Luke 11:9-13 (KJV)
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
For some unclear reason, there are people who claim that they have been baptized with the Holy Ghost when it has not happened. They have convinced themselves that they received it when they believed in Christ and accepted Him as their Lord and Savior. What they don’t seem to understand is that acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savior saves your soul and makes you eligible for the baptism of the Holy Ghost, but until the actual baptism happens, it has not happened. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is the second act of grace that follows salvation.
Let’s think about the facts for a moment. If it were true that we receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost at the exact moment that God saves us then the twelve men that Christ chose as His disciples should have received it during the three years that they walked with Christ. They lived with Him, ate with Him, some were rebuked by Him and they were prayed for by Him. Yet, what happened when Christ finished His time on earth and was ready to return to Heaven? He told the disciples to gather at a particular place and wait for the arrival of the Holy Ghost. He knew that they would need the power of the Holy Ghost in order to live for God after He had left them. They also needed to be empowered to do the work that He had called them to do.
Acts 1:1-9 (KJV)
1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Jesus told the disciples to “receive the Holy Ghost “, not “you already have the Holy Ghost”. And, at His command, the disciples were obedient and went to the Upper Room and waited for the Holy Ghost’s arrival.
Acts 2:1-4 (KJV)
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Just as Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit did arrive and sat upon each of them as tongues of fire. They all spoke in other tongues. Tongues are the Bible evidence that the Holy Ghost has arrived. Comedians laugh and make fun of those who speak in tongues; some who do not speak in tongues doubt that they are real and others even reject their necessity. None of that matters because – no tongues? No Holy Ghost! You can love God; live as clean a life as you are able to live. You can desire to have the Holy Ghost. You can even believe that it is necessary to have the Holy Ghost in order to stay saved. But if you have not received the Holy Ghost you still don’t have it.
The good news, though, is that you can have it. I can imagine that it is particularly hard for some individuals who have been saved for years to admit that they have been functioning without the Holy Ghost. What does it matter, though, when God opens their eyes to the truth? They should be grateful that they came into the knowledge that receiving the Holy Ghost is a real and necessary event before it was too late. Christians should simply get rid of foolish pride and get all that God has for each of us. The Bible tells us the story of a man who truly loved God but who did not have the Holy Ghost. His name was Cornelius and his story is chronicled in the 10th chapter of Acts.
Acts 10:1-5 (KJV)
1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,
2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.
3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.
4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:
Cornelius realized that God had a blessing for him and he sent for Peter as he was directed. He did not argue with the angel that he had all that he needed from God, he just obeyed God. When Peter preached, the Holy Ghost fell upon Cornelius, his family, and his close friends, and they all spoke in tongues.
Acts 10:44-48 (KJV)
44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
Acts 19:1-7 relates another instance in which the Holy Ghost was given, this time through the laying on of hands.
Acts 19:1-7 (KJV)
1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
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.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
7 And all the men were about twelve.
There are some people today who don’t believe that it is necessary to receive the Holy Ghost. They relate the fact that the thief on the cross was immediately in Paradise with Jesus after repentance. I suppose that if God decided to take us to Heaven immediately after He saved us, we would not need the power to live holy that the Holy Ghost brings. But, if you live one minute after salvation you need the Holy Ghost because you have an enemy named Satan, who will do all that he can to overcome you. And for that final group of people who believe that being filled with the Holy Ghost is an option, did you know that Jesus received the Holy Ghost? It was given by God to Jesus in the form of a dove at the time of His baptism.
Luke 3:21-22 (KJV)
21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
If Jesus needed the Holy Ghost, then we certainly need it too. Receiving the Holy Ghost is a real event. It is an actual occurrence. Please do not settle for some nebulous thought or suggestion that you have the Holy Ghost when you know that the specific event has not occurred in your life. If you really understood the importance of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost to eternal salvation you would be clamoring to get it. And, if you do understand its importance, then you will act on that knowledge. Although you can receive it by asking God for it, it might be helpful to some to go into a church where the baptism of the Holy Ghost flows freely. I recommend Full Gospel Holy Temple Churches, located throughout the country. Go to our website at http://www.fght.org and find one located near you. Get the Holy Ghost. Although one doesn’t have it until it is actually received, it is ours simply for the asking. May God bless you.