An interesting and startling thing occurred at a recent outreach we conducted. As we finished witnessing to the college students at a particular college campus we were nearly chased down by a young lady who professed her Christianity to us. She was eager to show her praise of our visit to the college campus and agreement with our message. However, she also gave her opinions on how some things should have been done.
We usually get this a lot from professing Christians who feel they could have done a better job witnessing to the people. We had to agree to disagree on that subject and leave it at that. We know what should be said in order to be an effective witness of the goodness and severity of God. This was hard for her to understand as she was more concerned about the “perception” and “feelings” of the students towards our delivery. She insisted that the students might be offended and not want to follow Christ after our witness. That however is far from true as the fruit of the ministry and testimonies speak otherwise. Nevertheless, after a few minutes on trial with the professing Christian we felt we made our point and insisted on leaving.
As we were about to leave we chose to share with the professing Christian a particular scripture that we felt she could benefit from. We then flipped the pages over to the book of Acts and landed upon the following scripture:
“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.” (Acts 2:38 KJV).
After explaining to her the need to repent and be baptized we taught her about the receiving of the Holy Ghost. We then showed her that she needed the Holy Ghost to lead and guide her into all Truth. We told her that upon receiving the Holy Ghost, she would speak in new tongues as a sign after belief in the Gospel. We showed her the many occurrences where the new believers in several places in the book of Acts were made sure they had received the Holy Ghost after belief. We showed her where Jesus said in Mark 16 that the signs would follow the believers and that they would speak in new tongues. Her response was shallow, disinterested, and there was a slight chuckle as she stated, “I don’t believe in that.” Her response was rather conceited.
When I see instances where the Holy Ghost is given in the Book of Acts, I see expectancy. I see instances where the believers are in hopes to receive the Spirit of God. I see the believers not putting up a fuss, rebuttal or any hint of unbelief. I see men/women who are wanting to receive from God all they can receive from God with gladness. I see the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon willing vessels.
But not so with this professing Christian. I see a young lady who has been infected by man-made doctrines and false teachings. I see a woman who has been poisoned by false teachers. I see someone who lacks faith and will not receive anything from God if she continues in unbelief. A mere head-knowledge of the things of God will not produce the indwelling of the Spirit of God. One has to surrender their life and believe with Faith that God will pour out his Spirit upon them. When I received the Holy Ghost after I believed the Gospel, I was expectant of more. I was believing that God would baptize me with the Spirit. I didn’t speak evil of the Holy Spirit, I didn’t “chuckle” when spoken to about the Spirit, No! I made haste and in sincerity and in prayer I humbly asked God to fill me with his Holy Spirit.
I remember that day as clear as ever. How could I forget. That was when I was baptized with the Holy Ghost and spoke in New tongues as the Spirit gave me utterance! I knew I had it and NO ONE, NO THING, could ever take away the Gift that God had given me. His Gifts and callings are without repentance (Romans 11:29). He sealed it with a proof, the manifestation of the Spirit! (Mark 16:17).
“…because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.” (Acts 10:44-48)
Oh! how sad it is for there to be such lack of faith in an individual, even so far as to “chuckle” at the mention of the opportunity receive God’s Holy Spirit. It’s a sad thing to witness such unbelief and subtle mocking. I pray that the woman comes to her senses before it’s too late.
It doesn’t take much to understand the Truth behind being baptized with the Holy Ghost and its necessity. One merely has to open up the pages of the Good Book to see that it shows forth examples of that Glorious Experience upon New Testament Believers. But few will read for themselves. Those who lack faith will continue to remain slaves to the ignorance and lies they have been fed by those who are sensual and have not the Spirit of God.
“These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.” (Jude 1:19).
One can have all the scriptures memorized. One can be very bold in their reciting of scriptural references and even charismatic in their approach but that will not produce the Holy Spirit of God. That will not be sufficient on that Great Day. We have seen this very matter being demonstrated to us in the scriptures in history past:
“And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 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.” (Acts 18:24-25).
The man by the name of Apollos was very vibrant, bold, and understood the scriptures well, yet, he was lacking. What could he have been lacking? Well, it isn’t hard for us to put the pieces together if we just read what happens next and further into the following chapter:
“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 18:26)
And in the following chapter (19) we see a similar instance. A group of believers are spotted by the Apostle Paul. He understands that they were disciples of John the Baptist. They were believers in the Messiah and they were even baptized unto John’s baptism but they were lacking the Holy Spirit of God. The Apostle Paul begins to expound unto them the way of God more perfectly:
“Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” (Acts 19:1-2)
These men had faith, didn’t doubt and complied with what Paul was teaching them. These men surely received the Holy Ghost for we see that in the verses following. They go on to be men filled with the Spirit of God and even start a church in Ephesus. Notice what separates them from the young lady we spoke about earlier. It is a little five letter word….”F A I T H.”
The young lady said with conceit and with a joking response that she didn’t have faith that the baptism of the Holy Ghost was needed. Her perceived relationship with God was sufficient and there needn’t be any signs following or evidence of the Spirit after belief. It’s apparent that she assumed that what Jesus said in Mark 16:17 was not relevant for today. This lackluster attitude and high-minded ignorance won’t get you far with God. For he that comes to God must come to Him by Faith! That is the only way to receive anything from God.
All the Apostles had faith enough to go to the upper room and receive the Gift of the Spirit. Even the Gentile believers were open and expectant of the benefits of God. They too received the Holy Ghost. All my brothers and sisters in the faith have wonderful testimonies of how God baptized them with the Holy Ghost and how they received the Spirit by faith.
I, a man unworthy to receive any good thing from God because of my life of sin and waywardness, too, received the love of God when he baptized me with his Spirit. God in his wonderful mercy and compassion had the sight to see that one day I would be somewhat of a use to his Kingdom to lead others his way. He filled me with the Holy Ghost and I spoke in New Tongues as Jesus said I would. Praise God! All Glory to God who doesn’t start a work and leave it unfinished!
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1:6).
I pray you are not like that young lady when it comes to the things of God. I pray you are expectant to receive all that God has for you. I pray that you understand that God does not lie and he made a promise to give of his Spirit to all who ask him in faith.
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13).