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We will never be continually “filled” with the Holy Spirit, if we do not allow the Word of God to saturate our spirits, souls, (or minds) and permeate our entire lives!  The more we die to sin and self and allow the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us into “all truth” of God’s Word, the more the Holy Spirit will “fill” us with His ‘water,’ (Word,) and make His water overflow in our lives.  As a result, God commanded that sincere believers do not need the indwelling Holy Spirit only; we need the indwelling (or filling) of the Word of God, which God also implanted inside us, (Col. 3:16.) 

In Jn. 7:37-39, Jesus was speaking of the Word and Spirit of God inside every sincerely born again, obedient believer.  Jesus was referring to the believer, in whom the Holy Spirit dwells by default; not by works, or ministry, or laying on of hand, or by any human trick, doctrine, or endeavour, but according to personal faith in, and acceptance of Jesus Christ.  The true power, or anointing of the indwelling Spirit Himself, [and not the so-called ‘anointing’ of the deceptive ‘five-fold ministry,’] will cause Water [Jesus the Word, Life, Light, and Truth,] as well as the completely free gifts of the Holy Spirit to ‘flow’ out of the born again human ‘heart’ of every sincere believer to touch the world around him/her, thus fulfilling the commission of Jesus, (Jn. 1:12-13; Acts 5:32; Mt. 28:19-20.) 

 

FIRST, JESUS BREATHED ON THEM 

John tells of an incident after Jesus’ resurrection, before He sent the Spirit to indwell them at Pentecost, when Jesus miraculously appeared in the midst of His disciples, declaring His Kingdom of inner peace; commissioning His disciples to ‘go and preach the Gospel,’ and breathing “on” them, [not “in” them,] to ‘receive the Holy Spirit,’ (Jn. 20:19-30.)  Jesus’ first disciples received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for the first time on the Day of Pentecost, and “one can only understand this event in John 20 as symbolic and in expectation of that day.”  [Spirit Filled Bible, Acts 1:8; Jn. 1:12-13; Gal. 4:4-7.] 

Many false preachers from the Charismatic Movement use this event completely out of context, breathing on believers to ‘receive the Spirit,’ do so-called ‘miracles,’ or to ‘baptize them ‘in’ the Spirit.’  The truth is that Only Jesus Christ Himself can baptize with His Spirit, or ‘breathe’ His Spirit of Life into (and before His ascension, “onto”) the hearts or human spirits of believers, (Mt. 3:11.) 

However, those Catholics and Protestants, who turned Jesus’ first disciples into so-called godlike, apostolic ‘fathers’ and founders - even “the foundation of the church” - (only Jesus Himself is the Foundation of His true body of believers,) teach that this event in John 20:19-30 was a special ‘anointing’ for the ‘apostles,’ and they are now the so-called new, mediating, Elijah prophets and apostles - which, of course, do not exist anywhere in the truth of the New Testament.  (This is the Charismatic Movement’s ‘Restoration’ doctrine — which does not mean restoration to Scriptural truth, but ecumenist, or one-church restoration to the so-called ‘king and high priest’ of Roman Catholicism, the pope and his unscriptural priesthood

Concerning John 20:23, where Jesus allegedly stated that He gave “the apostles” the power to forgive sins, it is well-known that the pope of Roman Catholicism and his priesthood abuse this verse to forgive sins!  [See  Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:12-15; Acts 10:43; Col. 2:13-14.]  It is clear that the notion that the ‘apostles’ had (and have) the power to forgive sins, is a Roman Catholic concoction to justify their blasphemy against God and His Holy Word.  The only way such a great error can be found in the Bible, is because the Papacy, who had centuries to meddle with the Bible, placed it there on purpose! 

The so-called ‘Saint and Father’ Paul himself stated that ‘no other foundation of the spiritual temple of God can be laid, which is Christ,’ while all the believers together make up the building of God, and ‘elders,’ such as Paul, were and are only humble servants through whom others believed. 

