WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST?

 

Jesus taught that we must be born again to enter into the kingdom of heaven.  He clarified this by saying that we must be born of the water and of the Spirit.  This study will go further into the subject of receiving the Spirit of God in our initial born again experience.  Through the power of his Spirit we can be changed into a new person where all of the old things are gone!  Sound good, well it is!

 

 

2 Cor. 5:17 (KJV) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

Born Of The Spirit

 

Jesus explained the need to be born again.

 

John 3:1-8 (KJV) There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: [2] The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. [3] Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. [4] Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? [5] Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. [6] That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. [7] Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. [8] The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

 

Verse 6 tells us that when we are born of the flesh (natural birth) that we are flesh.  This is as high as we can go.  When we are born of the flesh we have the qualities of the flesh.  These can be seen in the works of the flesh. 

 

Galatians 5:19-21 (KJV) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, [20] Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, [21] Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

On the other hand, when we are filled with the Spirit of God we can take on the qualities of the Spirit.

 

Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, [23] Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

 

The apostle Paul described this change and victory that we have when we are filled with the Spirit.

 

Romans 8:1-9 (KJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [2] For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. [3] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [4] That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [5] For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. [6] For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. [7] Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. [8] So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. [9] 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.

 

The birth of the Spirit takes us away from the desires of the flesh and leads us into the desires of the Spirit.  Without this spiritual birth we remain just flesh with its ways of sin.  When the Holy Spirit lives within, we become a spiritual man or woman that belongs to God.  His Spirit is the seal of approval that gives us power to live righteously and godly.  There are many places where Jesus taught about the Holy Ghost baptism.  We will look at some of them and then go on to see how his disciples experienced it.

 

Rivers Of Living Water

 

John 7:37-39 (KJV) 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. [38] He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. [39] (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.)

 

Jesus declared that the time had come when all who are thirsty could come and drink from the fountain of God!  Involvement in sin does not satisfy but causes the soul of man to become thirsty.  The only truly satisfying experience is when one is filled with Gods’ presence.  All material and chemical based substances in this life are short lived and many come with terrible after-effects.  It is not so with the Spirit of God.  His presence is like a cool drink of water on a hot summer day.  Jesus told his disciples that many blessings and benefits would come from these rivers of living water.  In the same way that the little rivers flow into the Mississippi, the Spirit of God flows into the life of a person.  This mighty torrent becomes a positive force and great changes occur.  A partial list of these rivers is found below for your study and consideration.

 

The Spirit teaches

John 7:37-38 (KJV) 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. [38] He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

 

The Spirit shows us things to come.

John 14:26 (KJV) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

 

The Spirit satisfies and refreshes.

John 16:13 (KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

 

The Spirit gives the power to live right.

Acts 1:8 (KJV) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

 

The Spirit imparts the love of God.

Romans 5:5 (KJV) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

 

The Spirit gives immortality.

Romans 8:11 (KJV) 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.

 

The Spirit gives righteousness, peace and joy.

Romans 14:17 (KJV) For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

 

As The Scripture Has Said

 

This spiritual birth must be based upon the scriptures.  All of us can have experiences but in order for us to be sure that they are of God we must measure them by the word of God.  There is a Bible answer to the question, “How can I know if I have been born of the Spirit?”  This is a very important question and one that we will seek to answer here.  To do this let’s explore several common questions and the  Biblical answers.

 

1.  Do I receive the Holy Ghost at baptism? 

To answer this we will go to Samaria and the revival that broke out there.  Many were converted to the faith and were baptized. 

 

Acts 8:14-17 (KJV) Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: [15] Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: [16] (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) [17] Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

 

Everyone in the city was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remissions of their sins.  They were hungry for God and had a sincere desire.  Yet at this time they did not have the Holy Ghost.  It was not until later (probably at least a week or more) that they were filled with the Holy Ghost.

 

2.  I am a good person and treat others right, is this proof of the indwelling Spirit of God?

We find in Acts 10 the story of Cornelius the Roman centurion and his conversion to Christianity.  He was a good man.

 

Acts 10:1-3 (KJV) There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, [2] A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. [3] He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.

 

What did the angel say to him when he appeared?

