The Baptism of the Holy Spirit by Pastor Don
Pastor Don is working through the basic tenets of faith mentioned in:
Hebrews 6:1-3 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.
Pastor Don very quickly reviewed what we have been studying on previous Fridays because we had newcomers to our study, who were asking questions.
There are many things the church understands and has been prepared for but, in order to implement these things, we need to have a strong foundation in the basics. When we operate in the basics, we will be doing work that draws others to God. The Work God wants us to do is to Believe on Him whom He sent, we saw that in John 6. Faith is an action word. And many believe we are pleasing God when we do good works. Good works will not gain us salvation, nor will they always please God unless they are the good works God wants us to be doing – all other good works are like stubble that will burn away in the fire of truth. God wants us to Believe, to get to know Him, to know Jesus, to be led by the Holy Spirit and to obey God. When we do this, our works will reflect what He wants us to do.
So we then talked about the five baptisms, the first four we had covered in detail before so we just touched on them. 1. Water baptism for repentance – it is being washed in the Water of the Word and being born again. The water baptism that many have after they receive salvation is not necessary for salvation, but it is an outward sign of what has happened inwardly. It is obedience to God and His Word that we have a water baptism, but not all receive that. For example, the thief on the cross was saved, but did not get off the cross to be baptized. Often, God uses simple, stupid seeming things to help pull us into obedience to Him. Pastor Don said that it seems stupid to get into clean clothes, step into a pool of water and get all wet. That in itself is a meaningless act, unless it alters something within us. It seems stupid in the natural, but it is a symbol of what God has done on our inside.
There are many things God tells us to do that seem stupid in the natural yet, God wants us to obey. He uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.
What is most important is to LAY THE FOUNDATION OF REPENTANCE. There is no sacramental action you involve yourself in that has permanent spiritual value (communion, sign of the cross, lighting candles, etc) unless we have faith in Him. Without faith it is impossible to please God. God is a rewarder of those who believe. Working hard for God will not produce reward, only believing will. Seeking after God and God’s will involves faith, and faith is what pleases Him.
God will tutor His disciples, and we can learn from God, obeying Him. The Apostle Paul (before he got saved) was murdering Christians thinking that he was doing God’s work. God told Paul he lacked knowledge, and God educated Paul about the truth. Paul got born again and changed what he was doing to line up with God’s Will.
2. Baptism into Christ. To know Christ as friend, to know Christ as savior. Jesus shows us who He is. He teaches us through the Logos, His Word, the Word of God, through the gospels. And Jesus, in Revelation, told the Church that they had to get back to their first Love. To get to know Him.
3. Baptism into the Father. Jesus shows us the Father. For Jesus and the Father are one. When we know Jesus, we know the Father. The Holy Spirit and Christ reveal the Father to us. The Holy Spirit brings us into conviction of sin so we realize we need Christ. Christ becomes the Lord of our Lives and the devils tremble when they know He is the Lord of our Life. Jesus then takes us and tells us, “Let me introduce you to Abba (Father God).”
It is easier to trust the Holy Spirit and Christ when our earthly fathers do a good job, but when they do a lousy job it is hard to trust God. We are wounded and have to learn, through Christ, that our Heavenly Father is not like our earthly Father. Even good earthly fathers fall short of God’s best.
4. Baptism into the Family, into the Church. We are His kids, and as His kids we are part of the family of God. Everybody in the family of God isn’t loveable – many are like the black sheep of the family. We need to realize the Church is a place where we can grow in Christ, but we do not come into the church perfect.
In all things we have to consider each member of he Church more important than our selves.
1 Corinthians 12:21-27 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Everybody is important. The Church is where we begin to exercise our spiritual muscles and grow in Christ. We learn, in the Church, to subject ourselves under the will of others in the Body. The greatest has to be the servant of all. If we cannot subject ourselves to any part of the Body, we will have a problem submitting to His Will. The spirit of offense is looking to make us feel offended. We need to be nice to people we don’t like, and we are not always nice about it. Not everybody in the Body is listening to the Lord, that is why effective prayers are necessary. So, if there is something that Pastor Don needs to have the church understand and they are not seeing it, he often prays, “Lord, I am sure this is Your will, but please show them your will so that they move out of the way. Pastor Don told us that deacons can sometimes pull the pastor down if they have the spirit of Jezebel. That is why it is important to make sure God has appointed the deacons and elders.
Don’t forget that Judas Iscariot was in the church (in a manner of speaking), and he did all the things that the apostles did, he did the signs and wonders, he sat under Jesus’ teachings, but his actions pulled Jesus down when he betrayed Jesus. In the church there are people who are not there to build up the Body, but rather to tear it down. We need discernment.
Then we talked about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Pastor Don told us that the book of Acts does not have a definite conclusion, it sort of trails off in the end. That is because we are still doing Acts,
Acts 1:5: Jesus told the disciples “for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The dunamis power. The purpose and function of this power is for witnessing and spreading of the Gospel. When a miracle occurs and a sick person is healed, it is a sign and a wonder. This bring questions from people who observe, and gives us a chance to spread the Gospel.