Speaking of the special ‘anointing,’ which the ‘elder’-rulers of some denominations abuse beyond the sin of blasphemy, actually placing themselves in Christ’s position and making themselves into Christ, Paul also said, ‘God has established the ‘elders’ with [or together with] you, [the rest of the body,] and has anointed us, [or all sincere believers together] in Christ… - 1 Cor. 1:21-122; 3:9-17; 1 Pet. 5:1.  The M.H. Commentary explains John 20:22-23 as follows, ‘Christ’s Kingdom was to be set up among men immediately upon His resurrection, and accordingly we find [that He appeared to them on] the very day He arose… [giving them] the honorable and ample commission to be His agents in the planting of His [ecclesia, or congregations of disciple-believers.]  Then He qualified them for the discharge of the trust reposed in them.  He breathed on them and said, Receive the Holy Ghost… IN PART NOW; as an earnest of what you shall further receive not many days hence.  The SIGN He used to assure them of the GIFT, [which is the Spirit of God Himself, Whom] He was about to bestow upon them at Pentecost, was His breath, [His spiritual life and power,] which they would receive from Him for all the services that lay before them… Christ [and only Jesus Himself] conferred the Holy Ghost… [here by breathing on them in Jn. 20, as well as at Pentecost,] for He is the Author of the Gift…’

 

THE MIGHTY RUSHING WIND 

The arrival of the Holy Spirit on that Day of Pentecost to continually indwell all sincere believers in Christ “until the end of this world,” is another sound historical and Scriptural event.  It was personally experienced and witnessed by Jesus’ disciples, as well as ‘a multitude from every nation under heaven,’ who were in Jerusalem at the time, (Mt. 28:19-20; Acts 2 & 3; Jn. 1:12-13; Gal. 4:6-7.) 

This ‘multitude’ of witnesses in the city heard when there ‘suddenly came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, [not real wind,] and it filled the whole house where the disciples were together with one accord.’  Then, the disciples actually saw ‘the divided tongues, as of fire, [not real fire] and one sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with, [baptized with, or completely and fully indwelt by] the Holy Spirit.’ 

Jesus’ first baptism with the Holy Spirit was accompanied by symbolic wind and fire.  Not physical wind and fire, but like wind and fire.  “This may also be an allusion to the burning bush, (Ex. 3:2-5,) which was a symbol of the Divine Presence, an outward manifestation of the Spirit’s [first] coming.” – Spirit Filled Bible. 

Once the Holy Spirit had indwelt the disciples on that Day of Pentecost, the Spirit Himself gave them His (dual) gift of tongues to (1,) either speak to God with ‘the supernatural tongues of angels, “for in the spirit we speak mysteries, as my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.”  Or (2,) ‘to speak with the tongues of men as a sign for unbelievers,’ which is the gift of speaking in ‘different kinds of tongues’ - human tongues, unknown to the speaker, which was the case in Acts 2:4-6 with the coming of the Holy Spirit.  With this one and only outpouring of the indwelling Holy Spirit at the dawn of the New Testament Covenant, the disciples did not speak in the tongues of angels, or tongues unknown to us, but in the tongues of men - other languages, which the speakers did not know or understand.  [Do not believe me, believe the Scriptures! - 1 Cor. 13:1; 14:2,14,22; 12:10-11; Mark 16:15-18.] 

While many religious Christian systems, following in the footsteps of Roman Catholicism and Reformers such as John Calvin, deny the fact that these Scriptural gifts and ministrations of the Holy Spirit continue to this day, we can be certain that none of the Spirit’s gifts have ceased.  The following proves that this statement will always remain true on this side of the grave: 

The true body of Christ is still the same body that was born on that Day of Pentecost. 

She is still the bride of Christ, saved by the same blood, and baptized, possessed, and sealed by the same Spirit. 

Her commission will always remain the same on this side of the grave. 

Her true Scriptural form and functions are still the same. 

