Let’s open with an account that took place in a city called Samaria. As we begin to read Acts chapter 8, we see Philip, who was a deacon and evangelist, went there to preach Christ to the people in Samaria. While there, Philip encountered a sorcerer by the name of Simon. Simon was known for his great magical arts among the Samaritans (Acts 8:9-11).
After hearing Philip preach about the Kingdom of GOD and the name of Jesus Christ, Simon decides to convert from his practice of magical arts to the faith in which Philip was teaching (Acts 8:12-13). In fact, Simon took his newfound faith to the point of getting baptized in the name of Jesus. That part, ‘in the name of Jesus’ is important because we are going somewhere with this.
Shortly after Simon’s baptism, he followed Philip on his preaching tour throughout the city of Samaria. It was here that Simon witnessed firsthand the miracle works of Philip’s ministry. He witnessed Philip not only preaching and teaching. But observed him laying his hands on the people. And when he did, instantaneously, the paralyzed and lame were healed and the demon-possessed or oppressed were set free (demons were cast out of people). Simon was amazed by Philip’s anointing, power, authority, and giftings (Acts 8:13; also compare to 1 Corinthians chapter 12).
Holy spirit is made known
Philip was having great success in Samaria. In fact, his evangelicalism work was having a great impact and influence over and in people’s lives that it reached the hearing of the apostles who were in Jerusalem.
So, the apostles sent John and Peter down to Samaria to pray for those who received the message of Christ. And so they might receive Holy Spirit. For none of the people that Philip had preached to and baptized in the name of Jesus had received the SPIRIT of the LIVING GOD – that is, Holy Spirit. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. [Please note: I never say “the Holy Spirit” because Holy Spirit is not an object, adverb, or adjective. He is a person – a part of the triune GOD (3 in 1)].
As I was saying, the people of Samaria who received Christ and were baptized in the name of Jesus had not received the indwelling of Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14-17).
Now, guys, there is a real lesson here that we all need to consider. Because it is much different from what many of us have been taught in church. Many of us have been taught that at the moment of our baptism, we automatically receive Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit comes and dwells in us.
As we can see in this account in the book of Acts, chapter 8. Philip’s evangelist work was so successful in Samaria that many Samaritans got baptized in the name of Jesus. But NONE the Bible says. NONE received Holy Spirit (that is the SPIRIT of the LORD) within them at their baptism. An extra step or steps were required for them to receive the SPIRIT of the LIVING GOD within them. [(Again, this will vary from person to person – depending on the person, their circumstances, and maturity level in Christ at the time they received Christ in their heart or at their baptism). Compare to Hebrews 5:12].
Now, we need to stop right there and you need to investigate this a little more. Because as I mentioned before. Many of us have been taught and believe that as soon as one either receives Christ in their heart or gets baptized, they automatically receive Holy Spirit. That is where the contradiction resides in what we have been taught in our churches compared to what the WORD of GOD actually says and teaches. Much of what we believe or not believe about the Trinity, celebrating customs and holidays, the giftings of the SPIRIT, baptism, Holy Spirit, etc. is erroneous. Not unless you get in your WORD for yourself and study the Scriptures for yourself, you will never come to a true knowledge of GOD, HIS ways, HIS WORD, or Biblical truth or revelation as taught by GOD’s SPIRIT. (Compare to Acts 17:11). GOD’s SPIRIT, that is HIS Holy Spirit is key, a critical part of our ministry and livelihood more than ever before today. And that’s what I need to discuss in this Talking Point today. The role of Holy Spirit.
the role of Holy spirit
Let’s start with the apostles' very first encounter with Holy Spirit. As we know, the apostles of Christ (speaking of the 12) were with Jesus, our Messiah, throughout His 3 ½ years of ministry – prior to His crucifixion. Now, try to follow me.
During those 3 ½ years, not one of Jesus’ apostles had received Holy Spirit. GOD’s SPIRIT was not dwelling in them although all of them were baptized in the name of Jesus.
