[This is a series of blogs which are quoted from the book “Is the Holy Spirit Real?” by Dr. Paul E. Paino].
God promised through the prophet Joel that He would pour out His Spirit in the “last days.” For the past two thousand years (the last days), the Holy Spirit has been poured out. The Holy Spirit has been working throughout the entire church age. We have been promised a “former rain” and a “latter rain.” God is moving on schedule. Everything fits into His divine program.
Today we are experiencing an increase in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. There are reasons why the outpouring is so evident today. Let me name some of these reasons:
1) The Holy Spirit has come to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ in an age of false teachers, false prophets, false Christs, and false religions. (Matthew 24:24, John 16:13-14). On every side, we are seeing false teaching and preaching of false gospel. To counteract the cult and the occult, God is pouring out His Spirit across the earth.
2) The Holy Spirit is being poured out to counteract the Spirit of the anti-Christ. John told us in his first letter that the spirit of anti-Christ was working in the world already. Paul gave a special warning to us. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-9). Deception is the tool that anti-Christ will use. Humanity will be conditioned to believe the great lie. Revival fire is spreading and gaining proportion. The revival is preparing a SPIRIT-FILLED, SPIRIT ANOINTED, and SPIRIT LED church. The Holy Spirit is moving through the church to resist the deceptive powers of the spirit of anti-Christ.
3) The Holy Spirit is being poured out to counteract satanic activity and the flood of wickedness. It is apparent that iniquity is abounding in these closing days. (2 Timothy 3:13). There is a tidal wave of moral pollution. Pornography is sweeping across the world. Homosexuality is spreading like a cancer. Drug abuse has contaminated the nations. Witchcraft and the devil worship are on the increase.
It is into this atmosphere that God promised that the Spirit of the Lord would lift up a standard (Isaiah 59:18).
4) The Holy Spirit is being poured out to ready the church for the coming of Christ. The Father has sent the Holy Spirit into the world to seek a bride for Jesus Christ. Believers are on their way to a marriage celebration. It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of believers . . . to present a spotless church as a bride adorned for the bridegroom.
5) It is the purpose of the Holy Spirit to bring in the greatest harvest of souls the Church has ever seen. (James 5:7).
The doors are open! It is harvest time across the world!! It is time for the church to move beyond its own walls and reach out to a world that is ready to receive Christ. This is the church’s greatest hour!
The Gifts of the Spirit
A distinction must be made between the Holy Spirit sent as “a gift” and the “gifts of the Holy Spirit.” The following distinctions must be understood:
1) The Holy Spirit as a Person being sent to indwell believers [“the comforter” that Jesus promised].
2) The Holy Spirit baptizing us into the Body of Christ [which is the same thing as “becoming a Christian.” This is asking Jesus into your heart.]
3) The Lord baptizing us into the Holy Spirit.
4) The gifts of the Spirit (spirituals) operating in the life of a believer (1 Corinthians 12).
When we receive the Holy Spirit, he comes as a gift (John 14:16-17; John 15:26-27; and John 16:7-15). The Holy Spirit is a Person and was sent as a gift. Then there are “spirituals” that are referred to as the “gifts of the Holy Spirit.” There are nine of them (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). [That’s not to say there are plenty of other gifts that are very spiritual, but there is a distinction to the nine listed in 1 Corinthians. These are the spirituals. Other “spiritual gifts” exist, and are available to ANY CHRISTIAN (regardless if they have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit or not). Examples would be music, helps, and encouragement. These are “spritual gifts,” especially when used in the church. But they are not of the spirituals listed in 1 Corinthians].
The person who has not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit cannot become the channel through which these gifts can function. They are referred to as the “manifestations of the spirit.” Where people believe in and have received the experience of the baptism in the holy spirit, there will be evidences of the gifts of the spirit in their midst. [I have not found, nor did Dr. Paino provide sufficient scripture to support the statement that the spirituals only work in those who have received the baptism in the holy spirit. I think they could work in anybody, “just as the spirit chooses.” However, in my experience and apparently in Dr. Paino’s nearly 60 years of pentecostal ministry, the 9 spirituals only work through those who have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit].
The Apostle Paul introduces this subject in 1 Corinthians 12:1 when he writes, “Now concerning spirituals, bretheren, I do not want you to be unlearned.” He then writes chapters 12, 13, and 14 on the subject of manifestations, spirituals, or the gifts of the spirit, and concludes by saying in 1 Corinthians 14:38, “If any man be unlearned, let him be so.”
Very candidly, the apostle was saying, “I have just spent three chapters talking about these manifestations. If you choose to be without knowledge after I have shared this revelation, then there is nothing more that I can do about it.” God wants us to have knowledge of the gifts, and the Holy Spirit wants these manifestations to be evident among believers.
When we have a good perspective on the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit, the things of the Lord are beautiful, powerful, and practical. The Holy Spirit came to give life and liberty to the believers! The Holy Spirit was sent so that those of us who desire to serve the Lord could be anointed to do so.
We have been commanded to be FILLED with the Spirit so that the fruit of the Spirit could be produced in our lives. Chrisitan character is developed to the degree that we stay FILLED. The Holy Spirit pours out a blessing after blessing to inspire us to worship and praise. We are blessed because we are loved.
The Lord desires that every believer receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
This opens the doors to spiritual manifestations, to praying and praising in an unknown tongue, and to be used of the Lord in the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit.
He is here to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and to make us witnesses to the four corners of the earth.
My prayer is that YOU experience how REAL the Holy Spirit can be in YOUR life and ministry.
[Comments to this post are related to all 7 posts in the series of “The Holy Spirit’s Role In Baptism.” This subject is historically controversial. Comments from those who disagree or are searching for biblical truth are most certainly welcome, but comments believed to be trolling will be deleted. No trolling allowed.]