It is our utmost intent to remain true to the Apostles' doctrine, as taught in the book of Acts. This was the first church of the Lord Jesus Christ and nothing should go against their teachings. We further believe that the scriptures cannot be broken. They must either fulfill each other or have yet to be fulfilled. Additionally, any new teaching or revelation said by ANYONE that does not coincide with what God has already stated, is simply heresy. Let’s begin:
In Act’s, Chapter 2, Peter gave the sermon on the mount explaining what had happened on the day of Pentecost. After proving from Scripture that Jesus was both Lord and Christ, it states the listeners were cut to the heart asking what they should do. Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."
That is the short answer, now let’s look at each step in further detail:
The first step is to ask God to be forgiven for the sins you’ve committed. In the Old Testament or first covenant, God instructed his people (the Jews) to provide sin offerings. They would place their hand on the head of a spotless bull or goat as they were killing it to transfer their sin to it. This offering would signify the animal dying for their sin. You must believe that Jesus is your sin offering, having sacrificed himself once and for all, so that blood would no longer be required for the remission of sins.
Once you’ve repented, you should be baptized in Jesus name, as every baptism was performed in the book of Acts. In Romans, Chapter 6, we read that water baptism signifies that we’re buried with Christ in his death, that we might also be raised with him in his resurrection. Now that our sins are washed away, we should also walk in newness of life, having put off the old person. This doesn’t mean you will be perfect right away; however, you should make an effort to study the Word regularly and allow the Holy Spirit to convict you of the ungodly things that should be removed from your life.
Because of the many misconceptions on this subject, we’ve broken it down into three sections, they are:
- Keeping the Commandments
- Building Faith
- Praying and waiting for Jesus to give you the Holy Spirit
Keeping the Commandments
Jesus instructed plainly saying, “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:15-18) Peter reaffirmed this statement in Acts, chapter 5, when the Jewish council forbid him from teaching in Jesus' name. He advised the council that they must obey God and continue spreading the gospel. He said, “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him."
These scriptures don’t seem to be preached because they don’t fit today’s teachings. Sin is practically condoned and welcomed by preachers who say, “we’re all sinners.” However, the Word states, “We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”(Rom 3:23) Sinned is past tense. The following two passages state this clearly:
He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. (1 John 3:8-9)
And again we read:
Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. (Rom 6:11-14)
By now we have confirmed the first step is to “Keep the Commandments.” We MUST depart from sin to receive the Holy Spirit. As it is written, “Be Holy, for I, the Lord your God, am Holy.“ Millions of people are unable to do this fully. They want to give God Sunday, or maybe add Wednesday, possibly even 50%, but sadly, very few will give him everything. You MUST be willing to walk with God 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Be persistent in your walk with God.
The next step in receiving the Spirit of God is believing that he will give it to you. In order to receiving anything from God, we must have faith as it states, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” It’s absolutely essential that we have faith in God that he will give his Spirit to us. Even the Satanist’s of today call up demonic spirits into their bodies for power. How much more power should we have than they? It is written, “He that is in you, is greater than he that is in the world,” if it should be, that you have received Him. Let us not forgot the seven sons of Sceva who attempted to use the Lord’s name to cast out a demon and were beaten and sent away naked. You see, it’s not just using the Lord’s name, “Jesus,” the person must also have the Spirit of God inside of him. The demonic spirit even told them who had authority stating their names, “Jesus we know and Paul we know, but who are you?”
Praying and waiting for Jesus to give you the Holy Spirit
The last step is praying to receive Him and understanding that only Jesus can give Him to you. This is where things have gone wrong in many movements that do believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Countless preachers today instruct people that speaking in tongues is receiving the Spirit of God. And, with the best intentions, try to help people speak in tongues while laying their hands on them. Unfortunately, this is not scriptural and causes confusion. We will clarify the use of tongues (other languages) later, and provide a link, but for now let’s focus on scripture.
In every passage that speaks of someone receiving the Spirit, it’s the person receiving who is speaking in tongues or prophesying, not the person laying on the hands. They were not taught, and it was only when the spirit of God came upon them that they spoke in another language or prophesied. Let’s review two accounts from the book of Acts:
In Acts, Chapter 10, when Cornelius the centurion called for Peter no gentiles (people of non-Jewish descent) had received the Holy Spirit. While Peter was still talking (in his native language), the spirit of God came upon Cornelius and his companions, and THEY spoke in tongues and prophesied. They were baptized In Jesus name shortly after.
And, again we read in Acts, Chapter 19, about Paul ministering in Ephesus. Having found some disciples, he asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit. They had not heard that there was such a thing, and were only baptized into John’s baptism. After a brief explanation of Jesus, they believed and were baptized in Jesus’ name. After coming up out of the water, Paul laid his hands on THEM, and THEY spoke with tongues and prophesied.
We should understand by now that only the recipient of the Spirit will speak in tongues and that it takes prayer for them to receive Him. Not one single man (or woman) on Earth can determine who God will give his spirit to and when, it is still Jesus who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. A minister should pray for a person to receive Him and wait for God. Everything is given in God’s time; you shouldn’t be upset if you don’t receive Him right away; ask God to reveal what’s missing in your heart and mind. Fast and pray, mourn and weep, cry out to God. He’s waiting for you to focus your attention on him alone.
You might ask why all this information is in the Salvation section. Brothers and Sisters, for one simple fact. The scripture clearly states, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” (Rom 8:9) It is this ministry’s foremost objective to guide every believer down the narrow path that so many have yet to find. This is only the beginning of the true doctrine of Jesus Christ. Your true work will not begin until you have the Spirit of the Lord to instruct you. As it is written, “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 things that I said to you.” (John 14:26)
Still not convinced?
To better understand this process please read through Acts, Chapter 8, it clearly states each step of conversion from non-believer to spirit-filled believer. Here is an outline for reference:
- Phillip goes to Samaria to preach Christ.
- Many believed in the Lord Jesus and were baptized in his name.
- Later, some Apostles heard that Samaria had received the Word of God and sent Peter and John to them.
- After arriving, they prayed that they might receive the Holy Spirit (for He had fallen on none of them yet).
- Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Feel free to copy this outline and use it for reference:
- Repent of your sins and accept Jesus as your Saviour.
- Be Baptized in Jesus’ Name.
- Continue to be obedient, study scriptures and pray regularly.
- Seek to receive the Holy Spirit and have faith that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
- Ask an elder or someone who has the Holy Spirit to lay their hands on you and pray. They should NOT pray in tongues or ask you to.
- Wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon you. Do not be afraid. Do not manufacture things on your own accord. You WILL KNOW when it is Him coming upon you.