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Saturday, June 24, 2017

6/24/2017                          What’s a Holy Ghost?

Paul encountered twelve disciples on the road to Ephesus and as the talked, asked them if they had received the Holy Ghost since they believed (Acts 19:2) and paraphrasing their answer they said “What’s a Holy Ghost?”

What/Who is the Holy Ghost?

The Holy Ghost is the third person of the Godhead.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life proceeds from the Father and the Son. (Niocene Creed, 381 AD)

The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters during creation (Gen. 1:2).  Father spoke words and it was the Holy Ghost Who carried those words into action. 
He is the breath of God

The Hebrew word generally associated with God’s Spirit is ruwach (Strong’s 7307) and the Greek word is pneuma (Strong’s 4151).  The Hebrew word neshamah (Strong’s 5397) a puff of breath or wind which refers to our soul, intellect, the human spirit, that which gives us animation.  And the Hebrew gava (Strong’s 1478) translates ‘ghost’, with the connation of breathing out with the idea of last breath.

Now, ruwach (Gen. 1:2) and pneuma (John14:17 and Acts 2:4), both translated ‘ghost’ or ‘spirit’ mean ‘breath’ or ‘blast of air’ and, of course, these passages refer to God’s Spirit or the Holy Ghost. 
 The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters (Gen. 1:2) thereby putting God’s words into action.  We also see God going before Israel as a cloud pillar by day and protecting their rear guard by night (Exod. 13:21) as a pillar of fire and, by the Red Sea, He says He’ll even fight for them (Exod. 14:14).

 Jesus tells His disciples that they shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon them (Acts 1:8).

 So the Holy Ghost is the power of God to put His Word into action, protect us and to indwell us,, giving us power to live this life for Him and to be witnesses to the world (Acts. 1:8)
John the Baptist prophecies the Holy Ghost

John said he indeed baptized with water for the remission of sins but one is coming after him who will baptize us with the Holy Ghost and fire (Matt. 3:11).  John’s statement referenced the prophecy of Joel “I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy … (Joel 2:28)”

Jesus Promises the Holy Ghost

I pray the Father that He will give you another comforter … even the Spirit of truth (John 14:16-17)
But it is expedient I go … Comforter will not come, but if I leave, I will send Him to you (John 16:7-8).  Jesus tells His disciples that the Holy Ghost is our comforter and that He is coming, expect Him.
Jesus Commands that we receive the Holy Ghost

Jesus not only tells us that the Holy Ghost is coming, but he puts a touch of importance on the event.  He tells His disciples “Receive the Holy Ghost” (John 20:22).  Now Jesus makes this comment later in the day, after His resurrection (the empty tomb).   Kenneth Hagin cites this as when the disciples actually received the indwelling of the HG.  Note the wording here ‘receive’, not ‘baptized with’ (Acts 1:4-5).  Note the distinction as we continue reading and comparing the baptism or infilling of the Holy Ghost.  Note Jesus also said ‘receive’.  He didn’t say ‘you might want to think about’, or ‘if you have time, consider it’.  This is a direct statement as to what the disciples should do – receive – a command, if you will.  Not an option.                  

How do we know the Holy Ghost has come?

So how do we know when the Holy Ghost comes.  He came over two thousand years ago.  On the day of Pentecost, the time celebrated for when the death angel passing over the children of Israel in Egypt just before Moses led them out, the disciples (120 of them) were all in one accord, in one place, in prayer when what sounded like a mighty rushing wind filled the room and cloven tongues of fire sat upon each one of them (Acts 2:15-18), that’s when they were filled with the Holy Ghost.  Since that time, it hasn’t been God giving us the Holy Ghost but us receiving Him (Acts 8:15, Acts 10:44, Acts 19:6).  Note that in Acts 10 & 19 ‘fell upon’ carries the idea of receiving.  If someone throw me a ball, I don’t have it unless I catch it or receive it.  The ball still exist and is coming at me, 
but if I want it, I have to catch it or receive it.

Distinction between indwelling and infilling

I’m saved so I have the Holy Ghost, right?  Yes, but not the fullness of what God has to offer.  Let’s take a look the indwelling, our salvation experience and the infilling, our experience with the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

Jesus Promises with Salvation, the indwelling
Ask in my name and I will do it, if you love me keep my commandments, I will pray Father will give you another Comforter who will abide with you forever, the Spirit of Truth … for He is with you but shall be in you (John 14:14-17).  Think ‘will be’.  So who is the original comforter?  Jesus!