So, let’s go back a few chapters to Acts chapter 1, and let’s read about how Jesus the Christ, introduced Holy Spirit to His congregation of Saints. Starting with verse 4.
We see in the previous three verses, we are provided a brief introduction, or a snapshot of events that have occurred.
It is here where Jesus transferred His authority and mission from Himself to His apostles. So, what Jesus said next to them was critical to their mission's success and their livelihood.
As His apostles assembled together, Jesus instructs them to not leave Jerusalem under any circumstances. They are to stay there until the Promise of the FATHER has come. Now, this Promise Jesus was speaking of was Holy Spirit. At this point in their ministry. No man or woman, who was baptized in the name of Jesus, received a baptized by Holy Spirit. They were only baptized in the name of Jesus (See Acts 1:5).
What is interesting is what Jesus’ apostles asked next. It certainly indicated that they still did not clearly understand what Jesus was talking about and knew nothing about Holy Spirit – His role or abilities or authority or power; although they all were baptized Christians.
Noticed what they asked.
What they wanted more than anything was for Jesus to restore their right to rule and lead over their nation and beyond. To regain their power and authority as leaders on the earth. Hmmm, this certainly sounds familiar concerning the mindset of the church today and its leaders. But moving on.
At any rate, Jesus once again had to correct their thoughts, their mindset, their misconception, and misdirection of what needed to be done and what GOD’s intention was. So, Jesus responded to them by saying.
In other words, it ain’t time for that – restoring the nation of Israel’s authority. Jesus goes on and says,
It is obvious, based on Jesus’ words to His apostles that their ministry and way of living were going to be ineffective (without power), even void to a degree, until GOD sends HIS SPIRIT, Holy Spirit to come and dwell with and in them. The people, GOD’s apostles, and HIS disciples needed to be baptized by Holy Spirit – The SPIRIT of GOD. They have had their encounter with Jesus, the Son of GOD. They have been introduced to GOD by means of Christ. But now, they need to have their encounter with the SPIRIT of the LIVING GOD, which is Holy Spirit (the completion of the Trinity).
The coming of holy spiriT
So, Holy Spirit, the third part of the triune GOD, is introduced to Jesus’ disciples. But they still did not fully understand Him (Holy Spirit). And why would they? For they had not been taught accurately about the SPIRIT of GOD through their Jewish writings or upbringing. And plus, they had Jesus with them. But Jesus was pointing them to something that was equally greater than Him that was coming to dwell in them. (Compare to John 14:14-26). But notice what happens next.
In verses 9 through 11 of Acts chapter 1, Jesus returns to His rightful place to the FATHER in heaven. Upon ascending to heaven, His apostles did as Jesus instructed and returned to Jerusalem. When they arrived, they all gathered in the upper room. While there, they all in one accord continue to pray and supplicate. Now, a lot of other things took place while they were in Jerusalem in the upper room. But we are going to skip that part and go straight into the main event that took place in Acts chapter 2.
So, it was time for one of the Jewish required annual festivals – Pentecost. Also, called Feast of Weeks or Days of Firstfruits. Therefore, all the Jews were gathered in one accord in one place. And when they least expect it. A loud, unusual, and distinct sound came from heaven. This sound was not a wind, but its sound resembled the wind. (Compare to John 3:8). This sound entered the house (the upper room) where the apostles were gathered. The apostles were about to enter into a new church era because of what they were about to experience, that is encounter. They were about to see first hand, this Promise that Jesus spoke of previously. (See Acts 1:4-8). They were about to understand the triune GOD, that is the Trinity of GOD for themselves – that is, the FATHER, the Son, and now Holy Spirit (GOD’s SPIRIT).
Verse 4 says, when this sound entered their upper room, all who were present were filled with Holy Spirit.
Why is it critical, and necessary for Holy Spirit (GOD’s SPIRIT) to come and enter into the spirit of man (GOD’s apostles) at that time? If we go back to the book of John, Jesus clearly explains why.
First, let us establish that GOD wanted to do a new thing on earth at that time. It was necessary to do something different than what the apostles were accustomed to doing in and through their ministry.
