( Acts 2:1-4 )
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
When Did the Holy Spirit Come to This Earth?
Now, I would like to explain how the Holy Spirit comes to people.
The main passage of Acts 2 tells us that the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. Does this mean that they, who had already received the Holy Spirit, received more fullness of the Spirit? We must find out about this first.
Some people claim that after believing in Jesus, we must once again receive the Holy Spirit such as the phenomenon shown in Acts 2. We must ponder upon this claim and examine how nonsense such a claim is.
As a matter of fact, those who make such a claim do not know the truth revealed in the Bible. We receive the Holy Spirit as a gift simultaneous to the remission of sin that we receive when we believe in Jesus (Acts 2:38). How can we receive the Holy Spirit separately, only after a considerable lapse from the time when we first believed in Jesus? Such faith is not the correct faith. Even now, there are many people who, despite believing in Jesus as their Savior, are yet to receive the remission of sin that can wholly cleanse their hearts as white as snow. These people are sinners, and therefore, the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in them. You must realize that those who believe in Jesus in this way believe in Him in vain. You must then also realize that the Holy Spirit comes to only those who believe in Jesus within the true gospel and are born again.
The Holy Spirit was sent to this earth after the resurrection of Jesus. When Jesus was on this earth in the New Testament’s time, the Holy Spirit had not descended on the disciples yet. Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37-38). And the Apostle John clearly interprets this, saying, “But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:39).
Therefore, it was only after His Ascension that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit as He had promised (John 16:7). Acts 1:4-5 backs this interpretation: “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” This was true that the Holy Spirit had not yet come to this earth and into the hearts of the disciples, up until the Day of first Pentecost in the Early Church period.
To whom, then, has Jesus given the Holy Spirit? He has given the Holy Spirit to those who believe in His baptism and the blood of the Cross, for this truth is the truth of the remission of sin. Jesus has given the Holy Spirit only to the saints and the Apostles who believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the hallowed Spirit of God. The word “holy” means “separated from sin.” Like this, the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in the hearts of sinners.
The disciples of Jesus were the ones who had followed Him and heard His Word while He was on this earth. They believed in Jesus as their own Savior and Lord who blotted out all their sins with His baptism and death on the Cross. The disciples also heard all that Jesus told them when He appeared before them after His resurrection: “You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” They believed that all their sins were passed onto Jesus when He, coming to this earth as their Savior, was baptized. Because Jesus was their Savior, He was baptized, shouldered the sins of the world, was crucified and died on the Cross, and thereby saved them perfectly from all their sins. Those who likewise believe together with the disciples in the gospel of the water and the Spirit have received the Holy Spirit as a gift.
We Receive the Holy Spirit as a result of Believing in the Gospel of the Water and the Spirit
Human beings can receive the Holy Spirit as a gift by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Holy Spirit, in other words, is a gift of God that He gives only those who have been forgiven of their sins. Let’s assume for a moment that I gave a pair of sunglasses to someone as a gift, saying, “Enjoy your summer vacation! This is a small expression of my thanks for your help.” If this person were to say to me, “I only have $10 right now, but here, have it for now,” what would all this mean? It would mean that the sunglasses were not a gift but a good he just purchased. A gift is something that is given freely, 100 percent. If we had paid a price for it, no matter how small, then it is not a gift at all.
Because the Holy Spirit is given only to those have received the remission of sin, when people’s sins disappear from their hearts by believing in Jesus, the Spirit of God then simultaneously and automatically comes into their hearts.
In short, the Holy Spirit is given to the born again the same time they truly believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Jesus has perfectly saved those who believe that Jesus accepted all the sins of our entire lifetime passed onto Him when He was baptized, and that He bore all the punishment of sins by shouldering all our sins and all the worldly sins of mankind and being crucified. It is to those who believe in this that Jesus Christ gives the Holy Spirit as a gift.
Because the Spirit of God is a gift given to those who have received the remission of sin, all that people have to do is just accept Him. Because the Holy Spirit is a gift given to any saint who has received the remission of sin, He dwells in the hearts of the saints. Those who have the Holy Spirit in their hearts have the witness of the Word to the remission of their sins.
