"There Is One God And One Mediator Between God And Men, The Man Christ Jesus" 
1 Timothy (2:5)

6. Frequently asked Questions About The Holy Ghost

 

1. What Is The Holy Ghost?

The Holy Ghost

 

The “Holy Spirit”, the “Spirit of God” and the “Holy Ghost” are all one and the same. Regardless which expression is used, they have the same meaning.

 

To begin with, the Greek word for Spirit is the same as it is for Ghost, especially if it is described as Holy.

 

DEFINITION: Spirit and Ghost: (G4151)

Greek; πνεῦμα Transliteration: (pneuma) <G4151> (Ref. Strong’s concordance) from <G4154> (pneo); a current of air, i.e. breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figurative a spirit, i.e. (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, demon, or (divine) God, Christ’s spirit, the Holy Spirit :- ghost, life, spirit (-ual, -ually), mind. Compare <G5590> (psuche).

—Strong’s Greek & Hebrew Dictionary

 

This Ghost (or Spirit) is Holy (of God). The Bible often reflects this type of phenomenon as a movement of the “Holy Ghost”, “Spirit of God” or “God” acting upon or within a believer. (See also. Verses Where “He” & “Him” Should Be Referred To As “It”)

 

(Acts 2:17) “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:”

 

(2 Peter 1:20-21) “… no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”

 

(Acts 1:16) “Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.”

 

(1 Corinthians 3:16) “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

 

(1 Thessalonians 4:8) “He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.”

 

(Psalm 51:10-11) “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.”

 

(1 Corinthians 12:3-6) “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.”

 

(Acts 5:3-4) “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.”

 

We know that God is a Spirit (John 4:24) and the Holy Ghost is a Spirit (John 7:39). Paul, in reference to God, told us that there was only One Spirit (Ephesians 4:4) not three. This understanding can be seen in various translations.(1 Corinthians 12:3-6; Acts 5:3-4); and

 

(John 7:39 (CEV)) “Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit, who would be given to everyone that had faith in him. The Spirit had not yet been given to anyone, since Jesus had not yet been given his full glory.” (John 7:39)

 

 

 

 

 

A Source Of Spiritual Power

 

All spirits possess power or abilities or varying types of power or abilities. The very reason we are alive today is directly related to a spirit; the spirit God gave man (you and I) for our existence (James 2:26).

 

The word Holy Ghost has two distinct components:

1. It reflects the existence of a form (a Spirit or Ghost) of Power; and

2. This power (spirit) comes from a source that is Holy (God); a source of which man can receive

 

(Luke 1:35) “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost (not Jesus) shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

 

(Luke 24:49) “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

 

(Acts 1:8) “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

 

(Romans 15:13) “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

 

These scriptures in essence reflect the Power of God which man may acquire upon meeting certain conditions. This is of course with the understanding that it is only a measure (or portion) of God’s power that we receive. When we are filled with the Holy Ghost (or Spirit of God) it is the same as saying we have received (or possess) A SOURCE OF SPIRITUAL POWER FROM GOD (2 Timothy 1:7). The manifestation of that power is the gift we receive from God (1 Corinthians 12:6-11).

Contrary to those who claim that the phrase being “filled” with the Holy Ghost means being full of God’s spirit is essentially just a play on words. It is not to be taken literally. We do not literally receive all of God.

There is no biblical distinction, or quantitative measures, which determine how much Holy Ghost one person receives in comparison to the next person, but there is a distinction in the varying types of manifestations that can take place. It is the Holy Ghost (or the power of God) which enables individuals to speak in other tongues, prophesy, heal the sick, etc.

In order for any individual (human) to have any of these listed abilities some external (spiritual) source of power must be provided to man. The Holy Ghost is that source of power given to man from God which enables man to manifest any or all of these unique spiritual abilities (or gifts).

Man only receives a measure (or portion) of “the Spirit” unlike Jesus who was given (not by measure) all things into his hand.

 

(John 3:33-35) “He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. 34For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. 35The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.”

 

 

 

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2. Receiving The Gift Of The Holy Ghost

The Gift Of The Holy Ghost

 

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

(Acts 2:38)

 

This is an important passage therefore it must be understood correctly. The English word “of” is a preposition word (a function word used to indicate something in relation to something else). It can be used interchangeably with several words (i.e., from, by) without changing the meaning of the statement.

