Receiving The Holy Ghost
" ... And he said unto them, Have ye received the
holy Ghost since
ye believed? And they said unto him, we have not heard whether
there be any
holy Ghost ... And when Paul laid his hands on them, the
holy Ghost fell on them; and they spake in tongues, and prophesied." (Acts 19:2,6)
Upon arriving in Ephesus, the Apostle Paul met some men who were followers of the true God, according to the knowledge that they presently had. He, knowing what it was and is that the souls of men must have in order to be in right standing with God, asked them the now famous question: "Have ye received the
holy Ghost since ye believed?" Why was receiving the holy Ghost his focal point in this encounter? Well, for starters, he is the same
apostle who said, "Now if any man HAVE NOT the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" (Rom. 8:9).
Seeing that these men told the Apostle Paul that they hadn't even HEARD of the holy Ghost, we are assured that they had not yet received the Spirit. They thought that they had been baptized with the baptism that God had given John the Baptist, as they stated in verse 3; but Paul clarified to them that John's baptism and message was all about believing on Jesus and receiving
Jesus' baptism; or receiving the
holy Ghost . Upon understanding these things they willingly desired to receive what God required and what He wanted for them. So when the Apostle Paul laid his hands on them in prayer they RECEIVED the
holy Ghost with the accompanying witness from God (speaking in tongues).
The point that I want to drive home here is one of the most important points that needs to made to
God's people in this day and time. That point is, that receiving the holy Ghost and being baptized with the
holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues, is one and the same experience. This is entirely evident by the text scriptures that we are looking at here. These men did not "get saved," thereby receiving the
holy Ghost; and then afterward were baptized with the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. And it is obvious by the reading of the passage that this did not occur. Nevertheless, this is exactly what God's dear people have been made to believe through these modern
religious inventions of men that are so widely taught and received as though from God.
One of God's most evident attributes is consistency, as it is written: "I am the LORD, I change not;..." (Mal. 3:6). And again: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Heb. 13:8). And once more: "Every good and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17). God did not manifest in this situation that receiving the
holy Ghost and being baptized with the Spirit with the witness of speaking in tongues is the same thing, and then decide for it to be different from this at some other time. He is not scatter brained. He is in one mind about His Gospel and the truths thereof at all times. As He has ordained things to be, so they are; then, now, and as long as the Gospel is in effect. Amen!
These men at Ephesus were BAPTIZED with the holy Ghost upon being prayed for by the Apostle Paul, and this is obvious due to the fact that they began speaking in
and prophesying. Had God dealt with their hearts before this time? Absolutely! The scripture calls them disciples, meaning that they were serving the true God as
best they could
with what they knew. Was that a good thing? It was a wonderful thing! It is very evident that they were bent heavily toward God, by how well they took to the truth that Paul presented to them; which truth they rightly saw as an opportunity to draw closer to the blessed God that they were seeking to serve. Oh Glory!! That is the beauty of the whole thing. This truth is for your blessing. It is being sent to raise you up, not to bring you low. I want to encourage you dear one, to be as the Bereans, whom the scripture states "... were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things (what the Apostle Paul was teaching) were so" (Acts 17:11). Amen and God bless.