Filled With the Spirit: It’s Not Just An Experience…It’s Experience Plus Evidence

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament account of the spiritual body of Jesus the Christ which is the church as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke in the book of Acts. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first eighteen verses of the eleventh chapter. When you come to this particular portion of scripture you will find that everything contained within in is directly predicated and based upon what took place in the previous chapter. If you turn and direct your attention to the previous chapter you will find yourself coming face to face with one of the most drastic turning points within the history of the early church. Thus far within the new Germany book of Acts we have experienced at least four major and four significant turning points that dramatically altered and shaped the landscape of the early church—and not only the early church, but also the landscape of the world during that time. I have previously written how the first turning point which occurred within the book of Acts is found in the seventh chapter of the book when we find Stephen—one of the first seven deacons ordained and appointed by end apostles—being dragged outside of the city and stoned to death. What we find in the final verses of the seventh chapter is a man who in the last moments of his life lifted his eyes toward heaven, saw the heavens opened, saw Jesus the Christ standing at the right hand of the Father, as well as the glory of God. What’s more, is that in the final moments of this young man’s life we find him crying out to the living God—perhaps even unto Jesus the Christ whom he saw standing at the right hand of the Father—to not lay this sin against the charge of those who were stoning him. Once Stephen was dead and the seventh chapter of the book of Acts draws to a close and you enter into the eighth chapter you will find two more turning points which directly impacted the early church, and radically transformed the landscape of the church. In the opening verses of the eighth chapter you will find this young man named Saul consenting to the death of Stephen as the clothes of those who stoned him to death and made him a martyr were laid down at his feet. As the eighth chapter begins and opens you will find a great persecution breaking out against the church, and so great was the persecution that it actually caused the Christians and those followed of the way to be scattered throughout Judaea and Samaria. With the early church and followers of Jesus scattering throughout Judaea and throughout Samaria this man named Saul emerged as perhaps one of the greatest persecutors of the church, for Luke writes how this man began wreaking havoc upon the church—and not only wreaking havoc upon the church, but also entering into houses and homes as he dragged men and women out of their homes and away from their families and committed them to prison. Thus, within the seventh and eighth chapters we encounter and come face to face with three of the most dramatic turning points within the history and landscape of the early church before coming to the ninth chapter and encountering yet another turning point.

If and when you come to the nit h chapter you will find yourself encountering the fourth of what I believe to be one of the major turning points within the history of the early church. With that being said, however, the chapter does not begin and open up with any indication that what you will find before you is going to be a turning point. The ninth chapter of the book of Acts opens up with this man named Saul still breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, and even going so far as to entreat the high priest for letters granting him permission to journey unto Damascus in order that he might seize any who were followers of this way and bring them bound unto Jerusalem. Despite the fact that this is how the ninth chapter begins and opens you will quickly come face to face with the reality that the living God had different plans for this man named Saul. Luke writes and records how as this man named Saul drew bear unto Damascus there was suddenly a great and brilliant light which appeared before and shine round about him, thus startling the men who he was with, and chasing him to be cast from the horse he was riding upon. As Saul lie on the ground blinded by the brilliant light which shine round about him he was called by name—not once, but twice—and was asked by the One speaking unto him why he was persecuting Him. Unaware of who he was speaking to but recognition there was a wonderful and powerful measure of authority in the one with whom he was speaking he asked him one simple and yet profound question. Saul responded to this man’s question by asking “Who are you, Lord?” It’s important and worth noting that the Lord and the One who spoke unto him responded and declared that He was Jesus whom he was persecuting. When the entire encounter was over Saul was blind and unable to see, and at the direction of the Lord was led into the city of Damascus where he would lodge at one of the homes there in the city. It was while Saul was lodging there in that home praying and fasting that he saw a vision of a man coming unto him, laying his hands on him and praying for him that he might receive his sight, as well as he filled with the Spirit. At the same time Jesus the Christ whom Saul had persecuted appeared unto a man by the name of Ananias and instructed him to go unto the house where Saul was lodging, lay his hands on him, and pray for him that he might receive his sight and be filled with the Spirit. After initially questioning that which the Lord was calling and asking him to do he finally made his way unto Saul, laid his hands upon him, prayed for him, and his sight was immediately restored and he received the Spirit.

