The bible study you have just concluded, “The Promise of an Experience with God”, is written by the pastor of Calvary Pentecostal Church, Rev. Cecil Daniels. The subject of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and the full bible plan of salvation is one in which Pastor Daniels is very well versed.
Undoubtedly his favorite subject on which to preach, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is an essential concept. We must grasp it, which is the reason Pastor Daniels has delivered hundreds of messages from his pulpit on the subject, and the reason for his writing this comprehensive study.
Following are his closing thoughts:
Key Verse – I Corinthians 13:8-10
It is impossible to put into one study everything that relates to this wonderful experience. After many years, I still find nuggets of Truth that relate to this subject when I teach these lessons. We never know all we can know about God and His Word.
Questions concerning our salvation go beyond any one group of people or organization. What our family or friends believe is not important — it is what the Word of God teaches. After all, the Word of God is the final authority and is the book by which we will all be judged. In conclusion, I want to reference a few questions that arise from time to time.
TRUTH AND THE WAY OF TRUTH.
Much is said in the Bible concerning Truth and the way of truth.Those that worship the Father, must “…worship the Father in spirit and truth…” (John 4-23). We simply cannot believe and worship a lie and be saved.
Matthew 22:16, “And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.”
First then, we see that Truthis a person–Jesus Christ! John 14:5-6, “Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” To reject truth, is to reject Jesus!
Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free ” (John 8:3 2).
Proverbs 23:23, “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.”
WE MUST LOVE, BELIEVE AND OBEY THAT WHICH IS TRUE.
Ephesians 1: 13, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,” We hear the truth, we believe, we receive!
11 Thessalonians 2:10-12, “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Romans 2:8, “But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath.”
Galatians 3: 1, “O, foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth,before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Galatians 5:7, “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?”
ONLY ONE WAY?
I have heard many people say that it does not matter what you believe, as long as we all believe in God. They say we are all going to the same place anyway. However, the Word of God refutes that idea and consistently emphasizes that there is only one Gospel.
Ephesians 4:4-6, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling- One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadethunto life, and few there bethat find it. ”
Galatians 1:8-9, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach anyother gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so I say now again, Ifany man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” We must believe and obey THE Gospel!
In spite of what some may believe, all roads do not lead to heaven! It takes more than just believing and confessing faith in Christ.
James 2:19, “Thou believest that there is one God, thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”
If you need the Holy Ghost in order to be resurrected, to meet the Lord in the clouds (Romans 8:10), then at some point you must be filled with the Holy Ghost! What you believe is extremely important.
WHAT ABOUT THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW?
It is important that we carry the Gospel to the whole world because the Bible tells us, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost’ (2 Corinthians 4:3). Lost people must hear, believe, and obey the Gospel in order to be saved!
In fact, Jesus came, “to seek and to save that which was lost’ Luke 19:10). People are lost without Christ and obeying the Gospel of Christ! If a lost person is saved; without hearing, believing and obeying the truth, don’t ever tell them the truth, because then they will be accountable for what they know!(Luke 12:47-48).
Romans 10: 13-15, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Why go and preach the Gospel if they are OK without it?
THE DANGER OF IGNORANCE
There is an old adage that we like to repeat that says, “What you don’t know want hurt you.” That is simply not the truth. We have often been hurt by what we did not know. Sometimes we say, “Well, if I had only known.” When it comes to the matter of our soul’s salvation, we must hear, believe, and obey the Gospel
Acts 17:30, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.”
Ephesians 4:17-18, “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorancethat is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:”
I Peter 1:13-14, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance”
What you don’t know about the Gospel, could cause you to be lost.
IS SALVATION FREE?
Salvation is free because the Holy Ghost (the Spirit of God) is a gift that is given to us (Acts 2:38, 8:19-20, 10:4511:16-17). But we have already seen that we must believe and obey the Gospel if we are going to reap its blessings. Obedience to God’s plan is essential to salvation! Obeying God is not considered works!
