Some questions have one definitive answer, but it can be found in many locations.
Acts 19:2 – 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.
Take a moment and read the first 10 verses of Acts 19. You need to see a more complete picture of the events in this story. Apostle Paul encountered disciples in Ephesus. Upon that encounter, he asked them if they had received Holy Ghost since they believed. And what was their response? They replied that they did not even know there was such a thing as Holy Ghost. Now think of that. This wasn’t 400 years after Pentecost, but likely less than thirty years. Once again, think about this scenario.
Less than thirty years before, Jesus had spoken of the promise of Holy Ghost baptism. He told His disciples to “tarry” in Jerusalem until they be endued with power. Holy Ghost was poured out on Pentecost and people spoke in tongues. On three other occasions before the one in our Text for Today, there were recorded baptisms in Holy Ghost, and in every case, we know that the recipients spoke in tongues as Holy Ghost gave utterance. Keep in mind, too, that these disciples had been baptized unto John’s baptism. At that thought, remember that John preached that Jesus would come after him and that Jesus would baptize in the Holy Ghost and fire. Yet within thirty years of John’s teaching, the teaching of Jesus, and the multiple experiences in the church, these disciples didn’t even know there was anything such as Holy Ghost. Oh, how quickly they forgot.
You see, when the Word is not preached again and again, it can be so easily forgotten. That is why we read that faith comes from hearing, and the word hearing is a gerund, ending in ing, and it means that to build faith, one needs to hear the Word of God again and again. Never forget that faith does not come from having heard, but from hearing, and hearing, and hearing, and hearing.
Therefore, is there any wonder that we have so many churches in our world today that do not know about Holy Spirit? Some think such as passed away. Some think it was only for the early church in which the original apostles ministered. Of course, there are those who even think there are no more apostle. Those who believe that are totally discounting Ephesians 4:11-16. Go there and read that passage for yourself. The apostle’s ministry will serve the body until we all come to the unity of the faith, and we’re not there yet; until the saints are perfected, and we’re not there yet. We’ve still some distance to go. And until we get there, we need the five-fold ministry, and we need the baptism in Holy Ghost and fire.
Manna for Today – Acts 19:1-10; John 14:15-17; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-13; Acts 8:4-24; Acts 9:1-19; Acts 10:1-48; Romans 10:17