THE MISSING PIECE! THE MISSING LINK! THE MISSING REALITY! The more I sit and read and study the book of Acts the more I am directly and immediately confronted with and by the fact that that one single thing which was missing in the lives of most men and women was indeed and was in fact the Spirit. In a book that is replete and resplendent with countless accounts of the Holy Spirit manifesting Himself in the midst of the lives of countless men and women, and in the midst of a book that has encounter after encounter with the Holy Spirit I must emphatically state and declare that what I am speaking of and suggesting is not that men and women in this book were missing the Holy Spirit, for the Holy Spirit would appear Ana manifest Himself unto countless men and women. When I speak of the fact that the missing piece and the missing link was in fact the Holy Spirit, what I am speaking of and declaring is that it was the presence, the person and power of the Holy Spirit indwelling, filling and baptizing men and women that would make all the difference within their hearts and lives. What I am speaking of and what I am referencing when I speak of this missing piece is the sole and simple reality that it was the person and presence of the Spirit that would radically and dramatically alter and tenacity the lives of countless men and women. From the time the Spirit arrives on the day of Pentecost throughout the rest of the book you will find and read of the Spirit falling upon men and women and how they were filled with the presence, the person and power of the Holy Spirit. Even when we speak of and consider the life of Saul we not only find the presence of prayer, the presence of fasting, and even intercession as another would come unto him, lay their hands on him and pray for him that he might receive his sight, but we also find him scribing and being filled with the Spirit. After Saul had been baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit he would then be baptized in water as John the Baptist spoke of and engaged in preparing the way for the manifestation and arrival of Jesus the Christ. If there is one common denominator and one common theme and thread that runs throughout the book of Acts it is the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit as He moves and manifests Himself within the hearts and lives of all those who would receive and experience Him. The one common theme and the one common thread that is woven through the fabric of the early church and the lives of all those who would devote and commit themselves to following the way would in fact be the person and presence of the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit would not only manifest Himself unto, but would also indwell and fill those whom He would fall upon and encounter. If and as you read the New Testament book of Acts you will find that there were those who would already be baptized in the name of Jesus the Christ, and the only thing that would be missing within their hearts and lives would be the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. There would be countless men and women who would first experience and encounter the name of Jesus the Christ and would hear the preaching concerning Jesus the Christ, and upon hearing the preaching of Jesus the Christ would find themselves experiencing the person and presence of the Holy Spirit.

