Tag Archive | O.C. Marler

The Scent of Water

The Scent of Water
By O.C. Marler

Job 14:7-9
“For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.”

I am emotional about the subject tonight for several reasons. One of them being, that I have felt ever since yesterday that I should preach on this subject tonight. When I feel that way, it’s like being anointed until its over. I feel that God wants to do something marvelous tonight as we talk about “The Scent of Water.”

I didn’t learn much in school. For instance, I took piano lessons one time. I went out to the old “Ag” building where they were having music lessons. Miss Brussard was teaching piano. I was taking piano lessons and it was kind of cold out there so I said, “Miss Brussard, would you like for me to build a fire?” (There was a fireplace there), and she said, “Yes, I would.” So I built a fire. The next day, I came back to take my piano lesson, and she said, “O.C., just come over and build a fire every morning. You don’t have to bother with the piano lessons, and we won’t say anything about it.” That’s as far as I got. But I did get a good grade. One of the lessons I remember in school (I can still see that book with the picture) was of roots, and how strong they could be. It showed how amazingly strong they are when reaching for their element. Roots will burst through concrete and break it. It showed a picture of a sidewalk and how roots had burst through and broken it. Pictures shoved how roots would climb. It had a picture of a root going way over a wall to find the water. Then it mentioned something like this, “its really not that it’s that strong, (it had a diagram of a girl taking a root and snapping it), but it’s that determined.”

I remember going into the woods and occasionally seeing trees that had been cut down. Same of them had been cut down for a long time, even to the point they were decaying at the top. But from the side or sometimes from the top of the stump, there would be that new shoot or branch that would come out of all that rottenness; because somewhere down there, below the surface there was a root that had found its element.

I want to take you back to the church when it was born. This church was depicted in scripture as a tree.

The tree that was the church had all kinds of beautiful leaves and all kinds of fruit. The tree sprouted on the Day of Pentecost in the second chapter of Acts. When the 120 people went up in the upper room and began to pray and seek the Lord; and suddenly there came a sound from heaven as a rushing mighty wind and filled all the pace where they were sitting. Cloven tongues like as of fire sat upon each of them and they began to speak with other tongues. They said, “men and brethren what should we do?” We see what you have done, what should we do?” And then in acts 2:38 the Apostle Peter stood up and said, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for tie remission of sins, and you shall be filled with the holy ghost. “From that, the tree began to develop all of the fruit aid gifts of the spirit.

Everything was wonderful. The church was growing, thousands were receiving the Holy Ghost daily; until politicians got into it. When politics got into it, false doctrine was proclaimed. It finally came to the place where Constantine said, “In order for you to vote, you must be a member of the church.” People faked coming into the church so they could vote. Constantine was soon running the whole show (and he didn’t have a license.) The reason he eased up on the Christians was to get their votes, not because he cared about them. He supposedly saw a vision of a cross in the sky which meant “By this sign you shall conquer”. By 325 A.D. they decided by vote that people would no longer baptize in the Name of Jesus, but they would repeat the titles, “Father Son and Holy Ghost” in baptism, it took some off the tree. The farther it went, the more it was stripped away. The canker worm and the Palmer worm and every other worm came and devoured the tree, until it became nothing more than a dead, dry, formalistic stump. It was cut down, with no way to recognize it as the tree it once was. This put the world and the church into what is known as “The Dark Ages”, and the true church went underground into the catacombs of Rome. I’ve been to Rome. I walked there and I have seen the heads of men that gave their lives for this. Every kind of evil punishment imaginable to man was administered against the church of the living God . The false church rose up. When looking at the church from the ground all you could see was a dead, dry stump. There were no leaves, no fruit, nothing about it but decay.

But one day at a Bible College in Topeka Kansas, in the late 1800’s, they got to talking about the possibility of receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost like it said in the Book of Acts. After daily examinations of the Bible and many discussions, they came to the conclusion that the Holy Ghost, evidenced by speaking with tongues, was Biblical. So a few of the students began to pray about it; and finally it actually got to the place they couldn’t have class. The question was
everybody’s minds, “Would it be possible that I could be I lied like that, with the Holy Ghost?” They would start off class and say, “Now, we’re going to teach on such and such…”and somebody would raise a hand and ask the question, “What about this thing, the Holy Ghost? I can’t sleep at night. I’m thinking about it all the time.”

History tells us that one minute after midnight on New Years Eve, there was a little lady who got too close. A tender shoot jumped up out of that old dead, dry stump and she started speaking in other tongues. “Though the roots wax old in the earth and the stump thereof die in the ground, yet through the scent of water, it will bring forth boughs like a plant.” After all those years, that root was reaching for its element. It broke through; because underground was life! From that moment, revival began to spread. The church began to reseat itself, so from Maine to California, California to Louisiana, from Texas to Mexico, you couldn’t stop it!

A little boy visited a Pentecostal church. When he got home, he went to his parents’ room and said, “wake up, wake up, I got the Holy Ghost”! They said, “there ain’t any such thing”. He said, “then what am I going to do with it?” You can’t stop it! “Though the roots wax old in the earth and the stock die in the ground, yet through the scent: of water…”

In the great day of the feast, Jesus walked into the synagogue, sat down and began to read as was the custom. While He was reading, it came time for an era to change. Folks, when it gets time for an era to change, nobody can stop it! Jesus was doing everything according to custom. But when it came time for the era to change, the Bible says in John 7:37-39: “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake He of the Spirit (which they that believe on Him should receive)…” It’s just like the old song says, “Can’t no grave hold my body down”! There’s nothing that can hold anything down when God gets ready to tear everything loose. God can open doors that have been closed for 5000 years – no matter how rusty the hinges!

Everyone knows about tongues. Why is speaking in tongues so popular? When I was a young man growing up in Louisiana, we were the only ones that believed in talking in tongues. Bro. Urshan came down to our part of the Country years ago, sat in a barber chair in DeRidder, Louisiana when he asked, “Are there any Pentecostals around here?” The barber answered him, “Oh yes, Pentecostals and Johnson Grass are taking this country.” Of course, now, everybody knows about it. They may have a distorted view of some of it, but they know about it.

Let me tell you about the first “denominal” person who received the Holy Ghost in our part of the world, and as far as I know, in any part of the world. One day in a “denominal ” church in Montgomery, Louisiana, everyone was up around the altar for special consecration. A little lady had her eyes closed praying. The more she prayed, the better she felt; and the better she felt, the more she prayed. Until all at once, she got a little too close; and suddenly she started crying and then she started speaking in a language that nobody had ever heard and nobody wanted to hear! She started doing wig a little Holy Ghost gig. After all those years, it broke though denominational concrete, it climbed over denominal walls. It reached for its element and found the scent of water! The pastor had to go somewhere the next day, (I think to Alexandria, to the hospital) and he told his wife, “remember there’s the ladies’ prayer meeting today. I want you to watch that woman and square her away before I get back.” She said, “Okay, I’ll do my best”. When he got back that afternoon about 5:00 p.m., his wife met him at the car, red-eyed. He said, “What’s wrong?” She said, “Oh, nothing’s wrong. Everything is right!” He said, “Did you square that woman away?” His wife answered, “She squared me away”. Later, the pastor also received the Holy Ghost. It’s like Peter said at Cornelius’ house: “what can I say, when these have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” “Though The roots wax old in the earth and the stock die in the ground, yet through the scent of water it will bud and bring forth boughs like a plant.”