For example:

 

(Luke 10:22) “All things are delivered to me of my Father…… (from my Father)”

(Ecclesiastes 3:13) “And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.” (from God)

(Ecclesiastes 5:19) “Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.” (from God)

(Romans 6:23) “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God (from God) is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

 

In the book of Acts, Peter speaks to the crowd where he informs them about receiving a gift “of” the Holy Ghost (God’s Spirit)

 

(Acts 2:38) “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

 

Two FACTS must be brought to light in order to properly understand this passage.

 

1. First, we don’t normally consider God (directly) as being some kind of object for our possession. Our bodies were designed to be inhabited by God (Ephesians 2:22) dependent on our obedience to him (Acts 5:32).

 

2. Second, the Holy Ghost (= God) is the “source” from which spiritual gift(s) (plural) are given to man. Gifts are distributed as determined by God (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).

 

(Hebrews 2:4) “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of (from) the Holy Ghost, according to his (God) own will?”

 

The gifts from God vary greatly; (riches and wealth – Ecclesiastes 5:19); (eternal life – Romans 6:23) (wisdom, knowledge, the gift of healing, interpretation, discerning spirits, etc… – 1 Corinthians 12:8-11).

 

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3. Is Jesus the Holy Ghost?

So is Jesus the Holy Ghost? Those of us who are of the Apostolic faith understand God to be one personage, not three separate spiritual personages cohabitating together that collectively calls itself God (Trinitarians). Most Apostolic/Pentecostals proclaim Jesus Christ to be the Holy Ghost (and the Father and the Son) however this aspect of our teaching is also not biblical or true. As to the Holy Ghost consider the following:

 

(Luke 1:35) “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost (not Jesus) shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest (God) shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (not Holy Ghost).”

 

First, the Holy Ghost and the “Comforter” perform the same function because they are the same spirit. The Holy Ghost is called the Comforter (John 14:26) “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost…..”, they are one and the same spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 1 Corinthians 12:8-11).

 

 

In reading (John 14:16) some say this passage indicates that Jesus was the comforter (or Holy Ghost).

 

(John 14:16), “And I will pray the Father, and he (God) shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever”,

Without question Jesus was indeed a great comforter to his disciples, that which he received from God (Acts 10:38) but Jesus himself was not the actual “Holy Ghost/Comforter” literally.

The following scriptures make clear that Jesus did not speak of nor proclaim himself as being the Holy Ghost.

(John 7:38-39) “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

 

(John 14:26) “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (See also. Verses Where “He” & “Him” Should Be Referred To As “It”)

 

(John 16:7) “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

 

(Luke 12:12) “For the Holy Ghost (not Jesus) shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.”

 

Note:whom the Father will send in my name”, Jesus was not claiming that he and the Holy Ghost (Comforter) had the same name, but that the Holy Ghost would come [by the authority of the name Jesus]; that authority which was given to Jesus from God (Matthew 28:18). The Holy Ghost comes from God, given only to those that obey him?

 

(Acts 5:32) “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.”

 

 

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4. The Holy Ghost And Jesus Ability To Do Miracles

Jesus Ability To Do Miracles

 

It is the Holy Ghost (the same source of power from God) that enabled Jesus the ability to do all of the miracles he performed; (turning water to wine, healing the sick, casting out devils, and even power to raise Lazarus from the dead).

 

Note: Keep in mind that Jesus did not inherently have these supernatural abilities on his own, rather they were given him from God.

(Matthew 1:18) “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.”

(Luke 4:1) “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness………….”

(Luke 4:14) “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.”

(Acts 10:38) “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

(Matthew 4:23-24) “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.”

(Matthew 12:28) “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.”

(John 11:43-44) “And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.”

(John 10:17,18) “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”

 

In the book of Matthew, Jesus also gave his disciples power (authority), however there are no recorded incidents of the disciples ever displaying any supernatural power prior to actually receiving the Holy Ghost as mentioned in (John 20:22) and (Acts 2:1-4).

(Matthew 10:1) “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”

(Matthew 10:5, 7-9) “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles……And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,”

(Luke 10:19) “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

(Acts 1:2) “Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:”

(John 20:22) “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:”

 

Keep in mind that the Bible said we “shall” receive “power” AFTER, “the Holy Ghost is come upon you” that was the promise given (Acts 1:8, Luke 24:49), not necessarily immediately. The power of the Holy Ghost was not made manifest in his disciples until after Jesus ascended back up into Heaven (Acts 1:4-8, 2:1-4).

