Have You Received Since You Believed, The Gift Is Yours!
By Timothy Mcqueen
While there has been a lot of interest in our day concerning the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, there has also been a lot of misunderstanding about this doctrine. It has become an abused subject by those who want self gain of this wonderful gift from God.
It is imperative that one is filled with the Spirit of God in order to know salvation. In order to know the Lord one must be filled with His Spirit. (I Cor. 12:3, Romans 8:9, 1 John 4:13). It is evident that from these scriptures one must be in possession of the Spirit of God.
There are two prophets that spoke about the Holy Ghost: Isaiah 28:1 1 “stammering lips and another tongue” and Joel 2:28 “And it shall come to pass afterwards that I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh.”
We know this present day experience of being filled with the Holy Ghost is what Joel was speaking about, because Peter referred to this prophecy on the day of Pentecost as being fulfilled.
Notice in the statements of the Old Testament prophets as well as the words of John the Baptist (Matt 3:11). These are not just mere words which imply that this experience is something which one may choose to receive as some added blessing to their religious experience. They said, “I will, He shall” when speaking about what God was going to do in these last days. You may be asking yourself, do I really need the Holy Ghost? Do I really have to have it to be saved?
Some have tried to explain away the need of receiving the Holy Ghost by saying it was only given to the twelve, or those in the upper room, to enable them to preach the gospel. Well now if that is true, do we not have ministers today. Also, do we not serve a God that is the same. If then He gave the Holy Ghost to them to preach His Word, would God not give it to us? It is true one must be filled with the Spirit in order to properly minister the gospel to others.
However, this is not the only reason one must be filled with the Holy Ghost. In fact, everyone needs to be filled with the Holy Ghost whether they preach or not. Notice in these following scriptures, some things the Spirit will do for you. (Romans 5:5, Romans 14:17, Romans 15:13, Romans 15:16, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Galatians 5:22,23)
Who among you wouldn’t want all of these benefits and blessings which the Holy Ghost will bring in to your life? Not only do we need the Holy Ghost, we should want to be filled with the Holy Ghost!
There are phrases like “filled with the Spirit”, Baptized with the Spirit”. The Spirit was poured out upon them”. All of these terms are speaking of the same experience. Acts 1:5 Jesus spoke of how they would be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Acts 2 when this experience took place, Luke writes, “they were filled with the Holy Ghost”. Other references are as follows, Acts 10:44,45. Although there are numerous expressions to describe this experience, they are all speaking about the same thing.
Receiving the Holy Ghost so wonderfully changes one’s life forever. If everyone would receive this gift from God, there would be no argument over terms. Amen.
How does one know they have received the baptism, the filling, the outpour, the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues? God’s Spirit is speaking through you in a language unknown to you. This is the evidence of the Holy Ghost. The Bible says in Corinthians 14:22, “tongues are for a sign”. The Bible also says in James, “the tongue can no man tame” but God can when He moves into man. Acts 2:4
Peter told the people Acts 2:16-19 that the “promise is for you and your children -for all whom the Lord our God will call”. Not just for the Jews or the missionaries. Acts 10:44-47
How did they know that Cornelius and his people had received the Holy Ghost? Because they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Other ref: Acts 19:1-6
Dear friends, in light of these scriptures, I ask one question. Have you received the Holy Ghost since you have believed? You can know, look back over the Book of Acts, you will see these people received the gift of the Holy Ghost (not the gift of tongues). When they received this precious gift, they ALL spoke in tongues.
Now let’s talk about the gift of many kinds of tongues. Follow me through God’s Words as we get a clearer understanding about the subject.
The Gift Of Tongues
I Corinthians 12:8-10
As you can see from the scripture, tongues is listed as one of the spiritual gifts which God has placed in the Church. The gift of tongues here mentioned is that gift which God employs to speak to His Church through the supernatural. This gift is to be beneficial to the Church, and is accompanied with the gift of interpretation of tongues. One without the other would not benefit the Church.
Brothers and Sisters, it is very important that we must have a clear understanding on the subject of this spiritual gift, as well as the others.
One important role which tongues play in the Church is that they magnify God! Acts 10:46 Tongues is God’s way of saying “I will take over your tongue and speak through you what I wish to bespoken”. I Cor. 14:26
Tongues will edify the whole Church. Tongues will also edify the one speaking (I Cor. 14:4) Praying through in the Spirit of prayer and praise until the tongue begins to praise God with unknown tongues, results in the soul being richly blessed. Although our bodies may not benefit from such an experience, the spirit will certainly benefit!
Tongues may also be employed in songs of praise. Tongues open up the fountain of the Spirit and expresses forth utterances of praise which only the Spirit knows. (I Cor. 14:15) Singing in tongues is a unique experience for the soul which will raise the soul to new levels of ecstasy.
Tongues are also employed in prayer. (I Cor. 14:14) Speaking in tongues is speaking to God. When they are properly used, they will bless the child of God. When they are improperly used, they will confuse the sinner. I Cor. 14:9, 10, 16.
Whatever we do for the Kingdom of God should be done with sincerity and respect. God is “not the author of confusion, but of peace”. I Cor. 14:33
Tongues, or any of the other gifts of the Spirit, when operating under the inspiration of the Spirit, will not result in confusion of the Church! It is when we get in the flesh and seek to do things in our own way that we create confusion.
This is the most controversial aspect of the new birth. Just why did God choose tongues as the initial sign that one has received the Holy Spirit anyway?
God is sovereign! He could have chosen any sign He wanted to let one know they were accepted by Him. I don’t believe it is proper for us to ask God why He chose tongues for this unique experience.
The spiritual birth is in accord with the natural birth. When one is born, there is a sound which expresses a live birth. We also have a certain sound which signifies that one has been born into the spiritual family of God.
When we hear someone speaking in tongues as God fills them with His Spirit, we know they are truly born again. The most unruly member of the man is the last to surrender to the Spirit of God. James 3:6-8
The question should not be, “Do I really need the Holy Ghost?” But, when can I receive it?
Here are some other scriptures concerning what the Spirit will do for us. (Mark 13:11, John 14:16, 26; 15: 26, John 16:13, Acts 1:8, Rom 8:9-16, Rom 8:26, 1 Cor. 6:11)
Once we have been filled with the precious gift of the Spirit we should determine to so conduct ourselves as to never bring about a separation between ourselves and that beautiful Spirit. Amen.
There should be a desire on our part to continually retain that experience fresh in our life.
Friends, don’t permit the joy of being filled with the Spirit to grow stale in your life. You keep it fresh by staying on contact with the One who has given you His Spirit.