Her spiritual power still emanates from the same Source. 

Her gifts and fruit are still the work and grace of God the Holy Spirit, Who still constantly indwells her, as the ‘Kingdom of God is within [all Jesus’ sincere follower-disciples!]’ (Lu. 17:21; Mark 16:16-17; Mt. 28:20b; Eph. 1:13.)

 

CAN THE GIFT OF TONGUES BE THE ‘EVIDENCE’ OF THE ‘BAPTISM “IN” THE HOLY SPIRIT?’

Unknown to most pastors and so-called ‘ordinary’ believers, demons can and do prophesy and speak in tongues.  They cannot prophecy in the Holy Spirit or speak in the Holy-Spirit gift of tongues, (as believers supernaturally “speak mysteries to God,” etc.;) but they do speak in demonic tongues and prophesy or do fortune-telling in demonic power, (1 Cor. 12:1-3.)  Hotly denied by most pastors either willfully or ignorantly, Satanists frequently infiltrate congregations where they are accepted because they ‘prophecy’ and speak in ‘tongues,’ which most believers in the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement view as “the evidence” that they are ‘born again believers in Christ,’ and supposedly “baptized in the Holy Spirit.”  However, Jesus Himself said the only true ‘evidence’ that we are “filled” [not baptized] with the Holy  Spirit, is the continual “fruit,” (Godly behavior) that we bear.  We get the Spirit’s gifts for free, but we ourselves must prove who we really are by the fruit that we bear, (Gal. 5:20-25.) 

The main reason for Paul’s teachings on the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Cor. chapters 12 to 14, was because, also during his time, believers became greatly confused between demonic manifestations such as speaking in demonic tongues, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit such as speaking in God-given tongues. 

The Spirit Filled Bible comments, “Paul’s letters to the Corinthians reveal some of the problems the former pagans had in transferring previous religious experiences [and occult manifestations] to the ministry experience of the Holy Spirit.  They associated some of the frenzied antics of paganism with the exercise of spiritual gifts, (see 12:2.)  The Corinthians misunderstood the manner in which the Holy Spirit works through individuals, and they abused the use of spiritual gifts, apparently regarding them as ends in themselves [just as in the Charismatic Movement today.]  In particular, they misunderstood the proper public use of the gift of tongues [and prophecy] and it  confused the order in their meetings.  They too, misunderstood the power of the Spirit, viewing Gift-operations of the Spirit as a compulsive and oppressive possession, negating the free will, (14:32.)  Paul shows the need for varied and multiple manifestations of the Spirit, (chapter 12;) the need for loving and unselfish motives (chapter 13,) and the need for self-control and for keeping an orderly, edifying manner in corporate meetings, (chapter 14.) 

“Paul introduced three guiding principles that distinguish the ways of the Holy Spirit:  1)  Conscious control.  Unlike paganism, the power of the Spirit does not drive people into wild compulsive acts.  His gentile dovelike ministry strengthens human personality.  He empowers; He does not overpower.  2)  The principle that Christ is always glorified.  All manifestations of the Spirit will harmonize with the truth about Jesus.  3)  The main work of the Holy Spirit is to bring people under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.” 

Because most of the Scriptural gifts of the Holy Spirit are replicated in the occult, the mere manifestation of tongues and prophecy can never be the ‘evidence’ of Jesus baptism with the Holy Spirit. 

The source of Scriptural, Holy Spirit gifts or ‘signs for unbelievers,’ is as follows: 

Once Jesus’ disciples were born again of ‘water’ [which symbolizes the Word] and of ‘Spirit,’ the Spirit would, ‘as He wills, give to each one His diversities of spiritual gifts for the profit of all.’  – [Please read Jn. 3:3-5; Mt. 3:11; 1 Cor. 12:13; 6:19; 12:4-11; Rom. 8:15-17; Eph. 1:13-14; 1 Pet. 2:9-10.] 