Now, the difference between Christ’s leaders (His apostles) back then and His leaders today is this. When Christ’s apostles understood that GOD was doing something totally different than HE has done in the past. They all in one accord submitted to the will of GOD. But today, both men and women refuse to change even when they sense or discern or speak about the fact that GOD is doing something new, something different than HE has done in the past. Many refuse to submit to the will of GOD in order to maintain their status and position in the BODY. Or due to the fear they have toward man – they want and need to be accepted and approved by man. As a result, of this positioning that many have or are currently taking – they will lose their position, authority, or role in the Body of Christ. But in the case of the apostles of Christ. Because they submitted to GOD’s will (the new thing GOD was doing). These men became more influential and more powerful, and they began to do greater things on the earth than Christ did as Christ had said they would. (See John 14:12).
Now, why were they able to do greater things than Christ? Because the SPIRIT of the LORD was now with and in them.
So, let’s go to John chapter 14 to clearly understand what Jesus said to His disciples before ascending to heaven. In verses 7 through 11, Jesus first talks about the relationship the apostles have with Him as the Son of God. And then He takes it a step further by saying
Here, Jesus is pointing out the fact that they have a relationship with Him. Then they also have established a relationship with GOD. Because Jesus and GOD are one of the same although they are separate beings. This is why Jesus said.
Now, notice what Jesus says next to His apostles.
People will reject the Promise that Jesus said He will send back to them once He (Jesus) leaves to return to His proper place in heaven, next to the FATHER. He established, it was essential that they receive the Promise GOD was sending to them. For this Promise was going to be their Helper throughout this new church era – the new thing GOD was doing on the earth. To reject this Promise meant the church will be without the primary tool, resource, and source they need to get through (to survive) this next season of persecution and growth. This is one of the primary reasons why the church will see a great multitude of individuals falling away from the Body of Christ. Because people, individuals, and the church (congregations of GOD) have rejected the one Christ Himself told us we must receive – that is Holy Spirit (the SPIRIT of the LORD).
The indwelling of Holy Spirit; being baptized by means of Holy Spirit is no longer an option for the Body of Christ. Water Baptism is not enough. Not in this new season of persecution and the growth of the Church has entered. Baptism by Holy Spirit is a necessity for all and it cannot be done half haphazardly. Nor can one fake it. That is not going to cut it, as we see in the case of Simon the Sorcerer who professed he had converted to the faith. We actually can see through the Scriptures that his conversion was hollow – lacking in real value, substance, or sincerity. Just like the ‘sinners prayer’ that is often done in church services or during conferences or worship concerts. But don’t get me started on that – I don’t need to get sidetracked here.
Here's the point concerning Simon’s conversion. When the apostles – John and Peter came down to Samaria to lay hands on the people ‘so they might receive Holy Spirit.’ That is, to be baptized with Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost as some like to say). Simon observed the things that took place whenever John and Peter laid hands on the people. Simon desperately wanted what they had. He wanted to possess the level of power that John and Peter were operating in. He thought the giftings of the LORD and the SPIRIT of the LORD were for sale (like some in the church believe and operate today). Simon actually believe by buying this power from John and Peter that he would be able to lay his hands on people and many would receive Holy Spirit from him (John 14:16-19).
This was a sin on Simon’s part. And as we can see. There was something(s) that still reside in Simon at the time of his conversion to Christ and his baptism that prevented him from receiving the indwelling of Holy Spirit in him. Therefore, he did not receive Holy Spirit or was baptized by Holy Spirit at his baptism. Nor will he ever truly receive the indwelling of Holy Spirit because of his mindset, his erroneous doctrine, and beliefs, and due to the motive of his heart.
The word of the lord
When the LORD God gives a word, it is for the sole purpose to teach, reproof, correct, or train His servants - His Body, so that every member within the Body of Christ may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). For the LORD has given the Body of Christ apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip the Saints for the work of service, to encourage one another, and to build up the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Thessalonians 5:11).