He who drinks the water I give him shall never thirst, but it will be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:14).  A continuing source of life and that is what the Holy Ghost is for us which will transfer to Jesus when we are in eternity.  In the presence of God, we don’t need the infilling of the Holy Ghost anymore.  When Jesus walked with the disciples He gave them power (Luke 10:19).  So, until we’re living back in the literal presence of our Lord, the Holy Ghost give us the power to do what we need to.

We know that with salvation the Comforter, or the Holy Ghost, comes to live within us and as we live for the Father, through Jesus, The Holy Ghost confirms our salvation (1 John 5:13).

Peace be unto you, as My Father has sent Me, I send you, He breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Ghost”, whosoever sins you remit, they are remitted, whose sins you retain, they are retained  (John 20:21-23).  Here Jesus has yet to promise the baptism or infilling as yet.     

We have the Holy Ghost, but we discover that there more to ‘just having’ the assurance of salvation.

Jesus Promises with Baptism of Holy Ghost, the infilling
Just before He ascends into heaven, Jesus promises that they shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:4-5) and when the Holy Ghost is come upon them, then they shall receive power and to be witnesses (Acts 1:8). 

Power are those rivers of living waters flowing in us and through us.  Jesus says that if a man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes on Me, as the scripture says, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living waters (John 7:37-39).  Our ‘thirst’ is our desire to draw closer to Jesus, to receive ALL that He has for us.  We receive, then those rivers of living waters flow back out to those around us, our witness, our testimony.         

Again this is the Holy Ghost abiding within us and there are certain benefits, but there is more to come.

How do I know I have the indwelling?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (Gal. 5:22-23).  The indwelling truly immediately produces fruit with salvation, most notable joy and peace.  Think about your own salvation experience.  When I gave my heart to the Lord, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off from my shoulders.  I felt good.  No, like Tony the Tiger, I felt GRREEAAT!

The fruit of the Spirit is evident from salvation.  It may not happen all at once, but it should be growing in our hearts eventually expressing itself outward.  Joy seems to be there, right up front (John 20:20, Acts 13:52) with love becoming a growing part of the our lives – love me, keep My commandments (John 14:15), keep My commandments shows your love (John 15:10).  It’s a circle, we love Him, we desire to please Him.  As we please Him, He blesses us and our desire to love Him grows even more.

How do I know I have the infilling, Baptism?
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:4)

AS Peter spoke … the Holy Ghost fell on all who heard the Word … for those of the circumcision saw that Gentiles also received the gift of the Holy Ghost … for they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God (Acts 10:44-46)

Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?  We haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Ghost (v4) … they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (v5), Paul laid hands upon them and the Holy Ghost came on them for they spoke with tongues and prophesied (v6) (Acts 19:1-6).

The scriptures tell us that out of the mouths of two or three witnesses every word is established (2 Corinth. 13:1).  In these passages, we have our witnesses that the initial, the first things observed with the baptism of the Holy Ghost is the speaking with ‘tongues’, our spiritual, heavenly language give to us from the Father (Romans 8:26).

Our salvation brought us joy and now that joy continues on to a greater level because now we have our spiritual language representing a new level of power God has put in us.  it is our direct communication with God.  Kind of like the old ‘hotline’ between Washington DC and Moscow, years ago, a direct line between our president and the USSR’s premier.  When we pray in the Spirit, we have a direct connect with our Father.  Read on.

Why do I want the baptism of the Holy Ghost?    

Part of Gospel of Jesus Christ (Matt. 3:11 John, Acts 1:4-5 Jesus, Acts 1:8 power)
Jesus tells us to expect the Holy Ghost for He shall give us power and we have seen that He is our comforter (John 14:16).

Fruit of the Spirit                     love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Gal. 5:22-23)

These qualities do exactly what they say and make it much more durable to live this life for God so we have favor with God and with man (Psalms 5:12)

Gifts of the Spirit                     Wisdom, knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues  (1 Corinth. 12:1-31)

Also Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teacher (Eph. 4:11)

We know that gifts are given without repentance (Romans 11:29) and Satan can mimic some of what God does (he duplicated some of the plagues of God but the Egyptian magicians were stopped with the lice (Exod. 8:18-19).  That left seven plagues they couldn’t duplicate  But living in The Holy Spirit and being obedient to god’s will brings God’s blessings (John 15:7) to us.  Yes, we have to live for Christ, but a small price to pay for God’s power dwelling in us.
             Power to live this life
                        A Closer Walk            
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord … Noah was a just and perfect man in his time, Noah walked with God (Gen. 6:8-9).