Some claim these powers were only active in the time of the Apostles. Why would God give us a gift and then take it back? His Word is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And right now we are in a war zone. The devil has power to seek, bully, disturb. Why would God take His power away and leave us powerless? If there is no dunamis power in evidence, the body is not in one accord.
There are two anointings of the Holy Spirit, the anointing of the individual and the corporate anointing. These come with the prayer of agreement, when two or more agree regarding anything, then Jesus is in their midst.
John 8:14-18 Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”
When God and Jesus agree it is two witnesses. If there is an agreement with the Holy Spirit and Jesus there is great power realized. With the corporate anointing, Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
The rock is the foundation of Christ and the gates of hades will not prevail against the church. One can put a thousand to flight, two can put 10,000 to flight. When satan cast out legion, a legion was five to six thousand. Jesus, in agreement with the Holy Spirit could have put 10,000 to flight.
If the church is facing large groups of demonically possessed people, such as many who are on earth today who want to see God taken off the earth, we will need the help of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. To effectively change, we need to come together as a corporate body. Imagine what could be done if 250 to 300 could come into agreement, then the gates of hell would not prevail against us.
In the US there are 300 million Americans. If 85% are Christian, much could be done if the Church was operating under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and of one mind. Certain issues such as Roe vs Wade would be resolved, teen pregnancies would be down, abortions would cease. Things could turn around with the prayer of agreement.
Corporate prayer is more powerful than prayer on our own. The Holy Spirit wants us to come into agreement with all of Heaven, and to do God’s Will, to obey God, and then the power of signs and wonders will happen.
Pastor Don talked about someone who came up in the prayer line requesting a healing for cancer. He looked around the sanctuary and knew that her faith was shaky, so he waited until many had left the sanctuary and only those who he knew had a positive faith were there, then they prayed with the girl. The problem with corporate prayer is it needs to be a prayer of agreement. If people are praying for a healing – some might say that she will be completely healed, others might think maybe she would be healed, some might think doctors are necessary. What that can do is lead to confusion. All praying needs to agree in prayer.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is mentioned in all the gospels, and Jesus said,
Luke 11:13 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
John 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
The Church has a problem, for 100 years there has been a wrong teaching that the baptism of water also causes us to receive the Holy Spirit. No, the Holy Spirit ministers to you, but you have not received the dunamis power of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit by water baptism. You can be saved and go to Heaven, but if you reject the baptism of the Holy Spirit, you will not be operating in the full power of the Holy Spirit. Without the Baptism of the Holy Spirit , you will be buffeted on this earth for the dynamite power of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is what evil respects and avoids. When we are saved we have the Father, Son and Holy Spirit within us, but just like with a car – you can have a car in your driveway but it won’t do you any good unless you get in the car and drive it. We need to take the seed of the Holy Spirit and let it grow, to mature in our relationship with the Holy Spirit and this begins to happen with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Today when drugs are coming against our children, the battle is not just in the physical, but also in the supernatural and we need the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to combat the spiritual battle over our heads.
Acts 6:3-8 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.
Notice that Stephen was not an original disciple of Christ but he received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and operated in signs and wonders. Signs and wonders were not reserved for just the apostles. Stephen is a deacon. Stephen was a layman, picked from among many to be given the office of deacon. All the church is to function in the Holy Spirit.
What ended up happening though with the Nicolatians is that they reinstituted the clergy, with the priests being the intermediaries between God and the laity. This was not supposed to happen, for we all have access to God. Pastor Don pointed out that in many churches there are three chairs on the altar, with the highest chair reserved for the Pastor and the others for high ranking subordinates. Pastor Don suggested, if we came in and tried to sit on those chairs, we would be pulled off of them. The problem with this system is it is related to what took place in the pagan temples when the priest would sit in the high seat to settle legal disputes and do his sacrificial stuff. Why does the clergy today depend on these chairs to set the clergy apart from the rest of the congregation? Why does the clergy have to wear fancy robes, be given the best seats at tables, as if they are more holy. That does not mean that the office of pastor is not respected, but the pastors are servants and worshippers too. In our church the visiting pastors sit with the congregation and worship until it is their time in the pulpit.
Acts 8:13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
Simon (a Gentile) saw the works that Philip did, and wanted to do them also. Philip was also a layman, as Pastor Don says – Just a dude, and He did signs and wonders.
Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,
Peter and John came to visit the new Church in Samaria.
Acts 8:15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
The Samaritan believers did not have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Philip did not baptize them in that, but Peter and John baptized them.
Acts 8:16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
They had only been baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus,
Acts 8:17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Notice, they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. So here you see how the Holy Spirit is transferred.
Acts 8:18-19 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
Something visible had to have happened for Simon to see that the Holy Spirit was transferred by the laying on of hands. Speaking in tongues, falling in the spirit, something.
Acts Chapter 9 gives another example of the transfer of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 9:10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”
Ananias was a believer, not one of the Apostles, as Pastor Don says, just a dude. He saw a vision from the Lord about what he is supposed to do, and Ananias will obey God.
