DID YOU RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT WHEN YOU BELIEVED?

Many folk say they have been filled with God’s Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a natural symbolism but Only Jesus Christ can baptize in the Holy Spirit. 
When searching the Scriptures as the Bereans did, (Acts 17:11), I found references in the Old Testament where God’s Spirit moved on prophets & kings. In the New Testament John the Baptist & his parents were “filled with the Holy Spirit” according to (Lk. 1:15, 41, 67). The angel Gabriel told Mary that the Holy Spirit would come on her at Jesus’ birth, (Lk. 1: 35). Simeon was “filled with the Spirit” when Jesus was presented to the Lord, (Lk. 2: 25). At Jesus’ baptism the Spirit settled on Him as a dove, (Lk. 3: 22). As far as we know, none of the folk listed in the previous paragraph spoke in tongues when they were filled with the Holy Spirit except Mary at Pentecost, (Acts 2:4). I asked George, a fine Christian, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” He said he had. Again I asked, “How do you know you received Him? Was there any evidence to prove it?” He said he felt good at his conversion & was told he received the Spirit when he was born again and was baptized in water.  Then George asked, “How can a person know he has received the Spirit?” I asked, “Did you speak in tongues   when you received the Holy Spirit?”
   He answered, “I have never done so.” (Such is the usual response I get from most  “so-called” Christians).

Please look at the following Scriptures which refer to the Holy Spirit baptism.

   John the Baptist said in (Mk.1:8; Mat.3:11; Lk.3:16; John 1:22-23)—“I baptize you with water, but He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
    In John.7:37-39, Jesus shouted: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. For rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in Me.” (He spoke of the Holy Spirit, Who would be given to all who believes in Him; but the Spirit had NOT YET been given, because Jesus had not returned to His glory in heaven.)  
   In John 14:15-17 (NLB), Jesus said, “I will ask the Father and He will give you another Counselor (the Spirit). He lives WITH you NOW  and LATER will  be IN you”.  Jesus was talking to His disciples who were apparently born again believers. God’s Spirit was WITH them at that moment, but the Promised in filling would not come about until Pentecost occurred in the upper room.
   In Luke 24:49, Jesus said, “I will send the Holy Spirit, just as My Father Promised. But STAY in the city until the Spirit comes and fills you with Power from heaven.”       
   In John 20:22, “He BREATHED on them and said, ‘RECEIVE the Holy Spirit.’”   
   In Acts 1:4-5, just before Jesus ascended to heaven and while eating a meal with His disciples, He told them, “Don’t leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you what He PROMISED.    Remember, I told you about this before, that John baptized with WATER, but in a few days you Will Be baptized with the HOLY SPIRIT.”
   In Acts 1:8, He said, “When the Spirit  comes, you will receive POWER and will TELL people about Me everywhere.”
   In Acts 2:3-4, what looked like flames or tongues of  fire appeared  and settled on each of them and EVERYONE present was Filled with the Holy Spirit and began Speaking in Other Languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
   In Acts 2:37-39, Peter preached and the crowd was deeply moved and cried out, “What should we do?”
   Peter replied, “Each of you must turn from your Sins and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This PROMISE is to You, your Children, and even to the Gentiles who have been called by God.”
   After Steven’s martyrdom and the church’s persecution began, (Acts 8), Phillip went to Samaria and many were healed and baptized in his ministry. The apostles in Jerusalem sent Peter and John there and as soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new CHRISTIANS to Receive the Spirit. The Holy Spirit had NOT come upon any of them, for they had ONLY been baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus. 
    In Acts 9:17-18,  Ananias found Saul (Paul), laid hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, Who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you may get your sight back and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized.
    IActs 10: 44-48, when Peter was at Cornelius’ house, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard Peter’s message. “The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Spirit had been poured on the Gentiles; and there could be NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, for they heard them Speaking in Tongues and Praising God.
   Then Peter asked, “Can anyone object to their being baptized, (in water), now that they Have Received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” So he gave orders for them to be baptized in Jesus Name. 
    In Acts 19:1-6, Paul came to Ephesus & found 12 believers. 
   “DID YOU RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT WHEN YOU BELIEVED?” he asked.
   “No. We haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit,” they replied.
   He asked, “Then what baptism did you experience?” 
   They replied, “The baptism of John.”
    Paul said, “John’s baptism was to demonstrate a desire to turn from sin to  God. John told people to believe in Jesus, the one John said would come later.
   As soon as they heard this, they were (water) baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.  When Paul laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they SPOKE in Other Tongues and Prophesied.
   Dear Reader,    
   When you read the Bible, would you please consider the following:
    Just before Jesus returned to heaven He told His followers in no uncertain terms to “tarry in the city until you be endued with power from on high.” 
    Earlier, He had said He would show these fishermen how to “fish for men”.
    Why did God send Pentecost to the upper room where the 120 believers were filled with the Holy Spirit?
    How would Peter and his Jewish partners have known that the Gentiles in Cornelius’ house had received the Holy Spirit if they had not spoken in tongues & magnified God?
    Was the “Promise of the Father” the same as the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”, or was it the “Power from on High”?

