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In John 14, we learn that the Holy Spirit was promised to only the apostles. Then in Acts 1-2, if you study the nouns and pronouns you learn that the apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit, not all the 120 who were gathered. As a result the apostles were able to speak in tongues (languages people from 17 different countries could understand) Acts 2:8-11. Although Acts 2:38 promises the gift of the Holy ghost to those who are baptized, the gift of the Holy Ghost and the baptism of the Holy Ghost are two different things. In Acts 6, Philip had apostles' hands laid on him. In Acts 8, he was in Samaria performing miracles. Peter and John went to Samaria also, and laid hands on people there (v 17) so they could receive the Holy Ghost. They were already baptized so they were Christians and had received the "gift of the Holy Ghost" promised to all who are baptized (Acts 2:38-39). But they couldn't perform miracles until the apostles laid hands on them. There was a man in Samaria who wanted the power the apostles had: "When Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, 'Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.'" (Acts 8:18-19). It cannot be emphasized enough that this was the only way others besides the apostles could receive this measure of the Holy Ghost. In Acts 10, Cornelius had the Holy Spirit fall on him to convince the Jews that God accepted Gentiles also. Now the Holy Spirit had fallen on all flesh as prophesied by Joel (Joel 2:28) and mentioned by Peter in Acts two. When Peter reported back in Jerusalem what had happened he said, "The Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning." If the Holy Spirit fell on all who were baptized, Peter, more than likely, would have said something like, the Holy Ghost fell on them like everybody else who has been converted. Instead, he had to go back about ten years to find an example of Holy Spirit baptism. God chose Cornelius to be the one to convince the Jews that Gentiles were now acceptable to God. Look at one more proof regarding the necessity of the laying on of the apostle's hands before an individual could receive the power to perform miracles like Philip. Look at Romans 1:9-11, Apostle Paul said, "For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established." This also tells us something about the reason for this action, that they "may be established." The church was still young and needed establishment. The apostles received the Holy Spirit baptism so that they could perform miracles to prove that God endorsed their teaching, and so that they could have the Word to speak in the first place, as well as other things. Cornelius received the Holy Spirit baptism so the Jewish Christians would be convinced that Gentiles were now accepted by God. There is no longer any need for the Holy Spirit baptism because now we have the written Word (and, of course, we know that Gentiles are accepted by God). We have a problem if there is such a thing as Holy Spirit baptism today because we learn in Ephesians 4:4-5, that there is only one baptism today. "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism." You see, by the time Paul wrote to the Ephesians the two instances of Holy Spirit baptism had already taken place. Paul said there is one baptism. Only one baptism is left, that's water baptism.
Acts 2 takes place on the day of Pentecost. There were gathered with the apostles women and brethren, in total about 120 (Acts 1:14-15). The bible says they were all with one accord in one place (2:1). Then there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind (v.2), and filled all the house they, the 120, were in (v.3). They were all filled with the Holy Ghost and they all spake with tongues as the spirit gave the utterance (v.4). And in Acts 2:38: Peter said unto them, "Repent and be baptized everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." This fulfilled what Jesus said in John 3:5: "Verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again of water (baptism) and of the sprit (Holy Ghost) he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven." Notice Jesus of water AND of the spirit, you have to obey Acts 2:38 to make it into heaven. What Peter said on Pentecost is the only way to get in to heaven, and have the same Holy Ghost experience that he did, and he has the keys to heaven.
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