Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?
That is a powerful question… the answer to that question will determine where you will spend eternity, how your life will be lived, which kingdom you will live in (the kingdom of Satan… or the Kingdom of God) how you and your loved ones, your family and community will be affected, what joy and peace you will have in this life, all sorts of powerful spiritual blessing and eternal things are bound up in the answer to this one question…
So where did this question even come from?
It came from a Jewish man named Saul… here is the testimony of where it originated.
Acts 19 ►
King James Bible
The Holy Spirit Received at Ephesus
(Joel 2:28-32; John 14:15-26; John 16:5-16; Acts 2:1-13; Acts 10:44-48)
1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 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. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7 And all the men were about twelve.
The Apostle Paul, a Jewish Pharisee a devoted man of God, he didn’t believe Jesus was almighty God come in the flesh. No, he believed Jesus was an imposter and according to the Old Testament law, had the right and responsibility to destroy this teaching and to kill the people promoting it.
Worshiping Other Gods
KIll the False Prophet
1If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, 2and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. 5That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.
Kill the Believer’s of the False Prophet
6If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.
Kill The Town where they all Believe in the False Prophet
12If you hear it said about one of the towns the Lord your God is giving you to live in 13that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known), 14then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly. And if it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done among you, 15you must certainly put to the sword all who live in that town. You must destroy it completely, a both its people and its livestock. 16You are to gather all the plunder of the town into the middle of the public square and completely burn the town and all its plunder as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. That town is to remain a ruin forever, never to be rebuilt, 17and none of the condemned things b are to be found in your hands. Then the Lord will turn from his fierce anger, will show you mercy, and will have compassion on you. He will increase your numbers, as he promised on oath to your ancestors— 18 because you obey the Lord your God by keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes.
So Saul was within his rights as a Jew to kill the believers and destroy any town where they worshipped.
Saul Persecutes the Church
1 Now Saul approved of putting [a]Stephen to death.
And on that day a great persecution [b]began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles. 2 Some devout men buried Stephen, and mourned loudly for him. 3 But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house; and he would drag away men and women and put them in prison.
There was just one small problem Jesus was who he said he was!
He was Almighty God robed in human flesh, to redeem mankind from sin and the consequence’s of sin, an eternity spent in hell that was never suppose to be for mankind- but for Satan and his crew of 1/3 of the angels that followed him.
So the Lord being merciful appeared unto Saul on the road to Damascus…
The Damascus Road: Saul Converted
1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. [a]It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. 8 Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
Ananias Baptizes Saul
10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.”
And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”
11 So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”
13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much [b]harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children[c] of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord [d]Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.
19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.
Saul Preaches Christ
20 Immediately he preached [e]the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.
21 Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?”
22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.
Saul Escapes Death
23Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. 24But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him. 25Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket.
Saul at Jerusalem
26And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. 27But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. 29And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists,[f] but they attempted to kill him. 30When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.
The Church Prospers
31Then the [g]churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified.[h] And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.
So Saul believes, Ananias comes and leads him to the Lord, and he is saved, changes his Hebrew name to a gentile name of Saul to make him more acceptable in the world and begins to preach the Gospel to everyone he meets.
Saul’s own Testimony…
Acts 22; 12 And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, 13 Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. 14 And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. 15 For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. 16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
New King James Version
1 Cor. 14;18 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all;
So Saul believes, Ananias comes and leads him to the Lord, and he is saved, he changes his Hebrew name to a gentile name of Saul to make him more acceptable in the world and begins to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone he meets.
1 Corinthians 15 ►
New King James Version
The Risen Christ, Faith’s Reality
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by [a]Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have [b]fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
So in our original text Paul when he meets new folks and asks them an important question… (in sales it is called qualifying your customer),,, he is about to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with these men but he wants to find out where they are in their walk of faith.
So he asks this question…
Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?
The answer to this question will determine your eternal destiny.
You can hear multiple answers to this question…
1) I believe in a higher power(s)
noun [ C ] RELIGION specialized
UK /ˈθiː.ɪst/ US /ˈθiː.ɪst/
someone who believes in the existence of a god or gods, especially a god who created the world and who acts to influence events:
2) I don’t believe in God
noun [ C ] RELIGION
UK /ˈeɪ.θi.ɪst/ US /ˈeɪ.θi.ɪst/
someone who does not believe in any god or gods, or who believes that no god or gods exist:
3) I don’t know if God can be known
noun [ C ]
UK /æɡˈnɒs.tɪk/ US /æɡˈnɑː.stɪk/
someone who does not know, or believes that it is impossible to know, if a god exists:
4) I believe in One God
Jews, Muslims, Oneness Apostolics
noun [ U ]
UK /ˈwʌn.nəs/ US /ˈwʌn.nəs/
a state of being joined as one thing, and no longer separate:
a sense of oneness with the moment
the fact of being one single thing:
the oneness of God
5) I believe in a Trinity, or more than one God.
Pagans, Catholica, Protestants, Hingus, etc
noun [ U ]
(in many forms of Christianity) the three beings, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who are united as one God
They may or may not believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The men that Paul met, Paul found out were believers in the One God, they were Jews. who followed John the Baptist,
Paul them immediately brought them up to date on the Gospel of Christ, rebaptized them and laid hands on them and prayed for them to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 19 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7 And all the men were about twelve.
Each one of us has a divine calling from the Lord… a calling to join him for eternity… so ask your self this question…
If the Apostle Paul met me today and asked me the same question what would I answer?
Test yourself and see
Do you know that there is a God?
Do you believe that he knows you and deeply loves you?
Do you want to know him?
Do you believe that Almighty God loved you enough to want to save you from sin, death, and the eternal hell that was only meant for satan and his fallen angels?
Do you believe that Jesus Christ is Almighty God robed in perfect human flesh for one purpose, so that he he could save you from sin and death, so that he could die in your place, taking the punishment for sin upon himself, so that you could be free from the punishment of sin, that he died, and he was buried, and that he rose again on the third day? This is called believing the Gospel.
Have you completed and obeyed the Gospel in your own life by?
A) Repentance = Death – Have you accomplished your own death by dying out to your own will, repenting of your sins, turning from sin, renouncing satan and his worldly system, and turned to God, wanting to know and love him, and are willing to cultivate a deep powerful relationship with him, and be with him for eternity.
B) Water Baptism = Burial – Have you been buried with Christ and transferred your allegiance from serving Satan and his kingdom to serving Jesus Christ and being water baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and therefore have entered into the kingdom of God.
C) Received the Holy Ghost = Resurrection – The Gift of the Holy Ghost …Have you experienced your own resurrection by speaking in another language given to you miraculously by God?
D) Are you living a live of being separated unto God?A place of being cherish by him? Enjoying a deep powerful relationship and friendship with Christ?
If you answered, “No”, to one or any of these questions, the Apostle Pail would tell you, you can know the one true and living God, His name is Jesus Christ because Paul met him, he can save you and your family from the Satan and a devils hell, he can give you life and that more abundantly.
Reach out today to find out where you can be water baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ today and/or have the laying on of hands to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
And as the man Ananias, the man who brought Saul to the Lord, said to Saul (Paul)…
What are you waiting for?
Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.’
Acts 22:16 New Living Translation