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The infilling of the New Testament believers with the Holy Ghost should be our pattern today. I propose that we look at the Acts of the Apostles, see how they did it, and follow their example in getting people filled with the Holy Ghost.

In the first chapter of Acts, just before Jesus ascended on high, we see this great scene: "And, being assembled together with them, (Jesus) 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. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence" (Acts 1:4-5).

And then on the day of Pentecost: "And when the day of Pentecost was 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 all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:1-4).

Many years ago, as a young denominational pastor reading the New Testament, the Holy Spirit enlightened me and I was convinced that if I received the same Holy Ghost they received, I would have the same initial sign they had - the Bible evidence - speaking with tongues. I wasn't satisfied with anything else.

Speaking with tongues is not the Holy Ghost. And the Holy Ghost is not the speaking with tongues. But they go hand in hand.

Believers Filled in Samaria
The events in the Book of Acts cover a number of years. Eight years after the day of Pentecost we see Philip carrying the gospel to the people of Samaria:

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city.... But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women (Acts 8:5-8,12).

These scriptures helped me to see that there is an experience subsequent to salvation called receiving the Holy Ghost. I had been taught that when you are saved you have the Holy Ghost - which is true in a sense. But my denomination taught you had all the Holy Ghost there was.

Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:15-16). These Samaritans believed and were baptized (Acts 8:12). Were they saved? According to Jesus they were.

There is a work of the Holy Spirit in the new birth, but that is not called receiving the Holy Ghost - that is called being born-again, receiving Eternal Life. There is an experience following salvation called receiving, or being filled with the Holy Ghost.

When the apostles at Jerusalem heard of the wonderful things God had done through Philip's ministry in Samaria, they sent Peter and John to lay hands on the new converts that they might receive the Holy Ghost.

"Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost" (Acts 8:14-17).

Now some who object to speaking with tongues argue that the Bible doesn't mention the Samaritans spoke with tongues when they received the Holy Ghost. But - it doesn't say they didn't! Students of church history know that the early church fathers agree they did speak with tongues in Samaria.

And it also seems apparent from this passage that they did speak with tongues for: "And when Simon (the sorcerer - see verse nine) 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).

"When Simon saw...." the Word says. You can't see the Holy Ghost. He is a Spirit and cannot be seen with the physical eye. There had to be some physical sign whereby Simon would know they had received the Holy Ghost - something which would register on Simon's senses. All evidence indicates the sign manifested was speaking in tongues.

Believers Filled in Cornelius' Household
About ten years after the day of Pentecost the Word tells us about Peter's going to Cornelius' house to carry the gospel: "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 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. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God" (Acts 10:44-46).

Reading the entire account of this we see how an angel appeared to Cornelius and told him to send to Joppa, and to inquire in the house of a certain individual for Simon Peter, "Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved." Neither Cornelius nor his household was saved. They were Jewish proselytes. A person can't be saved without hearing the gospel. They didn't know about Jesus. So Peter preached to them. They believed while they were standing there and were born again as Peter preached. Then they received the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues before he finished his message.

Notice that it was the speaking with tongues that convinced Peter's company that these Gentiles had received the Holy Spirit. The Jewish believers were astonished that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Gentiles.

Believers Filled in Ephesus
Then 20 years after the day of Pentecost, Paul journeyed to Ephesus. There he met some believers and introduced to them the Person of the Holy Ghost.

And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul have passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 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. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.... And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them and they spake with tongues, and prophesied (Acts 19:1-3,6).

As we see from the verses above, these believers at Ephesus had never heard about the Holy Ghost. But when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they spoke with tongues. Every one of them - without waiting, without praising, without tarrying-was filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with other tongues as the Spirit of God gave them utterance.

Paul's Infilling of the Spirit
Paul, who laid hands on these folks, was previously known as Saul of Tarsus. The account of his experience of receiving the Holy Ghost is found in the ninth chapter of Acts.

And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.... And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightiest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 9:10-12,17).

Saul, later to be known as Paul, received the Holy Ghost immediately. He didn't have to tarry or wait. He received instantly.

"But it doesn't say he spoke with tongues," someone might object. It is true it doesn't say it specifically right here. But Paul himself said that he spoke with tongues. He said, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all" (1 Cor. 14:18). We know he didn't start talking with tongues before he received the Holy Ghost. It shouldn't be too difficult to figure out when he started. He started when he received the Holy Ghost, just as the rest of us did, for the tongues go along with it.

Speaking with tongues is an initial supernatural sign or evidence of the Holy Spirit's indwelling. It is the beginning of it all. I have found in my own life that the more I pray and worship God in tongues, the more manifestation of other gifts of the Spirit I have. The less I talk in tongues, the less manifestation I have.

Speaking with tongues is the door into the rest of the spiritual gifts.

Source: Why Tongues? by Kenneth Hagin
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications

Author Biography

Kenneth E. Hagin
Web site: RHEMA
Rev. Hagin served in Christian ministry for nearly 70 years and was known as the "father of the modern faith movement." His teachings and books are filled with vivid stories that show God's power and truth working in his life and the lives of others.

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