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For church information contact Marv Walker ~ 706 816-7190

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Studying What You Read...

There are two ways to “read” the Bible. One way is to say, “Let me show you what the Bible says!” The other is to say, “Let me see what the Bible says to me!” You get two widely different results.

There is a major difference between reading the Bible and studying the Bible. When you read the Bible you read one word after another and your goal is progression. When you study the Bible you ponder the words, and dwell and reflect on what the words are actually saying.

Reading instead of studying the Bible is the cause of all the religious division in the “Christian” world. There are groups teaching the exact opposite of each other and groups that are as theologically different as the lightning bug is to lightning.

I'm often told, “I read the Bible cover to cover at least once a year!” I submit to you that if you do that you are simply reading the words. You are missing the texture and flavor. You may even read so fast you'll shoot in a direction that may not be set in the Bible.

One of the many areas where that is done is the Baptism of The Holy Spirit.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (II Timothy 2:15)

The Book of Acts begins...

1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:1-3)

Notice the words, “He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen.” Jesus is expressly commanding the 11 of the 12 apostles, Judas, the traitor has killed himself.

Let's read on...

4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5)

John the Baptist's baptism was a valid baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. with water. The 11, along with Jesus had been baptized by John and now Jesus was was promising them another baptism, not with water but with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Who did Jesus command to wait for the Holy Spirit baptism, “the Promise of the Father?” The passage says His chosen apostles, no multitude, no unnamed gathering, just His apostles. The Holy Spirit Baptism was to occur in Jerusalem and it was to occur on the apostles for a special purpose.

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.” (Acts 1:8)

What will happen when the Holy Spirit baptizes them? They will receive some sort of power they did not have when Jesus commanded them to remain in Jerusalem.

Acts 1 ends with the selection of Judas' replacement...

26 And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles. (Acts 1:26)

Acts 2 begins some days later still talking about the same “they” of Acts 1:26. Nothing has occurred between chapter 1 and 2 to change who the “they” are. They are the same 12 apostles. No one has been added, no one has been taken away.

2 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:2-4)
5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” (Acts 2:5-12)

“Look, are not all these who speak Galileans?” Whatever any of the apostles said was heard in the audience's native language. Notice that each heard what the apostles said in the apostle's tongues was heard in audiences “own tongues.”

There are those who teach the Baptism of The Holy Spirit comes upon true believers today and the ability to speak in tongues is actually a sign of one's salvation. Their Baptism of the Holy Spirit of today bears no resemblance to the first century Baptism of the Holy Spirit and goes beyond the word of God.

Modern apostolics place more emphasis on the ability to speak in “unknown tongues” than any other part of the first century Holy Spirit Baptism. The Holy Spirit Baptism came upon the apostles and they immediately began speaking in tongues. Apostolics of today have to earnestly seek the ability and can even be taught the gift.

The Bible Holy Spirit Baptism fell on the teachers, not the crowd. The apostles were sitting all together in one room and a sound filled the house that was heard by those outside the house and drew them to where the house was to hear the first gospel sermon delivered by Peter under the influence of the power given to him and the other 11 apostles in the house. The Holy Spirit confirmation that Peter's sermon came from God was that you heard the message no matter what your native tongue was. The context of “unknown tongues” is that the speaker's language was previously unknown to the speaker, not unknown to the hearer, verse 7. The crowd was not able to speak in a tongue unknown to them, the apostles were.

When the Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost, depending on which translation you are reading, came upon the apostles there was no loss of control, if fact the 12 apostles took total control of, the multitude. Peter called them murderers and got away with it, that is ultimate power right there. Modern apostolics give control over themselves to some inconsistent force that serves no apparent purpose while gyrating, stomping around and often losing their balance often caused by someone hitting their forehead.

When the Holy Spirit came upon the 12 apostles there was an obvious beginning, a sound of rushing wind filled the house that everyone heard. There was an unmistakable visible sign, “divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.” Modern apostolics seem to need urging to express the Spirit coming upon them.

When there was no New Testament God used heavenly miracles, occurrences totally outside of nature, to prove that the occurrence came from God Himself. Anything that naturally occurs within nature cannot be a miracle. There certainly is a lack “ of divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them,”.

There are only two instances of Holy Spirit Baptism recorded in the New Testament. One is the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 that was on the 12 apostles and Acts 11 on the household of Cornelius.

15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ (Acts 11:15)

And modern apostolics ignore the passage of Acts 8:18...

18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:18)

The power, the gift, of the Holy Spirit was given only to the 12 apostles on the Day of Pentecost and only could be passed on by them. When they died there was no more passing on of the direct indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit works through the Words recorded in the Bible.

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (II Timothy 3:16-17)

If we can assist you in this matter please call on us if we can be of service or if you have any questions or comments or you would like to discuss this further.

Marv Walker
Click here to email questions, comments or suggestions
706 816-7190

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