If you read the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts you will find the Holy Spirit arrives for the very first time and completely and utterly fills the one-hundred and twenty who were present within the upper room. When you come to the fourth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts you will find the Holy Spirit once more manifesting Himself in the hearts and lives of the early church as the beloved physician Luke writes and records how when and after they had prayed—not only was the place where they were abiding shaken, but they were also filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke the word of God with boldness. Please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of this awesome and incredible reality, for while we read in the second chapter the Spirit arriving and baptizing men and women, and their being filled with the person and presence of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues, we find in the fourth chapter the Holy Ghost filling all those who were present and assembled together in the house when it was shaken by the power and presence of the living God. Thus far within the second and fourth chapter we find the person and presence of the Holy Spirit falling upon and filling those who were present and assembled together with one accord and in one place. In the sixth chapter we find something entirely different, for within the sixth chapter we don’t read of one or many being filled with the Holy Spirit as an experience, but we do find and read of seven men who were ordained and appointed by the apostles who were not only of honest report, but were also full of the Holy Ghost. Within the sixth chapter—not only do we find it written how those seven men who were chosen to be the first deacons of the church being full of the Holy Ghost, but when reading concerning Stephen we also find and read how Stephen was a man who was full of faith and full of the Holy Ghost. Please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of this awesome and wonderful reality, for while we don’t read of men and women being filled with the Holy Ghost as an experience we read about, we do find and read of Stephen who was a man who was full of the Holy Ghost and full of faith. Twice within the sixth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts we find and read of being filled with the Holy Ghost, as the prerequisite for the seven deacons who were chosen by the apostles was that they be filled with the Holy Ghost. It’s quite interesting and quite astonishing to read and consider the fact that when we read of Stephen he was the only one of the seven deacons chosen and ordained by the apostles whom it was actually written separately from the initial requirement of being filled with the Holy Ghost that he himself was filled with the Holy Ghost. We find the names of the other six who were chosen by the apostles being mentioned by the beloved physician Luke, but only concerning Stephen do we find a secondary reference that he was not only full of faith, but also full of the Holy Ghost. Thus, within the sixth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts we again read of the person and presence of the Holy Ghost, but we read of this as an experience which had already taken place and occurred and not one that was fresh and new. The question I can’t help but ask is was Stephen part of the one-hundred and twenty who were in the upper room on the day of Pentecost, or was Stephen part of those in the fourth chapter who were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke the word with boldness.

If you read the words which are found within the he first six chapters of the New Testament book of Acts you will find it written how on the day of Pentecost there was a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, and how the entire place where the one hundred and twenty were present was filled with the Holy Spirit, how they were all baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, and how they all began speaking of the wonderful works of the living God and speaking with other tongues as cloven tongues of fire rested upon each of their heads. In the fourth chapter of this book we find that after they had prayed in response to the opposition of the religious leaders and system in Jerusalem—not only was the place where they were abiding and dwelling shaken, but they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. In the sixth chapter we encounter the seven men who were chosen and ordained by the apostles to serve as deacons in the church, and how one of the prerequisites for those seven who were chosen was that they be filled with the Holy Ghost. In other words, it was the evidence of being filled with the Holy Ghost that would qualify and position those seven who were ordained, chosen and appointed by the apostles to serve among the followers of the way and disciples and followers of Jesus the Christ. This is actually quite unique when you take the time to consider it, for more often than not we don’t think of, nor do we even acknowledge the fact that the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit is necessary for us to serve among the saints of God and disciples and followers of Jesus the Christ. We must recognize and understand that the seven who were chosen by the apostles were chosen and ordained because they were of honest report and because they were full of the Holy Ghost. In other words, it was the evidence of the Holy Spirit within their lives that qualified and positioned them to serve among the early church, and to minister to the needs of the people. This actually brings me to a very important reality within many of our churches and houses of worship today—namely, how many of us place emphasis on the presence, the person and the power of the Holy Spirit manifested within the lives of men and women before such are released in serving the needs of the body? How many men and women do we permit and do we allow to serve among the brethren, and yet there is no evidence of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit within their hearts and lives? The seven men who were ordained and appointed by the apostles were ordained as such because they were full of the Holy Spirit. Oh, what would happen if being filled with the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit was required for any one who would wish to serve among the body, and who would seek to minister among the needs of the saints of God and followers of Jesus the Christ? When the seven deacons were chosen by the apostles, it was required that they be filled with the Holy Ghost in order that they might serve among the needs of the saints, and in order that they might minister among the body of Christ.