Dear Reader,

    Have you been filled with God’s Holy Spirit & have spoken in tongues in your worship of God? It is a most wonderful experience that I recommend most highly.
    I received the Baptism about 35 years ago &I speak in tongues when I wish. I’m 82 years of age now & was reared in a Baptist orphanage.

 At this point, let us consider the purpose & ministry of the 9 gifts of the Spirit as
found  in 1Cor.12:8-11. Would anyone deny the fact that all of these gifts are Supernatural in scope, including the gifts of Tongues & their Interpretations?   
    All of these gifts are like “TOOLS” which are to be used by the Church in it’s ministries. Why do some churches seem to ignore, shun & avoid the use of these God-given “TOOLS”? Are they afraid of the potential consequences involved?
   1Cor.12:28-31= God has set apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, healing’s, & tongues in the church. Are all apostles; do all speak with tongues & interpret? The gifts should be operating in all churches.
   1Cor.13= But if you don’t have LOVE to accompany ANY gift, you are nothing.
   1Cor.14:1= Let LOVE be your Highest goal, but also desire the Special Abilities the Spirit gives.
   1Cor.14:5= I wish you all had the gift of speaking in Tongues, but even more I wish you were all able to Prophesy. For Prophesy is a greater & more useful gift than speaking in Tongues, UNLESS someone Interprets what you are saying so  the church can get some good out of it.
   1Cor.14:18= I thank God that I speak in Tongues more than all of you. But in a church  I‘d rather speak 5 understandable words that will help others than 10,000 words in an unknown language.
   1Cor.14:39= Be eager to Prophesy, & DON’T FORBID SPEAKING IN TONGUES. Let everything be done properly & in order. 
   Having, therefore, analyzed  practically every Scripture pertaining to the H. Spirit’s baptism, what shall we conclude?
    Do folk receive the “Promise of the Father” when they are born again, are water baptized, or have some other sanctifying experience? Or is the H. Spirit given with the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues as specified in the Bible?
   It’s obvious that Jesus’ disciples must have been water baptized & were born again before Pentecost. When Jesus told His disciples to “tarry” in Jerusalem until the “Promise of the Father” had come, this was a command & no mere suggestion. He made reference to this “Promise” on several occasions. He also said, “YOU WILL RECEIVE POWER” to witness.
   Didn’t the Christian Church begin in the Book of Acts? To be confused about the “Father’s Promise” to the Church is of great significance. Satan must delight most definitely with the “in-fighting” within the Church. He knows the value of the “house divided against it’s self” principle.
   If the Pentecostal experience in Acts 2 catapulted the Church forward, then those same principles should be operating in the Church today. To SHUN, IGNORE, DENY, OR REFUSE to practice the basics of the Church is to violate her bylaws.