8-11).
When the gospel is preached, the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of people to cause a heaviness that makes us realize we are not without sin and that we need forgiveness.
This is shown in the verse Romans 3:23, "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God," and Romans 6:23, "The wages of sin is death." The Holy Spirit takes these statements and causes a heaviness in our hearts to do something. You respond to the truth because you feel it in your heart to be true, and ask what can I do? The immediate response is to repent and let Jesus forgive you, (John 3:16).
To Move in power through those who believe, (Mark 16:15-18).
As you grow and learn the things Jesus has done, and things he wants us to continue doing, we find that He told us things that would become a part of us through the power we have in the Holy Spirit, (Ephesians 3:20).
Mark recorded what Jesus said is some of these things:
Cast out demons.
Speak in new tongues.
Not be hurt or overcome by illness or things that attach us or tries to endanger us.
Power in the Spirit by laying on of hands and causing healing to the body.
These are a few of the things we become a part of. There is no limit to the power of God in us through the Holy Spirit, (Ephesians 3:10-12; Philippians 4:13).
To Guide in all truth, (John 16:13; 1Corinthians 2:6-13).
Once the Holy Spirit is in your through spirit baptism, you then have the Spirit in you (John 14:17) and His guidance will lead you to all truth, (1John 2:20-21, 27).
If you are refusing to or have not received the spirit of truth you are being carnal (1Corinthians 2:14) and you cannot be taught in spiritual things (3:1).
Carnal is one of two things:
Being saved without the baptism of the Holy Spirit. A condition that exists in many because the Church has been negligent in teaching this truth (Acts 19:1-2).
Being saved but living in the flesh, (Romans 8:5-7).
Both have a hard time understanding anything in the Spirit or spiritual things because they do not have the Holy Spirit guiding them from within their being.
To Guide us to do God's will, (Acts 13:2-4; Ephesians 5:17-18).
It was the Holy Spirit in them that spoke to the believers at Antioch in Syria, showing them what they were to do concerning the missionary work of their church. In this same manner, Jesus was led by the Spirit to go into the wilderness where he faced the temptations of Satan and became triumphant over him, (Luke 4:1).
Romans 8:14, "For as many are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
To Testify we are the children of God, (Romans 8:16).
Any time something comes against us who believe saying we are not saved, or we are not children of the most high God, we have the testimony of the Holy Spirit to say otherwise. And his testimony is true, (1John 2:27).
Acts Chapter 3 begins with Peter and John healing a lame man that sat at the entrance of the temple. Because the man went into the temple leaping and praising God, many in people gathered to see what all the commotion was about. Peter took advantage of the moment and preached to them that in Jesus was the resurrection of the dead. The rulers of the temple took hold of Peter and John for what they were preaching and put them in the prison overnight. After a short dispute between those of the Sanhedrin the next morning, the Bible says, "Then Peter filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them.". .(Acts 4:8).
What did Luke mean when he said, Peter, being filled with the Holy Spirit?
What is being filled with the spirit?
The reason for this question after just going through the Work of the Spirit in the previous pages, it is necessary to discuss being filled with the spirit because many in the Body of Christ are confused or mislead concerning being filled with the spirit.
There are many who teach you are filled with the spirit when you are saved. This is because of statements Paul made that looks like you have the spirit when you are saved.
Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. [Romans 8:9]
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? [1Corinthians 3:16]
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? [1Corinthians 6:19]
. . .in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. [Ephesians 2:22]
These two passages would make you think because you are saved through Jesus Christ you have the Holy Spirit in you. Paul was writing these letters to his coverts, those who had been saved through his preaching and ministry. Paul only had coverts that were filled with the spirit because as he preached, and they were saved, he laid hands on them and they were filled with the spirit. Churches and pastors quit doing this by the end of the first century. Many were not even teaching a person needs to be filled with the spirit any longer. Paul spent much of his time trying to get people to maintain the truths about spiritual baptism, but many did not hold to what he had taught them. Look at what Paul told the Galatians:
[Galatians 3:1-5 NKJV] 1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain--if indeed [it was] in vain? 5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, [does He do it] by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?--
When Paul went back to Ephesus after being away many years, he found believers that did not even know there was a Holy Spirit.
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." [Acts 19:2 NKJV]
If a person had the Holy Spirit because they were saved by faith in Jesus Christ, these in Acts 19 would have had the Holy Spirit, but they did not.
How to Receive the Holy Spirit
Here are the three ways people received the Holy Spirit according to the Scriptures.
They were filled when the Holy Spirit fell on them, (Acts 2:1-4; 10:44).
Hands were laid upon them and they were prayed for by those who were already filled with the Spirit (Acts 8:15-17; 9:17; 19:6).
Jesus said those who ask the Heavenly Father can receive the Spirit (Luke 11:13).
If you are a Christian and you have never received the Holy Spirit, it would be good for you to find someone that has been baptized in the Spirit and have them lay hands on you. They will speak a prayer over you and then the Holy Spirit will fill you with His Spirit. This is like when you prayed for salvation, but now you pray for the Holy Spirit to fill you. He will not reject you any more than He did when you asked to be saved.