 

The disciples had to wait until after the Holy Ghost became manifest on the day of Pentecost before Peter’s supernatural abilities became manifest.

 

(John 14:12-13) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

 

(Acts 9:33-34) “And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy. And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately.”

(Acts 9:37, 40-41) “And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber……. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.”

 

 

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5. The Holy Ghost Was Not Unique To Pentecost

An Accounting Must Be Complete To Be Accurate

One major problem lies within the method of analysis, which is often both inconsistent and incorrect. Whatever rule one uses to interpret the Bible should be consistent throughout. Thus our rule should apply the same to all scriptures. We cannot just arbitrarily use one rule of interpretation and then not apply the same rule of interpretation to other similarly structured scriptures.

(Acts 2:1-4)“And when the day of Pentecost was 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 all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

The word used in (Acts 2:4) “began” clearly indicated that something had “started” and what “began” was a speaking in tongues incident that had been documented.

If one is going to take what occurred during that eventful day of Pentecost and then allege that speaking in tongues has to occur every time someone is “filled” with the Holy Ghost (which is not what the Bible says) you need all the “signs” that occurred on that specific day to be included. Other signs also occurred on the day of Pentecost.

If you are going to claim “speaking in tongues” as an “initial sign”one should equally be able to claim that several other signs must also occur or take place as was also recorded (Acts 2:1-4) for the concept of this claim to be adhered to as accurately complete.

 

Other signs (4) unquestionably occurred, that same day but they have not (not to my knowledge) occurred since this time period; sounds from heaven, of winds, cloven tongues as of fire “appearing” and “sittingon each. Again you could not rightfully justify selectively picking just one sign, as if it were the only sign indicating the presence of the Holy Ghost that Pentecost day, when more than one sign occurred.

What justification prevents us from selecting the “appearance” of cloven tongues as of fire being the required “initial” sign? Certainly, no one could dispute that sign as not being a “spiritual” sign coming from God.

It is somewhat curious as to why churches who mandate speaking in unknown tongues, chose the “spiritual” sign that was the easiest to reproduce or fake? The problem that exist is only part of the scripture passage is being identified. Pentecostals do not claim that “sounds from heaven” or “cloven tongues” must also occur. In fact most churches claim that speaking in tongues is the only sign found reoccurring whenever the Holy Ghost reoccurred. This argument is seriously flawed.

 

In the book of Acts 11:15-16, Peter indicated that the Holy Ghost fell on them “as on us at the beginning”. So just what part of the scripture do you omit from that which occurred prior without changing the facts as stated in (Acts 2:1-4) occurring on the day of Pentecost? NONE!!!!

 

You can’t just pick one aspect of a passage and discard the remaining scriptures as not being directly connected to the event.

 

 

 

The Correct Reporting of What “Initial” Sign(s) Occurred:

Peter during a later event said that the Holy Ghost fell on them the Same Way as it did in the Beginning (Acts 2:38).

(Acts 11:15-17) “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us AT THE BEGINNING….”

 

(Ref. Acts 2:1-4 and Acts 2:7-11)

 

1. a sound came from heaven (as of a rushing mighty wind); and

2. there appeared unto them cloven tongues (like as of fire); and

3. it sat upon each of them; and

4. THEN they were filled with the Holy Ghost; and

5. THEN they began to speak with “other” tongues, (various foreign country languages) NOT “unknown tongues”.

 

The fact is “a sound came from heaven” and the appearance of something (either figurative or literal “tongues”) where actually the initial signs, not the “speaking in tongues”. So if we rely on the events in Acts 2:4 it either shows us evidence of what is required or what occurred that day. It is without question that these were all signs from the same “Spirit” called the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit).

Any analysis of “initial” is consequently dependent upon reference to its starting point. Even if we were to start after the Holy Ghost came upon them on the day of Pentecost the first mention of any tongues was “other tongue(s)” (which is plural) (Acts 2:4, Acts 10:45-46 and Acts 19:5-6) and was described as being in reference to many human languages (Acts 2:7-11).

On the other hand the terminology unknown tongue (singular) is described in the Bible as a specific type of communication spoken unto God which no man understands (1 Corinthians 14:2.)