 

Acts 11:13-14 (KJV) And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; [14] Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.

 

The angel told him that he needed to get saved, meaning that he was not saved.  He did not have the Spirit within.  It was not until later that he received the Holy Ghost.  In reality it takes more than being a good person to be saved and have the Spirit. 

 

3.  Do I receive the Spirit when I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?

This can be answered clearly by reading the story of the Ephesians believers. 

 

Acts 19:1-6 (KJV) And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, [2] He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. [3] And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. [4] Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. [5] When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. [6] And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

 

These people were believers and had in fact believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.  They had repented and been baptized by John the Baptist.  John told them to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.  Yet, at this time they had not received the Spirit of God.  It was not until later that they were filled with this glorious experience.

 

Well, we have looked at some very common questions and the big one is still unanswered.  How do I know when I receive the Holy Ghost?  To answer this let’s go to the book of John again and see what Jesus was saying about the Spirit birth. 

 

John 3:8 (KJV) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

 

In his teaching about the Spirit birth Jesus uses the wind as an example of how it is with everyone who receives.  Anyone who can hear, can tell if the wind is blowing because it always makes a sound.  The Greek word here for sound is (fo-nay).  It literally means a saying, language or voice.  Jesus literally said that every time someone is born of the Spirit there is a voice that comes forth in the same way that every time the wind blows it makes a sound.  Let’s look back at the places where the Bible records the disciples receiving the Holy Ghost and see if there is a sound that comes forth.

 

The Evidence Of The Spirit

 

On the day of Pentecost the Spirit was first poured out upon all flesh. 

 

Acts 2:1-4 (KJV) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. [2] And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. [3] And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. [4] And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

The Spirit came as a mighty rushing wind and they all began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them the utterance.  Along with this scripture we will look at other places in the book of Acts to see what happened when they were born of the Spirit.  We have listed these below for your reading and understanding. 

 

They spoke with other tongues.

Acts 2:1-4 (KJV) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. [2] And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. [3] And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. [4] And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

Simon saw something that proved that they had received the Holy Ghost.  (He saw them speaking in tongues)

 

Acts 8:17-18 (KJV) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. [18] And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,

 

They heard them speak with tongues.

Acts 10:44-48 (KJV) While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. [45] And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. [46] For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, [47] Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? [48] And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

 

They spoke with tongues and prophesied.

Acts 19:1-6 (KJV) And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, [2] He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. [3] And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. [4] Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. [5] When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. [6] And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

 

When the church was born at Pentecost in Acts 2 the apostle Peter stood up and began to preach to those who were on the outside.  To verify this experience of speaking in other tongues he went back to the Old Testament and quoted Joel 2:28 and others verses.

 

Acts 2:16-17 (KJV) But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; [17] And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God,I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

 

He went on and told them that it had shed forth what they had seen and heard.

 

Acts 2:33 (KJV) Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

 

What did they see?  They saw the disciples acting as though they were drunk.  What did they hear?  They heard them speaking in other tongues.  The sign that a person has been filled with the Holy Ghost is speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives them the utterance.  The sign is still the same today.  If you have not yet received the Holy Ghost with the evidence of tongues, there is awaiting you a powerful, spiritual, life changing experience.  God is still faithful and what he did for them in the book of Acts he will still do today! 

 

Conclusion

 

I pray that this lesson has been a blessing to you.  If you would like to know more about this great experience please let me know and we will get with you as soon as possible.  I would love to hear from you.  Any comments or questions would be welcomed.  Just simply click here and give them to me.  Thanks again for coming and I hope you visit often.  Oh yes, I would like to invite you to sign up for the free weekly newsletter and if you know a friend who would benefit from this site, let them know too!  God bless!

 

Sincerely

 

Greg Wirths

 

Focus on Freedom

 

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20 Responses to WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST?