We must obey the commandments of Christ. Jesus said we must believe and be baptized (Mark 16:6) and that we must repent (Luke 13:3). Jesus also said that, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
WHAT ABOUT WORKS?
It is true that we cannot earn our salvation by good works. We do not deserve to be saved because we are good.
We are not lost because we are bad, neither are we saved because we are good. We are lost because we are born in sin (Psalms 51:5), we are saved by obeying the Gospel. This is not a matter of how “good” or “bad” we may be.
However, we must take action if we want to be saved. We are born sinners, lost without God. If we do nothing, then we will be lost! God did not force anyone to get on board the Ark in Genesis chapter six. Noah had to get on board the Ark for himself. We must take action. It is not considered “works” to be obedient.
The writer James put it in perspective for us. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was” (James 1:22-24).
James 2:17-20, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, 0 vain man, that faith without works is dead?
James 2:21-22, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?”
James 2:24-26, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
I am not saying that we will ever be good enough to earn or deserve salvation. We are saved only by the Grace of God. However, that does not mean that we do not have to obey God, and that He does not expect anything out of us.
CLEARING UP SOME MISUNDERSTANDINGS CONCERNING TONGUES.
Speaking in tongues is a subject that has caused a lot of misunderstanding and confusion. However, we do know that God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33). It is also very clear that speaking in tongues is a subject spoken about in the Bible.
The ONLY reason I am addressing the subject of tongues, is because the Bible does. The New Testament Church and the Apostles spoke in tongues. How could anyone say it is evil or wrong?
Some people think that we are some kind of cult, which could not be further from the truth. We are ordinary people, just like everyone else. We only practice that which is set forth in the Word of God. As Paul said in Acts 24:14, “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and the prophets.”
We must also remember that it is necessary to “rightly divide the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). If you remember from an earlier study, we looked at the proper division of the New Testament.
The four Gospels(Matt, Mark, Luke, John) record some details about the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ. We also read some of His words and teachings. No Church was started here.
The book of Actsrecord the birth of the Church and what the Apostle taught people about salvation. This is the only book that tells us how to be saved or born again.
The Epistles (Romans through Jude) are letters written by the Apostles to Churches they had established in the book of Acts. They are not writing back to tell them how to be saved — that was done when they first started the Church. The Epistles tell us how to live for God, how to order the affairs of the Church, and other matters pertaining to living for God.
Therefore it is important that we put the matter of tongues in proper Biblical order. What are tongues for? Who should speak in tongues? When? Where? Why?
THE THREE USES OF TONGUES IN THE BIBLE.
1.) TONGUES IS A SIGN OF THE INITIAL INFILLING OF THE HOLY GHOST
Everybody must be born again and filled with the Holy Ghost! This is what we call the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38, 8:19, 10:45, 11:16). Lesson four covers this in detail. All believers should receive the Holy Ghost. It is the gift of God.
2.) TONGUES IS ONE OF THE NINE SPIRITUAL GIFTS
In I Corinthians chapters 12 through 14, we find Paul teaching about the operation of spiritual gifts in the local church. These gifts are given to specific individuals as God sees fit. Please take the time to read these chapters in the Bible.
There are nine spiritual gifts given for the edification of the body of Christ. Not everyone has one of these gifts. This has nothing to do with the born again experience. Each of these gifts are listed below with the specific purpose for which they are given.
The Nine Spiritual Gifts Are:
Revelation – To Know Utterance – To Speak
Power – To Act
Word of Wisdom
Divers kinds of Tongues
Word of Knowledge
Interpretation of Tongues
Gifts of Healings
Discerning of Spirits
Working of Miracles
Are these gifts for the Church today? Of course! If God did not want us to use them, why did He give them to us? We are told, in the Word of God, that we should not ignore the gifts and that we should seek to possess them.
I Corinthians 12: 1, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.” I Corinthians 14: 1, “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts…”
I Corinthians 12:3 1, “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”
The gifts are not given to the Church to be used to control or dominate people. The gifts MUST ALWAYS operate in LOVE! Love is the more excellent way.
