House on the Rock
"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them,
I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock." (Mat 7:24)

Questions and Answers

Q: It's revealing and saddening to me that of all the books you found it important to write in your new series, you started with tongues and ecstatic experiences. Of all the subjects that are crucial for the new believer, you chose that. If you do write more books, why not help them with books on things like "How to interpret Scripture", "The Attributes of God", "The Person and work of Christ"?

A: It's revealing and saddening to me that you speak so disparagingly of the Holy Spirit's work. Any gift of God is worthy of the highest honor, reverence and esteem. Even so, being filled with the Holy Spirit is not only about tongues or an experience. It's about having the comforter dwelling in you, being a body wholly filled and flooded with God. Jesus said it was better for Him to leave so that He could send Him. It's about power, efficiency and might.

In following the example set forth in Acts, we find that getting new believers filled with the Holy Spirit is a top priority.

In Acts 10, people pretty much got saved and filled with the Holy Spirit at the same time. I think that's a wonderful example to follow and whenever I get somebody saved, I follow it if at all possible.

In Acts 8, Peter and John were sent to the Samarians to get them filled with the Holy Spirit. It doesn't say they were sent to teach anything. After all, why would you need a lesson on "How to interpret Scripture", when the One who wrote it lives in you to guide you into all the truth and teach you all things?

Similarly, in Acts 19, when Paul found some disciples, he asked them "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" Significantly, no other question was asked. Does that not indicate Paul thought receiving the Holy Spirit was of crucial importance?

It's no surprise that Paul thought it was of crucial importance because he himself, 3 days after he made Jesus Lord, was filled with the Holy Spirit when God sent Ananias to him for that purpose and to restore his sight. Looking at that incident in more detail, we see that the Lord told Ananaias:

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. And 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. (Acts 9:11-12)

But look how Ananias interpreted what the Lord said:

"Brother Saul, the Lord 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." (Acts 9:17)

The Lord didn't say anything to Ananias about getting Saul filled with the Holy Spirit, but evidently Ananias took it as obvious that if he's being sent, one of the reasons would be to get Saul filled.