  1. lynn says:

    hey, I recieved the baptism of the holy ghost bout 2 months ago. It has been very hard for me to accept, but I keep thanking god for filling me with the baptism of the holy ghost anyway. I dont want to doubt it, but I am so scared I am in the flesh. I want to speak in tongues again, so sometimes why I am
    praying or worshipping I will take a leap of faith and just try to start talking in tongues, but like today I feel like I might have been in the flesh. Then I feel like I need to go and repent for it. could you give me any advice? I love the lord with all my heart, soul, and mind. I want nothing more than to serve him all the days of my life. But I believe this issue is really holding me back. Another thing I wondered is when I speak in tongues is it usally the same language or the same saying each time? I dont want to doubt that I have the holy ghost, but this has been so hard for me.

    • tan says:

      dont wipe your self up like that the lord knows your heart and ther e are nmany tongues one for your edification and one to be interperted when you are in prayer begin to pray in tonguues i promise the lord will viit you the enemy want you to doubt to keep you bound. remember thepower of God is so real and it will do what it has too trust God

  2. Evanelist Faye Williams says:

    Hi, I just want to let you know if you have any doubts about you receiving the holy ghost you need to go back and tarry again. When you receive the holy ghost like the bible say you will know that something has happened to you. You will remember that day.

  3. [...] Do you or someone you know need to experience this inner freedom?  It can be found in Jesus Christ.  For a deeper study on the subject check out “Jesus Teaches Outward Fruit” and “What Does It Mean To Receive The Holy Ghost?”. [...]

  4. [...] peace and joy.  Isn’t that the desire of all men?  I have written a study entitled “What Does It Mean To Receive The Holy Ghost?” that I would love for you to go through.  When you are done why not pray that you too can [...]

  5. Michelle Forbes says:

    I have accepted jesus in my life but i am not baptized and i dont speak in tongues sometimes i try so hard to trust in jesus but the doubt begins to come in my mind please tell me how i can trust in jesus more and to i need to be baptized before i began speaking in tongues.

  6. CHall says:

    The Holy Ghost is real and obtainable according to the word of God. Act 2:38.
    Then Holy Ghost is not talking in some tongues someone instructs you, but it is as real as God himself.
    Once to repent and be baptize sometimes before the Lord will give you his precious gift. SPEAKING IN TONGUES… Here’s the key “AS THE SPIRIT GIVES YOU UTTERANCE”. Its real DO NOT accept immitations because its NOT THE GENUINE “HOLY GHOST” with POWER!!!!

  7. [...] with his presence and their lives were changed by the satisfying experience.  The study entitled “What Does it Mean to Receive the Holy Ghost” will help you or a friend to understand that God has this same experience for all of us.  If you [...]

  8. Ann says:

    I need help. I lied about having the Holy Ghost for most of my life. Got baptized when I was 13 and the following year eveyone around me was receiving this great gift and speakin tongues, so i pretended that i Had that gift too and this lie has escalated over the years as I did not know how to retracted it. In february of this year, I have made a conscious effort to stop this lie as I desperately need this gift. i’ve stepped down from ministry, I have asked God for forgiveness, i have prayed desperately every chance I’ve got, but I think God has looked me over. Can you advise me…I need help. I really need to have this experience. I found your website by chance as I wanted to see what the bible has to say on the matter. Please help. Thanks.

    Ann

    • gregwirths says:

      Ann,
      Thanks for your honesty. It seems that you want to do the right thing and God will meet you there. You may want to consider talking this over with your pastor and get it out. Confession is so very good for our spirit. Once you have repented and sincerely seek God he will fill you with the Holy Ghost to your hearts desire. In Psalms it describes God by saying his mercy endures forever. Only two times does it speak of his anger and it says that it (Gods anger) endures for but a moment. Go to God with a sincere and hiungry heart and he will take you in with gladness. Hope this helps Ann. If I can help in any way please feel free to write.
      Greg

      • Ann says:

        Thank you so very much for taking the time to respond. Your reply was reassuring however, I am not so sure about my pastor. I dont know how he will take this as over the years i became someone whom he admired and trusted dearly, I use to work for the church and use to be a real figure that the member could alway come to for anything. I know that i would be a disappointment to him and I dont know if he would ever look on me the same. You see, these are things that we would later hear from the pulpit even though he may not mentioned your name but you would hear about it and I am not so sure that I can handle that. I tried the confession with another pastor, but then this was broadcast to others and it made me feel worthless. I know deep down that I will someday use this as some tool in ministry and ministry is what I love and desire to do and I do Know that there is a calling on my life, I just need to get over this one hurdle. I just need to feel deep down that God has forgiven me. I feel that with him not granting me the desire of my heart is because just probably he has left me over to my reprobate mind…..I dont know maybe I am over reacting, I am just really sad these last few months. I just need him desperately to fill me.