As you continue reading within the New Testament book of Acts you will encounter and come face to face with Saul of Tarsus who after Ananias prayed for him—not only did he received his sight, but he was also filled with the Holy Ghost. This man who once wreaked havoc upon and persecuted the early church would encounter Jesus the Christ whom he was persecuting along the way to Damascus, and would ultimately be filled with the Holy Ghost, and be baptized in water and in the name of Jesus the Christ. What’s more, is that if you continue reading within the book of Acts you will come to the tenth chapter and will again find the Holy Spirit actively working and manifesting Himself in the hearts and lives of men and women as while the apostle Peter was still speaking to them concerning Jesus the Christ, the Holy Spirit fell upon them all, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit of Jesus the Christ. In fact, the beloved physician Luke writes concerning Cornelius and his entire household how the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word, and they spoke with tongues and magnified the living God with their mouths. So great so astonishing was the manifestation of the Holy Spirit within the hearts and life of Cornelius and all those who were present within his house who heard the word of God concerning Jesus the Christ that it astonished those who had made the journey from Joppa to Caesearea with the apostle Peter. Luke writes and records how while the apostle Peter was still speaking, and while Cornelius and all those in his house heard the word concerning Jesus the Christ, the Holy Ghost fell on all them and gave them the ability to speak with other tongues, and magnify the living God. It’s actually quite necessary that we recognize and understand this, for what we find and read in the tenth chapter of the book of Acts is the fourth account of the Holy Spirit being manifested within the hearts and lives of men and women, for within the second chapter we find the Holy Spirit arriving and baptizing the one-hundred and twenty who were present in the upper room, while in the fourth chapter we find the place where the saints were assembled and prayed being shaken, and all who were present being filled with the Holy Ghost. When reading concerning this man named Saul we find that as Ananias prayed for him—not only did he receive his sight, but he also received the Holy Ghost as the Holy Ghost would fill him completely. A similar reality was written concerning Cornelius and his entire household, for the beloved physician Luke writes how while the word was still in the mouth of the apostle Peter, and while he was still speaking unto them concerning Jesus the Christ, the Holy Ghost fell upon them all, and they began speaking with other tongues and magnified the living God.

Within each of these four references—as well as that which was written concerning the seven deacons, and even Stephen who was one of the seven deacons—we notice the common theme and common thread that joins them all together, which was the person, the presence and power of the Holy Ghost within their lives. There were four different accounts of the Holy Ghost falling upon those who were gathered together—which would include Saul of Tarsus—and there was a single account of seven men being filled with the Holy Ghost as an evidence and witness, and even one whom it was specifically singled out that he was indeed full of faith and full of the Holy Ghost. FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT AS AN EXPERIENCE! FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT AS A WITNESS! As I sit here this morning I can’t help but think about and consider the awesome and incredible reality that when we read of being filled with the Holy Ghost—not only do we find and read of being filled with the Holy Ghost as an experience, but we also find and read of being filled with the Holy Ghost as a witness and testimony. Within the first ten chapters of the New Testament book of Acts we find the reality of being filled with the Holy Spirit as an actual experience which took place within the hearts and lives of men and women, but we also find being filled with the Holy Spirit as a witness and testimony of an experience that had already taken place. Sitting here this morning and writing concerning this reality I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the fifth chapter of the epistle which he wrote unto the saints which were at Ephesus. In the eighteenth verse of the fifth chapter you will find the following words which were written unto the Ephesian saints concerning being filled with the Holy Ghost—”And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:18-21). The words which the apostle Paul wrote and spoke within this particular passage of Scripture are intrinsically and directly linked to the words which we find and read within the New Testament book of Acts, for within the New Testament book of Acts we find example after example and account after account written of men and women being filled with the Holy Ghost. From the day of Pentecost when the Spirit first arrives and baptizes and fills the one-hundred and twenty, to the Holy Spirit once more filling all those who were gathered together with one accord in the fourth chapter, to Saul of Tarsus himself being filled with the Holy Ghost, and even to Cornelius and his entire household being filled with and baptized by the Holy Spirit we see the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit. What’s more, is that within the account of the seven deacons, as well as the individual account of Stephen who was one of the seven deacons we see even further the incredible need of being filled with the Holy Spirit, as it was a witness and testimony of an experience and reality which was already manifested and experienced within the hearts and lives of Stephen and the six other deacons.

