[This is part of a series of blogs which are taken directly from the book, Is the Holy Spirit Real? by the late Dr. Paul E. Paino.]
On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to indwell believers. Every believer is a temple for the Holy Spirit. From the time the Father sent the Holy Spirit, believers have been filled, blessed, anointed, and baptized.
When Peter stood up to explain the phenomena, he quoted from the prophet Joel and said: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” (Joel 2:28-29).
John the Baptist said that this baptism would be a baptism of fire. Fire denotes teh presence of God. This baptism was promised by Jesus. Jesus is the Baptizer. In the teaching of Jesus concerning the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer, He describes three distinct phases. He said that the Holy Spirit would be:
Jesus said He would be with you to guide. He shall “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).
He is to be “in you” in regeneration. Jesu as Adam became a living soul in Genesis 2:7, so we become partakers of a divine nature through the Holy Ghost.
The Holy Spirit comes “upon you” to give power. This “power from on high” is to cause every believer to be a witness. The Holy Spirit gives life! The Holy Spirit fills, blesses, and anoints us. Then, the Scriptures make clear that every believer can be baptized into the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was predominant in the early church. The church was spirit filled na dspirit controlled (Acts 8:17).
The Holy Spirit was poured out into the lives of those who were gathered in the home of Cornelius (Acts 10:46). Peter testified in Jerusalem that “the Holy Spirit fell on them as on us at the beginning” (Acts 11:15). The criticism of the brethren ceased and praise commenced.
Nearly twenty years after Pentecost, there was a similar outpouring in the city of Ephesus (Act 19:1-7). It is evident that the baptism in the Spirit was a standard experience among the believers in the early church. Sometimes it was necessary to tarry. Sometimes it happened during the laying on of hands. Sometimes it was a completely spontaneous experience. However, it always came after conversion and was a distinct and separate experience. The glorious Person of the Holy Spirit predominated and empowered the life of the first century church.
The Baptism in the Spirit occupied a permanent place in the Apostolic church. There is no indication that it was that generation’s exclusive possession. Down through the centuries, men and women of God have enjoyed the same experience that happened to the one hundred twenty believers on the day of Pentecost.
Today people react in various ways to this spiritual phenomenon. Some are amazed. Others are in doubt. Some attempt to explain away the experience. They reject the supernatural. Peter declared that “this is that” which Joel prophesied. “This is that” is still happening in the Body of Christ today!
[For the sake of consecutive learning in the manner in which the book was intended (all in one chapter), comments to this post have been turned off. Discussion will open on Part 7.]