One night in one of our churches, the power of God started moving, and a man was sitting close to the front. When the altar call was made, he got up and went into the aisle to go toward the door; and all of a sudden he stopped and came toward the altar, and then he checked himself and began to go back toward the door. Then all of a sudden he turned and ran just as hard as he could, toward the altar. Forty Five minutes later, he had prayed, spoke in tongues and received such a marvelous experience. Then the pastor stood and said, “I want this brother to come and tell us what he has received tonight”. The man stood and said, ” I don’t know what I have received. To tell you the truth, I didn’t intend to come to church. I never go to church. But I was walking by the building tonight and all of a sudden there was a feeling that came over me. I felt like if I could just go inside, if I could just look inside, if I could just stand there a minute, I would feel better. So I came inside and it felt so good to be there, I came on up and sat down. The preacher began preaching tonight; and I didn’t intend to come up here. But all of a sudden a feeling came over me, ‘if you can just get up to the front of the church it would be just what you need.’ I tried to get away, but when I started up, it felt so good, I never felt like this before in my life”. That’s the drawing power of God. When a man is reaching for his element; he may fight sometimes, but if there’s something down inside of him, speaking to him, prodding him, he will reach and reach for God until he finds Him. The Scent of Water. “If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink.” John 7:37.

I had a friend who unknowingly had a backslider in the truck with him. As they were driving along to do some work they passed by a little Pentecostal church sitting up on some blocks way up on the hill. He looked over, and the guy with him had his handkerchief out and was dabbing at his eyes. The passenger said, “you’ll have to excuse me, but I was raised in that church there. Here lately, every time I pass it, something happens to me.” The Scent of Water.

John Mark was a Pentecostal. He was working in the church and all of a sudden he quit working with the church and went back to Jerusalem. He “went home to Momma”, and stayed 13 years. Then all at once, he sails back into the book of Acts. He said “I want to go on the second missionary journey. I missed the first one, but I want to catch the second lap.” Paul said, “You can’t go.” Barnabas said, “You can go.” Paul and Barnabas had a little argument about it, and finally Barnabas said, “Ok, he can go with me.” Paul said, “All right, I’ll take Silas and you take John Mark, we’ll split up and go different routes.” John Mark didn’t say anything , he just wanted to go. He just wanted to feel the touch of God again. He just wanted to preach one more time. He didn’t care if it was going to cost him his life, he didn’t care if he was going to get a beating in prison, he didn’t care if he was going to get shipwrecked, he didn’t care if he was going to have food in his mouth or not, all he wanted to do was one more time, feel the glory of God. The Scent of Water.

If you’re here tonight and you haven’t felt the presence of God for a while, I am reaching out to you. It is time for you to give everything over to the feeling down inside your heart.

My great uncle had about 12 or 13 kids and he named them all Bible names….Gideon, Paul, Ruth and on and on. They didn’t live for God. Well, one day, Gideon left and never came back. He was gone for years and years. Nobody heard from him. In fact, they figured he was dead. One day some of our relatives were in Beaumont, Texas and they came to a red light and there was a big 18 wheeler truck sitting there beside them. They looked up casually at the driver, and it was Gideon. They waved to him, he pulled into a restaurant parking lot, and they went into the restaurant to talk. Gideon was chain smoking. All of a sudden my cousin said, “Gideon, could I ask you a question?” He said, “Sure, go ahead, anything.” “Gideon, you know you haven’t been to church since you were a little boy, and I want to know, do you ever, at any time think of church?” Gideon ground his cigarette out, tears filled his eyes, and he said, “Man, you don’t know how much and how often.” He began to weep. When he gained his composure, he said, “I want to ask you a question that I have been wanting to ask somebody. What ever happened to old Bro. Smith, I remember him bringing us stuff to eat when we were hungry. Where is he? Is he alive? I also have wanted to ask, do people still holler “amen”? I’ve been wanting to hear that again. When preachers preach, do they still get excited?” “Though the roots wax old in the ground and the stock thereof dies in the ground, yet through the scent of water it will bring for boughs like a plant” Oh, that tender shoot will sprout again!

I want to talk to those of you who may be just about ready to give up on your kids. It looks like there is no way they’ll ever come back to God. You just keep pouring water on those roots. “As a hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee Oh God” Psalm 43:1. That little deer-like animal is running; and he’s thirsty. He doesn’t have time to worry about the archers. He’s too thirsty. He doesn’t have time to stop in a green cornfield, for he is too thirsty. So he stretches out every sinue. Every muscle is taut because he is going for water. You don’t know what your children are having to climb through. You don’t know what to do to help them. Just keep on watering. Just pour on the water!

A young man that got saved in our church was such a good boy. His father owned a service station, and he worked there for his dad. He read that Bible. Every time there was not a customer, he read his Bible. He was so faithful in every way. He was a clean cut young man. The time came when my wife and I felt impressed to leave the church and go another direction. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it. He didn’t stay with God. He got involved in the world and married a Catholic girl; and quit coming to church altogether. Even though we were gone from there, we couldn’t help but feel kind of responsible for him. My wife and I prayed for him every day. We never heard from him. He never called. Five years went by, six and seven, nine years; and then one morning after ten years, early in the morning my phone rang. I answered it and the voice on the other end of the line said, “Rev. Marler, there is something wrong with my husband. He said you were the greatest friend he had. I think you’re going to have to help him.” I said, “What’s wrong?” She answered, “I don’t really know. He woke up crying this morning. I asked him what was wrong and he said, ‘well, you know, I never have talked to you about the church, but I have got to get back in it. I can’t stand it any longer�.” I said, “what did you tell him?” She said, “I told him, go ahead, if that’s what it will take to make you happy.” He said, “but there’s some things you don’t know. We don’t do this, and we don’t do that, and we don’t do the other; and we’ve had a financial struggle, but we are going to have to pay our tithes.” She said, “What is tithes?” He said, “That’s ten percent of our earnings”. She said, �I don’t care.” They had about 4 or 5 kids. I said, “there is a revival service going on tonight in Houston. You get them all ready and I am going to catch a plane; and when I get there, we are going to go to that revival. �She said, “I’ll do it.” I got there and she came to the door with their little “stair-step boys”, and said, “My husband got in late. He’s in there getting ready.” After about ten minutes he stepped out and instead of saying, “Well, Bro. Marler, how are you doing?” He screamed, “Bro. Marler, I’m going to get to go to church tonight!” Though the roots wax old in the earth… When we got to church, we walked in and it was dead. I mean it was a dead service. It was as dry as last year’s bird nest. But he was thirsty. He stood up against the wall and then took off for the altar. That place erupted and it wasn’t any time until he was speaking in tongues and prayed through again to the Holy Ghost, along with his wife and kids with their little hands lifted up to the Lord. Those little boys learned to quote more scriptures than anybody around.