THE HOLY SPIRIT IN EXPERIENCE! THE HOLY SPIRIT AS A WITNESS! I sit here this morning and I can’t help but feel absolutely gripped and compelled with and by the reality that not only do we find being filled with the Holy Spirit as an active experience which was manifested within the hearts and lives of men and women, but we also find being filled with the Holy Spirit as a witness and testimony within and upon one’s life as it qualifies and positions them to serve among the brethren and minister among the needs of the body of Christ. Oh that we would take a step back and consider the awesome and incredible importance of being filled with the Holy Ghost—not only as a tangible experience within our hearts and lives, but also as an actual witness and testimony within and concerning our lives. I can’t help but come face to face with the reality that perhaps the one single thread and common denominator which all those in the book of Acts shared was their being filled with the Holy Spirit, as the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit was evidenced and manifested within their hearts and lives. With that being said, we must recognize and understand that perhaps the single greatest missing piece within your life, or within my life, or within the lives of men and women within the church and congregation we worship and fellowship with, and even within the hearts and lives of those who are around us is the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. I sit here this morning and I can’t help but think within my heart and within my own spirit that perhaps the one thing which is missing within the hearts and lives of countless men and women might very well be the person and presence of the Holy Spirit. There is something truly remarkable and astonishing about the person and presence of the Holy Spirit within the heart and life of an individual that so completely and radically transforms them from the inside out and does in fact make them into a new creature in Christ. The apostle Paul wrote that if any man be in Christ they are a new creation, for old things have passed away, and, behold, all things are becoming and have become new. With that being said, we must recognize and understand just how integral and vital the person and presence of the Holy Spirit actually is within our hearts and lives, for it is the Holy Spirit who moves, operates and manifests Himself within us, and completely and utterly transforms us from the inside out. If you are willing to examine yourself right now in the sight and presence of the living God would you be able to accept that perhaps the one thing that is needed the most is the person, the presence and power of the Holy Spirit? If you are willing to examine the house and assembly where you worship and fellowship together with other saints of God and believers of Jesus Christ, would and could you say that the one thing that is missing is the manifestation of the Holy Ghost, and the experience and evidence of being filled with the Holy Ghost? We must recognize and understand that being filled with the Holy Ghost is not only an experience, but it is also an evidence—despite the fact that we might want to believe and think otherwise. Lest you think or consider for a single moment that this statement is somehow incorrect and inadequate, I would present you with the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the twelfth chapter of the first New Testament epistle written unto the Corinthian saints, as well as the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the fifth chapter of the epistle which was written unto the churches in Galatia. Consider if you will the words which the apostle Paul wrote concerning the evidence, the witness and the testimony of being filled with the Holy Spirit within our hearts and lives:

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (1 Corinthians 12:1-11).

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: fo the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another” ( Galatians 5:19-26).

Each of these passages written and found within two different and two distinct epistles both point to the singular reality that being filled with the Holy Spirit is not only an active experience which we experienced at one point in our lives, but it is also an evidence which continues to be manifested within our hearts and lives. It is absolutely necessary, it is absolutely critical, and it is absolutely imperative that we recognize and understand the tremendous reality being filled with the Holy Ghost is not only an active experience we received at one point within our lives, and continue to experience, but it is also an evidence and witness within our lives concerning a work which has been done. When the apostle Paul writes concerning fruits and gifts, he writes of such realities as being a tangible evidence concerning the work of the Holy Ghost within our lives, as well as concerning an experience and encounter we had at one point within our lives. It is not enough simply to speak about being filled with the Holy Ghost as an experience which we can somehow brag and boast about, for above and beyond any bragging and boasting we do we must recognize and understand that being filled with the Holy Ghost is an evidence within our lives that stands as a witness and testimony. If you are truly filled and if you have truly been filled with the Holy Ghost you will never need to brag about or broadcast it, for the witness and evidence will speak for itself. Both the fruit and gift(s) of the Spirit working within your life can, will and should be the only witness and evidence that is needed when it comes to the reality of your being filled with the Holy Ghost. In fact, I would dare say that if you have to somehow brag and boast that you are filled with the Holy Ghost I would seriously question and doubt whether or not you are truly filled with the Holy Ghost. There has never been, nor will there ever need to be any boast or brag about being filled with the Holy Ghost, for the witness and evidence of the Holy Ghost within your heart and life as evidenced by the fruit and gifts is sufficient enough to demonstrate the reality that you have been filled with the Holy Spirit, and that you are continuing to be filled with the Holy Spirit. When we think about the reality of being filled with the Holy Ghost we must understand that it is not only a tangible experience we have within our lives, but it is also an evidence of a deep and inner working which is taking place within our hearts and lives. Being filled with the Holy Ghost is not solely about speaking with other tongues—despite the fact we would like to think and believe it—for being filled with the Holy Ghost is about a tangible experience have had within our hearts and lives, as well as an evidence which is manifested by the gifts and fruits operating and working together within our lives. Oh that we would recognize and understand that the gifts and fruit do not operate independent of each other, but actually work in joint harmony and unity with each other and stand as a wonderful and powerful witness and testimony of being filled with the Holy Ghost.