The Holy Spirit does not come in a hot and electrifying sensation. Nor is He felt emotionally. Far less does the Holy Spirit descend in the state of complete absence of ego as demons are summoned by witchcraft. Because the Bible says, “Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them,” some of you may think and claim that a certain feeling arises when the Holy Spirit descends on you. However, you must know that such an experience is nothing to do with the Holy Spirit, but is merely the sign of being demon-possessed.
There used to be a professor at a seminary who claimed that when the Holy Spirit descends, He descends through the electrified hands. But this is not how the real Holy Spirit descends. You must therefore realize that if there is any spirit that comes into you like this, then this is not the Holy Spirit. Some people mistake demons descending on them as the Holy Spirit. They misunderstand and misbelieve these demons to be the Holy Spirit. When demons come in, people can feel them, but the Holy Spirit cannot be felt. The Holy Spirit quietly descends on us, together with the remission of sin, when we believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit.
Absolute majority of today’s Christians have not been born again by the gospel of the water and the Spirit even as they believe in Jesus somehow. They are still trying to receive the Holy Spirit after a few and even more years since they first believed in Jesus. But, you must realize it is wrong to try to receive the remission of sin and the Holy Spirit separately after believing in Jesus. Trying to receive the Holy Spirit separately after believing in Jesus, they climb up some mountain and pray, and do all kinds of crazy things in church, crying and wailing. These are all symptoms of the demon-possessed.
If we cannot receive the remission of sin once for all when we believe in Jesus, then we cannot receive the Holy Spirit separately later on. If people try to receive the Holy Spirit separately afterward without the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they will be possessed by demons instead. Often, when people go to such places as prayer houses and fervently pray to God to give them the Holy Spirit, they do receive something. But what they receive is not the Holy Sprit, but demons that feign to be the Holy Spirit. You must realize that such happenings are frequent, and that you cannot try to receive the Holy Spirit without the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
To lead a biblically sane life of faith, one must believe in the gospel Word of the water and the Spirit. First of all, receive the remission of all your sins by the faith in the true gospel! You will then receive the Holy Spirit as a gift. When Jesus has blotted out our sins of the world with His water and blood, if you remain ignorant of this and only pray ardently to receive the Holy Spirit, you will then end up being seized by demons.
People misunderstand the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and just believe that Jesus has blotted out their sins only with the blood of the Cross. What would have happened had Jesus died on the Cross without first accepting all our sins passed onto Him through His baptism?
The Old and the New Testaments match with each other perfectly. In the Old Testament, sins were passed by laying hands on the head of a sacrificial animal. Likewise, God made Jesus take upon the sins of the world by being baptized by John. Had John not passed the sins of the world to Jesus through baptism, these sins would have still remained as they were, even until now. This is why like the Old Testament’s laying on of hands, Jesus Christ had to take upon all the sins of the world by being baptized by John, the representative of mankind, prior to His being crucified. It was because Jesus Christ was baptized by John that He could go to the Cross and shed His blood.
Everyone must all believe in Jesus, who has blotted out the sins of the world with His baptism and blood, and he/she must thereby be remitted of all his/her sins. Only when one’s sins are remitted can he/she receive the Holy Spirit. If someone still has sin in his/her heart even as he/she believes in Jesus, then the Holy Spirit cannot dwell in this person’s heart.
We Can Receive the Holy Spirit Only When We Have the Righteousness of God
The remission of sin and the Holy Spirit are not received separately. Those who are ignorant of this do not know the whole truth, and so they go to prayer houses or other such places, fast and pray. What do they do when they become too weak to finish that fasting? They think about Jesus’ crucifixion and bear with their hunger, saying to themselves, “My hunger means nothing compared to Jesus’ crucifixion!” There are many such people who are trying desperately to receive the Holy Spirit while living their spiritual lives with their sins remaining intact in their hearts.
What you must know clearly is that fasting per se is not what is important. What is truly important is to know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by God and thereby have all your sins be remitted by faith. God wants you to know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit more than to pray and fast with devotion. Why? Because this is what would bless you.
If someone prays, “Lord, give me the Holy Spirit,” does the Holy Spirit then come to this person even when his/her heart still remains sinful? How can the hallowed Holy Spirit dwell in the hearts of the sinful? Only demons can dwell in such hearts of the sinful. Demons make the hearts of the sinful their houses, while the Holy Spirit makes temples out of and dwells eternally in the hearts of those who have received the remission of their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the blood of Jesus Christ.