If you are a pastor that has not endorsed the doctrine of Baptism in the Holy Spirit, you need to study all the scriptures that has been shared in this study and teach this truth to your people. This is God's will (Eph. 5:17-18) and you should be willing to teach it to everyone that is saved. When someone in your ministry is saved, place hands on them right then and pray for the filling of the Holy Spirit. Don't wait and don't ask them for permission. It is a serious thing to preach the gospel and leave out baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Once a person has received the Holy Spirit, then the things of the Spirit start making sense.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. [Romans 8:5-7 NKJV]
Before you were baptized in the spirit, spiritual things being discussed in the Bible may have been easy to accept but they were not easy to explain. After you are filled with the Holy Spirit he helps your consciousness to understand the deeper things of God. You can now accept things faster and understand things that are deeper in spiritual concepts.
You find yourself walking in the Spirit, doing Spirit things, in such a manner day-to-day life experiences are Spirit-controlled by you, using the Fruit of the Spirit, the Gifts of the Spirit, and the Armor of God.
Fruit of the Spirit Gal 5:22.
To See God in You.
To overcome ourselves and be Holy.
To let the Character of God come out of You.
To take on His nature 2Pet 1:4
Gifts of the Spirit 1Cor 12.
To Be God in You.
To help ourselves and others overcome things in this life that would keep us from being the fullness of God.
Armor of God Eph 5:10.
To maintain God in You.
To stand against the devil & all demonic powers.
To have the fullness of God Eph 3:19; 1:23
To take on His nature 2Pet 1:4
By being baptized in the Spirit you can do things in the Spirit such as:
Being led of the Spirit, Romans 8:14; Gal. 5:16,25; 1Jn 4:15
Fellowship in the Spirit, Philippines 2:1
Growing in the Spirit, Colossians 1:9
Speaking and Praying in the Spirit (Tongues), Eph. 6:18, 1Cor 14:14-15; Jude 20
Being in the Spirit, 1Cor 5:4; 2Cor 12:1-4; Col 2:5; Rev 1:10.
Bless in the Spirit, 1Cor 14:15.
Be filled in the Spirit, Acts 8:17 13:52
Renewed in the Spirit, Eph 4:23.
Revealed by the Spirit, 1Cor 2:10-13
Revelation in the Spirit, Rev 1:10 4:2.
Sing in the Spirit, 1Cor 14:15.
Slain in the Spirit, 1Cor 14:25 Jn 18:6 1Kgs 8:11
Travel in the Spirit, Rev 17:3 21:10
Life Experiences where we use the power of the Spirit
We can now use the power that is in the name of Jesus.
When we get sick. We speak against the sickness. Any sickness or illness.
When you are under attack. Speak against that attack in the name of Jesus.
When you need the wisdom to help someone, guide someone, or accomplish something profess and call forth that wisdom in the name of Jesus.
When you need knowledge or understanding of people, revelation, school, training, or work. Command knowledge to come forth in the name of Jesus and compare everything to the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
When you need the ability to perform or complete something call it forth in the name of Jesus.
We are all things for Jesus who is our strength (Philippians 4:13).
Why We have the Spirit
1. We receive the Spirit by faith (Gal 3:2,14)
Through Baptism of Spirit (Gal 3:27; 1Cor 12:13)
To know what God has given us (1Cor 2:12).
And Profit the Body (1Cor 12:7).
2. We are baptized in the Spirit to be part of the
Body of Christ (1Cor 12:13) and
For Spiritual Power (Acts 1:5-8; Eph 3:16,20).
3. We walk in the Spirit to
Overcome the lust/desires of the flesh (Gal 5:16)
And to do good Works (Eph 2:10).
4. We live in the Spirit to be holy (Gals 5:25; Eph 4:24),
Receive spiritual teaching (Jn 16:13),
Grow in the Spirit (Col 1:9
Edify (lift up, care for) the Body of Christ
(1Cor 12:25; 14:12 Eph 4:16)
Overcome the flesh (Gal 5:16-17,24; Eph 4:22-24),
Satan (1Jn 5:18), the world (Jn16:33), and
Our inabilities (Eph :17-19; Philp. 4:13).
Have fellowship with the Spirit (Philip 2:1)
Why people do not have power in the spirit.
Most people in the Body of Christ/the Church do not have power in the spirit either because they do not know this is possible, or they do not really believe this is done any longer. Many denominations and groups do not teach baptism in the spirit or being filled with the spirit. What they do not know is Ephesians 5:17-18 teaches us this is the will of God, for you to be filled with the spirit. They do not know because it is not being taught in the churches and has not been for centuries. It has only been during the times of spiritual renewals that people and churches have come to believe what Jesus taught concerning being filled with the spirit.
After the Apostles were cast into prison a second time for preaching at the temple they were rescued by an angel in the middle of the night. The next morning, they were in the temple preaching again. This time they were escorted before the Sanhedrin without violence out of fear for what the people would do. When Peter was testifying the truth before them he said, "And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him." [Acts 6:32].
The point is those who are being obedient to God concerning the Holy Spirit, are the ones He is filling with His spirit.
Right after Peter made this statement in Acts 6:32 one of the rulers in the Sanhedrin, Gamaliel, gave the argument that if this was from God you would never be able to stop it, and you would be found fighting against God, (Acts 5:33-39).
This has not stopped the drive by religious people and groups to stand against the will of God and teach baptism of the Holy Spirit is heresy. Those who do obey God and follow his will (Ephesians 5:17-18) are ridiculed, shunned, excluded, and claimed as heretics by those who are walking in the flesh and not the spirit. The Word refers to these people as being carnal, (Romans 8:1-9).
For us who have obeyed the Holy Spirit and been baptized in His spirit, we are able to use the power of God in us to sustain truth, wisdom, understand, knowledge, and life to our bodies that keeps us from remaining sick, (Romans 8:11). This is the work of the Holy Spirit in the world today.