Consider the following questions:
Why would God give the spiritual gifts if we are not to use them?
Why would the Bible even address the subject if the gifts are not for us?
Why would Paul teach us how to identify and use the gifts if we are not to use them? Why are we told to “desire” and “covet” the gifts if we are not suppose to have them?
Nowhere in Scripture are we told that spiritual gifts are not for us. We are only told how the gifts should be used and for what purpose they are.
Please remember that the “gifts of the Spirit” and the “gift of the Holy Ghost” are two different things. The “gift of the Holy Ghost” is for EVERYONE and is needed for salvation! The “gifts of the Spirit” are only given to certain individuals, and are used for the edification of the body of Christ.
Two of the spiritual gifts that operate in the Church are tongues and interpretation. One person may have the gift of tongues and another the gift of interpretation, or one person may have both gifts.
Paul makes it clear that the gift of tongues is of no benefit to the listener unless someone also gives the interpretation. That is why Paul said that he would rather speak five words with the understanding, than ten thousand words in tongues.
However, Paul also made it clear that he spoke in tongues (I Corinthians 14:18)! Nowhere does Paul say that tongues is not for the Church today.
Nowhere does he say that it is wrong or evil to speak in tongues. In fact, the whole discourse of Paul is how to use the gifts of tongues in the Church!
I Corinthians 1:7, “So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:” Paul said that we should use the gifts until Jesus comes. Paul also said that we should “desire spiritual gifts” (I Corinthians 14:2).
3.TONGUES AS PERSONAL EDIFICATION OR INTERCESSORY PRAYER.
I Corinthians 14:1-2, “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him- howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.”
Romans 8:26-27, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
1 Corinthians 14:13-15, “Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.”
It is clear that “praying in the Spirit” is speaking in other tongues, because that is when we pray without the understanding. So we see that God allows us to speak in tongues as a matter of personal edification and intercession for the needs of others.
WHAT DID PAUL MEAN ABOUT TONGUES CEASING?
I Corinthians 13:8-10, “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
The first thing that is obvious about this is that Paul would not spend three chapters telling us how to use spiritual gifts, if they had ceased and were not for us today.
The second thing is that he said prophecy and knowledge would also cease. This is a reference to the operation of the nine spiritual gifts.
When the Church is taken away and is no longer in the earth, all of the spiritual gifts will cease operation, not just tongues.When we are actually with Jesus, the Perfect One, we will no longer need spiritual gifts.
Today, even with the nine spiritual gifts, we only know in part. But there will come a day when Christ, the Perfect ONE, will come and take His Church out of here. When that happens, we will be able to see and understand things a lot more clearly.
I Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
The phrase that says, “when that which is perfect is come” is a reference to the second coming of Christ. Thayers Greek-English Lexicon, Page 618 interprets this phrase from the Greek word “to Teleion”, meaning, “The perfect state of all things, to be ushered in by the return of Christ from heaven.”
I want to thank you for taking part in this study. I trust that it has been a means of teaching and revelation to you. I am sure that you have come to realize, throughout the course of this study, that the infilling of the Holy Ghost is an experience God has for you. Too many wonderful things are said about it in the Bible, for it not to be true. Also, Jesus paid too high of a price on Calvary to make this wonderful gift possible, for us to refuse it.
Speaking from personal experience and many others I have talked with through the years, there is no experience that compares to the infilling of the Holy Ghost! It brings a measure of joy, peace, power, and assurance that nothing else can produce.
I sincerely hope that you will come to know the joy of receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost for yourself. Then you will understand why the Apostle Paul said, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9)
So I will end by joining with the Apostle Paul in asking you this most important of questions, “Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?” (Acts 19:2)
This study uses the King James Version of the Bible and makes no attempt to change the archaic language used therein. For more information on the New Birth experience, or any related topic, please feel free to contact:
Rev. Cecil Daniels
Calvary Pentecostal Church
6811 Woolworth Rd. – Shreveport, LA 71129