        Ann
        Ann

  9. celeisha says:

    Ann

    I understand what you mean by feeling worthless. God has already forgiven you now you need to forgive yourself and let God use you. The Holy Spirit will fall upon you even after these actions if you really truly desire it. These test and trials come in all different ways to build you up and for you to learn and grow, so you did not go through this for nothing. You will start feeling Gods forgiveness once you forgive yourself, confess to God your sins, with a sincere heart ask him for a renewed mind and spirit. The enemy wants to attack your faith so whatever you do don’t loose your faith in what God has in store for you. You have the victory and you are a conqueror in Jesus name. This is just a test of your faith so God can really and truly elevate you to another level in Christ. He is a just and forgiving God, it’s man that is not as forgiving or just so put your faith in him and yourself Start by forgiving yourself and seeking God like you never have, tarry before him, and call out to him as you have never done before with a clean heart. I pray that the spirit of God falls upon you and gives you all the wisdom you need to make it through. Man will fail you and disappoint you but God can not fail, it’s all in his plan and you took the first step by acknowledging where you were wrong, stepping down, and asking for help… God bless you

    Celeisha

  10. sandra says:

    Dear Greg Wirth
    Hi I have few questions..
    I did receive the baptism in Jesus name.. and 4 months later received the Holy Ghost.. speaking in tounges.. as a sign.

    Wll my question is this.. I don’t understand when I first received the Holy Ghost I spoke different.. I had no idea what or how I was speakng but i noticed that when I do pray now.. I speak in one sound over and over… Like my tounge is moving but not of words.. I don’t want to be mislead..into thinking I have not received the Holy Ghost.. cuz I did when I first received it.. now I am just woundering is this one sound.. or same note is for me personally speaking in tounge God gave me?? I thougt id speak in weird language but I don’t I guess its just what God gave me personally .. and I only pray like this when I am in deep prayer and when I am praising God. .. in church and at home.. it just comes out. But I hope that it is the spirit that is doing it and not my own cuz I do fear God completly.. and id want God to lead me in my prayer life..

    • gregwirths says:

      Sandra,
      The answer to your question is one that should be addressed by your pastor. He is the man of God in your life that can help you with this. I will say however that when you speak in tongues it will be a language either earthly or heavenly. In my personal experience I spent much time in prayer until I felt that I had received the Holy Ghost. Thanks for coming to the blog and may God fill you to your hearts desire.

  11. autumnlashae says:

    I was just wondering if someone could answer my question,I was filled with the holy spirit when I was 12 I kept praying and asking God and one night while everyone was at the alter I prayed and recieved the holy spirit! It was so amazing I felt like…light enter me and I began speaking in tongues,which after I had done many times around the alter.Not long after quiting church(families decision) I backslid not alot I just didn’t pray as much or read the bible.But I went to a camp meeting a year later when I was 13 and spoke in tongues again it came to me clear as it always had anytime I felt the spirit come over me id start to pray and then Id start speaking in tongues.I’m now 15,16 in a few days and I had a bout of deppression for a year or two.Here lately I just turned my life back to jesus and I’ve felt so much better and I’ve felt happy again and I thank God so much for that! I’ve been reading my bible and we still don’t go to church I occasionally go with my sister when I can but even before I got really close to god again when I went to church I could feel the spirit and I was ready to speak in tongues again and this lady at my old church told me the holy spirit never leaves you once your filled.So I was wondering if that’s true? Like I said above everytime I was around the spirit it came to me and I didn’t feel like the holy spirit ever left me,thanks in advance!

    • gregwirths says:

      The Spirit can and will leave us if we go into willful sin. The two are not compatable. If we have a repentant and willing heart the Lord will stay with us forever. No man can take him out of our hand. Hang in there and go to church every service and make it something you do always. God bless.
      Greg

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