What was it that changed a small group of men and women that had huddled in an upper room? Who kept vigil at the door to see who was approaching for fear of the authorities because they had identified with Jesus. Not really knowing their next move, or what action to take in the future. Just given the word from Jesus to wait for the promise of the Father, and something new and completely foreign to them about being baptized with the Holy Ghost before He ascended up into the sky.
Fast forward to the point where Christianity conquered the Roman Empire with the Edict of Thessalonica in 380 AD, when Emperor Theodosius I, made it the only authorized religion of the state. What was the driving force that made it happen so quickly? I believe it’s something that is sadly missing today in many of our modern churches. It’s the power of the Holy Ghost through the Baptism with the Holy Spirit in each individual life of the believer. All those in that upper room had a relationship with Jesus. Some had even walked and talked with him, but Jesus himself said to those same individuals before he ascended, that something else was about to happen to them shortly, a second blessing that manifested in the natural in Acts chapter 2:2-4. That power they received on that special day in the person of the Holy Spirit taking up residence in them and upon them catapulted them to teach, preach, heal and demonstrate Gods supernatural power to a sick and confused world.
When those individuals received that second blessing it was accompanied by each individual speaking in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now we are not going to get into a theological discussion about whether you believe tongues are for today. I will end it now by saying they are for today and we will discuss that fact more in depth in our next blog.
But what happened to that power of the Holy Spirit in individual lives today particularly in the United States of America, and some other places around the world? In many modern churches of our day what I have discovered is if any teaching exists at all about the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, it is done in a small class and in an obscure manner in the church. Almost like the leadership is embarrassed to talk about this second blessing, and scared it will run away new people from coming to their church. Right here I need to issue a word of warning to any leader that is operating his or her church or ministry in a manner like this. Read Matthew 10:32-33, when Jesus talks in this passage of scripture about confessing Him or denying Him before people. You must remember the Holy Spirit is His representative here on earth right now, they are one in thought, action and deed. If you deny the Holy Spirit in your church meetings or ministry you run the great risk of Jesus denying you before the father in heaven, that’s something to think about.
With the future challenges we face as a nation we need believers that are full of the power of the Holy Spirit, not less. Believers that will not compromise the truth but will stand strong in the face of opposition. That’s what the early Church did in the book of Acts and they changed the world in a very short time, we can and will do the same!