Bible Questions and Answers

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A visitor writes,

"Comment on reçoit le Saint Esprit"


The Holy Spirit is not a person.

The Holy Spirit is the power of God.

Holy Spirit gifts are not available today.

Holy Spirit gifts are not necessary for salvation.

The Holy Spirit was promised to the twelve apostles.

Acts 1: 4  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; 5  "for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

The 12 apostles received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost as recorded in Acts Chapter 2.

The main purpose was to give them total recall of Jesus’ teaching during his ministry. This was necessary to ensure that they all preached the same gospel.

John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

When the 12 apostles received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, one of the powers they received was that of the ability to speak in foreign languages which they had not learned.

The purpose was to allow them to follow Christ’s command to preach the gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

This was evident on the day of Pentecost when those visiting Jerusalem could hear them speak in their own language

Acts 2:8 "And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9  "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10  "Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11  "Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God."

The 12 apostles also had the ability to give Holy Spirit gifts to others by the laying on of their hands.

This is demonstrated in Acts 8:5-25

Philip had preached in Samaria and converted and baptised a number of Samaritans.

Peter and John travelled from Jerusalem to lay hands on them to give them gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The ability to give gifts of the Spirit was restricted to the apostles.

Philip although having himself gifts of the Spirit and being able to work miracles did not have the power to give gifts to others by the laying on of his hands.

Those on whom the apostles laid hands could not give Holy Spirit gifts to others.

The gifts they received varied – they could not all speak with tongues as Paul explains:

1 Corinthians 12: 8  for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

1 Corinthians 12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

The answer of course is NO - some had one gift and others another.

Speaking in tongues was just one of the gifts and the purpose of it was so that the gospel could be preached in an unlearned language that others could understand.

Paul forbade speaking in tongues in the church congregation unless there was an interpreter.

1 Corinthians 14:28  But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.

With the exception of Cornelius’ household in Acts 10:44-48 no one else is recorded as receiving gifts of the Spirit other than by the laying on of the apostles’ hands.

Acts 10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, 47 "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.

The ‘out of the ordinary’ baptism with gifts of the Holy Spirit of Cornelius’ household was to show Peter and the other Jews that Gentiles were to be received into the church.

Acts 11:15 "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16 "Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 "If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?" 18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life."

Paul, converted by Jesus on the road to Damascus and appointed the apostle to the Gentiles, was given the same Holy Spirit powers as the other apostles.

He could give gifts of the Spirit by the laying on of his hands.

Acts 19:6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

Because Holy Spirit gifts could only be given by the 12 apostles and Paul, when they were all dead, Holy Spirit gifts ceased.

By this time, the church had been established and the scriptures that make up the New Testament were complete.

Supernatural powers were no longer necessary.

1 Corinthians 13:8...whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease….

The absence of Holy Spirit gifts is clearly seen in the slide of the church into apostasy by the fourth century AD.

It became the State Church of the Roman Empire and adopted false doctrines from Greek philosophy.

Some of the false doctrines adopted are as follows:

The trinity, immortal souls, heaven-going at death, hell as a place of eternal torment, Satan as a fallen angel, division of the church into clergy and laity and the introduction of a priesthood.

It is a mistake to believe and teach that Holy Spirit gifts are available today.

It is a mistake to believe and teach that the sign of receiving Holy Spirit gifts is the ability to speak in a ‘language’ that no one can understand.

It is contrary to Paul’s commandment to allow people to speak in an ‘unknown’ language in the church congregation.

It is self-delusion to believe that we can receive Holy Spirit gifts today.

Holy Spirit gifts are not necessary for salvation.

May I suggest that you read: ‘The Holy Spirit’ here:

And ‘Tongues of Angels’ - Can modern Christians speak in tongues as they did in the first century? here:

Baptised believers must be renewed in the spirit of their minds. This happens as a result of reading, understanding and obeying the words of Jesus, recorded in the scriptures.

John 6:63 It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I hope you find this helpful.

God bless,