When you come to the eleventh chapter of the New Testament book of Acts you will find the apostles and brethren which were in Judaea hearing that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. When the apostle Peter was come unto Jerusalem they which were of the circumcision contended with him concerning his going in unto the Gentiles—and not only keeping fellowship with them, but also potentially defiling himself and making himself unclean. As the apostle Peter stood there in the company and presence of the apostles and brethren he recounted from the beginning how an angel of the Lord had appeared unto Cornelius while he was fasting and in prayer, and how the Holy Spirit had spoken unto him through a vision concerning a sheet being let down from heaven with all manner of four footed beasts, and crawling things, and fowls, and birds, and how the Spirit instructed him to rise, kill and eat. By the time the vision had concluded, and by the time the Spirit had finished speaking unto the apostle Peter, three men from Cornelius’ household had come unto the apostle Peter where he was lodging at the house of Simon the tanner imploring him to come unto Caeserea that they might hear from him all they were intended on hearing. The apostle Peter revealed and spoke unto the apostles and brethren that while he was speaking unto Cornelius and his entire household the Holy Ghost fell upon all those who heard the word, and how they all began speaking with other tongues and praising and glorifying the living God. This is actually quite unique, for it reveals the tremendous reality that there can and there will be times when the movement and operation of the Holy Spirit can and will draw and attract scrutiny from those before and those around us—particularly and especially if it takes place and occurs outside of the context and framework we have within our hearts and lives. When we read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture we must understand and come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that there can and there will be times within our hearts and lives when the movement and operation of the Holy Spirit can and will draw tremendous scrutiny from those who are before and around us as they cannot understand how or why the Holy Ghost would move and operate in the manner in which He did. What’s more, is that we must come to terms with the fact that the Holy Spirit does not, nor has He ever needed our permission or approval to move and operate in our midst, nor even in the hearts and lives those before and around us. Despite the fact that we would like to put the Holy Ghost in a theological box and put borders and parameters all around His presence and actions we must recognize that this simply cannot be done, and is in fact incredibly dangerous to even think about and consider. Up until the time when Cornelius and his household not only heard the word of God concerning Jesus the Christ, but also received the gift and promise of the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit had only been manifested within and among the Jews and those who were of the circumcision. With the Holy Ghost falling upon Cornelius and his entire household, and with them speaking with other tongues. When we consider the movement and activity of the Holy Spirit within the book of Acts, as well as within our hearts and lives we must understand that the movement of the Holy Spirit is both an experience and evidence within our hearts and lives, and may at times even take place outside of our theological framework and the box and parameters we want to place around the Spirit. Oh that we would truly recognize and understand the experience and evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit, and that we would truly allow the movement and operation of the Holy Spirit within our hearts and lives without putting any expectations or boundaries upon what He can and can’t do.

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