 

NOTE: Between these two tongues, “Other tongues” is unquestionably a human language which can be understood by men in contrast to an “unknown tongue” which can NOT be understood by men. Of those who were filled with the Holy Ghost, it is undisputed that they were heard speaking in human languages, not unknown tongues.

NOTE: It is also distinguishable in that “unknown tongues” is also not referenced to Pentecost or being filled with the Holy Ghost in the Bible. Again this clearly indicates that they spoke in human languages when they received the Holy Ghost and not unknown tongues.

 

The Holy Ghost Was Not Unique To Pentecost:

Another problem facing those who claim speaking in unknown tongues always occurs when someone is filled with the Holy Ghost is that they must not be aware of the fact that the Holy Ghost was not unique to the Day of Pentecost.

The Holy Ghost (God’s spiritual power given to man) was given to men and women before Pentecost, therefore events which “occurred” on the day of Pentecost were not necessarily more unique than any other miraculous event occurring with John (being born with the Holy Ghost) as well as Jesus Christ. Both Esaias and David speaking by the Holy Ghost could very well be considered the same as speaking in tongues (or a language) as the spirit gave utterance.

 

(2 Peter 1:20, 21) “… no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”

 

(Acts 28:25) “And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers”

 

(Mark 12:36) “For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.”

 

(Acts 1:16) “Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.”

 

(Luke 1:7, 13, 15) “And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years……………………..But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John….. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mothers’ womb.

 

(Luke 1:41) “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:”

 

(Luke 1:67) “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,”

 

(John 20:22) “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:”

 

(Luke 2:25-26) “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”

 

These were all men who spoke to people under God’s calling and all had the Holy Ghost, yet it is not recorded once, anywhere in the Bible, where any of these men, including Jesus Christ, ever spoke in unknown tongues; either it was in understandable languages, parables, or prophesies.

 

 

The Pentecostal Experience Summary

The word “Pentecost” is a Greek word that simply means “fiftieth.” This feast was to be kept fifty days after the Feast of the Passover. It was to commemorate (celebrate) the beginning of the wheat harvest (Exodus 34:22). On this particular day, the Jews were required to bring, besides their animal sacrifices, two loaves of bread made with the newly gathered wheat, that they might be waved in worship before the Lord. (Leviticus 23:16-21). It was very significant that Jesus Christ, our “Passover Lamb” (I Corinthians 5:7) was crucified on the very day that the Jews kept the Feast of the Passover. It was just as significant that God should choose to pour out His Holy Spirit on another Jewish feast day, while the Jews filled the city of Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost (also called “Feast of Weeks,” and “Feast of the Firstfruits”).

The Jews had kept the Feast of Pentecost hundreds of times before, but there was never a Feast of Pentecost like this one, because God, in His divine providence, chose to make this day the Birthday of the Church, and the beginning of the gathering of souls into the kingdom of God!

 

 

 

The Visible Signs Of The Holy Ghost

The giving of the Law on Mount Sinai was accompanied by a great demonstration of God’s power, both visible and audible: thunder, lightning, the sound of a loud trumpet, an earthquake, and fire. This was convincing proof to Israel that God had surely visited His people.

The day of Pentecost ushered in a new age for Israel–and for all who would become “spiritual Jews” through faith and obedience to Jesus Christ. When the Holy Spirit came upon the approximately 120 believers, there was a sound from heaven of a rushing mighty wind. (The Pentecostal experience came from heaven!) Then tongues of fire sat upon each of them.

This phenomena is mentioned as having been repeated again in the book of (Acts 11:15-16). Peter indicated that the Holy Ghost fell on them “as on us at the beginning” therefore this verse must also be taken into consideration. In the four historical accounts given of people receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost (book of Acts), speaking other languages (or tongues) was clearly stated or implied as having taken place.

 

Speaking With Tongues

On the day of Pentecost all who were filled with the Holy Spirit spoke with other tongues (languages that were foreign to them). Notice that they spoke. It was not some mysterious voice speaking out of their body, but their voice. The Holy Spirit took control of their tongue and lips and gave the utterance (formed the words).

 

 

Conclusion:

The analysis of “initial” is therefore dependent upon reference to its starting point. If we start at Pentecost (Acts 2:4 through Acts 10:45-46 and Acts 19:5-6) other tongues (plural) is in reference to human languages (Acts 2:7-11). The terminology unknown tongue (singular) is specific and only found in 1 Corinthians 14. It is not referenced to Pentecost or being filled with the Holy Ghost.

