SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR THE BELIEVER

THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE INITIATION OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS

Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., Pastor, Grace Bible Church of Costa Mesa, California

Copyright 1995-2014 Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., All Rights Reserved



 

The Prophesy of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

We have the baptism of the Holy Spirit prophesied in Acts 1:4-5. This is a real baptism, not a ritual baptism. It’s reality that you are in union with the Lord Jesus Christ and you were placed in union with Christ the moment you trusted Him for salvation. The baptism of the Holy Spirit that entered you into union with the Lord Jesus Christ is the only baptism related to salvation. You are not saved by water baptism. The moment you believe in Christ for salvation, you are eternally saved. Acts 1:4-5 heralds the commencement of the Church Age via the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, "Which," He said, "you heard of from Me for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." (Acts 1:4-5)

The baptism of John used water and was a ritual baptism according to our Lord. John baptized the Lord Jesus Christ and it identified the Lord with His ministry. The Greek word in Acts 1:4-5 is baptizo for baptized and means "identification with." It means that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit involves all believers, past, present and future who have received Jesus Christ as Savior during the Church Age. Every believer is baptized by the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation. It refers to that instant when God the Holy Spirit takes your soul by the nape of the neck and enters you into union with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our Lord was identified with water in His immersion type baptism and that identified Him with His public ministry. His ministry began at the point of His water or ritual baptism. The same thing applies to the baptism of John. Their baptism refers to their identification with the kingdom of the regenerate. They received Jesus Christ as Savior. They were born again and water or ritual baptism referred to that moment of salvation which identified them with the kingdom of the born-again ones. That's what water baptism is all about.

In Acts 1:4-5, Luke the doctor and historian wrote information to us concerning the Day of Pentecost or a prophecy concerning the Day of Pentecost. The Lord was speaking to approximately 120 believers in the Jewish Age. They were the apostles and others who had gathered to wait for the descent of the Holy Spirit. They were also those who would later gather in the upper room. Remember, Jesus Christ’s virgin birth, His sinless life of 33 years, His work on the cross, His burial, and resurrection all took place in the Jewish Age. These Jews had believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as Messiah and Savior. They were going to be given a promise related to the commencement of the Church Age. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself was speaking. The Lord’s command to not leave Jerusalem was the prophecy concerning the gift of the Holy Spirit which was to take place in 30 A.D. We also know that Jesus Christ’s crucifixion was in 30 A.D. and His burial and resurrection were three days and three nights after His crucifixion. He was on the earth for 40 days after that. They were to wait for the promise of the Father 50 days after our Lord ascended to the Father's right hand. There were 10 days plus 40 days (Pentecost means 50) before the baptism of the Holy Spirit would occur for the first time historically. The baptism of the Holy Spirit actually heralded the commencement of the Church Age. The Church Age commenced in 30 A.D. and runs until the last member of the body receives Christ as Savior. When the body is complete, it becomes the Bride of Christ at the Rapture of the Church or the Exit Resurrection. This is the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the translation of the living in Christ, who are gathered together and caught up to meet the Lord in the air to receive their resurrection bodies as stated in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. All of this will occur in a twinkling of an eye.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

We now know that every Christian receives a spiritual gift at the moment of salvation. We also know that every Christian is baptized by the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation according to 1 Corinthians 12:13. Here, the analogy to the human body is used to illustrate the Body of Christ. Just as the human body is one entity, it has many parts. The Body of Christ is also one entity, but with many parts. Many individual Christians make up the Body of Christ. How did we become members of the Body of Christ? We were baptized by the Holy Spirit.

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13)

We were all baptized by the one Spirit into one body, whether Jews or Gentile, whether slave or free, whether upper class or lower class, or whether blue collar or white collar. We were all given the one Spirit to drink. That's the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation. In one verse we see the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

This principle of salvation has been presented before. When you come to the Cross, you have realized that Jesus Christ died for all your sins, past, present, and future. You do NOT commit to the Lordship of Christ to be saved. You simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ through positive volition at Gospel hearing. That’s all! You are eternally saved at that instant! One of the 40 things you also receive at salvation is the baptism of the Holy Spirit which enters you into union with the Lord Jesus Christ. Every believer in the Church Age has this eternal position and relationship with God. It’s a perfect relationship and is absolutely secure - forever. You can never lose it. You can never add to or detract from this grace gift. You have eternal security because of this union with the Lord Jesus Christ. Your new position, as stated in 2 Corinthians 5:17, is in Christ instead of the old position of condemnation and spiritual death in Adam.

Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The Believer’s Responsibility of Evangelism

The city of Colossae became a tremendous center for Christianity in the early church. The believers were absolutely fantastic in their spiritual growth, their obedience, and in their motivation for ambassadorship in serving the Lord. They had only been saved for a little more than six months, yet they were being used by God the Holy Spirit in leading others to the Lord Jesus Christ.

I think that in many of our churches, we just sit and spin our wheels. It's because God the Holy Spirit has left the congregation. He never leaves our bodies because we are permanently indwelt by the Spirit. However, He can leave a church and move on to some other church that will be faithful and obedient in carrying out the great commission to lead Jews and Gentiles to the Lord Jesus Christ.

We need to understand and teach that we are responsible before God, just as Israel was responsible before God. Israel was the first client nation. As such, it had the wonderful privilege of establishing a nation of great peace, blessing, and prosperity under the laws of divine establishment. The laws of divine establishment are freedom, marriage, family life, capitalism and free enterprise, law and order, and a strong military establishment. All these things are taught within the Torah and the Mosaic Law. They had that great responsibility before God, so that they could carry out the custodianship of the Word of God, fulfill the responsibility of evangelization, and take the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to Gentile nations around them. This was the responsibility of the Jews before the Lord. They had custodianship of divine revelation and evangelization. They were also the only priest nation because the Lord Jesus Christ came through the Jews, the Son of Abraham, the tribe of Judah, and the family of David. He would be the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world. From that standpoint, they are a priest nation, and of course, the first client nation in human history.

A little about this great responsibility is given to us in Romans 3:1-2. This was the overt sign of the inward reality of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It was a sign of salvation. They were not saved because of circumcision as the believers in Galatia were being taught. They fell for the false doctrine that you could be saved only by keeping the Law. Any element of the Law has absolutely nothing to do with salvation. This was a sign of their covenant relationship with Jehovah and that they were a special and unique people as stated in Romans 3:3-4. They were the first client nation in history and the only priest nation in history.

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God. (Romans 3:1-2)

What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, "That thou mightest be justified in thy words, and mightest prevail when thou art judged." (Romans 3:3-4)

Israel’s Historic Responsibility as Custodians for Evangelism

Before 70 A.D., the Jews were entrusted with the very words of God. They were the custodians of divine revelation and responsible for the dissemination of the Word of God to the rest of the human race. The Jews failed in their responsibility to evangelize the Gentiles. Their reality had become something other that the Word of God. The nation of Israel, as a client nation to God, failed in their responsibility and were destroyed in 70 A.D. as a client nation by Titus the Roman general. Jesus Christ predicted the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in Mark 13:2. This began the Diaspora period or dispersion of the Jews. They will not be fully united again until the Tribulation dispensation immediately following the Exit Resurrection or Rapture of the Church.

And Jesus said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another which will not be torn down." (Mark 13:2)

Reality to all believers is to be Bible truth or the Word of God. Unbelievers and some carnal believers, under human viewpoint, say that reality is what you see, feel, hear, smell, taste, what you think, or what you experience. What you experience with your senses may appear real to you, but the Bible teaches us what is reality. The Bible teaches us why what we perceive is what it is and what God’s purpose is for it. The Bible teaches us His plan for each and every one of us. That’s far more important than anything we can think of, apart from thinking the Word of God. The Bible is more important than anything we can see, feel, hear, smell, or taste. The Word of God is the greatest of all gifts of grace from God. If we consistently take in and apply the sound doctrine from the Word of God as taught by a pastor-teacher, it will change our lives from the inside out. We will realize that we have a personal destiny within the plan of God. We will realize that destiny as we come to know it is to love and serve Jesus Christ through the intake and application of Bible doctrine that is the very mind of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The condemnation of the Jews by God was deserved as stated in Romans 3:5-8. They were responsible for their own bad decisions just as we all are. They made sinful decisions and evil decisions as a nation. God foreknew in eternity past that these decisions would be made and that they would be reality in human history. He does not cause us to make the decisions. He does not sponsor bad decisions. God is not the source of sin and evil. However, through His permissive will, He permits their existence so that you and I might see sin and evil in the world. God allows humans to sin and become evil of their own volition so we might see the devastating consequences of sin and evil and that we might choose for Jesus Christ as Savior. God wants His thinking to be the basis of all believers’ lives because of His grace and that through His provision, we might all have a life of great purpose and meaning and definition.