This may seem farfetched, but you will just have to believe it, because I was there. A friend of mine and I went to a District Conference. After parking, we were on our way in to the church and there was a man standing by a new car. The preacher that I was with said, “Hey buddy, you got a new car.” The man said, “come over here and let me tell you about it.” Well, he didn’t invite me to listen. I wished now I would have just barged in and gone, but Momma always told me if I wasn’t invited, don’t go. I was sure Momma was looking. So I waited and waited while they talked. After a while, the preacher came back and said, “you are not going to believe what he told me”. He said he walked into a Chrysler dealership just to look at the new models. A well dressed man came over to him and said, “let me sell you one.” He said, “I am not here to buy, I am just here to look at the new models.” After a while they got to talking and the man said, “what do you do for a living?” The man said, “I am a preacher.” The salesman looked at him and said, “Now sir, if you can tell me what I am looking for, you don’t need to worry about a new car. I own several dealerships, all along here. “The preacher asked, “Well, what are you looking for?” He said, “I was taken to a church one morning on a bus when I was about seven years old. I went to Sunday School. In that class that day, they got to praying and I got to praying and I received an experience of some kind. My family moved before the next Sunday, and I never got to go back. I never have been able to find that experience; and I have looked for it all of my life.” The preacher said to him, “Now, you forget about giving me a car, but I will take you where you an find that experience.” Then he invited him to church. The man said, “Okay I will come Wednesday night.” (The preacher thought to himself, “Oh, boy, why couldn’t he come Sunday night when we have a bigger crowd and an evangelistic service?”) The preacher said to himself, I am not telling anybody about it, because if I tell the church people, they might not worship as well as they normally do. That Wednesday night, the man from the car dealership walked in late; and the people were worshiping and praising the Lord. Nobody noticed he was there. All of a sudden he put his arms up and started walking down the aisle talking to God. They all gathered around him and after he received the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues, all he could say was, “I found it. I found it. God, you found me, God you found me! “Though the stock thereof die in the ground, yet through the scent of water…”

There is one church that says “give us your child until he is seven and we will give him back to you and he will never be anything else.” But we can say, “give us anybody at any age.” They may not always live for God, but in their hearts they will never be anything else. As the scripture says in John 7:38, “Out of their innermost being (belly) shall flow rivers of living water. This spake He of the spirit that they which believe on Him should receive.”

A concert was given in the honor of Beethoven, performing only music which he had composed. Afterwards he sat over in the corner with his head in his hands, dejected. Someone went to him to communicate with him. They said, “Beethoven, this is the greatest music that was ever played in any hall and you are the composer of it all. You should be happy.” Beethoven said, “you misunderstand. I am appreciative. Maybe you are right, maybe this is the best music that has ever been played; but I want to tell you why I am sad. The music that I heard in my heart and in my mind, I could not transpose to a piece of paper. There is music so far above this, that this will never seem like anything to me.”

Here tonight, if you have never received the Holy Ghost and you have been told that there is nothing to it; be sure that you have been told by somebody that has never had it. For even a backslider that has had the Holy Ghost at one time won’t say that. See, I would like to tell you about it. I knew the Holy Ghost was real because I had seen people get the Holy Ghost all my childhood. I thought it was so fantastic and so marvelous but I was afraid it would never happen to me. I didn’t think God would ever stop just for me. Even though I knew it was real. All of a sudden one night. I got a funny feeling, I got clammy-like, my tongue got thick and I thought I was going to say something that I wouldn’t know what it was. I was afraid to do it, afraid it would just be me. It kept building up and all of a sudden I said to myself, if it’s just me, I can’t hold it back any longer. When I started talking in tongues, it was the most exciting, wonderful, clean feeling. I felt like running, I felt like jumping, I felt like resting, and passing out. It is just a wide range of emotions. But as you see, I still can’t describe it to you. Every time I try to tell somebody about it, I just end up saying, “It’s joy unspeakable and full of glory; and the half has never yet been told!”

Though the tree be cut down. You know what happened to that tree, when that little lady began to pray through in the Spirit? It began to grow back. It began to put on all the fruit. That’s what we have now – a large, beautiful tree, laden with fruit. I want you that need God, you that are away from God, you that haven’t felt God lately, I want you to come right now. God has a .new era for you. It is time to change your life. Come on and bring somebody with you. I want you to be happy. You are too sad. It is time for you to get some joy. God is going to bring you all the way out. He is going to make you to rise and to walk in the newness of life. You have got a wonderful life in store for you, all you have to do is reach out and get it. He restores your soul. Just receive it tonight.

“Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; yet through the scent of water it will bud and bring forth boughs like a plant.” Job 14:8-9

The above article, “The Scent of Water” is written by O.C. Marler. The article was excerpted from the first chapter of Marler’s book The Scent of Water.

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

Posted in AD - Apostolic Doctrine, ADGH - Holy Ghost, AIS File Library0 Comments

Doctrine Does Matter

Doctrine Does Matter
By O.C. Marler

Dedication

I would like to dedicate this effort to my Grand Kids: Calvin Benjamin Taylor, Ashton Celeste Marler, Rylan Shane Marler

My desire is that they will always love this precious truth.

In offering this work I cannot but feel somewhat like Mark Twain when he said,

“My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine. Everybody drinks water.”

This book is written in hope that it will be read by those who desire to learn and teach the Word.

I might add that many people to whom I have been privileged to teach this lesson are winning many others to the Lord using the Scriptures in this series.
The method I suggest is:

Underline all Scripture in your Bible, beginning at Joel 2:28-29. As you finish one set of Scriptures, mark down the next place you are traveling to in your Bible.

For instance: At the bottom of the page in Joel write John 7:37-39. Then at the bottom of the page at 7:37-39 write Acts 1:3, etc. That way all you will ever need to teach the entire lesson is your Bible.

One of the many things I admire about 0. C. Marler is his ability to tell a story. If he were to be so kind to me as to take off his cloak and lay it on my shoulders, I would desire for that cloak to transfer to me a double portion of that ability. When 0. C., as is affectionately known by many who love and respect him, tells a story, he both captures your interest and impacts you with the point of the story. He writes as he speaks.