Again this clearly indicates that they spoke in human languages when they received the Holy Ghost.

Biblical principles that have been incorrectly taught have caused many to back slide, to be confused about what they believe, and to become discouraged in their walks with God.

Being taught that mimicking “speaking in tongues” as it was experienced on Pentecost is how to receive this gift is incorrect teaching.

When “we” give the newly repented individual the expectation that they will be sin free, problem free, and that the Holy Spirit will make them do right or good when they receive the gift is also incorrect teaching. Imagine how disappointed the new saint will be to find out they must still face and overcome temptation.

Speaking in tongues is one of many spiritual gifts of God. Although it is a sign, it is not written as being the “initial” sign or prerequisite for one’s salvation.

When we read the Bible, we must remember that it is a HISTORY BOOK of FACTS some with instructions. One must be careful and be aware of the difference between reading a history accounting of events that took place during a specific time, in comparison to an explicit set of instructions being given from God to the Jews, Gentiles (us) or for all mankind.

 

NOTE: God DID NOT say; “WHICH” gift he will give you, or “WHEN” you will get your gift, only that you will get a gift after something occurs. We cannot go around putting words into the scripture that do not exist just because we want it to say something different.

 

For example: Let’s just imagine the writer of the book of Acts was the news reporter at that time and let’s say God (through one of his anointed – Peter) was being recorded telling a group of people something very similar within the context of what was written in the Bible:

 

“God will give you the gift of the Holy Ghost, but only after you repent and are baptized.” (As long as we agree that this is a statement someone could possibly make)

 

Afterwards or immediately afterwards Mary (one of many in the crowd), just receiving her portion of the Holy Ghost (just as God had promised), immediately jumped up flapping her arms in the air and began to fly around in the room and praising God.

 

With this new God given ability Mary flew all the way to Mexico, something she was not able to do until she received the power (gift) of the Holy Ghost.

 

This does not mean that you can do the same thing. Although God may give you that ability, he did not promise you or anyone “which” gift you would get upon receiving the Holy Ghost but it is undisputed that Acts 2:38 clearly identifies the source (the Holy Ghost) from which the gift would come. And as bad as you may want to fly, prophesy (or speak in tongues), which “power” or “ability” God gives you as a “gift” is determined by God, and is not based on what happened to someone else.

We will not all have the same gifting(s); but covet earnestly the best gifts.

 

(1 Corinthians 12:27-31) – Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some (some not all) in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

 

(1 Corinthians 14: 9-12) – “So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification. 11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me. 12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.”

 

 

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6. Do You Feel The Holy Ghost All The Time?

Feeling The Presence Of God

 

(John 3:5-8) “Jesus answered, ………… 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

 

The Bible reflects the Holy Ghost as a “movement of God”. The manifest presence of God is not always experienced at the same level of intensity when you are engaged in normal daily activities, as when you are actively worshiping God. It is not something that stays at the same consistent level in regard to actually feeling the presence of God within. (For those that tarry for the Holy Ghost, this is actually what they are seeking)

 

How do you know if you still have the Holy Ghost?

We cannot see air, but we know it exists; we cannot smell it or touch it. Still, we know air exists because when it is removed, death is imminent. When God moves the air we call it wind, we still cannot see the air, but we can feel it against our skin and we can see the result of God moving the air as we witness the wind moving the leaves on the trees. In the same way, we cannot see the Holy Ghost but should the Holy Ghost be removed, spiritual death is imminent. When God moves in the power of the Holy Ghost we still cannot see the Holy Ghost, but we are able to feel the manifest presence of God and are able to witness the direct result of God moving in the power of the Holy Ghost within.

The Holy Ghost dwells within man.

(1 Corinthians 6:19) “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

It is possible for air to be still (not moving) but it is obvious air is still present, this same holds true for the Holy Ghost, the manifest presence of the Holy Ghost may not be readily apparent, (there may be no visible/tangible movement). This does not mean that the Holy Ghost is not present, only that the Holy Ghost works at different levels of intensity at different times.

Air can be still, a gentle breeze, or even as obvious as the powerful vortex of a tornado but it is inherently air. The Holy Ghost can be that inner peace that is not visible, it can be the joy that is unspeakable and full of glory causing one to dance, or it can be that powerful overwhelming Red Sea parting miracle that is visible to the world, inherently it is still the Holy Ghost.