Acts 9:11 So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.
Ananias obeyed God, even though in the natural it seemed strange that God would want him to lay hands on a chief persecutor of the Christians. He did question God to make sure he got the instructions right, then obeyed God and went and laid hands on Saul and Saul’s vision was restored.
Ananias was not an apostle, but he laid hands on Saul and Saul received his sight.
As with any gift, there are those that will abuse the gifts of God, but it is wrong to say that the gifts of the Spirit are no longer active because of bad teaching. If you have an appliance and you don’t plug it in, it won’t work. Or if you have a new car and you don’t know how to get the air conditioner in the car to work, you don’t say that air conditioners are no longer in operation. You take your car to the dealer and find out how the air conditioner works or get it fixed if it is broken.
Some have attempted to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit and when they did not manifest the way they thought the gifts should manifest, or if their unbelief interfered with the response of the Holy Spirit, they do not look to where the problem might be, they justify the failure of it to work on the mistaken teaching that the gifts passed with the apostles. They reject the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and believe the false teachings that have been taught for so many years.
What they should do is go back to the Word of God to see how it works. There is no where in the scriptures where it says that the gifts are no longer functional. God put them in His Word so that we would use them. (Heather’s comment – I think of David trying to move the ark on a wagon, and the person touched the ark and fell dead. What if David had said God was not going to use the ark to help Israel anymore and left the ark where it was? Instead he went to the Word and saw God’s instructions and obeyed them, bringing the ark to Jerusalem the proper way. We too need to learn to use the gifts of the Spirit the way God intended them to be used and if we make a mistake we will be corrected and try again. There is a war out there in the heavenlies and we want to go into battle fully armed.)
Yes there are people who will abuse signs and wonders, there are going to be lying signs and wonders, and God will teach us discernment. The greatest sign and wonder is a changed life when someone has an experience with God, and their personality is altered, and their character changes.
Some people have talents and gifts, but if they become elevated beyond a person’s character they are not good talents and gifts. Talents and gifts have to be used according to God’s will. We must obey God. When God manifests a sign and wonder through us, we have to make sure God gets the credit – it is not us, it is God. We can get caught up in pride, and pretty soon we are seeking the sign and wonder instead of seeking God.
We can lay hands on a person for healing and they won’t be healed unless God is in it. In our natural bodies we cannot effect a healing, only God and the Holy Spirit and Jesus can do that.
So Saul was healed, and received a miracle and he became filled with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 10 covers Cornelius and his household receiving the Holy Spirit. Cornelius is a Gentile, not a Jew, and definitely not an apostle. Peter saw a vision, and God spoke to Peter and sent him to the Gentiles.
Acts 10:24 And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends.
This would not usually have happened in Peter’s days, for an orthodox Jew would never have considered entering into the home of a Roman Gentile. He would have thought of himself unclean for the Jews considered that all Gentiles were dogs and unclean. Peter would have been considered ceremonially unclean.
Acts 10:25-28 As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.” And as he talked with him, he went in and found many who had come together. 28 Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
God showed Peter that he was not to call ANY MAN unclean or common.
Acts 10:29-33 Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?” So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.’ So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God.”
God instructed Cornelius, a Gentile. God did not show partiality.
Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.
But what conditions were necessary for God to speak to Cornelius?
Acts 10:35-37 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached:
God shows up for people who fear Him and who work righteousness. Remember, as in the days of Abraham (also a Gentile), we are considered righteous when we BELIEVE GOD, it isn’t what we do or don’t do, it is all about belief.
Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
Not some, but ALL, He (Jesus) healed all who were oppressed by the devil. Not some, not some who are righteous by works, not some who Jesus felt like healing, but all.
We need the Bible to find out where the Church missed it, to find out what is tradition that lines up with the Word and what is tradition that is not found in the Word.
Acts 10:44-45 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
The Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles, they were touched by God and had spiritual experiences. They were not Jews, and the Jews were astonished because they observed that the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Gentiles. They had to have seen something occur that let them know that the gift had been given to the Gentiles. What did they see?
Acts 10:46-48 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
They heard them speak with tongues. This Baptism of the Holy Spirit came BEFORE they were water baptized into the Lord. The order was not important. What is important is that we receive all that God has for us.
Pastor Don said each of us has as much of God as we want. Some come to God only in emergencies like a car accident or financial problems. God will respond to us, but we may not have enough faith built up if we only come to God sporadically. A real relationship with God takes time spent with Him in times that are not emergencies. If we don’t put the time in to know God, to know His Word, to learn to hear and obey Him, we may not have enough faith to apply when we need to believe in faith.
Romans 8:25-31 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
The Holy Spirit will help us to pray, and He will do so from wherever we are in our faith. The sovereignty of God is that God will do what He wants and will help us in the way that is best for us.
Again we ran out of time. It is funny how 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours can fly by when you are having fun in the Word.
Stay warm tonight, it is going to turn bitter cold here.
Have a blessed evening,
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