I am the light of the world.  He who follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life (John 8:12).

Jesus promises to be with us.  In fact, He promises to never leave nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5).  What more could we ask?
                        Better Communication 
The Spirit helps infirmities, for we don’t know how we should pray but the Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings (Strong’s 4726 or sighs) that 
can’t be uttered (Romans 8:26-27).

Speaking in an unknown tongue is not speaking to men, but unto God for no man understands him but in the Spirit, he speaks mysteries (1 Corinth. 14:2)
Eye has not seen nor ear heard, or has it entered into men’s hearts, the things God has prepared for them, for God reveals them to us through His Spirit for the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God … which God gives freely (1 Corinth. 2:9-12)

We don’t always know what to say when we pray, so the Spirit prays for us (tongues).  He speaks mysteries that the world doesn’t understand, nor can because He speaks the deep things of God AND shares the with us through ‘revelation’.  Through prayer, through the word, even through the things around us.

The Spirit of truth … will guide you into all truth for He doesn’t speak of Himself, but He speaks what He hears and He will show you things to come (John 16:13).

Jesus tells us that the Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My name, shall teach you all things & bring them back to memory, those things I’ve said to you (John 14:26).

Don’t worry how to answer your adversaries for the Holy Ghost will teach you what to say (Luke 12:11-12).  Don’t be fearful, especially when confronted concerning our faith.  Why?

I will give you a mouth and wisdom and your enemies will not be able to argue nor resist (Luke 21:15)

How do I receive the Holy Ghost
Be Saved
If we confess Jesus with our mouth and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved (Rom. 10:9)

If we repent and are baptized in the name of Jesus for remission of sins (be saved), we shall receive the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38)

Paul encountered twelve men on the road to Ephesus and talking with them he realized that had only received John’s baptism for repentance. Paul baptized these men in the name of Jesus, laid hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost (Acts 19:1-7)
Peter preached Jesus to Cornelius and his house and the Holy Ghost fell upon them as he preached and then they were baptized with water for repentance.  (Acts 10:44-48)
Cornelius’ family repented (unto salvation) and received the Holy Ghost while Peter preached, leaving  water baptism was just a ‘formality’

Right Heart with God (no ‘open’ sin)
            Repent (Acts 2:38)
We need to ask God to create a clean heart in us and renew (turn from our old ways) our spirit (Psalms 51:10)  (no ‘outstanding’ sins)
Often we ask God for something, but for the wrong reason (James 4:2-3).
We need to ask God, seek it with all our heart and take action to receive, then it shall be opened (given) to us (Matt. 7:7).  The unjust judge gave the old woman her request because she didn’t give up after the first try (Luke 18:1-8)
When we pray for something, we need to believe that we will receive it and then we shall have it (Mark 11:24).

There are times we don’t have because we haven’t asked in Jesus’ name, ask in His name (John 14:13) and receive, He wants our joy may be full (John 16:24).

Demonstrate faith
We need to take action on what we believe we’ve received (James 2:17-18).  With the baptism of the Holy Ghost, we open our mouths and begin to speak letting the Holy Ghost give us utterance (Acts 2:4)

The initial evidence (first thing noted) of the Baptism or infilling of the Holy Ghost is speaking with the God-given tongue or language.  It is ‘tongues’ (glossa, Strong’s 1100), a language.  It is NOT ‘thoughts’.  It is spoken.  Just as God spoke and created everything (Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24 & 26 – ‘God said’).  We have to open our mouths and speak it out. When we were children and became hungry we didn’t go to mom, look intently at her and think ‘I’m hungry, please fix me a sandwich’.  For those who may have tried, it didn’t work very well, did it?  No, we opened our mouths and asked mom for the sandwich.

We see in Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44-46 and Acts 19:6 the initial evidence demonstrated is the speaking in tongues.  We seek the baptism of the Holy Ghost, this should be the first thing evidenced.

So just what or should I say WHO is the Holy Ghost?  The power of the eternal, living God living in us which gives us power to testify of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ AND to live this life to its fullest.  All we have to do is receive what Father has for us and then put our belief into action.

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