But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) May it never be! For otherwise how will God judge the world? But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner? And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say), "Let us do evil that good may come"? Their condemnation is just. (Romans 3:5-8)

What a fantastic privilege, opportunity, and responsibility we have as believers. This is just like the Jews had. It’s a tremendous responsibility before God. The Jews failed in that responsibility. They failed in evangelization. Therefore, they received divine discipline. They lost custodianship of the Word of God to a new people - the Gentiles. On the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D., custodianship and evangelization went from Israel to the Church when the Jewish Age was interrupted by the commencement of the Church Age. The destruction of the Jewish temple occurred 40 years later.

Our Responsibility for Custodianship of Evangelism

The Jews failed in their responsibility before God, therefore that responsibility was taken from them. Their failure in evangelism made it possible for God to give it to a new people. Understand that God can also remove the local church’s responsibility for evangelizing the unbeliever. He may give it to a new church or to another church because we are simply not availing ourselves of the many opportunities that are out there. We as "grace believers" rationalize our timidity and our temerity of not having the courage to speak the Gospel as we have opportunities. Therefore, we miss opportunities. What’s happening is that charismatic and evangelical christian churches are the ones going into the jails and leading people to Christ. They are the ones that are aggressively involved in "soul winning" to the maximum. It's because churches that are accurate in the exposition of the Word of God are "dead in the water" when it comes to outreach, evangelizing and witnessing. We can just take it as an invisible sign. Maybe it's already there, right under the exit sign. This invisible sign says "Ichabod." I'm talking about a Hebrew word that means the Spirit has departed. You could be indwelt with the Spirit, but you're grieving and quenching the Spirit by living a life as a believer out of fellowship and not controlled by the Spirit. Therefore, by not being filled with the Spirit, you are not witnessing in the power of the Spirit.

I suppose some of you have been sitting on your spiritual duffs for years. Some of you have the attitude that all you have to do is take in doctrine and everything else will happen automatically. It happens automatically, yet many of you haven't witnessed to an unbeliever in many years. It's really happening automatically, isn't it? I think your automatic transmissions are stuck in neutral. This is a big spiritual problem. If you are functioning under your priesthood, you will automatically fulfill your ambassadorship in witnessing for the Lord Jesus Christ. So what does this mean? It means that you may "feel" you are spiritual, but you are avoiding your responsibility mandated by God in 2 Corinthians 5:20 to give the Gospel to the unbeliever whenever the opportunity presents itself. You have to have the attitude that you want opportunities to appear to you, or you may not even recognize them. You are also to give the Gospel with confidence as stated in Ephesians 6:20 based on doctrine in your soul. This is how God meant for the Body of Christ to grow.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20)

for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:20)

Israel was the first nation in history with the responsibility for custodianship of divine revelation or the custodianship of evangelization. This principle is seen in Romans 3:1-2. The failure of Israel in evangelization occasioned their divine discipline. They are under the worldwide dispersion and have been since 70 A.D., and will continue under this fifth cycle of discipline until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Born-again Jews will then be regathered and restored to the Land. This will occur at the Second Advent which immediately precedes the Millennium.

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God. (Romans 3:1-2)

The Balance of the Church Age Believer’s Two Royal Mandates

On the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D., the nation of Israel lost their custodianship of the Word of God, to a new people, the Church. This is because of a failure in their ambassadorship. Every believer is commanded by God to wear two spiritual hats. One hat requires you to be truly involved in the knowledge of the Word of God or the thinking of Jesus Christ as in 1 Corinthians 2:16. This increase of spiritual thinking or storing up of Bible truth in your soul involves your royal priesthood. Each believer is also commanded to be involved in ambassadorship which is the application of Bible truth to others such as witnessing and your experiences in life on this earth. You will share the Gospel with the unbeliever as God gives you the opportunity. We all have opportunities regularly and consistently. The problem is, some believers are ashamed of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul said in Romans 1:16-17 that he was not ashamed of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