Speaking in tongues is not the only definitive evidence of the presence of God (Holy Ghost or Spirit) in your Body. As we have already verified the Holy Ghost can come at any time God chooses and was manifested in individuals prior to the Day of Pentecost (2 Peter 1:20,21) (Luke 1: 15, 41, 67) (Mark 12:36) (Acts 1:16) (John 20:22) (Luke 2:25) and prior to baptism in Jesus name (Acts 10:47).

It can come upon you whenever the word of God touches your heart during a church service or altar call. Some people just cry without speaking in tongues, I have experienced God’s presence move me in this manner. When God’s presence moves within the service, he touches whom he will.

If the individual is experiencing the presence of God that is the only sign the individual needs. No one needs the minister’s confirmation to be saved nor could the minister validate anyone’s heart or your spiritual salvation.

Generally an individual does not claim to be able to actually feel God’s spirit moving or dwelling within themselves on a continuous basis. God’s spirit indwelling within you throughout your work week is actually based upon the belief or the “faith” we have through the word of God and the Scriptures that such indwelling of the Holy Ghost has taken place, which in general is after we have repented and been baptized. (1 Corinthians 6:19; Acts 2:38)

Nonetheless, the scriptures do not indicate how or what the Holy Ghost actually “feels like” inside the body, only that it occurs. As before the evidence can be manifested by various signs (Exodus 31:3) (Exodus 35:31) (Mark 16:16-18) and (1 Corinthians 12:6-11).

 

Conclusion

The scriptures state that the Holy Ghost is a gift, NOT a mandated speaking in tongue experience as many claim. Both Paul and Jesus tell us what some of the signs of the Spirit were, where these spiritual gifts came from and how they are dispersed. Neither indicated that tongues come before any other gift manifestation. In fact tongues (various languages) are not listed first in any of the scriptures (1 Corinthians12:1-11, Mark 16:15-18). This does not mean that tongues are not important, but that other gifts were just as equally important, and that prophesy was actually more desirable than tongues. (1 Corinthians chp.14)

 

The “you shall receive” found in the word of God (Acts 2:38) is a promise not a potential opportunity.
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7. Did The Holy Spirit Appear As A Bird Literally (John 1:32)?

We should first review what we know about spirits. A spirit is regarded as supernatural and is separate from matter. See: (What Is A Spirit)

Matter = material substance that occupies space, has mass, and is perceptible to the senses-(man is an example of matter)

Supernatural = of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; transcends the laws of nature especially: of or relating to God, spirits, or ghosts, etc.

There is no information given as to the appearance of a spirit; since by its very definition a spirit is separate from matter, it may not have a “physical” appearance.

Since it is accepted that a spirit is a supernatural being, (something not explainable by the known forces or laws of nature), then it is possible that a spirit can live inside a human being and remain separately identifiable from the human being and not required to assume the physical form of a human being.

Subsequently since a spirit is something that is “not explainable by the known forces or laws of nature” then that implies a spirit can be anything (even appearing as or taking other forms) because it is not bound by the laws of nature.

NOTE: A spirit taking on another form (as someone else or something else) however is never going to ever literally be the actual object it is portraying (i.e., a Rock, Dove or a person).

NOTE: What is important to note here in John 1:32 is that it says “like a dove”, not John saw a dove. This passage does not mean the Holy Spirit looks like a dove, no more than it looks like a man.

In the 14-16th chapters of the Gospel of John, the “he” and the “him”, which refer to the Holy Spirit, do not describe it looking like a male dove, this passage in John is clearly a figure of speech.

At the baptism of Christ, the Father simply allowed John to witness the power of His Spirit coming upon Christ, and from John’s perspective he described it as of a dove (possibly symbolic to its character).

 

 

*This Page Is Under Construction. We Will Be Back Soon. Thanks

 

 

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8. Why Did John Refer To The Comforter As He Or Him Instead Of It?

As explained before,<1>Ref: (The Holy Ghost) & (Verses Where “He” & “Him” Should Be Referred To As “It” it is a matter of grammatical usage which creates the problem.  As with many languages, Greek designates nouns as masculine, feminine, or neuter.  Whichever gender the noun in a sentence is, the pronoun must agree.  For example, in John 14:16, Christ states, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;” the next verse (John 14:17) identifies “the Comforter” as “the Spirit of truth.”

