The Various Measures of the Holy Spirit

Glenn Addington By Glenn Addington, 22nd Mar 2018 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Religion

A thoughtful look at scripture will reveal the Holy Spirit manifested Himself in four different ways in the early church.

The Holy Spirit: Promised by Jesus

Several statements made by Jesus are predictions of the inspiration of scripture.
John 15:26 ¶ "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me.

John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
John 16:13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
John 16:14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.

The Four Different Manifestations of the Holy Spirit

A study of the early church, and the work of the Holy Spirit during the first century, will reveal that the Holy Spirit acted in four different ways. These will be discussed with accompanying scriptures.

The Ordinary Measure of the Holy Spirit
On the Day of Pentecost, when Peter was preaching, he informed those listening that Jesus was wrongly put to death, this being the desire of the Jewish leaders, with the 'blessing' of the crowd that approved. He goes on to inform his hearers that this was God's plan to bring about the reconciliation of sinful man to God, because Jesus was the atoning sacrifice for mankind's sin. When asked by those in the crowd, "What shall we do?" , Peter responded with this statement in Acts 2:38. Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Thus, every baptized believer receives the forgiveness of sin and the gift of God's Spirit living in them.

The Extraordinary Measure of the Holy Spirit

Acts 6:6 And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them.
Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.
I Tim 4:14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.
2 Tim 1:6 For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
Special gifts were given through the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the apostle's hands. This is evident in the Acts 19 passage and Paul's encouragement to Timothy in the 2 Timothy passage, seen above.

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Acts 1:4, 5, 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 will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
Acts 1:8 …you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…
Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
{John the Baptist spoke of this prophetically in Mt 3:11. Jesus narrowed it down to the 12 – Acts 2:4}
These verses speak for themselves. The belief that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is for all believers doesn't square with the scripture verses read above. Hebrews 2:4 tells us that God also bore witness by signs and wonders and miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will. I Corinthians 12:11 echoes this last statement: gives to each one individually as He wills.

In the house of Cornelius
The gospel was intended for Gentiles as well as Jews, but the Jews hadn't darkened any Gentile doors for the first 8 - 10 after the day of Pentecost. The event we see in the following verses was God's way of waking up the apostles to the reality that God intended to save the Gentiles as well.
Acts 10:44-45 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
Acts 15:8 And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us.
{This was similar to what happened to the 12 on the day of Pentecost, but this was only a sign to the Jews that God intended to save the Gentiles also. It was temporary – Christian baptism followed. We have no indication that any of the special abilities the apostles had were given to those in the house of Cornelius.}

Take time to examine the scriptures and test what is written here against them. Do so with an attitude of prayer and the intent to discover God's truth. God bless you.
Scripture verses are from the New American Standard Version or the English Standard Version.

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Christianity, The Holy Spirit

Meet the author

author avatar Glenn Addington
I am an American, former Viet Nam veteran, and a Christian, living in East Tennessee. I am now retired and am pursuing a writing career. I would welcome writing assignments.

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