Pentecost Sunday is the first time when Jesus baptised 120 people with the Holy Spirit to be His "witnesses" (Acts 1:8). Jesus talked about the necessity of sending the Holy Spirit to those who believed in Him (Jn. 16:7-15). But He could not give the Holy Spirit to anyone until He had been glorified (Jn. 7:37-39). This meant He had to be raised from the dead and ascended into heaven first (Acts 2:10-11).
Many Pastors teach that when a person receives Salvation, he/she also receives the Holy Spirit. I've had many people come and tell me that there is something missing in them and that they need the Holy Spirit. I prayed with them and they received with the "signs following" (Mark 16:17). That teaching of the initial evidence has left most Christians side-tracked and disappointed.
For most people, Salvation and the Baptism are two separate experiences as in the case in Philip's ministry where Peter and John were sent to Samaria to see if the believers had received the Holy Spirit.
"For He (the Holy Spirit) had not yet fallen on any of them.....Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit" (Acts 8:16-17).
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is necessary to live the normal Christian Life as described in the New Testament. When baptised, the Holy Spirit can equip us to do the ministry that Jesus wants us to do.
Many people mistake the Baptism of the Holy Spirit when Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit on His disciples. They did not receive the Holy Spirit then, they only received peace (Jn. 20:21). Later He commanded them to receive the Holy Spirit, not then. If they did, they would have spoken in tongues, but they did not (Jn. 20:22).
We also know this because of the conversation that Jesus and Peter had when He could not tell Jesus that he loved Him with "agape love” (Jn. 21:15-19). "Agape love" is an unconditional love that cannot be exercised unless the believer has been Baptised in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). Peter knew the difference. Eventually Peter did receive the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41). Many people today have been wrongly told that they received the Holy Spirit when they did not. They mistook the cleansing of their sin for receiving the Holy Spirit (1 Jn. 1:9).
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If you have not received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as the first 120 believers did, come to one of our house meetings or contact me. We can help you replace that "something missing" with the Holy Spirit's rivers of living waters" (Jn. 7:37-39).
Rev. Gordon Williams
c. Gordon Williams Evangelistic Association 2016.