 

Because the word “Comforter(G3875) is of masculine gender in the Greek the pronoun must agree. This is further emphasized by the repeated statements that “he shall teach you(Jn 14:26); “he shall testify of me” (Jn 15:26); “… when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin,” (Jn 16:8); “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (Jn 16:13); “he shall glorify me” (Jn 16:14).

 

NOTE: In contrast, the verse in Romans 8:16 states “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”  “Itself” is used because the nounSpirit(G4151) is neuter in the Greek. The same is reflected in the book of John; (John 1:32) And John [the Baptist] bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode on him [Christ]”. 

The Comforter ( in Jn 14:26) is just another name for both the Holy Ghost (G4151) and the Spirit (G4151) of Truth.

But in the Hebrew language of the Old Testament the word “Spirit” (H7307) was generally given the feminine gender.

 

NOTE: The Spirit did not change gender between these Testaments (the Old & New).  As you can see, grammatical usage alone is not the determining factor.

 

There are many scriptures which give things genders (both “living” and “lifeless”)  though they are not personalities at all. Some are given “mouths” to speak. (I Cor. 12:15, 16) “If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body… And if the ear shall say, because I am not the eye…” Of course, feet and ears do not have mouths to speak. They are simply personified by Paul in order to make a point. The Bible says that “The mountains and hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees shall clap their hands” (Isa. 55:12), here again mountains do not have mouths to sing with, neither do trees have hands.

 

 

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References   [ + ]

9. Why Is The Holy Ghost Shown As One Of The Three Witnesses In Heaven (1John 5:7)?

(See: Three That Bear Record In Heaven)

10. Why Does Matthew 1:18 Say The Holy Ghost Caused Jesus Birth Instead Of The Father?

Throughout the Bible, Christ recognized only one Father, God, and God was the supreme head of all. However, it was through God’s spirit (His divine power) that Christ was conceived in Mary.

The Church knows that God is neither man nor woman: He is God.

Though God is usually referred to in masculine imagery, some argue that the feminine image of God is brought forth in John 3:5 when Jesus said we must be “born of the Spirit” or born of God” (1John 5:1). This however does not take away from Isaiah’s specifically calling God “Father” (Is. 63:16, 64:8) and Jesus echoing this dozens of times in the Gospels.

Any expert in languages will tell you that grammatical gender has no direct correlation to masculinity or femininity of the thing that the word represents. For instance, the Hebrew word for army is tsavah which is feminine — though the ancient armies were comprised entirely of men. Even in the New Testament there are scriptures that apply female imagery to Jesus. Gender here is a matter of role, not organs, and with relation to us, we are all the “bride of Christ” (yes, even you men). Yet this does not make Jesus’ gender feminine any more than men are “womanized” at the wedding supper of the Lamb.

The Spirit of God – Ruach Elohim (Genesis 1:2) is a feminine noun, so is the Shekhinah – the Presence of God. Does this mean the Spirit of God and the Presence of God are female? No!

For example take the word “animal” — hayyah in Hebrew. Hayyah is a feminine noun. Therefore, by the rules of Hebrew grammar, whenever people speak of a hayyah, they have to refer to it as “she”. This does not indicate that the animal in question is actually female.

Since the titles for God in the Hebrew Bible (Elohim, El, Adonai) are masculine nouns, God is called “he”.

To bring God to the level of man was blasphemous.

Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24) and thus it was through God’s spirit (His divine power/the Holy Ghost) that Christ was conceived in Mary.

11. Why Did Christ Say Baptize In The Name Of The Father, Son, And The Holy Ghost, If There Are Not Three Personages (Matthew 28:19)?

In this passage (Matthew 28:19) we have a common phrase “in the name of” which means “by the authority” of someone or something (See: Understanding The Phrase “In the Name of..” and  In The Name of “Jesus). Even today an officer of the law may call out to an escaping criminal: Stop, in the name of the law.He is giving notice to the criminal that he has the authority given him by law by which the criminal is to comply to his command to stop.

12. Why Does Paul Mention The Holy Ghost Along With The Father And The Son If it Is Not a Person (II Corinthians 13:14)?

All Christians can be in communion with the Father and the Son through the Holy Ghost. This is what gives us comfort at the present time while the Father and Christ (their “physical” presence) are in heaven and away from people on earth (John 14:1-2, 20:17; Heb 9:24, 10:12; Rev 3:21).

(Ref:  Verses Where “He” & “Him” Should Be Referred To As “It”)