We have examined the inaugural celebration or ceremony of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 2. Did you do your homework? Very good (we must all study to show our selves approved unto God so that we will not be ashamed when the angels and God quiz us on the day of judgment (test day) or when the enemy tries his tricks). In Acts 4: 29 – 37, the disciples asked for boldness to witness in the face of persecution. When they prayed they were filled with the Holy Spirit and the house shook.
We therefore learn that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of boldness and I myself experienced boldness in sharing the Lord Jesus after I was filled with the Holy Spirit at 13, previously being unable to do so. The shaking was symbolic of the shifting in the realm of the spirit because there was coming an increase in the aggression and determination with which they would preach the gospel. The believers also continued with the unity of the Spirit (He is the Spirit of Unity), a sense of commonality in the sharing of possessions (can this be applied today in cooperatives etc in the church?) so that there was no lack (the church is not a capitalist society and God is Jehovah Jireh= Spirit of Provision as in the wilderness), great power (Spirit of power) and great grace (the charis or the Spirit of Christ in the believer= fruit and not fruits of the Spirit since you cannot have one peg without the other).
This was the primitive church, but these are principles set out by the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 2 that we need to apply today (help me Jesus!). In Acts 8: 14 – 24 the Samaritans received the Holy Ghost by the apostles laying hands on them. Simon the sorcerer (having power to tell the future by evil spirits) was one who used his power to bewitch the people, giving out that he was a great person (maybe prophet). Acts 8 does not say exactly what evidences were seen when the Samaritan disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost, but one can safely infer that they prophesied, saw dreams and visions and worked miracles as Prophet Joel prophesied. Are not these the job description of a sorcerer? God allowed Luke to say that Simon gave himself out as some great one because God disdained Simon’s power source.
Revelation shows clearly that the false prophet had the power to work miracles. Furthermore, Saul prophesied when the evil spirit came on him. Evil spirits have information to share but they do not have all power. Look at the contrast. The first time Saul prophesied he was in the presence of the company of prophets who attended Prophet Samuel’s School of the Prophets. God told me to tell you to be careful with soothsayers, diviners, witches, palm readers etc because they bring you into dominion of the devil. You become the servant of the one to whom you give up your authority as Adam discovered.
The Bible further says that God hates this mimicry of His power and will not tolerate it in the Assembly of Saints. God is saying the danger with Simon is that he was very good at what he did. He was interested in “buying” the power of God (can you imagine that ?!!) to obtain a greater power that he did not have so that he could take the people further into his and the devil’s dominion. After all, he could now become the greatest “prophet” ever using his power and the power of God (as if that were possible – but people do it in churches!). The Spirits of Self Promotion, Love of Filthy Lucre/Money and Witchcraft are being exposed here. This is why Jesus said in Matt 7: 15 – 25 that some of them are prancing down here doing mighty works in His name but not having any relationship with Him. Verse 23 just hit me because Jesus will tell them (tongue in cheek), “I never knew you, depart from me, ye workers of iniquity“. Iniquity in the Greek refers to transgression of the law.
See how Paul referred to Elymas the sorcerer in Acts 13: 6 – 11. Simon was operating in the Spirit of Sorcery and pretending to be great. Thank God for the eyes of the discernment of God in His body through His prophets and apostles who expose these workers of iniquity. In Acts 10: 44 on, we see another incident of the Holy Ghost falling on Cornelius and his company so that they praised God and spoke in tongues. The scriptures did not say which tongues. I can only speculate, but if tongues were given for a sign, they would have spoken in Hebrew or the language of the men with Peter if they were not Jews. They could have spoke in tongues of angels. Peter also reported in Acts 11: 15 that “the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning”. There was therefore a parallel between the infilling in Acts 2 and Cornelius’ experience in chapter 10.
In closing, Acts 19: 1- 7 describes the infilling of “certain disciples” (they did not want their names in the book because they were so behind time). Paul laid hands on them and they spake in tongues and prophesied. The Spirit says to rest the case, funny as it seems. Tongues are mentioned as evidences 3/5 or 60% of the times. The Lord says that He did not want the body of Christ to become too preoccupied with this issue simply because every believer should speak in tongues as a wonderful fringe benefit of being filled with the Holy Spirit. God uses them as a technique to send major shock waves through the unlearned (to the truth) so that they would believe for several reasons – so the gospel would be preached and to manifest the greatness of His power as He did through Moses and Aaron in Egypt. God has a great sense of humor and does not play fair. That is why the Bible says His ways and His thoughts are above ours. Blessings and good day.