The Holy Ghost
By: C.D. Coon
We again turn our attention to the steps that must be taken in order to enter the kingdom of God. According to the Word of God, the first is FAITH; the second REPENTANCE; the third WATER BAPTISM in the name of Jesus Christ. Now we examine the fourth and final step, receiving the Holy Ghost. After fulfilling these obligations we must then continue in the Apostles doctrine living a holy and godly life.
Speaking with other tongues is the initial sign God gives us when we receive the Holy Ghost. Speaking with tongues is the subject of our next study, so I will only briefly mention it in this lesson.
Most of the world today views the Holy Ghost as an optional blessing that is not essential to salvation. How important is the Holy Ghost in our lives, according to the Scriptures? From the Bible it is evident that the Holy Ghost is essential in our lives for us to be saved from sin. Let’s examine what God has to say on the subject. Then we can give others a reason of the hope that is in us concerning the Holy Ghost.
THE PROPHETS SPOKE OF THE HOLY GHOST
Four great prophets, one of them being the Holy Ghost baptizer, tells us we can and shall have the Holy Ghost. Peter foretold of “…all that are afar off…” (Acts 2:39), being candidates for the Holy Ghost. Prophetic scripture has been fulfilled over and over again since the day of Pentecost in 33 A.D. Worldwide, men and women are receiving the Holy Ghost evidenced by speaking with other tongues.
* ISAIAH – Foretells of God using stammering lips and another tongue (Isaiah 28:9-12). Paul makes reference to this prophecy (I Corinthians 14:21), in his writing to the New Testament church. Isaiah refers to the joyfulness of this experience as drawing water from the wells of salvation (Isaiah 12:1-6).
* JOEL – Foretold of the out-pouring of the Spirit upon all flesh (Joel 2:28-29). Peter informs us that the out-pouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), is the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy (Acts 2:16-18).
* JOHN THE BAPTIST – All four gospel writers record John’s prophecy of Christ baptizing with the Holy Ghost and fire (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33). Jesus himself declared that John the Baptist was a prophet (Luke 7:24-30).
* JESUS CHRIST – Prophet of all prophets would be proper and fitting for our Lord. In the truest sense of the word Jesus was a prophet (Luke 24:19; Acts 3:22-23). He prophesied of many things such as the destruction of Jerusalem, the rising of false christs, and the Holy Ghost.
- He alludes to the Holy Ghost as rivers of living water (John 7:37-39). It is the living water of John 4:10-14.2. When Jesus spoke of being born of the spirit without question He meant being baptized with the Holy Ghost (John 3:1-8).
- He foretells of the coming Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost (John 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-13).4. He promises His followers they will be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence (Acts 1:5). Jesus then ascended to heaven to fulfill all these promises in just a few days (Acts 2:1-4).
WHAT IS THE HOLY GHOST?
Many man made terms that are not consistent with the Bible are used to describe the Holy Spirit. To answer this question properly let’s go to the Bible for a Scriptural definition of the Holy Ghost. Each of the following terms are synonymous terms describing the Holy Ghost.
1. SPIRIT OF CHRIST – Also called the Spirit of God because Jesus is God (Romans 8:9-11). Jesus spoke of being with us, and the being in us; the Holy Ghost is the spirit of God coming into our lives (Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:16-18).
2. A BAPTISM – The Holy Ghost is an inundating, overwhelming, and immersion of the Spirit. God’s spirit baptizes us into one body (I Corinthians 12:13). Being baptized with the Holy Ghost is the “one baptism” Paul spoke of (Ephesians 4:5).
3. A BIRTH – Two distinct elements constitute the Born Again experience i.e. water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost baptism (John 3:1-8). Jesus likened the Holy Ghost to a birth of the Spirit.
4. A SEAL – God gives us the Holy Ghost to seal us into the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). “…Ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” (Ephesians 1:13; II Corinthians 1:22).
5. THE EARNEST OF OUR INHERITANCE – As great as this experience is, it is only a down payment or part of what we will receive in the end if we are faithful (II Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14). Paul refers to this experience as “…the first fruits of the Spirit…” (Romans 8:23).