While the subject for this “story” is theological in nature, Dr. Marler tells it with simplicity and interest and leads the reader to the logical conclusion that Doctrine Does Matter. More important, the reader will come to an understanding of the doctrine of the gospel and how to biblically obey it. Thank God for a writer that is “not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek,” (Romans 1:16). While reading and enjoying, do not neglect to believe and obey (Romans 1:15). – Tom O’Daniel

There are two passions that flow from the heart of 0. C. Marler. The first passion is the Gospel, and the second is the communication of it to the world. This writer understands that in order for the process of communication to be successful there must be a clear presentation given, and then an understanding of what was presented.

In O.C. Marler’s words, ‘If the message of the plan of salvation is written to the intellectual or the educated only it would be just the intellectual or the educated who could understand it.’

Even though O.C. Marler could write to the educated only, I can think of no one better to present the Gospel to the common man. His common sense approach and down home style, along with his ability to apply humor has a way of warming the heart and creating an audience.”
Terry Black

You are about to read a presentation of doctrine from the able pen of 0. C. Marler. And I, for one, am thrilled that this capable and inspiring preacher and writer has given to us the teaching of the Word in such a useable and welcome format. Perhaps one of the most significant doctrinal battles of our time is that which rages regarding the new birth, and especially the significance of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and speaking with tongues.

The Truth is without parallel! It cannot be relegated to the dusty corridors of academia. Jesus said: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” He evidently did not intend that truth would be an elitist revelation, known only to the rich, the mighty, and the intellectual. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for whosoever will. While its complexities may boggle the mind, there is an awe-inspiring simplicity to the truth of the Gospel that transforms and delivers the soul.

The paradox of truth is that those often thought of as the wisest and most able are the very ones who miss the truth. “Where are the wise?” Paul asked in I Corinthians 1:20-21. “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” The Apostle later states: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” Thank the Lord for the truth preached and taught in clarity. – Talmadge L. French

Doctrine Does Matter

INTRODUCTION

My mother was a clerk in a denominational church. In 1931 she came in contact with the message of receiving the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Shortly after in the same year, my father received the Holy Ghost, too. She asked God to give her all that was available to her, and He baptized her with His Spirit. Now she had a problem. She could not understand how Jesus could be God and Man. She prayed for the Lord to give her understanding.

One night at a brush arbor meeting the preacher asked several in the congregation to get a preassigned scripture ready to read when he called for it. When Mother’s time came, as she started reading, the understanding of the Godhead came in a flash. Jumping to her feet she screamed out for joy. Does this sound ‘old timey’ to you? Well, it is not as old as the scripture she read, which was I Timothy 3:16.

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

We lost Mom this last year, but the day she died we all took turns around her bed. Someone said to her, “Aunt Bertha, you have had the Holy Ghost a long time.”
Mother’s reply was, “Yes, but it is just as good now as it was when I received it.”

Folks, we have come too far and too many people have suffered too much to go back on this wonderful truth. Like many others, my mother’s folks mentally excommunicated her from the family. She died knowing they never forgave her for following her heart into the will of God. Some members said that she had disgraced the family.

When this truth swept through our part of Louisiana men went to churches to pull their wives or children out of the altar as they prayed, only to be smitten with conviction and fall across the altar in repentance, themselves. Many preachers were beaten or made to look down the barrel of a .38 while they dared to keep preaching. We have come too far to turn our backs on this wonderful truth, just so we can pick back up habits and practices we had abandoned to receive the applause of men.

I would like to take time to show you the full truth for maybe the first time, or to refresh your memory.

The Coming of the Spirit Foretold

The promise of the Holy Ghost was first mentioned in Joel 2:28-29.

“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”

Now the beautiful thing about this prophesy is that we will not have to guess at, or take anyone’s word for, its fulfillment. The Bible itself will note the fulfillment. In fact, when it was fulfilled the exact words of the original prophesy were re-quoted.

So you must remember at the time this prophesy was given all we have is the promise of the Holy Spirit.

The Coming of the Spirit Reassured

Now if you will turn to John 7:37-39 it reads:

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink, He that believed on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Hold Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

When it gets time for a dispensation to change nothing can stop it. When Jesus was at the feast it was time for a dispensation to begin its change. Jesus stood and cried, “If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink.” This announcement told us three things.

1. The Holy Ghost had not come yet.
2. That it was coming.
3. But it could not come until Jesus was glorified.

So in order for us to see the fulfillment of Joel’s prophesy all we have to do is to watch for the time when Jesus would be glorified. Now, we know He would not be glorified until after He was crucified.

Glorification

Acts 1: 3 To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: [4] And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. [5] For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. [6] When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? [7] And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. [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. [9] And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight

Now turning to the first chapter of the book of Acts we will find the last words of Jesus in verse three.

To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Acts 1:3.

After Jesus had been crucified and had arisen He spent forty days teaching them about the kingdom of God. So what is the kingdom of God?

Romans 14:17, For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Therefore, before His glorification He spent His time telling them of the Holy Ghost kingdom or dispensation.

In Acts 1:4 Jesus gave a command, and the command was that they were not to depart from Jerusalem; but they were to wait for the promise of the father. In verse 5 Jesus said, “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” Reader, please mark this scripture in your mind; for we will keep coming back to review it as we go along.

Now Joel 2:28-29 announces that the Holy Ghost was coming, John 7:37-39 said it’s not here yet; but that it would come after Jesus was glorified. Now in Acts 1:5 Jesus, himself, after telling them not to depart from Jerusalem said, you will be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Jesus went on to say in 1:8 you shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you. Now note these were the last words Jesus spoke on earth. Verse 9 says, And when he had spoken these things while they beheld, he was taken up. Now the Holy Ghost could be poured out, since there was now nothing to hinder its coming. Joel said it was coming, John said it would come after Jesus was glorified. Now it could come anytime. He had been glorified.

Verse 13 says they all went into an upper room. Verse 14, These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.

Birth of the Church

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was 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 all the house where they were sitting. [3] And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. [4] And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. [5]And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. [6] Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. [7] And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? [8] And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

Acts 2:12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? [13] Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. [14] But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: [15] For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. [16] But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; [17] And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: [18] And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? [381 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and 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. [391 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. [40] And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. [41] Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. [42] And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

(One hundred and twenty people, including Mary the mother of Jesus were there.) As they were praying, the time came on God’s calendar for Joel’s prophesy concerning the outpouring of the Holy Ghost to be fulfilled.

So Acts 2:1-3 describes what the seekers heard and saw. Then boom! They, according to Acts 2:4, were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Verses 5 to 8 tells of the reaction of the people round about. Verse 5 says, And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Verse 6, Every man heard them speak in his own language. Verse 7, They were amazed and marveled because those that were speaking were Galileans. (They should not have been speaking the language of those of other nations.) Verse 12, some were amazed and some were in doubt, so they asked “What meaneth this?” Dear Reader, hold this question, `WHAT MEANETH THIS?’ in your mind; and the answer will be spelled out shortly. The answer to this question is the doctrine of salvation.