For who has known the mind of the lord, that he should instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)

For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "But the righteous man shall live by faith." (Romans 1:16-17)

The Gospel is the power of God and salvation is God’s grace gift to everyone who believes. Are you ashamed? What a tragedy if you are. All believers were given God's empowerment through the filling of the Holy Spirit that involves both content and that of communication. To be ashamed means you are timid. Timidity means you do not have the courage you should have toward other people under unconditional love. This means having the courage to be thoughtful, kind and considerate of others. How kind are you? How considerate are you if you have a neighbor you have known for years and have not shared the Gospel with them? Is that really loving thy neighbor as thyself? Do you really have impersonal love to those around you who don’t know Christ, if you have never shared the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ?

As Spirit-filled believers, we should each have a daily plan uppermost within our mind to have the attitude to be ready to witness to the unbeliever. Some so-called "grace churches" do not promote such readiness of our priesthood to the unbeliever. Some practice a type of doctrinal legalism where they think that their responsibility ends with the intake, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine to their own lives only and not to the lives of others. They overemphasize their priesthood and neglect their ambassadorship. They go through the legalistic ritual of listening to doctrine every day and believe that everything else is going to take place without their involvement. Understand that God’s plan will move forward, but it will be doing so without your involvement. You will be on the sidelines with respect to outreach. It takes positive volition to take in and apply God’s truth to our lives. It takes positive volition and the right decisions in the application of God's truth to help other believers with encouragement, exhortation and especially in our application here, as it relates to witnessing.

Believers are to be witnesses by their lives through virtue, honor and integrity resulting from their spiritual growth. In addition, we are to speak using our own words to express the glorious Gospel of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our lifestyles should include evangelization at home and school, wherever you work, and in whatever niche God has placed you. The lifestyle of witnessing to the glory of the Gospel involves taking advantage of every opportunity as they come your way. If we simply have the attitude that we'll just take in doctrine and everything will come naturally, it won't. We must have a plan. We must be on our toes and avail ourselves of every opportunity for personal witnessing and, as a church, we must each be personally involved in evangelistic outreach in some manner.

This outreach should allow for personal evangelization by members of the local church. By this, we may see new people saved and we are trusting the Lord to give us souls to energize and bring enthusiasm to our local churches. It’s always exciting to see new converts being led along in edification through the intake of the Word of God. If we don't reach out to them, we will lose our custodianship of evangelism. God will simply give it to someone else.

This is why the charismatics are the ones who are "winning souls." You have to wonder how many of these people are genuinely converted when most charismatics are really not squared away on the Gospel. They suggest you must take Christ as Lord to be saved. Some believe you have to speak in tongues as evidence of being saved plus evidence of being Spirit-filled. Although they don't have the message right, they sure do have the method. They're doing door-to-door witnessing, beach evangelizing, telephone witnessing, and witnessing at the jails. Many people are out there waiting to be saved. They were positive at God consciousness and God will use someone to lead them to the Lord, whether that person is squared away or not. God will use whatever vessels are available to take the message to the unbeliever. God uses prepared and positive believers for His plan for mankind.

Even though we all have a tremendous advantage, we cannot afford to become arrogant. We should always have an attitude of grace orientation and humility. We have the right message and the accurate Gospel. Use it! The Gospel is faith alone in Christ alone! The Gospel is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved! Sin is not the issue! Although you are a sinner and your sins separated you from the Lord, Jesus Christ solved the sin problem on the cross. He paid the penalty. All you have to do is trust Him for salvation. You can tell that to others you run across, can't you? Can't you relate that to someone else? Can’t you relate that to someone in your neighborhood such as a neighbor you have neglected? Go over and tell them you thought you were a good neighbor, but you have actually been a lousy neighbor. Tell them, if it is true, that they have lived near you for many years and you have never told them about the Lord Jesus Christ. It's never too late to rectify your failure under the power of the Spirit and the power that is resident in the Gospel. Do not be ashamed of the power resident in the Gospel as stated by Paul in Romans 1:16.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

