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Consolidating the Holy Ghost

For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established, Romans 1:11.

As we saw in the last installment about the Holy Ghost in Transition, the Holy Ghost was given to the apostles twice. He was breathed into them in John 20, and they were told to tarry for him in Acts 1 and that was fulfilled in Acts 2. If we could be transported back to that time, we would find a few different types of believers.

We would find believers such as the 12 disciples of John who encountered the Apostle Paul in Acts 19. They believed what John the Baptist had preached about Jesus Christ. Yet, because the Holy Ghost was not yet given when they believed (John 7:39), and because they were not in the upper room on Pentecost, they never received the Holy Ghost. It took an apostle's hands for them to receive the Holy Ghost.

There were believing Jews in every synagogue visited by the apostles who through faith had believed the promises of God as they had been delivered to them. These same men had brought forth those works that such a faith required. By no means were such men lost and on their way to hell. It's not like some angel blew a whistle and now suddenly God would no longer honor their faith. Instead, you see the Holy Ghost accompanying the apostles with signs and wonders to convince these believers to trust the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Then there were Samaritans who had the gospel preached to them by Philip.

Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:

Acts 8:15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

Acts 8:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)

Acts 8:17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

Why didn't these people receive the Holy Ghost immediately upon believing? They believed after Jesus Christ was glorified but did not receive the Holy Ghost. It appears that for the purposes of God, these Gentiles could not receive the Holy Ghost upon believing until Peter unlocked that with the laying on of hands. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven, Matthew 16:19.

From the time that Peter unlocked the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Gentiles received the Holy Ghost upon first believing. We see this with Cornelius. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost, Acts 10:45. Even Peter was amazed.

It should not come as a surprise that God would use Peter as a middle man. He has long operated that way. When the Lord spoke to Job's three friends, he required of them to get Job to intercede for them.

Job 42:7 And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.

Job 42:8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job.

Job 42:9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job.

We might ask why the Lord didn't just accept them as he talked to them? For his own purposes he chooses men for such tasks. Likewise as the Lord spoke to Abimelech he required of him to get intercesion through Abraham.

Genesis 20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife.

Genesis 20:4 But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?

Genesis 20:5 Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.

Genesis 20:6 And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.

Genesis 20:7 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.

We must accept that for the Lord's own purposes he placed Peter in a position to unlock the receiving of the Holy Ghost to Gentiles. Once Peter had unlocked that, no Gentile ever again needed a one, two step to receive the Holy Ghost. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power, Colossians 2:10.

Much ado has been made over the seemingly fractured way in which the Holy Ghost was received in the Book of Acts. Cults and heretics have wrested these verses to their destruction. This has been a concise post to explain how the receiving of the Holy Ghost differed as the Book of Acts opened and how his manner of receiving was consolidated to what we have today. Please don't dismiss these things by using words like "dispensation". Look for the methods by which the Lord made those transitions.

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5 commenti

Actually, in John 20...breathing was the important part. It was the same as if Iesu said, "As I breath, receive ye the Holy Ghost". His breathing on them was proof He lived. The proof they received the Spirit at Pentecost is plain for all who read.

Mi piace

Darrell T
Darrell T
27 ott 2023

If they could only receive the Holy Spirit that way then, how can we do it today, since the Apostles are gone.

Mi piace
28 ott 2023
Risposta a

Good question. Really got me thinking. Great article. Really got me thinking.

Mi piace
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