In verse 13 some started mocking those that were speaking in tongues and being blessed as they were filled with the Holy Ghost. Those who were praying were apparently resembling people in a drunken state, because they said, “these men are full of new wine.”

Peter, one of the twelve apostles, stood up with the other eleven, lifted up his voice and said in verse 15… These are not drunken as you suppose (drunk yes, but not on wine). Now at this point Peter makes the announcement in verse 16 that this that was happening was the fulfillment of Joel’s prophesy. Then, so we would know that it was the fulfillment, he quoted Joel 2:28-29.

Peter said, “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel, And it shall come to pass in the last days saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams, and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”
No one can dispute this being the fulfillment of Joel’s Prophesy, because the apostle Peter declared that it was. So now the Holy Spirit is here in such a manner that even the servants can receive it.

It is not enough to be just a disciple (a follower of Christ) the era has changed. Now man must be filled with the Spirit. But look carefully in this second chapter as Peter continues his preaching. In verse 37, the people, the onlookers who were convicted or pricked in their hearts asked the most important question, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Note now what Peter answered, and also realize that this was spoken after 800 years of waiting on the fulfillment of Joel’s prophesy.

Peter’s answer was in three parts, or there were three things he told them they must do.

Acts 2:38.

First he said Repent:

Repentance means asking God to forgive a person of their sins, and turning away from them. (This cleans and purifies your heart.)

The second part of Peter’s answer was: Be baptized.

Be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.

Number three was to:

Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost

Then like a footnote he said, “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.”

1. Repent
2. Be baptized in Jesus Name
3. And receive the Holy Ghost

Verse 41 says, Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Then in verse 42 a very remarkable thing happened, a thing that a lot of people overlook. That verse tells us what church to belong to after we are saved. Look carefully. It says, and they continued steadfastly in the Apostles doctrine and fellowship, so we are to fellowship with those who preach the Apostles’ Doctrine. It is not as important to scrutinize the church’s name as it is to examine its teaching.

* Repentance
* Baptism
* Holy Ghost

No Other Name

Acts 4:1 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, [2] Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. [3] And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. [4] Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. [5] And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, [6] And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. [7] And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? [8] Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, [9] If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; [10] Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. [11] This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. [12] Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. [13] Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. [14] And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.

In chapter 4 Peter and John are brought before the council. Their crime was that they had been preaching that Jesus had arisen from the dead or as the Bible says, “preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.”

Actually, they were brought before the rulers, elders, Annas the high priest, and as many of the high priest’s kindred that were gathered at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this? Verse 7

Now a most unusual thing was said in verse 8:

Then Peter filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel. [9] If we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a cripple, by what means this man has been healed, [10] Be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man is standing before you whole.

The scripture makes a point here of emphasizing that now Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost.
He was a different man than he was before the Pentecostal experience. The scripture was saying that the Holy Ghost makes a difference; and I want you to realize that Peter is now before the same people that he was so afraid of before the ones who put Jesus to death, the ones who Peter feared so much that he began to curse and swear and to say, “I don’t know him.”

Peter had actually denounced his discipleship before this group.

Then in verse 10 Peter told them the healing of the lame man was by the name of Jesus, whom you crucified. Be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man is standing before you whole.

Peter continued in verse 12 of the same chapter: Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. He was actually telling the council that they did not know how to get anyone saved.

Joy Not Enough

Chapter 8 takes place one year after the Day of Pentecost. Let’s read chapter 8:1-20.

[1] And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. [2] And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him. [3] As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. [4] Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. [5] Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. [6] And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. [7] For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. [8] And there was great joy in that city. [9] But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: [10] To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. [11] And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. [12] But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. [13] Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. [14] Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: [15] Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: [16] (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) [17] Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. [18] And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, [191 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. [20] But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

Saul was helping to bring persecution to the new one-year-old church. Stephen had just been killed with Saul consenting unto his death, so the church at Jerusalem was scattered abroad throughout the region of Judea. That is all except the apostles. They stayed in Jerusalem. Verse 4 says that those who were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.

Now some churches say that we are just to preach the word, we must not preach doctrine; folks, it is impossible to preach the word of God and not preach what it takes to be saved.

If you will notice in verse 5, then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them. Before you get hung up saying “Oh, I just preach Christ,” it would be good to find out what all is involved in preaching Christ. Please observe as we move on down the scripture.

Verse 6 says that the people saw the miracles.
Verse 7 says unclean spirits came out of those who were possessed.
Verse 8 says there was great joy in the city.

Then Simon, a sorcerer who had bewitched the people in Samaria according, to verse 12 believed Philip, preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God. That is part of what it takes to preach the word or Christ. Simon believed Philip when he preached about the Kingdom of God. What, then, is the kingdom of God? We find the answer to that in Romans 14:17.

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

So the scripture plainly tells us that what Philip preached about the Kingdom of Heaven was the Holy Ghost. This tells us that one year after the out-pouring of the Holy Ghost in the second chapter of Acts the apostles were still preaching about it. Let me remind you that this was what Joel prophesied about.

Now let’s look at Chapter 8:12 again and see that Philip also preached about the name of Jesus Christ. Then the verse says, ‘they were baptized both men and women do you remember what Peter told them on the day of Pentecost when the crowd asked him what must they do? He said, “Repent,” then next he said, “Be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins.” Then, he said, they would receive the Holy Ghost.

The Bible says Simon himself believed and was baptized and continued with Philip, beholding the miracles and signs.

At this point we have no reason to doubt Simon’s sincerity. The Bible said he believed and was baptized.

Now remember the scripture said that the apostles stayed in Jerusalem. So verse 14 says, when the apostles which were in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had heard the word of the Lord, they (the apostles) sent Peter and John to Samaria.

Why did they send them? The answer is to pray for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost. Verse 16 says (for as yet he was fallen upon none of them only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

So this teaches us that:
To have devils cast out is not enough.
To have great joy is not enough.
To believe is not enough.
To be baptized is not enough.
To see miracles and signs is not enough.

One must have the Holy Ghost. But of course we learned that in Acts 2:38.

Now when Peter and John got to Samaria they laid their hands on those who were involved in the great revival and verse 17 says, and they received the Holy Ghost.

You might think that it doesn’t say they spoke in tongues when they received it. Let me point out that something dramatic happened, something more than

unclean spirits crying out
more than great joy
more than being healed of palsies
more than miracles and signs
more than baptism
more than believing

No, they did not have the Holy Ghost, even though they were blessed, as the list above shows. Verse 16 says As yet the Holy Ghost had not fallen on any of them.

Remember the world waited 800 years for the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy; and when it came, it caused them to speak with tongues. Why would we think if the wait was 800 years that it would end before 801 years.

Don’t worry. There will be other places where it will say that when they received the Holy Ghost they spoke in tongues.

When the Holy Ghost came in the second chapter of Acts, it established the fact. So when the Holy Ghost is spoken of after that it is not necessary to say each time that tongues accompanied the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit Makes an Arrest

Please turn to Acts Chapter 9 and let’s start reading at 3-18.