This is something that is invisible. Is there a sign there? Have we lost our custodianship of the Gospel because of our inactivity in our mandate to be effective ambassadors for our Lord Jesus Christ? Only you can say whether you are truly availing yourselves of the opportunity to share the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Day of Pentecost and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The Jews were evangelized in Gentile languages for 40 years, from 30 to 70 A.D. The commencement of the Day of Pentecost occurred in Acts 2:1-4. On that day, about 120 Jews were gathered in a house in Jerusalem. Suddenly, a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the house where they were gathered. This was the overt sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit just as a water baptism is and was the overt sign of the inward salvation. God provided obvious signs during the Pre-canon period of the Church Age because the Jew always sought after overt signs. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. In the overt sign, there were tongues of fire because fire represents judgment. It was a sign that the Jews were going to be judged and their nation destroyed. This was a sign of the upcoming fifth cycle of discipline. The Jews had been evangelized in tongues for 40 years. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit was a sign of the fulfillment of that prophecy of tongues. Their nation would be destroyed because of their rejection of Jesus Christ as Savior and Messiah.

And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)

Acts 2:1-4 goes on to say that all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them. This was the order of the day. For each of us, no matter what spiritual gift you possess, which gift you received at the moment of salvation, and even if you have not identified it, you will be enabled to use that gift. Keep growing spiritually, and as you grow to maturity, you will be enabled to use it to a greater degree than you have ever used it in the past. So the issue is spiritual growth. You're filled with the Spirit and then your gift functions wonderfully.

We have in Acts 2:1-4, the Day of Pentecost and the baptism of the Holy Spirit taking place for the first time. We also have the first use of the first spiritual gift in the Church Age, which was the gift of tongues. From all of this we see that the Church Age began on the Day of Pentecost.

In Acts 2:5-8, we see that those staying in Jerusalem were God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. This means that many of them were regenerate or born-again believers. Others may not have been born-again, but had a Judiastic or an Old Testament background. They did not speak Hebrew, but spoke the language of the nation where they were born and raised. When they heard these sounds, a crowd came together in bewilderment because each heard the message in his own language.

Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because they were each one hearing them speak in his own language. And they were amazed and marveled, saying, "Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? "And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? (Acts 2:5-8)

They were utterly amazed and asked how it was possible that the Galileans were speaking their own native language. Galileans were thought to be ignorant men and without education. They wanted to know how they were all hearing the Gospel in their own native language. The Jews present had come from Parthia, Elam, Media, Mesopotamia, Judea or Palestine, Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia in Egypt, those from parts of Lybia near Cyrene, visitors from Rome who made this pilgrimage, and both Jews and converts to Judaism. In Acts 2:9-11, there are both Jewish and Gentile adherents to Judaism - Cretans and Arabs.

"Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs-- we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God." (Acts 2:9-11)

In Acts 2:12-15, we see Jews from many different areas of the Roman world amazed and perplexed and asking one another what it all meant. Some, however, made fun of the speakers and thought they were drunk. It’s interesting that when they were confronted with the supernatural gift of tongues, they tried to fall back on a ridiculous explanation. They immediately tried to explain it away by saying they were drunk. How is it possible for someone to speak very clearly in a foreign language they have never learned when they are drunk when they could not speak it before then even when they were sober? They must have assumed that when you are drunk, you would suddenly be able to speak in a language you do not understand. That really makes sense, doesn't it? In other words, they must have thought they could all become missionaries and go out to people who have not heard. Did they assume they could suddenly speak in all of their dialects and languages, give the Gospel and translate the Scripture into their own languages? Did they think all they would have to do is get drunk to do so? When some said they thought they were drunk with wine, Peter stood up and declared the Gospel of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine." But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: "Men of Judea, and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day"; (Acts 2:12-15)

The Jewish and Gentile Pentecosts

The "Jewish" Pentecost

What we studied in Acts 2:1-4 was the Jewish Pentecost. This was in Jerusalem which was a totally Jewish city. The Day of Pentecost was the commencement of the Church Age and concerned the Jews only. There were Jewish apostles and Jewish believers in Jerusalem who gave the Gospel through the gift of tongues. About 120 Jews were gathered who received the baptism and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Through His Spirit, they then gave the Gospel in a foreign language although it was a foreign language to fellow Jews.