 

THE “FIRE THAT FALLS” IN CHURCHES VERSUS THE “FIRE” JESUS AND ALL HIS TRUE DISCIPLES TAUGHT AND EXPERIENCED 

Contrary to what traditional churches teach, Scripturally and in practice, from that day to this, Jesus’ baptism with the Holy Spirit; Jesus’ baptism with fire; the Spirit’s baptism into the body of Christ, as well as all the Spirit’s supernatural gifts, remained a reality in the lives of all sincere disciples of Jesus. 

However, it is another gross misinterpretation of Scripture, which states that the gift of tongues is the ‘fire baptism’ of the Holy Spirit.  Scripturally and in practice, the gift of tongues itself is neither Jesus’ baptism with the Spirit, nor His ‘baptism with fire,” (Mt. 3:11; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; Mark 16:15-18.)  When the mother asked Jesus to seat her two sons on His right and left hand in His Kingdom, He explained, “You do not know what you ask.  Are you able to drink the cup [of immense suffering] that I am about to drink, and [thus] be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?...  You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.  Yet, it shall not be so among you.  Whoever desires to become great… and first… among you, let him be your servant… and slave... just as [I Myself] did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give [My] life a ransom for many.”  (Mt. 20:20-28.)  Jesus said, ‘You shall receive power when the Spirit has come [to indwell] you; [not to speak in tongues, but to] be My witnesses…’  ((Lu. 12:50, Heb. 10:32-39; Acts 1:8.) 

“All those who desire to live godly [and in the will of God] will be persecuted,” (2 Tim. 3:12.) 

Satan does not persecute ungodly Christians, who poses no threat to his kingdom of death.  In contrast, he absolutely abhors all those who are God’s “salt and light,” or those who sow preserving truth and shine His light.  Jesus’ baptism of fire, or actually, baptism of suffering, “naturally” follows Jesus’ baptism with the Holy Spirit at our rebirth — if we follow Him sincerely and in Spirit and in Truth.  Those, who do not experience this baptism of fire for Jesus truth, either have not experienced His baptism with the Holy Spirit because they were never really born again in Him, or they remain apathetic towards His Moral Law commandments, and thus unconcerned and indifferent towards God and the salvation of souls. 

If the gift of tongues actually were the actual ‘baptism with [or even the fire of] the Spirit,’ it would mean that billions of sincere believers, who never manifested the Holy Spirit’s gift of tongues, would not be indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  Thus they would not belong to God, and they would never desire, or have the boldness to proclaim the Gospel, (Rom. 8:9; Acts 1:8.)  If it were true that the Spirit only indwells the person when ‘elders’ lay hands on him to ‘baptize him “in” the Spirit,’ their laying on of hands and the gift or sign of tongues would actually save Jesus’ believers.  However, praise God, for sincere believers know that the Spirit indwells all Jesus’ disciples from the very moment of their rebirth, Rom. 8:9-14; Jn. 1:12-13; Gal. 4:6; 1 Cor. 14:22-23. 

 

THE TRULY SCRIPTURAL EVIDENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BAPTISM

I do believe in the all the Holy Spirit’s gifts.  Nevertheless, I cannot emphasize it enough: Jesus did not say that we will know His disciples by their gifts. Scripture declares that there are several pieces of real ‘evidence’ that Jesus supernaturally baptized all sincere believers with the Holy Spirit.

The first piece of evidence is the believer’s desire to continually draw closer to Jesus; to know Him in spirit and in all Truth, in order to understand and obey Him better! (Jn. 4:24; 14:6.) Secondly, true believers will always glorify Jesus and not themselves or other people, (Jn. 16:14.) The Spirit Filled Bible explains, ‘The Spirit’s ministry is not only directed to believers and to the world, but [primarily] to Christ. The Spirit glorifies Christ in everything He does… He never exalts Himself, [or people,] but He continually glorifies Christ Who glorifies the Father.’