[3] And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: [4] And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? [5] And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. [6] And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. [7] And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. [8] And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. [9] And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink [10] And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. [11] And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, [12] And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. [13] Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: [14] And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. [15] But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: [16] For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. [17] And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. [18] And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

The story opens with Saul on the Damascus road near Damascus. Suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

He fell to the earth and heard a voice.
He said who art thou Lord?
and the Lord said, “I am Jesus.”

Saul trembling and astonished said, “Lord what wilt thou have me to do?”
And the Lord said, “arise and go into the city and it will be told thee what thou must do.”

When he got up from the ground he was blind. They had to lead him.
Verse 11 God had spoken to a man by the name of Ananias and told him to go to a street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus. “He prayeth and hath seen a vision.”

[17] And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. [18] And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

So what do we have here,

1. Saul was knocked down
2. Saw a vision
3. Talked to the Lord
4. The Lord talked back to him.
5. He was healed of blindness.

Yet that was not enough.

Ananias said “The Lord even Jesus hath sent me that thou might receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost. You say, “but he did not speak in tongues.”

In I Corinthians 14:18, Paul says, “I thank my God I speak in tongues more than you all.”

Verse 18, “Immediately he arose and was baptized.” Some people want to believe that baptism is not necessary, but in the salvation book it was. So we have Saul repenting out on the road when he was knocked down, he was turned from a killer to a lover of God. Causing him to ask “What would you have me do?” When a person truly repents he or she gets to the place that they are willing to do whatever it takes to please God.

He receives the Holy Ghost.

Then he was baptized. He was surely baptized in the only way the New Testament church ever baptized, that being in the name of Jesus.

Verse 31, Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied. The Holy Ghost is our comforter.

Peter Preaches Again

8 Years After Pentecost

The tenth chapter of Acts introduces us to Cornelius, a centurion from the Italian Band.

Acts 10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, [2] A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always. [3] He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. [4] And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. [5] And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: [6] He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do. [7] And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; [8] And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa. [9] On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: [10] And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, [11] And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: [12] Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. [13] And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. [14] But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. [15] And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. [16] This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven. [17] Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, [18] And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. [19] While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.

Cornelius was a man who was living for God to the best he knew how. In fact, he lived such a good life he would be thought of today as very religious. He was over qualified for most churches today. He would probably be thought of as ‘religious right’ to those who despise consecration. Yet as good as he was he did not measure up to God’s plan for full salvation.

Let’s note his consecration status.

1. He was a devout man.
2. He feared God, but it was, of course not a fear like being afraid of an animal. It was a godly fear like respect or reverence.
3. He prayed to God always.
4. He prayed so much and lived so good that he saw a vision. (If someone today saw a vision it would be very difficult to inform them that their religious experience did not measure up to what God intended.)
5. He talked with an angel at about the ninth hour of the day. Hey if I have seen an angel, don’t tell me I need doctrine.

When Cornelius saw the angel he said, “What is it Lord!” And he said unto him, “Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.”

Verse 5 continues, And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon whose surname is Peter. He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the seaside; he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.

Now isn’t it a surprise that Cornelius needed to do anything more?

After the angel left Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier and sent them to Joppa.

At about the sixth hour Peter went upon the house to pray. He became hungry and would have eaten but he fell into a trance and saw the heavens open and saw a great sheet let down to the earth and in it had beast, creeping things, and fowls of the air.

A voice came to him saying, Arise, Peter; kill, and eat. His response was not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.

Then the voice spoke back, What God has cleansed, that call not thou common.

While Peter thought on the vision the spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Go talk to them, doubt nothing.

To make a long story short, Peter got down from the roof where he prayed, spoke with them and heard about God’s talking to Cornelius. He wanted Peter to come to his house.

The next day Peter and some of the brethren went to Cornelius’ house at Caesarea. When they arrived they found all his kin and near friends gathered there with him.

Acts 10:30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, [31] And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. [32]Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee. [33] Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God. [34] Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

At verse 30, Cornelius begins telling Peter about how four days ago he had been fasting until a man in bright clothing said, “Send to Joppa and call for Simon.”

Now Cornelius said “thanks for coming.” And in verse 33, Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.

I would now like you the reader, to do two things.

1. Think once more about the personal consecration of Cornelius and
2. The fact that Cornelius told Peter that he wanted him to tell him all the things that are commanded of God, not optional things but things that are commanded.

So in verse 34 Peter opened his mouth and began to preach as he did on the day of Pentecost.

Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. [45] And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. [46] For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, [47] Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? [48] And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Now notice that verse 44 says, while Peter spoke these words the Holy Ghost fell on all which heard the word. Verse 45 lets us know that the people who came with Peter were astonished, that on the Gentiles also was poured out the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

How did they know that they had just received the Holy Ghost? Verse 46 answers that question. It says  For they heard them speak with tongues (now that is not part of my personal notes. That is taken straight from the Word of God.) For they heard them speak with tongues. It does not take a theologian to put together that when someone receives the Holy Ghost they speak with tongues.

Remember this incident took place only eight years after Pentecost.

Now Peter said in the very next verse 47, Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized as well as we.

I cannot understand why anyone would think baptism was unimportant or nonessential when on the day of Pentecost when Peter was asked, Men and brethren what shall we do? Peter clearly said

* Repent
* Be Baptized and
* Receive the Holy Ghost

The first thing Peter said after they received the Holy Ghost was, “what about baptizing these folks, just like we were baptized; and of course he was talking about Pentecost in the second chapter of Acts.

Verse 8, and he (Peter) commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord.

Let’s not forget what Cornelius said to Peter in verse 33, we are here to hear all that is commanded thee of God

So Peter did not give them something that was optional or you can do it if you feel like it, but he put forth a command from God.

Peter Recounts and Remembers Something

Acts 11:11 And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me. [12] And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house: [13] And he showed us how he had seen
an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; [14] Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. [15] And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. [16] Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. [17] Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?

I am certain if it was your first time to really scrutinize the tenth chapter of Acts, it must have been a shock to find out that eight years after the day of Pentecost, repentance, baptism in Jesus name, and the in filling of the Holy Ghost was still commanded. The fact that Peter, when he use the keys and opened the door to the New Testament Church told the listeners to be baptized in Jesus name was enlightening, but now eight years later it is still commanded.

Some of my readers may say, “I see what you are saying, but surely it must not be this way.” Maybe someone is saying, “But how could so many people miss this?”

The answer is that in most cases people are following tradition blindly. And the truth is that many people refuse absolutes.

I say all of this to tell you that further light is shed on Chapter 10 in Chapter 11. So if we missed anything when we looked at the happenings at Cornelius’ house, we get another look; because in Chapter 11, beginning at verse 11, Peter is retelling what happened there.