6. REST – Jesus invited those of His day, and ours, to come unto Him and find rest unto their souls (Isaiah 28:12; Matthew 11:28-30; Hebrews 4:1-11). In Christ we have ceased from our labors and entered into the rest (sabbath), of the Holy Ghost. Every day is a holy day of rest, peace, and joy in Him.
7. SPIRIT OF ADOPTION – Through the Holy Ghost we have been adopted as sons of God, crying Abba, which means Father (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:4-7; Ephesians 1:5).
8. LIVING WATER – Those who have been made to drink of that spiritual drink and that spiritual Rock (I Corinthians 10:1-4), know the depth of this term. Living water sounds refreshing and revitalizing. Jesus said the Holy Ghost was like that (John 4:10-14; 7:37- 39).
9. POWER FROM ON HIGH – We are weak creatures needing a power outside the human realm. Through the Holy Ghost God has provided this needed power –
power to be witnesses (Acts 1:8), and to live as God directs us in His Word. How we need to be endued with power from on high (Luke 24L49; Acts 2:1-4), the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. (I Peter 1:12).
10. THE COMFORTER – Jesus calls the Holy Ghost the comforter, the Spirit of truth, a guide, a testifier, and a reprover (John 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-13). Comforter is a word with great spiritual and Biblical impact.
WHO CAN HAVE THE HOLY GHOST?
God has made conditional promises to those who want the Holy Ghost. When these Bible conditions are net, ANYONE can have the Holy Ghost. God is no respecter of persons, but will give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him (Luke 11:13). Observe with me what the Bible has to say on the subject.
- God’s promise of the Holy Ghost is to all flesh – sons, daughters, servants, and handmaids (Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:16-17).2. John the Baptist did not exclude anyone in his preaching about the Holy Ghost baptism (Matthew 3:11).
3. Peter declared the Holy Ghost was for you (Jews), and all them afar off (Gentiles) (Acts 2:38-39).
4. God gives the Holy Ghost to them that obey him (Acts 5:32).
5. Those at Samaria, the Ethiopian, and the people at Azotus received the Holy Ghost also (Acts 8:1-40).
6. Cornelius and those in his home received the Holy Ghost (Acts 10:44-48).
7. “But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him.” (Acts 10:35).
8. “…Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” (Revelation 5:9).
Angels desire to look into this great salvation, prophets have searched and inquired diligently into it (I Peter 1:10-12), and to think you and I can have it!
EVIDENCE OF THE HOLY GHOST
On the day of Pentecost, the birthday of the church, the one hundred and twenty spoke with other tongues as the Spirit gave them the utterance when they received the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-4). God’s Word is very precise in giving us example after example of this phenomenal sign of speaking in tongues as evidence one has received the Holy Ghost. Millions have experienced this glorious ecstatic utterance when they receive the like precious gift.
Paul spoke with tongues more than all the Corinthian church (I Corinthians 14:18). No doubt, the first occasion was when he received the Holy Ghost (Acts 9:17-18). Numerous Scriptures are at your disposal for study, these are some of them.
1. Isaiah prophesied of God speaking through another tongue (Isaiah 28:9-12).
2. When the New Testament church began, they spoke in other tongues (Acts 2:1-4).
3. It is conclusive that the Samaritans spoke with tongues (Acts 8:1-25).
4. Cornelius’ household, who were Gentiles, spoke with other tongues(Acts 10:44-48).
5. Believers in John’s baptism were re-baptized and spoke with tongues (Acts 19:1-6).
SYNONYMOUS TERMS FOR THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST
Many ideas have been projected by man concerning degrees or stages of the Holy Ghost coming into a person’s life. Fanciful ideas, wresting the Scriptures to their own destruction best describes such statements. Nine (9) terms are found in the Bible synonymously describing the one and same experience of the Holy Ghost coming into one’s life. No degrees, stages, or variances of the Holy Ghost are indicated in any of the following instances. Neither do these terms describe various experiences, they are expressions by different men, and may be used today when we speak of the Holy Ghost.
1. BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST – (Ephesians 4:5; Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; Acts 1:5; I Corinthians 12:13).
2. FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST – (Acts 2:1-4; 9:17).
3. GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST – (Acts 10:45; 2:38; 11:17; 8:20; Romans 5:5; 6:23).
4. RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST – (Acts 8:15-19; 10:4-7; 19:2; John 7:37-39).
5. HOLY GHOST COME UPON YOU – (Acts 1:8; 19:6).
6. POURED OUT – (Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:17; 10:45).
7. SENT DOWN FROM HEAVEN – (I Peter 1:12; sound from heaven, Acts 2:1-4).
8. HOLY GHOST FELL – (Acts 8:16; 10:44; 11:15).
9. SHED ON US – (Titus 3:5-6; Acts 2:33; Romans 5:5).
When Cornelius and his household were filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 10:44-48), four of these terms are used in five verses (fell, poured out, gift, and receive). May I ask, “Did Cornelius get four kinds, degrees, stages, or types of the Holy Ghost?” No, it was one experience described with four different terms.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE HOLY GHOST
God’s Spirit is very important to us in our lives. It is a very sacred thing, so much so that Jesus warned us not to blaspheme (speak against), the Holy Ghost. Forgiveness can never be obtained for this sin (Mark 3:28-20). Blaspheme against the Holy Ghost is the ONLY unpardonable sin. Any and all other sins can be forgiven.
Great stress is laid upon the importance and essentiality of the Holy Ghost in the Scripture. Give special attention to the following verses.
1. Without the Holy Ghost we will not be in the catching away of the church (Romans 8:11; I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
2. Without the Spirit of Christ we are none of his (Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:3; II Timothy 2:19).
3. We cannot call Jesus Lord except by the Holy Ghost (I Corinthians12:3).
Once a person has accomplished the steps of faith, repentance, baptism, and has received the Holy Ghost, his salvation from sin is complete. Though this may sound like a big order, and it is, it can be achieved in one’s life very quickly. It is your responsibility to believe and repent. Allow the minister to baptize you, then God will baptize you with the Holy Ghost. This, my friend. is Bible Salvation.
WHAT SALVATION IS
The sum total of this glorious experience is described in the Bible in several synonymous terms, a few of them are below. Remember these cover the composite, complete experience of being born again.
1. A WASHING – Cleansing comes through the blood, water, and Spirit as a result of obedience to the Word of God (John 13:10; I Corinthians 6:11; I Peter 1:22; Revelation 1:7).
2. A RESURRECTION – Being saved from sin is compared to being quickened (made alive), and raised up (resurrected), according to Paul (Ephesians 2:1-6; Colossians 2:13; Romans 6:1-11).
3. A BIRTH – What a beautiful description of our salvation. Imagine a new born babe coming into the world to behold its beauty for the first time. He then grows up to enjoy all the exciting things life brings. When one is born into the family of God, he is nourished by the Word, and grows up to be a useful worker for God’s cause (John 3:1-8; 1:13; Galatians 4:29; I Peter 1:23; I John 2:29).
4. A CIRCUMCISION – Spiritual circumcision of the heart (Jeremiah 4:4), is completed when we obey Acts 2:38. Water and Spirit baptism combined fully circumcises the heart, making one a Jew inwardly (Romans 2:28-29). In conjunction with this, study Philippians 3:3, Colossians 2:10-13; Galatians 3:29).
5. A TRANSLATION – spiritually we are translated into the kingdom of His dear son (Ephesians 2:6; Romans 6:4-5; Colossians 1:13).
6. BEING IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD – God’s kingdom is a spiritual entity that we become a part of by being born again (John 3:1-8; Romans 14:17; Acts 8:12; Luke 12:31-32; Matthew 16:19; Mark 12:34).
7. BEING SAVED – Salvation is accomplished in our lives by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost (Titus 3:5; Acts 2:1-4); which comes through obeying the gospel (I Corinthians 15:1-4).
8. BEING A NEW CREATURE – Creature in this instance means “creation”. Only in and through Christ can we become new creatures (II Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15).
Stephen, the first martyr of the church was declared to be FULL of the Holy Ghost (Acts 6:3,8). What a testimony! May it become ours.
(The above material was published by Christian Development Publications.)
Christian Information Network