Receiving the Holy Ghost is the third step in the New Testament New Birth experience. Remember, (1) repentance symbolizes Jesus’ death, (2) baptism in Jesus’ name symbolizes His burial, and (3) receiving the Holy Ghost symbolizes Jesus’ resurrection. Just as Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins would be incomplete without all three natural elements, so would our salvation experience be incomplete without all three spiritual elements. Each one is essential to the whole.
The words “Holy Ghost” or “Holy Spirit” can be used interchangeably to describe this wonderful gift which is simply God dwelling inside of people. The same Spirit that was embodied in Jesus Christ, the Spirit of the Father, is now available and even essential to our salvation.
Only a select few ever knew God in the power of His Spirit in the Old Testament, but the Prophets foretold of a time when He would pour out His Spirit on whosoever wanted it. A time when He would abide not only with mankind, but in mankind.
Foretold By the Prophet Isaiah
“For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.” (Isaiah 28:11-12)
Foretold by the Prophet Ezekiel
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
Foretold by the Prophet Joel
“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)
Foretold By John the Baptist
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:” (Matthew 3:11)
Foretold By Jesus
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (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 7:37-39)
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:16-18)
“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.” (Luke 24:49)
Fulfilled In The New Testament
On the Day of Pentecost, the Promise was fulfilled, as 120 people were gloriously filled with the Spirit of the Lord and began to speak in languages unknown to them.
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord none place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4)
To the crowd that was gathered in the streets of Jerusalem that day for the Feast of Pentecost, Peter explained the phenomena, “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;” (Acts 2:16) He also took the opportunity to preach Jesus to them, and when they responded to his preaching with sincerity, he shared with them the New Testament salvation message.
“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every on of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” (Acts 2:37-40)
For You Today
It has been taught that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is not for us today, that it was only for the early Church. If this is so, how am I filled with the Holy Ghost today? We live in the same dispensation as the early Church with every one of God’s promises to them still in effect.
From the Day of Pentecost until this, throughout the New Testament, throughout the centuries and decades and years and last week and today, God has and is still pouring out the Holy Ghost on anyone and everyone who seeks Him with a whole heart in true repentance. Every day we are hearing and reading the reports of Missionary friends from all over the world of tens and hundreds and thousands who continue to receive this priceless gift of the Holy Ghost.
Is Essential To Salvation
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:9)
“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Romans 8:11)
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” (Romans 8:16)
Don’t let anyone tell you that’s it’s not real, or that it’s not for you today, or that it’s not necessary. The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is real. It is for you today, and it is most certainly necessary to your salvation.