And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)

The "Gentile" Pentecost

In the Roman Empire, the Gentile capital of Palestine was not Jerusalem, but Caesarea. In Acts 10:44-47, we see a Gentile Pentecost. While Peter was still communicating the words of the Gospel, the Holy Spirit came uoon all who heard the message. This implies that they had received Christ as Savior and now we see the Baptism of the Spirit coming to a different group. The circumcised believers, the Jews who had come with Peter, were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. They had already heard that on the Day of Pentecost, 120 Jews had been baptized with the Spirit, indwelt by the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, and immediately began giving the Gospel to thousands of Jews from all over the Roman world. This was in Jerusalem for the pilgrimage of the Feast of Pentecost. They assumed that the Church or the Body of Christ was a Jewish entity only. That would be a logical conclusion, wouldn't it, if you just had a Jewish Pentecost? They were wrong - this was the Gentile Pentecost.

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" (Acts 10:44-47)

The body and bride of Christ is composed of both Jews and Gentiles. In Acts 10:44-47, they had heard them speaking the Gospel in a foreign language and praising God. This also refers to water baptism, which is a ritual and the overt sign of the inward salvation they had received by believing in Christ. They were baptized with the Holy Spirit. Some of them had received the gift of tongues and began to evangelize immediately.

This is part of praising and worshiping God. You are worshiping the Lord every time you share the Gospel. That is how you express your gratitude and your appreciation for the fact that you know what you are saved from, and you know unto what you are saved. You should have a burning desire to share that information with others. The water baptism is the overt sign of the inward salvation. In Acts 10:48, he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. This was a water baptism on the basis of who and what Jesus Christ is and His substitutionary spiritual death on the Cross. They then asked Peter to stay with them for a few days to get them started in the Christian way of life. This is a Gentile believer's Pentecost or a Pentecost for Gentiles in Caesarea.

And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days. (Acts 10:48)

According to Acts 2:1-4, there was a Jewish Pentecost. In Acts 10:44-47, Acts 10:48, and Acts 11:15-16, Peter is explaining his ministry to fellow Jews and that the Gentiles would also be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Here, Peter taught them that the baptism of the Spirit is for Jews and Gentiles.

"And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as He did upon us at the beginning. "And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' (Acts 11:15-16)

A "General" Pentecost

In Acts 19:1-5 there was a general Pentecost. Remember that the Greek word baptizo means "identification with." We are identified with Christ as He is seated at the right hand of the Father. This is called Positional Truth and is given to every Church Age believer through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 19:1-5, Paul was in Ephesus while Apollos was at Corinth. Paul had taken the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed. They said they had not and stated they had not even heard there was a Holy Spirit. Paul then asked them what baptism they thought they had received. They replied that it was John's baptism. They were Jewish age believers and had received Christ under the ministry of John the Baptist.

And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found some disciples, and he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" And they said, "Into John's baptism." And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus." And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 19:1-5)

They had believed in Christ. John baptized them with water, and it was a ritual which demonstrated their identification with the kingdom of the regenerate. Every person is born-again the moment he or she receives Jesus Christ as Savior. This is the baptism of John the Baptist.

In Acts 19:1-5, Paul also said that John's baptism was a baptism of repentance and was a change of mental attitude concerning the person and work of Christ on the cross. They said "no" to religion and had turned their backs on religion and turned to Jesus Christ because of their change of mental attitude. They went from rejecters to receivers and from unbelievers to believers in Jesus Christ. That is repentance or a change of mental attitude.

John the Baptist had told the people to believe in the One coming after him who is Jesus Christ. On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus on the basis of who and what Christ is and what He had done on the cross. They received Him as Savior and were baptized in the name of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke in other languages and prophesied. They predicted future events. They gave a message from the Lord, but they spoke the Gospel in other languages, making sure that everyone on that occasion had the opportunity to receive Christ. There were about 12 men in all who were the followers of John the Baptist. Through his ministry they had received Christ as Savior, but they knew nothing about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Once they were baptized with the Holy Spirit, they were added to the Body of Christ and received the gift of giving the Gospel in another language or tongues. They also received the gift of prophecy or declaring a message from the Lord so that everyone on that occasion would have full knowledge (epignosis in the Greek) of the Gospel, a full knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This shows us other believers of the Age of Israel in various locations and at different times receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit which enters them into union with the Lord Jesus Christ and makes them Church Age believers.


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