Without making tongues into a ‘lesser’ gift, we should always remember that none of the Holy Spirit’s gifts means anything if we have not truly Godly love – which is the greatest gift of all: 1 Cor. 15. Jesus said, ‘If you love Me, you will obey my commandments,’ which means that the greatest evidence of the Holy-Spirit baptism and the fact that He completely possesses and continually indwells us, is our obedient love for God. (Our love for God always manifests itself in the Truth of His Word.) This is not outward lip service, but love, which manifests itself as a sincere attitude of obedience to Jesus Word in its entirety, as contained in His Moral, New Testament Law of Love.

Then Jesus took this evidence a step further, and said, "By this all will know, [or you will prove beyond a shadow of doubt that I have baptized you with the Holy Spirit and that] that you are My disciples, if you have love [in word and deed] for one another…"  As said, Jesus did not say we will know His disciples by their gifts, but by their fruit.  Our continual behaviour, or the type of character we display continually, will prove whether the Holy Spirit, or an evil spirit possesses us, (1 Cor. 13, Mt. 7:15-27; Jn. 13:34-35; 14:15.)   So, if there is any real ‘evidence’ of Jesus’ Holy-Spirit baptism, it is the continual, sincere, and Godly character of Jesus, which the Holy Spirit manifests in and through His sincere disciples. Furthermore, His growing, Godly character of love will compel His believing disciples to preach the Gospel to a lost and dying world.

 

THE LAYING ON OF HANDS 

Where it says in Acts 8:17, “Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit,”  this was impossible in the full context of the New Testament, and it could not really have been the indwelling of the Holy Spirit Himself.  All these verses should be interpreted in the full context of the passage.  It seems that early believers were very confused about the sequence of salvation, i.e., understanding the true Gospel, believing in Jesus, accepting Jesus, Jesus baptizing with the Holy Spirit to indwell His temple, and the Spirit manifesting His gifts through them.  Footnote, Spirit Filled Bible, “The sequence of events described in v. 12 leaves little doubt the Samaritans had already become believers.  They had “received” the Holy Spirit, evidenced by their [earlier] water baptism, (v. 12, 16.)  Now, through the ministry of Peter and John, they were taught the Gospel of Christ [and the Spirit manifested His gifts through them.]” 

Human beings may not and cannot ‘confer’ or ‘transfer’ the Holy Spirit Himself by breathing on people or even by the laying on of hands!  Only Jesus is the Savior, Redeemer, Healer, and Holy-Ghost Baptizer!  Christ Jesus Himself ‘conferred’ the indwelling Holy Spirit to all those who sincerely accepted Him in sincere obedience to His Word, (Jn. 1:12-13; Gal. 4:6; Acts 5:32!)    

The Holy Spirit may or many not use the spiritual ‘eldership’ of 1 Tim. 4:14 to manifest His gifts by the laying on of hands.  He may or may not separate or set apart spiritual workers such as pastors and teachers by the laying on of hands – which is not the lofty ‘ordination’ of a hierarchical ‘eldership’ or priesthood, exalting them to some superior ‘office’ or well-paid ‘post.’ - [Acts 13:2-3; 1 Tim. 5:22.] 

The Spirit may and most probably will heal the sick through the laying on of hands, as and when He chooses, (Mark 16:18.)  The Spirit may also the anointing of oil in prayer, (Jam. 5:16-17.)  He may also use doctors, or the human body’s own marvelous, God-given ability to ‘heal itself’ as witnessed every day when we cut ourselves — but all healing ultimately  emanates from God Alone! 

God commanded that we should only lay hands on people for a specific purpose and as the Holy Spirit leads us.  1 Tim. 5:22, “Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.”  Spirits can and will be transferred if Satanists or false believers lay hands on us. 

The laying on of hands can, as the Holy Spirit leads, also be used to bless children and people in ministry.  Acts 13:3, “When they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.”  Mark 10:16, And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.” .

 

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