Now let’s run a little summary of what Peter recounted. Peter told of the three men who came to the house where he was staying, (Simon a Tanner’s house) and that Cornelius had seen an angel who told him to send men to Joppa. Find a man whose surname is Peter. Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.

Peter said as he was retelling the event that “as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, As on us at the beginning.” (Speaking of the day of Pentecost in the second Chapter.) There have been ministers who have told those who inquire about the possibility of receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, “well you know the experience they received at Pentecost was never repeated.”
But we know four other incidents in the Bible that that statement is in error; and in verse 11:15 Peter affirms that that concept is not true when he said that the Holy Ghost “Fell on them as on us at the beginning.”

Peter, in retelling what happened at Cornelius house let us know that the event there triggered something in his memory, for he said, “Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that He said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.”

Reader, if you will recall I asked you to remember Acts 1:5 where Jesus said to his disciples just before he was glorified, “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Jesus was about to update the plan of salvation, so he goes on to say, but you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.

The author would like for you to continue to remember this passage about John because it will continue to come up in a very significant way.

Now notice how Peter sums up his recounting of the meeting at Cornelius’ house.

“For as much then as God gave them (Cornelius) the like gift as he did unto us who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.” (So in the update of salvation just believing was not enough.) “What was I that I could withstand God?”

This portion of scripture brings home the idea that when we see more light of truth we must walk into it or we will be withstanding God.

Baptized in an Earthquake

Acts 16: 20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, [21] And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. [22] And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. [23] And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely: [24] Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. [25] And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. [26] And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. [27] And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself supposing that the prisoners had been fled. [28] But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. [29] Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, [30] And brought them out, and said, 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.

Now in the sixteenth Chapter of Acts we will start at verse 22 so that we read only that which is relevant to our subject.

I hope you read the scripture verses 20-34 so we can begin looking at them more closely.

First off I would like to point out that more people know a little about verse 30-31 then any other scripture, unless it would be John 3:16 or the 23rd Psalm. It is sad to say in the case of verses 30 and 31 that it is for the most part taken out of context.

So we must look at the story here as a whole. Some would like to do away with the necessity of a person Pentecostal experience because of misinterpretation of these verses.

Look with me at verse 22.

Paul and Silas had been cast into prison. The charges were:

1. They had troubled the city.
2. They had taught customs which were not lawful for Romans to Receive nor observe

Actually what really happened was they had cast the devil out of a girl who was a soothsayer, which cost her masters money.

The masters dragged Paul and Silas into the market place and turned them over to the rulers.

1. They rent off their clothes.. .
2. Commanded them to be beaten.
3. Laid many stripes on them.
4. Cast them into prison.
5. Charging the jailor to keep them safely.

I need here to explain that in those days when someone was a criminal of a high degree in other words notorious the jailer was given a charge. And a part of that charge was that if the prisoner was allowed to escape the jailer must take his place.

That was, no doubt, the reason he thrust Paul and Silas back into the inner prison and put their feet fast into the stocks. This sounds as if they had no slack at all around their feet.

Now let’s get the feeling of what really happened here.
As we all now know and the Romans knew then, Paul and Silas were not criminals; but they were of notoriety because they were turning the world upside down with the Gospel. Folks of low degree as well as those in high places were getting saved. No one knew who might be next. Crowds were gathering. Miracles were happening. A lot of it was of a spooky nature to the carnal mind. Stories were being told about what was happening here and there.

It was not enough to be told of the old man who sat on the corner for the last fifteen years getting healed and now seeing him walking, leaping and praising God; but they all declare it is all done in the name of Jesus Christ. They will not give up the idea that Jesus is alive. They say he arose from the grave and talked with his disciples.

So charging the jailor was like saying, “You had better watch these folks. You know all the stories you have heard about them. So that was the reason for the inner prison and the lock down.

Now picture the scene at the jail. Verse 25 says, it is midnight. Everyone had no doubt gone to sleep with the thought on their minds that the preachers were in jail. Midnight is that time when day is through but day break is a long way off. We do know that the prison was dark.

Paul and Silas began to pray from the inner part of the prison (my what a moment that must have been.) Paul prayed sometimes in his understanding and sometimes in the spirit. Then suddenly they stopped praying and began singing praises unto God; and the prisoners heard them. Verse 26
(And suddenly there was a great earthquake!)

Now don’t read this too fast and skim over the significance of the moment. Suddenly, without expecting it, quick an earthquake hit. (“These preachers caused this, no doubt,” they thought.)

This was not a small quake. It was a great one. It was dark. When an earthquake comes the ground moves like the ocean in a storm. This verse says, The foundations of the prison were shaken.
(All the doors were opened.)
(And everyone’s bands were loosed.)
(The prisoners were free with the doors open.)

Verse 27 The keeper of the prison awakened out of his sleep.

That’s a tough one. To be in the dark in an earthquake in charge of celebrity prisoners with the doors open. Prisoners loose…

He drew his sword and would have killed himself, thinking the prisoners had fled.

Paul cried with a loud voice, Do thyself no harm: we are here.

Then he, (the jailer), called for a light. And sprang or jumped in and came trembling. Falling down before Paul and Silas.

Now comes the question and answer that has been so abused and misused:
(Sirs, what must I do to be saved!)

Now first let me say that this is a man who is trembling and falling, a man who is a potential suicide, a heathen man, a man who doesn’t believe in Jesus. This is the man who is now asking,

“What must I do to be saved?”

There was no use to tell him about Daniel’s image, or the journeys of Israel, or the

Tabernacle in the Wilderness and the significance of each piece of furniture.

No, Paul told him what any of us would have:

Believe n the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Paul was saying what we would say to a Buddhist or a follower of Mohammed. First you must believe on Jesus Christ and thou shalt (this word shalt is future tense) be saved. If one took this to mean that he was saved that instant we would have to believe that his whole family or house would also be saved at that instant.

The truth is that if people who rely so heavily on this scripture would look closer at verse 32, they would see that they spake unto him the word of the Lord. And to all that were in his house.

(It’s not hard to figure out what Paul and Silas said when they spoke the word of God to him. Paul said in Ephesians 4:5, One Lord, one faith, one baptism.) Now verse 33 says, He (the jailer) took them (Paul and Silas) the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was baptized him and all his straightway.

If baptism is not important may I ask why they did not wait until daylight to baptize him and his family?

Verse 34 says, The jailer took them home with him. Set meat before them, and rejoiced believing in God with all his house. (That was the first time he believed in God.)

Salvation’s Upgrade

Acts18:24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. [25] This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. [26] And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly

Acts 18:24 brings us to a very important doctrinal lesson. This portion of scripture not only shows how intense the New Testament workers felt about the full truth, but it also shows how they went about bringing people to an upgrade of the truth. We could take a three day seminar on how to win people to the full blessings of God, and at the end of the day we would not learn anymore than these three verses teach us.

The story opens with Apollos teaching in the synagogue. The scripture in verse 24 says:

1. He was an eloquent man.

Eloquence always gets attention. A wordsmith is always in demand. There are men who are such great speakers they can talk about any subject and make it interesting, but Apollos was not speaking of some off-the-wall subject. He was. .

2. Mighty in the Scripture.

We are all impressed with a scripturian who has the ability to quote one scripture after the other.

Now the Bible does not say he quoted from memory. I, personally, picture him as doing that. The thing, however, we do know about him is that he was mighty in the scripture.

3. He was instructed in the way of the Lord.

Verse 25. I would say he had studied the sayings and habits of the Lord. Very possibly he knew some men who had heard and maybe even talked to Jesus. No doubt he could give a detailed description of his birth, his life, miracles, and interpret his sayings. He had truly became a disciple of the Lord.

4. He was fervent in the spirit.

He apparently spoke with enthusiasm in a fiery, exciting manner. He surely had a deep love and feeling for the Lord, and everything he knew about him but as honest and talented and devoted as he was he needed more.

We know that by what the Bible said next in verse 25.

5. He spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.

Now I am sure you remember that we have been made aware of this before. For emphasis and review sake let’s think back to Acts 1:4-5 when Jesus, just before he was Glorified said to the disciples, “not to depart from Jerusalem but wait for the promise of the Father. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” (The only thing that needed to happen before the Holy Ghost was poured out was the Glorification, which happened in the same chapter, verse 9.

The next place we were made aware of John’s baptism was in Acts 11:16 when Peter was telling of Cornelius getting his spiritual update.

So back to our story in Chapter 18, 25-26. Verse 25 lets us know that Apollos knew only up to the baptism of John. John baptized unto repentance.

So when Aquila and Priscilla heard him speak in the synagogue they took him unto them and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly

1. They did not interrupt him and say, “You don’t know what you are talking about.”
2. They apparently let him know they appreciated what he had as far as truth was concerned.
3. They emphasized that there was more for him. There was a way of God more perfectly.
4. One of the things that makes this such a great story is that he accepted when he was comforted with more truth. Tradition didn’t hold him back. He apparently was not running on ego.

I wonder how many big radio or TV personalities would accept two gospel workers pulling them aside and then saying “Hey there is more to the plan of salvation than you are preaching.”

822 Years Later

Acts 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, [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. [3] And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto Johns baptism. [4] Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should 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 his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

Well, here we are twenty-two years after the day of Pentecost. Apollos was at Corinth, while Paul had moved on to Ephesus and found certain disciples there. Now a disciple is a follower of Christ. These folks were no doubt like Apollos. They were doing their best to live for God. Paul asked them something that would make most folks angry.

He asked these disciples, “Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? (Folks now days will say that you get the Holy Ghost when you believe.)

The answer was not one of anger. They said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

I can see Paul scratching his head in thought as he asked them , unto what then were you baptized?

They said, unto John’s baptism. We know about that don’t we. (Paul was no doubt thinking okay I got you, I know who you are now.)

But what he really said was, verse 3. John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance. When they heard this they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.

And when Paul laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them and they spake with tongues.

Notice that they knew they had received the Holy Ghost by the fact that they spoke in tongues.

They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Why?

Well, we will go back and let Peter the Apostle with the keys to the Kingdom answer that: After the crowd asked him in Acts 2:37, What shall we do?

He said first repent, then be baptized in the Name of the Jesus Christ for the remissions of sins.

So the disciples at Ephesus got their baptism updates from John’s baptism of repentance, and had their sins remitted.

Then the next verse says they received the Holy Ghost.

In Conclusion

Someone may ask, “why, in the book of Acts, did the apostles not repeat the words in Matthew 28:19 over a candidate in baptism. Why were the words, ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ’ always used?”

The truth is simple. They were obeying the command instead of repeating the titles, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

We know that Father is not a name (You could not write a check and sign it “Father.” Even though you are a father the check would have to bear your proper name as the signature.)

So even though he was a son, yet “Son” was not his name.

And of course we realize that “Holy Ghost” is not a name. So instead of repeating this command, they obeyed it.

In Verse 18 Jesus had just stated, “All power is given to me in heaven and earth.”

Acts 4:12 reads, if you remember, in speaking of Jesus, “Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.”

Actually, Jesus in John 5:43 said, “I am come in my Father’s name.”

Matthew 1:21 states that the son’s name is Jesus.

John 14:26 reads, “For the comforter which is the Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in my name.

So we understand that in order to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, we must invoke the name of Jesus, as the first church did.

It is interesting to note that no one in the New Testament Church ever baptized any other way but in the name of Jesus. The practice of simply repeating the titles over a candidate did not occur until the fourth century.

The apostle Matthew, even though he penned the scripture Matthew 28:19, never protested on the day of Pentecost when the question was asked, “Men and brethren what must we do,” and Peter answered:

Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ.

The reason Matthew did not jump up and challenge Peter was because he knew there was no contradiction between what he had written in Matthew 28:19 and what Peter had just said.

So in further summary I would like to conclude by saying that the full plan of salvation is found only in the book of Acts. Nearly every denomination will agree that the birth of the New Testament Church is found in Acts.

So let me note: Salvation is not found in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). The Gospels tell of the birth, life, ministry, miracles, death and resurrection of Jesus and the account of the life of John the Baptist.

The book of Acts establishes the church at the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy.

The Epistles (Romans to Revelation) are all letters written to churches already established.

So simply stated, the Biblical plan of salvation is:

One must:

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Repent of their sins.
Be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and
Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues.

Paul, in Galatians 1:8-9 made a statement, then repeated the same statement for emphasis sake.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Let me, as I finish, say that if we wonder what he believed we need only to look at I Corinthians 14:18 which says, “I thank my God I speak with tongues more than ye all.”

There are those who would take the 19th Verse of that same chapter out of context when Paul said, “Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.”

If we will be honest and put this scripture back in context we know by reading before it that Paul was straightening out a church that had become unruly; and instead of preaching, all the members were doing as they pleased whenever they felt like it. Remember that he was writing to a church already established. In Verse 23 of the 14th Chapter Paul sums up the problem.

“If therefore the whole church be come together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

This admonition of Paul to the church had nothing to do with the plan of salvation or of originally being born into the church. That’s why he qualified himself in Verse 18 by saying that he talked in tongues more than anyone else.

Reader, don’t allow anyone to take a scripture out of context and deceive you.

To know what Paul believed, go back to the 19th Chapter of Acts and listen to him ask the disciples he found at Ephesus, “Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?”

Paul was present when these believers were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

And . . . .it was Paul’s hands that were placed on them when they received the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

The End.

This article Doctrine Does Matter by O.C. Marler is excerpted from Doctrine Does Matter.

Posted in AD - Apostolic Doctrine, ADGE - General Apostolic Theology, AIS File Library0 Comments


Log in / Logout

Subscribe Today!

Options

CLICK TO VIEW ISSUE 30-10

Archives